Wednesday, June 26, 2013


Winning at all costs....
  Just read an old article on the democrats giving in and following the Karl Rove paradigm of fundraising and advertising in order to re-elect Obama
   What happens to one's spirit when one gives up their integrity for victor?

1 comment:

  1. This one gave us a real conundrum. If we behave like civilized human beings, we may lose in the face of a money-driven juggernaut. If we behave like the money-driven juggernaut, what's the difference between us and our opponent. In a world only slightly more ideal than this one, the Dems would strive to differentiate themselves through the ideals they support through legislation. Well, we can see how well that is working out in this supposed real world, can't we. In a far more ideal world, we would somehow regulate campaign finance to get the truly huge money out of politics. Given that money currently writes the rules, I can't see how that could be made to happen short of response to a catastrophe--and in that case, there are always people who profit from catastrophe, and they will fight to ensure the political influence of their dollars.

    On the other hand, I keep seeing small rays of hope here and there--places where an extremely well funded but repugnant candidate is defeated by a far less well funded, but intelligent and progressive candidate--because the people stand up and refuse to be bought. Now the machinery that does the political buying, far from admitting defeat, are learning from each of these instances and sharpening their techniques. Part of the problem is when winning at any cost is the ethic, people with enough drive and imagination can really drive up that cost.

    I guess the answer is to get the 'demos' back into democracy ('demos' being the Greek word for people--emphatically not use here as an abbreviation for the Democratic Party). I've been arguing for decades that he higher the voter turnout, the lower the impact of money. On top of that, we just have to keep chipping away--write countless letters to the editor, run for city council, sue for the right to have your name on the ballot and to have onerous and over-expensive petition requirements thrown out or amended to allow ordinary citizens to still have access to the process. Etc! This has several impacts:
    - Keeping progressive ideals in discussion and visible keeps the mid-point of political compromise from slipping too far to the right. For example, if the debate is between unregulated fossil fuel consumption on one side, and sustainable energy on the other, then the point of political compromise could include better regulation of fossil fuels, higher MPG requirements for transportation, funding for sustainable resource development, etc. If the debate is between unregulated fossil fuel consumption and regulated fossil fuels, the point of compromise is some minor regulations--possibly offset with tax breaks, etc.
    - The more people who vote, the more voting blocs are identified, and the more the money in politics has to cater to those blocs--thus diluting the ability of money to promote candidates allied solely to its own interests (so of course, restricting access to voting preserves the money's ability to promote its own interests).
    - People love to support someone who is taking a valiant stand in the face of overwhelming odds. In this day of political rhetoric constantly telling us that the government is the enemy, people could come to rally around local candidates whose access to ballots, etc. are being infringed by the government. When more progressives are trying to run, they can benefit from the love of an underdog and joy in rallying around a cause.

    So I guess the realistic solution is to keep up the good fight and encourage as many people as you can to do the same.