As The Political System Melts Down, The Public Wants A "Change"

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Is it time for Dems to Start a WE party to Challenge Dems/Dinos?

By Danny Schechter
As The Political System Melts Down, The Public Wants A “Change”
By Danny Schechter
Author of The Crime Of Our Time
Is It Time For A New “WE Party?”
They seem to be dropping like flies, as the old saying goes. Now, New Jersey Senator Lautenberg has been diagnosed with Cancer. Last week, Senator Bayh said sayonara to the Senate. The week before, Jack Murtha of Pennsylvania died somewhat mysteriously on the operating table with the Navy now investigating.
In a sense, this growing body count is a metaphor for a larger die-off–a death of democracy itself with the Supreme Court giving corporations the status of persons while the political system has been paralyzed by self-serving partisanship in a poisonous cloud of ideological extremism calling itself conservatism (while conserving nothing!).
The followup to the sad spectacle of that wannabe software entrepreneur who flew a plane into an IRS office based on a legitimate grievance with a tax code provision inserted initially to benefit IBM and other big companies that was legitimate.
Sadder, still, was the disclosures that, despite attempts over decades to eliminate the rule by Presidents and members of both parties, nothing was done.
Nothing ever seems to get done.
So this angry Texan went berserk, borrowing a tactic from the al Qaeda playbook.
Perhaps that’s a symptom of why the public is so disgusted, regardless of party. Disillusion is turning into despair with a system that goes on almost robotically with increasingly no connection with the public. A CNN poll shows a majority of Americans say the government is “broken.”
Happily, despite the breakdown of government, there is growing anger with a private sector, which is, if anything, much worse and less accountable to the extent that the legislative branch is accountable at all.
A new Zogby Poll reports:
“Likely voters now have even less confidence in the nation’s large financial and business institutions than they do in both the federal and state governments. In contrast, small business and local banks earned very high levels of confidence.
The survey asked confidence levels for all levels of government, business and finance, as well some other major institutions that impact the economy and society.”
But that’s not all. A Rasmussen poll goes further according to NakedCapitalism.com, finding:
“Today, just 21% of voters nationwide believe that the federal government enjoys the consent of the governed. Seventy-one percent (71%) of all voters now view the federal government as a special interest group, and 70% believe that the government and big business typically work together in ways that hurt consumers and investors. That helps explain why 75% of voters are angry at the policies of the federal government, and 63% say it would be better for the country if most members of Congress are defeated this November”
In his new book, In Search of Self-Governance, Scott Rasmussen observes that the American people are “united in the belief that our political system is broken, that politicians are corrupt, and that neither major political party has the answers.’ He adds that “the gap between Americans who want to govern themselves and the politicians who want to rule over them may be as big today as the gap between the colonies and England during the 18th century.'”
So what do the people want?
Many are confused because of the news they get, which might be renamed “the Daily Chaos,” because of murky events that seem unconnected, even bizarre.
For one thing, many voters are at the point of dropping both political parties, says Rasmussen: “Sixty percent (60%) of voters think that neither Republican political leaders nor Democratic political leaders have a good understanding of what is needed today. Thirty-five percent (35%) say Republicans and Democrats are so much alike that an entirely new political party is needed to represent the American people.”
This may explain the popularity of the Tea Party concept to many who are open to its simplistic analysis of a government betraying them. The market researchers behind Fox News certainly understand that, which is why they are working overtime to make it appear that the teabaggers speak for all of us. In fact, polls show that at the very most, they represent only eleven percent of the public.
You wouldn’t know that by watching the fearless fanatics at Fox. As Professor Juan Cole observes, the corporate media hype them beyond their significance ignoring a much bigger number of dissatisfied voters:
“Percentage of Americans involved in Tea Party Movement: 11
Number of mentions of “Tea Party” past month in Lexis radio and TV transcript search: 1042″
He then pulls another stat out of his database:
“Percentage of Americans who favor socialism: 20
Number of mentions of “socialism” past month in Lexis radio and TV transcript search: 69+
“.
Although nearly one of every two Americans is committed to a public option in the health care bill, the public option received only 1/4 as many mentions in US mass media in the past month as Tea Partiers, who are supported by 1 in 9 Americans.
Most mentions of socialism, the political-economy preference of a fifth of Americans, in US corporate media are pejorative, occurring in stories about North Korea or China, or as insults directed at President Barack Obama. (In a recent Rasmussen poll, 52% of Americans supported capitalism and 20% supported socialism. Some 27% did not know what they supported.)”
So there you go: this reveals a media as out of touch as the politricians they cover.
That’s why I am calling for something new so that the 20 percent can have as much impact as the 11 percent and so the people enraged at Wall Street can be heard. Isn’t it time for something new on our side of the spectrum that, just coincidentally, has the possibility of reaching so many more discontented people and constituencies?
Let Repugs be Repugs and Dems be Dems, and let the Tea Party teabag itself to oblivion. It’s time to create something we can believe in–I suggest a new coalition, a populist WE PARTY: a party for those of us who want the changes we voted for, who want to end the wars, who believe in a more equal and fair society.
Stop obsessing over the Tea Party and see if we can apply what they are doing right organizationally and strategically.
We need a party we can call our own, an organized caucus and movement to pressure the DINOS and The White House. (And we could use a TV network supportive of our aspirations too.)
Today the Right is just aping the 60s activist tradition. We are better at it if we can free ourselves from our illusions and avoid the sectarianism and correct-lineism that has led so many left parties to self-destruct in the past.
Our country is sinking. We need a big idea and it’s not so hard to visualize the WE PARTY. Only we can free our minds and ourselves.
News Dissector Danny Schechter edits Mediachannel.org. His new film and book, “Plunder: The Crime of Our Time,’ treats the financial crisis as a crime story.
Comments to dissector@mediachannel.org
Author’s Bio: News Dissector Danny Schechter is blogger in chief at Mediachannel.OrgHe is the author of PLUNDER: Investigating Our Economic Calamity (Cosimo Books) available at Amazon.com. See Newsdisssector.org/store.htm.

By Danny Schechter / Author of The Crime Of Our Time February 22, 2010

They seem to be dropping like flies, as the old saying goes. Now, New Jersey Senator Lautenberg has been diagnosed with Cancer. Last week, Senator Bayh said sayonara to the Senate. The week before, Jack Murtha of Pennsylvania died somewhat mysteriously on the operating table with the Navy now investigating.

In a sense, this growing body count is a metaphor for a larger die-off–a death of democracy itself with the Supreme Court giving corporations the status of persons while the political system has been paralyzed by self-serving partisanship in a poisonous cloud of ideological extremism calling itself conservatism (while conserving nothing!).

In a sense, this growing body count is a metaphor for a larger die-off–a death of democracy itself with the Supreme Court giving corporations the status of persons while the political system has been paralyzed by self-serving partisanship in a poisonous cloud of ideological extremism calling itself conservatism

The followup to the sad spectacle of that wannabe software entrepreneur who flew a plane into an IRS office based on a legitimate grievance with a tax code provision inserted initially to benefit IBM and other big companies that was legitimate.

Sadder, still, was the disclosures that, despite attempts over decades to eliminate the rule by Presidents and members of both parties, nothing was done. Nothing ever seems to get done.  So this angry Texan went berserk, borrowing a tactic from the al Qaeda playbook.

Perhaps that’s a symptom of why the public is so disgusted, regardless of party. Disillusion is turning into despair with a system that goes on almost robotically with increasingly no connection with the public. A CNN poll shows a majority of Americans say the government is “broken.”

Happily, despite the breakdown of government, there is growing anger with a private sector, which is, if anything, much worse and less accountable to the extent that the legislative branch is accountable at all.

A new Zogby Poll reports:

“Likely voters now have even less confidence in the nation’s large financial and business institutions than they do in both the federal and state governments. In contrast, small business and local banks earned very high levels of confidence.

The survey asked confidence levels for all levels of government, business and finance, as well some other major institutions that impact the economy and society.”

But that’s not all. A Rasmussen poll goes further according to NakedCapitalism.com, finding:

“Today, just 21% of voters nationwide believe that the federal government enjoys the consent of the governed. Seventy-one percent (71%) of all voters now view the federal government as a special interest group, and 70% believe that the government and big business typically work together in ways that hurt consumers and investors. That helps explain why 75% of voters are angry at the policies of the federal government, and 63% say it would be better for the country if most members of Congress are defeated this November”

In his new book, In Search of Self-Governance, Scott Rasmussen observes that the American people are “united in the belief that our political system is broken, that politicians are corrupt, and that neither major political party has the answers.’ He adds that “the gap between Americans who want to govern themselves and the politicians who want to rule over them may be as big today as the gap between the colonies and England during the 18th century.'”

So what do the people want?

Many are confused because of the news they get, which might be renamed “the Daily Chaos,” because of murky events that seem unconnected, even bizarre.

For one thing, many voters are at the point of dropping both political parties, says Rasmussen: “Sixty percent (60%) of voters think that neither Republican political leaders nor Democratic political leaders have a good understanding of what is needed today. Thirty-five percent (35%) say Republicans and Democrats are so much alike that an entirely new political party is needed to represent the American people.”

This may explain the popularity of the Tea Party concept to many who are open to its simplistic analysis of a government betraying them. The market researchers behind Fox News certainly understand that, which is why they are working overtime to make it appear that the teabaggers speak for all of us. In fact, polls show that at the very most, they represent only eleven percent of the public.

You wouldn’t know that by watching the fearless fanatics at Fox. As Professor Juan Cole observes, the corporate media hype them beyond their significance ignoring a much bigger number of dissatisfied voters:

“Percentage of Americans involved in Tea Party Movement: 11

Number of mentions of “Tea Party” past month in Lexis radio and TV transcript search: 1042″

He then pulls another stat out of his database:

“Percentage of Americans who favor socialism: 20

Number of mentions of “socialism” past month in Lexis radio and TV transcript search: 69+”.

Although nearly one of every two Americans is committed to a public option in the health care bill, the public option received only 1/4 as many mentions in US mass media in the past month as Tea Partiers, who are supported by 1 in 9 Americans.

Most mentions of socialism, the political-economy preference of a fifth of Americans, in US corporate media are pejorative, occurring in stories about North Korea or China, or as insults directed at President Barack Obama. (In a recent Rasmussen poll, 52% of Americans supported capitalism and 20% supported socialism. Some 27% did not know what they supported.)”

So there you go: this reveals a media as out of touch [or in the loyal service of the capitalist status quo] as the politricians they cover.

That’s why I am calling for something new so that the 20 percent can have as much impact as the 11 percent and so the people enraged at Wall Street can be heard. Isn’t it time for something new on our side of the spectrum that, just coincidentally, has the possibility of reaching so many more discontented people and constituencies?

Let Repugs be Repugs and Dems be Dems, and let the Tea Party teabag itself to oblivion. It’s time to create something we can believe in–I suggest a new coalition, a populist WE PARTY: a party for those of us who want the changes we voted for, who want to end the wars, who believe in a more equal and fair society.

Stop obsessing over the Tea Party and see if we can apply what they are doing right organizationally and strategically.

We need a party we can call our own, an organized caucus and movement to pressure the DINOS and The White House. (And we could use a TV network supportive of our aspirations too.)

Today the Right is just aping the 60s activist tradition. We are better at it if we can free ourselves from our illusions and avoid the sectarianism and correct-lineism that has led so many left parties to self-destruct in the past.

Our country is sinking. We need a big idea and it’s not so hard to visualize the WE PARTY. Only we can free our minds and ourselves.

Author’s Bio: News Dissector Danny Schechter is founder and blogger in chief at Mediachannel.Org. He was one of Cyrano’s Journal’s earliest contributing editors. He is the author of PLUNDER: Investigating Our Economic Calamity (Cosimo Books) available at Amazon.com. See Newsdisssector.org/store.htm.

2 comments on “As The Political System Melts Down, The Public Wants A "Change"
  1. I won’t be voting for either of the two corporate parties. Would be nice to have an option other than sitting it out.
    My two favorites bumper stickers:

    Friends don’t let friends vote democratic

    and

    Members of Congress should wear uniforms like NASCAR drivers so we could identify their corporate sponsors.”

  2. David Steele’s suggestion for a bumper stix is brilliant:

    “Members of Congress should wear uniforms like NASCAR drivers so we could identify their corporate sponsors.”

    It’s a bingo! But what are we to do to denounce Republicans? When you exhausted all pejoratives on the utterly corrupt Democrats, which amply deserve them, what is there to say for the Republicans who are even worse???

    (NOTE: I don’t buy the “lesser evil” theory!)

    Thanks for posting this great article.

    —Tom Millard (Trompifay), Las Cruces, NM

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