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  •  Big Votes (39+ / 0-)

    can be the force to counter "big oil, big ag, big banks, big pharma, big guns, and, now, big data."

    A massive turnout of voters could do a hell of a lot to counter all of these power centers.  

    It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

    by Radiowalla on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 06:07:31 PM PDT

    •  Other countries have very high voter turnout. (14+ / 0-)

      The engendered apathy in US voters can be overcome.

      The American Revolution was a beginning, not a consummation. Woodrow Wilson

      by 4Freedom on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 06:53:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And yet even there they are seeing austerity (17+ / 0-)

        High turnout alone means nothing. We're against an international cartel that has the ability to destroy countries if it wishes, and has done so. See the destruction of the Thai Baht for one example. To bog to fail banks should really be called "If you threaten us we will literally starve people to death." Or at least that's the threat.

        But it's a scam. Money's been in charge for so long that people forget it doesn't have to be. We can in fact arrest these people, and we need to start doing so. If a kid can go to jail for a joint then these folks need to be put away for life.

        No War but Class War

        by AoT on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 08:17:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  big money has gotten away with murder. (6+ / 0-)

          justice can not touch the real string pullers and, on many levels, they have bought law enforcement the same way that they have bought the rest of the government structure.  how do you lock up someone that is a major share holder in the for profit prison system?  

        •  It will require careful strategy to convert apathy (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AoT, hbk

          to action. The global financial aristocracy has bullied its way to global dominance, yes, but so has democracy.

          When oligarchs confront democrats - small d - they lose by dint of numbers. The fulcrum around which change can happen is information, and that is where we can be effective.

          Truth begets freedom. It's even Biblical. And more and more global citizens are aware of the forces that have their feet on our necks.

          On this site are former Republicans, Independents, Socialists and indifferents. Our ranks are swelling, and this increase is paralleled in many countries around the world. As enemies of the general good are identified, actions can be taken to highlight their crimes.

          Anti-corruption actions are sweeping the globe. The Indian election reflects this. I think the global cartel had best take heed, because the next few years may well be transformative to our society.

          The American Revolution was a beginning, not a consummation. Woodrow Wilson

          by 4Freedom on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 09:39:29 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The prime reason for apathy (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            4Freedom

            is a sense of helplessness. What mobilized people during Occupy was the feeling that we could actually do something, that we could in fact create some sort of change. I think direct actions targeting banks should be next on the list.

            No War but Class War

            by AoT on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 10:01:30 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I agree that the financial institutions bear (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              AoT

              much responsibility for the decline in global economic wellbeing, as do many corporations. They are under increasing scrutiny in countries everywhere. Russian oligarchs are feeling the pinch, as are many Chinese employers looking to profit from low wages and overwork. The Chinese government will not permit dissent, so many restrictions are being eased, even the one-child rule.

              This seachange will take years to accomplish. The power elite is very entrenched, and their minions are still in power positions. But global elections are defeating the oligarchs one by one. Egypt is boiling over with dissent. Elections in Indonesia are indicating a desire for change.

              Change is happening and will continue to do so until more people are satisfied with their living conditions. But, without some major external stimulus, that change will be slow, much slower than we progressives would wish.

              The American Revolution was a beginning, not a consummation. Woodrow Wilson

              by 4Freedom on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 11:15:23 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  That's certainly not the case in Europe (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                4Freedom

                And in Russia the oligarchs may be under control, but they're under the control of Putin and his psuedo-fascist regime. There has been a lot of noise around the world and there have certainly been a lot of things to lead me to be hopeful, but the idea that there is some sort of wave of elections making people freer just doesn't really fit with the reality I see out there.

                No War but Class War

                by AoT on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 12:07:44 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I'm taking the long view, because the short (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  AoT

                  view is, and I think it will continue to be, quite oppressive for the workers of the world. But I was part of the action in the sixties, and I see the same upswelling among youth today that happened back when. Society can never successfully compress the activism of youth, once engaged.

                  In the US, the stimulus of enlisting young men to fight an imperialist war accelerated the rate of change back then. Now the power elite have a "volunteer" army instead of a proscribed military. But that is because they helped create the economic conditions that made enlistment the only option for many who lacked other opportunity. That sort of motivation can only last until there are other job opportunities for our youth, and the slow economic upturn will be creating more and more opportunity over the next few years.

                  The enlistments will slow. Lack of veteran care and diminished benefits are disenchanting many who might otherwise enlist. And the downturn has caused military defunding, so the war drums aren't quite as loud.

                  As to engaging younger Americans to vote, the kids are asking why in heavens name they should vote when there is so little opportunity for them. This will change as the dollar continues to soften and foreign goods become more expensive. There will be an even greater resurgence in manufacturing, creating many more jobs. Our agricultural sector will grow, as imports become more expensive.

                  For this and many other reasons I am hopeful for our future. Even an event like CBS replacing Letterman with Colbert gives me hope, because CBS won't be able to contain Colbert's activism. Here and there are glimmers that our near future contains more hope for working Americans than our present.

                  At least that is my hope and my wish and why I am active in politics.

                  The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic. ~ John F. Kennedy

                  by 4Freedom on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 12:59:19 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I'm hopeful about the long term (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    4Freedom

                    I just don't want to look through rose tinted glasses at what is happening now. We've got a metric fuckton of work to do to make these things a reality.

                    No War but Class War

                    by AoT on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 03:18:23 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I couldn't agree more. Our economy has been (0+ / 0-)

                      on a downward spiral for the better part of a decade. It wasn't only the '08 market break that broke the back of our economy. It was purposefully shoved over the edge by those who could exploit economic weakness with financial manipulation.

                      However there have been some serious prosecutions of fairly top-tier financiers, and the TBTF banks are on high alert. As the Fed just increased loan margins, speculative bank activities will slow. The TBTF high velocity traders won't have such huge leverages to play with. Thus the cash-clogged financial institutions will finally be forced to loan into the consumer market to remain so profitable.

                      But little, if any, big improvement in the economy seems to be in the cards for 2014. This is going to be another difficult year for smaller businesses seeking loans, jobseekers, and underemployed workers.

                      As you say, there is that metric fuckton of work to do to achieve any substantial improvement.

                      The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic. ~ John F. Kennedy

                      by 4Freedom on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 03:48:14 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

    •  So is one question, 'what (6+ / 0-)

      policy positions result in massive voter turnout?'

      And if so … what's the answer?

      "Gussie, a glutton for punishment, stared at himself in the mirror."

      by GussieFN on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 07:03:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I do know that if enough fuss is made (7+ / 0-)

        about voter suppression, people will flock to the polls.  Your right to vote: use it or lose it.  

        As for the policy positions, I'm sure there are a lot of different views on this here.  It's a good question and the challenge is to distill the long wish list of progressives into a few easily communicated statements.  

        It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

        by Radiowalla on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 08:04:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Rejecting the Keystone Pipeline (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GussieFN, AoT, indres, Angie in WA State

        Proposing a 22 dollar min wage.
        Expanding Social Security payments and lowering the eligibility age.
        Lowering the Medicare buy in to 50.
        Student loan forgiveness and or lowering the interest payments to the same % banks get for borrowing money like 0.001% per year.

        Even proposed those would motivate our base to turn out.

        There is only 1 of those things that we can directly control now with the political process and that is rejecting the Keystone Pipeline. That's on President Obama. All the other things we need control of the House and then 90 (for dem bills) votes in the Senate.

        “The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.” George Orwell

        by Tool on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 07:05:40 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  What percentage of Americans (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          eparrot, kid oakland, Tool, indres

          have even heard of Keystone? I bet it's shockingly small.

          I wonder what percentage of Americans makes less than $22/hour. (Where'd you get that particular number?)

          "Gussie, a glutton for punishment, stared at himself in the mirror."

          by GussieFN on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 07:37:49 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The base has. The ones we are trying to get out to (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            GussieFN, shaharazade

            the midterms.

            “The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.” George Orwell

            by Tool on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 09:04:51 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  not just our base (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Tool, kid oakland, GussieFN

              but many so called 'apathetic' non voters and people that have just given up on the corrupt rigged political process. I really don't think people are as apathetic or stupid as the political myths/fictions we suffer under would have us believe. Young people especially turned out to vote for Obama because they naively believed in what he preached, bottom up change.

              Blaming the people who refuse to vote for the lesser evil seems to me to be insult to injury. Low information? well most know what the R's are about and they also know they really do not have a choice other then the degrees of austerity and misery that are going to be implemented. It comes down to do you want a vagina probe with your austerity? Sometimes fear just isn't enough to get people to ratify the latest spokesperson/candidate the 'owners of the place' have selected to run this farce that Axelrod says is 'the world as we find it'.      

    •  Can I get a number...?! (11+ / 0-)

      I'm noticing something out there. All those potential voters we want to engage, they really like a big number to wrap their minds around and relate.

      The 99%

      The 47%

      7.1 Million

      It's that last number that crystallized it for me. I believe, and it is just a belief, that people really love big goals. There's a silent majority out there that doesn't really want to get involved or understand the issues like we do on this site, but they do want to help achieve big things.

      Remember the bat? I loved the bat.

      So what if, instead of organizing around 'getting out the vote,' we organize around a voter turnout goal? Something historic. I'm not sure what that number might be, perhaps 70% turnout nationally.

      And then let's go for it.

      Sure, we may be criticized for missing the goal. Some will say we should focus on issues and not an arbitrary number. That was also the danger with Obamacare.

      I believe that 7.1 Million+ number was hit because people knew about it.

      I think if we set a goal we can reach it.

    •  Focusing on our nations college 'kids' is crucial (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kid oakland, Tool, hbk

      For 2014 and beyond. We need the Govt. to buy up their obscene amounts of college debt. We also need campaign reforrm that eliminates the need to buy a seat through mostly public election funding along with hard, caps on how much 'free speech' one is allowed to spend in any given year. Limiting campaign seasons too.

      Until we have numbers in Washington to tax the wealthiest at high rates as we used to, tax capital gains over a couple million at the same rate as labor, and close most of the corporate loopholes, none of the above will happen. Not within the next few years, for certain.

       It won't happen without greater numbers at the polls and a growing commitment from better Dems to give political influence mostly back into the hands of the citizens who vote them in.

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