This post has short quotes that were taken from the Moyers and Company website.
Yesterday, I posted that we had no right to accuse Cuba of needing “democratic reform”, since the USA is far from being a true democracy, now that the billionaires can easily buy and install any politician they want, due to the ‘citizens united’ ruling. Even before that, the electoral college, and gerrymandered districts skews elections to no end. The data shows that in recent history, the will of the majority is almost never done, but instead, Congress obeys the will of large corporations, and along with that, the elite. You know, they always speak of Russian oligarchs, in the main-stream media, but never American oligarchs.
In support of this claim, I’d like to quote from American University professor Allan J. Lichtman:
“The analysts found that when controlling for the power of economic elites and organized interest groups, the influence of ordinary Americans registers at a non-significant, near-zero level. The analysts further discovered that rich individuals and business-dominated interest groups dominate the policymaking process. The mass-based interest groups had minimal influence compared to the business-based groups.
The study also debunks the notion that the policy preferences of business and the rich reflect the views of common citizens. They found to the contrary that such preferences often sharply diverge and when they do, the economic elites and business interests almost always win and the ordinary Americans lose.”
Professor Lichtman was analyzing a new study done by Martin Gilens, of Princeton University, and Benjamin Page of Northwestern University. The study shows that the views of the public are nearly meaningless. My comment on this would be to add that actually, only in regard to the manipulation of the uninformed public are their views important. Those who advise politicians instruct them to speak of issues that are basically unimportant, but are ‘hot-button’ issues; things concerning religion, anti-gay stances, stuff about “trying to take the Bible out of the schools”, and so-forth. In this way politicians get enough votes to win, and meanwhile, all of us are being robbed and subjugated by the elites, the oligarchs. This forms our plutocracy.
Martin Gilens also said, in an interview with Reniqua Allen, a fellow of the group, Demos, that this demonstrates a need for reform.
“[When] we can reform our political system so that politicians, political candidates, and policy makers are less dependent on money from affluent donors and corporations then we will be able to shift policy in directions that will be sort of more broadly beneficial to the less well off in society.”
If the voting electorate has nearly zero influence upon the policies of a government, then, by definition, that government is not a democracy. The USA has no right to lecture any country about democratic values. If only we had a system like that of Venezuela, where Hugo Chavez greatly reduced poverty, and spent liberally on public and subsidized housing for the poor. And this policy is being continued by the new President, Nicolas Maduro.
But the USA is fighting hard to unseat Mr. Maduro, because he is a populist, a socialist after Chaves’ heart, he calls himself a Chavismo. (Or, maybe more accurately, he believes in Chavismo). Our Congress and President are busy applying new sanctions to Venezuela. Our dollars are going to promote Leonardo Lopez, the favorite of the old Oligarchy that ruled Venezuela before Chavez. We do this, in part, by funneling money to the wonderfully named ‘National Endowment for Democracy’. Although this organization is called a non-governmental organization (NGO), it operates under the auspices of congress, being funded by the U.S. government, under the State Department and USAID. By working against Venezuela’s democratically elected leader, and supporting Lopez, this organization shows itself to be working more in the interests of US corporations, who hate Maduro and Chavez for their insistence that Venezuelan oil companies operate under the control of the government. This was accomplished to support social programs by reaping taxes from the oil industry.
This organization, NED, has been criticized for a lack of transparency and accountability in spending millions of dollars of taxpayer’s money. Ron Paul said that NED has “very little to do with democracy. It is an organization that uses US tax money to actually subvert democracy, by showering money on favored political parties or movements overseas.” Allen Weinstein said, in 1991, “A lot of what we do [as NED] today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA.” They are hard at work as the arm of our foreign policy to harass and strangle every power in our hemisphere that refuses to bow to the power of our American Empire, as Venezuela has done, in Chavez and Maduro’s socialist revolution.
It’s quite Orwellian, and ironic that such an organization is named National Endowment for Democracy. And why aren’t they working here in the States, to promote democracy? We could use a little. If people had any power in this country, the middle-class would not have been emaciated into the lower class, of which we all are a part, relative to the elite 1%, who actually do have influence on the politics of Washington.