Bloomberg: Betting His Billions on White House Bid

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BLOOMBERG: WRONG MAN, RIGHT IDEA
by Jack Random
Only in America could the withdrawal of a mayor from a major political party cause a rumble that shakes the timber of an already crowded forest of presidential wannabes.

The polls are in. The people have spoken. We are not pleased with a Democratic congress more concerned with political posturing than taking real and effective measures to rein in a White House out of control. We are not content with a field of candidates pitting pandering Republicans against back peddling Democrats.

 
When not a single viable candidate has the guts or conviction to step forward and declare that this nation has no right to maintain a grossly illegal and immoral occupation indefinitely, then the people have little choice but to lose confidence in our political system.

The Iraq war rages on, the casualty rate rises and the White House warns that failure is a cause for further escalation, yet the leading Democratic senatorial candidates for president wait until the cause is lost before registering their votes against the latest war-funding bill. The betrayal is almost incomprehensible.

When legislation on immigration, energy policy, labor rights, trade policy and virtually every major issue is so nuanced and compromised that neither the left nor the right can support it, then we have arrived at an all too familiar dilemma: Both sides against the people.

Whomever these partisans represent (and we know only too well who that is), they do not represent us.

In a democracy, the majority rules. In a functioning democracy, elected leaders serve the interests of the majority while protecting the rights of minorities. Barring a coup or a revolution, when a democracy fails its primary function, the culprit is invariably corruption.

Americans like to believe that corruption can only contradict democracy in third world nations but the evidence is compelling that elite money interests have so corrupted American politics that it now rivals the worst of banana republics. The only difference is that while banana republic governments flaunt the laws of the nation and international commerce, the American government bends the law to elite corporate interests.

This is where we are as a nation and this is why we have arrived in this desperate place. Elite international corporations with no interest in the affairs of state beyond the profit margin are allowed to finance both major parties and its field of candidates with absolute impunity in the guise of free speech. We cannot be surprised at whose interests dominate all three branches of government regardless the party in power.

A recent presentation by Lucy Komisar of the Tax Justice Network at the Conference on Taming the Giant Corporation revealed the full extent of corporate dominance and the reason why bipartisan political contributions is only good business.

“The tax haven racket,” said Ms Komisar, “is the biggest scam in the world. It’s run by the international banks with the cooperation of the world’s financial powers for the benefit of corporations and the mega-rich.”

Relying on official estimates, literally trillions of dollars are shielded annually from taxes by fraud, laundering and complex evasion schemes, yet virtually nothing is done to prevent it.

The usual suspects include Goldman Sachs, Citibank, Microsoft, Halliburton, Colgate-Palmolive, Texaco, Chevron, Goodyear, Pepsi, JP Morgan, MCI Worldcom, General Motors, Phillips Petroleum and Northrop Grumman. [1]

In this light, the next time you find yourself wondering why seemingly intelligent and educated politicians can take no constructive actions on the most obvious measures – like global climate change, rebuilding New Orleans, immigration and the war – ask yourself one simple question: Who profits?

So it is not surprising that the prospect of a viable (i.e., billionaire) independent candidate would rumble through the political landscape, causing some to fall eerily silent while others issue tired warnings of dire consequences.

(Let’s get it straight for once and all: George W. Bush lost two presidential elections without any assistance from Ralph Nader – a fact that would be universally accepted if not for the conspiracy of silence by both major parties and their co-conspirators in the mainstream press.)

The problem of course is that Michael Bloomberg is one of them – the head of a multinational corporate propaganda machine. Aside from the fact that his position on the most pressing issue of the day (the war in Iraq) is indecipherable, asking Bloomberg to represent the interests of common people is like asking Halliburton to take charge of the Environmental Protection Agency.

It is conceivable that a multi-billionaire, out of guilt or deeply rooted conviction, could advocate the systemic changes that our fading democracy demands but Michael Bloomberg is not that man.

Nevertheless, the need to break the back of the two-party stranglehold on American politics is so severe that a Bloomberg candidacy would deserve thoughtful consideration if and only if he comes out against the war and the occupation of Iraq in no uncertain terms.

Today’s political establishment is so far removed from the realities of our daily lives there should be little doubt: A well-financed third party or independent campaign could capture the White House.

That would be an American revolution worthy of our democratic ideal.

Jazz.

 
[1] “Tax Haven Racket” by Ralph Nader, Common Dreams, June 12, 2007.


 
 
JACK RANDOM IS THE AUTHOR OF THE JAZZMAN CHRONICLES (CROW DOG PRESS) AND GHOST DANCE INSURRECTION (DRY BONES PRESS) – AVAILABLE AT AMAZON.COM. THE CHRONICLES HAVE APPEARED ON THE ALBION MONITOR, PEACE-EARTH-JUSTICE, THE NATIONAL FREE PRESS, PACIFIC FREE PRESS, LEFTWARD, DISSIDENT VOICE AND COUNTERPUNCH. SEE RANDOM JACK: WWW.JAZZMANCHRONICLES.BLOGSPOT.COM
 

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