What Happen To Democracy And Elections In America?
"American Democracy " once thought to be the supreme example of democracy in action has now become the power vehicle for big money and media forces. In American democracy and elections today the best candidates don't always win. Candidates with the most money, who can travel state to state and hold " big money" fundraisers are most often the winners. It may be true that " money rules the world," but; that's not what democracy should be about.
Have "American Elections" grown out of their concepts? Bernie Sanders not just in the here and now but over the years as a political figure has fought against money in politics. It's one reason he has been an Independent politician. Like many Americans, Bernie Sanders has advocated that it's unthinkable that money should be the determiner for achieving political success. There is no denying that "big money," in politics has taken the fundamental equality away from our democracy.
Has America Outgrown The Two Party System?
There is no doubt in this writer's mind that Bernie Sanders switched from the Independent Party to the Democratic Party because if not the political election system in America would have shut him out of the process. With that said, it's also fair to raise the question about the need for more political parties in America?
Can two political parties reflect the opinions of over 220 million people? The reasonable answer is probably not. As we reported in the House of Public Discourse early this year, the "American Experiment Is Under Crisis." Yes, America is still a democracy. However, our democracy has been physically challenged by, "influence peddling." And, both parties are guilty of having their palms greased by it. It is true that nothing in this world can always be perfect. But, the American people deserve better, and nothing will change unless "WE THE PEOPLE" demand it. This change is what the Bernie Sanders campaign is all about.
What Has Resulted From The " Big Money" Influence Peddling In Our Democracy?
Short answer, Voter Apathy![See Article] The House of Public Discourse over the last two years has advocated that the lack of voter participation in the process is the main reason these " big money" corporations and their corporate owned media echo chambers get their way in our governance today. Our research has found that a majority of Americans fail to vote. Why?
Many Americans today have expressed that voting is not that important anymore. That our votes are unimportant and that the lobbyist and the money they contribute to a candidate have circumvented the process. Many American voters have chosen not to take part in a political system that allows candidates for public office to be so easily purchased.
It has been this writer's observation that hard line Democrats have a hard time believing that Democratic candidates can be manipulated by this " big money" influence peddling. But, one thing is for sure in the present 2016 Democratic Presidential race Democratic hopeful Bernie Sanders cannot be bought and he has the record to back that claim up.
We see all the time Hillary Clinton supporter proclaiming that bashing her serves no purpose but to cause division in the party and helps the Republicans. However, Bernie Sanders supporters believe and agree with Bernie Sanders that a " Political Revolution," is necessary and getting the 67% of Americans who fail to vote back engaged in the voting process is paramount. Politicians have a public record. This public record is a measuring stick for voters to compare one candidate to another. In doing so, its not bashing and should not disrupt party unity. The "American Election" system is adversarial by nature and pointing out the differences between candidates running for office is part of the political ballgame.
Here Are The Facts It's Up To The Individual Voter If They Matter Or Not?
Iraq War Authorization
There is little doubt that the "Invasion of Iraq" was the biggest blunder in the history of the United States. We now know it was based on lies and motivated by war profiteers who through political campaign donations influenced politicians and the subsequent vote for authorization. Bernie Sanders did not support this approval to go to war but his opponent Hillary Clinton did. She now claims it was a mistake on her part.
The Wall Street Bailout (TARP)
Once again Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton split their vote on the Wall Street Bailout known as TARP. Clinton voted for the bailout while Bernie Sanders voted against it. TARP cost the American taxpayers $700 billion dollars.
Breaking Up The Big Banks?
There has been no louder voice on Capitol Hill for breaking up the " Big Banks" than Bernie Sanders.
"No single financial institution should have holdings so extensive that its failure would send the world economy into crisis," Sanders wrote in a May 2015 op-ed. "If an institution is too big to fail, it is too big to exist."In July, Bernie Sanders called for the reinstatement of the " Glass-Stegall Act."
" The Glass-Steagall Act, also known as the Banking Act of 1933 (48 Stat. 162), was passed by Congress in 1933 and prohibits commercial banks from engaging in the investment business. It was enacted as an emergency response to the failure of nearly 5,000 banks during the Great Depression."[See Source]
Hillary Clinton has been very dark about how she would reform Wall Street. However, signals from within the Clinton campaign have suggested that Clinton would not support the reinstatement of "Glass-Steagall." Her husband President Bill Clinton supported the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act in 1999.
Watch Hillary Avoid The Question of Glass-Steagall In The Recent Debate.
Patriot Act and 2006 Reauthorization
The U.S. Patriot Act in 2001 was a bill introduced to combat terrorism. This law gave the National Security Agency[NSA] broad surveillance powers of WE THE PEOPLE. Hillary Clinton voted for the bill. Bernie Sanders voted against it. Neither Clinton or Sanders change their votes in 2005 or 2006. Bernie Sanders voted against an extension in 2011 as well three years after Clinton left the Senate for the State Department.
Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)
The Trans-Pacific Partnership[TPP] is nothing more than a corporate handout disguised as a trade deal. Bernie Sanders has been a leader along with other Democrats like Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) in opposing this secretive trade deal. There are many "Progressive Democrats" on the record who oppose the TPP. However, Hillary Clinton, who supported the TPP while Secretary of State now claims she is against it, this is a blatant flip-flop by Hillary Clinton just in time for the first Democratic debate earlier this month. The facts are that Hillary Clinton was a big salesperson for the TPP trade deal while working for President Obama selling it to heads of state in both Asia and Australia. In fact, Secretary Clinton is on record 45 times pushing the trade deal she now opposes.
The Death Penalty
As a Progressive, this writer feels it better nine guilty people go free as opposed to one innocent person be murdered by the state. Moreover, the unfairness of how capital punishment cases are handled is enough for me to oppose it.
" Capital punishment does not work. There is a wealth of mounting evidence that proves this fact.The death penalty, both in the U.S. and around the world, is discriminatory and is used disproportionately against the poor, minorities and members of racial, ethnic and religious communities. Since humans are fallible, the risk of executing the innocent can never be eliminated.Furthermore, the astronomical costs associated with putting a person on death row – including criminal investigations, lengthy trials and appeals – are leading many states to re-evaluate and re-consider having this flawed and unjust system on the books."[See Source]Bernie Sanders has been against capital punishment over the course of his political career. Once again, Hillary Clinton has a more mixed record. When Hillary Clinton was the first lady she supported capital punishment. While serving in the Senate, she also supported capital punishment. Fast forwarding to the present Hillary Clinton has declined to comment on the issue.[See Source]
Keystone XL Pipeline
This issue has been a major struggle for the Obama Administration. Just recently, President Obama vetoed a bill that would have authorized its construction. Bernie Sanders has been a firm supporter of President Obama and has been a significant voice in opposition to the Keystone XL Pipeline. How about Hillary Clinton? In 2010, Hillary Clinton was on record stating the State Department was inclined to approve the pipeline. Now, Hillary Clinton has no position on the Keystone XL Pipeline and has avoided answering questions on the issue.
Here Are The Assorted Hillary Clinton Flip Flops In A Nutshell
Once again, these flip flops and vagueness by Hillary Clinton may not matter to you. But to millions of people they do. Hillary Clinton already has an ethical problem with voters.[See Poll] However, Bernie Sanders has made known his campaign is about a "Political Revolution." Moreover, his campaign is about getting young people to the polls and renewing the faith in the American process of voting. To accuse the passionate Bernie supporter of dividing the Democratic Party and upsetting the unity of the party is unfair. It is a candidate duty to point out the differences between themselves and their opponent. To avoid pointing out the record of an opponent and to politely "sweep it under the rug," in the name of party unity is an injustice to the undecided voter looking for the facts, not the rhetoric.