FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

It’s Time for a Second American Revolution

by

On July 4, politicians declare their love for the American Revolution and democracy, while doing their best to oppose both at home and abroad.

The 2016 Presidential election provides a once-in-a-generation opportunity to win independence from the rule of the 1%. The two 1% nominees – Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton – are the two most disliked politicians in US history. And those who plan to vote for them don’t support their agenda – they just want to vote against the other candidate. Voting against your fears is not what democracy is about.

A movement for democracy and justice is sweeping the planet – from Occupy Wall Street to anti-austerity uprisings and the Black Lives Matter movement. People are rising up to halt the neoliberal assault, calling for an America and a world that works for all of us. While this movement is winning important victories – notably for living wages and against fossil fuel infrastructure – the economic elite have only tightened their grip. People are realizing that if we want to fix the rigged economy, the rigged racial injustice system, the rigged energy system and more, we must also fix the rigged political system.

The toxic 2016 Presidential election is yet another manifestation of the desperate need for deep change. Many have flocked to the banner of socialism and equality raised by the Sanders campaign, while conservative voters have rejected the illusions peddled by Republican elites.

The groundswell for Donald Trump was created by the economic misery of NAFTA and Wall Street deregulation – policies promoted by both Clintons. Neoliberal Clintonism caused the rise of Trump. Another Clinton presidency will only make things worse. The Democratic electoral strategy of promoting the lesser evil merely paves the way to the greater evil.

The extreme concentration of wealth in the top 1% undermines democracy, as economic power translates into political power. Both main parties have colluded over the last four decades to transfer wealth to their super-rich donors, while ensuring that no meaningful reforms take place to our electoral system. The U.S. leads the industrial nations in income inequality because our electoral system is the least democratic among those countries that profess to be democratic.

The first American revolution of course failed to create democracy. While it ended our status as a colony of Britain, it reserved voting power to the privileged few, mainly white male property owners. It created powerful institutions such as the US Senate, Supreme Court and the electoral college to protect against the “rule of the mob.” And the founders’ fear about the dangers of a standing army were discarded after WWII, leading to the creation of the most powerful war machine the planet has ever seen, accumulating an increasing share of the nation’s political power and resources.

The US electoral system of winner-take-all leads to the domination by two parties, one center-right and the other far-right. Hillary is the advocate for the billionaire club, and Donald is a member of it. The two establishment parties keep opposition candidates off the ballot and out of the debates, while the corporate media keeps them out of the press. No other democracy offers voters such limited choices on Election Day.

We need to overhaul our electoral system – public campaign finance reform, proportional representation, ranked choice voting – and stop voter suppression by enforcing the guaranteed right to vote. We need to override the Supreme Court’s lunacy that gives corporations and the rich the right to buy elections.

It is long past time to extend the concept of democracy to our economy. The economic dictatorship of the wealth-owning class needs to be replaced with an economic democracy where the people making up the economy decide how the economy works. This must include options for community and worker ownership, where the wage scales, disposition of profits and decisions about technology and environmental impact are made by the people who have to live with those decisions.

The clock is ticking – on the next Wall Street collapse, the climate meltdown, the expanding wars, the slide towards fascism, nuclear confrontation and more. This is the time to stand up with the courage of our convictions, while we still can. Forget the lesser evil. Fight for the greater good – like our lives depend on it, because they do. The corporate parties will not fix this for us. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.

On this Independence Day, it is time to declare our independence from the oligarchy of the super-rich and their bought and paid for political representatives in the Democratic and Republican parties. The oligarchs have two parties. It’s time we had one of our own.

More articles by:
February 22, 2018
Mark Schuller
Haiti’s Latest Indignity at the Hands of Dogooders, Oxfam’s Sex Scandal
Jeffrey Sommers
Bond Villain in the World Economy: Latvia’s Offshore Banking Sector
Mark Schuller
Haiti’s Latest Indignity at the Hands of Dogooders, Oxfam’s Sex Scandal
T.J. Coles
How the US Bullies North Korea, 1945-Present
Ipek S. Burnett
Rethinking Freedom in the Era of Mass Shootings
Manuel E. Yepe
Fire and Fury: More Than a Publishing Hit
Patrick Bobilin
Caught in a Trap: Being a Latino Democrat is Being in an Abusive Relationship
Laurel Krause
From Kent State to Parkland High: Will America Ever Learn?
Terry Simons
Congress and the AR-15: One NRA Stooge Too Many
George Wuerthner
Border Wall Delusions
Manuel García, Jr.
The Anthropocene’s Birthday, or the Birth-Year of Human-Accelerated Climate Change
Thomas Knapp
Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Russiagate
February 21, 2018
Cecil Bothwell
Billy Graham and the Gospel of Fear
Ajamu Baraka
Venezuela: Revenge of the Mad-Dog Empire
Edward Hunt
Treating North Korea Rough
Binoy Kampmark
Meddling for Empire: the CIA Comes Clean
Ron Jacobs
Stamping Out Hunger
Ammar Kourany – Martha Myers
So, You Think You Are My Partner? International NGOs and National NGOs, Costs of Asymmetrical Relationships
Michael Welton
1980s: From Star Wars to the End of the Cold War
Judith Deutsch
Finkelstein on Gaza: Who or What Has a Right to Exist? 
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
War Preparations on Venezuela as Election Nears
Wilfred Burchett
Vietnam Will Win: Military Realities
Steve Early
Refinery Safety Campaign Frays Blue-Green Alliance
Ali Mohsin
Muslims Face Increasing Discrimination, State Surveillance Under Trump
Julian Vigo
UK Mass Digital Surveillance Regime Ruled Illegal
Peter Crowley
Revisiting ‘Make America Great Again’
Andrew Stewart
Black Panther: Afrofuturism Gets a Superb Film, Marvel Grows Up and I Don’t Know How to Review It
CounterPunch News Service
A Call to Celebrate 2018 as the Year of William Edward Burghardt Du Bois by the Saturday Free School
February 20, 2018
Nick Pemberton
The Gun Violence the Media Shows Us and the State Violence They Don’t
John Eskow
Sympathy for the Drivel: On the Vocabulary of President Nitwit
John Steppling
Trump, Putin, and Nikolas Cruz Walk Into a Bar…
John W. Whitehead
America’s Cult of Violence Turns Deadly
Ishmael Reed
Charles F. Harris: He Popularized Black History
Will Podmore
Paying the Price: the TUC and Brexit
George Burchett
Plumpes Denken: Crude thinking
Binoy Kampmark
The Caring Profession: Peacekeeping, Blue Helmets and Sexual Abuse
Lawrence Wittner
The Trump Administration’s War on Workers
David Swanson
The Question of Sanctions: South Africa and Palestine
Walter Clemens
Murderers in High Places
Dean Baker
How Does the Washington Post Know that Trump’s Plan Really “Aims” to Pump $1.5 Trillion Into Infrastructure Projects?
February 19, 2018
Rob Urie
Mueller, Russia and Oil Politics
Richard Moser
Mueller the Politician
Robert Hunziker
There Is No Time Left
Nino Pagliccia
Venezuela Decides to Hold Presidential Elections, the Opposition Chooses to Boycott Democracy
Daniel Warner
Parkland Florida: Revisiting Michael Fields
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail