What the world thinks of Trump Voters

This great video sums up the thoughts of so many voters that were shocked that Donald Trump won. Things have somehow progressed well beyond basic policy ideas. They have transcended into basic human rights and decency. This quick video does a great job of summing up our thoughts.

 

 

Thanks!
Credit: Tess Rafferty.
Video shared by Occupy Democrats

Primary or Caucus for Bernie Sanders Super Tuesday

Head out to vote in the primary or caucus for Bernie Sanders Super Tuesday. It is vitally important! Our power lies in our participation in the political process. One of the places where our vote still holds a huge amount of sway is in primaries and caucuses. It is arguably the place where the individual voter’s vote still has real, tangible power. Use it!

Find out how and where here: http://voteforbernie.org/

In some years the differences in candidates for president for each party is minimal. This year is not the case. In fact, the democratic candidates are remarkably different. This difference is will mean whether we have a chance to fix and correct our political system or if we remain in the embarrassing and dysfunction quagmire that is our corrupt political process and government functionality.

Here is the evidence that shows their differences and why voters need to mobilize and caucus for Bernie Sanders Super Tuesday.

Hillary Clinton & Bernie Sanders Super Tuesday Comparison

Issue Hillary Clinton Bernie Sanders
Super PAC Contributions $64 Million

(Many large corporate & banks)

NONE

 

TPP Changed from Support to Opposed

(Supported until started Campaign)

Opposed
Keystone Pipeline Recently Opposed

(No Stance for a Long Time)

Opposed
Campaign Contributions 18% Small/82% Large

(Corporations & Banks)

71% Small/29% Large

(Small Business and Individuals)

Presidential Polls against GOP GOP Consistently Wins

(She is very divisive)

Consistently Beats GOP

*Data from: http://presidential-candidates.insidegov.com/compare/35-40/Bernie-Sanders-vs-Hillary-Clinton

Primary or Caucus for Bernie Sanders Super Tuesday - Bernie Sanders vrs Hillary Clinton

*Chart from: http://www.businessinsider.com/hillary-clinton-vs-bernie-sanders-on-the-issues-2015-9

Primary or Caucus for Bernie Sanders Super Tuesday
As demonstrated in by the data above Senator Bernie Sanders has a much more progressive agenda with hopes and plans to continue to improve America. Bernie Sanders is pushing for further steps to tackle every major issue.

Much of what Hillary Clinton proposes is to stick with much of what we already have, such as healthcare and energy policies.

When looking at each candidate’s stance on issues both in the past and present, their outlined plans for American policy, and the drive they have to make a difference in the coming years the choice is clear.

  • Bernie Sanders is the best choice to advance American policy in meaningful ways demonstrated by his decade’s long history of fighting against the corporate takeover of America.
  • Bernie Sanders clearly has the majority of American’s people’s best interest in mind demonstrated by his empathy and vigor through demonstrating for civil rights.
  • Bernie Sanders is the best choice to bridge the gap between people in America demonstrated by his ability to compromise and find middle ground on long lists of passed legislation.

Vote or Caucus for Bernie Sanders Super Tuesday

Please take a little time out of your day today and head out to your local Primary or caucus and vote. It is a rich and rewarding experience. Your vote holds significant weight in the outcome of who will end up being the Democratic nominee for president.

Ask those around you if they would like to join you. Make a night out of! It will be fun and it is so very important to be involved in our democratic process. If we don’t use our democracy, we just might lose our democracy.

So get out there today and caucus for Bernie Sanders Super Tuesday!

Midterm Election Voter Help

Voting Help for Midterm ElectionsHere is a little voting help this midterm election. These are all issues that the political realm has debated over the last couple years. The information is out there, but if you haven’t been able to keep up on the insanity of American politics, this little cheat sheet should help.

Ask yourself these yes or no questions and tally up your yes versus no at the end.

  1. Do you make less than a million dollars a year?
  2. Do you have a business that makes less than a million dollars a year?
  3. Do you respect women?
  4. Think women are equal to men?
  5. Do you think men and women can make their own healthcare choices?
  6. Do you believe in freedom of religion?
  7. Do you want money out of politics?
  8. Do you want access to health care?
  9. Do you want to pay reasonable prices for medicine?
  10. Do you want to pay reasonable prices for health care?
  11. Do you like to breathe clean air?
  12. Do you like to drink clean water?
  13. Do you want to keep poison out of your food?
  14. Do you want to stop banks from gambling away America’s future?
  15. Do you want to hold those accountable for the Great Recession?
  16. Do you want to have decent roads to drive on?
  17. Do you want reliable electricity?
  18. Do you want the police to police?
  19. Do you want to stop the spread of Ebola?
  20. Do you want a government that actually functions?
  21. Do you want this America to progress in the world?
  22. Do you want the American Dream?
  23. Do you want a reasonable education?
  24. Do you want decent schools for your children?
  25. Do you want scientific advances to continue?
  26. Do you want medical advances to continue?
  27. Do you want a choice in broadband internet?
  28. Do you like Free Speech?
  29. Do you want a democracy?
  30. Do you want good American jobs?
  31. Do you want American jobs to stay in America?
  32. Do you want renewable energy?
  33. Do you want a sustainable future?
  34. Do you want to slow climate change?
  35. Do you have or want beachfront property?
  36. Do you like any place that is currently on a beach?
  37. Do you want to earn what you are worth?
  38. Do you want to be able to vote without having to pay for it?
  39. Do you think 40,000 lives are more valuable than 40?
  40. Do you want to know what is in your food?
  41. Do you want to be sure your house is not going to collapse on you?
  42. Do you think people should be able to marry who they love?
  43. Do you think that all people deserve to eat?
  44. Do you think we should take care of our veterans?
  45. Do you think we should be the best educated society in the world?
  46. Do you want to be part of the best country in the world?
  47. Do you want to help make this the best country in the world again?
  48. Do you care about the quality of your life?
  49. Do you want a better life?
  50. Do you want to make a difference?

One or More ‘Yes’ on Political Survey

If you answered any of these questions then you definitely need to make sure you vote!

If you answered yes to any these questions than you need to make sure that you vote Democrat or Independent. It is simple as that.

Unless of course you like the government quagmire and enjoy the plummeting quality of life for Americans, then vote Republican.

If you want a better America, if you answered YES to any of the above questions vote anyone other than a Republican. Doing so will help to move the government back to being influenced by the people. It might not be the perfect solution, but at least we should be able to get the slow government machine moving again and working for the people of America.

Get educated and go vote. Thank you for participating in your government, it needs you!

Supreme Court Sunders a Century of American Progress

United States of America Supreme CourtOver the last couple of years the Supreme Court of the United States of America has destroyed protections that have been in place for a hundred years or more. In several short but brutal strokes, the Supreme Court has made meaningless the suffering of countless Americans who fought back against discrimination, lack of representation, and persecution. The recent appalling decisions of the Supreme Court defy logic, fairness, and have strayed far from what America is supposed to be.

Citizens United and Private Contributions

people-politico-grip-moneyWe have known. K N O W N. That money is an absolutely corrupting and destructive influence in politics and governments. I’m not saying we have figured this out in the last couple years. We have known this for thousands, yes, THOUSANDS of years. This practice of plutocracy has destroyed countries, nations, and entire empires of humans. That is why we have had laws to limit and highly regulate what money gets funneled into politics. These limitations have been fairly effective over the last hundred years. We have, for the most part, truly had a democracy where the average American people mattered in politics. But the Supreme Court ruled that corporations may contribute to political campaigns, basically ruling that corporations have the same rights as people in regard to free speech, and more chillingly, giving corporations the go-ahead to buy politicians, and thus, elections. This decision has got to be one of the most destructive to American democracy.
How can the Supreme Court of America come to such a terrible and obviously flawed decision?

And instead of learning from the consequences of their ruling, they made another ruling to make sure the country is run by the rich and that democracy will no longer be decided by individuals, ruling to lift the limit that individuals can donate in politics. In fact, this changes America from a democracy, to a plutocracy.

  • Democracy: A system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives.
  • Plutocracy: A country or society governed by the wealthy.

This is simply horrifying.

Voter Rights Act Ruling

voter-infoThe Supreme Court argued that racism is no longer a problem in America so there is no need to have voter law protections. This is an absurd line of thinking.

First, racism is alive and well in this country. It is far from being gone. If anyone fails to see racism, it is because they are actively ignoring it.

Second, many proposed voting laws have been struck down by these voter protections. These laws were not drafted 20 years ago. They were struck down in the very same year as being obviously and overtly intended to make it harder for certain races to vote. On tape, at press conferences, and speeches around the country, republicans ACTUALLY stated their intent to keep certain voters from the polls.  Here is a great article showing many cases of voter discrimination. It is worth the time to read.

One of the most notable pieces of evidence that this Supreme Court decision was a grave mistake was that as soon as the decision was announced, the state of Texas ‘immediately put into effect’ the very voting right laws that had previously been blocked by the Voting Rights Act for racial targeting.

Supreme Court Strikes down the Separation of Church and State

sad-political-stateIn yet another mind boggling decision the Supreme Court has said that it is OK to hold religious prayers in government meetings.

Though the Constitution doesn’t explicitly mention the separation of church and state, it is accepted that the founding fathers intended for this separation.

And indeed, this separation has been important for fairness and inclusiveness. When the government stays out of religious organizations and vice versa, there is one less agenda involved. This most recent ruling is chilling, as is Justice Anthony Kennedy’s answer that if you don’t like it, you can just leave the room: “Should nonbelievers choose to exit the room during a prayer they find distasteful, their absence will not stand out as disrespectful or even noteworthy” This is such a juvenile and ignorant response to come from a Supreme Court Justice, and Justice Elena Kagan pointed that out, but much more eloquently.

Regardless of whether you are a Christian or not, prayers have no business in a government meeting, where people of all faiths or none should be recognized as equal contributors to the democratic process, and all should feel welcome. The core of democracy is a government of people, not of religion.

It seems such a simple concept to empathize with another and their point of view. This is a perfect example of this Supreme Court’s inability to do that. If the five majority justices are unable to empathize with people who are unlike themselves, it is obvious they are terribly underqualified for their jobs, since empathy is the primary trait one needs to judge fairly. How might they feel if they were the one Jew, Muslim, atheist, or other non-Christian person that was effectively being ostracized at one of these meetings?

Supreme Court Supremely Dysfunctional

The Supreme Court is no longer fulfilling the purpose of being unbiased judges. The Supreme Court is no longer the moderators of what is morally right, fair, and lawful.

Either they are so out of touch they no longer possess the skills to accurately see and judge the REAL America we live in, or they are so blatantly partisan and pushing an agenda it is sickening.

I almost want to think they are ignorant, because maybe they would have an excuse and could be educated. Unfortunately, I know this isn’t the case. You do not become a judge, let alone a Supreme Court judge, by being an ignoramus.

How to Regain a Just and Fair Supreme Court

collums-and-stairsThese Supreme Court Justices are obviously and overtly pushing a right wing agenda. This is terrifying. I come to this conclusion because America is so polarized right now the choices of a “side” are obvious. The choices of Supreme Court judges should NOT be obvious. In fact, in this time of extreme polarization the Supreme Court Judges should be a mystery. They should surprise us with every decision finding the middle ground. Sadly, this is not the case.

But what can we do? Seeing the corruption all the way up and including Supreme Court members tells us that the problem with America is systemic. With systemic problems we must change the system.

The first step would be to open the mystery of the Supreme Court by allowing cameras in the court. This should not be set up like a frantic press conference of a Hollywood star having an affair. Instead, it should be a CSPAN-like feed with static, always on, cameras that show us, the people, how the Supreme Court comes to its decisions. This would help us understand the how and whys behind their decisions. We could also uncover possible issues that could be corrected and the court enhanced to be more fair, moral, and efficient.

Next, lifetime appointments need to be eliminated. This is the ridiculous way that political parties “rig the system” in their favor. The effects of these appointments last for years and do terrible harm to our country. Terms should overlap major elections so no matter who is on the benches they will be judging and ruling for what is right and constitutional, not along party lines.

Finally, I would like to see more and more people take an interest in what the Supreme Court does. Many of us find it hard to keep informed and up to date on some of the most important decisions that affect us. Once more are staying informed on what the Supreme Court is doing, then those can take better educated actions to make sure that their votes, their conversations, and their lives are influenced by being better informed.

Ultimately I think that the people of America still have enough power to make the changes to America that truly benefits our society. If we do not exercise this right, we will be surprised to find that we have given up our rights, without a peep, while the people we trusted with our rights give them away.

GOP Shutdown is Subverting Our Democracy

people-politico-gop-shutdown-memo

The Republicans and the GOP Leadership are using the government shutdown to take America hostage against the Affordable Health Care Act, also known as Obamacare. This can be made no clearer by this document that was sent through the house Republicans. They signed it, and made it their plan, their goal, to shut down the government. The GOP is responsible for the government shutdown, plain and simple.

They want to negotiate something that they have already lost, a long time ago.

  • They lost several elections to health care reform.
  • They have failed to stop it with 41 separate votes in Congress.
  • The Supreme Court of the United States of America has upheld Obamacare.

This guise of the GOP compromising and sitting down to discuss Obamacare happened years ago, and Obamacare is the compromise they got. We would have a single payer system if “health care was rammed down their throat”.

This piecemeal idea to funding government subverts the democratic process we have used to create these programs in the first place. They are simply taking the lives and well beings of America and Americans hostage.

There is a “clean bill” that has passed the senate that will start the government immediately. It will fund everything “as is”. Just like it was before the government shutdown began. There are enough votes and support in Congress to pass this “clean bill” to get everything up and running again. John Boehner simply has to call an up or down vote and this shutdown would be over. However, he is bowing to the minority right wing tea party extremists.

Eighty Republican members of Congress signed a letter which has created the government shutdown. Though they blame the Democrats and President Obama for the shutdown, it is so obvious that the blame for this extortion lies squarely with the GOP.  The Democrats want to pass a budget and get the government working again, but the Republicans are trying to take advantage of the situation. This clip from the Daily Show with John Stewart explains the letter the Republicans signed.

If you would like to skip right to it, start watching at the 5:20 mark. However, I encourage everyone to watch the entire episode. It is fantastic.

http://www.thedailyshow.com/full-episodes/wed-october-2-2013-sandra-bullock

It’s OK for Republicans to disagree with Obamacare. It’s OK for them to have the opinion that other government programs and legislation are bad.

It is NOT ok for them to take us all hostage because of their beliefs. In a democratic society you must take the majority opinion over the minority. That is the whole point. If they want to change or modify existing programs or laws they should be drafting legislation to do so. They should NOT be threatening the lives of millions of Americans or the future prosperity of America.

Stop the shutdown immediately! Call a vote on the “clean bill” now.

Please post your thoughts and opinions below as well as on any and all social media that you are involved with so we can get the message out that taking America hostage is WRONG.

I Have a Dream by Dr Martin Luther King Jr 50 Years Later

people-politico-i-have-a-dream-martin-luther-kingToday we look back 50 years to the inspirational leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He had a dream that we should all share this country and this world equally, without racial, social, economic, or religious bias or bigotry. This country is a far greater America than it was back then. Dr. Martin Luther King’s courage and dedication to what he knew was right made this country, and this world better by far.

However, his dream of equality is far from fully realized. There has been talk amongst the media and pundits that racism is over and is no longer a problem in America, especially after the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down a key part of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Dr. Martin Luther King was instrumental in making the Act a reality and many in this country see it as one of the most important pieces of legislation in American History.

The idea that racism no longer exists is far from true.

Racial, economic, social, and religious bigotry still plague us in America as well as worldwide. Examples of this inequality and prejudice are everywhere. As if to illustrate how important this legislation was to protecting people’s rights, Texas, within hours of the ruling, reintroduced a voter ID law that a panel of federal judges ruled last year would impose “strict, unforgiving burdens on the poor”. It is clear; we still have very far to go, and there are still those who seek to restrict the rights of certain segments of society in order to further their own agendas.

Looking back 50 years to when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his historic “I Have a Dream” speech and comparing that America with today’s America, I find myself sharing that same dream. It is easy to get lost and hopeless in the quagmire that is today’s American politics. However, with the broader view of the last 50 years I can see that we can make progress, we can grow as a nation and as a people.

So I implore you today to take a few minutes and watch or read Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s amazing “I Have a Dream” speech. It amazes me just how meaningful it was then, and is now. Take his words to heart and think about what you can do as an American to further the dream of a better future.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I Have a Dream Speech Video

August 28, 1963. Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I Have a Dream Speech Transcription

August 28, 1963. Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C.

 

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.

Five score years ago a great American in whose symbolic shadow we stand today signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beckoning light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.

But one hundred years later the Negro is still not free. One hundred years later the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination.

One hundred years later the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity.

One hundred years later the Negro is still languishing in the comers of American society and finds himself in exile in his own land.

We all have come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to change racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice ring out for all of God’s children.

There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted citizenship rights.

We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.

And the marvelous new militarism which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers have evidenced by their presence here today that they have come to realize that their destiny is part of our destiny.

So even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal.”

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its Governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places plains, and the crooked places will be made straight, and before the Lord will be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.

This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the mount with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the genuine discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, pray together; to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom forever, mowing that we will be free one day.

And I say to you today my friends, let freedom ring. From the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire, let freedom ring. From the mighty mountains of New York, let freedom ring. From the mighty Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!

Let freedom ring from the snow capped Rockies of Colorado!

Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California!

But not only there; let freedom ring from the Stone Mountain of Georgia!

Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain in Tennessee!

Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill in Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last! Free at last! Thank God almighty, we’re free at last!”

Politics, Presidents, and Patriotism this 4th of July

Happy Birthday AmericaAs the 4th of July comes around again, we are all reminded of our patriotism on this most important holiday for our country, the anniversary of American independence. Celebrating the birthday of our country is important and it is even more important to do so with dignity and respect.

In this year of presidential politics the vitriol, hate, selfishness, and intolerance is at an all time high. This is a recipe for disaster normally, but can be much worse when compounded by alcohol and the hard times so many are having. Keep this in mind as the casual 4th of July political conversations begin at the BBQ’s. Remember that those around you are your friends and family. You should value them, their ideas and their political opinions.

Too often tolerance, cooperation, and comprise have been labeled as flaws, as traits of the weak. In fact these simple traits are some of the keystone ideas to this country, how it was formed and how it has survived to this point. Without these good and decent traits, the founding fathers would never have been able to agree on the Bill of Rights. The Constitution of the United States of America is written with tolerance and acceptance as its guiding principles: That we are all equal and we all have an equal right to our thoughts and opinions. These two documents make up the very foundation of America. America cannot thrive or prosper if we are all focused on our own agenda, wants and needs. We must think of what is good for us, but we must also work hard to see what is best for our country as a whole. Only through selflessness can we hope to see our country truly grow, prosper and flourish.

We must look to each other and help each other gain understanding, trust, and willingness to use these guiding principles in our everyday lives.

We must have tolerance and understanding for the nearly infinite amount of variety and differences in the lives of Americans and non citizens alike. You can do this by taking a moment and try to consider yourself in a similar situation or with a similar dilemma. Would your choice or reaction be the same if it was a stranger versus your mother, daughter, or friend?

We are all Americans and we need to learn to cooperate. Lack of cooperation doesn’t move this country forward. It sticks us all in an endless loop. And while we Americans are chasing our tails, the other nations of this world are pulling out ahead.

Above all, if there is any hope for us to move forward we must cast off the false ideas that compromise is a fault. That it is weakness. That it is giving up. That just simply is not true. For us to have any hope in moving forward and making a better world for ourselves and our children we will have to learn to compromise again. Compromise is when two or more parties agree on a middle ground. So a perfect compromise is when each party of a two-party negotiation gets 50% of what they want. In real compromise the only steps that all parties can agree on are small ones. This is how it should be. We should be making small steps towards progress, without looking back, to make this country better. These giant leaps of legislation, these radical ideological bills need to be greatly muted through real compromise. This can only happen if we make compromise a priority and force our politicians to make real compromise.

This is idealistic I know. And it sounds as if it’s a pipe dream of a fanciful, and unrealistic, thinker. However, this is not fantasy. Politics has been like this before. It’s hard to think that we as Americans are devolving in our politics and in our society. But I believe that is exactly the case right now. Our government barely functions and this paralysis has filtered through our entire country. From the debates about health care reform to the backyard discussions about immigration. Politics has devolved to name calling and bickering with too few now able to seriously, ethically and respectfully discuss the topics of today.

So when you think of the state of America on its official birthday, this 4th of July, make sure that you, and those around you, are sticking to these core principles that can and will guide us into a better and brighter future.

In Debt or Indentured Part Nine: All the Issues

People Politico In Debt or Indentured: All the IssuesThis is the ninth part of a multiple part series taking a deep dive into our current political and economic crisis in America. Partisan politics, unfettered corporate spending and recklessness along with a shift in our social acceptance of debt, is having far reaching and potentially devastating affects on our way of life, on the American Dream. With each installment we will take a closer look at some of the major pieces of this very complex puzzle and try to understand them and bring them into perspective. Use this opportunity to take a broader look on the political and social economic state of America and how each of us, as a small pieces of the puzzle, can make a difference.

In Debt or Indentured: All the Issues

With all of these issues hitting the American middle class, it can be easily seen how people can become distracted from looking at the big picture since the picture becomes so blurred through media and politics. There is also the amount of work Americans do, they are left with little time to invest in looking into the politicians that they elect. President George W. Bush said to a divorced mother of three in Omaha on February 4, 2005 “You work three jobs?  … Uniquely American, isn’t it? I mean, that is fantastic that you’re doing that”. This should not be uniquely American to expect people to work three jobs and still barely get by. Not to mention, how much money does this struggling woman have to pay out of her three jobs to have her children looked after so she can work more? This is also an example of how politicians on both sides of the aisle think that Americans hard work is endless, yet the middle class does not demand change.

Is it audacious to think that the America middle class would demand remotely close the subsidies and tax breaks that industries and the wealthy receive currently from the government or be bailout by the government in the middle class’ time of need? The American middle class worker barely has time to demand more than a thirty second sound-bite from the politician that they will vote for…if they vote at all. A tactical attempt has been made by those in the echelons power within the United States to divide the middle class and ensure that they are more focused on surviving day to day, paying their debt, and living in fear than being able to see through the smoke filled barrage of sound clips and view the entire picture. Not able to see or feel powerless to change a government that is not serving them. The American middle class must find the time to challenge the status quo and demand tangible changes that would directly better middle class families’ everyday lives. To this point, instead of looking at the turmoil that middle class is experiencing, the American middle class is told they should not look for handouts from the government and they should take pride in pulling themselves up by their bootstraps (even though the entire financial system was bailed out to the tune of over a trillion dollars). The middle class instead is encouraged to spend more, even if that means going further into debt. An example of this was reported by Time Magazine’s Justin Fox (Editorial director of Harvard Business Review Group and author) in 2009 about statements made by then President George W. Bush directly following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks where President Bush stated, “Take your families and enjoy life, the way you want to be enjoyed.” Fox goes on to quote Boston University Historian Andrew Bacevich in his conclusion that “Bush seems to have calculated – cynically but correctly – that prolonging the credit fueled consumer binge could help keep complaints about his performance as Commander in Chief from becoming more than a nuisance.” Politicians, Democrat and Republican, will put their own aspirations ahead of those of the country unless a conscious society, predominately made up of the middle class as the majority within America, is willing to hold them accountable for their actions and words.

Common ground must be found by all American middle class indentured servants in order to free themselves from the this unjust system that has been built to keep the middle class in perpetual debt and fear. The American middle class must put partisanship aside in a time when it has been developed to a fever pitch. Democrats and Republicans cannot look in hate towards their fellow middle class worker trying to survive just as they are. It is time to rise up and demand a change within this country, a time to retire the debt that has burdened on their backs and buried a generation. If common ground cannot be found in the form of the self preservation of the middle class and the redefining of what the American Dream consists of, there may be no hope for this experiment with a middle class in America. But if common can be found and the political muscle of the American middle class can be flexed politically to demand changes that will help them directly in the form of debt relief, tax relief, living wages, educational equality and affordability, common belief that health is a right and not a privilege, and that fear can no longer be a tool used to control the middle class. If this type of unity can be found and the political will demonstrated by the middle class, there can be a redistribution of power in this country and the United States of America will return to a nation governed for the people by the people.

In Debt or Indentured Part Eight: Single Issue Voting

People Politico In Debt or Indentured Single Issue VotingThis is the eighth part of a multiple part series taking a deep dive into our current political and economic crisis in America. Partisan politics, unfettered corporate spending and recklessness along with a shift in our social acceptance of debt, is having far reaching and potentially devastating affects on our way of life, on the American Dream. With each installment we will take a closer look at some of the major pieces of this very complex puzzle and try to understand them and bring them into perspective. Use this opportunity to take a broader look on the political and social economic state of America and how each of us, as a small pieces of the puzzle, can make a difference.

In Debt or Indentured: Single Issue Voting

Another reason that the middle class has not unified to demand change from the government and subsequently their employers is that the American middle class has allowed their voices to be divided on the basis of single issues. These types of social issues have dominated American politics starting in the 1980’s with efforts to mitigate the effects of the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion in America. The two major American political parties took strong positions supporting and denouncing legalized abortion in America. Through time there have been litanies of new social issues that have been added to the table to assist in dividing the middle class vote and creating a new type of voter. This new voter will vote on a single issue instead of demanding platforms that address their own personal issues that are affecting their everyday life instead of one single issue that the my only care about because of religious or personal convictions. Some of the issues that currently stifle America middle class voices are: abortion, stem cell research, gay marriage, euthanasia, gun control, and illegal immigration. The interesting thing about single issues or wedge issues is that when either party is in control of congress and The White House, little to nothing is done to change the issue. On the face it appears that there is a lack of political will to tackle such monumental social issues, but politicians on both sides ran with those issues central to their platforms.

There are many example of the bait-and-switch of wedge issues by both Democrats and Republicans. One for the Republican’s took place while controlling all of congress and The White House from 2003 through 2007. Almost every elected Republican took a stance in their run for office to work towards the limitation of abortion. Yet during this time period of Republican control, little to nothing was changed to limit abortion in America. This was done even though this wedge issue was used by most Republicans to motivate voters that saw this as a single issue to vote for. The Democrats did the same thing with stem cell research and gay marriage when controlling congress and the presidency from 2009 to 2011. This is sometimes referred to in political communities as pandering to the base or telling the base of the party what they want to hear. Once elected these politicians do not make it a priority to do anything about the issue until close to another election. This maneuver ensures a constant block of voters (mostly middle class) that will come out to vote for their party because the voter cares about this sole issue. This was seen with gay marriage and abortion in the U.S. Presidential Election of 2004 between then President George W. Bush and Senator John Kerry and again in the 2008 election between Senator John McCain and Senator Barack Obama. Even now in the run-up to the 2012 Presidential Elections, the sound of pandering to single issue voters are being displayed by both Former-Governor Romney and President Obama.

Middle Class Divided

The division of the American middle class is important to both major political parties which have unlimited funds now available to them through the Supreme Court ruling in the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission that classes corporations as individuals protected by freedom of speech through the form of political contributions to individual candidates as protected speech, this reported by Adam Liptak for the New York Times in his article titled, “Justices, 5-4, Reject Corporate Spending Limit.” This decision now entitles corporations to spend as much as they like on political contributions to individual candidates (Liptak).  The dissenting Supreme Court justices warn, “allowing corporate money to flood the political marketplace would corrupt democracy” (Liptak). This ruling allows corporations to act as individuals in order further influence elections through money. All though as a corporation it will not be able to vote in that very same election since it is not a person or a citizen.

That’s it for this part of In Debt or Indentured. We hope that this has given you some important things to think about. Use some of what you have learned here to look beyond the mere message our politicians are presenting to what the ramifications of these actions has on all of us Americans. Our country started down a slippery slope over a decade ago. We seemed to have stopped the free fall it had become, but do not fool yourself. We are still on the precipice of another long fall. Let’s just hope we all can learn, and grow, from the last spill we took.

Check back soon for the next installment of In Debt or Indentured.

In Debt or Indentured Part Seven: The Power of the Middle Class

People Politico In Debt or Indentured: The Power of the Middle ClassThis is the seventh part of a multiple part series taking a deep dive into our current political and economic crisis in America. Partisan politics, unfettered corporate spending and recklessness along with a shift in our social acceptance of debt, is having far reaching and potentially devastating affects on our way of life, on the American Dream. With each installment we will take a closer look at some of the major pieces of this very complex puzzle and try to understand them and bring them into perspective. Use this opportunity to take a broader look on the political and social economic state of America and how each of us, as a small pieces of the puzzle, can make a difference.

In Debt or Indentured: The Power of the Middle Class

The indentured middle class could look to the strong and cohesive group of Americans that have been able to establish Social Security as the third rail of American politics. Both Republicans and Democrats refuse to substantially change this very popular program for seniors since they have come together and will punish a politician of either party if they work against this program. This power comes through seniors vote in large numbers and they ensure that their representation understands that Social Security and Medicaid are widely popular programs for them and it should not be tampered with. But after elections, these same seniors stay involved by reaching out and reminding their representatives how important this is to them. In 2008’s presidential election, the forty-five to sixty-five year old voting block voted at a rate of sixty-nine percent. Voters aged eighteen to twenty-four year olds were now at only forty-nine percent as reported by Thom File and Sarah Crissey in a U.S. Department of Commerce Economics and Statistics Administration and U.S. Census Bureau report titled “Voting and Registration in the Election of November 2008.” It can stand to reason that politicians are not as concerned with the cost of higher education and the cost being incurred by young Americans that do not vote in the same numbers as seniors and will not hound them after the elections to help them. Since young people and many middle class voters do not invest the time to demand a change in their government, their government does not take time to look out for their interest either.

That’s it for this part of In Debt or Indentured. We hope that this has given you some important things to think about. Use some of what you have learned here to look beyond the mere message our politicians are presenting to what the ramifications of these actions has on all of us Americans. Our country started down a slippery slope over a decade ago. We seemed to have stopped the free fall it had become, but do not fool yourself. We are still on the precipice of another long fall. Let’s just hope we all can learn, and grow, from the last spill we took.

Check back soon for the next installment of In Debt or Indentured.

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