The Rocky Anderson Alternative as President of the United States

August 26, 2012 | By | 6 Replies More

You won’t hear the mass media talking about Rocky Anderson. You won’t hear Anderson speaking at any of the Presidential Debates, because the corporations that run our elections will make sure that Anderson is not invited to any of these debates.

Anderson, a two-term mayor of Salt Lake City, is running as the nominee of the Justice Party. He is sorely disappointed in Barack Obama’s decision to support passage of NDAA. He is a strong believer in the need to take definite steps to reduce production of

Image: Wikimedia Commons

greenhouse gasses (he took serious steps as Mayor). He very much supports the aims of the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement. He challenges Americans to reject the “fear-driven argument” that they must vote for one of the two dominant political parties. Based on a well-written profile at Truthout, here’s how Anderson describes the huge hurdle Americans face this election cycle:

Our nation has been transformed in extraordinarily tragic ways in the past dozen years. The rule of law has been utterly eviscerated during the Bush and Obama administrations. We’ve engaged in wars of aggression, wars for which there has been no coherent explanation. Our debt is completely out of control. We have a military-industrial complex with a stranglehold on our government. And at the core of almost every public policy failure, all we have to do to find an explanation is follow the money, because our Congress and the White House have been purchased lock, stock and barrel by wealthy corporate interests. The Republican and Democratic Parties have colluded in creating the corrupt, perverse system that has led our nation to this point today. And there is now no question in my mind that we need a major new alternative.

Here are some of the things that need to be done to turn this country around:

Compliance with the war powers clause would keep us out of the disastrous wars we’ve been fighting ever since at least Vietnam. Imagine if Congress lived up to its constitutional responsibility to determine whether the facts justify going to war. We would have never gone into Vietnam. We never would have been in Iraq. And it’s very likely we would not have been in Afghanistan.

We need significant campaign finance reform, with a public financing system. We need to reverse the Citizens United case. If that took a constitutional amendment, it would be very worthwhile, because the role of money in our campaign system is in large part responsible for the transformation of our democracy into a plutocracy – the control of our government by the very wealthy. We need to restore the rule of law, and live up to the promise that our nation has made, ever since its founding, that we would honor and recognize individual civil rights and liberties instead of indefinite detention without charges, trial or habeas corpus. We would get back to the basics in terms of due process for everyone.

And we need to join with the rest of the industrialized world and finally recognize the fundamental moral obligation that we, as a people, should have: to provide essential health care for everyone. People are dying simply because they cannot afford decent medical care in this country. . . . . it’s all happened because of the corrupting influence of money from the for-profit insurance and pharmaceutical industries.

A major transformation in these areas is required, and . . . I encourage everyone to no longer be satisfied with the Republican and Democratic Parties and their candidates, who have brought us to this point where we are today.



Category: Blackouts, Campaign Finance Reform, Media, 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 (6)

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  1. Mike M. says:

    A comment I wrote previously on viability of 3rd/4th Party candidates seems to fit re. this post on Rocky Anderson:

    In the US we have two “choices”* – Republican or Democrat. Any other party such as Libertarian, Green, Independent, etc is intentionally marginalized by both the media and the two main Power Parties. Why? Obviously the R&D cabal wants to keep their vice grip on political power and maintain the status quo. I suspect politics really all boils down to control of power and money – how to get it (win an election) and how to hold on to it (resist all change). Any political aspirants with truly progressive, pro-human, idealistic agendas are quickly dismissed as “the lunatic fringe”, ridiculed or ignored, and shuffled off the stage. So we are then typically led by the least among us – the least noble, the least visionary, the least courageous.

    *no choice at all.

    • Erich Vieth says:

      Mike: I wish I could disagree with you. Here’s the best I can do. I don’t think it’s a careful or precise conspiracy; actually, I think that most Democrats and Republicans feel mutual reciprocal animus for each other. But there IS something about the flow of money that tends to keep things coordinated, and tends to motivate an aggressive media filter such that only the things discussed by the candidates are the “important” issues. Big issues that are not discussed by the R’s and D’s are not issues worth covering by the media. There is a whole lot covered up, suppressed. It was astounding that the Akin comment regarding abortion set off a firestorm, even though Roe v Wade was decided decades ago. You would have thought that we would have had lots of meaningful conversations about whether a raped woman should be made (by the government) to carry her rapist’s child to term. As seen by the Akin episode, though, it is like this issue is being discussed for the first time ever.

      How many other dozens of important issues are being swept under the rug because neither of the mainstream candidates is willing to broach these topics? How about our non-stop warmongering? How about the government freely spying on its own citizens? How about putting at least all children under the medicare umbrella (I would make the entire system some form of single payor)? What about those immense fossil fuel subsidies? Shouldn’t we allocate ALL of them to cultivate sustainable energy? The silence is the loudest part of these nationwide “conversations” in my experience.

  2. Mike M. says:

    Erich: I see it as a loose conspiracy, a sort of “gentlemen’s agreement” to keep the club as exclusive as possible to ensure the greatest possible chance of holding their power grip on the country. It’s been working for about a century, and so every four years they dutifully work on tightening the screws on the lid and lubing the moving pieces. Systemic preventive maintenance.
    I think you’re right on the shroud of silence covering many truly meaningful and progressive topics. I suspect the candidates are reluctant to advance these ideas or, god forbid, offer up their real, unbiased, unguarded opinion on them. Why? Probably because Dinosaurs and neophobes comprise a huge amount of voters. These Dead-Enders and status quo lovers fill the polling places, and have heavy influence. One controversial opinion made in public (slash the Defense budget, feed the starving, heal the poor) can ignite a media storm and bring down a campaign. Remember: most candidates are not running for office for altruistic reasons- they’re running for office to gain personal power and money. It’s a tough nut, but I believe that’s it.

    • Erich Vieth says:

      Mike M. – I think the thing that drives many conservatives batty is what Jonathan Haidt refers to as “karma.” They can’t stand the thought that someone, somewhere might sponge off of the system. I don’t like that either, but I’m willing to forge a system that minimizes that (without completely eliminating it) if that’s the only way to address horrific problems, such as getting people basic medical care and basic nutrition.

      It’s strange that conservatives can accept imperfection, lots of it, everywhere else in the programs THEY support, such as wars that kill lots of civilians, including children, wars we fight when we can’t even articulate the reason we are fighting them. But God forbid that we create a social program where 5% of the money goes to people who are not truly deserving. Having said that, it would really improve things, I believe, if die-hard liberals would acknowledge that programs should be tailored as well as possible to help only those that they are aimed to help, and not others.

      I do seem detect hypocrisy on both sides. For instance, I have heard people I know say that they won’t really start looking for a job until the unemployment benefits run out. If liberals would just acknowledge that this SOMETIMES happens, perhaps we could cool done the temperature, have a meaningful conversation and make some progress. But when that debate was raging, I heard many liberals insist that no one would do this.

      Progress will take far more bending by conservatives. They need to acknowledge that there are many people out there hurting badly, for no fault of their own, and the country would be better off–MUCH better off offering them a helping hand to get them back on their feet, so that they can be tax-paying Americans again. That will take food, medicine, mortgage assistance, job training and many other things that used to be considered Republican-supported programs.

  3. Mat says:

    I agree that usually when some see conspiracy it is just a case of positive feedback cycles or self-organizing systems. Such as in the case at hand.

    Of course there is a drive to power by many means, per definition. It is like saying a corporation tries everything to make profits. That is what they are made for (and that is why they are not good to look after the good of the people – but that is another discussion).

    I think the root of the problem is that the one party that gets into the white house has too much power. Divide up that power, spread it out more, and the whole political climate gets much more relaxed.

    Now with a change of government, as many policies the “other” government has put in place as possible are being reversed, all the while the other side sits in the opposition, trying to sabotage everything the government is trying to accomplish. It is a highly destructive system. Sure, it works in the end, but not very well.

    As a second step, give more power to the people. Make them vote on important issues more. Have them take over some of the responsibility. This will automatically make most more interested and engaged in politics.

    Of course the people can be stupid and sometimes very easily influenced. Polemics and populists will still be heard and followed. Fox “News” will still influence politics. Maybe limit campaign spending as well to kinda limit that factor…

    But if all that never happens, people like Rocky Anderson will always ever be the Ralph Nader of presidential elections, representing a good cause, but in the end potentially costing this cause dearly by taking away votes from the lesser evil.

  4. Charlotte Scot says:

    There are many reasons the press and media do not talk about Rocky Anderson. The two biggest reasons are: 1, he wants to change the status quo and 2, he hasn’t spent $500,000,000 on media advertising.
    Sort of “pay to play.”
    Two corporate funded political parties does not a democracy make:-)

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