Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Return to a Two-Party System: A Proposal to Overthrow the Corporatocracy

A two-party system is a good idea—give the voters real choice, engage in real civic discourse—those kinds of goodies. Good idea—provided that there are really two parties. What we have now is like a 1.25-party system, and all 1.25 of them are owned and operated by Corporations R Us. Andrew Sullivan points out that the Republican Party "is essentially a regional party now—representing the South in the national discourse. And its rhetoric seems divorced from any desire to actually hold responsible public office."

Moreover, much of the antics on the right amount to mindless distractions. Why, oh why do we spend so much time fulminating about Beck? He's theater without substance. There's absolutely no reason to take him seriously. Why should we give a flying fig about him? Paying attention to him just encourages him. Stop that.

What's really going on, what we're being distracted from, is how the Dems we elected, who supposedly are going to bring "change we can believe in," are backing themselves into their corporate masters' corner. We keep pushing, trying to get them into our corner. And we are having some effect. It remains to be seen, though, whether it will be enough to put them into our corner.

And if that's not enough, the Supreme Court is poised to give the corporations even more power. Monsanto may as well run for office in 2012. In the face of such an all-out onslaught on democracy, what possible significance could a goon like Beck have? We're in serious deep weeds here, people. The corporations are eating our American Dream for lunch and we're whining about Beck? Beck?

At least with the Republicans dancing to the corporations' tune, there's not so much of an ideological disconnect. After all, they believe the rich should be getting richer and that the corporations are the only ones entitled to entitlements and handouts. Right? It's more of a screeching dissonance with the Dems. This is change we could believe in? You're kidding, right?

So here's what I propose. Let's ask the progressives in Congress—Kucinich, Grijalva, Feingold, Frank, and their ilk—to split from the corporate-owned Dems and form their own party. Let's ask them to sign a pledge to pass serious corporate-donation and lobbying reforms and accept no corporate funding.

Think for a minute about an empowered progressive party: real progress on environmental reforms, Medicare for all, economic justice, an end to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, upholding workers' rights, comprehensive immigration reform, real education reform, and the return of a strong middle class and lessening of the huge gap between the very rich and the rest of us.

Now this would take a lot of work, because, of course, the opposition would make no such pledge. They'd have a lot of money, and we'd have, well, us. The quintessential grass roots. We'd have to be really serious: donating our time, our money, and our brilliance to the overthrow of the corporatocracy. But it would be worth it, wouldn't it, to return power to the people? I think if we really wanted to, we could do it.

Now, who's with me?

1 comment:

  1. Progressive business tax would disperse corporate wealth and power. If each doubling, say, of corporate income increases tax rate 1%, mergers and acquisitions lose appeal. This would counter the natural tendency of wealth and power to aggregate in fewer and fewer hands.

    Tom RW