Hugo Chávez, Act Fast!: The Supreme Court as Democracy’s Ally
I know, I know. "What the fuck are you thinking, Dude?" My head is not screwed on straight!
How could I possibly see the Supreme Court as an ally to Democracy?
Yes, the Supreme Court of the United States of America!
Maybe you haven’t read Tom Fergusson’s book on Investment Theory of Politics. Maybe you haven’t watched Jonathan Shockley’s documentary. It’s okay. You probably already know the gist anyway. (But even if you haven’t you still should!)
We know that our electoral process is tainted with private funding. It is governed by the Golden Rule of Capitalism, not the Golden Rule of Jesus: Those who have the gold… make the rules!
The average cost for a seat in the house is more than one million dollars.
For the Senate, it is more than $5 million.
For the spot of POTUS you are looking into the tens of millions of dollars and this is per candidate!
What is worse is that I am talking in terms of BEFORE the recent Supreme Court ruling that threw out all the laws on campaign financing.
At first I thought this is horrible! But then I remembered, "Eh, the elections are bought already." And then I read where this could open up foreign capital being pumped into our electoral system. It reminded me of how the US government pours millions into foreign elections in order to sway the outcome.
In Bolivia the leading political party is Movement Toward Socialism (MAS) and on their wikipedia page is this little doozey:
In 2002 a wire sent from the US embassy in La Paz to the State Department, which was accessed through the FOIA, it was stated that a planned USAID project would ‘help build moderate, pro-democracy political parties that can serve as a counterweight to the radical MAS or its successors’. Consequently, between 2002 and 2004, the US National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI), supported trips to Washington in which emerging political leaders of the neoliberal parties were trained. Neoliberal parties included: MNR, ADN, MIR, and NFR. These funds were also used to support ‘party-strengthening’ initiatives in Bolivia of these same parties. This was possible due to funding from the US National Endowment for Democracy.
Could you imagine if the tables were turned? Well, now we can.
Considering the asymmetry of American politics and how the dominant parties are both on the same side of the centuries-old class war being waged (and it’s clearly not the side of the working class) from sea to shining sea, this ruling could prove helpful to democracy.
What if… and this is not too impossible of an idea… Hugo Chávez poured millions of oily petrodollars into the Green Party with no strings attached? What if he just donated and said, "I hope this helps level the playing field. Good luck!" And what if the Green Party used that to finance the rapid increase of their base via street teams and advertisements? It’s not impossible to imagine that they could be serious contenders for the upcoming midterm elections, and Sarah Palin’s opponents in 2012.
Uncle Chávez, help us!