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Forum Post: The 196 people who will choose our next president

Posted 2 years ago on Feb. 17, 2012, 4:27 p.m. EST by brightonsage (4494)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Billionaires like Adelson and Freiss are behind the vast majority of super PAC dollars. The rest of us don't count from Ari Berman - Salon

At a time when it’s become a cliché to say that Occupy Wall Street has changed the nation’s political conversation — drawing long overdue attention to the struggles of the 99 percent — electoral politics and the 2012 presidential election have become almost exclusively defined by the 1 percent. Or, to be more precise, the .0000063 percent. Those are the 196 individual donors who have provided nearly 80 percent of the money raised by super PACs in 2011 by giving $100,000 or more each.

This is a pretty clear statement of our problem. So what do we do about ir?

41 Comments

41 Comments


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[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (21296) 2 years ago

Occupy the Supreme Court.

[-] 3 points by brightonsage (4494) 2 years ago

They are the biggest obstacle to our success.

[-] 1 points by therising (6643) 2 years ago

I think that's really a key nonviolent direct action...Hits nonviolently at the heart of the matter.

[-] 2 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

that is because the rich have most of the money

[-] 3 points by brightonsage (4494) 2 years ago

They have ALMOST ALL of the money.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

he who has the gold makes the rules

[-] 2 points by brightonsage (4494) 2 years ago

Until they don't. That's the day we look forward to.

[-] 1 points by therising (6643) 2 years ago

They THINK they make the rules. They only DO if we, the 99% allow them to dazzle, depress and distract us to a point of nihilism with materialism and mass marketing. The 1% only rule if we're distracted and divided. But we're awakening from our distraction now. And we're unifying. Fasten your seatbelt. He who has the power makes the rules. And the ultimate power lies in direct nonviolent action. We have that tool at our disposal. And this spring its power will be felt thoughout the land. Look up the section of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "Letter from the Birmingham Jail" where he talks about intentionally creating tension. Spot on and relevant to today. He and Gandhi and their fellow peaceful warriors left us the ultimate play book. Let's use it :)

[-] 1 points by brightonsage (4494) 2 years ago

Right on.

[-] 1 points by therising (6643) 2 years ago

I disagree. They THINK they make the rules. They only DO if we, the 99% allow them to dazzle, depress and distract us to a point of nihilism with materialism and mass marketing. The 1% only rule if we're distracted and divided. But we're awakening from our distraction now. And we're unifying. Fasten your seatbelt. He who has the power makes the rules. And the ultimate power lies in direct nonviolent action. We have that tool at our disposal. And this spring its power will be felt thoughout the land.

Look up the section of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "Letter from the Birmingham Jail" where he talks about intentionally creating tension. Spot on and relevant to today. He and Gandhi and their fellow peaceful warriors left us the ultimate play book. Let's use it :)

[-] 0 points by economicallydiscardedcitizen (761) 2 years ago

And the rules are made by same to serve whomever has the gold...

[-] 2 points by Faithntruth (997) 2 years ago

How about making a law that you have to show a birth certicate to donate to any organization supporting or opposing political candidates or government policies, and any person afilliated with government office or candidacy for office, and limiting dnations to $20 a month.

Or maybe create a donation pool to be equally divided between all candidates, and just outlawing pacs and lobbyists.

[-] 3 points by brightonsage (4494) 2 years ago

My first reaction is that political contributions should be a capital crime with the death penalty in all cases. I have cooled down a little but now I favor rendition.

Can you possibly imagine how much government spending would be reduced by eliminating ALL campaign contributions and all lobbying all stock tips and other forms of influence peddling to Federal State and local elected officials?

We take 5 (five) times as many drugs per capita as Canadians. Why they advertize to us incessantly and they bribe the doctors to prescribe them and it works. We are influenced to buy them and put the money in their pockets. Knowing how stupid we are and how gullible we are, how can we consider giving campaign contributions to them? If you give $20 per month, somebody will bundle them to get more influence..... and down the road we go.

Government financing, 6 week campaigns, published position papers, a few debates, web sites with opposition research, and short terms, no jobs for Congress after their terms, no consulting, only government paid retirement. Trust me it will be cheaper as well as better.

[-] 1 points by rayl (1007) 2 years ago

your last suggestion sounds very good

[-] -2 points by FreeDiscussion4 (70) 2 years ago

Or a birth certificate to proof you are an American that can be the president. The law shouldnt allow someone to wait for nearly three years to place it in someones hands.

[-] 2 points by Faithntruth (997) 2 years ago

Really? You're going there? How about generating an idea to change something that is underming the foundation of democratic process? If you arent going to contribute to the conversation, I wont respond to anymore. Because i am free2ignoreu

[-] 0 points by FreeDiscussion4 (70) 2 years ago

You are NOT free2ingoreu. I force you, demand that you reply. If not, you have no balls.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

what is the total money raised by the super PACS ?

[-] 1 points by forourfutures (393) 2 years ago

Contact the AG here to assist in direct defense of the Constitution. A criminal complaint has been made against all members of congress.

http://www.justice.gov/contact-us.html

Below are details on the legal complaint against congress to the Attorney General. This is absolutely legitimate and is based in congress having intentionally misinterpreted the constitution regarding citizens first and last right, Article V. This violation of law IS criminal.

http://www.nolanchart.com/article9376-holder-begins-criminal-investigation-regarding-article-v-convention.html

[-] 2 points by brightonsage (4494) 2 years ago

Good job.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

cobert's angle seems to be to satirize the campaign ad and voting system

"write in Rick PArry with an A"

[-] 1 points by brightonsage (4494) 2 years ago

That seems singularly appropriate during the primaries.

[-] 1 points by BradB (2693) from Washington, DC 2 years ago

So what do we do about it?

keep spreading the word ... do you have a link ?

[-] 2 points by brightonsage (4494) 2 years ago

I think Bernie Sanders's amendment is one of the better approaches to getting the big money out.

[-] 1 points by therising (6643) 2 years ago

You're making a great point. The timing is perfect to ratchet up the resistanxe I think we should do these four things (especially August 4th :). http://www.occupywallst.org/forum/how-the-occupy-movement-can-grow-to-100-times-its-/

[-] 1 points by gnomunny (6614) from St Louis, MO 2 years ago

Agreed. But, isn't it July 4th?

[-] 1 points by therising (6643) 2 years ago

Pls send link(s) if available. Happy to be corrected. That date sounds pretty awesome to me for taking over the U.S. Capitol complex by engaging in nonviolent tactics.

[-] 1 points by brightonsage (4494) 2 years ago

That should get people's attention. I was in Zurich on May 1 recently (two years) and was surprised at the demonstrations. This was before OWS.

[-] 2 points by therising (6643) 2 years ago

It's time to dial this up a notch. We need to work on spreading the word on those 4 dates. These are things Americans can get behind.

[-] 2 points by brightonsage (4494) 2 years ago

I don't think we are sunshine patriots but I believe there is some correlation between activity and warmer weather. That said, I was very encouraged by our Russian friends who took to the streets in very large numbers in freezing weather to show that Putin has a lot less support than he thought he had,

[-] 1 points by therising (6643) 2 years ago

Right there with you. I was moved by that display of solidarity as well. A brave and rebellious act that successfully showed a depth of strength. Very inspiring.

[-] 2 points by brightonsage (4494) 2 years ago

I was in St. Petersburg 18 months ago and one of very few who got to use the subway. Still has Lenin statues and the hammer and sickle. But the young people are finally getting it. Have never enjoyed our style of culture but they focus on us and Europe and Scandinavia and they are sick of the corruption (even though they may be involved in it.) They are somewhat like the early stages of the Arab spring. They may not know how to make a system work but they really don't like what they are stuck with.

[-] 3 points by therising (6643) 2 years ago

Very cool. Man, knowing what you don't want sure is a huge step forward. In some ways, I think that's what the occupy movement in U.S. means to many people. They aren't sure what they want and don't necessarily see solutions but they definitely know the status quo is intolerable.

"Fuck this shit" is in some ways a very courageous and legitimate response, especially if someone is new to this an isn't quite sure what comes next. That takes a leap of faith. But over time it pays off. People instinctually gravitate towards what they DO want and that is a beautiful thing to behold. It's like watching the sun rise from the mountain tops and warming the cold cheeks of a sleeping friend. The sun, it is rising. Crystal clear light. Warm. Alive.

[-] 3 points by brightonsage (4494) 2 years ago

They do gravitate toward what they want, but what they want is a vision an end result. "And they lived happily ever after" unfortunately never happens. And it never will, because in reality a wish isn't granted and a new stable situation that is self sustaining isn't created and doesn't run without change.

The reality that we live in is not perfect and we are not perfect. And we have to design and define processes that fit us and people as flawed as we are. We have to live it and change it and make it better and recognize that we made it worse, last time we tried to make it better.

We have to know what we don't want, but we need to know why we didn't get it. We can't default to "they messed it up", when it is really, "we let them mess it up." We were busy watching, sports on TV and going out to dinner and having the fun we were ENTITLED to after a hard days work.

We are where we are because of what we have done and what we have left undone. Yes, I am in this boat with you. It takes work to get out and more to stay out. Voting by mail every two years is not nearly enough.

[-] 2 points by therising (6643) 2 years ago

Brightonsage: those are some of the truest words I've seen on this forum, some of the truest I've EVER encountered actually. I think you nailed it PERFECTLY HERE when you said: "The reality that we live in is not perfect and we are not perfect. And we have to design and define processes that fit us and people as flawed as we are. We have to live it and change it and make it better and recognize that we made it worse, last time we tried to make it better. We have to know what we don't want, but we need to know why we didn't get it. We can't default to "they messed it up", when it is really, "we let them mess it up." We were busy watching, sports on TV and going out to dinner and having the fun we were ENTITLED to after a hard days work. We are where we are because of what we have done and what we have left undone. Yes, I am in this boat with you. It takes work to get out and more to stay out. Voting by mail every two years is not nearly enough."

Thank you for saying this Brightonsage. Beautiful. So damn true. You're talking about CITIZENSHIP rather than consumerism. You're talking about the hard work of maintaining a democracy, the elegant yet messy tension of a republic. You're talking about citizenship as a participatory pursuit.

You're talking about taking personal responsibility for your nation and directly participating. Many in our nation yack about this "taking personal reponsibility" thing but do exactly the opposite. They selfishly pick and choose their moments, squirrel away a private stash and then hide away in a gated enclave "thinking how mighty they have become" as Dostoevsky put it in his masterpiece, the Brothers Karamazov.

He went on to explain that the security of the individual could never be achieved in isolation, only in the context of community:

"Today, everyone asserts his own personality and strives to live a full life as an individual.  But these efforts lead not to a full life but to suicide, because instead of realizing his personality, man only slips into total isolation.  For in our age, man has been broken up into self-contained individuals, each of whom retreats into his lair, trying to stay away from the rest, hiding himself and his belongings from the rest of mankind, and finally isolating himself from people and people from him.

And while he accumulates material wealth in his isolation, he thinks with satisfaction how mighty and secure he has become, because he is mad and cannot see that the more goods he accumulates, the deeper he sinks into suicidal impotence.  The reason for this is that he has become accustomed to relying only on himself; he has split off from the whole and become an isolated unit; he has trained his soul not to rely on human help, not to believe in man and mankind, and only to worry that the wealth and privileges he has accumulated may get lost.

Everywhere men today are turning scornfully away from the truth that the security of the individual cannot be achieved by his isolated efforts but only by mankind as a whole.

BUT AN END  to this fearful isolation is bound to come and all men will understand how unnatural it was for them to have isolated themselves from one another.  This will be the spirit of the new era and people will look in amazement at the past when they sat in darkness and refused to see the light. . . 

. . . Until that day, we must keep hope alive, and now and then a man must set an example, even if only an isolated one, by trying to lift his soul out of its isolation and offering it up in an act of brotherly communion, even if he is taken for one of God's fools.  

This is necessary to keep the great idea alive."

Cheers to you Brightonsage. You've made my day and nailed it out of the park. What we're experiencing now is our own damn fault. We are the 99% and we've had the power all along. But we relinquished it, divided ourselves off, stupidly fell pray to materialism. We let it happen.

As depressing as it is to realize this, it is also incredibly liberating because, if we are responsible for the current state of affairs, we also have the power to improve it, the power to restore this great nation, this elegant yet messy republic. We can do this. And we will. I can feel it. The notion is rising within us. We are beginning to realize that we've had the power all along. And from that knowledge, everything is possible.

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[-] 0 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 2 years ago

Romney=Obama=Fascism Running Rampant

[-] -1 points by lollercoaster (38) 2 years ago

You're saying this like people see TV commercials and are too dumb to decide if they believe them.

[-] 1 points by Nordic (390) 2 years ago

Yes! That's exactly it!

Where can you show me that's not true?

[-] 1 points by brightonsage (4494) 2 years ago

See my post above. They buy diet pills don't they?

[-] 0 points by lollercoaster (38) 2 years ago

yes, everybody in America who sees a diet pill commercial, buys them

[-] 1 points by brightonsage (4494) 2 years ago

Only those who are obese, or over weight or worried about the weight they are gaining. They other two don't.