If you pay even the slightest bit of attention to local Philly/PA politics (and I really try not to), you probably know that we’re all unequivocally fucked.
Like, really fucked. And knowing how super duper really fucked PA voters are, it’s not stretch to believe that all American voters are super diddly duper fucked.
But let’s start with our own local stuff first. The very idea that most Pennsylvanians are likely unaware of how anti-democratic our state really is shows a catastrophic failure of not just our state and local governments, but our media as well.
Right now, every single “journalist” in the state should be screaming about how the Democrats and Republicans run a cutthroat operation to utterly murder any non-establishment candidate.
It’s not a left wing or right wing issue. The state political machine crushed the campaigns of Tea Party Republican candidates, Occupy-loving Democrat candidates, as well as Libertarian and Green party candidates. They even got our good friend Richie Antipuna.
What they do is this: Say you’re an independent candidate, or running with a third party, or a Democrat or Republican who simply isn’t backed by the powerbrokers of either party. You’ll need thousands of signatures to get on the election ballot. So you run around the neighborhood looking for signatures. Hard work, but simple enough, right?
No. Because once you get the signatures, either the Democrats or the Republicans in the political establishment will proceed to challenge those signatures. You can appeal it, yes you sure can…but at your own expense. If either party takes you to court and you lose – and you probably will – you have to bear the burden of court costs.
Can you afford to pay $80,000 to $100,000 to get on a ballot? If you’re a candidate working outside the two-party establishment, chances are you don’t.
Establishment candidates don’t have to worry about court costs because they’re backed by people with lots and lots of money. What does all this mean? If you’re a regular person (like our buddy Richie Antipuna) or a reformer or a radical, the Democrats and Republicans will bend you over and fuck the free speech right out of you.
And they’ll do so legally because this form of soft fascism is laid out in the Pennsylvania State Charter.
(A coalition of small-time politicians are fighting back against the state machine with Senate Bill 21, also known as the Voter Choice Act, which is currently in the works.)
What does this mean for the rest of the country? It means everything, really. If the big parties and moneyed interests funding them can destroy outside-the-establishment voices so easily, casually and legally here in PA without voters rioting in the streets, it means shit like this is happening everywhere else, as well.
Look at our candidates. Whether you agree with their politics or not, actual, seemingly dedicated reformers and radicals are either mocked or ignored. Ron Paul was one of them. Do any left wingers really think Elizabeth Warren will get the Democratic nomination in the next presidential election?
The Democrats squashed the Occupy Movement. The Republicans assimilated the Tea Party into their ranks. And that supposedly super-liberal president we elected took mountains of campaign donations from fucking Wall Street.
These people don’t hide this shit. They just expect us not to give a fuck about it. And usually we don’t.
Enjoy your freedom!