So, who you gonna vote for? Did you see that ad, that poster, that interview? Seems like a good one, we'll go with him.
And so it happens. You make a choice based on information received consciously and subconsciously in the barrage of media madness leading up to the elections. Meanwhile, corporate America smiles and rubs their hands together. Another one bites the dust.
As Americans, we pride ourselves on our elections. It's one of the pillars of our government: a peaceful transfer of power based on people's choice. Ha! Maybe when GW first handed over power to...wait, what's his name again...Lincoln? No. Jefferson? Close. John Adams. Damn, I knew that.
Anyway, since the days of wooden teeth, wigs and top hats, this beautiful ideal of free elections has been a target for bullies and private interests (redundant). It's just that nowadays, there's a lot more of them, and they've had a couple hundred years to practice their sneaky, sly ways of swaying voters and getting what they want.
According to the Washington Post, "independent" political operations have spent $80 million thus far, five times the amount spent in the 2006 election. Here's a shock: most of that money is being funneled to conservatives in order to defeat Democratic candidates. What?! No.
True story. If you can think back to when the Supreme Court ruled that corporations have the same first amendment rights as individuals, you'll see where this is going. Those douchebags in the robes in their high chairs have opened up the flood gates for anonymous corporate spending, putting our votes and voices in the hands of the top 1% of mostly conservative, totally unethical private interests. Back room deals and underhanded spending are literally completely legal and we don't even get to know who or why. That's fucked up.
As if we didn't have enough to worry about right here in wonderland, studies show that overseas corporate spending to sway elections is a huge asset to campaign financing. But why you might ask. Well, how bout all those shit heads that aren't for outsourcing jobs and are for free trade. Yeah, fuck those guys. The Chamber of Commerce (the same lovelies who suggested that US citizens help pay for the oil spill cleanup) are in line to spend upwards of $75 billion this election period, in support of conservative candidates. The Chamber has opened several Business Councils overseas, including China, Egypt, Brazil, India and Bahrain where the sole purpose is to solicit monies from foreign corporations and governments. Money is then funneled back to their head office in DC and out comes the media blitz funded by conservatives worldwide.
Is that legal?
No. According to campaign finance laws, foreign entities can not contribute to political races here in the US. But then what the fuck?!
Well kids, in march the lobbyists and sway politicians and voters against transparency and voila, you have the secretive behemoth of political funding. Veiled funding is as of now totally legal while foreign funding isn't. But if you can't see one, you can't see the other and so it continues and will continue until government forces it to be otherwise. However, this involves quite a catch-22. How do you defeat the ones that are paying your bills? How do you, the puppet, cut yourself free from the puppet master? Tricky. Very tricky.
As per usual, the main issue gets dragged through the mud by right/left bantering. In 2000, 89% of Republicans and all Democrats agreed that so called "shadow donors" had no place in American politics. But when push comes to shove, we just can't seem to vote on it. Just like in those mystery funded political ads, talking a good game proves enough to keep many a political career afloat. Meanwhile, we continue to get fucked over by shadow puppets and corporate ghosts laugh all the way to the bank.
This won't be a new suggestion from my corner, but a necessary commentary to close this post. We the people are in charge of swaying these votes. If you know what's going on and you know there's some underhanded, dark dealings going on behind closed doors, you don't have to buy into it. Politicians ultimately have no reason to go against lobbyists and corporate interests. They're the ones benefiting from the huge blank checks so why would they fight to stop them? They won't. We have to. There is no cure for this illness inside the sickness itself. Until the people demand transparency, honesty and accountability, we'll get none of it. So til then, dance puppets, dance.