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Forum Post: Occupy Congress by Voting

Posted 10 years ago on Dec. 12, 2011, 12:07 p.m. EST by subversive1 (32)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

I think that many Occupy Wall St supporters are missing a MAJOR concept in the strategy to regain control of the country from the 1% - and this is what they are the most TERRIFIED about - WE CAN ALL STILL VOTE!!!!!!!

So what I mean by Occupy Congress is this: Let's get some "independent" leaders that actually want to serve the public to actually RUN FOR CONGRESS. If we truly are the 99%, then we can VOTE THEM INTO CONGRESS.

That's still the beauty of America. We can VOTE. That's how we elected President Obama. But he can't accomplish anything by himself. We put him in a very tough position by not electing capable people to Congress to support his attempt to clean up the government and Wall St.

To anyone that has lost faith in Obama over the past couple of years, UNDERSTAND THIS - He is a figurehead with extremely limited power. Without the support of Congress, he has basically no control over anything that's going on in America.

He has to tapdance around every issue just so that he can get re-elected. He's privy to information that we couldn't dream of, and he must act accordingly in order to keep his position and keep the country safe.


So we need to start thinking farther ahead than just being disruptive to big business and standing around protesting. We have a great community going here full of smart people with new ideas about how to fix some of the problems facing our country. Let's identify them and get them elected so we can truly OCCUPY CONGRESS!!!!!



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[-] 3 points by ARod1993 (2420) 10 years ago

Barney Frank has a hell of a point; the best way to do any of this is to produce a slate of candidates that are either a part of or very closely tied to the Occupy movement in most if not all districts and then toss them into the primary of the party most likely to win each district to see what happens. I believe that the 99% Declaration is already working on something similar to that; their plan seems to be to assemble a list of grievances and a roadmap to action on those grievances at the height of election season, and if the new Congress doesn't do anything about those grievances they'll make a grab at the House. I don't know about you but that sounds like a great idea.

[-] 2 points by subversive1 (32) 10 years ago

All of that sounds great to me, except for the part where we toss our candidate into the primary of the party most likely to win. To me that is still buying into partisan politics. I'd love to be able to create something new like the Rationalist party and submit our own people that way.

Partisan politics has gotten us nowhere, so ideally we would defeat it by operating completely outside of it. All that being said, it is probably more realistic to operate within the 2 party system until we have enough power to essentially dismantle it from the inside out.

[-] 3 points by ARod1993 (2420) 10 years ago

Here's the deal; the way our voting system is set up (non-IRV, winner takes all) there is little chance of a third party being able to field that many candidates on a national scale and be able to garner enough votes for any one of them not to be written off as a joke. Going through the primaries means that if we can win there we then have the full backing of the DNC or the RNC when we run in the general election, and if we want real change we're going to need that support.

[-] 1 points by subversive1 (32) 10 years ago

Well put. BUT, I want to challenge as much as possible any doubt that we can change the way the system works outright. We've reached a point in the information age that has fundamentally changed the way that people interact and communicate with one another. The first occupy movements were only made possible through the use of cell phones, and social networking such as facebook. Never before has the free flow of information across the world been possible until now.

The opportunity to self-organize outside of "normal" channels is abundant. Obama was the first Presidential candidate to really leverage the power of the internet. In my opinion, his use of internet marketing as a method of gaining grassroots support is what won him the Presidency.

If this can work at the highest level, there's no reason to think that it can't be done at ANY level of government. If we can generate a relatively cookie-cutter online campaign that can be applied to different candidates across the nation, I think its actually possible to beat out Republicans and Democrats. This all depends largely on motivating the 99% to register to vote, educating them on the candidates, and lastly ACTUALLY VOTE.

All I'm saying is it may be unlikely, (so was Obama becoming president), but don't sell the idea short based on notions of "this is the way it works and we can't possibly change it". The game has already changed. The Republicans and Democrats just don't know it yet.

[-] 1 points by ARod1993 (2420) 10 years ago

In the long term a third party could definitely be a viable option, but in the even longer term a successful third party would most likely cause a realignment of powers that would turn it into one of the new Big Two in a newer alignment. There is precedent for that; it's how the Federalists became the Whigs who became the Republicans and how the Democratic-Republicans became the Democrats who split in 1968.

[-] 2 points by subversive1 (32) 10 years ago

The other point I'd like to make is that using parties at all is part of the problem. It's really only necessary because of the amount of money that has to be raised to run a campaign and to simplify options for the lazy masses. Democracy is always a work in progress, and right now its in pretty bad shape.

Long ago the advice of our founding fathers, John Adams and George Washington, has escaped the American people and thus the state of our democracy. http://georgewashington2.blogspot.com/2011/07/founding-fathers-warned-us-about-two.html

What we really need to implement is a method of informing the masses about independent candidates that don't have ties to any one party. Many Democrats and Republicans out there don't even really believe all the same things that are supposedly associated with their parties, but they are tied to them and forced to vote that direction due to outside pressure instead of sorting out the issues for themselves and voting accordingly.

George Washington outlined the basic shortcomings of the party system that we've been suffering with for hundreds of years, "The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism."

Why do you think ObamaCare didn't work? The opposition in Congress had the bill watered down with concessions to the point that by the time it was passed, it didn't even come close to accomplishing the goal. And then who is first to attack its weaknesses - the SAME PEOPLE that weakened it to that point in the first place!!!

Congress needs people that will WORK TOGETHER FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, not fight each other to the point of uselessness.

I say we keep our eyes open to any possible way of getting people from all different backgrounds into public office. Only then will Congress truly represent the wishes of the American people. BUT once elected, they can't bow to any party demands or lobbyists, and MUST remain accountable to the people.

[-] 2 points by ARod1993 (2420) 10 years ago

I understand that, and we had this very same discussion in my political science class a couple of weeks ago. The general consensus we came to is that if issues were completely independent of each other then parties would be useless and the system would contraindicate their formation. That said, issues aren't completely independent and there's a general correlation between how people vote on any one issue and how they will then go out and vote on other, apparently unrelated, issues. Eventually people figure out that a soft coalition isn't necessarily as capable of getting things done as an explicit union, and thus we get parties.

[-] 2 points by subversive1 (32) 10 years ago

That may be true for the majority of issues for the past 50 years, but it seems to me a lot more people are willing to be conservative democrats, or liberal republican in their views today. The individual parties themselves don't provide an opportunity to support moderate/centrist ideas or a unique amalgamation of beliefs that has come to define the "average" american that I come across all the time these days.

Once again its not so much that the party system (or democracy) is inherently flawed, its that its gotten way out of control in exactly the way the founding fathers predicted it would.

I could care less what method we use to achieve the election of qualified public servants, and far more that we get it done. The idealist in me wants a third party at the least and no party whatsoever at the extreme, but the realist in me understands that we may very well have to operate within the confines of the current two-party system before we can achieve something like that.

[-] 2 points by ARod1993 (2420) 10 years ago

Honestly, if we can get into the primaries, then whether someone is a Democrat or a Republican won't matter because there will be people on both sides of the aisle that we have explicitly endorsed and that will have explicitly declared their support for most if not all of the planks of our platform. That, however, depends on our willingness to take advantage of that route, and the more people push for it the better. Eventually there may or may not be some sort of transpartisan consensus that will lead the whole of the government to get things done regardless of party affiliation, but I feel that even that will most likely have the two-party face on it.

[-] 2 points by AFarewellToKings (1486) 10 years ago

The National General Assembly aka Third Continental Congress aka parallel congress could potentially bring so much pressure to bear that the current members of congress would have to act on our demands. We simply give them the opportunity then simply remove them if they fail.

V. BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that IF the PETITION FOR A REDRESS OF GRIEVANCES approved by the 876 Delegates of the NATIONAL GENERAL ASSEMBLY in consultation with the NINETY-NINE PERCENT OF THE PEOPLE, is not acted upon within a reasonable time and to the satisfaction of the Delegates of the NATIONAL GENERAL ASSEMBLY, said Delegates shall reconvene to utilize the grassroots network established in the election of the NATIONAL GENERAL ASSEMBLY to organize a new INDEPENDENT POLITICAL PARTY to run candidates for every available Congressional seat in the mid-term election of 2014 and again in 2016 until all vestiges of the existing corrupt corporatocracy have been eradicated through the power of the ballot box.


[-] 1 points by subversive1 (32) 10 years ago

I've read it and volunteered. Let's get this going!

[-] 2 points by AFarewellToKings (1486) 10 years ago

did you see this today?


It's very very encouraging. Time is short

[-] 1 points by subversive1 (32) 10 years ago

Thanks for turning me on to the 99% Declaration and the NGA. I've been posting it everywhere I can and reaching out about it as much as possible ever since!!!

[-] 2 points by bensdad (8977) 10 years ago

Finally, a post that gets to the truth - write - email - call - petition congress -
every day! Promise not to vote for them if they do not support SPECIFICS
like getting rid of Citizens United - that already has 83% support. AND
In the the PFAW Poll -
74% say that they would be more likely to vote for a candidate for Congress who pledged to support a Constitutional Amendment limiting corporate spending in elections or any other goal.

Select your issues ( or mine ) & FIND YOUR REPRESENTATIVE & SENATORs CONTACT:

Then, “grass roots” your issues :
get at least 2 of your friends to also
email their congressman & get them to “grass roots” this through
repeated generations–till Washington is covered in grass!

You can use www.whitepages.com/person
to look up people & addresses & zip codes.
Important Note:
they will only pay attention to zip codes in their
House congressional district
Senate state

If you got 2 people today to write your congressman every day,
and they got 2 the next day to write, and so on -
how long till

12 days !!!
now imagine this happening for six months -


[-] 2 points by andyjb1000 (2) 10 years ago

I agree that OWS is necessary, and I agree with this article, but why is OWS taking advantage of the publicity they're getting? As Barney Franks said, why are there no voter registration tables at OWS gatherings, and no campaigns to contact representatives? He said, "What works better, standing in the park? How does that help?"

[-] 1 points by subversive1 (32) 10 years ago

That is what I'm talking about. We need to engage the right people to raise voting awareness both at OWS gatherings AND by leveraging social networking for mass communication. This way we can promote ideal candidates for cleaning up Washington and educate people on how to vote.

The problem up until now has always been voter apathy, which arises from what Trey Parker and Matt Stone so cleverly adorned as "Douchebag vs Turd Sandwich". When both options are horrible, then nobody cares about voting. They way to solve that problem is to add "Rational American" to the mix and inform the masses about them so that the 99% will actually vote!!!

If we can get Rational Americans voted into 2/3 of Congress, there's no telling what we could accomplish! The end of bipartisan politics, greed and corruption. The answer has been here all along - its called democracy!

[-] 1 points by NeedsaChange (4) from Waterbury, CT 10 years ago

I will vote OWS