Why Are We Looking for A New Oligarch To Run America?

Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller has reportedly empanelled a Grand Jury in the Trump Russia investigation.

If this is the kind of scandal we get with an oligarch in the White House, why would anyone want another plutocrat -- like Mark Zuckerberg -- to take his place?

Silicon Valley has given us the personal computer, the iPhone, and the gig economy.

Could it also give us our next president?

And if so - is that really what's best for the country?

In a move that has virtually everyone thinking "presidential run", Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has hired pollster Joel Benenson - the chief strategist for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign - to work as a consultant for his personal philanthropy.

Zuckerberg recently hired former Obama campaign manager David Plouffe to work at the same charity.

He's also been travelling across the country in recent months to talk with "average Americans".

Do we really need another oligarch presidential candidate?

Just the scandals that the financial connections of Trump have given us are just mind-boggling.

Comments

Edward Dodson's picture
Edward Dodson 19 weeks 2 days ago
#1

It should be clear to any thinking person that the political system we have inherited no longer (if it ever did) serves the interest of the public. The electoral college structure gives to states with small popultions far more power to select the President than is consistent with democracy. Never discussed is that fact that beyond the first 13 states, the rest of the states of the nation were formed out of the public domain, out of territory that was under federal control. The very institution of the U.S. Senate is neither democratic nor central to checks and balances. Why should Montana or other sparsely-populated parts of North America have the same number of votes as California or New York? Why, in fact, do we need fifty separate states? The boundaries of the states are totally arbitrary and make little sense from the standpoint of management of natural resources and the environment.

People no longer have any significant personal knowledge of or contact with people elected to the state or federal legislatures. Why not do away with elections altogether and select citizens for the legislature by lottery. Those willing to serve would be required to pass a civil service examination and a criminal background check. Their name would then go into the lottery. If chosen, the citizen serves for one 4-year term, after which he or she returns to private life. No campaigns. No fund-raising. No one beholden to special interests.

How then to select a Governor or a President? Why not provide public funding for a non-party process. Anyone who wants to run for the Presidency would declare, going on the ballot if he or she was able to get a minimum number of signitures on a voter petition. (say, 10,000). A candidate would be elected President if he or she received a majority vote of registered voters.

ErinRose's picture
ErinRose 19 weeks 2 days ago
#2

By the time we get to the 2020 elections, if this country still hasn't learned what its all about and the lessons to be learned, and puts Zuckerberg into office, then America deserves to get raped again. I'm amazed there hasn't been a stampede for the Green Party, but hey, there's no fixing stupid.

ErinRose's picture
ErinRose 19 weeks 2 days ago
#3

#Edward Dodson: You have just set up a perfect scenario for the New World Order to take over with no opposition. If you don't think that big money would still operate in this scenario, then you are very eutopian. We need to take our current system and vermin proof it, like (1) overturn Citizens United, (2) get rid of political appointments to the SCOTUS and make all bench seats subject to elections, or implement the German system, (3) get rid of Amendment #16, (4) end the revolving door between the Congress and private industry; ban all lobbyists from DC, (5) get rid of the electoral college and especially the Super Delegates, and (6) reaffirm the Fourth Estate and its protection. A few tweaks like this and things would be a lot better.

deepspace's picture
deepspace 19 weeks 1 day ago
#4

An ideal constitution for our day and age should include strict guidelines to keep the beating heart of democracy beating -- voter participation:

Essentials requirements would seem to be, but not limited to: voting codified into law as both a right and a duty; Election Day designated as a national holiday that employers must honor; Popular vote wins, period; Districts drawn objectively and fairly by bipartisan committees; Publicly financed elections with no special interest money in politics whatsoever at any level or stage in the electoral process; Free and equal media airtime for qualified candidates; One-time, national, automatic registration upon gaining citizenship, either at birth or through the legal naturalization process, that would suffice for identification at any precinct in any state for any election; Responsiblity rests upon the states, not individual citizens, to fund and issue any other forms of ID or voting processes, such as proof of precinct residency, that legislatures may require, while ensuring a voter's right to cast a ballot and have it counted is never compromised; Mandatory voting as a civic duty starting at age 18; Paper ballot elections independently monitored, verified, and carefully compared to exit polling; Stiff penalties, including prison time or decertification, for any individual or organization -- especially a public office holder or political body -- guilty of suppressing votes or otherwise subverting the process.

Kend's picture
Kend 19 weeks 1 day ago
#5

Deepspace. I do agree with some of your points but in a free country you should not me forced to do anything. Voting age should be at 21. If our government doesn't believe your old enough to drink or gamble you certainly are not old enough to vote. Voter ID should be required. Many of the things you want could be easily be fixed by decentralization of the government. Give more power and the majority of the tax income to the states that way states like Montana wouldn't have as much of a say on what goes on in California. The Fed would go back to only doing national things like national defensive and leave healthcare and education etc up to the states where it belongs.

Legend 19 weeks 1 day ago
#6

Our voting age was lowered to 18 during the Vietnam War. It was decided that If you were old enough to die for your country you were old enough to vote.

deepspace's picture
deepspace 19 weeks 1 day ago
#7

Legend. Right on!

Kend. We are forced to obey all kinds of laws in a so-called free country. We are forced to pay taxes. We are forced to attend school up to a certain age. We are forced to buy liability car insurance. We are forced to perform jury duty. We are forced into the military when the draft is activated. We are forced to feed, clothe, and shelter our children. We are forced not to lie to authorities conducting investigations. We are forced to tell the truth in court. We are forced to comply with inspections at airports. We are forced into marital status for legal purposes after cohabitating for a length of time. We are forced to pay our bills. We are forced to abide by the terms of any contract we sign. We are forced to have a passport when traveling. We are forced to extinguish campfires during a high-alert fire season. We are forced to report accidents and lend aid to the injured. We are forced to use civil language on public airwaves. We are forced to smoke in public in designated areas only. We are forced to comply with subdivision covenants. We are forced to obey traffic signs. We are forced not to pollute the environment, not to poison food, not to murder, not to steal, not to commit fraud, not to cause harm or injury, etc., etc., etc.

We are forced to do and not to do many things we may not like or agree with as a condition for the privilege of living in a civilized society. Nothing is free without conditions and responsibilities. Now, again, why exactly should voting in a democracy not be one of those conditions and responsibilities, especially since that is our most important act as a citizen to maintain a true representative democratic republic, a form of government for which the common people must constantly fight to keep?

The second part of your argument indicates a serious lack of understanding of the full history of American government right after the War for Independence was won. Strong state governments and a weak central government proved unworkable and nearly led to the death of our fledgling democracy at its birth. Individual states were too susceptible to corruption by monied interests and were on the verge of fracturing, in effect, into separate countries. The Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787 was called in an urgent bid to find the right balance between regional powers and a central unifying power. It was held in secret; not invited were the representatives of concentrated wealth and its corrosive influence.

Kend's picture
Kend 19 weeks 1 day ago
#8

If you are old enough to die for your country you should be old and responsible enough to have a beer in a bar or sit at a slot machine. Drinking and gambling age where I live is 18 the same age you have to be to join the military. Most 18 year olds today could not name the political parties, you really want them voting. Especially when they are forced to. I think the age for military, gambling, drinking and I guess now pot should be the same. What ever age 18 or 21.

Legend 19 weeks 1 day ago
#9

They lowered the drinking age to 18 in many states back in the 70's but the Federal Government made them raise it back to 21 or lose fed highway funding. I agree that it should be 18. The USA is fanatical on the 21 thing to the point that they ruin a lot of lives with arrests. I am 67 and still get ID'ed. They bust some kid that is 20, but looks 30, for something stupid. Then offer to reduce his penalty if he (or she) goes to stores and restaurants and purchases liquor. Then they bust the store for huge penalties. It is a money making scheme. So the stores make it mandatory to check all ID's as they will lose their license if busted again or the fine will be even higher. I have worked in 9 countries for extensive periods of time and traveled in 32. I have never seen someone ID'ed in another country. I have a friend that has also traveled extensively and agrees. The USA is definitely overboard on this subject. As far as gambling goes I am personally against gambling and do none myself. You (despite what millions say) are guaranteed to be on the losing end in the long run. If you want to lose your money I do not care what age. As far as 18 year olds not knowing politics, in the USA it is a failure to teach Civics in High School. Lots of 18 year olds know more then adult Trump voters.

deepspace's picture
deepspace 19 weeks 1 day ago
#10

Haha ...drinkin', gamblin', and fightin' kinda go together, don't they?

If 18-year-olds don't know their civic lessons, that's a failure of our public education system, which Republicans are hellbent on further defunding. Hell, for that matter, most right-wing Republican politicians can't even name the basic principles of our Constitution and would probably fail the most rudimentary civil service exam. In fact, Trump is the biggest clueless dummy of all. An 18-year-old high on pot could do a better job.

It's a curious thing why so many Republicans are scared that too many people might vote, especially those with the wrong color of skin or ethnic background or, in this case, those young adults who are victims of a poorly funded education system.

amosj's picture
amosj 19 weeks 1 day ago
#11

I completely agree about money/oligarchs problem but Mark Zuckerberg is not even vaguely Donald Trump. Bad analogy

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 19 weeks 1 day ago
#12

What if citizens were made aware of governments worldwide that create the happiest people on the planet. You could start with Denmark and list the social and economic benefits associated with that system.

Here in the United States trillions of dollars are diverted to the giant Fascist profit machine engaged in perpetual warfare. Countries like Denmark instead use their tax dollars for things like cradle to grave healthcare, and education.

Getting the truth out to the voting populous is the biggest problem Democracy faces. The above comment about the "Fourth Estate" is right on target and a free society cannot exist without it. Confusing gullible citizens with garbage like Foxaganda is no accident. It's a fascist weapon. It's how the extremely wealthy suppress the truth and control the message.

BTW: Can anyone explain to me why Kobach hasn't been arrested for election fraud? Why can't we demand swing/red state lists of votes that didn't get counted as a result of Kobach's crosscheck fraud. All those who had their vote disallowed should be notified so they can file suit against Kobach.

If Trump's Fascists can demand voter data, why can't we do the same?

Legend 19 weeks 21 hours ago
#13

I agree that Trump is unique. Zuckerberg or Bloomberg would be different. Zuckerberg has been reasonably honest. The best but too old is Buffet. Gates would be reasonable.

Kend's picture
Kend 19 weeks 19 hours ago
#14

I find it interesting how the left would only consider a multi millionaire if they are in computer/ web type industry or a athlete, actor but not a self made business women or man in any other industry. All of the three that legend mentioned Buffet, Gates and Zuckerburg are know for their relentless, ruthless business practices. Especially when it comes to their partners and employees. But Democrats do believe the rules are there for the greater good but not for politicians they all end up extremely wealthy some how.

Legend 19 weeks 17 hours ago
#15

I do not want another billionaire as POTUS but was pointing out that some are better than others. Gate and Buffet have both signed pledges to donate 50% or their wealth. I think that Zuckerberg did also. Gates, Buffet and Zuckerberg did not get it all from Daddy. I am sure that all have some faults. Obama was a truly self made man. Bernie Sanders is also.

changeX's picture
changeX 19 weeks 12 hours ago
#16

Well, there is no sense picking out a weekend horror movie to watch.

deepspace's picture
deepspace 19 weeks 8 hours ago
#17

The most unqualified candidates to represent the vibrant citizenry of a functional democracy are hoggish businessmen sporting shiny three-piece suits and puffed-up generals bedecked with splashy medallions -- ladder-climbing "leaders" full of themselves, who tend to hold the myopic view of the unwashed masses as nothing but useful idiots to satisfy the sordid predilections of a rat pack of like-minded predators. In the shrunken cerebral cortexes of these egocentric madmen, we barely sentient bipedal humanoids are no more significant than workers who cut into profits, consumers to overcharge, or cannon fodder to clear a bloody path to the "enemy's" buried treasure, aka natural resources.

A true democracy is run neither as a business nor as an army; it is a safe harbor for all, a home for the enlightened and the inspired as well as the downtrodden and the suffering, a refuge for family and friends -- a wide variety of colorful people who aspire to a wide variety of worthwhile vocations beyond wealth and power, violence and warfare. Frustrating their delusional, megalomaniacal ambitions even further, tycoons and tyrants cannot simply fire, jail, or kill all those worthless "takers" with whom they are so burdened -- the old, sick, disabled, drug addicted, unemployed, or poorly educated, who are unable to feed taxes and warm bodies into the greedy killing machine.

In a fake democracy like ours, corralling a minority with susceptible minds into a suffocating prison from which to broadcast fear, hate, and ignorance may fool the slumbering masses for awhile; eventually, however, the over-medicated majority will stir from self-induced, made-for-TV happy dreams and see the waking nightmare of their lives sucked dry, their wealth gone, their hopes and dreams dashed, their children slaughtered in wars for profit. All for what, to make a few oligarchs even richer?

At that point, only one real question remains: Is it too late to throw off the yoke of tyranny? As our moment in the sun quickly passes, with a White House overrun by ruthless billionaires and barbaric generals, and a compliant Congress and Supreme Court fat and happy with servile houseboys and parlormaids, are we too far down the fascist rabbit hole to fulfill the altruistic aspirations of our nation's forefathers for a more perfect union? Is this latest iteration of feudalism our final chapter?

stopgap's picture
stopgap 19 weeks 8 hours ago
#18

While I would probably be opposed to making Zuckerberg president, I might be persuaded to endorse changing the name of the United States to "Zuckerberg". It kinda has a nice continental ring to it and would sound great on newscasts. "Today in Zuckerberg, blah, blah blah…." It would be cool at the UN too!… "We now recognize the ambassador from Zuckerberg". Imagine being the Zuckerbergian ambassador to China or France or Egypt or Israel. Hell, they wouldn't know what hit them. This may, indeed, be the solution to all our foreign policy dilemmas. You're welcome!

deepspace's picture
deepspace 19 weeks 7 hours ago
#19

Populated with Orange Trump Trolls, you could tweak it to "Suckerberg" or "*uckerberg" ...

stopgap's picture
stopgap 19 weeks 5 hours ago
#20

Now that I think of it…Putin would never let Zuckerberg become president…and to all a goodnight.

Legend 19 weeks 3 hours ago
#21

Instead of Tweeting he could just post on Facebook.

changeX's picture
changeX 19 weeks 1 hour ago
#22

I checked my map for the quickest route from Suckerberg to *uckerberg and it shows the Huckabeerg route. Beware of the Oompa-Loompas and especially the Vermicious Knids along the way.

Latest Headlines

Who rejected United States-North Korea peace talks?

There were conflicting reports on Sunday regarding a recent proposal for United States-North Korea peace talks which was allegedly made before North Korea"s recent nuclear test

U.K. Pound Falls As Markets Get Brexit Jitters

Bloomberg said on Monday the pound had sustained its biggest fall against the dollar in 11 months

Clinton: I'll defend Israel but push for 'two-state solution

Hillary Clinton believes both Republican candidates Donald Trump and Ted Cruz "missed the mark" with their approach to the Israel-Palestinian Arab conflict
From Unequal Protection, 2nd Edition:
"Beneath the success and rise of American enterprise is an untold history that is antithetical to every value Americans hold dear. This is a seminal work, a godsend really, a clear message to every citizen about the need to reform our country, laws, and companies."
Paul Hawken, coauthor of Natural Capitalism and author of The Ecology of Commerce
From Screwed:
"Thom Hartmann’s book explains in simple language and with concrete research the details of the Neo-con’s war against the American middle class. It proves what many have intuited and serves to remind us that without a healthy, employed, and vital middle class, America is no more than the richest Third World country on the planet."
Peter Coyote, Actor and author of Sleeping Where I Fall
From Unequal Protection, 2nd Edition:
"If you wonder why and when giant corporations got the power to reign supreme over us, here’s the story."
Jim Hightower, national radio commentator and author of Swim Against the Current