How Crony Politics is Destroying the
It was a
crisp Los Angeles day in the spring. I had a press pass and a special pass to
park in the press lot. Humping my crew and equipment into the Coliseum was
still a task that brought cool sweat to my forehead.
|Credit: ArcaMax and Gary Varvel|
Busloads of people were arriving and
long throngs of pedestrians were converging and arriving in an expanding sea of
people. There were people of all age groups arriving. One could not help but
notice the large number of young people; they were excited. T-shirts flew off
of the display stands. People clung on to me when they saw my press pass and
wanted to share their opinions. I could barely carry my equipment and get
This was a
Los Angeles Bernie Sanders event.
I met my press contact and got a very nice seat right near the stage. While
setting up my equipment, it did not take long for the coliseum to fill up.
Imagine, 30,000 people inside. The atmosphere was electric, celebratory. We all
loved Bernie and to see older progressives, celebrities, young people…all
cheering, clapping, smiling…lifted my heart.
began to race. The possibilities were powerful. Optimism, was high. Even
without as much comparative press coverage and celebrities to attract
attention, this crowd was huge. 10,000 people, including busses from Las Vegas
had to be turned away and impromptu rallies erupted in the parking lot.
delivery was electric and motivational, as usual. I had watched Bernie for
years on the Thom Hartmann show on Free Speech TV, each Friday. I knew what
kind of man he was and finally, someone was speaking my language as opposed to
the Neo Liberal “I feel your pain, now, here is some more.” Finally, someone was
addressing poverty and injustice; student loans and war hawk imperialism.
feelings of optimism were greeted in short order with the crony politics of the
Democratic Party. A party dominated by leaders who believe that they know
better than the grassroots. A party that has clubs that endorse candidates
before the primaries then, inhibit campaigning of grassroots candidates that
are not on the inside. A party leadership that prevents candidates that have
not been endorsed by them from distributing literature to their base, once they
make an endorsement, before the primaries. The Bernie movement was stopped by
This is not
the first time Democrats devastated the hopes of those of us on their left. In
his book and movie THE UNTOLD HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES, Oliver Stone with
Peter Kuznick wrote this: “(Vice President) Henry Wallace had incurred the
wrath of party (Democratic) conservatives by calling for a worldwide “people’s
revolution,” toward which end the United States and Soviet Union would work
together, and by championing the cause of labor unions, women, African
Americans, and the victims of European colonialism. His enemies included Wall
Street bankers and other anti-union business interests, southern
segregationists, and defenders of British and French colonialism.” These groups
flocked to the Republican Party during the Southern Strategy period.
Wallace was the people’s choice, the party leadership interfered and put Truman
on the ticket with President Roosevelt. Roosevelt and Truman won the presidency
and with Roosevelt’s death in 1945, Truman ascended to the Presidency.
Truman, was a
racist and failure at business; the KKK rejected him when he applied due to his
support for Catholics. This obscure, weak man ended up with his finger on the
atomic trigger and the left began its long descent into losing power. The
ruling class was determined to undo all of the gains made by the New Deal, as
Professor Richard Wolff describes so well.
leadership failed to identify that one of its main goals was to defend the gains
made by the New Deal that buoyed poor and middle class Americans. This election
of 1945 is similar to the election of 2016 in this respect.
poor and middle class whites voted for Trump including women who abandoned
Hillary. Many young white males abandoned the Democratic Party to vote for
Trump to avoid what they perceived as more of the same neoliberal nonsense,
right of center.
apathetic just stayed away and that accounted for nearly 50% of the electorate.
Even though most voters identify with the Democratic Party, the party has not
remained loyal to them and they perceive that the party has abandoned its’ most
embracing a candidate that spoke out against corporate tyranny, a perceived
corporate insider was chosen (Hillary Clinton) over a revolutionary (Bernie
Sanders). Had Bernie Sanders run as an independent and Donald Trump won, he
would have been accused of spoiling the election for Hillary. I cannot help but
think that if the nation had heard Bernie’s positions, he would have won in a
landslide and driven voter turnout to record levels. His message resonated with
the young of all races and income levels. This fact can be observed at all age
levels based upon the attendance at his rallies.
Democratic leadership failed to understand that this was a revolutionary
referendum. As a result, the corporate media had a field day promoting THEIR
escape this fact when we see how frequently Trump was featured on lame stream
Democratic Party was soundly defeated on both a state and national level. The
Republicans now control the judicial, legislative and executive branches of
government on the national scene as well as many state governments.
In view of
this, there is a silver lining. Historically, the policies embraced by
conservatives cause massive failure of the economy, world peace and domestic
people are going to lose their lives as a result of the conservative victories.
be wars. We will have more regime change and spread democracy movements. There
will be more support for Palestinian apartheid and economic support of
Communist China while Communist Russia, Cuba, Haiti and other 3rd
world pawns are demonized for lack of human rights.
be more mass incarceration. Privatization will result in removal of regulation
and safety. Poverty and crime will increase as previously incarcerated people
will become part of the “Get tough on crime” fallacy as well as the “Law and
Order” police militarization movement as opposed to the “Get Smart on Crime”
So, you must
be thinking, where is the silver lining. I reiterate, conservative polices have
failed historically. While the Democrats have an uphill battle, proper
management and insight of the powerful assets at hand present an amazing
these steps, progressives can prevail in future elections.
Bring the mission focus back to
opposition of Corporate Tyranny. The Corporate Coup
that has taken place is obvious with all the millionaires that Trump has
included in his cabinet and other appointments. After Roosevelt died, the
corporate elite went to work immediately to dismantle The New Deal, according
to Dr. Richard Wolff. They have been chipping away at The New Deal tenants a
little at a time. It was the socialist and communist parties that proposed
legislation to end 12 hour work days, child labor, seven day work weeks and
social security for starters. Embracing the far left is necessary if the
Democrats are to regain the trust of the working, the poor and the middle
Fire the old leadership. We have the same election losing
leadership in position over and over. Grassroots activists must be allowed to
emerge. Democratic Clubs need to get out of the business of endorsing and allow
potential candidates to speak and distribute information to Democratic Party voters
up to the primaries. The Democratic Party needs to adopt democratic reforms.
Mind map solutions. By mind mapping solutions input can
be obtained, documented, evaluated, disseminated and acted upon. New ideas can
be acted upon. An environment of participation can be fostered as opposed to crony
Teach members the art of nonviolent
Practicing nonviolent communication techniques is integral to conflict
resolution. Marshall Rosenberg is an excellent source of information on this
topic https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marshall_Rosenberg. He developed this concept and the
Nonviolent Communication movement is based on his teachings. When discussing
difficult topics, these techniques are integral to successful management of
Develop digital communication. Young people must be engaged via
digital communication. Even old geeks like me can be reached this way. It is
the least expensive method and beats handing out flyers hands down. Websites
must be kept up to date. Often I see websites with “Upcoming Events” listed in
2009, and it is 2016! Blogs must be used to document victories and failures.
Trump has already broken campaign promises. Progressives must document, and
share information. This information must be stored in a manner that is
retrievable years later. On my blog, you can find President Obama’s
inauguration from 2008 and 2012. Try doing this on a Facebook page or, via your
memory. Blog postings can be emailed quickly to candidates needing factual
information. YouTube playlists can be used to compile and email lists of
hundreds of videos, several hours long. This can be used to document facts
captured on video then used to educate electorate and candidates. Mobile apps
must be combined with CRM systems. Podcasts and webinars must be used to
counter charges from the other side and to promote victories. All websites must
be MOBILE COMPATIBLE and that means viewable on tablets and smart phones.
Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Reddit, StumbleUpon, YouTube, Google+, Blogger,
Hangouts On Air, Socialoomph, Buffer…and others must be used to convey digital
messages against the onslaught of lame stream media MANUFACTURED REALITY. We
must have conversations and actions with regard to Net Neutrality. The
corporate elite want to destroy our power to communicate freely on The
Internet. We must use and protect The Internet. We have failed to do this with
Public Access TV and it has been shut down in many areas.
The electorate must be educated and
Documentary movie screenings have been VERY effective for the Sander’s campaign
and MoveOn.org. FREQUENT webinar house parties and podcasts are integral.
Schedule fun events and push branding. When people come, they should see a sea
of blue. Branding must be used extensively. When attending events, one should
see a sea of blue ball caps, blue jackets, blue shirts , (Blue Coat Democrats
to identify the progressive left). Trump supporters had on “Make America Great
Again” t-shirts and ball caps. They were visible going to rallies. They were
visible to each other, even away from events. Progressives need this too! Selling “blue things” could be an excellent
fund raising tool as opposed to torrents of begging emails. We need and army of
blue or…a Blue Army! I saw my first Hillary sticker on a car AFTER the election
Crossover language and issues need to
be identified. Most
people do not enjoy hurting babies. Prolife people want to limit a woman’s
right to choose. Pro-choice people want to have unbridled access to abortion.
What if we take a cue from Ralph Nader in his presentation of Left Right Punch
where we decide to vigorously oppose the factors that cause women to get
abortions in the first place. We could site poverty, mass incarceration, and
income inequality for starters. This focus could reveal that conservatives and
progressives are not so far apart after all in what we want. I have
successfully demonstrated this with my columns and speaking on conservative
platforms in many locations and receiving rousing applause. Conservatives want the dismantling of the
Federal Reserve. This would solve our budget balancing argument instantly. The inequality in the court system has
resulted in rage on the conservative side but little noise from the Democratic
side, especially with regard to family court. My blog at http://www.citizensdemandingjustice.org is replete with entries by
conservatives complaining about family court. Republican congressional reps and
state assembly reps have been responsive to our cash for kids plight.
Democratic congressmen, have not responded despite repeated correspondence from
numerous agencies. We are not talking about minor reports here either. We are
talking cash for kids programs similar to Judge Ciavarella in Pennsylvania and
the Shawn McMillian in his victory against Orange County. Georgia Republican
Nancy Schaefer was murdered while she was uncovering and exposing corruption in
CPS. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nancy_Schaefer . Families and lives are being
destroyed by a corrupt social services system, created by Walter Mondale.
Alliance building on the left is
integral to winning.
Neo liberalism must be put to rest. No more support for regime change
conflicts. No more too big to fail politics for banksters. No more allowing
fracking and alliances with big business in ALEC or unfair trade agreements. Alliances
with MoveOn.org, Progressive Democrats of America, The Socialist Party, The
Communist Party, The Green Party, and others left of center is must be executed
with vigor in order to offer an affective front to Corporate Tyranny. If we
want to cut the military budget and pursue peace, what better ambassadors do we
have than veterans. People from the left and right respect their opinions as
they sue for peace. Veterans for Peace is an excellent organization to partner
with. We must cut military spending that amounts to more than 60% of our
Craft a message focused on the
issues, not media spin. Progressive voters must be familiar with Corporate Tyranny, Inverted
Totalitarianism, Manufactured Reality, Manufactured Consent, The New Deal,
Democracy in the Work Place, Weaponized Anthropology. I have found very few
progressives who can articulate the tenants of the New Deal. This speaks to the
failure of Democratic leadership to educate their electorate on core mission
We must focus on getting law enforcement to focus on their mission to
protect us. Filmmaker Ava DuVernay has produced an excellent movie titled 13th
that shows how the mass incarceration movement is destroying our communities. We
need to get this movie into the hands of law enforcement officials all over.
They are militarizing to use extreme force on us. We must head this off.
Alliances with the Drug Policy Alliance, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition,
All of Us or None, the Innocence Project and others is critical. Republicans
have beat progressive candidates with the law and order position over and over.
Instead of embracing progressive values, the Democratic Party has moved to the
right in order to win elections, and lost anyway. This has resulted in a race
to see who can be the most tough on crime (not smart on crime). The United
States has now become the nation with the most prisoners on earth with one
citizen being arrested every 38 seconds due to some drug charge. The prison
population is increasing by 10,000 people every month.
Fear operates on both the hero and the coward. The hero is motivated
to do something while the coward is depressed and cowers. The time for cry ins
and bemoaning election results is past.
As I watched the election results pour in last month, ice
water flowed through my veins as my greatest fear was realized with a Trump
victory. I could not watch the news for many days. The ice water was replaced
by hot rage and a sense of resolve. Action
must be taken if the Democratic Party is to survive. Voices are emerging from
the left that threaten to further split progressives. The “Alt Left” is impatient
and furious. Let’s hope that Democratic Party leadership recognizes this and
takes action to harness the energy as opposed to being relegated to an irrelevant
Here is a list of resources that can be used to educate and
assuage corporate media brainwashing: