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An Editorial on the eve of Super Tuesday
The Consensus: Get Big Money Out of Politics
Given the recent rash of terrorist attacks and mass shootings across the globe it can be hard to remain optimistic about upcoming elections. Many Americans have a lot of questions and are wondering if their vote even counts within the electoral process. Will the right candidates reach the right audiences if politicians can now accept unlimited campaign contributions from individuals? This 2016 election cycle marks the first Presidential election since the McCutcheon, et al. v. FEC Supreme Court ruling.
There is hope! For the first time we have leading candidates in both political parties that are unanimously against big money in politics. Donald Trump has pledged to not accept campaign contributions from Super PACs. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders actually introduced legislation to take big money out of politics. The people have spoken. With a real estate tycoon and a democratic socialist leading the pack it's pretty obvious most Americans have had it with politics as usual. That means for the first time in a while there seems to be a good majority of Americans across the political spectrum that agree. We should all take note of this opportunity to unite for positive change.
Hillary's Role: Why she'll never win
For some reason HIllary remains relevant in the polls. Her campaign has been cashing in on her, "electability," myth and is attempting to hone in on the herd mentality. What is the herd mentality? It's the psychological tendency of humans to do what everyone else is doing. If her campaign can feign consensus more voters will follow. Yet with all of her recent scandals and the seemingly constant releases of new emails, feigning consensus becomes increasingly difficult. I've noticed that all or most of the polls among Democrats are always very close and nearly always fall within that 4% margin of error. Something that most media outlets seem to neglect is the increasing numbers of unenrolled or Independent voters that don't count in Democratic or Republican polls. In Massachusetts, Independents make up close to 51%; the staggering majority of the constituency. Her attempts to feign electability have failed. No Republican would ever vote for her if she manages to beat Bernie in the primary. Many Republicans have already pledged to vote for Bernie. That's why the GOP would prefer to run against Hillary.
As we entered into New Hampshire's primary her campaign seemed to be angling towards emotional extortion; insulting any women who didn't vote for her and threatening them with eternal damnation. I'm sure the women on the fence appreciated that… not. Way to alienate your audience. Ironically voting based on gender alone is, by definition, sexist.
If you were thinking about voting for Hillary because she's, "pro-union," think again. She once worked on Walmart's board of directors; a company that is notorious for being anti-union, paying poverty wages and enslaving people world wide. Despite all of this she just can't say that she will not accept monies from Super PACs or swear to get big money out of politics. No because then she would be even more lost. Hillary get big money out of politics? Don't worry, she'll, "consider it."
Hillary has betrayed her liberal base. She voted for the Iraq wars and has flip flopped on many other issues like gay marriage. I like to call her a closet Conservative. Now Jeb Bush's case has quelled my doubts about American's short term memory. Arguably, Jeb could have made a better president than his brother. But most Americans seem to agree that Iraq was a mistake, especially since most of the 9/11 terrorists were Saudi Arabian. Likewise Americans have not forgotten Bill Clinton's role in the economic crisis in signing NAFTA and deregulating Wall St. by eliminating Glass-Steagall. (If you don't like the TPP you will hate NAFTA) What's even more telling is her previous support of the Keystone XL pipeline. Additionally, as the title of this article dictates, Americans remember it was Hillary Clinton's campaign video that caused Citizens United to become the law of the land. It eliminated campaign spending limits for super PACs, injected big money into the political process and opened the secret door for foreign governments to influence and likely undermine American democracy. That's why she can barely hold a majority within her own party.
The Subversive 28th Amendment
When the Supreme Court makes a ruling it is very difficult to overturn. One way to go about it without going through Congress is to draft a Constitutional Amendment. So that's what many people did when they drafted the 28th Amendment; an Amendment to get big money out of politics by acknowledging that corporations are not people. Then, in what seems like intentional misdirection, a 2nd 28th Amendment was drafted to completely separate church and state, which many believe will infringe upon religious freedom. Finally a 3rd wants to ensure Congressional benefits are not disproportionally privileged in comparison to other government employees. There are snopes articles and other sites that say all this is half true or an internet rumor. How many people will write to their legislator asking them to support the 28th Amendment without specifying which one they want them to support? Who really knows? It's all very confusing. But the truth remains clear: Money is corrupting our political process and Americans are recognizing the similarities between our current economical climate to that of Germany in the 1930's. Benito Mussolini once said, “Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power.” Many people confuse Hitler's fascism with socialism because he falsely identified with the popular Workers Party in order to come to power. It's important to know the difference.
Bernie and Trump on Top
With so much hanging in the balance how is it that a Washington outsider and a democratic socialist are the front runners? Both have made it more clear than any other candidates that they cannot be influenced by corporate donors or Super PACs. Americans are also sick of the politicking in Washington and opting for anti-establishment candidates.
Bernie Sanders has made getting big money out of politics a pillar of his platform. If you have attended any of his rallies you'll usually find Stamp Stampede outside soliciting donations and giving out stamps for stamping dollar bills (see top image). The stamps have messages like, "Not 2 B used for bribing politicians," or, "Stamp big money out of politics." It's all part of an effort to level the playing field by eliminating Citizens United, taxing the 1% and allowing everyday Americans to move out of poverty.
Bernie has some great ideas but many are concerned about his ability to implement them. But if we're able to create new, green energy jobs without the confines of oppressive tariffs. If we can bring American jobs home from China and raise the minimum wage tied to inflation that means more tax revenue without having to raise taxes. He says that it's on us to participate in our democracy. I agree and Bernie's campaign has certainly inspired a growing number of young people to get involved in politics. Thanks to his message his campaign broke the record for most individual campaign contributions totaling over 2.5 million.
Even if you don't agree with his politics Bernie's message has steered the conversation towards the root of our issues: The Federal Reserve, which is arguably a branch the IMF and World Bank. Contrary to popular belief The Federal Reserve is not a governmental agency that falls under the jurisdiction of Congress. It is privately owned. These Middle Eastern wars aren't only about fighting terrorism but also maintaining the US Petrol Dollar, suppressing the Gold Dinar, the privatization of lands, commodification of resources, and the patenting of life. Bernie Sanders is the only candidate that acknowledges these facts and aims to correct them garnering the support of movements like Occupy.
As far as the patenting of life through the genetic contamination from GE foods, Bernie introduced a labeling Amendment to the Farm Bill. He is the only candidate who has publicly criticized Monsanto. His home state of Vermont is also one of the only states to pass a GMO labeling bill. No other candidate even comes close to Sanders on this issue. When it comes to the issues Bernie Sanders certainly has consistency and integrity on his side if nothing else. People recognize that and that's why he's so popular. Hillary on the other hand hired a former Monsanto lobbyist as her campaign manager.
Alternately, Donald Trump may be wrong about a lot of things but he speaks his mind and is beholden to no one. Candor is so rare in politics. He is a household name, a familiar face, and that's why people like him. Even if he is racist and proposes outrageous policies he'll be more upfront with you than someone like Hillary who constantly changes her position based on focus groups or what other candidates are saying. Plus deep down I think voters are secretly hoping Trump will walk into Congress and employ his signature line, "You're fired!"
Now that several esteemed universities have deemed America an oligarchy we must utilize what little bit of democracy we have left. Even if you believe your vote doesn't count remember that people fought and died so that you could. Even if America goes to hell in a handbasket you can at least say you tried. If it means getting big money out it's worth a shot. We here at The-Regular.com will certainly be voting in the primaries this year. Will you? Click here for your local polling information and primary dates. See you at the polls!
Hillary's PR problem in memes:
Andrea is a mom, producer, and blogger from Foxborough, MA. She is committed to promoting a fabulously sustainable lifestyle.