Friday, November 7, 2014

2014 MIDTERM ELECTIONS: Big Bucks & Political Mercenaries by Kiilu Nyasha

This midterm election has not only spent a whopping $4 billion, the highest yet; it also witnessed the lowest voter turnout. Given these two facts, I would deduce voters are fed up with the blatant corruption endemic to U.S. electoral politics.

It’s clear to me that in practice, Democrats and Republicans comprise one capitalist party with a Left and Right wing. Republicrats, as Mumia dubbed them.  I simply call them fascists, meaning they are in bed with big business and the military with no regard for the lives of the U.S. majority, everyday working people, employed and unemployed.

BTW, Congress members, who can vote themselves pay raises, now earn from $174,000 - $223.500 (plus millions in perks). 

Please note that almost none of the candidates advocated for the victims of this unrighteous, undemocratic order, the low-waged, unemployed, homeless, or imprisoned human beings who have no human rights under this system.

The politicians are not concerned with people who have no big bucks to contribute to their campaign coffers; they are beholden to the superPACs, so-called “dark money” (secret donations), and billionaires like the Koch Brothers who pour hundreds of millions into the campaigns.

Mainstream media moguls are laughing all the way to the bank. What a bonanza!

Kentucky Rep. Sen. Mitch McConnell raised over $73 million to win back his Senate seat, according to a recent FEC report.  That’s a lot of spaghetti!

In fact, that much money could save the lives of millions of refugees, displaced, and homeless people here and abroad; build desperately needed housing, provide child care and education, fight ebola and other diseases; reduce infant morbidity and mortality; fund support for prisoners released to their communities and those still incarcerated, as well as prevention of violence against women and suicide among veterans (22 per day!).

These elections are little more than big money games played on the American people.  They’re not only replete with bribery, fraud, mendacity, trickery, and racism, they create the illusion of democracy, which, as Malcolm noted, is nothing but “hypocrisy.”
One of the leading culprits in buying candidates and elections is AIPAC, the American Israeli Political Action Committee.  Over the years, this lobby has raised and spent hundreds of millions of dollars on its political activities. Through the recent recession, AIPAC’s cash flow still reached almost $200 million. It raises additional hundreds of millions with the help of some of its wealthiest donors, and through its AIPAC Tomorrow Campaign, asking members to donate parts of their estates to the organization.

The pro-Israel lobby also has an affiliate called the American Israel Education Foundation that pays to take congressmen on lavish trips to Israel, among other things. A one-week trip can cost up to $28,000 for an elected official and his or her spouse. The American Israel Education Foundation raises and spends about $25 million a year, according to IRS filings. 

Although AIPAC cannot make direct campaign contributions under the law, political insiders say there are about 30 political action committees linked with it. That’s nearly all the pro-Israel PACs that exist. The organization also encourages its 100,000-member base to give to pro-Israel causes and campaigns.

Edward Tivnan, author of THE LOBBY: Jewish Political Power and American Foreign Policy, noted, "Indeed,...the Jewish lobby had become primarily a pro-Israel lobby, one so aggressive, omnipresent and influential...that the denizens of Capitol Hill refer to it simply as 'the lobby,'...Before Israel existed as a state, it existed as a political lobby first in the capitals of Europe and then in Washington."

No members of Congress can keep their seats without the support of AIPAC, and no presidential candidate will be elected without it.  Hence, there’s no tangible opposition to any of the atrocities and war crimes committed by Israel (the U.S. military surrogate) in occupied Palestine and elsewhere –  in our name.

Now that we know who Barack Obama really is – just another bought politician – we should let him be the last political mercenary we elect.  We should start now (really yesterday!) to build a revolutionary united front, a movement to transform -- not just reform -- this government into a people’s government with a brand new platform of human rights and equal rights for all.  That means we must begin to think outside the box.

Remember what Jamil Al-Amin (H. Rap Brown) said, “If voting could change the system, they would make it illegal.”

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