The super wealthy are buying our elections

33 posts / 0 new

Our democracy is screwed. We’re just now finding out that at the end of last year – an anonymous donor gave Karl Rove’s Crossroads SuperPAC a $10 million donation to run ads against President Obama. Thanks to the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision – and the “Wild West” nature of political spending now – that $10 million donor will likely remain completely anonymous – and could be a person – a corporation – a special interests group – or a Saudi prince for all we know.

During the 2010 midterm elections – there was another anonymous donor who gave $10 million to defeating Democrats – suggesting that the same person may be responsible for both donations – the two biggest in American political history. We have the super wealthy buying our election – and the worst part about it is we have no idea just who the heck they are.

Thom Hartmann Administrator's picture
Thom Hartmann A...
Joined:
Dec. 29, 2009 9:59 am

Comments

We don't even get to choose the leaders we get to choose between. We can have coke or pepsi, which is great if you like HFCS. I just don't understand how the people can work within the framework of the system anymore. The last chance this country had was probably 40+ years ago with RFK. How are we supposed to have grassroot efforts elect our leaders when the corrupt have a SOLID foothold and anyone bringing real hope or change will be co-opted or assassinated.

Jlundfelt's picture
Jlundfelt
Joined:
Apr. 16, 2012 12:02 pm

This just aired after your program on FSTV tonight-

http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/ethos/

FTW

Jlundfelt's picture
Jlundfelt
Joined:
Apr. 16, 2012 12:02 pm

Thom why do you have so little faith in the intelligence of the American people? Why do you think opinions and voting directions can be just "poured" into an empty mind?

Do you really think just because someone sees a commercial on TV they are automatically going to vote that way? Do you do that? Or do you evaluate the evidence and information based on your own free will?

Don't you think you should assume that of other people?

Calperson's picture
Calperson
Joined:
Dec. 11, 2010 9:21 am

No you insincere idiot. We believe that propaganda is effective in the absense of truth. The ad campaigns frame messages effectively to play on ignorance or just prior messaging. I think that people are beginning to have some resistance to this pr onslaught. But, I do not discount the skill of the psychologist/propagandist to find the openings where a failed media does not give us the information we need. We can have a large majority on one side and still get messages that confuse people about what is going on.

I do not blame the victims of propaganda for being fooled by the best liars and image shifters ever. I blame those who conduct these lying campaigns and who back the corruption that allows it. Unlike you who approves it and then posts CS like this.

DRC's picture
DRC
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

If you ever have the misfortune of meeting Hitler in the afterlife ask him if spending millions on propoganda is worth it. Propoganda is what makes the world go round and ultimately decides public policy. Whoever spends the most money usually wins. That's not just an opinion.

Bush_Wacker's picture
Bush_Wacker
Joined:
Jun. 25, 2011 6:53 am

Money can and does buy the votes of the truly ignorant types like cal, but for those who can think it doesn't...

Cal...why do you think the south is full of so many dumb people who vote against their own interests time after time?

Sprinklerfitter's picture
Sprinklerfitter
Joined:
Sep. 1, 2011 5:49 am

How did Lindsey Graham get renominated and reelected in 2010 after all the fuss about his support of amnesty for illegal aliens?

chilidog
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

One of the most important elements of merchandise psychology is that when something is repeated enough, it seems to become truth. When people are surrounded by ads suggesting that they should need something, eventually a person will think that. People who are both left and right or anything in between need to step back from every advertisement and say,"They are just selling something to me. The ad may be witty, funny, or educational, but it is still an advertisement."

micahjr34
Joined:
Feb. 7, 2011 3:57 pm
Quote Sprinklerfitter:

Cal...why do you think the south is full of so many dumb people who vote against their own interests time after time?

Do you really believe that just voting for your own selfish greed is the penultimate motivation?

A lot of posters here in the Thom Hartman community would do well to open their minds enough to realize that you CAN look beyond yourself and your own selfish interests, and vote in a way that benefits the greater community as a whole.

These are noble qualities.

Calperson's picture
Calperson
Joined:
Dec. 11, 2010 9:21 am

Penultimate: next to last. Something is higher, or lower, or later.

chilidog
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm
Quote Sprinklerfitter:

Cal...why do you think the south is full of so many dumb people who vote against their own interests time after time?

Because they have self respect and intergrity. By the very nature of yuor statement "their own interests " You are selfish and greedy.

Capital's picture
Capital
Joined:
Sep. 30, 2011 2:51 pm

I think Hedges nailed it in American Fascists. If your life sucks and politics is a choice between a little bit more at the bottom end of the economy or being part of the Greatest Story Ever Sold, you go for the magic rather than reality.

Greed really is not part of the equation. But being junior members of the White Christian American super people is.

"Self-respect and integrity," well only if narcissism and inflated self-importance meet the first test and living in a myth instead of dealing with the real world meets the second.

DRC's picture
DRC
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm
Because they have self respect and intergrity. By the very nature of yuor statement "their own interests " You are selfish and greedy.
This isn't going to fly. What Sprinklerfitter is describing is known as "enlightened self-interest". The notion that "persons who act to further the interests of others (or the interests of the group or groups to which they belong), ultimately serve their own self-interest." This is opposed to "unenlightened self-interest".This is "simple greed or the concept of "unenlightened self-interest," in which it is argued that when most or all persons act according to their own myopic selfishness, that the group suffers loss as a result of conflict, decreased efficiency because of lack of cooperation, and the increased expense each individual pays for the protection of their own interests.."

Art's picture
Art
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

Because they have self respect and intergrity?..............Really?....Did the thought ever cross your mind they might be dumb compared to folks outside of their region? The southern part of this country isn't the poorest part of this country because those regressive GOPimps are interested in helping them live a better life. They're poor because they are dumb and most of them believe what ever their masters tell them....There was a film around here several days ago that was shown on the Bill Maher show that gives you a idea of what you are dealing with especially in mississippi.

Since my wife or myself don't have the me me me me me me me attitude you GOPimpsters have tell me what it feels like to have that attitude and think you are better than every one else. Explain the selfish and greedy parts in great detail too.

Sprinklerfitter's picture
Sprinklerfitter
Joined:
Sep. 1, 2011 5:49 am
Quote Calperson:

A lot of posters here in the Thom Hartman community would do well to open their minds enough to realize that you CAN look beyond yourself and your own selfish interests, and vote in a way that benefits the greater community as a whole.

Good advice. You should follow it, and vote Progressive.

anti-Republicon
Joined:
Aug. 21, 2011 9:37 pm
Quote Calperson:

Thom why do you have so little faith in the intelligence of the American people? Why do you think opinions and voting directions can be just "poured" into an empty mind?

Do you really think just because someone sees a commercial on TV they are automatically going to vote that way? Do you do that? Or do you evaluate the evidence and information based on your own free will?

The proof that your statement is false is that businesses spend so much money to advertize. Even in a free market.

Because you believe in free markets, you must believe that advertising significantly influences people.

For the most part advertizing influences people by using emotion and not facts or reason. This is why it destroys democracy, because it spreads lies and propaganda.

These two effects were reinforced through the Citizens United ruling - which gave in to a few millionaires spreading their lies and propaganda throughout the country.

I think this was Thom's point. Thom was not arguing that money's influence over election was absolute, effects everyone and is all powerful. But the person who spends the most wins like 90% of the campaigns in any given season. And mostly it is through emotionally laden TV commercials. Everyone knows this - even yourself. I think you were simply expressing the frustration that if people knew the truth, they would vote themselves more stuff, and thus the Republican strategy is to lie to the voters through dishonest campaign commercials funded by the wealthy.

Dr. Econ's picture
Dr. Econ
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm
Quote Thom Hartmann Administrator: Thanks to the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision – and the “Wild West” nature of political spending now – that $10 million donor will likely remain completely anonymous – and could be a person – a corporation – a special interests group – or a Saudi prince for all we know.

In his movie, Blazing Saddles, Mel Brooks played a funny, albeit crooked, territorial governor. It was easy to laugh at his antics because no politician could possibly be so corrupt and dishonest. I’m not laughing anymore. It’s terrible what we see today.

Dano45's picture
Dano45
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm
Quote DRC: I do not blame the victims of propaganda for being fooled by the best liars and image shifters ever. I blame those who conduct these lying campaigns and who back the corruption that allows it.

I agree, Zimmerman and his victim are the result of NRA and other right wing BS. With that in mind I almost feel sorry for Mr. Zimmerman because he listened to the right wings fear mongering campaign(s) and will pay dearly for it.

Dano45's picture
Dano45
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm
Quote Thom Hartmann Administrator:

Our democracy is screwed. We’re just now finding out that at the end of last year – an anonymous donor gave Karl Rove’s Crossroads SuperPAC a $10 million donation to run ads against President Obama. Thanks to the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision – and the “Wild West” nature of political spending now – that $10 million donor will likely remain completely anonymous – and could be a person – a corporation – a special interests group – or a Saudi prince for all we know.

During the 2010 midterm elections – there was another anonymous donor who gave $10 million to defeating Democrats – suggesting that the same person may be responsible for both donations – the two biggest in American political history. We have the super wealthy buying our election – and the worst part about it is we have no idea just who the heck they are.

that $10 million donor will likely remain completely anonymous

or a Saudi prince for all we know.

Check out who the top 5 Fox News stockholders are.

Bush_Wacker's picture
Bush_Wacker
Joined:
Jun. 25, 2011 6:53 am
Quote DRC:

No you insincere idiot.

"Jane you ignorant slut!"

rigel1's picture
rigel1
Joined:
Jan. 31, 2011 6:49 am

If the rich are buying our elections, who are they buying them from?

How about unions? Are they buying elections or are they pure as the wind driven snow?

rigel1's picture
rigel1
Joined:
Jan. 31, 2011 6:49 am

Rigel1,

You have a point. While politicians and their donors are using marketing psychology to "sell" their issues, it is also true that those who are politically to the opposite are also trying to "sell" their ideas. It hardly matters how valid or invalid what is being "sold" can be, regardless of whether I support it or do not support it. There is a lot of selling going on, and all political perspectives are in the "market," so to speak. It is about who has the flashiest ads, not the true arguments.

I myself admit that I have often fallen for "political marketing," but I will try harder to be more discriminating about what I buy!

micahjr34
Joined:
Feb. 7, 2011 3:57 pm
Quote rigel1: How about unions? Are they buying elections or are they pure as the wind driven snow?

Unions make up only 6% of the labor force. But if you actually did limit corporate abuse, then sure, I would listen to such a proposal.

Dr. Econ's picture
Dr. Econ
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm
Quote rigel1:
Quote DRC:

No you insincere idiot.

"Jane you ignorant slut!"

Well, I think I agree with DRC on this one. You were actually stating and implying things you know were false because of your fustration with the truth: that if voters understood what was going on, we would probably have something closer to the social democracies in Europe than the near libertarian paradise of your imagination.

Dr. Econ's picture
Dr. Econ
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm
Quote rigel1:.. If the rich are buying our elections, who are they buying them from?

?

They are buying television commercials from the networks and cable TV.

Dr. Econ's picture
Dr. Econ
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm
How about unions? Are they buying elections or are they pure as the wind driven snow?
This is the old Oh-yeah?-Well-what-about-you? strategy. Misses the point. I would absolutely be willing to make Union Government-buying illegal if we also made Business Government buying illegal. Waddaya say? How does that sound?

Art's picture
Art
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm
Quote rigel1:

If the rich are buying our elections, who are they buying them from?

How about unions? Are they buying elections or are they pure as the wind driven snow?

Just like an advertisement for Cigarettes they are buying a space in your frontal lobe. Through the careful use of propoganda they are buying a chance to form your opinion for you. When that happens we are not voting our concience but we are voting theirs. If you don't believe that advertising has that kind of power then why do you think they made it illegal for cigarette companies to advertise. The moment they made it illegal was proof positive that brainwashing is alive and well in the world today through constant bombardment of television advertisements. That alone should make it illegal to advertise any scope of our democracy including anything involving politics. It gives instant access to coruption within our political system.

Instead the court opened the doors even wider so that those with the most money can elect anyone they want and promote any political ideal that they want. Many a facist dictator would be proud of the new America.

Bush_Wacker's picture
Bush_Wacker
Joined:
Jun. 25, 2011 6:53 am
Quote Art:
How about unions? Are they buying elections or are they pure as the wind driven snow?
This is the old Oh-yeah?-Well-what-about-you? strategy. Misses the point. I would absolutely be willing to make Union Government-buying illegal if we also made Business Government buying illegal. Waddaya say? How does that sound?

It sounds very intriguing.

rigel1's picture
rigel1
Joined:
Jan. 31, 2011 6:49 am
Quote Dr. Econ:
Quote rigel1:
Quote DRC:

No you insincere idiot.

"Jane you ignorant slut!"

Well, I think I agree with DRC on this one. You were actually stating and implying things you know were false because of your fustration with the truth: that if voters understood what was going on, we would probably have something closer to the social democracies in Europe than the near libertarian paradise of your imagination.

Did you know that practicing psychiatry without a license is a crime? Should I be dropping 5 cents in a can for you Lucy?

rigel1's picture
rigel1
Joined:
Jan. 31, 2011 6:49 am

Most people who listen to Thom and hang out here are probably brighter than 85% of the country. Just try to get into a deep conversation with just anyone you meet. You'll start being careful about "not going there" because you don't know how they'll react. And a number of people I talk are just flat out clueless.

A communications professor friend once told me it is better to communicate over the heads of people than talk down to them as people will try to lift themselves up to the message. That would be nice but most of the population is just too mentally lazy. Being stupid has become chic for many of them because it is an excuse or cop out.

The only thing I think that will solve the problem is the equalization effect of a total economic collapse which is well overdue. And by total I mean it has to take out the rich too. As I drive around I still see so much of our economy is bloated, overkill and unsustainable. It is still based as if gas were only $1 a gallon.

As for the rich, they are overplaying their hand and seem to be so uneducated they never learned from history what happens to groups who do that. They will become toast.

captbebops's picture
captbebops
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm
Quote Calperson:
Quote Sprinklerfitter:

Cal...why do you think the south is full of so many dumb people who vote against their own interests time after time?

Do you really believe that just voting for your own selfish greed is the penultimate motivation?

A lot of posters here in the Thom Hartman community would do well to open their minds enough to realize that you CAN look beyond yourself and your own selfish interests, and vote in a way that benefits the greater community as a whole.

These are noble qualities.

Yes they are, so why don't the republicans vote for anything other than more military, less aid for the poor, more tax cuts for the rich, less money for minimum wage, more opportunity to pollute, less environmental restrictions, more subsidies for the big agra and big oil, less help for home foreclosures . . . . ?

Choco's picture
Choco
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm
Quote rigel1:
Quote Dr. Econ:
Quote rigel1:
Quote DRC:

No you insincere idiot.

"Jane you ignorant slut!"

Well, I think I agree with DRC on this one. You were actually stating and implying things you know were false because of your fustration with the truth: that if voters understood what was going on, we would probably have something closer to the social democracies in Europe than the near libertarian paradise of your imagination.

Did you know that practicing psychiatry without a license is a crime? Should I be dropping 5 cents in a can for you Lucy?

No, you should be responding to the issues with facts and reasons. But I can see how that might be difficult.

Dr. Econ's picture
Dr. Econ
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

Currently Chatting

The Death of the Middle Class was by Design...

Even in the face of the so-called Recovery, poverty and inequality are getting worse in our country, and more wealth and power is flowing straight to the top. According to Paul Buchheit over at Alternet, this is the end result of winner-take-all capitalism, and this destruction of the working class has all been by design.

Powered by Drupal, an open source content management system