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Democracy vs. Plutocracy June 9, 2010

Posted by Dwight Furrow in Dwight Furrow's Posts, politics.
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The battle for California Governor has now been joined. One way or the other we will be rid of the odious Schwartzenegger. But there is no guarantee the next Governor will be better.

As Robert Cruikshank wrote today:

Republicans will do what they are told by their corporate masters. Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina won their primaries because they spent an enormous amount of money to tell Republicans that they should vote for CEOs because they’re smarter than everyone else and more likely to beat the Democrat this fall. That’s it. […]

Thus, the issue in California this fall will be clear. It is a battle between corporate wealth and democracy; between tax cuts for the wealthy or better schools and roads.

Jonathan Taplin is fed up with this:

In the good old days of Tamany Hall politics, an enterprising politician could buy a vote for a 50 cent beer. Meg Whitman’s 1,101,528 votes in the California Republican Governor Primary came at the cost of $77 per vote, most of the money coming from her own fortune.

So what is she willing to spend in the general election? $150 per vote?

This is either an obscene indulgence of a bored woman’s egomania or some kind of dystopian vision of the future of American politics in the post Citizen’s United era, where money really does equal speech.

I have a modest proposal. As a part of their obligation under the Federal Communications Act and in return for their free use of the nation’s airwaves, all broadcast stations should be obligated to give an equal number of free 1 minute advertising slots in the 30 days before a general election to the candidates of any party that garnered more than 10% of the vote in the previous election. This would apply to all statewide offices (Senator, Governor, etc).

Otherwise, any pretense that America is a democracy and not a plutocracy is a sham.

book-section-book-cover2 Dwight Furrow is author of

Reviving the Left: The Need to Restore Liberal Values in America

For political commentary by Dwight Furrow visit: www.revivingliberalism.com



1. Asur - June 10, 2010

Inept politicians are the symptom, not the problem; the problem is an incompetent voting body. The body of voters is, and will always be, the inherent flaw in every democratic political system.

When you imply, for example, that democracy leads to better schools and roads…that’s just utter rubbish. Democracy is just a process; it leads to whatever people vote for it to lead to — which may very well be the exact opposite of better schools and roads.

The problem isn’t that E-Meg or others are misguided and out of their depth, nor is it that they are able to disseminate their platform to so many voters, nor is it how much money they spend to do that; the problem is that those voters throw good judgment to wind and actually vote for them.

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