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Sunday, December 30, 2012
Mark L. Daniels
Global Political Awakening
"Absolute power corrupts absolutely" arose as part of a quotation by the expansively named and impressively hirsute John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton, first Baron Acton (1834–1902). The historian and moralist, who was otherwise known simply as Lord Acton, expressed this opinion in a letter to Bishop Mandell Creighton in 1887:
"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men."
During her recent visit to Arkansas, Christina Tobin, Founder and Chair of The Free and Equal Elections Foundation, gifted me with an autographed copy of James T. Bennett's thoughtful, "caustic", and "irreverent" book; Not Invited to the Party, which exposes the truth in the old age adage, Politics Makes Strange Bedfellows.
Not Invited to the Party demonstrates how the dominant political parties--the Democrats and Republicans--have co-opted the system to their advantage. James Bennett examines the history and array of laws, regulations, subsidies and programs that benefit the two major parties and discourage even the possibility of a serious challenge to the Democrat-Republican duopoly. The American Founders, as it has been generally forgotten, distrusted political parties. Nowhere in the U.S. Constitution are parties mentioned, much less given legal protection or privilege. This provocative book traces how by the end of the Civil War the Republicans and Democrats had guaranteed their dominance and subsequently influenced a range of policies developed to protect the duopoly. For example, Bennett examines how the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (as amended in 1974 and 1976), which was sold to the public as a nonpartisan act of good government reformism actually reinforced the dominance of the two parties. While focused primarily on the American experience, the book also considers the prevalence of two-party systems around the world (especially in emerging democracies) and the widespread contempt with which they are often viewed. Featuring incisive commentary on the 2008 election, and a foreword by third-party iconoclast, Ralph Nader, the book considers the potential of truly radical reform toward opening the field to vigorous, lively, contentious independent candidacies that might finally offer alienated voters a choice, not an echo.
"Electoral reform, which is farther along in Canada and the United Kingdom, will, I predict, eventually come to the United States. It will be a multi-decade process that the two older parties will fight tooth and nail (be wary about all the arguments that will be heard about "American Exceptionalism"). ~ William Redpath, Chairman, Libertarian National Committee
"Electoral reform has arrived in the United States of America. It's success depends upon each individual choosing to Unite across the political spectrum so that our posterity may enjoy Free and Equal Elections; United We Stand Free and Equal". ~ Mark L. Daniels
"Freedom", wrote Marcus Cicero, "is participation in power." That is what voters are supposed to be doing when they participate in elections. Thank you so much, Christina Tobin, for your heroic efforts to make possible Free and Equal Elections for the States of America united!
I highly recommend this truly historic book and The Free and Equal Elections Foundation to anyone who cares about the future of humanity! http://amzn.to/WSHiYh
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