How Do We Get Back to Being a Democratic Republic?
The two most important pillars of a democratic republic or democracy are:
1. Free, fair, and democratic elections
2. Freedom of the Press (along with freedom of speech, conscience, and freedom to assemble)
In order to enjoy the kind of liberty, freedom, and justice that come with living in a truly democratic republic, we must be able to have our day at the ballot booth (or have access to our ballot to fill out and mail in), unhindered by corrupt influences on the part of any special interests; and we must be able to have access to truthful, relevant, important, uncensored, and unbiased news and information in order to have the knowledge we need to vote wisely.
We currently have and have had countless, excellent political leaders over the past 58 years since the JFK assassination and what many consider to have been the major coup that followed. One problem is that the truly excellent political leaders are not the ones being selected by the ultra-wealthy and ultra-powerful owners of the mainstream media (currently down to 6 corporations) to receive a fair amount of news coverage and fair, unbiased coverage, both of which is necessary to have a fair run in political races. In addition, the truly excellent political leaders among us certainly are not being selected by the ultra-wealthy and ultra-powerful for the floods of campaign contributions which are necessary these days to win elections.
President Eisenhower was right on target when he warned the American people of the rise of the military-industrial complex: the collusion between the ever more powerful military and the ever more wealthy and politically powerful who own the industries that produce military hardware. But we did not heed his warnings, and instead allowed the biased media and the newly appointed President Johnson to woo us into getting into the unwinnable war in Vietnam and showering the military-industrial complex with blank checks and human lives to foot the bill.
Well, it was much more complicated than that. First, there was the assassination of one of the most popular, most beloved presidents in our history and the many reversals of his wise and bold policies by his replacement, President Johnson. Many of these reversals of JFK’s policies and executive orders that were of great importance was suppressed in the news and information media outlets, the press. And so, many perceive the transition to the Johnson administration as a smooth one and a consistent one, which is completely false. Then there was the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy, who was sure to be elected as the next president in 1964, and who would have continued the policies of his brother before him — and re-reverse the reversals of Johnson. But what are a couple history shattering assassinations in the life a nation, or in the lives of its people?
I believe that the assassinations of the two Kennedy brothers were carried out by the military-industrial complex, or more accurately, the military-intelligence-industrial complex. Now we are up against an even more powerful and pernicious machine of greed and power-seeking: the military-intelligence — industrial-property complex. It is the secretive partnership between the military and intelligence services, on the one hand, and the ultra-rich who own most of the industries and other private property, on the other.
The “system” (the government, media, economy, educational and healthcare sectors, and other important sectors) has been more and more rigged since the time of the JFK assassination in 1963, by clever, selfish leaps and bounds of corruption. The results have been catastrophic.
Because of the corruption of our formerly free press, the mainstream media spews toxic and addictive DDOPE (Distraction, Distortion, Omission, Promotion, and Erasure) 24/7/365. The killing off of the Fairness Doctrine during the Reagan administration has done great damage to our ability to hear opposing views.
Our election campaign finance laws have been corrupted to the point where we are in an unconstitutional crisis. Most Americans have not been informed of the actual situation, or are powerless to do anything about it. The two complexes, the military-intelligence complex and the property-industrial complex, together, compose the military-intelligence — property-industrial complex. These two sectors, working together, have colluded to corrupt our government, and have gradually turned it into a plutocratic — military-intelligence autocracy. Or, since we are so fond of acronyms and splice-words these days, what could be labeled a “pluto-milit-ocracy. However cacophonic that word may sound, the actual results are even more unpleasant.
The fact is, the leaders of the military-intelligence services and the ultra-wealthy class do not govern wisely or justly, never have, and never will. It is against their nature. As has been proven by many studies on the wealthy and on inequality of wealth, the more people become wealthy and privileged, the less empathy they will be likely to possess and the more selfish and self-centered they will be. For this reason, it has been argued by many of the most excellent of political leaders, philosophers, educators, and economists that there should be no ultra-wealthy; that people should not be allowed to become billionaires, or even centi-millionaires. The fruit of such individuals is rotten and toxic through and through. It is because of the wedding of the ultra-rich and the ultra-powerful that we are in our current governmental, environmental, healthcare, and educational crises; as well as our current crises of inequality and injustice.
The only solution we have is to restore and strengthen the pillars of our democratic republic, starting with the most fundamental and important ones, as mentioned above: our free, fair, and democratic elections; and our freedom of the press (along with our freedom of speech, conscience and freedom to assemble), to their constitutionally mandated forms. To make them once again free of corruption. To make them truly free. To reverse the measures that have been taken since the Kennedy assassination that have worked intentionally — and quite well if what you are working to achieve is dictatorship — to put our media and our elections in fetters.
Considering the level of suffering and anxiety the people of this country are experiencing, there should be a massive, unified effort underway to execute these reforms. However, many among us are not even aware of the seriousness of the problems; and this because they are being misled by the media.
Fortunately, the Worldwide Web has fulfilled the usual functions of a free press by miraculously enabling a large proportion of the people to become informed of the actual state of our state, and of our heads of state, and the actual state of the Earth, and so on. However, the oligarchs among the ultra-rich and the military-intelligence services are feverishly feeding people disinformation with much greater resources at their disposal than their counterparts among the truth-seeking and well-intentioned politicians, journalists, scientists, educators, and artists.
Furthermore, many media corporations are employing present and past members of the CIA and other intelligence services, which is of grave concern. Wrong motives have cast a shadow over our media through manipulation of public opinion by use of distortions and censorship of our news and information to such an extent that most of the news reported is irrelevant or misleading. The threat of absolute dictatorship (not just semi-plutocracy, as currently exists) has been slipped over us in as slick and subtle a way as the money of the ultra-wealthy can buy and the power of the ultra-powerful can make happen. Our search engines and social media platforms are being manipulated by algorithms that are biased — in their favor. Yes, their, as in “them.” As in us against them. There is now extensive, unconstitutional mass surveillance going on every day. We are in a war of good versus evil. Benevolence versus malevolence. Truth versus deceit. The ultra-rich and the power-seeking versus everyone else.
Time will tell who wins. Who cares enough to work hard enough to make a positive difference. The momentum is with the people who want what is right, though we are horribly divided between those of us who are getting the facts and those of us who are getting junk news — those reliant upon and addicted to the mainstream media’s DDOPE. If we ever do get our country back on the right track — if we ever do wrest control of it away from the grip of the ultra-wealthy and the ultra-powerful — it is in our supreme interest to add some amendments to our Constitution that will make it much harder for them to combine forces again to corrupt the two most important pillars of our democratic republic.
Currently, we are in great need of a constitutional amendment to reverse the effects of the Supreme Court’s Buckley v. Valeo, Citizens United, and McCutcheon decisions (and a few other related, election-corrupting decisions); in order to restore the rights of the states and enable the federal government to place limits on political campaign contributions. In handing down these decisions, the Supreme Court granted control over our election outcomes (the right of dictatorship) to the ultra-wealthy who own and control rich corporations, by allowing them to make virtually unlimited campaign contributions. We would be wise to also establish free, fair, and effective public campaign financing, in light of how expensive newspaper, magazine, internet outlet, and television ads have become. The fundamental question is how persons rise to political office? By having the backing of the wealthiest, which by force results in plutocracy? Or by having the backing of the people in free, fair, and democratic elections?
Several corrupt Supreme Court Justices, who took a solemn oath to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States,” did not hesitate to overturn key provisions of the important civil rights legislation, the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which protected the individual’s right to vote against forms of discriminatory practices. They maintained that such practices were in the past, and so those portions of the Voting Rights Act were no longer needed. However, the removal of these critical safeguards opened up the door to the flood of voter suppression that we are not witnessing in several states, especially in the south and in some other right-wing states. It was no matter to the corrupt Justices how much these decisions smacked of unconstitutionality, and no matter how devastating such decisions are to the people’s increasingly torturous struggle to restore our liberty and democracy.
Because the Supreme Court has been packed with corrupt Justices going back to the Nixon administration, we would be wise to add an amendment to the Constitution that would put an absolute end the corrupt practices of gerrymandering and voter suppression. The levels of cheating and injustice that some will sink to are appalling when it comes to such practices. Because such practices can be as complicated as they are destructive to the democratic workings of our electoral system, the solutions will need to be complicated to be effective. Finally, We would be wise to pass an amendment eliminating the unjust and democracy-destroying Electoral College.
All of the above-mentioned abuses relating to our elections combined have had the effect of transforming our democratic republic into a dictatorship by the ultra-wealthy. The perpetrators of such underhanded laws and practices are so transparently corrupt and ill-intentioned that it is a wonder that they have not been rounded up and tried and put in prison. But how could they when they also control the mainstream media?
In order to restore our freedom of the press, we are in desperate need of a constitutional amendment placing limits on what percentage of the media (determined by the sizes of companies and audiences) any one owner or group of owners can own and control. Also, it would be wise to include a stipulation that would make the Fairness Doctrine the law of the land once again and for all time.
Furthermore, it would also be wise to add a stipulation that those individuals who have recently worked for any governmental agency or institution, including any intelligence or military service, will not be allowed to be employed by any media company for some fixed number of years after leaving that service, and are certainly not allowed to work for a governmental organization and a media outlet simultaneously. Without such an amendment (or at least such a law), it will be impossible for the people to get truthful, important, relevant, and unbiased news and information. The media will just continue to function as a vehicle for promoting the policies, no matter how destructive, of the current oligarchy.
With these amendments to our Constitution, we would have the mechanisms to move forward and enjoy the benefits of the rights, liberties, protections, and outcomes of a truly democratic republic.
Currently most of the news and information we are being deluged with in the form of DDOPE by the mainstream media as regards possible solutions to the crises we are facing are just puffs of smoke that eventually come together to create a massive smokescreen. This smokescreen (or DDOPE) works fairly well as intended. It obscures and covers up the real sources of our troubles and the real solutions. In my opinion, the “mainstream media” should be called “narrow-stream media,” as it is limited to a narrow scope based upon the narrow interests of the narrow-minded ultra-wealthy and ultra-powerful few.
If and when we get to the stage where we are able to restore our government to a fully functioning, constitutional democratic republic, we may even be able to transform our democratic republic to a semi-democracy — semi-democratic-republic; wherein some direct voting by the people would be included in our government’s policy making at the highest levels of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches. But it is necessary to first restore the most vital mechanisms of a democratic republic: free, fair, and democratic elections; and freedom of the press, along with freedom of speech and freedom to assemble. We can only accomplish this by ridding these institutions of the corruption with which they have been shot through since the gradual rise in the influence of the dual-oligopoly of the ultra-wealthy and the ultra-powerful: the “pluto-milit-ocracy.”