• The rise of the Arab spring and the great American fall

    by Jesse Loren

    If the Arab Spring is our term for an awakening toward liberty and democracy, the counter is the American Fall, a dark turn away from liberty, equality, and human rights.

    Why are we losing ground? Who is gaining from it? One way to find the answer is to follow the money. Who benefits from preventing disenfranchised people from voting?

    In the name of “voter fraud,” several states have crusaded for state-sponsored voter identification as the only way to have the right to vote. Instead of citizenship giving the right, the right goes to the portion of the population that has a state identification card. Large percentages of people, including minorities, college students, and elderly voters don’t have valid state-issued identification cards. To get one as an adult takes time, money, state certification of birth, and a process that might not be affordable or timely for many people. It’s funny, but many members of this group vote democratic.

    It’s easy to see who gains from disenfranchising a portion of the population. The Republicans. Not only can they control access to the polls, but they can establish new laws once their numbers swell to majority positions in those states. With large numbers, they can advance their agenda. This erodes democracy. It erodes the constitutional right of citizens to vote. While the Arab Spring fights to have elections, our states are undermining the fairness of elections.

    Like the thematic rules from the book Animal Farm, instead of being created equal and having equal rights and access, some people are more equal than others, and some have more access.

    On a small scale, Newt Gingrich’s Republican entitlement provides framework for those that are “more equal.” After admitting to having (HYPERLINK: http://www.indecisionforever.com/2011/12/30/newts-virginia-ballot-fail-he-claims-fraud-jonathon-moseley-sues/) 1500 falsified signatures, he hired Tea Party attorney Jonathon Mosely to attempt to overturn the ruling that Newt lacked enough qualified signatures to get on the Virginia ballot. The rules don’t apply when you are rich; this too erodes democracy. A wealthy entitled class who controls the money and the rights of others is exactly who the Arab Spring is trying to oust. Why would we move toward that direction willingly?

    On a larger scale, Citizens United vs. Federal Elections Commission provides a framework that corporations are “more equal” than people. Corporations were historically barred from making political ads, but after the 2009 decision, large PACS and private wealth can purchase unlimited commercials on television, radio and internet. These ads are aimed at crippling the character of a candidate and the money often comes from outside influences. They don’t have a dog in the fight, but the do have the ability to play the race like puppeteers. Big business can now anonymously influence the success of candidates without the candidate’s permission. The “voice” of the Corporation is louder and has more forums than people do. It is an erosion of democracy never seen before 2009. It is as corrupt as robo-signing loans. It undermines the integrity of our very country.

    With corporations influencing races without any spending limit or having to put a name to the ads, there is no way to fight fairly. Our republic becomes a corporate Plutocracy. It’s “America brought to you by the Koch brothers.”

    While the Arab Spring flourishes and fights for self-determination, Americans are letting their rights dwindle. The American Fall is happening because corporations gain power and money while the middle-class slips far and away. It’s a dangerous turning point in our history; one that we must rise up against.

      • Dorine Mathieu

      • January 8, 2012 at 1:12 pm
      • Reply

      Great article! Hope others let the title grab them, and broaden awareness.

    • How about just getting people to vote. I vote every election and every time my state or city or county has an election. Do you know how few vote, period? Can’t complain unless you at least vote. Voter ID’s thank goodness are being banned as fast as the laws are passed. Hopefully, everyone will see the light and get out there an vote, period. Don’t give away a right we fought so dearly to have, everyone make a stampede to your local, national and federal elections.

    • Love this concept… the American Fall.

      • susn

      • January 9, 2012 at 9:54 am
      • Reply

      LOVE this, I have often said that CA is becoming a corporate state. I hope everyone reads this. Good job Jesse.

      • Judy N

      • January 9, 2012 at 7:38 pm
      • Reply

      Nice column! I worry about this all the time and feel the push against the voter id laws is coming very slowly.

    • Now that Corparations have their own armies that answer to nobody, if you open your mouth loud enough they will shut it for you, free of charge. It looks as if you women will have to take this one, this is a free Showtime weekend and we men have to watch TV. Besides, my wife won’t let me play with sharp stuff and guns (not that I want to). I think you should make me King.

      • Jesse

      • January 11, 2012 at 6:17 pm
      • Reply

      A group tried to make a case for voter ID by impersonating the dead. It’s a felony. Duh.

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