In the old Soviet Union, people had "free" elections and were "free" to choose any Communist candidate that had been selected for the election. Most of the people of the Soviet Union understood well that in reality, their elections were shams.
Here in the United States, we also have "free" elections and the corporate media narrative is that you need to vote for one of the two candidates that have been selected for you, because if you go outside of that "choice," the other terrible candidate that you do not want will win the election. You may not particularly like the candidate you plan to vote for, but that candidate is certainly the "lesser evil."
The corporate media has successfully spun that illusion so now many people do not even realize that there are choices outside of the Democratic/Republican duopoly that is strangling our election process.
So exactly how has the media created this illusion? Here are 2 examples:
People's Exhibit A:
In Maryland, there are 3 candidates that are on the ballot for the office of U.S. senator. Logically, you would think that the televised debate to inform voters of all their choices would include all three candidates. Unfortunately, you would be wrong.
Only the candidates representing the Democratic/Republican duopoly were allowed to appear on stage, censoring the voice of Dr. Margaret Flowers, who is running on the Green Party ticket. This was done despite the fact that both of the candidates clearly said that Dr. Flowers should participate in the debate. (Notice how it was the corporate entities that dictated who appeared and who did not).
The Republican candidate, Kathy Szeliga, openly suggested that the third podium be opened for Dr. Flowers to participate, yet she was ignored. THIS IS KEY: what does this tell you of the real power structure here?
The YouTube video below will show Dr. Margaret Flowers boldly going on to the stage and challenging the censoring of her voice. (Things start getting interesting around 5:50) Once you have seen this video, what are your thoughts about how "free" our elections really are? Do you like the fact that the corporate media gets to make the decisions of who should be heard and who should not?
Additional information can be found on Dr. Flower's Facebook page here.
After being ejected from the stage, Dr. Flowers issued a statement:
"We are fighting for our families, and our communities. I will not be silent about this rigged political process and this televised sham debate I was just excluded from. Shame on Ralph Watkins of League of Women Voters, Andy Green of the Baltimore Sun, Jay Newman of WJZ-13 CBS Baltimore, Ann Cotten of The University of Baltimore, and thanks to Kathy Szeliga, all the brave voices that rose to speak up, and everyone sharing the word on social media."
People should find it especially troubling that institutes of higher learning, the University Of Baltimore and the College of Public Affairs, were engaged in the censorship of a candidate who was on the ballot, but outside of those selected for public consumption. What ethics, morals, and values are they teaching their students and our future leaders? As a student or a parent of a student attending the University of Maryland, I would be very concerned about the leadership of this institution.
Should not the very purpose of the College of Public Affairs be to engage in uncensored free debate of ideas? How can they be a party to the limiting and censoring of ideas? As a student attending these schools, I would certainly be reevaluating my enrollment. This is a purposeful dumbing down of the curriculum and this school could eventually find itself losing its relevancy, much as the public distrust for the corporate media has been steadily and continuously eroding their relevancy.
Additionally, the reputation of the university was further damaged by the fact that the University of Baltimore refused to meet with Dr. Flowers and that it was the University Police that forcefully escorted Dr. Flowers from the debate.
This entire episode illuminates how "our" electoral process has been hijacked by corporate interests and others who serve those interests. The fact that the Maryland League of Women Voters were integrally involved in this silencing saddens the heart. Here is an organization that previously had tremendous integrity, but has over time been co-opted and now serves the power interests.
People's Exhibit B:
Remember those presidential debates? They only included Clinton and Trump, despite the fact there are two other candidates on the ballots in most states. Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party and Jill Stein of the Green Party were not part of these debates. Who was it that excluded them?
They were excluded by the Commission on Presidential Debates. So who exactly is this Commission on Presidential Debates?
Most people would be surprised to learn that the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) is a private corporation. It is under the joint sponsorship of both the Democratic and Republican political parties in the United States. The Commission's debates are sponsored by private contributions from foundations and corporations. It becomes easy to understand why such a corporation would want to exclude candidates from other political parties that would question the existing power structure.
With the CPD being privately funded by big money, just whose interests do you believe the CPD represents? If they were to allow outside political parties to participate in the debates, the illusion that they have spun through their mouthpieces in the corporate media would begin to unravel. People would realize that there are other choices beyond the "lesser evil."
The sad part is that most people I talk to have not even heard of Gary Johnson or Jill Stein. Despite the fact that Trump and Clinton are the most unpopular candidates in recent history, the campaigns of Johnson and Stein do not get any traction in the corporate media. So exactly how has the corporate media provided the people with unbiased and neutral information?
When was the last time the corporate media news presented you with a contrast and comparison of the candidates' positions on the issues? When was the last time the corporate media presented you with the voting records of all the candidates on specific issues? When was the last time the corporate media presented you with information on who contributed to the candidates? Corporations and big money do not want you knowing this information about their hired and paid-for servants.
What we have received from the corporate media is mud slinging, scandals, and basically a horse race mentality of who is ahead and who is behind in corporate-run polls. A substantive discussion of the key issues affecting the nation and the planet has been missing. It is the corporate media that is limiting your information and choices, and yet most people still unquestioningly accept the "lesser evil" paradigm constantly repeated by these self-serving entities.
When you look how the how the Supreme Court essentially legalized government corruption through its infamous Citizens United ruling, when you see how big money has flooded the electoral process, when you witness the forceful ejection of a candidate by corporate interests from a televised debate, when you see big money and corporations essentially bidding for government favors, it becomes apparent that we have a corporate state with a government that services its needs.
The corporate media is used as a tool to make sure that the current power structure stays in place. Just look at the revelations by WikiLeaks, (an alternative media site) on how the corporate media was used to favor establishment candidates during the primary elections. Isn't it interesting that these WikiLeaks documents also did not get much corporate media attention? People are forced to go to alternative media to obtain this information. These leaks will most certainly be used by historians to write about this corrupt 2016 election.
The fact that the corporate media excluded candidates on the ballot from the televised debates should not surprise anyone as it would have disrupted the illusion of having only two choices in the election. As we saw in the debates, the power resided not with the political candidates, but with the corporate interests. What would you expect from such a media when you have a Green Party that accepts no corporate donations?
It is time to break out of the illusion that has been spun by the corporate interests. Take a good hard look at the platforms of Gary Johnson and Jill Stein. You may just find that they represent the values, ethics, and morals that you really believe in. Take a look at the platforms of other candidates further down on the ballot. Do not allow yourself to fall for the "lesser evil" paradigm that has been repeated over and over again. The Democratic/Republican parties are all part of the same Money Party. As long as we keep rewarding them with our votes, what incentive is there for them to change?
In case anyone reading this still thinks their elected officials are representing them, what do you think would happen if you and a lobbyist were waiting to see your elected representative, who would be seen first?
You can expect that the corporate media will keep repeating the narrative that you are throwing your vote away if you vote outside of the duopoly. But try to explain to yourself how you are not throwing your vote away by voting for someone you do not want? Look where generations of voting for the "lesser evil" has brought us.
So I leave you with this parting thought: exactly just how is our electoral system different from that in the old Soviet Union? Both the USSR and the U.S. preselect the candidates offered to the masses and suppress those outside of the power structure.
There is an old saying: "as long as you keep doin' what you are doin', you will keep gettin' what you are gettin.' " It is time to End The Illusion.