I'm a registered Democrat.  I've been voting for over 25 years, and I have never missed a national, state, or local election, and I always vote for Democrats.  I always encourage people to exercise their right to vote.  I even attended one of those "Obamacamps" to help during the 2008 presidential campaign at a local level in the San Francisco Bay Area.

I don't know if those are enough bona fides to prove that I've been a loyal Democrat for over 25 years, but I hope they would be.

If so, if the reader believes my assertion that I'm a loyal Democrat, then I would hope that what I'm about to suggest would not be seen as an attack on my political party, but a plea for much needed reform in order to make sure it stands for the principles we should all share as Democrats: respect for the rule of law; justice and equality under the law for all, and without prejudice; clean and honest governance.

Having stated the fact that I'm Democrat, I now declare that as a citizen (in the broad meaning of the word), my most important duty is to stand against and resist "illegitimate authority," to understand that democracy "doesn't come from the top, [that] it comes from the bottom," and that "patriotism is not [blind] obedience to government [or party], but [that] patriotism is obedience to the principles for which government is suppose to stand," as the late Howard Zinn once said.

And so, because I do care about the political party I support, to me there is no greater call than to do everything in my power (such as it is) to liberate it from the grotesque clutching grasp of influence-peddling corruption which has damaged it to its core.  For a very moving and truthful opinion about this indisputable fact, I invite people to read one of the best diaries on the subject I've read here at Daily Kos by a person for which I have the greatest admiration, OPOPL: "The Democrats Have No Clothes."

And what is the source of the endemic influence-peddling corruption that has damaged the Democratic party establishment to the core?  Plain-old legalized political bribery, cronyism, and patronage.

A relentless and highly-organized effort by corporatist business cartels that has taken decades has borne fruit, although that fruit is putrid to its core.  These efforts are responsible for having brought about a governance ethos where politicians exchange their offices for personal gain, plain and simple.

In this arrangement, business cartels have found multiple ways to transmit their marching orders to politicians on the take, sometimes including the actual drafting of very harmful (predatory, anti-democratic, profit-seeking, exploitative) legislation by organizations like the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), in exchange for large campaign contributions, special favors, access, and a vile revolving door of corruption through which politicians pass from public office to lucrative jobs waiting for them as recompense for having followed the marching orders from their corporatist paymasters.

Although the influence powerhouses that line Washington's K Street are just a few miles from the U.S. Capitol building, the most direct path between the two doesn't necessarily involve public transportation. Instead, it's through a door—a revolving door that shuffles former federal employees into jobs as lobbyists, consultants and strategists just as the door pulls former hired guns into government careers. While officials in the executive branch, Congress and senior congressional staffers spin in and out of the private and public sectors, so too does privilege, power, access and, of course, money.

- Center For Responsive Politics

This ethos of corruption has infected the entire country.  City Council members, Universities' administrators, States' legislators, they've all susceptible to the corruption.

And as this happens, this "ruling elite" at the federal level, in cities, in states, at institutions, becomes ensconced in their own "reality bubble" unable to fully ascertain or recognize the truly horrific consequences of their actions on the population...

Little by little, an onerous, exploitative and oppressive regime chips away at the citizens' sense of economic security, it chips away at the rule of law, it chips away at our constitutional rights, at our freedom and liberty, and soon the entire system starts resembling a plutocracy where the real rulers are the corporatist cartels who pay off the politicians.

And this is where we are today.  This is why "The Democratic Party Has No Clothes."  Because it doesn't follow the principles for which is suppose to stand.

And so as a life-long Democrat, and because I believe in the principles for which my party is supposed to stand, I will oppose the regime of legalized bribery, I don't accept the notion that public servants to which have given the awesome power of governance through our votes will then turn around and betray that sacred trust we have placed on them in order to line their own pockets, at the expense of the citizenry.

I don't accept the argument that an Attorney General who comes from a powerful law firm that focuses on providing legal protection to large financial institutions will be able to perform his duties honesty and without bias.  I don't accept the notion that regulators who pass through the influence-peddling corruption door between financial firms and regulatory agencies are up to the job of protecting the population against fraud, pillaging, and predatory practices.

And because of it, I will reach out to any other citizen who is also concerned about these undeniable facts in order to unite into a potent force of activists to stamp out the corruption, one city council at a time, one state house at a time, one federal politician or regulator on the take at a time, until we clean up the putrid waters of corruption that have engulfed our entire system of government.

And I will do so because I'm a good, loyal Democrat.  Let's join forces.

Each blue dot on the map below represents a member of a growing nation-wide network of social justice and anti-corruption activists committed to finding the best way forward.  Join us in the effort!

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