The People’s Movement

That is what it will take to change government of, by, and for Corporations into a government of, by, and for The People of America.

And the People’s Movement must have two ultimate goals. Public (The People) Financing of Elections and the end to Corporate Personhood. Only The People are persons in a democracy.

And a good Public Financing law will make moot the SCOTUS’s recent debacle of a ruling.

Lakoff says in his piece at Daily Kos

In the emerging Obama mythology, this is the question attributed to President Obama whenever he is asked to take the lead on a progressive issue.  It is not an idle question. Leaders can only lead if there is a pre-existing movement for them to get in front of.

Moreover, there are other conditions. The idea behind a movement, and the language expressing its goals, must also pre-exist in public discourse. In other words, the movement must already have:

• a popular base;

• organizing tools;

• a generally accepted morally-based conceptual framing;

• an overall narrative, with heroes, victims, and villains;

• a readily recognizable, well-understood language;

• funding sources;

• and a national communication system set up for both leaders and ordinary citizens to use.

The base is there, waiting for something worth getting behind. The organizing tools are there. The rest is not there.

Yes, yes it is there. At least the narrative and the villains part.

The narrative is The People vs The Corporations and the villains are obvious. The villains are the Insurance Corporations committing Murder by Spreadsheet and who just baldly and blatantly used their bought Senators to defeat Health Care Reform. The villains are the banking Corporations who ruined the kitchen table economy of The People…so that they could take huge risks with The People’s investments and retirement accounts out of pure unvarnished selfish greed. Their bought Senators are now bringing the same brand of “reform” to the banking industry as the brought to HCR.

The villains are the Military Industrial Corporations that use their bought Senators to keep Americas “defense” budget at ten times the rest of the worlds military spending combined. And the villains are the polluters. The Oil and Coal and Energy and Pollution Corporations that are using their bought Senators to block moving forward on Saving the Freaking Planet.

We do NOT have a leader. (Though we were told we were getting one, lol)

We do not have “a readily recognizable, well-understood language” to frame the struggle with. That is part of what we are working on here, I hope.

We do not have funding sources, though The People have proven through the money they spent on the Obama campaign to try to get a leader that they are willing to finance a Movement if it appears. And has goals and language they can relate to.

And like it or not….Us vs Them IS about the only language they can relate to.

Since the Them is so obviously screwing the Us.

The People’s Movement spreads across all CURRENT political ideologies, but there is a fundamental difference between The People’s Movement on the Left and The People’s Movement on the Right. The Teabaggers blame government as the obvious cause, without looking past the obvious to see who it is that has corrupted the government. Because of course, that would not serve their Corporate masters in the Republican Party and the Ruling Class.

So The People’s Movement of The People vs the Corporations has to come from the Left and hope that somewhere along the way the more intelligent folks from the Right will wake up and join. Because a true People’s Movement, to be truly effective, HAS to be seen as a  non-partisan Movement. Or else it will be co-opted or at least spun by the media and the heads of the two parties as support for “their side.”

Which is exactly what it isn’t.

What it is is a recognition by People from all sides that our government is corrupt and broken and no longer serves (and no longer even pretends to serve) the Interests of The People.

A representative democracy as opposed to a true democracy is designed to curb the worst instincts of “The Mob.” But when representative democracy no longer bears ANY resemblance to something that represents The People, only The Mob can rein it in.

We are there.

There are only two questions left. Can the Obama Administration sufficiently appease, and so co-opt, the nascent People’s Movement?

IF they adopt the narrative above, they might be able to. Whether that is a good or bad thing remains to be seen, IF it occurs. The Obama Admin may have already lost too many of The People by catering to the Corporate forces who have caused all of the problems we face. They will have to regain the trust of The People if they want to lead.

And the second question, if it can’t, what form will The People’s Movement take? I think the answer to that question relates directly to the first question, in so far as it will depend on who emerges to lead it.

The Dems are in the denial phase of grief over the Massachusetts election and the political reality it portends. The only thing that will ‘save’ them is moving in to the acceptance phase, Where they accept that things ARE going to change, one way or another. If they don’t return to being the Party of the Working Man and Woman, The People’s Party, then someone else WILL emerge to lead The People’s Movement.

Because The People want change, in our broken and corrupt system. And they are just going to keep “throwing the bums” out until they get it.

And if the Dems doesn’t lead it, and if the Left doesn’t lead it, then some Reaganesque demagogue from the Right will.

Because this, my friends and neighbors, is the reality that we face, and it is not going to go away. The People are revolting. And we have to do our best to make sure that the least revolting result results from the revolt.


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  1. Photobucket

  2. In a preview of upcoming documentaries on PBS, film maker, Stanley Nelson spoke of his powerful documentary, The Freedom Riders.  One of the take away points of Nelson’s remarks was that landmark social changes have been brought about by “ordinary people” of courage, and that they are the ones whose unrelenting determination eventually forced their “leaders” to take the actions needed to bring about the change:

    …Nelson chronicles a chapter of American history that stands as an astonishing testament to the accomplishment of youth and what can result from the incredible combination of personal conviction and the courage to organize against all odds…

    In 1961 segregation seemed to have an overwhelming grip on American society…until an integrated band of college students-many of whom were the first in their families to attend a university-decided, en masse, to risk everything and buy a ticket on a Greyhound bus bound for the Deep South. They called themselves the Freedom Riders, and they managed to bring the president and the entire American public face to face with the challenge of correcting civil-rights inequities that plagued the nation.” [Synopsis courtesy of Sundance Film Festival]


    As Nelson stated regarding these extraordinary “ordinary people”:

    I think the courage of everyday people in the film is amazing.

    In his PBS interview, Nelson pointed out that the movement was led by the people, and only later were they joined by their leaders.  We have many crises facing this nation, and maybe that’s one reason it’s been hard for people to focus on organizing and demanding change in a focused, united, and relentless manner.  Also, we’ve found that blogging, phoning and writing congress critters, LTE’s, etc, just haven’t been making the impact on our leaders that we’ve hoped it would.  What would be effective?  What would make people rally around–but most importantly, do we have the courage, and determination to “make them (our leaders)” do as they promised they would do?  

    In the end, I came away from watching that short PBS promotion of a powerful documentary with a lot of food for thought, which I’m still trying to process.  

  3. he said he “understands” people’s anger about banks but Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner does not think that Move Your Money is a good idea. (Wow, he “doesn’t think it’s a good idea–I’m shocked!)

    Geithner addressed the campaign against too-big-to-fail banks during a recent interview with Politico. While Geithner said he understood the anger against bailed out banks and said that it was fair for bank customers to expect more, he did not explain why he thought that it was a bad idea.

    Well, not only did the netroots initiated idea get the attention of TPTB, they obviously are worried about the potential negative consequences for the “too big to fail” types, now that people are finally uniting and asserting  themselves by taking effective and decisive action.


    • Big Tex on January 25, 2010 at 11:25 pm

    calling for a populist revolt:

    The only proper response to this distortion of our political system by ideologically driven justices is a popular revolt. It would be a revolt of a sort deeply rooted in the American political tradition. The most vibrant reform alliances in our history have involved coalitions between populists (who stand up for the interests and values of average citizens) and progressives (who fight against corruption in government and for institutional changes to improve the workings of our democracy). It’s time for a new populist-progressive alliance.

    This court ruling should also challenge the fake populism we have seen of late. It disguises a defense of the interests of the powerful behind crowd-pleasing rhetoric against “Washington,” “taxes” and, yes, “Obama.”

    President Obama has helped feed this faux populist revolt by failing to understand until recently how deeply frustrated politically moderate, middle-class Americans are over policies that bailed out the banks while leaving behind millions of unemployed and millions more alarmed about their economic futures.

    If average voters came to see government primarily as an instrument of the banks, why should they believe that the same government could help them on matters of health care and employment? This problem was aggravated by puffed-up, self-involved U.S. senators who conspired to make the legislative process look as ugly and chaotic as possible.

  4. Yes the revolt is coming. Far better that it comes from the Left than the Right. President Obama’s 1st State of the Union address will tell us IF Obama gets it or not!

  5. The System Is Broken

    Headline, Forbes, Robert Lenzner, 01.16.09

    our system is too broken to be fixed by politicians

    Huffington 1/23/10

    A Broken System

    Confidential Reports Reveal Failures in U.S. Immigrant Detention Centers

    july 2009

    The Income Tax System is Broken

    CBS, 4/15/2009

    The System for Forming Unions is Broken

    AFL-CIO 2010

    Perspective: Fixing a broken patent system

    CNET News, By Alex Chachkes, October 2007

    Our System Is Broken Because Of How It Is Funded– Meet Florida Blue Dog Lori Edwards

    Down with Tyranny, 12/04/2009

    The System Is Broken. Will B-Schools Help Fix it?

    Harvard Business Review, April 20, 2009

    Phila. D.A. says bail system is “broken”

    Philadelphia Inquirer, 01/20/10

    Don’t blame Obama. The US political system is broken, 13 December 2009

    Americans Online Privacy, The System Is Broken

    Report from the Annenburg Public Policy Center, University of Pennsylvania, June 2003

    A Broken System:  Error Rates in Capital Cases, 1973-1995

    Columbia Law School, 2000

    Spitzer: Banking System is Broken

    CBS News, 01/11/10

    Political System Absolutely Broken

    California Farmer, FrankHoldmeyer, Jan 11, 2010

    James Bissett: Why our refugee system stays broken

    National Post 08/26/09

    Study: U.S. security system still broken

    CNN, 07/28/08

    Recipe for America: Why Our Food System is Broken

    Jill Richardson, 2009

    Our Education System Is Broken!

    Supercool School, 03/07/07

    The American Medical System is Broken…

    Consumer Advocate Tim Bolen, 05/27/04

    ‘The System is Broken.’

    Andrea Ferreira-Gonzalez, professor of Pathology and Director of the Molecular Diagnostics Lab at Virginia Commonwealth University, on the current CPT procedure reimbursement coding system., 07/20/09

    ‘Budget system is broken’

    Clay Chandler, Mississippi Business Journal, 12/01/09

    The Prison System Is Broken

    PrisonTalk, 04/08/08

    The clinical trials system is broken

    Nature Review, Clinical Oncology, 12/01/08

    GAO: EPA’s chemical oversight system is broken

    Grist, 01/23/09

    Health system is broken

    Evansville Courier & Press, 01/22/10

    Federal financial reporting system is broken, CFOs say

    Government Executive, Katherine McIntire Peters, 07/31/08

    Both pro- and anti-death penalty advocates say the same thing – Tennessee’s death penalty system is broken 06/23/08

    FasTrak toll system completely broken

    Hack a Day, 08/06/08

    NYT: American Voting System STILL Broken

    TakePart, 03/18/09

    IKEA’s Delivery System Still Broken

    The Consumerist, Meg Marco, 04/16/07

    The Obama-Clinton Struggle Has Broken the Democratic Party

    U.S. News & World Report, Bonnie Erbe, 06/02/08

    The two party system is irreparably broken

    Democratic Underground, niceypoo, 12/19/09

    Most depressing of all:

    Leading Off: Undefeated teams show BCS system is broken

    Sacramento Bee, Bill Bradley, 12/05/09

    At least there’s this ray of hope:

    Hancock: BCS System Not Broken, Post season is best for schools, student-athletes

    AP, Ralph Russo, 2010

    Time to invoke the Aristotelian Golden Mean:

    If BCS not COMPLETELY broken, don’t fix it

    Times-Picayune, Peter Finney, 10/22/09

    And I say, if it is broke, don’t fix it!

    • banger on January 26, 2010 at 3:28 pm

    I’ve made some statements here and will repeat them to you. We must assemble facts to show patterns which will form a narrative. Our job here ought to be just that.

    Without a Narrative we have nothing.

    We need to find out who the real actors are. Not just throw out a vague “them”. Specifically who the fuck runs this country! It isn’t the President and it isn’t Congress, I swear by my life it is not! So where is the power? How does it work? Can we describe the factions? Where do they meet? Where does policy actually get made. Who made Obama a sacrificial lamb led out to take the heat when everything turns to shit. BTW, this was common thinking in some areas in the Black community — people there have long memories as well they should.

    I’m working on it BTW — I just wish I had more time to do it.

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