Concerning American elect - The ballot access progress of Americans elect is the result of the tens of millions of dollars given by a mostly secret group of ultra wealthy that have strong ties to both major parties. They are paying for their signature circulators, ads, offices, literature, etc. Nothing about Americans Elect is organic or outside of Washington and Wall Street.
Insiders from both parties have been predicting the emergence of a strong third or even fourth party for a number of years now. It is no wonder when you look at the decline of our middle class, our manufacturing base, our education system, infrastructure, etc. These insiders thought that 2004 was going to be the year. That is one of the major reasons why the Democratic Party insiders elected Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton. They were convinced that since Obama looked new and different and appeared to be an outsider, that he would best stop a third party rise before it began. When most experts thought that hillary was going to be the nominee, Unity08 was created. It was a two party device to head off an organic third party revolution and it is the same people that is now funding and running Americans elect. Unlike all other third party efforts, Unity08 got lots of media coverage and they placed ads all over tv, radio and the internet thanks to their wealthy hedge fund donors. When the Democratic party insiders were able to take down Hillary and give Obama the nomination, an organic third party rise was not going to happen. Of course people should have known that a candidate that was backed by the Democratic party establishment was not going to bring real reform or change. Establishment insiders are not stupid. They would not have backed him and put him in a place to win the nomination if he (Obama) was a true reform/change candidate.
Now that more people have seen that Obama is just another two party politician working for corporate and foreign interests, the distrust, disappointment and frustration of the American people is as strong as ever. We see this in all the protests and movements growing around the country, as well as the historic low poll numbers for both parties. The experts once again see the potential for an organic third party rise that wants reform, that wants real change. The two party insiders first thought that the Tea Party might result in a real third party movement that would challenge the two party system. The Tea Party started out as a good thing and some good independent Tea Party groups have remained. However, the Republican Party successfully hijacked that effort to keep Tea Party candidates and voters mostly within the Republican party. Sure many Tea Party candidates still ran as independents, but they did not receive much funding in an effort to direct the movement into the party. Then the Occupy Wall Street movement rose up and scared the two parties again. The Democrats quickly moved to put themselves in position to where they believe they can keep most potential Occupy movement candidates and voters within the system, within the Democratic party. It is no accident that several labor unions quickly jumped into the movement. That had even more to do with union and party politics then it did with their desire to stand with the protestors. It should be noted that I think both the organic Tea Party & Occupy Movements were a good thing. I have attended meetings/events/protests/camps with both organizations. Both of these organizations share a lot more common ground than most people realize. And they share common ground with us. But, while these movements often begin as a great thing, the two parties quickly try to turn them into a tool to hurt or slow us the people from rising up and doing what needs done. The difference is that Americans Elect didn't begin as a good thing and get hijacked, it started off as an astroturf organization designed to cripple the people.
Both parties feared either of these movements going outside of the two parties. Once they knew that they can keep them within the system, they no longer fear them. The two parties are happy to see protestors focus on Wall Street instead of the ones who wrote the laws and created the loopholes to benefit the 1%. They will still complain some about these movements and throw them a crumb of what they want every now and then so the angry voters think the parties fear them. This encourages folks to stay distracted, give money to efforts that will maintain the status quo. Can you image if all the money that was donated to the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street movements went towards a third and fourth party effort. Ballot access would have already been achieved for a third and fourth party across the country and strong candidates could have been funded. The Democratic and Republican parties are quite content to see Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street (and coffee party too) supporters send money towards efforts that will not challenge them in any real way. The two major parties use these movements as distractions. Little real organic third party building and funding gets done when all the angry voters spend their time and money on protests and movements that will in the end maintain the two party stranglehold. What many people do not understand is that the party insiders just want their party and the one opposition party to stay in power. They ultimately do not care if some or even a lot of their current officeholders get bounced out of office and replaced by other two party candidates. The new and reform candidates will eventually fall in line. And it usually happens very quickly, because the whole structure is corrupt. It is not enough to just change the players on the board, the whole system needs to change.
In 2005-2006, I was an organizer for one of the most successful grassroots efforts to kick out incumbent lawmakers in any state, ever. We even got judges recalled, even a state Supreme Court justice for the first time in history. It was in PA after state lawmakers who were debating a bill that had nothing to do with a payraise, re-wrote the bill into a big payraise for themselves. They did this all in the dead of one night (between 11pm and 2 am) after they turned off the state public tv feed. The organization was pa cleansweep. We recruited over 125 candidates in eight months to run for the state house and senate. This included candidates of all parties. A record number of incumbents were defeated, including senate and house leaders who had served for many decades. Dozens of lawmakers were tossed out all across the state. Many of the candidates that we recruited and supported were elected by a real grassroots effor with much less funding than the incumbents. These candidates ran on reform agendas. We had independent and third party candidates that did very well (record percentages for indy /3rd party candidates in many counties) and could have likely won in 2 or 4 more years after more organizational structure was built. The "reform / change" candidates that won were Democratic and Republican candidates. Even though they all ran on reform, they quickly abandoned their reform agendas months after getting elected. They fell in line because they wanted committee assignments, press coverage, party funding, etc. They rolled over in short time. This is why the two parties do not fear "reform" and "change" candidates running within the two parties. The organization was later hijacked by people loyal to the two parties and the organization fell apart before we could make the correction and run third party candidates & indies in the next election. As a Republican party insider smugly told me, "you guys thought that we were scared of you" and "we knew we had you once most of your candidates ran as Democrats and Republicans".
This is nothing new. The Republican party is not going to nominate Ron Paul. But, they keep him in the mix so that it stunts the growth of the libertarian party. If Ron Paul continues to rise too much in the polls, the Republican party will start allowing Gary Johnson back into the debates in an effort to peal off some of Ron Paul's support/poll numbers, but they will keep him around as long as they can because they know it severely damages the libertarian party. Al Sharpton was pushed by the Democratic party to run for President, not because they wanted him to win or even though he was qualified to run a lemonade stand, but because they feared the Green Party would run an African-American nominee. They wanted to make sure all the african-american stay in line. The Democratic party also encouraged Denis Kucinich to run for President last time around in an effort to keep the liberal voters within the party from leaving and to draw in more Green Party voters into the Democratic party debates. This helps distract those voters and helps funnel third party money into a losing Democratic party candidate campaign and away from the Green Party.
Americans elect does not care about winning elections. It is meant to distract and occupy voters attention so that they do not create an organic third and fourth party that can actually challenge the status quo. Americans Elect is designed to run mostly Democratic and Republican candidates. They may toss in an independent that has strong ties to one of the two parties. But, they will not nominate a third party candidate or a lifelong independent with no ties to the two parties. They will quickly welcome those candidates in and they will keep them around as late in the process as they can so that their third party / indy ballot access efforts go nowhere.
Unity08 was violating campaign finance laws. So, when they changed their name they also changed what kind of organization they would be classified as. Political Party status would not allow them to raise the kind of massive contributions from secret contributors that they wanted. Imagine, the current corrupt system would not even allow them to raise all the secret money from wealthy wall street and washington d.c. types that they wanted. Americans Elect will nominate a Presidential ticket. According to their constitution, it is the small group of board members that gets to accept or reject any candidate. I do not trust their online nominating process, but if they do hold a fair process and the votes get counted accurately and a reform or change candidate outside of the two parties gets nominated, Americans Elect will suddenly decide to fold up shop. They will then make some excuses of why they are doing this. They will blame the campaign finance system, the media or the two parties. By that time, people will have been occupied long enough with their phony movement that the time to put together a real reform/change movement will have passed and it will not have raised enough money because too many angry voters gave too much of their time and money to an effort designed to keep the two corporate /foreign owned clowns in control.
They will pretend to fight for their nominated two party connected ticket, but they will not mind when the media and people turn against them for they will have achieved their goal. And perhaps it will leave such a bad taste in the mouths of the voters that they stop looking for a third party solutions for several more decades.
I do believe that we are in the process of making history. The organic Occupy Wall Street folks are making history, despite attempts to steer them away from their goals. And the first Tea Party members were trying to make history and did to some extent before they were re-directed. It is a long hard road that has many hurdles, pot holes, twists and turns.
It will not be enough to simply change the players, the system must be changed at the core. Change at the fundamental basic level must take place for us to make history in a deep and meaningful way. It certainly will not be easy. But if we keep our eye on the prize, do our homework and display the tenacity & endurance needed then we can take the road less traveled and reach our destination.