kingfish on the hustings

You have to wonder if this new phenomenon called is an effort to establish a technocracy rule in the United States, something that Thorstein Veblen felt would be the inevitable consequences of a capitalism as it became increasingly complex and unable to respond coherently and comprehensibly through the larger process of the electoral system as we know it. Ostensibly, it does intrigue given the well known, near celebrity CEO’s from America’s leading companies, yet there is a suspicion that democratic values would be undermined. Americans’s goal is to put a directly nominated nonpartisan ticket on the ballot for 2012 in all 50 state.

---Mitt Romney -- the former Massachusetts governor and frontrunner for the nomination -- described his faith in the free market with words that might come back to haunt him. "I like being able to fire people who provide services to me," Romney said at a Monday breakfast in New Hampshire, when talking about health care. "You know, if someone doesn't give me a good service that I need, I want to say, 'I'm going to go get someone else to provide that service to me.'" The candidate is already facing criticism from his Republican rivals about his record as CEO of Bain Capital LLC, a Boston venture capital group that invested in struggling companies in an effort to turn them around.--- Read More: image:

…Americans Elect is the first nonpartisan nomination. We’re using the Internet to break the gridlock in Washington, open up the political process and give every single voter—Democrat, Republican or independent—the power to nominate a presidential ticket in 2012. Your voice matters. You decide the issues. You choose the candidates. And in a secure, online convention next June, you will make history by putting the Americans Elect ticket on the ballot in every state. …Americans Elect is a “2nd way” to nominate a President, not a traditional 3rd party. Our process is open to any qualified candidate and any registered voter—no matter their party. We have no ties to any political group—left, right, or center. We don’t promote any issues, ideology or candidates. None of our funding comes from special interests or lobbyists. Our only goal is to put a directly-nominated ticket on the ballot in 2012. Read More:

---Barack Obama’s presidential campaign shattered all records by raising $760 million in the last election cycle. That record is not likely to last much longer — Obama is expected to raise more than $1 billion for his re-election campaign. And overall spending by all candidates in 2012 is predicted to eclipse an astounding $8 billion. In short, while polls show an angry surge of tea party voters and others pressing Congress to reduce the rampant spending government has been addicted to for decades, lawmakers every year are spending larger and larger sums to get their own government jobs. Read more on 2012 Election Price Tag image:

As Michael Ferguson at Future101 has pointed out, the issues today are far more complicated and intractable than previous; yet the electoral process requires a leader of solid intelligence, superior even, but not overly, since the electorate will not resonate with the candidate. In turn, his or her advisers will be somewhat smarter and be able to convey the issues, but not too smart that the leader will not understand…. He terms this “the kind of smart” with the unfortunate result being that political logjam being a better option than the risk of substantial error.

But, the actual political process is an industry in itself. From the clever punditry of a Jackie and Dunlap to the drone of the standard menu of pundidtry, it is a realization of Guy Debord’s everything as society of the spectacle. Politics as part of the entertainment industrial complex is more reality than we believe; reality entertainment that goes back into the American psyche of Edgar Allen Poe and Melville; the confidence tricksters, the hustlers, the con men and home medicine salesmen. The Red State Update effectively plays on all these archetypes that seem lifted and synthesized from the pages of Constance Rourke and her history of American Humor from the early Yankee pedlars of ambiguous origins and the traveling minstrel show. At least, all this political satire self-admits to an acceptance of the system and parlays dissent away from outright revolution. A pacifier equal in intensity to sports.

But Americanselect; does it see the political waste, the conspicuous waste of national and state electoral processes as a mark of status and distinction in the capitalist society. A way of affirming prestige at home and abroad? …


Looks like, overall, the current group of members is Centrist-Left. How does this square with overall US voter registration by party? The latest statistics I could find were compiled courtesy of Pew Research Center. According to these statistics dating back to 2008, 36% of voters identify themselves as Democrat, 27% as Republican and 37% as Independents. Of the Independents, 15% lean Democrat, 10% lean Republican and 12% express no particular slant. Let’s say that Democrats tend to lean Left and Republicans tend to lean Right. When you include the Independent split, 41.5% of all registered voters lean Left, 29.7% lean Right and 28.8% have no particular leaning. Pew Research adds a cautionary note, though: Since 2004, the Republican Party has lost 6% of all voters, Democrats have gained 1% and Independents have remained the same. Although I’ve discovered a lot of disagreement on how many registered voters identify themselves as Left or Right leaning, everyone agrees that a majority of people identify themselves as Centrist. Taken into consideration with Pew Research Center’s 2008 information and applying a bit of creative thinking involving the assumption that more people in both parties have moved to the center since 2008, whether or not they identify themselves with a political party, the only disconnect between the results of the Americans Elect survey and my creative analysis of Pew Research stats is that the Right is a bit underrepresented in the results. Since the Left seems to be spot on, it looks like the Center is overrepresented in comparison with the rest of the country. Thus, yes, I would say, Friedman was right, Americans Elect, at this point, is definitely representative of the “Radical Center”. The Radical Left Center, that is.

Maybe this is an idea whose time has come: The American public isn’t obsessed with Right, Left and Center, politicians are. Maybe the American public is so disgusted with politicians and their incessant, unreasonable political-ruler rhetoric that we are ready to start a fresh political conversation based on issues, not sides or labels. Maybe we’re ready to realize that we outnumber them exponentially and would rather not be played by them anymore. And, just maybe, Americans Elect is the vehicle that can drive that point home. We’ll see. Read More:
How will they count the votes cast by Americans for the nominees?
How will they verify the identity of the Americans voting?
How will they ensure that the votes cast and stored in the database are not tampered with?
How will they assure the public that the voting counting software functions properly and as advertised to the public?
What security measures are they taking to protect the datacenter hosting the website?
How will they ensure that the website itself is not hackable?

I’m interested to see what answers Americans Elect provides to these questions, because if they’re not answered, and they’re successful nonetheless, they will have established a new election system that is very centralized, and thus corruptible not district by district but on the national scale. All the eggs in one basket.Read More:

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We’ve taken all you’ve given
But it’s gettin’ hard to make a livin’
Mr. President have pity on the working man

We ain’t asking you to love us
You may place yourself high above us
Mr. President have pity on the working man

I know it may sound funny
But people ev’ry where are runnin’ out of money
We just can’t make it by ourself

It is cold and the wind is blowing
We need something to keep us gong
Mr. President have pity on the working man

Maybe you’re cheap
Maybe you’re lyin’
Maybe you have lost your mind
Maybe you only think about yourself

Too late to run. Too late to cry now
The time has come for us to say good-bye now
Mr. President have pity on the working man
Mr. President have pity on the working man ( Randy Newman, Mr. President )

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