Sunday, October 23, 2016

My Vote - fight consolidated power

The 2016 Presidential Election is upon us.  The three presidential debates are over.  It is time to make a decision.

Never before have I expended so much energy in making a decision about my vote. Faced with two very flawed candidates from the two major parties the decision is more difficult, and the ramifications more profound than in previous elections.  Simple impulses to vote for the person one dislikes least or because a historical barrier will be broken are not adequate in this election.

I believe that the greatest threat to our nation at this point in its history is consolidated power. 

Powerful moneyed elites and international corporations drive choices, two parties entrenched in power for 160 years are beholden to them and completely disconnected from the common citizen, federal Executive powers expand unchecked, a massive entrenched bureaucracy has become a power unto itself, corporate media is the handmaiden of powerful interests rather than the watchdog, and digital-age companies are unchecked as they increase power greater than the industrialists and financiers of the Robber Baron era of the late 19th Century.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

The elections of 2016 and 1852

The two very flawed presidential candidates presented as nominees in 2016 result from a divisive two-party system that is long overdue for tumultuous change.  That change is likely to occur over the next two or three presidential election cycles and may result in a major political party realignment such as occurred in the period 1852-1860.

The Democratic and Republican Parties have dominated the political process of the United States for over 160 years.  Two-party dominance over such a long period has resulted in a political system unresponsive to the needs, concerns, or desires of most citizens.  Despite the warnings of George Washington and others to avoid factions, the success of the Democratic and Republican Parties is now largely dependent upon the creation of factions and the exploitation of division.

The Democratic and Republican duopoly is not mandated by the Constitution.  These two parties can be replaced by two others – or three, or four.   If both do not wake up and begin to focus on solving the problems of citizens of the United States in a manner acceptable to a broad consensus majority - they deserve to be replaced.

Freedom From the Press

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama hosted a state dinner at the White House on October 18, 2016.  The Italian Prime Minister was the guest of honor.  George Stephanopoulos and his wife were pictured at the event.  The full guest list of the White House state dinner revealed a half dozen other media attendees from NBC, MSNBC, and NPR.

For those who have forgotten or are not old enough to remember, George Stephanopoulos was the Communications Director for Bill Clinton’s first presidential bid. After Clinton’s election he became White House Communications Director.  Later in the Clinton Administration he was made Senior Advisor for Policy and Strategy.  He left the Clinton Administration in 1997 to join ABC News as a political commentator.

Stephanopoulos now sits as the most important personality in the “news” division at ABC.  He hosts two of the networks three major news and information programs - Good Morning America and ABC’s Sunday Morning This Week - and held titles of ABC’s Chief Anchor and Chief Political Correspondent.