The 2-Ton Elephant Sitting in Every One of Our Living Rooms

Currently, there is a hypocritical media charade on parade, showcasing on massive floats the Russian and other sinister, foreign “influencers” of our elections, all designed to distract us from the most major flaw in our electoral system — the 2-ton elephant sitting in every one of our living rooms…

By now, most Americans are aware that the greatest “interference” in our elections is the election-rigging effect of the Citizens United Supreme Court decision which “legalized” billionaires’ and multimillionaires’ stuffing political candidates’ campaign war chests with their dirty money.

QUESTION: Why don’t the billionaires fight this election-rigging-enabling SCOTUS decision by patriotically throwing some itsy-bitsy fraction of their $billions behind overturning it through passage of a 28th amendment to our Constitution (since we can’t seem to get just Supreme Court Justices appointed)? And why don’t we ever hear about this, the most crucial issue facing our (lack of) democracy in the mainstream media, where most Americans get their news?

ANSWER (to the first question): It’s very simple. Because the billionaire oligarchs are the ones who were behind Citizens United, starting during the Nixon administration when Lewis Powell was appointed to the Supreme Court. Many who read this will be aware that Lewis Powell was the author of the infamous Powell Memo, which outlined in great detail precisely how the billionaire owners of the corporations were going to take over this country. The budding oligarchs achieved the rigging of our governmental system through persistently implementing the strategies of the Powell Memo over a period of decades till they finally gained the power to pervasively extract “favors” from and get corrupt, undemocratic laws passed by “our” lawmakers who sit in our Congress and “our” elected officials who sit in our state legislatures and “our” council members who sit on our city and county councils. When I say “undemocratic laws,” I mean laws that are passed against the will and interests of our lawmakers’ constituents (we the People), whom they are constitutionally mandated to represent. The oligarchs are still using the ploys outlined in the Powell Memo as a blueprint for their increasing success — and our increasing misery. The Powell Memo is freely available on the Internet for all to read … and shake their heads at in disbelief.

Our governmental system is rigged, mainly because our electoral system is rigged. And because of this, every other major aspect of our society, culture, and economy is rigged.

There are many other, more minor reasons our electoral system is rigged, which include but are not limited to voter suppression, vote fraud, dark money contributions, gerrymandering, the machinations of political parties, and the Electoral College; but the main reason is that we in America have fallen prey to an electoral system that allows the ultra-rich to buy off “our” elections, and as a result, “our” elected officials.

When one or a few billionaires are allowed to contribute enormous sums of money to a political candidate’s campaign, or to a referendum or initiative campaign (which supporters of the opposition cannot match or even come close to matching), then the effect of this is to give so much advertising and PR ammo to the candidate or side of the issue the ultra-rich favor, that the election is bound to be determined solely by that, or those, contributions. This is, in effect, allowing the ultra-rich person or persons to BUY the election outcome; and if it involves the election of a governmental official, to BUY that official and keep him or her snugly in their pocket(s) for future use.

This political phenomenon was apparent when, contrary to what Barack Obama had promised his supporters all along the campaign trail in 2008, and contrary to what his constituents who had voted for him had expected, newly elected President Obama, in the midst of the greatest recession since the Great Depression — which was caused by Wall Street bankers and investment brokers — appointed Wall Street bankers and investment brokers as his economic advisors and to the cabinet posts that related to the economy, the Treasury, and the Federal Reserve. And again, contrary to what his constituents expected, the same thing happened when President Obama did not heed the pleas for help coming from the victims of the mortgage crisis and derivatives crisis which had precipitated the Great Recession. These were people who were in danger of losing their homes or who had lost their homes and/or jobs because of the financial fiascos leading up to the Great Recession. They simply needed help to stay afloat, and they looked to the President who had promised them “Hope.” Instead of answering to his constituents, the President paid a lot of lip service to caring about their plight and how we would all “get through this tough time together,” but did very little in terms of extending any material assistance to them. He just cut the ties and let them sink.

As for the ultra-rich welfare recipients, the bankers and investment brokers who had brought the disaster on the nation and the world, the President gave them whatever assistance the said they needed, and bailed THEM out. The President and his advisors contended that the banks and investment banks were “too big to be allowed to fail” — that their failure would further tank the economy. That may have been true, but what stopped the President and the Congress from bailing out the American people as well — what stopped them from doing the right thing? From representing the will and the interests of their constituents, as they were mandated to do?

A great percentage of the people lost their homes and ended up broke, unemployed, homeless, living in their cars and tent cities, and in desperate situations. Most were left shaking their heads, wondering why there was so little help for them, and why there were no criminal prosecutions of the bankers and investment bankers whose greed and fraudulent dealings were responsible for the economic meltdown. As their pleas went unanswered, their levels of frustration, despair, and anger rose. Is it is any wonder that, whereas President Obama had a Democratic majority in both houses of Congress upon taking office, and during his first two years in office, he lost one house, then the other in the following elections?

We see the same pattern today with President Trump. As soon as Trump became President Trump, he began reneging on one after another of the promises he had made to his supporters during the campaign, the people who voted him into office — his constituents. The reality is that as soon as he became President, all the American people became his constituents. He will undoubtedly lose at least one of the houses of Congress this November, and perhaps both. But the dirty deeds are done. Just as Obama handed the ultra-wealthy $4.3 trillion by bailing out the banksters and investment banksters and favoring the ultra-wealthy 1% over the other 99% of his constituents during his eight years in the White House, Trump and the Republican-controlled Congress have already handed the ultra-rich over a trillion dollars in tax cuts, to the great detriment of the people in terms of the resulting federal deficits and cuts to essential services. And the cuts he has made to regulations that were designed to protect us from pollution and other health hazards will benefit the 1% richest Americans through saving them money by lowering their costs of production while they will be incalculably injurious to us, the other 99% of the people. Further, the negative effects to our health and to the health of our environment and the fauna and flora that inhabit the environment will be massive. It will take a very, very long time to recover from them, for those that can recover from them.

No doubt the system is rigged against us; and with it, so are our society, culture, and economy. For those of us who are not in the top 1% most wealthy class but who still hold their heads comfortably above water, the prognosis is not good. This is because the creeping transfer of wealth from the bottom 99% to the top 1% is just going to continue until there is no middle class, just rich and poor. Throughout history, it has been shown that oligarchs, once entrenched in positions of power, have never given back any of their ill-gotten gains without a fight.

Many of us have only recently become aware of the extreme inequality and injustice we face today. However, our entire society has been increasingly oppressed and beaten down, little by little, ever so persistently and strategically, over the past 55 years. Our society is but a faint shadow of what it could and should be today. And under the oligarchs’ ill-intentioned control, we the American people, in turn, have aided and abetted the oligarchs in suppressing and beating down many other countries.

The billionaire oligarchs have literally STOLEN the improvements and wonders that were rightfully ours to have as a society, a culture, and an economy thanks to the hardworking men and women in the sciences, technology, medicine, agriculture, economics, the arts, and so on — thanks to all of us working together in an enlightened and productive way. Ultimately, as I believe, and as the founders of this country believed, the oligarchs have STOLEN what were rightfully our improvements to our lives and the miracles we were destined to be blessed with due to the love and benevolence of our Creator, who endowed each of us with the “inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

These improvements and blessings to our society and our individual lives were promised and guaranteed to be given to us over the past 55 years (then the future 55 years) since the assassination of JFK — and with it, the assassination of our potentially great society and culture, where we could all flourish and reach our potential. Instead of the great society that we were looking forward to during the truly great Kennedy administration, we were robbed when our democratically elected President John F. Kennedy was assassinated; and the crooks waltzed in and took over, and gradually turned our country into a playground and cash cow for themselves and their cronies.

Instead of the great vision of democracy, advancement, and peace which Kennedy and many great citizens envisioned and fought for, and which we Americans voted for, what we received in its place was the sociopaths’ vision of “America, the Beautiful.”

There’s a reason children no longer sing “America, the Beautiful” in school, or any of the other great American anthems which celebrate our country in words that speak to the principles that reflect what is truly important about being American. We have all been robbed and badly injured by the oligarchs’ obsessions with fulfilling their dreams of glory and conquest, chief of which is clearly to be always acquiring more money and more power. I can’t explain it to myself or anyone else in any other way. And science has backed up this theory with proof that the rich are incapable of feeling empathy for people who are suffering because of poverty-related problems; because they have never had to suffer in that way. And so, they lack empathy, altruism, and charitableness toward those who have much less than they have. The ultra-rich fit the description of sociopaths in this and other characteristics that are bred by the condition of possessing immense wealth.

The answer to the second question, “Why does the media never, or hardly ever, address the problem of the billionaires buying off elections, and our elected officials?” which I’m sure many, if not most, who read this already know, is: Because the billionaire oligarchs OWN the mainstream media. Six billionaire-owned and operated media corporations own every single one of our mainstream media networks and 90% of all of our media networks — simply and plainly in violation of our constitutional rights to freedom of the press, freedom of expression, and freedom of speech. I also count freedom of assembly as one of our constitutional rights that is being violated due to this oligopoly of our media. The factor here is censorship by the oligopoly of the Internet, as the Internet, a media vehicle, is a “place” where many of us spend time assembling and communicating with one another. We feel the need to assemble and communicate unmolested by those in positions of power, as we live in a world in which our journalists and news broadcasters no longer report on a very substantial portion of the news that is of importance to us. So a great percentage of us are striving to get our news and fill in the blanks through the independent media outlets on the Internet and through sharing information with one another.

The major components of the crises facing our society and culture are almost never spoken of in the mainstream media, issues such as global warming caused by carbon emissions, the unfair practices of bankers against the people, the suffering of the poor due to lack of basic necessities such as nutritious food, clean water, housing, clothing, quality education, childcare, transportation, health care, and an effective social safety net. The paucity of relevant and important news delivered by the mainstream media is a great tragedy, as most rely on the MSM for their news and information. How can we begin to solve our problems if most of us are ill-informed as to what they are, and what caused them?

Solution: We the People MUST reverse the election-rigging effects of the Citizens United decision (and other important, related decisions such as Buckley vs. Valeo [1976] and McCutcheon vs. The FEC [2013]) through the passage of a 28th amendment to our Constitution. It is in our interest and, in fact, necessary to our survival as a free society to support organizations such as American Promise and Move to Amend which are effectively working for this cause in any way we can. We MUST restore the observance of our Constitution’s mandate of “one person, one vote” — in legal theory and in actual practice — for it is the foundation of our democratic republic and the cornerstone of our Constitution.

One note, it may be time we institute a lot more democracy into our democratic republic. One idea is to hold our elections online, and for each of us registered voters to have an account we can log into so we can check to make sure our vote was recorded accurately and that it was indeed recorded. A side-benefit of this system would be that we could then also vote, on short notice, in special elections as a nation, state, county, or city, on important issues which could be brought up as initiatives or referendums, as the situation required.

One thing is certain: we are lost if we don’t take a stand and fight to restore our constitutional right to the “one person, one vote” intention and law, as written in our Constitution by the founders of this country. And we must also work hard to restore to ourselves our constitutional rights to freedom of the press, expression, speech, and assembly. The logical solution is to break up the media networks till the number of separate owners equals the number that existed before the mergers and acquisitions started in earnest during the Reagan administration plus a number that is proportional to the increase in the population of our country since that time. Also, we need to restore net neutrality to our Internet services.

The solutions to all the other problems we face today will come if we successfully tackle these two major problems. First, we need to get the 28th amendment ratified; next we need to take back our press, including the Internet. All the talk and whisperings about the Russians influencing our elections and data-mining and rigging our social media is trivial in comparison, no matter how much we are lambasted with colorful and intriguing stories about them in the mainstream media.




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Angela Bellacosa

Angela Bellacosa

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