Problem number one.... We have free speech, right? It's guaranteed in the First Amendment. Yet where can we speak freely? In churches? No. In civic organizations? No. At political party events? No. We believe we have freedom of the press under the First Amendment. But the press is far from free, and very politically controlled. Do we get the full spectrum of truth through the evening news, national or local? No. How can a challenger to an incumbent expose voting records and facts about the incumbent when the political machine (described below) and media support the incumbent? How can you reach voters with the message that there is a viable alternative to the direction the country has been going? Problem number one has way more than one problem involved.
How can we solve the problem of getting accurate information into the hands of voters? We think it takes money and lots of it, right? That is definitely an issue, but those who want to control information want you to believe that the only cure is loads of cash. The cure is you.
The Political Machine Chews Up the Average Guy...and his lunch
For the most part incumbents are tied into the vast financial resources of Political Action Committee's called PACs. The incumbents are able to raise thousands of dollars for their campaigns by holding $1,000 per plate Washington D.C. dinners where they invite lobbyists to pay to be wined and dined by the candidate. It's a win-win game for the participants. The candidate gets the money to use for re-election, and the lobbyists curry special favors from the candidate for supplying the funds to keep their powerful position. Congressmen then insert selected earmarks benefiting those the lobbyist represents thereby insuring they receive more money from unions, educators, financial investment firms and others. Also, the political parties invest large sums to purchase party loyalty and influence from the incumbents. The average voter is left out of the equation entirely.
Then the various media outlets profit from all these fund raising dinners and party funding mechanisms by selling ads to the chosen candidate. They are also accorded special favors from incumbents at times to help them with the federal agencies that oversee them.
This is the machine that is next to impossible for the average citizen to overcome. One who loves freedom, and wants accurate information so they can make wise decisions yet needs to work full time to keep food on the table and a roof over their head, is faced with a full time job just in trying to get accurate information.
This machine is why the system has become so corrupt. One hand washes the other and the money, lots of it taxpayer money, keeps changing hands within the same circle. Will it ever change? Can it ever change?
The upcoming 2010 elections are interesting because we have some new players on the field. There are thousands of fed up citizens with no loyalty to parties, just loyalty to principle. What's happened is that there is a now a new avenue for a political message to be presented. Freedom candidates have been springing up across America like dandelions in a spring lawn, and many have been winning in the primaries. People are able to learn about candidates that represent their interests instead of the bought and paid for political machine. There should be some new faces taking the reins of power away from the politically entrenched dynasties we've become accustomed to in this country. However, should this movement allow itself to be divided or co-opted, we won't see the candidates who will stand on principle be elected in November.
The attacks on the Tea Parties are growing. The establishment realizes that they must divide and silence the message, or face a serious threat to its power and control. Who will win? Only time will tell. But don't expect to hear much from Tea Party style candidates on the TV. Amazingly, the largest populist movement in recent history just can't get coverage.
Evidently demonstrating their loyalty to those revenue streams of the political machine, mainstream media does not cover Tea Parties. At least not if they can help it. Before I even became a candidate, I attended and spoke at many Tea Parties. I'd really have to strive to count the number of Tea Party events I've attended, but I have never seen a television report on a single one. There have been a few newspaper reports here and there, but for the most part, the media silence is deafening. There have even been reports by television stations in this district talking about how the Tea Party will affect the congressional race here. Yet they never mention who the "Tea Party" candidate is. They do mention the incumbent, who has never spoken at a Tea Party, even though invited, and they mention the other party's candidate. From what I hear elsewhere in the nation this is typical. The establishment candidates benefit from "freedom of the press" and the freedom candidates remain a mystery to the voters that would support them. The machine works in support of those who support the machine.
When called and asked why they would do a report one week before a primary race and mention only the Republican incumbent and the Democratic nominee for the general election in November they said if the challenger won the Party nomination in the primary they would be sure to report it. Fair and balanced? To whom?
The establishment Party (either one) and the Media are completely disrespectful of the voters in this country. Principles are nothing compared to profit.
So what can we do? We can use the tools available, like the internet, and spread information about candidates to others in our area by word of mouth. We still have the truth on our side. It's the mightiest weapon of all, and it must be used. Use those tools, and vote in your primary for the candidate that stands for individual freedom, and against corporate larceny. The solution to the machine is in your hands at the polls---in the Primary!
Non-establishment candidates like myself have taken their message to the people. We've driven the districts on our own dime and attended every function humanly possible. Despite media black outs, establishment pressure, a wrecked economy, and the occasional headache, we've remained engaged in a fervent attempt to take our country back....To freedom.
-Bob Parker is running for Congress in Missouri's 8th district. He is running against a 14 year incumbent that raised nearly 80% of her campaign funds outside her district in the last election. Bob's website is: www.electbobparker.com