I am the regular co-host on the Nancy Nelson show on Wednesdays on AM950, broadcasting in the Minneapolis and St. Paul metro area of Minnesota. What follows is an open letter I wrote to Republicans, and is presented as read on-air earlier today.
To my republican friends: ...
Someone forwarded a post to me the other day by Erick Erickson on redstate, a right-wing blog that I otherwise never read. In a particular blog post, he was complaining about the Republican field, now effectively reduced to just Romney and Gingrich, and how neither of them appears to have a good chance to beat Obama. His main point is that the rise of Gingrich, while it has something to do with his debate performances, is really driven by the GOP base revolting against the party leadership. He said “The base is revolting because they swept the GOP back into relevance in Washington just under two years ago and they have been thanked with contempt ever since.”
What's happening is that party leadership is foisting Romney on the GOP. And they don't like it. They don't like Romney having been a moderate in the past, and they don't like that he is Mormon, and they don't like that he has taken both sides of every issue. And even their alternative, Newt Gingrich, is not well-liked, but he is the only alternative. Seriously, Newt Gingrich? The so-called party of family values is to pick a serial adulterer and a pathological liar as their candidate? Seriously?
Well here is what I have to say to my GOP friends: Romney is your guy. Get used to it. He will be your candidate in November, and there is nothing you can do about it. Why, because the people who control all the money are insisting on it. THEY want Mitt Romney. THEY want someone who understands the plight of the millionaire. THEY want someone who will lower their taxes even further. THEY want someone who understands that $374,000 is not a lot of money. And they will get their candidate because they have all the money, and they will spend whatever it takes to make him the nominee.
It doesn't feel very good, does it? You thought that the process of selecting a nominee was a democratic one, and that rank-and-file Republicans would get to pick the candidate they want. And then you wake up one morning and find that what you want doesn't matter. That other people, those with more money, are getting to make the decision, not you. You no longer have a democracy within the Republican party, because the wealthy are now calling all the shots. Well, get used to it, because that it the world you helped create.
For decades, Democrats have battled uphill against a better-funded opposition. We understand what you are going through. It's sad, really, but not surprising. Throughout all of history, wealth and power seek each other out. The wealthy use their wealth to acquire power, while the powerful use their power to acquire wealth. It is all very stable and self-reinforcing, that is until the peasants revolt. And the most effective revolt ever waged against the merger of wealth and power has been democracy. So we too are saddened by the fact that you have lost your democracy within the GOP. The prospect that Romney, supported by no more than 25% of Republicans and by far fewer Democrats, might actually become President would all but close the book on America's Democracy and seal our fate as being members of the peasantry.
I am actually very angry about all this. Our democracy, the only thing standing between us and rule by oligarchy, has been systematically eroded for decades by a small wealthy elite. I am angry that for all this time, while our democracy has been slowly taken from us, you stood by and watched or even cheered while it happened. I am angry that the demise of democracy wasn't a problem for you until you got bit in your own sorry ass. Only then is it your problem? Pathetic. I am very angry about your apathy and complicity in this. But I must set all that anger aside, because this issue is far more important than my anger.
The wealthy elite kicked us, liberals, to the curb a long time ago. What is happening to you, our Republican friends, right now, this year, during this presidential campaign, is that you too are being kicked to that very same curb. They never needed us, since we were opposing their every move. But they did need you. They needed your energy, your willingness to repeat their messages, your willingness to listen to and call liberal talk radio like this very program to argue their position, and they needed you for fundraising. Yes, while we were kicked to the curb decades ago, they still needed you. Until now.
No longer do they need your energy, your engagement, your money. Ask yourself, if GOP party leadership needed any of these things from you, would they be forcing Mitt Romney on you? Would they be able to? This is exactly what Erick Erickson at redstate was complaining about. That party leadership isn't looking to the base, and the reason is that they no longer need what you have to offer.
You, the Republican base voter, are now entirely dispensable because they have something more powerful in their back pocket: Citizens United. Under this Supreme Court ruling, they can raise unlimited funds to elect anyone they want. If Romney were to become President, do you think he would do your bidding, or that of the wealthy who got him there? And your alternative, Newt Gingrich, who do you think owns him? Sheldon Adelson dropped $5M into the Gingrich campaign to buy his win in South Carolina. Now his wife Miriam has dropped another $5M to buy a win in Florida. Deep down, you know that this is not what democracy looks like.
And that is where our interests, yours and ours, finally converge. You need a reversal of Citizens United just as much as we do. Our candidates are already on record in support of reversing Citizens United. Yours are against it, meaning that it is time for you to do some of the heavy lifting. Maybe that means urging your GOP elected officials and candidates to support Keith Ellison's proposed Constitutional Amendment, which I don't think does enough, BTW, or maybe it means voting for a Democrat now and again. But something. You need to step up, be a patriot, and do something to restore democracy to American politics.
It is really quite simple: corporations are not people, money is not speech, democracy is not for sale to the highest bidder.
Thu Jan 26, 2012 at 6:45 AM PT: Top of the Rec. List? Seriously? Thanks to all!