Joe voter for Democracy

By Joe the Voter
Feb 2018

Revealed: GOP master plan.

As word gets out through leaks and slips of the tongue, and as the actual deeds of the GOP and there far-right backers are analyzed, the master plan of the party is emerging.

It goes something like this:

  • Eliminate democracy in America in favor of a Russian style oligarchy.
  • Eliminate the middle class in America
  • Turn all power over to the wealthy/corporate class
  • Turn our political system into a one-party system
  • Silence the voice of the masses and working class

There is no secret in the ranks of the Republican party that the total defeat and annihilation of the Democratic party and any progressive power is on the top of there agenda. One might chalk this up to good old competitive spirit. But what is the very basis of a functional democracy? Can there even be a democracy with a single party with no opposition permitted? The delight over such a total victory is a delight over the destruction of democracy itself in America.

It’s already pretty commonly understood that politicians ride into power on a wave of cash. There are only two sources, not counting the occasional but rare person with the cash to fund his/her own campaign. Donations from individuals, corporations and political groups. These may be direct contributions up to legal limits but more often take the form of paid political ads on behalf of the chosen candidates.

No politician takes a large donation without obligating themselves to the donor. This is the legal bribery we all know about in American politics. It is also why, after secure in their office, most of us lose our voice in government until the next election suddenly makes courting our votes important again. A new round of political promises flood the media while the real promises are made behind closed doors to a select few with the cash to play the game.

Both sides have their sugar daddy supporters with deep pockets. A couple of the most notable are the Koch Brothers and Sheldon Adelson on the right and George Soros and Michael Bloomberg. These people tend to put more money into causes than candidates however. It is by looking at the causes they support where one develops a sense of what is important to them.

When I look I ask, is the cause altruistic? Does it seek to further the advancement of mankind, of our health, welfare, prosperity, enlightenment for all people? Do their causes seek more personal, selfish, greed-oriented goals aimed to benefit a more select few?

The internet is a vast library, some say the collection of the net knowledge of the human race. Not sure about that but you sure can learn a lot provided you used good judgment and alternative sources to filter out the junk and noise.

You can easily look up the above supporters for your self. Those with a political ax to grind or who’s only interest is to bolster their current view, liberal or progressive, can surly find sources to do that for them. If this is your intent I cannot help your desire to fortify your willful ignorance.

The only true listener is one who is willing to be changed by what he hears. This does not mean you must change but if you are unwilling at the start, you cannot listen.

I make no apologies for my own present liberal views. I made none for my conservative views way back when I voted for Reagan. But I considered myself open to listening and watching and made my choice.

Now when I assert that the GOP is a party that opposes the continued existence of a democracy in America I base this conclusion not on their very “patriotic” words but rather on their diametrically opposed actions.

  • You cannot support both a democracy and a single party rule.
  • You cannot support a democracy and then seek to exclude major segments of your citizens from participating in the process.
  • You cannot support a democracy then ignore the voices of all but the wealthiest donors.
  • You cannot support a democracy by making two sets of promises, one to the voters and a second more sincere promise to wealthy special interests.

All of these are inconsistent with a democracy.
All of these have been the constant goal of the GOP.

Big corporate and wealthy interests support all candidates and parties to some extent. Both sides are guilty of trading influence for cash, something the average voter cannot compete with. This is an abomination of the kind that should not be permitted to exist in a free society. Yet this legal bribery system is the norm in American politics.

Both sides have shown an interest in regulation of campaign finance with the intended benefit of reducing the influence of big money in elections. Some purportedly scholarly articles on the subject have come from places like the Cato Institute ( which is a right-leaning group ) would support the view that such attempts have not helped reduce the cost of election. But they still miss the point of the wealthy buying influence out of proportion to one-person-one-vote system we believe we have.

These attempts never addressed the real underlying problem for democracy. It is not the price of an election that corrupts, it is the acceptance of an obligation in exchange for money that corrupts. When some of the more corrupting aspects are attacked the first to defend the practice is the right.

Suggest making mandatory to disclose all source of money used to influence an election.

Suggest making it an actual crime for any politician to offer or deliver any special access or consideration to any special interest who has made a contribution to their election. And a crime for any person or organization to make such an offer.

I can pretty much guarantee that these would be universally supported by the left and universally opposed by the right. The spurious argument by opposition would be that it infringes on some personal liberty of the rich without consideration on how that same “right” infringes the rights of the rest of us to have our voice heard in government.
As to the initial premise that the GOP is anti-democracy let me point out some specific goals actions and beliefs of the party leadership that make my point.

Attack the working class: It is always a high priority on the GOP’s wish list to topple worker rights at all levels. Union busting is a time honored goal of the GOP and one that really came to drive me away from the Republicans with Reagan’s attack on the Air Traffic Controllers union. Sad given that Reagan himself was a union leader and a democrat while he was an entertainer. He turned out to be a turn coat and traitor to working class Americans.

Unions made the middle class and as the GOP is able to drive down unions, so has it driven down the fortunes of the middle class almost in direct relation ship to the demise of union participation.

A look at the political games by the right in Wisconsin when Governor Walker came to power shines a bright light on the right-wing philosophy toward us “merely average” Americans. Despite massive public outcry and opposition he stole union rights from public workers. His party claims this assures a “right to work” but the real result is a decline in union membership and a drop in income for Wisconsin teachers of more than $10,000 a year!

Back room comments exposed the real reason for defund unions and democrats, not to protect anyone but GOP politicians at the expense of school children across the state. Later the state actually had to declare a state of emergency calling for lowering license standards in order to find teachers. That on top of a $900 million cut to their education budget.

Cuts to budgets almost always are followed by or precede big tax cuts aimed at the wealthy class that supports the GOP.

A brief look at the situation in Washington under Trump is eye-opening, assuming you have not chosen to glue your eyes closed or look the other way. The recent tax cuts will add an estimated $1.5 trillion dollars to our defect. The top few percent will get that deficit as a gift and programs that actually help those who need help get cut to pay for those cuts. Eighty five percent of the tax cuts benefit the wealthiest corporations.

Ask yourself an honest these mega wealthy corporations or individuals need help from the taxpayers to remain so rich? Ask a second question, do you, the average worker and taxpayer feel any obligation to assure those mega rich get richer with your help?

Ideology v. Voters. It’s true that as a voter you follow some ideological lead in how you vote and who you support. That people like the Koch brothers or George Soros do this is obvious. When any individual or their organizations pledge millions to sway an election you know it’s about both ideology and access to power. The average worker cannot compete.

Again to the matter of the “master plan” look at the ideologies behind the parties.

As one example let’s look at one action by the Koch brothers who on one hand say they support open markets, competition, little or no government. In recent times the FCC under Trump has decided that no one should regulate ISP’s and the internet. Prior to this decision the internet was free and open for everyone on an equal basis and the right hated this because they wanted to cash in on what had been considered a public property.

Likely not directly related to the theme of Net Neutrality, but in the name of free market and open competition that the Koch’s should have championed, they decide to through their financial weight against a city’s (Lexington KY) effort to provide competition to the big ISP’s. Lexington’s part in this would help provide low cost broadband into previously under served minority areas of the city. The network could support fiber optic controlled traffic signals and camera, better connect public safety agencies and help boost business in the area. Enter the Koch brother’s “Taxpayer Protection Alliance” to fight the installation. First vote along party lines the GOP wanted to prevent the city from installing it’s fiber network. Final vote was a victory for the city and the people with a unanimous vote to approve. The Koch’s lost this one but it begs the question about their motivation when their mouth says they support competition in the marketplace then spend their money to protect the near monopolies.

The voter hears one message from the GOP, one that is very much in contradiction to their real agenda.

Who’s ideology is it, really? I have a number of friends who are die-hard republicans. One is the head of the county party. Some I can talk to, others I know better. Back to my earlier suggestion that you cannot really listen to someone if you are not at least open to change. Some won’t change. I won’t try.

There will always be those on both sides who believe what they believe, because they were raised that way or told to believe. Those have closed their mind. Willful ignorance.

A few I can actually talk with and it turns out many of my Republican friends think much like I do on a lot of political topics. We all are patriots. We believe in the constitution and the rule of law. We support a vibrant democracy and it’s middle class. This is where I find myself dumbfounded. How can I as a democrat share so many common ideals with my fellow republicans while I see a party that so openly contradicts what it’s own base says they stand for?

One word covers this conundrum. Lies.

Every deed of the GOP in power works to undermine democracy but you will NEVER hear a GOP politician or spokesperson publicly say that.

You will never (except when caught off guard) hear a GOP politician state that voter id laws are all about keeping democrats and minorities from voting. No GOP politician who supports such laws will admit that they know that voter fraud is virtually non-existing. But these laws are a direct attack on American’s constitutional rights.

Side note: I remain surprised how may conservative voters actually believe voting is a privilege not a right. The GOP is never in any rush to correct this as it plays into voter suppression activities.

ALEC, threat to democracy embraced by GOP. The American Legislative Exchange Council is an organization funded, in part, by the Koch brothers and a list of major corporations. They write legislation that is favorable to corporate interests then get legislators to propose and pass these bills. The public for which these legislators are working for has little to know knowledge and no input into these bills. ALEC supports voter suppression laws, union busting, blocking raises in minimum wage and so on. Nothing ALEC proposes is designed to benefit the law maker’s constituency yet a large percentage of the time ALEC gets it’s way because these corporations pretty much bought and paid for those legislators seat of power.

When one looks and who joins then leaves the “brotherhood” of ALEC we see a long list of GOP politicians join along with some democrats. Most who leave are democrats who cited radical views inconsistent with their constituent’s needs. A sprinkling of republicans mostly left over internal issues like being excluded from meetings or believing their participation would look like free “junkets”.

In my home state of Florida not one democrate is a member of ALEC. This exposes one more ideological difference, Democrats appear less willing to sell their votes for cash.

Is there a tide toward a better understanding of what the GOP stands for, despite their vocal rhetoric? There are signs pointing in a positive direction. Pew Research says.

Republicans, in particular, have become more critical of their own party
Just 23% of Americans say congressional Republicans are keeping the promises they made during last fall’s campaign, while 65% say they are not.
Republican Party is viewed as more extreme in its positions than the Democratic Party.
By 53% to 31%, the Democratic Party is viewed as “more concerned with the needs of people like me.” Democrats hold a 16-point lead on governing in an honest and ethical way (45% to 29%).

In the end who wins the power will have more to do with who’s vault holds the most gold and on how much the present power structure is able to erode the right to vote, access to polls and a will to overcome both of those obstacles. Given the actual stated views of most Americans, democrats should win. The trick is to make sure the base shows up to vote despite barriers thrown up by the opposition.

I don’t want the left to win it all, that’s not democracy. I want both sides to realize that the only way to preserve democracy is to work as a team, have honest debate, compromise and come to an equitable solution to problems. This does not mean every solution must reward those with the most at the expense of the rest of our nation.