Misplaced loyalty toward corrupt political parties rather than issues

| September 28, 2011 | 2 Replies

Glenn Greenwald is a consistent source of hard hitting well-documented articles that cross-cut the American political scene. He lets the chips fall, which is more than you can say for many (maybe most) Americans who call themselves Democrats or Republicans. You see, many of those folks become totally caught up in the personalities to which they feel allegiance that they lose the capacity to be self-critical. They become stupidly tribal. Here’s how Greenwald puts it:

A siginificant aspect of this progressive disdain is grounded in the belief that the only valid form of political activism is support for Democratic Party candidates, and a corresponding desire to undermine anything that distracts from that goal. Indeed, the loyalists of both parties have an interest in marginalizing anything that might serve as a vehicle for activism outside of fealty to one of the two parties.

How does this work in the real world? Consider the closely intertwined relationship involving Democrats and Wall Street Banks:

The very idea that one can effectively battle Wall Street’s corruption and control by working for the Democratic Party is absurd on its face: Wall Street’s favorite candidate in 2008 was Barack Obama, whose administration — led by a Wall Street White House Chief of Staff and Wall-Street-subservient Treasury Secretary and filled to the brim with Goldman Sachs officials — is now working hard to protect bankers from meaningful accountability (and though he’s behind Wall Street’s own Mitt Romney in the Wall Street cash sweepstakes this year, Obama is still doing well); one of Wall Street’s most faithful servants is Chuck Schumer, the money man of the Democratic Party; and the second-ranking Senate Democrat acknowledged — when Democrats controlled the Congress — that the owners of Congress are bankers. There are individuals who impressively rail against the crony capitalism and corporatism that sustains Wall Street’s power, but they’re no match for the party apparatus that remains fully owned and controlled by it.

[Go to Greenwald's site at Salon.com for loads of excellent links].

Therefore, voting Democrat means voting for big Wall Street banks, but the most vocal supporters pretend to be oblivious (or, perhaps the confirmation bias is working overtime and they are oblivious) to this massive sell-out by their cherished party.

I don’t want to sound like a broken record, but all of the above leads me to believe that the time for trusting sweet-talking politicians is long over.  I’m completely finished doing that sort of thing, and I’m now embarrassed that I got so caught up in Obama fever 3 years ago.  I have increasingly seen that Obama is 90% sell-out to big corporate money and 10% throw the progressives a few crumbs.  And lest anyone think that I’m leaning rightward, I’m utterly convinced that the conservatives are even worse.

In order to have any meaningful discussion with our political leaders on any political topic, we need to first rid our election process of all private money. We need to tell our leaders that until we fix this money issue, there is no use talking about anything else. Really and truly.  If we take our eye off this issue, our country will continue on its long and accelerating downward spiral.  What makes it all horrendous is that what’s happening to the working class was totally unnecessary.  It happened because our leaders were bought by big money and thus sold out the overall public good. Here’s one recently-announced approach for fixing the problem, courtesy of Dylan Ratigan.

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Category: Campaign Finance Reform, Politics

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (2)

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  1. Erich Vieth says:

    “As commerce secretary under Bill Clinton, William Daley worked with U.S. pharmaceutical giants to curb the use of cheaper generic drugs abroad. As a board member for Abbott Laboratories, he had a front-row seat on a brutal clash between a major drug company and a developing nation over access to life-saving medication. And as White House chief of staff today, Daley has President Barack Obama’s ear . . . [William] Daley, who previously lobbied for JPMorgan Chase, is a prominent examplar of a bipartisan phenomenon in American government in which corporate insiders, and the profit-driven perspective of the boardroom, have come to dominate formal and informal debate over public policy.”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/28/bill-daley-big-pharma-trans-pacific-partnership_n_981973.html

  2. Tim Hogan says:

    No one thinks the current political parties in the US are truly representative of all their views.

    Tribal, no.

    Holding your nose as you do what you can within the existing structures, yes!

    I find that if an issue is fully krausened, I can organize a ballot initiative to replace the structure with a new one. While the ballot initiative restructuring approach is confined to my state and is at best incremental, it beats relying upon corrupt individuals and parties.

    Some should think about that instead of whining about a bad situation or just staying home (or just condescendingly carping!), one could apply themselves to some collective effort to restructure an existing party and maybe make a difference. I don’t agree with much of the Tea Party line but, they have radically changed the GOP in a short time.

    The labor movement is getting heavily back into the fray because of the efforts of the Republicans to gut them. If labor spearheads a national progressive coalition like the old Democrat-Farm-Labor (DFL) coalition in Minnesota, something could be salvaged from the contemporary Democratic Party.

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