Submitted by Charles Hugh Smith from Of Two Minds
Presidents Day: Why Can't We Nominate Our Own President? We Can, We Are
Why can't the American public nominate their own candidate for president? It turns out we can, and are doing so for the first time in American history.
If the last 12 years have revealed anything, they have shown beyond reasonable doubt that both Status Quo political parties in the U.S. are hopelessly, ruinously corrupt and thus beyond any reform or redemption. We all know why: it now takes millions of dollars to run costly mainstream media election campaigns, and the only source for contributions of that scale is the financial/corporate Elite.
It doesn't matter how you arrange the taxonomy of the financial aristocracy that rules the nation or how you subdivide it--old money, new money, family money, corporate money, etc.-- the bottom line is these campaign contributions are viewed by the aristocratic donors as investments that yield gargantuan returns in tax breaks, subsidies, bailouts, sweetheart contracts, "get out of jail free" cards for the shadow banking system, and so on.
In Social Fractals and the Corruption of America (February 8, 2012) I wrote:
Clearly, the tax code is both legal and completely skewed to the very wealthy and politically powerful. $100,000 is still a fairly significant contribution in politics, and if that contribution ends up yielding a tax break that gains the donor $1 million in lower taxes, then that donation earned a 10-fold "return on investment."
Longtime correspondent Kevin K. described the reality from personal knowledge:
I had an old boss (I won't mention his name, but he is worth over $100 million) that actually tracked the ROI (Return on Investment) of every dollar he gave politicians.
By the mid 90's there was no better "investment" out there with a better return than "giving perfectly legal campaign contributions". Because of this, his "contributions" kept getting bigger and bigger (they are huge now, with much of the "perfectly legal campaign contributions" hidden by giving to PACs (political action committees) and funding things the politician wants funded rather than writing checks to a re-election fund that has a paper trail.
This neofeudal, systemic corruption raises a simple question: why can't the American people nominate a candidate for president themselves, directly, rather than being left a false choice of whatever lackeys the corrupt, neofeudal parties have nominated? Answer: we can, and even better, we are.
Correspondent Cris V. alerted me to the existence of AmericansElect.org, the first national online primary. "Americans Elect lets you choose a leader that puts country before party. Americans Elect is a secure, online nominating process that combines our oldest values with our newest technologies."
In essence, voters register online and can draft a candidate of their choice, or review the candidates drafted by other citizens. There will be an online primary process where candidates will be pared down by a series of online votes by delegates (you, me, and anyone else who registered to participate). The final candidate will be entered on ballots nationwide as the candidate of Americans Elect.
Here is the Wikipedia entry: Americans Elect:
As of January 2012, Americans Elect has gained ballot status in 15 states: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Nevada, Ohio, Rhode Island, Utah, and Vermont. As of February 2012, certification is pending in Hawaii, New Mexico, and Wyoming. As of December 2011, signatures for fifteen other states were being collected.
Americans Elect is in the process of securing a line on the ballot in all 50 states for a ticket to be named directly by the people through the first-ever online nominating convention. Any registered voter can sign up to participate as a Delegate at [AmericansElect.org]. The organization is attempting the process of being accredited in every US state, allowing it to place candidates on presidential ballots nationwide.
In order to obtain ballot access nationwide, some states' guidelines require Americans Elect to register as a political party, even though federal courts have ruled they are not a traditional political party.
It's not too difficult to see Americans Elect as the means by which Americans who want to opt out of the corrupt party system could nominate Ron Paul or another independent.
As Cris V. observed:
Ron Paul will be marginalized by the GOP establishment regardless of how many true Republicans he has coming to the GOP Convention. The GOP/Internationalist Establishment will see that Ron Paul gets buried and forgotten at the GOP convention even as he gets a real larger and larger following.
So he will be jumping off the GOP (ham-strung and out of gas) horse and running thru the finish line with 80% Independents, 95% of Constitutionalists and Libertarians, the 55% of Republicans, and 45% of the Democrats. All he has to do is get on the ballot.
Clearly, the Status Quo parties fear and loathe anyone who isn't dependent on their power with every fiber of their rotting, corrupt, neofeudal being. It is also clear that there can be no real reform of anything as long as the two corrupt parties remain in control of the political Elite, which is funded and controlled by the financial Elite. In this sense they are partners in the larger project of looting the republic, transferring private losses to the taxpayers and snuffing out any challenges to their neofeudal power.
In their view, debt-serfs must only be allowed the false choice of voting for Tweedledum or Tweedledee, both of whom are bought and paid for.
If you are a member of the Upper Caste benefitting from serving the Aristocracy, then you will be serving your best interests by voting for one of corrupt parties candidates, Tweedledum or Tweedledee. Nothing will change in any meaningful way because the entire power structure is devoted to one cause and one cause only: suppressing or destroying any and all challenges to their power and perquisites.
Can an independent president change a corrupt aristocracy single-handedly? Of course not. But a single voice of independent reason and truth would provide a beacon of hope in a nation blanketed by ceaseless self-serving propaganda, looting, fraud, devaluation of our currency, debauchery of credit and the corruption of our system of governance.
I see no way to "reform" this base corruption except to ban all contributions from campaigns and fund elections from taxpayer funds. Is that a perfect solution? Of course not; but it is a solution. Eliminate all contributions of any kind and ban those leaving office from working for the government, or any lobbyist or government contractor for five years, and you will have a system which is less easily corruptable than the present neofeudal one.
Here are a few choice quotes from presidents of the past: Oh, how far we have fallen when Soaring Rhetoric (TM) has become the chief qualification to assume the Imperial Presidency.
Lincoln likened the case to that of the boy who, when asked how many legs his calf would have if he called its tail a leg, replied, "Five," to which the prompt response was made that calling the tail a leg would not make it a leg. (source, Reminiscences of Abraham Lincoln)
"Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master." (George Washington)
Few men have virtue to withstand the highest bidder." (George Washington)
"I never did give anybody hell. I just told the truth and they thought it was hell." (Harry S. Truman)
"If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn’t sit for a month." (Theodore Roosevelt)
"Remember you are just an extra in everyone else’s play." (Franklin D. Roosevelt)
Interviews with CHS and Zeus Y. are now available:
My recent interview with Max Keiser (I appear via Skype about halfway)
Zeus Y. interview with Dennis Fetcho (MP3 file)