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Carole Lutness Headshot

Be Careful for What You Wish For

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"Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it." George Santayana

Here I am being a Cassandra again. Recent events have convinced me that our two-party system is close to collapse. The Public Service Union's and Democrats' failed attempt to recall Wisconsin's Gov. Scott Walker on June 5 may herald what Big Money has been working for since Reagan threw down the gautlet in 1981 by distroying the Air Traffic Controllers union. They knew that unions were the only force that could oppose them. By distroying unions they would also distroy the Democratic Party. Unions back then were 20.1% of the workforce. Today they are 11.8%. This is just one strategy of the Right has used to defund the Left.

Look at their attack on public interest attorneys that protect people from corporate travesties, redistricting ploys that pack Democrats into one district to open up more Republican seats, voter suppression stratgies like those seen in Wisconsin that discriminate against likely Democratic voters (particularly youth and minorities), undermining poor/minority registration efforts with bogus cries of "voter fraud," the Corporate Noise Machine (TV) that blasts continual messages that convince millions of people to vote against their best interests and the rigging of our political system with Supreme Court decisions that have estabilished the "money equals free speech" ethos making it necessary for the Democratic Party to be the reluctant concubine of Big Money and its Republican wife.

Big Money really isn't really after unions. Its goal is to distroy the Democratic Party by systematically defunding it. Distroy the unions and their money and then cut off the Democrats' corporate donations and voila! No more Left!

Big Money had a field day in Wisconsin, spending over $31 million to keep Gov. Walker in office compaired to the approximately $4 million spent by his opponent. Even so, he only won by about 170,000 votes. Citizens United allowed most of that money to hide behind 527 PACs and bogus "non-profits" so that the billionaire donors didn't even have to be identified.

This trend is happening all over the country. Look for untold millions that will be spent during this election season to promote union-distroying legislation in red states, to defeat great propositions like the DISCLOSE Act, which would require "truth in political advertising" by mandating the top three contributors to be identified on any political advertising, to defeat the GMO labeling proposition that will be vehemently attacked by gigantic agribusinesses, and, of course, to elect the plutocrats' champion, Mitt Romney. The billionaires' coffers are a bottomless pit.

So what will this country be like when there is no way to present vigorous debate about issues and candidates? Looking at other countries with a one-party system, right or left, it is pretty grim. Remember the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) that controlled Mexico's politics for 71 years. Think of other one-party countries like China, North Korea, Cuba, etc. One-party systems, right or left, can only produce a system of autocratic/dictatorial power.

Under a corporate one-party system, we will have continuing deterioration of economic opportunities for all but the top 1%. It can be no other way because corporations have only one mandate: to make maximum profit for their stockholders. Wages will continue to fall. We will have no benefits or safety net, no health care, 14-hour workdays, no infrastructure, no public services like schools, DMV, health departments, etc., no regulatory oversight and every government function privatized, sold to the lowest bidder. Our taxes will continue to be filtered through the government into the corporate coffers. There will be an abatement of civil rights and public dissent with the rise of a police state. Only the moguls will benefit. Since this assault began, we have seen a massive waning of the middle class with our nation quickly devolving into a two-class system of "have nots and have yachts." I want a political system that represents all voices.

I don't just want a two-party system; I want a system with Republicans, the Tea Party, Democrats, Greens, Libertarians, Labor, Socialists and any other party we can think of. It is the only way to provide "liberty and justice for all." I wonder if the Right realizes what it has wrought.