J. Clifford has started a pretty interesting conversation about Rocky Anderson’s decision to seek a presidential nomination under the banner of the no-disclosure, unlimited-big-money 501c4 corporation called Americans Elect. As J. Clifford points out, there’s no small irony in a candidate who rails against politics driven by secret donations of big corporate mystery money, then chooses to run in a system funded by secret donations of big corporate mystery money. Anderson’s current Americans-Elect-isn’t-perfect-but-it-lets-people-like-me-run-so-Hurray explanation doesn’t cut it, especially when he complains about “corrupt money” in the same paragraph and we consider the multiple ways in which big money donors have had insider access to control the Americans Elect process. The juxtaposition between Rocky Anderson’s little-guy talk and his new big-money walk leaves me cold.
There is one announcement that Rocky Anderson could make to convince me to support his presidential bid with Americans Elect: an announcement that his campaign won’t be plagued with irony, but will be rolling in irony. Contrary to popular belief, irony isn’t simply the strange coincidence of two events. Irony is the expression of one idea with one’s literal words and the simultaneous expression of the opposite idea in expression or figurative meaning. If Rocky Anderson made his an ironic campaign, I’d be completely behind that.
In a remixing of what he currently is saying (“don’t worry, I’m pure”), here’s what he could say to make me jump on the Anderson 2012 bandwagon:
Contrary to the interests of the American people – and of our democracy – the Republican and Democratic parties have passed laws in many states that make it next to impossible for alternative parties to get on the ballot, at least on short notice. For instance, the Justice Party was founded in mid-December 2011, yet California required that, for the Justice Party to be on the ballot, 103,000 people would have had to register to vote as Justice Party members by January 3, 2012. Was that poor planning on my part? Maybe. But a guy’s gotta do what a guy’s gotta do.
The Commission on Presidential Debates, formed by the Democratic and Republican parties, hijacked the presidential debates from the League of Women Voters and has organized and run the debates according to the dictates of the two dominant party candidates. Without the blessing of both the Republican and Democratic candidates, third-party or independent candidates are excluded – all further eroding any semblance of our democracy. Once again, the king-makers – owned and operated by corrupting corporate money – call the shots, while the public interest is further betrayed.
I, Rocky Anderson, am committed to expanding the Justice Party into a major force in U.S. politics – to remove the stench of corrupting money from our political system. But it doesn’t have enough money, so I’ve decided to go with another party. It has money to burn, and it’s called Americans Elect.
Sure, I’ve expressed concerns with the funding and transparency of Americans Elect. Sure, it’s run by the hedge fund managers and Wall Street investment bankers I’ve been criticizing for months. Sure, they have ultimate say over whether a candidate gets her or his (I’m a his) name on the ballot. But if I don’t cooperate with Americans Elect, ballot access in all 50 states is impossible for me. So forget about dreaming of a better world! I’m embracing the possible… and I’m sure that if I sit down with the Americans Elect corporate board, I can convince them that I’m an acceptable candidate. We can work something out. Wink, wink.
With only about a thousand votes separating me from the current front-runner on Americans Elect, we have a very real opportunity – with the help of all our supporters – to take the lead and further my, I mean the Justice Party’s, exposure to an ever-widening audience. Maybe I, I mean the Justice Party, can even get a talk show on MSNBC later on.
Ideally we would grow the party organically without the need of Americans Elect, but this is not an ideal world. Let’s focus on what’s possible for helping me, I mean the Justice Party, to continue in my, I mean the Justice Party’s, national growth.
You may think I am myself being ironic in calling on Rocky Anderson to wage an ironic campaign under the banner of Americans Elect. But no, I’m completely sincere. What better way to expose the absurdities of the Americans Elect “democratic” system than to participate in it as an exercise in satire? And as long as he managed to pull off his faux-sincerity with consistency, Americans Elect couldn’t do anything about it. When confronted, Anderson could give a big, muggy smile and declare, “WHY NO, I REALLY MEAN IT!” Stephen Colbert is apparently too chicken (or too attached to his show) to follow through and make a fully satirical presidential campaign happen. Rocky Anderson could do it.
But this current yes-it’s-run-by-big-money-but-my-personality-is-impervious-to-corruption stance? Rocky, Rocky, Rocky. You do know that’s baloney, don’t you?