Rick Lucke’s Guest Column!


Rick Lucke‘s Guest Column!

Fellow Blogger Rick Lucke has written a long comment which I have posted here. He’s got some good thoughts and I want to share them with all my readers.  jp

I’m not sure which part of my comment is unclear. I’ll expand a little on the individual points.

“…we have a system that betrays the concept of democracy, it undermines the concept of one-person-one-vote, and shreds the concept of majority rule.”

The concept of “democracy” is undermined by the fact that the candidate who wins the office does not often win a “majority” of votes, as we’ve seen once again in 2016. As a result, the democratic concept of one-person-one-vote is virtually neutralized by a system that not only nullifies so many votes, but also discourages so many from bothering themselves to vote. This is accomplished through the Electoral College system as well as through approaches like “closed primaries” in which only registered members of “the party” are allowed to vote to nominate a candidate, which reduces the process to a matter of something like “club membership”. The concept of political parties and factions was recognized even by the Founders as a problem and many were opposed to the idea.

Then there is the problem of “big money in politics”. The impact of big money is manifold and undeniable, despite not necessarily guaranteeing election victory.

“… this system that effectively allows the majority to be oppressed by the minority is a complete travesty.”

As we watch Trump make cabinet appointments which are in clear opposition to the majority views of various issues, we see the majority becoming oppressed by the minority. This is in direct opposition to the concept of democracy and to the protections against that oppression that the Founders attempted to provide.

“…the Democratic National Committee’s corrupt nature was exposed …”

The revelations during the Democratic primary campaign of the DNC’s clear bias in favor of one candidate over the other was, in my view, a definite strike against not only the Democrat Party, but also their preordained candidate of choice. Even as Bernie Sanders consistently drew considerably larger crowds at his rallies and was shown in virtually every poll to have a far better likelihood to defeat Trump and Clinton was shown to be more likely to lose than Sanders would be, the DNC continued to undermine Sanders and his supporters, along with the major network media outlets that seemingly did everything they could to ignore Sanders’ campaign successes.

“…neither major party candidate was qualified …”

Trump presented as an ill-informed dolt with no clear plan for governing and who, according to the former communications director of Trump’s now-defunct Super PAC, was never serious about becoming president but was, instead, merely running as a “protest candidate”. Consider the following:
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In an open letter to voters supporting Donald Trump in the Republican presidential primary, the former communications director of Trump’s now-defunct Super PAC said that the former reality television star not only never expected to be the Republican nominee, much less president, but never even wanted to be.

Writing for the website xojane.com, Stephanie Cegielski said that when she was brought aboard as communications director for the Make America Great Again PAC last summer, the instructions from Trump Tower were to make sure that Trump finished a respectable second in the GOP primary. It was made clear that Trump was running not as a serious contender, but as a “protest” candidate.

“I don’t think even Trump thought he would get this far,” she wrote. “And I don’t even know that he wanted to, which is perhaps the scariest prospect of all.
http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/2016/03/28/Ex-Trump-Insider-Donald-Doesn-t-Want-Be-President

The “open letter” she wrote can be found here:
http://www.xojane.com/issues/stephanie-cegielski-donald-trump-campaign-defector
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Hillary Clinton’s record of being on the wrong side of virtually every issue she ever voted on or spoke in support of and then later changing her rhetoric when it suited her or evading some issues altogether prove her to be one of the worst candidates the Democrats have ever nominated. Of course, that statement depends on whether or not a person agrees with the progressive agenda Bernie Sanders presented, which Clinton began referencing after she noticed the success Sanders was having with voters.

That sort of waffling and evasionary tactics do not impart a sense of trust, thus she lost many voters from within and from outside the party. Another aspect related to undermining a sense of trust of the Democratic Primary that discouraged many from supporting Clinton was the pledging of support for Clinton by the party electors before the primary election process had taken effect.

In the end, it seems the only voters who viewed either candidate as worthy of the office were voters who were either religiously faithful to party name, Democrat or Republican, or voters who were too ill-informed to realize the lack of qualifications most of us would expect in a presidential candidate, not to mention the loss of integrity of the entire process. I see this election as a major turning point in American society – what it means for our future is impossible to know at this point.

Dangerous Neoliberalism Edition


Dangerous Neoliberalism Edition

Sometimes you find a paragraph that says what you would like to say brilliantly and this is one of those paragraphs.

Many times I’ve tried to explain the impact of free market fundamentalism, Hayek, Milton Friedman and Ayn Rand, all of whose combined effect might well be summed up by the word, neoliberalism.

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Dangerous Neoliberalism Edition

I strongly agree and endorse the following statement from George Monbiot in his essay from The GuardianNeoliberalism – the ideology at the root of all our problems.

“Perhaps the most dangerous impact of neoliberalism is not the economic crises it has caused, but the political crisis. As the domain of the state is reduced, our ability to change the course of our lives through voting also contracts. Instead, neoliberal theory asserts, people can exercise choice through spending. But some have more to spend than others: in the great consumer or shareholder democracy, votes are not equally distributed. The result is a disempowerment of the poor and middle. As parties of the right and former left adopt similar neoliberal policies, disempowerment turns to disenfranchisement. Large numbers of people have been shed from politics.”

I think Donald Trump is President now due in part to feelings of powerlessness on the part of the middle class due to their loss of economic and political power — and much more due to Hilary Clinton’s embrace of this maniacal philosophy more worthy of a James Bond Villain than someone wanting to be the leader of a free people.

James Pilant

Business Ethics Links 7-29-2016 Hilary Can Lose Edition


Hilary Can Lose

She’s certainly the best possible next president, as everyone from Obama to Michael Bloomberg has been lining up to say at the DNC all week. But she’s also certainly a representative of the global capitalist status quo; she is campaigning for a pro-business, pro-markets, essentially anti-working-class system. She won’t talk about this, just as aw-shucks Biden and neither of the glorious Obamas would talk about it; like them, she’ll talk about “America”. Which, for a minority of us, is a pretty privileged place.

But where are her new ideas for making life better for people who feel exploited? What is she saying about taking back this country, not from the immigrants (a ridiculous notion in a country almost entirely composed of immigrants and their descendants) but from an economy of theft and extraction and transfer from the poor to the rich?

What if I’m afraid, not of a terrorist attack – only marginally more likely than a personal lightning strike – but of an impoverished old age or a house foreclosure, or simply of my car breaking down and not having enough money to fix it? For too many Americans, these are real fears, and Hillary represents the class responsible for causing them.

Hilary is the establishment candidate and our establishment is rotten, corrupt and incompetent and people are getting fed up. jp

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Hilary Can Lose Edition

Turbo-Capitalism and Decay

But most of the social mayhem now rising around us is driven by the seductions and stresses of public decay under a capitalism that’s no longer tempered by Adam Smith’s moral sentiments but that is occasionally still challenged by “liberal education,” which conservatives assail whenever it suggests that “economic violence” does exist and disrupts the village that raises the child.

Totalitarian anti-capitalism was so brutal and duplicitous two generations ago that the “Free World” embraced a taboo against criticizing capitalism at all. But today’s casino-like, predatory, intrusively degrading capitalism has degraded even that taboo by ruining social equality and republican habits of the heart — and doing it mindlessly as much as malevolently.

“Not sure why Trump would openly ask Russia to spy on Americans,” Meyers added. “But I’m sure he has his treasons.”

Sanders Delegate Can’t Forgive Clinton

Harris added: “Particularly Debbie Wasserman Schultz resigning in disgrace, and then Clinton rewarding her with a job 32 minutes later is very insulting to the Sanders campaign. It’s not unifying.”

The Sanders delegate said he took an oath to support the Democratic Party’s nominee, but he confessed that it’s very difficult to get behind Clinton and the party establishment.

“When you personalize that decision about, am I going to reward this person with my support, it’s a very difficult decision that we have to wrestle with as black men,” Harris concluded.

Bill O’Reilly decides that slaves were well fed. 

The antebellum American South was not a “Gone with the Wind” fantasy of “magnolias mint juleps.” It was a military state organized around oppressing and controlling black bodies for the purposes of profit and wealth creation for white people. The slave plantation was a charnel house and place of mass rape, where white men and women could sexually abuse black boys, girls, men, and women at their whim. As historian Edward Baptist explains in his excellent book “The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism,” the “plantation” is more accurately described as a slave labor camp.

Feminist Writer Jessica Valenti Leaves Social Media After Rape Threats Against Her Five Year Old Daughter

Clinton Can Lose II

But Democrats are nervous that even while Trump has failed to build a modern political organization, squandered most the past two months, been accused of racism by his own party, neither aired TV ads nor reserved time for the fall, has praised foreign strongmen including Saddam Hussein and Vladimir Putin, the race is essentially tied.

Trump has taken the lead in some surveys after the GOP convention, despite the disunity and disorganization on display in Cleveland. He has inflamed controversy almost daily, the latest this week with his public call for Russia to “find the 30,000 emails that are missing” of Clinton’s from her private server, essentially inviting a foreign nation to hack correspondence from her time as as the country’s top diplomat.

Colorado Professors Condemn Trump

“Mr. Trump has repeatedly stated that crime in the United States is rising and that we live in a society that is growing more dangerous,” the letter stated. “A preponderance of evidence at the nationwide level contradicts that claim; but more importantly, Trump then uses such specious reasoning to fuel fear of certain minority groups.

“Second, Mr. Trump’s unsubstantiated statements have been used to impugn entire groups of people, including Muslims, Mexicans, women, and disabled people,” the letter continued. “We contend that his divisive language prevents the kind of civil discourse that is the life blood of a democratic society. Mr. Trump’s claim that the majority of immigrants from Mexico are criminals, including murderers and rapists, is contradicted by documented evidence. Similarly, Mr. Trump’s call for the use of torture would contravene the United Nations Convention against Torture.”