The Business Party

The Business PartyAs Republicans voters celebrate and Democratic voters mourn the 2014 mid-term elections, the results merit some reflection.

Though candidates and major Parties tried to sound different, Democrats in particular stayed home in droves during this last election. Why? The candidates seemed like the same guys in different colored suits. The election reminded me of Woody Allen’s argument against fighting for the Czar against Napoleon in “Love and Death”: “They’re both crooks. The Czar is a little taller.”

American politics is still dominated by the multi-billion-dollar interests of the Oil Industry, the Financial Industry symbolized by Wall Street, the Medical Care Industry and major Defense contractors such as Lockheed-Martin.

As usual, wealthy interests pour billions – supposedly $3.6+ billion in these last elections – into campaigns for candidates from both Parties in order to gain trillions. As a result, whatever rhetoric is spouted by candidates, the billionaires belonging to both major Parties and any or no other political party won the election.

Their interests are more uniting than dividing: soaring stock, high profits, low taxes and low interest rates, all of which are happening. Their foes also unite them: unions, federal financial regulators and antitrust controls, all of which appear to be faltering.

While the prospect of a candidate who shuns big money can be inviting, the fact is that running without filled coffers is too often an honorable martyrdom. Consequently, whether or not a candidate speaks of reform, he/she tends to accept big money in order to win, forging a deal whereby he/she wins but is then compelled to vote for the big money interests. Individual voters may cast their ballots for this or that individual but they seldom know the candidate’s supporting big money interests, which will largely determine his/her performance if elected.

How do we puny voters make a difference when huge sums of money and power are bandied about? As depressing as that analysis sounds, American activists still count on grass-roots movements, demonstrations and protests, which are in the very fiber of Americans. In the past, unique leaders such as Franklin Roosevelt – a very rich and privileged fellow – fought nonetheless for the common people and largely fashioned the New Deal, for example, during a time of nearly overwhelming financial crisis, demonstrations, protests and grass-roots movements. Today, grass-roots movements, protests and demonstrations are still staged in America: the 2013-14 climate-change march of hundreds of thousands of people and the Occupy Wall Street Movement of 2011-12, for two examples. Whether you deem those movements wise or foolish, Americans use grass roots, protests and demonstrations to register their displeasure and evoke change. If there is ever another genuine reform, those tools will play an important part.

By Kathy Catanzarite

Source: Kathy Catanzarite – Staff Writer

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