"To Buy A Democracy"

                                                   By James R. Morgan ll

                                                     November 19th, 2017 

Money…… got to have it don’t we? But what happens when we trade money in exchange for our long held values as the American people, what happens when we allow money to be the predominant factor  in whom we vote in as Mayor, Senator, Governor or even the President of the United States? Well, we see what happens everyday when we turn on the evening news, don’t we? We see it in the legislation turned into policy and law that doesn’t necessarily serve us more so then the people we put into office, the people that we trusted to protect us. 

Money drives our media that further strives perpetually for viewership and ratings, media that now is owned by multi corporate conglomerations that moreover direct the narrative of what we hear and see on the news concerning a particular campaign and the candidate's therein. Corporation's whom contribute unlimited amounts of money to our Candidates who in turn, give it to the media organizations for air time that again, in turn draws in private sector sponsors via ratings dictated through viewership that works out pretty well all around long as they can advertise their products and their don’t get their reputations in some way that again, make them lots of money along with the advertising station who then gives back a substantial return investment to the corporations that bought the news programming up in the fist place. 

In summery: (1 ): Lobbyists from corporate or foreign outside interest lobby for certain bills to be passed into law that will serve their corporate bosses and not the American people; they do this simply by offering a potential candidate or sitting official donations, trips, gifts, parties, and otherwise things needed things to wine and dine them, (2): Corporate interests buy up news outlets to push the corporate narrative's that in turn, attempt to sway the wave of public opinion towards their guy or gal and against their opponent’s side. 

(3): Corporate owned news outlets compete for private sector sponsors who make lots of money off of the airtime they get from the advertising of their products that they in turn, contribute some of which back to the Candidate of choice that ultimately, brings in a good financial return on the money that the corporation initially donated to Candidate in the first place and lastly, (4): Big corporations can be traced back to Wall Street banks that now pretty much orchestrate our elections through lobbying, unlimited donations to our candidates and the message we receive on the nightly news about any given topic.

Now my question to you the reader of this post is this: “Where do we come in as voters” to all this frenzy of money making profitability?  And the answer is, nowhere. Our politicians tell half truths, make lots of promises they can't keep, withhold pertinent proposal information and lastly, we get lied to by the media, NOT all media are the dubious factor, but some media citing the political talk shows and entities like Fox News Talk, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Alex Jones, and so many others out there pretending to be investigative reporters that mislead the public everyday .

A great number of Americans understand that politics is all about big money today however, there are some of us out there that would dispute this notion but I would say to them, if you're looking for the proof of this corrupting factor in government all you have to do is to take a close look at our current  Administration. 

Ok, stay with me and let's start from the beginning in how this huge mess started and how the very rich came into power and further, how we the the American people started losing our grasp on the very government that we thought was working to our benefit, let's begin with this : “ Media Consolidation brought to you by Reagan and Clinton : https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2008/1/18/439135/-

Yes, this is where big money got it’s foot in the door because if you own the media then you can sway public opinion and moreover if you own the banks then you can direct policy through the candidates you fund into office and through this, you can control the vote and further, if you can control the voting process then you control who gets into office and to continue, if you control who get into office via informational manipulation, then you can control the legislation moving through Congress.

But it didn't stop there because this was simply not enough and so they went on to take their case to the court as follows here “Supreme Court Gives Corporations, Unions Power to Spend Unlimited Sums on Political Messaging” https://www.opensecrets.org/news/2010/01/supreme-court-gives-corporatio/ . So now, we have big money owning the media outlets and our candidates and no, I'm not done yet because I've saved the best for last “Koch brothers convene donor retreat as dark money spending set to soar” https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/jan/29/koch-brothers-donor-retreat-dark-money-2016-election   and thus, the perfect storm of American Government corruption. 

Again, let's   familiarize ourselves as to what corrupts our government over all and how we can take steps to right the wrongs taking place within it at: “Citizens United vs. FEC” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citizens_United_v._FEC and or, “How will thUS erase the decision that let big money pour into elections?” and this https://www.pri.org/stories/2016-03-14/how-might-citizens-united-decision-be-undone and lastly “We Can Do This, America. Seven Steps to Reversing Citizens United” http://billmoyers.com/story/we-can-do-this-america-seven-steps-to-reversing-citizens-united/   .

As you can see after reading these cited links above, this power grab by the very rich and corperate interests occurred in the Supreme Court, please read the following link of :“The ‘Citizens United’ decision and why it matters” https://www.publicintegrity.org/2012/10/18/11527/citizens-united-decision-and-why-it-matters

So, essentially, what the Supreme Court was stating to my dismay that U.S. currency is a form of speech and or, money can convey a wish from one person to another and further, that this speech can be protected under the First Amendment, if I'm understanding this decision correctly.  Yes, I agree to a point in that, money does convey a quite narrow and specifically  defined message to a certain extent such as in the following example below.

A dollar bill handed to the clerk in a store states that the dollar bill he or she was just handed by the patron is a promissory note from the government of the United States of America that further states, that it is backed by the government in question, an  I.O.U. from the government that can be exchanged for hard currency to the limit of 100 pennies, 20 nickel's ten dimes or four quarters and that's where, the message or conveyed speech ends for me.  Anything past this in my opinion regarding speech is something vaguely defined and or, up to the interpretation of each individual. 

A point that I'd like to make here before moving on is as follows : If I laid a dollar bill on a table because I wanted to buy a cigarette from you and yet, I just laid the dollar bill on the table, looked at you and said nothing but this dollar bill now belongs to you. Now my question, how would you know what I wanted if I hadn't verbally conveyed my need to you ? You wouldn't know is the answer, you wouldn't know because the dollar bill certainly couldn't tell you what I wanted past its statement of monetary worth.

Let me give you another scenario as follows: What if you were running for a political office and you didn’t have a penny in your pocket to pay for all the road trips, rallies, advertisements, political adds, filing fees for office or whatever else that might be needed and out of the blue, I walked up to you and laid five million dollars down on the table but didn’t tell you anything other then the money was yours to keep and no strings attached, you would feel pretty indebted to me wouldn't you ? 

You would want me to be your new best friend because you might need my generosity in the future at some point and would no doubt, try to please me in whatever way you thought would make me happy, wouldn't you?  And if I continually talked about guns  and how the government was keeping me from making money by introducing those pesky gun safety laws you perhaps, would be so inclined to push back against any gun safety regulations coming through the Congress should you win your election.

So, when we give money to a candidate involved in a campaign then we can consider that money at best to a very strong incentive for the person we gave it to in bringing us a desired political goal and on the downside, we can consider that donation to be a bribe to the candidate without ever specifying a desired goal and or, we can convey our political goal to the candidate via small talk without ever mentioning that this was our intent in giving them the money in the first place. 

How Spending Money Became A Form Of Speech” http://www.amendmentgazette.com/how-spending-money-became-a-form-of-speech/A restriction on the amount of money a person or group can spend on political communication during a campaign necessarily reduces the quantity of expression by restricting the number of issues discussed, the depth of their exploration, and the size of the audience reached. This is because virtually every means of communicating ideas in today’s mass society requires the expenditure of money. The distribution of the humblest handbill or leaflet entails printing, paper, and circulation costs. Speeches and rallies generally necessitate hiring a hall and publicizing the event.  The electorate’s increasing dependence on television, radio, and other mass media for news and information has made these expensive modes of communication indispensable instruments of effective political speech.”.

Ok, why would we even need a decision like this from the Supreme Court when we have a existing government broadcasting system being the “Nationwide Emergency Alert System”  https://www.fema.gov/national-public-warning-system  that could be temporally converted or modified into a system set up to give equal time to vetted candidate's at the prime times of public viewing during an election season?  And thereof, taking away the great expense of a candidate running for office while giving that candidate prime time public exposure covered through tax funded dollars?

Better yet, we could use PBS  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PBS  as vehicle broadcast system to launch political debates and other political activities from and guess what?  If we were successful in doing this sort of thing then there would be no more “Fake News” Internet destortion of the facts or any Russian trolls to worry about. But let's get back to the ruling of the Supreme Court and how it justifies letting unlimited funding into our politics from both known and unknown sources be they here in this country or unknown donors from other countries.

The court seems to be concerned with a candidate's political message getting out to the public and or, the candidate getting the maximum air time espouser to exercise the first amendment right to communicate a message and the financial expense they would incur in doing this.  But then, passes a law that was is in effect a non ineffectual legislation in the way that not candidate gets fair air time and thereof inhibiting the political message that their trying to get out to the people despite the massive amounts of money they spend for their political campaigns. 

No, my friends, this Court decision only permitted outside influences into our election process starting with the lobbyists  right on up to the  corporate interests  based here in the United States and those interest from foreign governments looking to usurp our national interest.  There are existing ways that our government and Supreme Court could have handled this however, it wouldn’t have been so profitable to the media outlets, private donors or Corporate America and furthermore, it would have put the power in the hands of the American people instead of in the corridors of corporate power and influence.

Like many of you out there reading this today, I'm not a expert on the Constutionality of these various Amendments found in the United States Constitution that you can read over here at the following link at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_amendments_to_the_United_States_Constitution however, I do, like many of you out there have a pretty firm grasp on rational thinking and overall common sense and or, what works for us and what doesn't logically make sense to do, or things we shouldn't have going on in our government that works against the voter interests.

So the Supreme Court ruled that contribution's or money are a form of free speech however we must ask ourselves what kind of speech is it and what happens if it falls under the five unprotected speeches found under that very same first amendment.  Such unprotected forms of speech as Incitement, Liable, Slander, Obscenity, Child pornography, Fighting words, or offensive speech, and thus, please read over the amendments to get a good sense of what's not permissible concerning free speech at: “United States free speech exceptions”:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_free_speech_exceptions

So, if we were to take the ruling by the Supreme Court at face value and recognize that a dollar bill has the supernatural ability to speak past its worth, then we would also have to also maintain that the money given to a Candidate by the Donor would speak the intent of the Donor and the co intent of the Candidate that receives the donation form the Donor.  In short, the speech of the money would again depend on the intent of the donor and that conveyed intent to the Candidate that moreover, would either either stay within the legality of the first amendment, or would fall under the unprotected speech of the first amendment. 

Since there's no emotional or fail proof test can be applied to a person’s intention, or any way to quantify a persons intent or intention at the time regarding the purpose of one individual such as the Donor giving a monetary gift or loan to the recipient being the candidate, we would have to fall back on motive between the two and then the act of conspiring of the two persons in question that typically show a pattern of working toward a common goal that may, or may not be working in the interests of the American people. 

Let's look at a few more examples as follows.  Let's say a donor has good faith and followed through with a particular amount of monies in the form of a donation to the Candidate along with a attached legislative request from the donor and hence, should the candidate win the election then he would be committed or obligated to the advancement of that donors request in the bettering of society’s  disposition in some way. 

Ok, if the donor is truthful with the Candidate as to why he is making the donation and or, that his donation to the Candidate is for the public good and thereof, that Candidate presents all the facts and or, the pros and cons to the public of a given proposal in a clear, factual and unobstructed way then of course, this would be morally correct and within the ethical guidelines of free speech under the first amendment, I would think. 

However, if the Donor should not disclose that he holds stock in a given company or companies such as big Pharma that would in turn, benefit both the donor, the company and the candidate from such a future legislation and the Candidate was privy to this fact and then presented the slanted version of a particular proposal to the public, then I would think this would be classified as lying to the American public and thereof, perhaps come under slander if spoken or liable if written and yet, I ask who specifically this libeling or slandering would effect adversely but the American voter themselves.

Again, let's say that the donor uses money as a form of speech when giving it to the Candidate and that candidate uses that money for media promotion however, the donor has bad intent, his intent may become reality should his Candidate win simply because, he wants something that will allow him or his business interests to profit at the expense of the general public.   He then conveys this bad intent to the Candidate to which becomes a co accessory at this point to the donor’s bad intent and then in bad faith,  tells the public a half truth or outright lie about the proposal in question. 

The Candidate becomes a co accessory by presenting a false narrative to the public in making a certain proposal sound beneficial to the public when in reality this proposal is something that will adversely yield a harmful effect to the constituencies finance, health or over all environment to which, is deceptive and spoken in bad faith.  Also, most politicians get around lying by simply leaving  something out, or withholding facts from the public that the voting public would need in the way of making a informed decision about a given set of policies or determining the candidates voting value etc. 

The unprotected speech of lying being the spoken word as slander or written word as liable should also be applied should the candidate state something untruthful about the personal disposition of his opponent and or, promotes a lie or false narrative against his, or her opponents proposal.

In years past, media was considered the secondary driving force behind our political system and the main source of information in where people always went to get their information that in turn, would form our opinion's and decision making process in whom we would, or not vote for depending on the information receive about a particular Candidate. The media outlets today have become the primary backbone of our political system and play a far more predominant roll and that's why, we should hold media just as accountable and what the candidate or elected official states as fact themselves. 

Before I continue, let me just say that anything but the whole truth in its totality is nothing but a lie and again, a violation of the 1st amendment in my novice opinion and why ? Because to hold any part of the facts from a given narrative and or current event, is a distortion of the truth and I would think that this would fall under the unprotected speech of the first amendment being lying or deciptive speech. 

Talk shows, news programs or news broadcast with talk show segments within them that present a false narrative via speaking it or promoting it through print would make them a co accessory to the violation of unprotected speech under the first amendment, or should anyway.  Mr. Trump promoted a unprotected speech under the 1st amendment via “Incitement” when he encouraged violence at his rallies and should you like to view this abuse of the 1st amendment :“Donald Trump Incites Violence”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCkQbASQWF0 ,“FOX's file” promoting a set of false narratives mixed with a bit of truth here and there: http://www.politifact.com/punditfact/tv/fox/ .

Mr. Trump also violated the 1st amendment under unprotected speeches via his slander and possible liable of both private and public persons alike via his verbal attacks during and after his campaign and yes, Mr. Obama did mention a set of untrue statements such as “if you like your doctor you can keep him” under the promotion of the ACA. I don't mean to single out these two presidents however, I find that misrepresentation of the facts run ramped on every level of our government. 

If were going to use the first amendment as a vehicle to promote a political cause, a campaign or otherwise through speech and written advertisement's and further, as something that allows us to contribute to political campaigns, then we as a society should demand that everyone in the news and political arena's be held accountable to the downside of our free speech under the 1st. What we have now is a political and societal culture that very quickly throws the first amendment out at each other and yet in many instances, we find that they are the first to abuse free speech and or, are the first ones to become in violation of the 1st amendment’s unprotected speeches. 

Lying and over all deception also contributes to other corruptive laws in effect and this is why I despise Dark Money: https://www.citizensforethics.org/stop-big-money-politics/   and “Secret and Foreign Spending in U.S. Elections”: Why America Needs the DISCLOSE Act” https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/democracy/reports/2017/07/17/435886/secret-foreign-spending-u-s-elections-America-needs-disclose-act/

Eventually, our Candidates, representatives, Congress and Senate personnel are potentially bought and paid for by big money interests  that spend much of their off time going to lobbyist parties to elicit campaign donations and that isn't a good thing, it's not a beneficial thing because this makes our Candidates and elected official's obliged to the donor’s wishes both known and unknown to the American voter. 

Like most people out here, I don't know what to believe or disbelieve unless it's a matter of court record because there's such an abuse taking place of the first amendment by some in the media along with those seeking, or serving in a political office to date and furthermore, the seemingly apparent lack of appetite in enforcing the unprotected speeches on those offenders in media and political office alike. 

I again, like many others out here see the government as a “pay to play” institution that reaches into the media to feed the public a certain narrative for personal gain or self profit. “Concentration of media ownership”,“Media conglomerates: The Big 6” that you can read over at this following link of :

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concentration_of_media_ownership and here at this link provided for your convenience at: https://www.webpagefx.com/data/the-6-companies-that-own-almost-all-media/   . 

The law that made this possible “Democracy in Peril: Twenty Years of Media Consolidation Under the Telecommunications Act” http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/34789-democracy-in-peril-twenty-years-of-media-consolidation-under-the-telecommunications-act . The information above is something to think about and more or less to the greater power has contributed to the publics suspicion's that media is hand in hand with the political establishment and this is why, FACTS and getting ALL THE FACTS are so important in this day and age of deceptive information coming out of our very government and talk show / press. 

But even in light of this, facts are not enough to drain the preverbal swamp and action is needed by the American people to clean up this mess up that has been propagated by both parties over 30 year period being the Democrats and Republicans alike.  Because we've allowed the consolidation of banks, media and news sources we have created, or let be created, the perfect political storm that has in my opinion, stolen democracy away from the people our founding fathers intended it for in the beginning. 

Government  should be this very dull, neutral and analytical thing that decides what's beneficial or detrimental to the voting public; an Entity that works hand in hand with itself and or,  Democratic and Republican is not so much about party but two disciplines of thought on a particular issue that earnestly attempts to fine common ground in the resolving of both foreign or domestic problems, a entity that is unobstructed by outside monetary influences coming from the corporate private sector that runs efficiently and under a code of ethical behavior written in garnet, a disciplined body working in complete unison. 

Because past Administrations on both sides have diminished, or seriously compromised the integrity of the U.S. governing system through self serving legislative function, we now find ourselves pitted against each other through a toxic ladened set of narrative's propagated by programs like Fox Talk that are solely geared and or premeditatedly intended to divide and conquer the American public in where  the final result can be seen in that we the people pay the price in the end while those bought by big money live the life of decadent luxury. 

This problem seems more evident in the Administrative and congressional parts of government and not so blatantly obvious in our military or intelligence communities however, even they are somewhat effected, or subjugated to some degree of interference by the administrative and congressional counterparts even though, theses are separate bodies in where the separation of powers must apply at all times.  Today's government environment is a daydream come to reality to the enemies of the United States for we as a Nation have hit rock bottom in where the only way left is upward to the sky. 

Government has been allowed to run amuck through the complacency of the American people via the trust that we've vested in government over the years and very things we saw it doing and yet, we turned our heads away from these things.  The very unpalatable motions that have now culminated over time that threatens to bring this country into near ruin and thus, it's high time that “We the people” wake up, rise up and be the better people that we know ourselves to be. 

Being proactive in government is the key to success in maintaining control in our government and to never give in, or to never give up to which, and to my great surprise, I've noticed in recent days, that women and transgender persons have ran for office and won, women and men speaking out against injustice, gender discrimination, sexual abuse and the best for last, a loud and unmistakable demand for inclusion and not leaving out, people choosing what's good for people and not holding party over the American Dream. 

In such issues existing to date pertaining to the hostile interference by the Russian government in our elections via procuring propaganda “From Silicon Valley to Staten Island, Russian troll sites kept online by American companies” http://money.cnn.com/2017/10/25/media/itl-green-floid-cloudflare-russian-sites/index.html and “Twitter’s list of 2,752 Russian trolls” as you can view a very long list here at: https://www.recode.net/2017/11/2/16598312/russia-twitter-trump-twitter-deactivated-handle-list and further, Mr. Trump and certain congressional members on the Republican side attempting to obstruct the investigation by Mr. Mueller as you can read about here “Conservatives introduce measure demanding Mueller’s resignation” https://www.politico.com/story/2017/11/03/house-republicans-robert-mueller-resignation-244517.

I think we as Americans need to send a our own message to Washington in that, were awake now and watching your every move.  I think it's very  important to do everything we can as Americans to protect the Robert Mueller investigation https://www.biography.com/people/robert-mueller-241110, it's important that we guard this investigation at all cost because if this Russian / Trump Administration connection isn't checked out and worse yet, if the fixes aren't put into place to prevent hostile interference into our elections in the future at any time, then I maintain the hunch that we will lose our country forever to those that can pay to be president, to those that wish to benefit at our great expense and please know that I'm not trying to scare you here however, I'm just forecasting the outcome based on historic scenario outcomes as a matter of record.

Here's what I see currently under this administration as follows: sexual allegations, lots of government deception and baneful government overeach, endless lying, discrimination, unethical speech and legislation, legislation based on theology that doesn't apply to this age, the least transparent president in American history in league with some in the Republican Congress that ran the nastiest or dirtiest campaign in history against a democratic Candidate as you can read over here at this link provided for your pleasure at : “ This Writer Ranked American History's Dirtiest Elections.  Here’s what he says about 2016” http://time.com/4554784/dirtiest-elections-american-history-2016/ and on and on.  I could go on, but I'm not going to bore you with things you all ready know and yet or lastly, I see a government not by the people whom is doing everything it can to enrich itself at the human expense of dignity, health, and over all well being.

To restore our government, a government of the people and for the people, I would say that we would need to overturn Citizens United, get rid of dark money, and thereof foreign government influence out our elections as you can read over in this very informative article at: “How to Sweep Dark Money Out of Politics” http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/06/undoing-citizens-united-dark-money/# , altogether cut out donations to any political party and set up a system in where all Candidates have equal time during election seasons on a neutral broadcasting system chosen by the voting public and paid for through tax dollars, reinstate the liable laws https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defamation to give victims of liable or slander a avenue to prosecute for such a offense and lastly, Candidate vetting to ensure that a Candidate is capable of holding the office in which they are running for be it in county, state or federal offices. 

As far as Internet propaganda goes coming from either political parties, activists, private persons or foreign governments,  I would say that, the liable laws should be enforced in this country and in other countries that we have an agreement with and that, online companies should be held to a higher standard in doing a lot more in stopping the spamming of online propaganda targeted at our election process and the Candidates therein. 

Hostile foreign entities attempting to interfere in our elections in the future should be targeted and prevented from transmitting any given propaganda via social media and or the over all Internet on the whole by a special government task force made up of expert hackers that specializes in such unlawful activity and further, a special agency that would work in conjunction with technical companies in the private sector such as those found in Silicon Valley. 

In closing, We are a young country at 241 years old and through that time, we've sacrificed untold loss of blood and treasure in protecting our freedoms and hence, it is in remembrance of the fallen and those who serve everyday that believe in the American Dream that I honor in writing these posts, I write these posts in the hopes that we as a nation can hold and maintain the freedoms that those in the past have so gallantly believed in, fought and died for over the years. 

This nation has endured much in all most two and a half centuries and yet, we find ourselves on the precipice, or the eve of destruction from within and it is by us, and only us, that we the people can save this nation.  It's come down to money and the abuse of our Constitution by those whom wish to squander the freedom's of the American people for profit however, we are a resilient people who have always rose up against the tide of adversity and it is this American spirit, that I will put my last dollar down on anytime in kicking this corruption clean out of our government.