I have not written for quite some time. I have been busy as a co-host on a podcast. Instead of using the written word I have been attempting to speak to the masses by engaging in conversations with a friend about the political events of the day. It has been a very therapeutic and exciting venture that has taken off more so than I could have ever imagined. We are listened to in countries all across the globe, have over 2k likes on facebook, have conducted interviews with occupy members, and even got one to join our team, we even interviewed Tim Pool. It has been quite a ride. The validation we got from our fans and those that love to troll our page chomping at the bit, it is simply humbling.
Last week we had on a guest who hosts her own podcast, reading the congressional record from the House of Representatives. We talked about numerous topics but we kept coming back to the same theme; the system is broken, government does not address the peoples needs or promote their general welfare. This subject kept coming back time and time again, like a broken record, it became depressing. But then our guest said something that completely flipped the script, and is the subject of this article. This conversation we were having is the very beginning of the solution. The people want change. They know the system is broken. Whether they believe that the government is overblown oppressing its citizens and stealing their hard earned money; or welfare, a safety net, ensuring equal opportunity to all who try and make something of themselves can, where healthcare is a right and will not make you go bankrupt, we all know the system is broken. No matter what your political affiliation, democrat, liberal, conservative, republican, independent, libertarian, green, etc, we all know that the government does not represent us; but what can we do?
There are two main lines of thought on how to achieve this goal without revolution or complete collapse. Either play the game with the rules that are already in place and beat the game and change the system from the inside, or build a movement from the ground up, a grassroots movement, and demand change from the outside in. This is truly the crossroads most will come to when confronting the political realities today. Both are attainable, however, both come with extreme risks that could cause the whole movement to come crashing down in an instant.
My question is simply this. Which is the better mode to impacting positive change for the people and their needs and general welfare? Which will provide more stability and a promise of the American dream? There is no right answer. I am of course personally bias. My co-host and I differ on these two approaches. My guest is more of my persuasion. She will be on again this week and this is the main topic we will be discussing.
Personally I am torn, I believe the only way to ensure true change that we need to amend the constitution banning politicians from accepting contributions from anybody. As long as money rules our campaigns our representatives are beholden to special interests and not their constituents. Constitutional amendments are hard to come by and often taken an outside movement to force the Congress to act. However, the fight against money in campaigns will be fought against by the special interests that buy our representatives, so the fight would be bloody, to put it lightly, and risk losing credibility when individuals within the movement are singled out for their own personal trespasses and in the process associating the group with whatever scandal emerges from one of the movements leaders no matter how erroneous the association. It is a battle most say, cannot be won.
My co-host is hell bent on running me for office some day and it is quite a contentious conversation. I don't want to sell out. "I don't have a price", I often say. But the truth is, it is easier to get initial change started from inside the system. Once someone gets into congress the chance of them getting voted out of office is below 30% on the aggregate. This gives one the time to push initiatives that are important to them over time, at a snails pace. The problem is, in order to get into Congress one needs to accept donations from special interests, the very same system that is the reason for running. It is nearly impossible to run a campaign and win, without accepting donations from wealthy groups and individuals. So in order to get into Congress to change the campaign laws you have to use the same laws you want to change to get elected. It is hypocrisy at it's finest and will ruin anyone's argument trying to claim that they have pure intent.
This is the crossroads that the politically active face. The Tea Party and Occupy both have faded. They have both transformed into something else. The Tea Party is now the exemplification of the rift within the GOP of the dying culture warriors and the fiscally conservative but socially liberal younger generation. Occupy has morphed into an internet and social media breeding ground for young activists that want change and accountability. There are off shoots of both of these groups that are radical, but both of their main core groups have turned into something much more benign. This very well could be the fate of a movement to change the campaign finance laws that make special interests more powerful than the people. Fresh faces in Congress could make a push for new laws and an amendment, but it is doubtful it would go anywhere due to Congress' favoribility rating. The prospects are glim. However, we do have one thing going for us, and it is a very big thing.
As of this moment, the people of this nation, we are all aware that the system is rigged. We know that our interests are represented. It is no longer a matter of if the right party was elected things would change for the better. The past half a century has proven that the political parties no longer represent us, they represent the special interests that fund their election campaigns. We all know this to be the truth, and we are starting to talk about it. With the accessibility of the internet and the ideas that it can spread people are connecting from across the country and even around the globe sharing ideas, and engaging in this very same conversation. Our interests are not being represented, and we want change. There is a simple truth, that two heads are better than one. The internet has allowed more heads to come together to discuss and in time come up with potential solutions to our problems. A man is mortal, but ideas are bullet proof, they are eternal. This idea, this yearning for our voices to be heard, is starting to culminate into a coherent unified voice. As long as we continue to discuss, to have these crucial conversations, our voices will become louder, more and more people will listen, more and more people will heed the call for change.
This is what the podcast I co-host has become. We like to call ourselves a megaphone for the people. What you hear on our show you will not hear on the main stream media. We talk about everything from the military industrial complex, the impact of multi-national corporations on democracy, and even the minutia of the daily political BS going on in DC. This is not some plug for my show. If I wanted to do that I would drop the name the link our facebook page etc etc write here in bold type. But I am not going to do that. That is not the point of this article. The thesis is that personally, and I think we as a nation, are at a crossroads. We all know we have a problem, the question is how do we fix it? I don't have the answer. I have my own personal persuasions and reasons why I prefer one way over the other, but there are merits to both sides. The thesis of this article is continuing this conversation that needs to be had, that needs to reach more people than just the listeners on our podcast. It needs to reach from sea to shining sea.
Please feel free and write your thoughts on what the best solution is to this dilemma. I would love to read them. If I really like them, I may want to read them on the show, and of course would ask permission first. I will try and respond to all comments but due to how busy I am lately I cannot promise it in a timely manner.