Monday, October 17, 2011

Occupy Movement and 2012

In hundreds of cities across the country, thousands of people are protesting. While every individual may have their own reason for participating, one underlying message is clear: our politics are bought and sold by and to the highest bidders, and people are sick of it. I believe that supporting this message can be a winning strategy for President Obama and other Democrats in 2012.

Despite the uptick in his approval numbers and his growing grassroots support, President Obama faces a tough reelection fight next year. I believe I know how he can win, by a massive margin, by fighting for a single issue... getting private/corporate money out of politics. By now we all know that politicians, regardless of political party, are characterized as corrupt, owned and only interested in serving corporate campaign donors. President Obama has the opportunity, I believe, to turn the Occupy message into victory next year.

First, he needs to hold a press conference announcing that his campaign will no longer be accepting donations from businesses/corporations or from anonymous donors, and that he wants to run a campaign that is built on the support of the American people. Not only will this energize the Democratic base, but it will also make many voters feel like their voice once again matters. In addition, and perhaps most importantly, it will make the Republican nominee look like candidate for the private sector and not for the general population. President Obama should also tell the American people to FIRE any member of Congress that does not follow his example of running a clean, transparent campaign, funded solely by the American people. He needs to say the following, "America, your Congress is bought. I will no longer attempt to work with a Congress that has no interest in serving the interests of 'we the people.' Next year, I need your help to clean house, to eliminate the corruption that has so crippled our political system. We need fresh, new, honest faces in Congress. This is your time to make a difference. Demand that your Congressperson and Senator to get money out of politics, or you will fire them."

Next, the President needs to announce that he will be returning any contributions he received from businesses/corporations, and that any donations he received from anonymous donors will be donated to charity(s). This move would uphold his credibility and instill voter confidence not only in his campaign, but in the next 4 years of his administration.

These protests epitomize the growing discontent with our political system, and the movement is only going to keep getting bigger. President Obama has the chance to legitimize this cause, and in doing so, increase his support as a man of the people. He needs to embrace this cause, politicize the message, and run with it. If he does this, he will win, and win big.

Imagine it... two presidential contenders, one of whom is funded by Wall St, and the other who is funded solely by voters, regardless of party affiliation. A clear distinction would be drawn between the two candidates; the Republican nominee seeks to represent the interests of big business, and President Obama seeks to lead the American people. This message would resonate across party lines, and across the entire country. This would be a winning strategy. He has the chance to end the feeling of disenfranchisement that many voters are feeling. He could easily reach his $1B goal by doing this, and he would ensure a massive victory in 2012. We want our government back. We want our voices to matter.

Please sign my petition to get this message to the President.

Obama 2012.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Myth Busting

Yesterday, the United States Senate voted down the American Jobs Act. By doing so, 1.9 million Americans were denied a job. This is unpatriotic. This is un-American. This is morally bankrupt. This is wrong. How does House Majority Leader Eric Cantor respond? Does he have a jobs plan? Of course not, he just smirks and calls for a Thursday vote on an anti-abortion bill that the House has ALREADY PASSED. Republicans have, without question, demonstrated that they do not give a good god damn about jobs, nor about the American people. Polls demonstrate overwhelming support for President Obama's policies, yet despite this reality, Republicans continue to spew their usual rhetoric: cut taxes on the "job creators" and eliminate regulation(s). Let's briefly analyze these points (actually this is where I dismantle the entire Republican ideology in two paragraphs).

Tax cuts for corporations and millionaires/billionaires do not create jobs. They never have, and they never will. Why? Because people don't create jobs. Demand for products or services creates jobs. This is the fundamental aspect of our free market system. The claim that the extra money millionaires/corporations pocket from tax cuts will be recirculated into creating new jobs is false. Employers will not hire workers if there is no demand for what they are selling. This is simple economics and common sense. Cutting taxes will not create jobs. That said, what WILL create jobs? Well, if you ask business leaders, as Obama did the other day, they were unanimous in their response: investing in infrastructure. Infrastructure jobs are immediate, and will get those workers spending money on products and services, thus increasing demand and opening up the market for... NEW JOBS!!! Of course, Republicans ignore this, despite being "pro-business." How else can we create jobs? Research, development and innovation, which are priorities that our country has abandoned (excluding our miltary, but good luck seeing that technology being used to actually benefit society). How else can we create jobs? We need to invest in quality, public education. We need to create a strong work force, rather than a society of consumer drones. Yes, that means education reform, and yes, that means more spending, and yes, that means tax increases on the wealthiest Americans. It's the right thing to do and Democrats need to follow Presiden't Obama's example and hammer that message across the country. Tax cuts: MYTH BUSTED.

Eliminating regulations is the other Republican talking point which makes no sense, at all, in any plane of reality. One need not look back further than the 2007/2008 financial collapse to see not only the result of a lack in regulation, but lax regulation enforcement as well. Republicans, when asked which regulations they would like to repeal, generally say they want to end the EPA (I personally like clean air and water) and end the Department of Education. They are never able to cite specific regulations, because, it's an empty talking point. You know what happens when regulations are repealed? The current financial mess: the death of 29 miners in West Virginia (Massey Energy CEO Blankenship should be in prison); commercial airlines neglect their aircraft, compromising customer and environment safety; cars get recalled and lose efficiency (although the market is demanding more efficient cars, so maybe that's an exception). These are just a few examples. Interestingly, if regulations are followed, they can actually HELP businesses, as fewer screw ups, deaths, injuries and bad press can INCREASE consumer confidence, and, as a result, demand can increase... wait a minute... demand creates jobs!!! Sorry GOP, but corporations can not self-regulate. Regulations keep consumers safe, they keep workers safe and they hold those responsible for the actions of their business(es) accountable for wrong-doing. As for the government's role, regulations need to be enforced, and violations need to be corrected, in EVERY industry. The reason no one has been held accountable for the financial crisis is because there were no regulations in place that would HOLD anyone accountable. This is wrong. So, logically, following regulations can help businesses. Eliminating regulation: MYTH BUSTED.

People, take to the streets. Blog. Talk to your friends and neighbors. Call your Representatives and Senators. This country has been brought to its knees from 30 years of right-wing policy. It's time for progressive, liberal ideas and progressive, liberal leadership. It's what America wants, and it's what America needs.