"We have two major political parties in America -- the Democratic Party, and the Undemocratic Party." - Swami Beyondananda
There is a giant ogre standing in our political living room -- the unchecked, unbalanced, unmitigated power of money. Here are ten reasons why I'm voting Democrat this year to send Goliath the message: It's time to go lieth down.
10. The "Republicans" Are Not Republicans. What I will heretofore call "Republican" with quote marks around it has nothing to do with true Republican heroes like Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower and even Barry Goldwater (who had no tolerance for the narrow prejudices of the Religious Right). In the light of what their party has devolved into, these guys must be flipping in their crypts. Want to vote for a real moderate Republican? There's one running. His name is Barack Obama.
9. The "War on Women." No matter who they put on stage, the "Republican" Party is the party of, by and for white men. Theirs is more than a "war on women," it's a war on the feminine impulse of nurturance and on the sacred web of life itself. Environmentalism? A pesky inconvenience to be overcome with impropaganda, a notion to be mocked, as it was at the 2000 Republican convention. And these guys don't even know there's something they don't know. Where's the Iroquois Council of Grandmothers when we need them most?
8. The War on Reality. This is what Jon Stewart calls "Bullshit Mountain," the place where facts don't matter, and anything that doesn't fit the belief system can be unceremoniously discarded -- like the piece of legislation in North Carolina that would have made it illegal to publicly discuss "rising sea levels." (Apparently rising bullshit levels pose no danger to this faction, however.)
7. Their Lie-Ability is Their Greatest Asset. Since all is fair in (absence of) love and war, and since the "Republicans" imagine themselves in a war with Obama and "socialism" (Look ... if Obama were really a socialist, he'd have a 70 percent approval rating), they give themselves full permission to lie with impunity. Go to Pulitzer Prize Winning PolitiFact's Pants On Fire section and you will see that right-wing outrageous lies outnumber Democrat ones by about 9 to 1.
6. Voter Repression and Vote-Stealing. If conservatives like being lied to, progressives seem to prefer lying to themselves. That's why the mainstream liberal press dismisses both the ownership of voting machine technology by "Republicans" and the ability to invisibly "flip" votes remotely as "conspiracy theory." I suggest you check out Greg Palast's Billionaires & Ballot Bandits which offers ample evidence that potential Democratic voters have been tricked and intimidated into not voting or voting at the wrong time or place. It's understandable, of course. It's the only way the "Republicans" can win.
5. "Republican" Supreme Court Judges Will Further Entrench the Power of Money. Gone are the days when a President can appoint a former Klansman senator from Alabama (as FDR did), and end up with one of the most liberal members of the Court (Hugo Black). There will be no surprises (at least no pleasant ones) in any appointments a President Romney makes. Nor will any of these judges be friends of civil liberties. No matter how united real citizens are, Citizens United will never be overturned by a Romney court.
4. The Southern Strategy, and a Party Gone South. According to Bill Moyers, when President Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Right Act in 1964, he muttered that he was turning the South over to the Republicans for generations to come. What this has come to mean is that the "Republicans" have had to appeal to the basest nature of their base. They've had to foment misunderstanding, misinformation, racial prejudice, ignorance and fear. Sadly, it's a key part of their "winning" strategy.
3. They Are Wealth-Extractors, Not Job Creators. The Republicans may have been job creators in days of yore, but the "Republicans" of today are mainly wealth-extractors. While there's something to be said about regulations strangling small business enterprise, the de-regulation of the corporate media created a toxic monopoly that has limited real political discourse ... and the de-regulation of the financial industry turned "conservative" bankers into wild speculators. How many jobs did Bain create? (Fortunately, the Chinese cannot officially vote in our election.)
2. They Promote Selfish-Righteousness. In the waves of lava descending from Bullshit Mountain, somehow the two contradictory ideas of Christianity and Darwinism have been melded into a combo that expresses the most toxic version of each. We have social Darwinists ("those people who lost their homes deserved to") and religionists who seem more aligned with the Taliban that with the Jesus who threw the moneychangers out of the temple and comforted the afflicted.
1. The "Banana Republicans" Want to Turn the U.S. Into a Banana Republic. Please read Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.'s article, "The Hostile Takeover of Our Country," and you'll understand why the Koch Brothers and the multinationals are spending a fortune (actually just a small portion of their resource) to put the few final nails in democracy's coffin. They want to have free reign to colonize 21st century America much the same as the first multinational, the British East India Company (with the help of the British army and navy) sought to dominate the colonies 235 years ago. The founders of this country -- conservative as well as liberal -- never meant for our commonwealth to be for sale, nor did they intend that corporations be "persons," or money be "speech." May those who speak so fervently about the Constitution and Bill of Rights see beyond Bullshit Mountain, and vote thumbs down on the "Banana Republicans," so that -- as a REAL Republican once said -- "Government of the people, by the people, and for the people shall not perish from this earth."
Steve Bhaerman is a writer and humorist living in the USA. As cosmic comic Swami Beyondananda, he has entertained and enlightened millions with his comedy disguised as wisdom -- or is it wisdom disguised as comedy? A pioneer in alternative education, he is the author of No Particular Place to Go: Making of a Free High School. His latest book, with cellular biologist Bruce Lipton, is called "Spontaneous Evolution: Our Positive Future And a Way to Get There From Here. " His political spiritual blog is called Notes From the Trail and he can be found online at http://www.wakeuplaughing.com/.