My Rally’s Bigger Than Yours

Rally To Restore Sanity

Image by TalkMediaNews via Flickr

 

by Mr. Universe

Saturday morning was the date of Jon Stewart‘s  “Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear”. It was held on the National Mall just in front of the Capitol. The overriding message was one of the freedom of assembly, the call for responsibility from the media and the call for fair governance for everyone. Actually, Stewart claimed he was just there to throw a big party. And throw one he did.


It started out with the Myth Buster guys who immediately set up some fun crowd participation exercises. They did a giant crowd wave experiment to see how long it would take a wave to get from one end of the Mall to the other. Then they conducted a seismic ‘everybody jump at the same time’ experiment where they monitored the activity from the seismic waves of a simultaneous crowd hop.


There was lots of music from the Roots and a sketch where Yusef Islam (formerly Cat Stevens) started playing his hit song “Peace Train” but was interrupted by Stephen Colbert. Colbert brought out Ozzy Osbourne who broke into “Crazy Train“. Ultimately, the segment ended with the O’Jays performing “Love Train” to wrap up the train analogy.


It was a big variety show and apparently it will cost Arianna Huffington several hundreds of thousands of dollars for offering to bus in 10,000 New Yorkers. Oh well. Go big or go home, eh? And the crowd, many wearing Halloween costumes, brought lots of creative signs. Here’s a sampling.


http://www.buzzfeed.com/mjs538/the-100-best-signs-at-the-rally-to-restore-sanity


But eventually it did come down to a message. And Stewart delivered. I think the one historic takeaway line was “When we amplify everything, we hear nothing”. It was a call to reason. It was a call for compromise. It was a call for the media to report responsibly. It was a call for politicians to agree to meet and solve the problems of our nation and not take our toys and sulk off to our rooms hoping that the other kids will just go away. It was not so much a call for sanity as much as it was a call for civility.


Almost immediately, the 538Refugees comment section stirred to compare the public participation of the rally with other recent events. Was it bigger than Glenn Beck’s? Or the 9/12 Rally? My first reaction is that it shouldn’t be about who has the bigger rally but in reality, that plays a relevant part in this debate. Are there more people in the middle than there are on the rather vocal extreme?


It was estimated that there were 250,000 people on hand for the Rally to Restore Sanity (and/or Fear). That’s an awful lot of people who have better things to do than combat extremism. And objection to the extremism of the far right is essentially what this rally represented. It was an old-fashioned peace march. It was also fun.


Glenn Beck’s ‘Rally to Restore Honor’ was a protest against the democratically elected administration. Understandably, they didn’t care for the change that the Obama administration represents. This ‘Rally to Restore Sanity’ was a protest against Beck’s protest. You want Democracy? Then stand for it. Stand with it. Abide by it. Democracy isn’t just some catchy, feel good phrase that is only useful when it suits your purposes. Democracy can be inconvenient for those who disagree with its outcome. But that’s how it works.


Change is difficult sometimes. But change is also a means for growth. You can object to it all you want but change is a comin’ and none too soon.  We are not going to take the country back. We’re going to take it forward.


About Mr. Universe

Mr. Universe is a musician/songwriter and an ex-patriot of the south. He currently lives and teaches at a University in the Pacific Northwest. He is a long distance hiker who has hiked the Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail. He is also an author and woodworker. An outspoken political voice, he takes a decidedly liberal stance in politics.
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39 Responses to My Rally’s Bigger Than Yours

  1. filistro says:

    The Rally to Restore Sanity made me feel so GOOD. And it made me realize how we have to deal with the Teapers and the crazies from now on. The very best weapon against them… the absolute Kryptonite that makes them shrivel up and disappear in an angry puff of venom… it’s LAUGHTER.Until now we have been so afraid of these people. We’ve watched in appalled silence as they shouted, screamed, spat, spewed, and crossed every line of decency and good sense. They were so FURIOUS. We just didn’t know how to deal with them.Now we know. The rally showed us.You LAUGH at people like this. You poke gentle fun at them and giggle at their excesses. With warm good humour you draw attention to the rich vein of humor in their over-the-top fulminations. The laughter begins softy near the back of the room.. ripples though the crowd, grows in strength and volume until it shakes the rafters and people are rolling in the aisles, wiping away tears.And the haters and the shouters disappear on a wave of hilarity.Thank you Jon Stewart, for showing the world that we need to LAUGH at the extremists and the fear-mongers.

  2. shrinkers says:

    Excellent summary, Mr. U.It has been amazing to listen to the far right for the last two years, bleating about the “will of the voters” while opposing the very policies that the voters overwhelmingly voted for in 2008.Democracy is not merely “I get my way.” Democracy has to do with civil discussion, compromise, acceptance of a diverse country.What are the odds that the right wing will ever understand their own rhetoric?

  3. Bart DePalma says:

    Mr. U: “It was a call to reason. It was a call for compromise. It was a call for the media to report responsibly. It was a call for politicians to agree to meet and solve the problems of our nation and not take our toys and sulk off to our rooms hoping that the other kids will just go away.”This is rich after 2009 and 2010. To Dems over the past two years, compromise means vote for their secretly drafted legislation without reading it. Dubya was a master of compromise and assembling bipartisan majorities. Compromise got us NCLB, a new Medicare entitlement and a 1/3 increase in discretionary spending. For you Dems, compromise got you the Patriot Act and the Iraq War.F-ck compromise. The principle of limited government upon which the Constitution and the Republic it founded are based on reject compromise on all the important points. Once we reestablish those government no go zones, then we can compromise on what is left.Mr. U: “It was not so much a call for sanity as much as it was a call for civility.”Like the civility shown here and elsewhere for Dubya, Sarah Palin, Christine O’Donnell, Karl Rove, Dick Cheney, Sharon Angle, Ron Paul, Marco Rubio, etc, etc???Mr. U: “Glenn Beck’s ‘Rally to Restore Honor’ was a protest against the democratically elected administration. Understandably, they didn’t care for the change that the Obama administration represents. This ‘Rally to Restore Sanity’ was a protest against Beck’s protest. You want Democracy? Then stand for it. Stand with it. Abide by it.”Translation: We won, you lost, shut the hell up and take it.That is not democracy, that is elected fascism.Democracy is when our elected representatives implement the will of the People.

  4. shiloh says:

    Again Bartles you can stop whining at any time as Obama got (69.5 million) votes and was left a mess by cheney/bush similar to FDR’s and of course FDR had (2) things going for him Obama doesn’t.No 24/7 ad nauseam cable news/internet minutia in the 1930’s and FDR wasn’t a Muslim born in Kenya!>Indeed! 🙂 Bartles moaning/groaning never gets old, eh.“Our Republic Has Stumbled, But Has Not Yet Fallen”My descriptive phrases do not begin to do justice to the damage these policies are doing to the country.April 23, 2010 10:46 AMI wonder whether I live in America anymore when the government imposes its will in opposition to the people. That is what ruling classes do, not representatives of the people.May 2, 2010 4:21 PM~~~~~Cry me a River …

  5. Whatevs says:

    Mr. U: “It was a call to reason. It was a call for compromise. It was a call for the media to report responsibly. It was a call for politicians to agree to meet and solve the problems of our nation and not take our toys and sulk off to our rooms hoping that the other kids will just go away.”This is rich after 2009 and 2010. To Dems over the past two years, compromise means vote for their secretly drafted legislation without reading it.Excuse me? What the hell are you talking about?Dubya was a master of compromise [WHAT?!?!!?!?] and assembling bipartisan majorities [Again, WHAT?!?!?!?!]. Compromise got us NCLB, a new Medicare entitlement and a 1/3 increase in discretionary spending. For you Dems, compromise got you the Patriot Act and the Iraq War.I’m sorry; did you just admit that? Or was I smoking weed in the corner?F-ck compromise. [There we go. You just dropped your drawers and exposed your junk. Not impressed]The principle of limited government upon which the Constitution and the Republic it founded are based on reject compromise on all the important points. Once we reestablish those government no go zones, then we can compromise on what is left.[I don’t know how to do italics here so I’m using brackets. The principle of limited government was to einsure that no majority had influence in legislating: hence, the Senate. You are advocating a return to undue influence.]Mr. U: “It was not so much a call for sanity as much as it was a call for civility.”Like the civility shown here and elsewhere for Dubya, Sarah Palin, Christine O’Donnell, Karl Rove, Dick Cheney, Sharon Angle, Ron Paul, Marco Rubio, etc, etc???[Dude, they got off lite here. Those guys deserve to be keel-hauled]Mr. U: “Glenn Beck’s ‘Rally to Restore Honor’ was a protest against the democratically elected administration. Understandably, they didn’t care for the change that the Obama administration represents. This ‘Rally to Restore Sanity’ was a protest against Beck’s protest. You want Democracy? Then stand for it. Stand with it. Abide by it.”Translation: We won, you lost, shut the hell up and take it.That is not democracy, that is elected fascism. [You do realize that ‘elected’ and ‘facism’ don’t belong in the same sentence, right? Elected means chosen by a majority. Facism was a form of dictatorship. The two are mutually exclusive.]Democracy is when our elected representatives implement the will of the People. [I get so goddamn tired of douchbags wearing out this ‘will of the people’ thing that I want to excercise Sharon Angle’s second ammendment rights. The will of the people includes everyone. Not just you priveledged white assholes. You better fucking get used to it.

  6. shiloh says:

    WhatevsThe will of the people includes everyone. Not just you privileged white assholes. You better fucking get used to it.~~~~~Indeed, and this is why angle, o’donnell, buck, miller, palin, bachmann, beck, billo, hannity, limbo, Bartles etc. are so frickin’ afraid as whitey will soon be the minority in America in the not too distant future …Basic HTML ~ bold/italics, etc.

  7. Mule Rider says:

    “Not just you priveledged white flowers.”

    Yeah, that’s me. A “privileged white puppy.” Raised dirt poor on a small farm in rural Arkansas. Wore hand-me-down underwear, shoes, etc. from the time I was born till I was nearly 20. Eating out happened only once or twice a year at one of the local diners. Didn’t have air conditioning. Didn’t always have heat. Didn’t always have enough food to go around.

    The “privileges” I enjoyed were having a loving, hard-working family. But I can assure you I don’t fit the mold of the “white privileged class” you love to hate.

    So I LOVE you and your racist/bigoted blatherings, you sweet, pretty darling.

  8. mclever says:

    And, therein lies the problem with generalizations… There are always exceptions!:-)

  9. Bart DePalma says:

    Mr. U: “It was a call to reason. It was a call for compromise…”BD: “This is rich after 2009 and 2010. To Dems over the past two years, compromise means vote for their secretly drafted legislation without reading it.”Whatevs: “Excuse me? What the hell are you talking about?”Have you been living in a cave? Start with Obamacare and then work back. The bills were drafted by the Administration and Congress’ leadership in secret with secret negotiations with affected industries to ensure they would not oppose them. The bill was then rushed through Congress, usually without the opportunity to amend it. Then the bills were usually voted on around midnight.Dubya was a master of compromise [WHAT?!?!!?!?] and assembling bipartisan majorities [Again, WHAT?!?!?!?!]. Look at the co-sponsors and votes for the following legislation…BD: “Compromise got us NCLB, a new Medicare entitlement and a 1/3 increase in discretionary spending. For you Dems, compromise got you the Patriot Act and the Iraq War.”Whatev: “I’m sorry; did you just admit that? Or was I smoking weed in the corner?”I deal in the truth. The Dems could have stopped these expansions of government in the Senate if they wanted to. In fact, they wanted these expansions plus some.Mr. U: “It was not so much a call for sanity as much as it was a call for civility.”BD: “Like the civility shown here and elsewhere for Dubya, Sarah Palin, Christine O’Donnell, Karl Rove, Dick Cheney, Sharon Angle, Ron Paul, Marco Rubio, etc, etc???”Whatev: “[Dude, they got off lite here. Those guys deserve to be keel-hauled]”Mr. U, here is Exhibit 1. Clean up your own politics of personal destruction before you lecture us.Mr. U: “Glenn Beck’s ‘Rally to Restore Honor’ was a protest against the democratically elected administration. Understandably, they didn’t care for the change that the Obama administration represents. This ‘Rally to Restore Sanity’ was a protest against Beck’s protest. You want Democracy? Then stand for it. Stand with it. Abide by it.”BD: “Translation: We won, you lost, shut the hell up and take it. That is not democracy, that is elected fascism. Whatevs: [You do realize that ‘elected’ and ‘facism’ don’t belong in the same sentence, right? Elected means chosen by a majority. Facism was a form of dictatorship. The two are mutually exclusive.]”See Hitler and Chevez.Democracy is when our elected representatives implement the will of the People. [Whatevs: I get so goddamn tired of douchbags wearing out this ‘will of the people’ thing that I want to excercise Sharon Angle’s second ammendment rights. The will of the people includes everyone. Not just you priveledged white assholes. You better fucking get used to it.”You don’t have to dig deep to find the underlying impetus of progressive authoritarianism. Thank you for your honesty. Not a single progressive here will condemn this.

  10. Mule Rider says:

    “progressive authoritarianism.”

    Exactly what it is even though they love to push the false meme that it’s solely a conservative trait.

    “Not a single progressive here will condemn this.”

    A-blessed-men. Because they all* think alike, disturbed as it is.

    *Apologies to Realist and mclever – you two both have my respect/admiration and shouldn’t be included in “all”…the rest I really wouldn’t waste the time to kiss on.

  11. Mainer says:

    So Bart does the will of the people only count if it is your will? I and many others like me voted for a change in course we have not received because your M I N O R I T Y defied our will.What exactly does your will now say we should actually do without sound bites and slogans that will actually fix any thing? Ok any bets on how long it takes for the right to go totaly over the top with Nancy Pelosi? How about the next state of the Union sppech that will probably resemble some thing out of parliment on a bad day……a whole room of over hyped Joe Wilsons….god help us. Shut the government down, don’t extend the debt (oh that ought to play well with all of the retired, on Medicare, Teapers) I can assure you it will not play well with this retired person when my retired military pay and medical get shut off so your side can make a few more poliical points.What next Bart? Your side has already said they will not compromise on any thing. You hate the governmnet so what next get rid of it and have 50 new soverign states. You are such a loser Bart how about you take that Corona you speak of, grease it up real good and make a supository of it…..the fizz might do you wonders.

  12. shortchain says:

    Well, I’m just trying to understand why Muley and Bart took the “privileged white assholes” as such a personal insult. I’m white (95 percent or so), and, although I wasn’t “privileged” as a child, I’ve made my way to a comfortable position in my profession and community, accepted, even respected, by my neighbors.At any rate, people don’t cross the street to avoid me, nor move to another seat on the bus to be farther away.So I could be regarded as “privileged, white” — and I’m sure the noun would apply in some people’s minds.Yet, oddly enough, I didn’t see the charge as a personal affront to me.Is this a case of “if the shoe fits …”?

  13. Mule Rider says:

    You misread the whole thing, shortchain. The insinuation was that a vote for a Republican is a vote for “privileged white flowers.” That’s why I take offense to the comment. It’s not just a generic charge, it’s hate speech against people who don’t kowtow to the progressive liberal demoratic agenda/ideology.

  14. shrinkers says:

    @BartThen the bills were usually voted on around midnight.::: facepalm :::This is so typical. It jsut is.The Republicans hold up voting for hours and hours and hours, proposing dozens of meaningless nonsense amendments, insisting on cloture votes for every single aspect of the process, slowing things down as much as possible, playing games with the rules to make it run slower — then complain that they have to stay late for the final vote.Bart, if the Republicans would have allowed timely votes to begin with, they could vote during normal business hours. And you know this. Don’t pretend to be stupid. It’s not endearing or impressive.

  15. shrinkers says:

    @BartSee Hitler and Chevez.I call Godwin. You lose.Only Hitler was Hitler.

  16. shortchain says:

    Muley,So the Republicans where you come from have no “privileged, white a-holes” among their cadre?Well, lucky you. Up here we have a lot. And, just for the record, there’s a fair number of Democrats that fit that category as well — but not as high a proportion as in the GOP.

  17. filistro says:

    @shrinkers… Only Hitler was Hitler.“Fear my mini-moustache!”LOL. These guys are SO predictable. I think after deep introspection, what I fear most from this election is two long years of stale cliches. I’m not sure I can even take that. What the GOP feeds the public… it’s like one of those ocean crossings in previous centuries when travelers had to exist for a year or two on salt pork and hardtack.After a steady diet of that crap, you’re just craving something FRESH. (and green…)

  18. Mule Rider says:

    “I call Godwin. You lose.”Godwin’s Law just means the likelihood (that Hitler/Nazis are mentioned) approaches 100% the longer an internet discussion goes on; it says nothing of its appropriateness or accuracy. In other words, there is no “win” or “lose.””Only Hitler was Hitler”Agreed. Just as you could say “John Wayne Gacy was John Wayne Gacy”…but there’ve certainly been other serial killers who’ve been nearly as heinous with their spree (Ted Bundy for one). So in that spirit, we don’t act as if someone else could never come along and do what Hitler did, even if only “Hitler was Hitler.”The point was also made that just because someone is democratically elected it doesn’t mean they are automatically NOT a tyrant. Hitler and Chavez were used as examples. We’ve toed that line in this country with the executive branch since its inception. Many historians believed Lincoln crossed the line into dictator, and I know some of you swear that Dubya was one.

  19. filistro says:

    Here’s another good one. Help! Help! Keep Fear Alive! LOL…

  20. Realist says:

    @Mule Rider,Many historians believed Lincoln crossed the line into dictator, and I know some of you swear that Dubya was one.Good that you brought that up. I do believe we have had dictators as President in the US. By that, I mean that these are people who, given the opportunity, would have dispensed with the Constitution and run the show in a manner with which we typically associate dictators.That they have not is a testament to the strength of a system with three branches of government, each providing a check on the others.The Constitution was written with the understanding that power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.What do businesses do when there’s an opportunity for corruption that hurts the business? They divide power in those areas across enough people that it’s hard to build a sustainable conspiracy. This is the same thing done in the three branches of our government.It’s not foolproof. Conspiracies will still happen, in the margins. But in the really big stuff, where you can create a true dictatorship, we’re protected.

  21. Mr. Universe says:

    Bart said;I deal in the truth.Who knew Bart was a comedian? That was truly funny

  22. shrinkers says:

    @Mule,The point was also made that just because someone is democratically elected it doesn’t mean they are automatically NOT a tyrant. Hitler and Chavez were used as examples. No, the point is, unless you kill 9 – 12 million people in gas chambers and start a world war, you’re not Hitler. And pretending that someone IS Hitler, just because you disagree with their politics, is a gross insult to the tens of millions who died in WW2.Disagreeing with someone’s politics does not make that person either a tyrant or a genocidal maniac. Pretending that it does means you’ve got no sense of perspective, and thus have nothing valuable to offer to the conversation.

  23. Mr. Universe says:

    I do believe we have had dictators as President in the US.Jackson was a tyrant. LBJ could exhibit the same charachteristics. Teddy Roosevelt could probably be included in this club but, by God we needed him. Same with LBJ

  24. Mule Rider says:

    Kitties, flowers, and puppies. I am not saying anything that is a “gross insult” to the millions killed/tortured in WW2. I was simply reinforcing what Bart said in his original about Hilter. YOU are the one who initially tried to move the goalpost you little pony. Here’s the exchange.

    Whatevs said: “You do realize that ‘elected’ and ‘facism’ don’t belong in the same sentence, right? Elected means chosen by a majority. Facism was a form of dictatorship. The two are mutually exclusive.]”

    Which Bart responded to with: “See Hitler and Chevez.” He was merely pointing out that the two are NOT always mutually exclusive in that we’ve seen people be “democratically elected” who turned out to be dictators. Hitler just happened to be one example.

    Funny you seized on that (and we know why…just so you could scream “Godwin” and claim his point is discredited) and not Chavez. Arguably, Chavez is a dangerous person and has “dictatorial” leanings, even in what’s supposed to be a democratically-elected state. But you’d be hard-pressed to pin very many crimes on Chavez and certainly not nearly to the magnitude of heinousness of Hitler.

    You need to get your head out of your sunlight.

  25. shrinkers says:

    @Mule,I’m okay with that, too. Only Chavez is Chavez. I haven’t seen a Godwin’s Law on Chavez. Feel free to institute one. I’m fine with also calling Godwin on idiots who invoke Chavez in an attempt to compare a politician to someone distasteful. That’s nearly as silly as invoking Hitler.

  26. shiloh says:

    Re: Godwin’s Law ~ Let the record show MR is now apologizing for Bartles lol.Oh the humanity as they make quite a team indeed! 😉You are such a loser Bart how about you take that Corona you speak of, grease it up real good and make a supository of it…..the fizz might do you wonders.So nice let’s say it twice! 🙂

  27. Just sayin' says:

    Ha Ha! My first good laugh of the day.

  28. mclever says:

    Mr. U, and here I was all set to compliment Mule on toning back the invective! ;-)While I am generally opposed to censorship (except for spam and threats), I find the “innocuous replacement” approach to be one of the more reasonable, because it leaves the intent of Mule’s posts intact. With the offensive factor toned down, it actually made it easier to give his views reasonable consideration.”Kitties, flowers, and puppies” had me in stitches!Mule does have a point about generalizations. It’s easy to say that conservatives are “privileged, white a-holes” or that liberals are “elitist bigots” or whatever. Even if you think it’s 90% true, then there are always those 10% exceptions. So, in the effort of preserving civility, it behooves us to be careful how we characterize our political opponents.Arguing that Republican policies primarily benefit the “rich, white, privileged class” is different from saying that Republicans *are* that privileged class. 🙂

  29. mclever says:

    Mule and Bart also have a point about the inaccuracy of saying that “democratically elected” and “fascist” are mutually exclusive. You may not like the example of Hitler being used, but the fact is that he was democratically elected, much to many German’s present shame.I see a different lesson from this: It’s easy to pretend that we’re “safe” from such abuses of power because of our democratic system, but the truth is that the majority can become tyrannical or fascistic given the right cocktail of propaganda and motivation. (Usually fear and jingoism work well…) It is worthwhile to be on guard against excesses of the majority (or a rabid minority, for that matter).That said, I don’t think any of our current or recent political figures merit comparison to one of the most brutal, fascistic, horrible dictators in known history. Shouting “Nazi” at one another actually diminishes the historical impact, which (as shrinkers pointed out) is an insult to the millions who died at Hitler’s orders.

  30. shortchain says:

    Considering the ancient and noble tradition of dictators (instituted by the Romans in their republican era, when there was an emergency), a “dictator” is someone, elected or not, who has the power to rule without check or balance by the legislature (Roman Senate, for example) or other authority, and not subject to election.Of course, this is totally unlike George W. Bush, who, as we now know, acted without regard for legality, had a complaisant House and Senate who ignored his illegal actions and declined to impeach him for his illegal activities, and who only had to worry about re-election once in his 8-year reign, er, term of office.But he wasn’t given the title “Dictator for Life” … although there were many on the right who really wished he could run for re-election.

  31. DC Petterson says:

    @mcleverArguing that Republican policies primarily benefit the “rich, white, privileged class” is different from saying that Republicans *are* that privileged class. Indeed yes. It is one of the great triumphs or Republican propaganda — that they’re so often able to get precisely the people most harmed and least advantaged by their policies to vote for them. It is amazing that policies which are designed to benefit the most wealthy and most elite are championed by so many of the rural poor, and are advertised as being “populist.” A true tribute to the power of effective false advertising. Mule and Bart also have a point about the inaccuracy of saying that “democratically elected” and “fascist” are mutually exclusive. You may not like the example of Hitler being used, but the fact is that he was democratically elected, much to many German’s present shame.Absolutely. The problem with using Hitler is that such references are designed to compare someone to Hitler. If the point is that fascism and elections are not contradictory, that point is easily made without reference to Hitler.The real point being made is this: “fascism” is an economic and political theory which advocates combining business and political interests. That is, the government should act in accord with the needs and wants of corporations. Basically, the government becomes owned by corporate interests. (I’m sure someone else can give a more rigorous definition; this is a “for dummies” version.) Thus, the people who say we should “run government like a business” — or who hold that the interests of business should take priority in governmental decisions over the interests and rights of individuals — or the people who maintain that businesses should have the rights of people (i.e., “free speech” rights, etc.) — these are all forms of fascism, or elements of fascism.Elections, on the other hand, are simply methods of choosing who holds governmental posts. A fascist (or a communist, or a socialist, or a capitalist, or an advocate of democracy) can be elected to any elected position. There is nothing incompatible about having elections to chose fascist governmental or corporate officers.The point — that fascism and elections are not incompatible — can be made without reference to Hitler — or Chavez, for that matter (and especially this is true in relation to Chavez, who was not a fascist).

  32. DC Petterson says:

    @mcleverArguing that Republican policies primarily benefit the “rich, white, privileged class” is different from saying that Republicans *are* that privileged class. Indeed yes. It is one of the great triumphs or Republican propaganda — that they’re so often able to get precisely the people most harmed and least advantaged by their policies to vote for them. It is amazing that policies which are designed to benefit the most wealthy and most elite are championed by so many of the rural poor, and are advertised as being “populist.” A true tribute to the power of effective false advertising.

  33. DC Petterson says:

    @mcleverMule and Bart also have a point about the inaccuracy of saying that “democratically elected” and “fascist” are mutually exclusive. You may not like the example of Hitler being used, but the fact is that he was democratically elected, much to many German’s present shame.The real point being made is this: “fascism” is an economic and political theory which advocates combining business and political interests. That is, the government should act in accord with the needs and wants of corporations. Basically, the government becomes owned by corporate interests. (I’m sure someone else can give a more rigorous definition; this is a “for dummies” version.) Thus, the people who say we should “run government like a business” — or who hold that the interests of business should take priority in governmental decisions over the interests and rights of individuals — or the people who maintain that businesses should have the rights of people (i.e., “free speech” rights, etc.) — these are all forms of fascism, or elements of fascism.Elections, on the other hand, are simply methods of choosing who holds governmental posts. A fascist (or a communist, or a socialist, or a capitalist, or an advocate of democracy) can be elected to any elected position. There is nothing incompatible about having elections to chose fascist governmental or corporate officers.The point — that fascism and elections are not incompatible — can be made without reference to Hitler — or Chavez, for that matter (and especially this is true in relation to Chavez, who was not a fascist).

  34. mclever says:

    DC Petterson, I certainly agree with you regarding the power of propaganda and false advertising. Unfortunately… :-)Of course, one could argue that the oligarchs and plutocrats have disproportionate power and representation in both of the major political parties in our country. (They’re also the ones with sufficient money to run an effective propaganda campaign.) The differences between Republican and Democratic support for business and wealth could be seen as ideological nuance rather than significant departures, as several “third-partiers” have argued from time to time.Not saying I agree or disagree, just putting forth the thought for discussion.

  35. Monotreme says:

    @mclever:An interesting article for discussion.The emergence of a viable third (or even fourth) party, which is not beholden to special interests but operates in the interests of the people, is a dream of mine. I think it’s what our friends in the Tea Party would like to see, but I don’t presume to dictate to them what they’re thinking. I only wish the reciprocal were true.The AstroTea Party isn’t it, though. I hope to see it emerge within my lifetime. Hell, we can call it “the Republican Party” if we want, and I will vote for it.I was an Anderson ’80 supporter for this very reason. We all know where that went.

  36. mclever says:

    Monotreme,Am I revealing too much about my age if I ask, “Anderson, who?”;-)If we agree that the moneyed class has too much influence in politics, then I am not sure that the solution is a third party. The reality is that our two-party system is relatively stable and no third party is likely to gain sufficient traction.Better would be *real* campaign finance reform. From the perspective of guaranteeing equal voice in politics, I think the Supreme Court decision that allows businesses to make essentially unlimited campaign contributions is among the worst! (Hey, Supreme Court, you can’t have it both ways! Either corporations are people and subject to the same limit as everyone else, or they’re not people and there are a whole slew of corporate rights that need to be re-examined.)I’m not sure I’m in favor of 100% public financing, because the process of raising funds on the ground and building grassroots support is an essential part of proving viability as a candidate and generating appropriate responsiveness at the ballot box. In a country where 50% turnout is good, I feel that the small-donor fundraising process serves a valid purpose.What do you think?

  37. Monotreme says:

    I’m happy to tell anyone who’s interested about John Anderson’s 1980 Presidential bid. Quixotic, but instructive as to how politics works.

  38. DC Petterson says:

    @mcleverMule and Bart also have a point about the inaccuracy of saying that “democratically elected” and “fascist” are mutually exclusive. You may not like the example of Hitler being used, but the fact is that he was democratically elected, much to many German’s present shame.The real point being made is this: “fascism” is an economic and political theory which advocates combining business and political interests. That is, the government should act in accord with the needs and wants of corporations. Basically, the government becomes owned by corporate interests. (I’m sure someone else can give a more rigorous definition; this is a “for dummies” version.) Thus, the people who say we should “run government like a business” — or who hold that the interests of business should take priority in governmental decisions over the interests and rights of individuals — or the people who maintain that businesses should have the rights of people (i.e., “free speech” rights, etc.) — these are all forms of fascism, or elements of fascism.Elections, on the other hand, are simply methods of choosing who holds governmental posts. A fascist (or a communist, or a socialist, or a capitalist, or an advocate of democracy) can be elected to any elected position. There is nothing incompatible about having elections to chose fascist governmental or corporate officers.The point — that fascism and elections are not incompatible — can be made without reference to Hitler — or Chavez, for that matter (and especially this is true in relation to Chavez, who was not a fascist).

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