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News release: The Green Party of Minnesota will be holding its annual meeting in Duluth this Saturday, June 13, 2015, 11 am – 3 pm. Location: Coppertop church , 230 East Skyline Parkway. (Please consider bringing food to share as well as your own tableware.)
Most Americans have their own simplistic methods of evaluating candidates for political office during America’s seemingly perpetual campaign seasons, but truly progressive proponents of true democracy have come to realize that the so-called “Two Party System” (often logically parodied as America’s “One Party System” when it comes to the corrupting influences of Wall Street and War Street [Big Finance, Big Military, Big Media, Big Food, Big Pharma, etc]) has been increasingly co-opted by the wealthy ruling elites who have been “purchasing” the blind allegiance (and later voting patterns) of both Republicans and Democrats. But the stench from this system is getting over-powering and sooner or later real patriots will have to stand up and start choosing candidates that are the least influenced by money and power and the most committed to a sustainable future for our increasingly poisoned nation, planet and children, not to mention all the other victims of global American imperialism, militarism, racism and economic destabilization.
However the candidates and their billionaire paymasters win their seats, they are the ones that will shamelessly be making life or death decisions for the lowly 99 Percenters wherever they are in the nation or the world.
These essentially amoral elites (the wealthy campaign contributors/bribers who are in the game for the money and power) are the ones who will be deciding the fate of the earth (and the fate of our innocent progeny) as they repeatedly fail to do the right thing for humanity. A dogmatic principle for conservatives is to “never change the status quo if the status quo is making a lot of money for the investor classes and is creating a lot of power that could be lost if reforms in favor of the common good are made”.
American NeoConservatives in the Republican Party (and the NeoLiberals in the Democratic Party) refuse to acknowledge that unbridled, unregulated capitalism is poisoning the planet’s climate, water, air, soil and food supplies (and therefore dooming the public health) and, in order to continue duping the sickened public, are investing billions of dollars in the raft of well-paid, well-tutored, lapdog politicians and spokespersons that will allow the corporate gravy train to continue unimpeded, with little or no concern for the 99%.
Telephone Surveys as a Propaganda Too
Every week or so during campaign season, corporate-controlled media groups do telephone surveys that ask skewed questions of a small number of allegedly “statistically significant” landline phone owners that happen to answer the phone calls (cell phone owners seem to be excluded, a serious flaw that makes the results suspect). Select results of the surveys are dutifully reported on the corporate-controlled media, often stating that “most Americans view the country as moving in the wrong direction” - with the implication that the political party currently in power (rather than the corporate elites that control the agendas of both parties) is responsible for the lack of public confidence and therefore deserving of being thrown out of office.
The pollsters never do surveys asking people to evaluate the job performance of the leadership of America’s corrupted capitalist system and its exploitive and extractive economy that is systematically devastating the environment. If such a survey were ever taken, I suspect that the Wall Street and War Street profiteers and the other captains of industry (those that are so obscenely rich that they can afford armed bodyguards, private chauffeurs and live in mansions in more than one gated community) would have trouble getting much more than a single-digit job approval rating.
Ratings for their corporations, despite the billions of dollars spent “green-washing” their images on TV, would be similar to the 9 % approval rating of the US Congress (and nowhere near the supposedly disastrous 46 % job approval rating for President Obama. Most of us 99 Percenters would testify, if we were ever asked, that it is the unelected 1 Percenter misleaders and their corporations that are leading America in the wrong direction, laughing all the way to their off-shore tax-evasion banks.
I would like to see an unbiased poll of mental healthcare folks and others who have witnessed up close and personal the tortured bodies, psyches and souls of America’s suicidal and homicidal combat veterans (not to mention their traumatized battlefield “enemy” victims, most of whom were innocent non-combatant civilians, especially women and children) who were wasted in the illegal and stupid Cheney/Rumsfeld/Bush wars for oil in Afghanistan and Iraq. I suspect that such folks would denounce, if asked to be entirely truthful, the corporate war profiteers and their Congressional lobbyists that have been keeping the military/industrial/congressional/media complex’s gravy train going full steam ahead. Isn’t it obvious that it is those unelected 1 Percenters behind such immoral activities that need to be resisted, shunned and thrown out of power?
I doubt that the job approval numbers for unelected ruling elites like the Koch Brothers could possibly get into the double digits - unless those who were being polled were seriously under-informed, misinformed, unaware, distracted, blindly loyal to right-wing causes or addicted to something.
What would the polling response about corporate predators be for those who are at risk of bankruptcy because of 1) astronomic medical “care” costs, 2) predatory college student loans, 3) predatory credit card debt, 4) predatory sub-prime mortgage foreclosures, etc?. How would each and every impoverished person respond if they understood that, rather than failing because of assorted weaknesses, they have been made to fail by America’s wealth-extracting financial institutions and corporations?
American voters need another set of criteria for choosing what political party to support and what candidates to vote for but, equally importantly, they also have to know how to choose what industries and businesses to boycott – or support - by their spending habits.
The 14 Characteristics of Fascism: How Many of Them Does Your Current Political Party Adhere to?
The strategy that I try to use when evaluating a political party or candidate requires a bit of effort and some knowledge of history, especially the history of the politics of extremist, right-wing, corporate-controlled conservatism - otherwise known as fascism Here is the original definition of fascism:
“Fascism is a system of government that exercises a dictatorship of the extreme right, typically through the merging of state and business leadership, together with belligerent nationalism.” – Mussolini devotee Giovanni Gentile who called himself "the philosopher of Fascism"
I have been able to clarify my politics (and theology) by studying the 14 characteristics of fascism in Professor Lawrence Britt’s important article, titled “Fascism Anyone?” (originally published in Free Inquiry magazine, Volume 23, Number 2).
Here is abridged list of the 14 Characteristics of Fascism, as developed by Lawrence Britt, PhD (The unabridged article can be accessed online at: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article4113.htm):
Human Rights Violations
Unification Around Scapegoats
Strong National Security State
“Merger” of Church and State
Suppression of Trade Unions
Law and Order Obsession
Corrupt Crony Capitalism
Most of these characteristics sound familiar to those who know Howard Zinn’s truthful version of American history as expressed in his classic “A People’s History of the United States”. Close to 100% of Britt’s 14 characteristics of fascism above are increasingly characteristic of the Republican Party’s most conservative politicians that I have been trying to understand ever since Nixon and Reagan were branded as friendly American fascists. The list also characterizes many current Republican governors, national congresspersons, and state legislators.
But, sadly, many national Democratic Party politicians have also been tainted by many of the 14 fascist traits (with the possible exception of numbers 2, 5, 8, 10 and 11 - human rights violations, sexism, church-state relations, labor union suppression and anti-intellectualism). So it could fairly be said that the Democratic Party, in general, meets 9 of the above 14 fascist characteristics whereas the GOP arguably meets 14 out of 14. And that should give all voters pause – and a reason to search for a more thoroughly anti-fascist third party.
The Green Party of the United States is the Most Anti-Fascist Political Party in America – and it Refuses to Accept Corporate Money
A point that needs to be made here is that the Green Party of the United States doesn’t qualify for any of the characteristics of fascism. Furthermore, the 10 key “green” values listed further below is powerfully anti-fascist - and radically pro-democracy, something that can’t be said by either major political party or their paymasters.
Figuring out (well in advance of casting a ballot) how fascist-leaning the political candidates are (as well as their major “contributors” of course) should make the decision to participate in politics (or not) much easier, considering the fact that so many candidates are tainted to some degree. So – at least for the near future - one may still have to occasionally hold one’s nose and vote for the least worst candidate.
Not too many clear headed thinkers can deny the fact that America’s two major political parties are increasingly willing victims of bribery, and are heavily influenced by many of the same elite Wall Street and private corporate interests, and thus both parties have become essentially unified in many of the most important issues whose outcomes threaten the planet but are actively opposed by corporations whose forward-looking only extends to the next quarterly report of earnings. When it comes to the imperialist, pro-corporate, pro-globalization, global-warming-denial, pro-war agendas of the corporate sponsors of both parties, it can be said that America is actually being governed by a single political party with two wings. One wing of the One Party system is essentially moderate, pro-corporate, militaristic, centrist/right-wing (the Democratic Party) and the other is extremist, pro-corporate, militaristic, and far right-wing (the Republican Party).
As noted above, both major political parties exhibit many undesirable fascist traits, but their cunning spin doctors and the compliant, uber-patriotic mainstream media make it difficult to find out exactly how fascist are the candidates.
The GOP is a special case, mainly because of the existence of its various voter bases, which includes its Libertarian Party wing, its Tea Party wing, its homophobic Christian Fundamentalist wing, its diehard pro-war “American Legion” wing, its NRA wing, its anti-environment climate change denying wing and its racist, anti-Semitic, quasi-KKK wing. Those groups should be embarrassed to find out how nicely they match up with Professor Britt’s list.
And here is where voters need to recognize the efforts in Minnesota to obtain major party status for the Green Party, whose members largely consist of disillusioned progressives (many were Paul Wellstone devotees) that have tried and failed to reform (and therefore are tempted to leave) the Democratic Farmer/Labor party (DFL) that seems to be conforming to the national Democratic Party’s NeoLiberal, corporate-controlled, globalist, imperialist agendas.
The 10 Key Green Party Values: How Many of Them Does Your Political Party or Candidate Embrace?
The Green Party of America has put together a list of ten key values that would have made Wellstone proud (with his green bus, green campaign posters and green politics). Wellstone would have been a perfect Green Party candidate. But of course he was killed for his green, anti-war, anti-fascist values (see: HYPERLINK "http://www.wellstonetheykilledhim.com/" http://www.wellstonetheykilledhim.com/ for the evidence). It should make every courageous, true believer in democracy aspire to the Green Party vision. Below is a summary of that list. A useful expansion of the list, not posted here because of space limitations, can be found at the Green Party of the United States website at: http://www.gp.org/tenkey.php.
1. Grassroots Democracy
2. Social Justice and Equal Opportunity
3. Ecological Wisdom
6. Community Based Economics
7. Feminism and Gender Equity
8. Respect for Diversity
9. Personal and Global Responsibility
10. Future Focus and Sustainability
True patriots need to vote for the candidate (and the party) with the fewest fascist traits, the most Green Party values and the fewest financial ties to the corrupting corporations that have anti-democracy, pro-war or wealth- and resource-extracting agendas that are devastating the underclasses (including the rapidly disappearing “middle class”).
The Democracy-killing “Citizens United” Ruling
True believers in democracy need to understand the democracy-threatening realities of the infamous “Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission” ruling that the US Supreme Court made in 2010. Citizens United was a pro-corporate, anti-democracy ruling that has never been denounced by any Republican loyalist (and by very few Democrats), but the efforts to reverse the ruling via the Move to Amend movement ( HYPERLINK "https://movetoamend.org/" https://movetoamend.org/) is a major party plank of the Minnesota Green Party platform. See the details of the 2014 platform at the Minnesota Green Party website: (http://mngreens.nationbuilder.com/green_party_of_minnesota_platform).
The absurd notion that conscienceless, non-human, over-privileged, paper corporations (whose reason for existence is making money) deserve the same human rights as human persons was pushed through as a legal principle by the 5 neo-conservative, pro-corporate lapdogs on the Supreme Court bench, legalizing the previously illegal unrestricted, anonymous campaign contributions to political parties, their candidates and assorted nefarious groups that pay for million-dollar attack ads on TV, radio, print media and internet outlets.
This corporate-friendly, democracy-hostile misapplication of the First Amendment (guaranteeing free speech) ensures that nobody will be able to figure out who is doing the brain-washing, who benefits from the propaganda and exactly who are the secretive entities (especially corporations and political action committees) that are bribing most of our lawmakers.
Progressive, thoughtful voters will remember the damage done to the US Constitution by the Bush/Cheney administration immediately after 9/11/01. We all should recall that the offending legislation pushed through in October of 2001, the USA PATRIOT ACT (an acronym for the ridiculous official title "Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism ").was already ready for introduction and fast-track approval well before 9/11 (suggesting fore-knowledge of the event). Both political parties were guilty of fast-tracking – and voting into law - both the Patriot Act and the equally democracy-killing Homeland Security Act a few months later. Neither bill was read or understood by our so-called legislators that approved it in the paranoia leading up to the illegal wars that have destabilized so much of the world.
It should go without saying that progressive-minded citizens should be aggressively supporting candidates that oppose racism, economic oppression and militarism (the “triple evils” often mentioned by Martin Luther King); and they should also be aggressively promoting the altruistic roots of American democracy: true liberty for the oppressed, equality, sustainability, peace, justice and reconciliation with supposed enemies.
Such a truly democratic America would find itself more secure, financially healthier and again respected by and relevant to the rest of the world, rather than being feared, despised and hated for its cruel, imperialist agendas that only benefit the corporations and the wealthy elite.
The Biggest Protofascist Business Going: The Pentagon and the Lethal Weapons Industries
The worst of these politicians are in the back pockets of the biggest business going and the mother of all deficit-spenders, the US Pentagon and the huge number of weapons manufacturers that make the American weapons industry the “#1 Gun Runner to the World”. (A close second to that industry [aka “merchants of death”] in wealth, lobbying power and the production of serious planetary pollution is the pharmaceutical industry that also manufactures and markets poisonous and addictive products that are hard to withdraw from.)
The vast majority of Republicans in Congress, most GOP state governors, far too many Democrats and every president of both parties since the Vietnam War, have voted for unaffordable weapons systems that war-profiteers have lobbied for. Many of them were trillion-dollar boondoggle weapons systems that make more understandable America’s impending bankruptcy (and taboo subjects that are never to be debated).
How could the problem – and the solution - be more obvious? Ongoing fiscal crises are predictable when the Pentagon spends about 2-3 billion dollars a day with no visible return on “investment” (except for the windfalls for the parasitic oil cartels that then refuse to pay their fair share in federal taxes).
It needs to be pointed out here that the Pentagon budget approaches a trillion dollars a year, when one adds in the periodic supplemental war budget appropriations, the interest payments on past Pentagon-caused debt (paid to wealthy investors) and the enormous and unending costs of treating the millions of permanent service-connected, combat-disabled and suicidal veterans at the VA. Then add that reality to the $4 trillion dollar debt incurred just by Ronald Reagan’s administration as it borrowed (at high interest rates) and spent so lavishly on building America’s nuclear arsenal and Cold War defense operations during his and his successor’s administrations.
And then there was the 2.3 trillion taxpayer generated dollars that totally disappeared from the Pentagon coffers leading up to 2001, revealed in a September 10, 2001 Pentagon briefing by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, who timed his Mea Culpa for the day before 9/11/01, so that nothing came of it. See the evidence for this strong evidence for foreknowledge of (and thus guilt for) the implosive demolitions of the three WTC towers at HYPERLINK "https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xU4GdHLUHwU" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xU4GdHLUHwU and read the evidence at http://911research.wtc7.net/sept11/trillions.html.
It is suggested that skeptics of the official Bush administration conspiracy theory about 9/11 watch HYPERLINK "http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07Bn_CC_mrg" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07Bn_CC_mrg and see the lack of evidence for a large jet hitting the Pentagon by watching HYPERLINK "http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07Bn_CC_mrg" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07Bn_CC_mrg for refutation of the later-to-be photo-shopped evidence claiming that a large airliner hit the second tower.
When it comes to understanding why remedying America’s financial, political and ethical problems is not happening one must realize that the vast majority of our politicians have been turned into obedient lapdogs of the bloated, too-big-to-fail (and too-big-to-criticize) 800-pound Pentagon gorilla that treats with disdain every critical-thinking, peace-promoting citizen. It must be said that if the US is ever going to be able to balance its budget, the pro-militarist political parties favored by the military-industrial complex need to be challenged – and then voted out of office.
There have been alarming trends in the noisy right-wing agitators that have usurped power in the once respectable Republican Party - which has now totally silenced – or purged - its moderates. Black-listing and book banning (figurative book-burnings) and the anti-intellectualism that goes along with that mentality should remind us about what happened in Germany after World War I, just as right-wing police state rule began in earnest during the 12- year existence of the rabid anti-communist and socialism-hating Hitler and his Third Reich.
It could happen here. In fact it is already happening. The main reasons that average Americans aren’t recognizing fascism in America is that 1) we don’t have a screeching dictator and 2) Friendly American Fascism has the support of the wealthy, the corporations, the militarists (in and around the Pentagon and CIA), the national security apparatus, both political parties, the mainstream media and conservative Christian churches. American totalitarianism, if the current worrisome trends continue to develop, may be coming about by a slow, rolling, bloodless coup almost invisibly brought on by a whole bunch of smiley-faced, attractive middle-aged politicians (both state governors and state and federal legislators) whose names might be Rick or Scott, whose religion is radical right-wing Christianity and whose spokespersons may be sexy-looking, humorless blonde females. American Friendly Fascists won’t look anything like the Nazis we have learned to loathe.
Those who are barely clinging to a crumbling middle class or working class existence are being hypnotized by a diverse group of political and corporate misleaders who are given carte blanche exposure to spout their Neoconservative agendas by the mainstream media. But we privileged middle class members have – up until now – been exempted from the racism, police repression and economic oppression that the non-white, under-employed, impoverished, homeless, hungry and discriminated-against have been suffering for generations.
Recognizing the Fascists
For me, simple suspicion that a candidate (or a corporation) might be a part of fascist-leaning politics is a good-enough reason to withhold my vote and my purchases from that entity until I know more about their hidden agendas. I judge such suspicious candidates “guilty until proven innocent”. Ruthless entities do not deserve the benefit of the doubt.
With practice, applying the advice above will simplify one’s voting decisions, as well as one’s daily ethical decisions and purchasing choices. And America will be a better place to exercise our Constitutionally-guaranteed voting and free-speech rights.
Exploring Green Party politics is a good place to start.
Dr Kohls is a member of the Minnesota Green Party. He sees America being taken over by amoral, corporate-controlled entities whose hidden agendas are already being put into place, monitored by an established surveillance state apparatus and enforced by an increasingly militarized right wing police state apparatus. Although disillusioned by the seeming ineptness (or lack of courage) of the few fearful, weakened, allegedly progressive legislators, Dr Kohls believes that there are still measures that can be taken against the power elite before it is too late. He regards it as his duty to warn others about the root causes of war, violence, poverty, racism and economic oppression that always precedes overt fascism. He wishes for, and is motivated to work for, a peaceful world for his children and grandchildren and the children and grandchildren of every human person who is struggling to survive on this imperiled and corporation-poisoned planet.