John Nichols and Rbbert W. McChesney
4.0 out of 5 stars Sickening at Two Levels — Superb Indictment of Periphery, Completely Avoids Two Party Tyranny Issue, July 19, 2013
This book makes me sick at two levels.
Level 1: It is the best treatment available of what I and many others have been saying for years. My own treatment was provided in a Preface, “Paradigms of Failure,” in the book under my signature below, that also had a preface by Thom Hartmann, another by Tom Atlee, and a third, reprinted, from Senator Bernie Sanders. The entire book is free online, so I am not pimping it.
Level 2: The book is at best naive and at worst deliberately misleading in suggesting that Congress somehow needs to be “empowered” to resist. This is absolute and utter bull. I ran for President in 2012, accepted by the Reform Party, listed at Politics1, interviewed for On The Issues, and I ran for two reasons: to get all of the best ideas in one place (We the People Reform Coalition) and to test the boundaries of the two-party tyranny as immortalized in Theresa Amato’s outrageously superb Grand Illusion: The Myth of Voter Choice in a Two-Party Tyranny. I specifically ran to be able to contact every single other Presidential candidate from the small parties, and to learn — as I did — that not a single one of them could overcome their ego (as Occupy could not overcome its mob) to come together in a demand for Electoral Reform from 2011 in time for 2012. That report to Hackers on Planet Earth and also published in Reality Sandwich is easily found online by searching for “How I Tested the Boundaries of the Two-Party Tyranny.”
Here is what this book does NOT tell you, and the reason it gets only four stars from me (it is superb in what it does tell you, but misses the key point): NINE TIMES the US Congress has been asked to pass legislation that would mandate — for federal elections only — that the six small parties blocked from ballot access (Constitution, Green, Libertarian, Natural Law, Reform, and Socialist) — and Independent candidates — be guaranteed both ballot access and debate access. NINE TIMES, the last four sponsored by Ron Paul, the two-party tyranny has refused. They have a deal: they borrow one trillion a year in our name, one third of a federal budget that is documented to be 50% waste, and in return they share the right to loot the public treasury and pay off their voting blocks — corporate welfare and the banks for the Republicans, individual welfare for the Democrats. Obama is an anomaly — Wall Street bought the white half, the Progressives got the black half, and we all know how this turned out.
I have published multiple book review lists, all leading back to their Amazon page, at Phi Beta Iota the Public Intelligence Blog under Books, but two I want to highlight here because these are the best books available on Amazon that I have reviewed, on these two topics:
Worth a Look: Book Reviews on Corruption 2.0
Worth a Look: Book Reviews on Democracy Lost & Found
I embrace all that the book offers, but it’s a bit like Top Gun, where this is some of the best writing around, right up to the point where it gets killed by not touching on the key point: there is nothing wrong with America that cannot be fixed by Electoral Reform and/or Congress living up to its Article 1 responsibilities. Our Congress is corrupt to the bone. Organized money can always be defeated by organized people, but if the elected representatives sell out, then the organized people have to re-organize.
Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich could have won a third party candidacy in 2012 if they had been willing to break with their chosen tyranny pal and if the small party candidates had been willing to join a coalition cabinet and Occupy has been willing to organize for electoral reform. No, no, and no. Three strikes, you have the government and the economy you deserve — money paid beats attention not paid.
Gaming the Vote: Why Elections Aren’t Fair (and What We Can Do About It)
Deer Hunting with Jesus: Dispatches from America’s Class War
Betrayal: How Black Intellectuals Have Abandoned the Ideals of the Civil Rights Era
Downsizing Democracy: How America Sidelined Its Citizens and Privatized Its Public
Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle
Gag Rule: On the Suppression of Dissent and Stifling of Democracy
Who’s to Say What’s Obscene?: Politics, Culture, and Comedy in America Today
The Soul of Capitalism: Opening Paths to a Moral Economy
Best wishes to all,
Robert David STEELE Vivas
ELECTION 2008: Lipstick on the Pig