Democrats & Republicans Uniting to Oppose Corporate Rule?!
By Paul Cienfuegos / localfutures.org

There is a huge political divide between the Democrat Party’s leadership and its local voters. There is an equally huge political divide between the Republican Party’s leadership and its local voters. In a nutshell, the divide can be summed up like this. Voters from across the political spectrum oppose global corporate trade treaties like NAFTA and the current outrage called Trans-Pacific Partnership. Voters from across the political spectrum oppose bank bailouts using public funds. Voters from across the political spectrum oppose the corporate takeover of our entire society.

On the other hand, the vast majority of our congress people, our senators, and certainly our President, support corporate trade treaties, support the bank bailouts, and generally support the corporate takeover of the country. It doesn’t matter which of the two mainstream parties they’re from. Republican and Democrat elected leaders stand together against the will of the American people and for corporate power. The latest example is Obama pushing for fast track authority for the Trans-Pacific so-called Partnership agreement. If we had an honest mass media in this country, this fact would be obvious to everybody. But our media is now corporate too. In other words, on the issue of corporate power, it’s not a left vs right political struggle, although that’s what the 1% would like all of us to believe. The real political struggle is between the ruling elite and the rest of us, regardless of our party affiliation.

Tragically, most activists tend to either ignore or not understand this fact. So liberal advocacy groups endlessly attack conservative politicians, and conservative advocacy groups endlessly attack liberal politicians. It’s great for fundraising, but it doesn’t do much to build a movement of We The People taking our country back from corporate rule. What left vs right bashing does accomplish quite effectively is something that the 1% has been doing since there was a 1% – a strategy called “divide and conquer”.

From the American Revolution till the end of slavery, the ruling elite quite successfully kept their white indentured servants fearful of the African people who they had enslaved, in order that the two groups not realize how similar were their situations, and thus join together to end their oppressive conditions.

The same thing happened with the various waves of immigrants throughout the early 20th century, ensuring that each wave would distrust the next wave to ensure that they would not organize together and demand a better life for all poor working people.

The 1% has referred to We The People for 200 years now as “the rabble” and “the mob”, so it’s pretty obvious what they think of us. Let’s not forget – the 99% isn’t just the left or just the right. It’s almost the entire population of this country. So of course we’re a threat – especially if we can stop being on auto-pilot with this divide and conquer crap, and instead start mobilizing to create a real participatory democracy – across class, across race, and across political party boundaries.

Five years ago this month, in the Citizens United decision, the Supreme Court decided to further expand the so-called constitutional “rights” that they had been granting to corporations ever since 1819 – that’s 195 years ago. The Citizens United decision made it even easier for large corporations to donate massive amounts of money to influence elections, and to hide where the money was coming from. 75% of Republican voters and 86% of Democrat voters were opposed to the Supreme Court’s decision. So you would hope that voters from both parties would have immediately thrown off their conceptual shackles and started organizing across party lines to end corporate rule once and for all. But that didn’t happen anywhere. Why? Because divide and conquer still works. The two political party machines just kept up their constant attacks on each other, and the voters from both so-called “sides” stayed obedient to the propaganda from their respective party leaderships. And of course, this story was not reported on the evening news, because our news institutions are now also almost entirely owned by five giant corporations.

One poll after another continues to confirm this fact that is hidden in plain sight – that most Americans oppose corporate power. Here’s a recent example. In 2014, Democracy Corps asked Americans what they thought about the Supreme Court. It turns out that an overwhelming majority of Democrats, Republicans and Independent voters disliked the court’s performance, believing that judges are influenced more by their own personal beliefs and political leanings than by a strict legal analysis.

Perhaps even more remarkably, a similar cross-partisan consensus exists to support a wide range of reforms for our nation’s highest court. So even in this time of intense political polarization, there is broad cross-partisan consensus on these issues. Two recent decisions on campaign finance have only served to intensify Americans’ dissatisfaction with the Court. An overwhelming majority of Americans still disagree with the Citizens United ruling, including Democrats, Independents and Republicans and among every demographic group, while Americans of nearly every stripe believe the recent McCutcheon ruling will make our political system more corrupt – again with broad consensus across Democrats, Independents, and Republicans.

Perhaps most intriguingly, the survey found overwhelming approval for a series of seven reforms that would make the Supreme Court a more transparent and accountable body, with large, cross-partisan majorities supporting most proposals. The most popular reform would require Supreme Court justices to adhere to the U.S. Judicial Code of Conduct, which of course most of us thought they already had to do! But it turns out that the judges of the Supreme Court are the only judges who are not required to disclose who is buying them flights on private airplanes, or paying them speaking fees, or giving them gifts.

Abolishing lifetime appointments in favor of setting term limits also proved popular with the public, including a specific limit of 18 years or a single term of office. Television and audio broadcasts of the court’s proceedings were also supported by a super-majority of all Americans. The least popular reform, that the justices post a summary of their financial disclosures online, was still supported by 59% of Americans. You can read more about this poll by going to DemocracyCorps.com and typing “Supreme Court” in the search box.

What would it take for Republicans and Democrats and Greens and Libertarians to work together on the urgent issue of corporate power? To move outside of our comfort zones and realize how much we have in common. We have no time to lose.

___________
Paul Cienfuegos is a leader in the Community Rights movement which works to dismantle corporate constitutional “rights” while enshrining local self-governance. Based in Portland, Oregon, he travels widely giving talks and workshops. His speeches have been broadcast nationally on David Barsamian’s show, ‘Alternative Radio’. He co-founded CommunityRightsPDX.org. More info: PaulCienfuegos.com.
___________
This post was originally broadcast on January 27, 2015 as part of Paul Cienfuegos’ weekly commentaries every Tuesday on the KBOO Radio Evening News. Listen HERE

4.0 ·
1
What's Next
Trending Today
Ten Ways We Misunderstand Children
Jan Hunt · 20,255 views today · 1. We expect children to be able to do things before they are ready. We ask an infant to keep quiet. We ask a 2-year-old to sit still. We ask a 3-year-old to clean his room...
18 Empowering Illustrations to Remind Everyone Who's Really in Charge of Women's Bodies
Julianne Ross · 11,183 views today · When Brazilian graphic designer Carol Rossetti began posting colorful illustrations of women and their stories to Facebook, she had no idea how popular they would...
Beyond Civilization: Humanity's Next Great Adventure
Daniel Quinn · 5,014 views today · PART ONE A fable to start with Once upon a time life evolved on a certain planet, bringing forth many different social organizations—packs, pods, flocks, troops, herds, and...
Lawns Are for Suckers. Plant a Garden - for the Climate!
Nathanael Johnson · 2,215 views today · Ripping out your lawn and planting kale and peppers won’t just lead to great stir-fry — a new study finds it could make major contributions to fighting climate change...
You Should Get Naked More Often. It's Good for You.
Joni Sweet · 1,747 views today · When Nelly encouraged overheated people worldwide to get naked in 2002, he was unknowingly advocating much more than just a sexy, sweaty dance party. Sunbathing, sleeping...
How Native Americans Managed "Wild" Land Long Before Settlers
Sami Grover · 1,520 views today · When European settlers first came to North America, they assumed they were looking at "untouched" nature. Sure, there were native peoples, but history tells us they didn't...
Solidarity Is About What You Do - Not Who You Are.
R.L. Stephens · 1,157 views today · I am Black. I capitalize Black and leave white lowercased. Sure, it’s the accepted spelling, but really I do it because it feels good. My family lived in Missouri, but my...
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 1,018 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
Bioregional Quiz: How Well Do You Know the Place in Which You Live?
Rua Lupa · 852 views today · In the vast emptiness of space there are an unimaginable number of galaxies, each galaxy containing billions upon billions of stars. Looking at one galaxy we find an average...
A New Story for Humanity (2016)
102 min · 772 views today · Inspired by the New Story Summit at the Findhorn Foundation: a sold-out multicultural, multigenerational inquiry into a new story for humanity, attended by change makers and...
Masculinity Is Killing Men: The Roots of Men and Trauma
Kali Holloway · 678 views today · We begin the damaging process of turning boys into men long before boyhood ends.
The White Man in That Photo
Riccardo Gazzaniga · 630 views today · Sometimes photographs deceive. Take this one, for example. It represents John Carlos and Tommie Smith’s rebellious gesture the day they won medals for the 200 meters at the...
Gabor Maté: Why Our Culture Makes So Many Of Us Unhappy
3 min · 609 views today · Dr. Gabor Maté explains why it is that our culture makes so many of us unhappy, unkind to one another, miserable, alienated from ourselves, etc. Watch the full interview in Part 2.
It Didn't Start With You: How Inherited Family Trauma Shapes Who We Are
Mark Wolynn · 565 views today · The past is never dead. It’s not even past. — William Faulkner, Requiem for a Nun
Schooling the World (2010)
66 min · 541 views today · If you wanted to change an ancient culture in a generation, how would you do it? You would change the way it educates its children. The U.S. Government knew this in the 19th...
Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed (The Real Reason For The Forty-Hour Workweek)
David Cain · 539 views today · Well I’m in the working world again. I’ve found myself a well-paying gig in the engineering industry, and life finally feels like it’s returning to normal after my nine months...
When You Kill Ten Million Africans You Aren't Called 'Hitler'
Liam O'Ceallaigh · 524 views today · Take a look at this picture. Do you know who it is? Most people haven’t heard of him. But you should have. When you see his face or hear his name you should get as sick in...
Why You Should Take Your Kids Out of School
Ben Hewitt · 502 views today · We don't need no education. At least not of the traditional, compulsory, watch-the-clock-until-the-bell-rings kind. As a growing movement of unschoolers believe, a steady diet...
Something Extraordinary Is Happening in the World, And Most People Haven't Noticed
Gustavo Tanaka · 406 views today · Most of us haven't quite realized there is something extraordinary happening. A few months ago, I freed myself from standard-procedure society. I broke the chains of fear that...
Why People's Opinions of You Aren't Real
4 min · 381 views today · "You are what you love and not what loves you." - From Charlie Kaufman's film "Adaptation"
Load More
Like us on Facebook?
Democrats & Republicans Uniting to Oppose Corporate Rule?!