Monday, January 2, 2012


{ From my 11-28-2011 posting---I have voted for many different party candidates since my first franchise exercise in 1968.  Also I’ve created my own presidential write-in candidates when all those offered were inadequate, and felt best about voting for competent intelligent Bill Moyers-- journalist, egalitarian, ecumenical Texas Baptist preacher.   The people should be able to raise up candidates for these national offices from amongst themselves, and then get a real look at what they stand for, instead of how they spin.  More on this method next week.}
system does exist that could better bring about true democracy.  It was designed by a political science professor at the University of Michigan in the 1960’s, and given some political expression by a group of Michigan State University honors college students I attached myself to, before the presidential campaign of gentle anti-Vietnam war Senator Gene McCarthy came to a crashing end in Chicago, 1968.  Its basic tenets as I remember them were:  

·         All candidates for national office would be determined by volunteer petition campaigns—a small regulated amount of money could be dedicated to these, and an elections commission would certify.   They would depend on volunteer public involvement.   They would produce more than a two party system.

·         Each one reaching the determined number [varied by type of office] for valid candidacy  would then receive an equal share of state supported campaign funds, and media time [which would be a public service donation by the media, due as a condition of their regular use of the public airways].  

·         “Prime time” television, radio, [and internet] availability would be allotted each candidate to produce as they see fit, but with same production budget.   The campaign season would last three months only.   Everyone’s “war chest” of dollars would be the same, so that political programs & ideas could trump political maneuverings.

·         No private nor outside money could be spent on political campaigns.  This would be enforced by major fines & jail time, being considered a crime against democracy.

If we don’t institute and refine such measures, let’s just accept that giant corporations are people, and that money equals the right to vote.  One person one vote, has been replaced by one dollar [or hundreds in practice] one vote.  Elections could be turned into a season of much more straight-forward candidate fundraisers—the one that amasses the most money by any means necessary, is the winner.
This system we have now on the national level is no longer actual democracy, but programmed political playbooks paid for by outrageous sums of private money.   It is true that almost any election system can be rigged by the most clever, given the level of technology we are dealing with, but either we give up, or we try to forge a new system {as above} that persistently encourages an informed and effective public will.

hen I witnessed Martin Luther King and Robert F. Kennedy, who were against the Vietnam war, assassinated in those days leading up to the 1968 presidential elections, I could feel U.S. democracy under siege.   Then Eugene McCarthy, also opposing the war, was railroaded out of the national Democratic convention, and finally the incorrigible Richard Nixon elected president that year.   It has gone, since that time of war promoting politicians and their war industrialist supporters, from bad to worse.
You get what you pay for.  We are paying for war hand over fist.  Pay for war—we’ll get more war.  The War on Terror is destructive.  We are destroying not only other countries—Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya.  We destroy also our own best instincts, to creativity, generosity, productivity, and democratic public involvement in our communities.  We damage ourselves, as well as severely damage the countries of our enemies, in our constant struggle with a perpetual supply of chosen adversaries.

To break this cycle of oil-resource-war and financial industry based politics, we need a completely new democratic system, that works hard to restrict the influence of money, and favors the mindful participation of every U.S. citizen.
Sign apparently used by the opposition to the regime in time of contested 2009 elections in Iran

  Leading towards a Light-filled New Year's Resolution ---

Reading 1 Is 2:1-5
This is what Isaiah, son of Amoz,
saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.

In days to come,
The mountain of the LORD's house
shall be established as the highest mountain
and raised above the hills.
All nations shall stream toward it;
many peoples shall come and say:
"Come, let us climb the LORD's mountain,
to the house of the God of Jacob,
That he may instruct us in his ways,
and we may walk in his paths."
For from Zion shall go forth instruction,
and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
He shall judge between the nations,
and impose terms on many peoples.
They shall beat their swords into plowshares
and their spears into pruning hooks;
One nation shall not raise the sword against another,
nor shall they train for war again.

O house of Jacob, come,
let us walk in the light of the LORD!

Illuminations by Kathy Brahney

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