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None of the Above

working-class

"Are all democrats and republicans unethical? Absolutely not, but their membership in a corrupt organization does put them in a bad light."

How many times have you heard someone say that, there is no one to vote for? Only someone who has been living in the democratic/republican bubble would ever make that statement. There is no shortage of candidates. There is a shortage of informed voters. There is a shortage of voters with enough information to look outside the D/R bubble.

In many states there is a write-in option; that means that there are an infinite number of potential candidates. In states where there is no write-in option, the democratic electoral process is compromised.

The problem is not too few; the problem is that there are too many citizens who would be great candidates. So many candidates, that selecting and electing any one of them is a difficult process. Here are just a few names for your consideration: NADER, Jill Stein, Cindy Sheehan, Edward Snowden, Cornel West, Angela Davis, Barbara Ehrenreich, Jeremy Hammond, Jeffery Sterling, William Blum, Jeremy Scahill, Mickey Z, Amy Goodman... Apologies to the hundreds of others not listed here.

The flawed democratic/republican system is designed to produce flawed candidates. Why is this? A really qualified candidate would push against the party machine. Ethics, honesty, and transparency would come first - the party would come second. The party system depends on cronyism for survival.

Are all democrats and republicans unethical? Absolutely not, but their membership in a corrupt organization does put them in a bad light. Having an "R" or "D" behind candidates’ names can overshadow their virtue because of party affiliation. Voters know that a vote for a candidate is also a vote for the party - and the party has power to corrupt. Just consider how the presidential debates are done now, compared to the time when the League of Women voters was in charge. Think of how 'the fix is in' with the Super Delegates for Clinton. Think about party influence in the Congress.

How do we change this? There are many hurdles. Ballot access rules are a major problem. The rules are different in every state. A law suit has been filed. We need to support 'Level the Playing Field' - but that is just the beginning. It does not go far enough. It does not address all of the issues.

Level the Playing Field v. FEC (LPF II) On August 27, 2015, Level the Playing Field (LPF), Dr. Peter Ackerman, the Green Party of the United States and the Libertarian National Committee (collectively plaintiffs) filed a new, second lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia challenging FEC regulations and actions as they relate to sponsorship and conduct of federal candidate debates. Level the Playing Field v. FEC, No. 1:15-cv-1397-TSC (D.D.C. filed Aug. 27, 2015) (LPF II).

The biggest problem in defeating the democrats and republicans is that they are organized. We are atomized. This is a serious problem. The psyche of democrat/republicans is different from Independents and third party members. Members of the D/R party are usually group-thinkers. Independents, Socialists, Greens, etc. tend to be free-thinkers. How can we convince each other to back only one candidate? That is the only way our voices will be heard.

Our work would not be like herding cats. That would be easy by comparison. What we have to do is like channeling butterflies to fly in single file against a 100 mph headwind, with crosswinds. It is an almost impossible feat to develop a fair, open, transparent electoral system - but we have something going for us that just might make success possible. Timing - timing is everything. The time in history is right - right now for a dramatic change. The level of discontent is at an all time high. If change is ever going to happen, it has to be now. This is a 'now-or-never' challenge. The planet and our children cannot wait. The stakes are too high.

One of the greatest challenges facing voters in this election is 'distracted voting'. How can we keep the focus on important issues: war, torture, justice, health care, xenophobia, ballot access, the Black Budget, the environment, the risk to the electric grid... Somehow these issues are often overlooked with all the glitz and personality issues of the candidates.

We will have to do many things simultaneously. We cannot wait.

First, we must select just one or two candidates. Jill Stein is one of those with the most name recognition, so she might be a good choice. Barbara Ehrenreich has an admirable body of work, and also name recognition. Mickey Z is a well-respected activist and author of twelve books.

Second, we need someone with skill in crowdsourcing to come forward and put the information out. Every voter has to know that there is now a real choice.

Third, we need everyone else to help spread the word.

Do we need campaign slogans? Maybe, maybe not. How about this: "Captives of the GOP no more". How about this: "Free from the DNC, at last". Someone else will surely come up with something better.

Do we need a party name? Do we need some way of identification - a way of defining ourselves? How about: "The Butterfly Party"? Butterflies are free. Someone else can surely come up with a better name.

Or, on the other hand, maybe we don't want an organized political party. That would make us just like the D/Rs. Maybe we should just organize around issues and candidates. Forget about having any party organization. Parties are subject to corruption and cronyism. Maybe we should be free of any kind of organization that depends on leadership and has a system of hierarchy. No committees. No commissions. No meetings. Just action around issues and candidates.

"No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots." -Barbara Ehrenreich

The time is right. Now all we need is a little luck, and the rebellion can begin.


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