An Open Letter To President-Elect Trump

Dear President-Elect Trump,

I hope that you have noticed the rising level of animosity and fear in our country since your election. Many of your supporters as well as your detractors are very upset. Ironically, I doubt it would have been much different had you lost, perhaps even worse.

Your supporters have threatened violence and call those who opposed your election “sore losers.” Your detractors are plotting how to resist and derail your presidency. While I must admit that I fall in the latter camp, my intent here, which I hope you will share, is to help reduce the tension in our nation.

The Southern Poverty Law Center has tracked over one thousand acts of bias intimidation and harassment targeting Muslims, blacks, Latinos, immigrants, and LGBTQ people since Election Day. (See https://www.splcenter.org/hatewatch.) This state of affairs does not bode well for our country.

As the soon-to-be president of all Americans, you are in the best position to take constructive action to ease our national anxiety. Consequently, I respectfully urge you to consider taking the following steps:

1. In the spirit of the holidays, go on national television and express your good will toward all Americans. Tell them that you want to understand their anger and fear, but violence and intimidation will not be tolerated. Explain that you intend to be the President of all Americans.

2. Be a gracious winner and make an offer of reconciliation. Don’t just go to areas of the country that supported you. Reach out to Americans who opposed your candidacy. Show them that you are interested in their issues and want to address their concerns as well. Keep in mind that the majority of the electorate did not vote for you. Dialogue with Americans of all persuasions.

3. Expand your cabinet choices so that all Americans will feel represented in your administration. To date, your appointments appear to favor a small, elite segment of the population. You need to include people who can empathize with a much greater portion of the American people. More than one Republican served in President Obama’s cabinet. You can and should include Democrats in yours.

4. Make some policy proposals that demonstrate you really are listening to people with different viewpoints. Most Americans have nowhere near the wealth and privilege that you and those you’ve chosen for your cabinet have. You are their President too. It is your duty and responsibility to serve their needs as well. And, finally,…

5. Listen to your critics. You don’t have to agree with them, but they do have a right to their opinions. Remember the First Amendment guarantees freedom of speech and freedom of the press. Belittling those who oppose you does not become the President of the United States. Being open to criticism is a positive trait that will make you a better president.

Clearly, these are difficult times for many Americans. If you heed these suggestions, I feel you will make it a bit easier for yourself as well as for the rest of us. May God bless America.

 

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Where Are Our American Patriots?

The entire U.S. intelligence community has concluded that Vladimir Putin and the Russian government interfered in our election to support Donald Trump’s candidacy for president. According to the L.A. Times and the Washington Post, FBI Director James B. Comey and Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. are in agreement with a CIA assessment that Russia intervened in the 2016 election in part to help Donald Trump win the presidency.

While some officials are calling for a thorough bipartisan investigation into this matter, no one seems to think the confirmation of Trump’s election victory by the Electoral College should be delayed until the investigation is completed. Of course, once Trump is sworn in, it will be too late to change the election’s outcome. At that point, Trump will control the government, and likely do, with the help of his Republican allies, whatever it takes to derail and discredit any investigation.

Where are American patriots like Sen. John McCain and Pres. Obama when the American people need them the most? Why aren’t they stepping up and calling for a halt to this impending national catastrophe? Why isn’t Pres. Obama laying out the facts discovered by the intelligence community to the American people, so we can determine what action we believe is necessary to save our democracy?

We need Republican senators McCain and Lindsey Graham along with Minority leaders Sen. Chuck Schumer and Rep. Nancy Pelosi to immediately and jointly file for a writ of mandamus before the U.S. Supreme Court ordering the Electoral College not to convene until an independent, non-partisan commission determines whether the outcome of the presidential election was substantially affected by the Russian meddling. Every patriotic American citizen should be urging their representatives to support this effort.

Republican leaders like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are asking why did the Democrats and the intelligence community wait until after the election to raise the issue of Russian interference. Unlike Republican senators McCain and Graham, McConnell wants to keep any investigation under the partisan control of the Republican Senate. McCain and Graham along with leading Democratic senators Schumer and Jack Reed, on the other hand, are calling for an independent, non-partisan investigation outside of Senate control.

Unfortunately, McConnell cannot be trusted to do the right thing. Last September Sen. McConnell actively worked to suppress the information that the Russians were hacking into our election process. At a meeting with Congressional leaders where Pres. Obama attempted to get bipartisan support for exposing Russia’s interference, McConnell threatened to accuse the White House of playing partisan politics if Obama released the information.

At the same time, the Democratic Party seems to be asleep at the wheel. Where is the outrage? Why haven’t Pres. Obama, Rep. Pelosi, Sen. Schumer and others demanded the Electoral College be stopped from convening until this matter is resolved. Once again, the Democrats are demonstrating they have no backbone. Just think what the Republicans would be doing if the situation were reversed. I have no doubt that they would be doing anything and everything to overturn the election.

The bottom line: we, the people must fight in any way we can for our democracy, or we will surely lose it. And, right now we are clearly losing it.

See breakingbigmoneysgrip.com for how to join the movement to revive our democracy.

Will Electors Vote Their Conscience?

     A Republican elector from Texas, Christopher Suprun, recently announced that he would not cast his electoral vote for Donald Trump on December 19. In a December 5 New York Times Op-Ed piece, Suprun persuasively argues that Trump is not qualified to be president and that he cannot in good conscience vote for Trump.

    In today’s political climate, how refreshing to find a political figure with a conscience. If the Republican Congress had acted in good faith during Barack Obama’s presidency and put their country first, many American jobs could have been saved from going overseas; our nation’s infrastructure would have been rebuilt; and American college students would have received needed relief from their burdensome loans, among numerous other actions that would have helped the people of this country. At the same time, if Debbie Wasserman Schultz and the leadership of the Democratic Party had acted in good conscience and not rigged the Democratic primaries, Bernie Sanders just might now be our President-elect. What a difference acting in good conscience can make.

     Suprun could be a role model for all the presidential electors. He feels compelled to “do the right thing for the good of the country” and reject Trump because he, Suprun, believes he “owe(s) no debt to a party. I owe a debt to my children to leave them a nation they can trust.”

     Among Suprun’s reasons for disqualifying Trump are the following:

(1) He drives a wedge between Americans. Trump does not encourage civil discourse, but chooses to stoke fear and create outrage.

(2) He engages in demagogy, and is not independent from foreign influence.

(3) He lacks the foreign policy experience and the demeanor needed to be commander in chief.

(4) More than 50 Republican former national security officials and foreign policy experts publicly declared Trump “would be a dangerous president.”

(5) He encouraged an illegal act by saying Russia should hack Hillary Clinton’s emails.

(6) He urged violence against protesters at his rallies during the campaign.

(7) He speaks of retribution against his critics.

(8) He has surrounded himself with advisers such as Stephen K. Bannon, who claims to be a Leninist and lauds villains and their thirst for power.

(9)  His pick for national security adviser, Gen. Michael T. Flynn, installed a secret internet connection in his Pentagon office despite rules to the contrary. And, finally,

(10)  He has played fast and loose with the law for years. He may have violated the Cuban embargo, and there are reports of improprieties involving his foundation and actions he took against minority tenants in New York. Trump still seems to think that pattern of behavior can continue.

     Suprun concludes that “Presidential electors have the legal right and a constitutional duty to vote their conscience.” By rejecting Trump, he intends to “defend (his) country and Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” If only more Republican electors had Mr. Suprun’s courage.

 

 

A Better Alternative: Urge the Electoral College To Elect Sanders President

As strange as it may seem, the Electoral College does not have to elect Donald Trump president on December 19 when the electors cast their ballots. The U.S. Constitution does not actually require them to vote for the candidate who won the popular vote in their respective states.

In fact, when the Constitution was being drafted, Alexander Hamilton explained that the provision giving the Electoral College discretion in its selection of the president was an important precaution guarding against an ill-informed public making an unwise choice. A very good argument can be made that the people’s election of Donald Trump meets this test for the electors to substitute their judgment for that of the voters. Here’s why:

1. Experts believe that Trump is a sociopath. (See goo.gl/FXNJNF.) He is a person who lacks regard for the moral or legal standards of our culture and exhibits the following traits: a disregard for the feelings of others, a lack of remorse or shame, manipulative behavior, unchecked egocentricity, an inability to take criticism, and a tendency to lie in order to achieve his goals. Trump has displayed all of these characteristics on numerous occasions during the election campaign. Is such a man a wise choice to lead our country?

2. Trump’s candidacy was supported by a foreign government, Russia, our adversary. This was confirmed by American intelligence services. In fact, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov admitted communicating with many of Trump’s closest associates during the campaign. (See goo.gl/Axm8Wx.) At the same time, Trump has refused many American intelligence briefings. Is someone who would allow a foreign adversary to meddle in our elections while rejecting American intelligence trustworthy to be president?

3. Trump still refuses to release his tax returns. The American people have no way of knowing what financial relationships Trump has with Russia, other foreign adversaries, or anyone that might create a conflict of interest. Do we want a president who will not be open and honest with the American people about his relations with our adversaries?

4. Trump has shown a number of signs that he intends to use the presidency for his personal gain. Among them is his refusal to put his private holdings in a blind trust controlled by an independent executor. When he met with Indian executives recently, Trump discussed potential private business deals with them. And, his infrastructure proposal is a boondoggle that will put the control of our roads and bridges in the hands of his billionaire friends.

Even more troubling is the fact that Trump’s foreign holdings have the potential for placing him in a dangerous conflict of interest between his financial concerns and the safety of American property and lives. For instance, what is to stop an authoritarian country like Iran or Turkey from threatening Trump’s business interests unless he complies with its wishes, or, on the other hand, offering him special deals, on the condition Trump agrees to certain demands inimical to America’s interests?

This may just be the tip of a very risky iceberg if Trump becomes our president. The electors must think long and hard before casting their votes for him. But, what is their alternative? While Hillary Clinton would make a much better president than Trump for a large majority of Americans, the truth is many Republican electors despise Clinton and would never change their vote and support her. Plus, the voters who sent them to the Electoral College would be outraged if their electors chose Clinton over Trump. That just would probably result in tremendous civil unrest.

Fortunately, there is another choice, Bernie Sanders. In their combined wisdom, the electors could turn to Sen. Sanders. There is nothing in the Constitution that forbids them from doing this. A good number of the people who voted for Trump have a favorable opinion of Sanders. In fact, Sanders was the only one of the three major candidates who had an overall positive rating with the general public. Electing Sanders could save the country from an egocentric sociopath, on the one hand, and very disruptive civil disorder, on the other.

You can help our country move in a more positive direction. Contact your state’s electors and urge them to elect Bernie Sanders for president. And, tell everyone you know to do the same.

 

 

 

Did Trump Win ‘Fair and Square’?

 

           Under the headline “Note to Dems: Stop Whining,” syndicated columnist Diane Dimond writes that “Trump won fair and square” in the November 19, 2016 Albuquerque Journal. Really?!

            When hundreds of thousands of registered voters are secretly purged from numerous GOP-controlled states’ voter rolls by Republican operatives, is that fair and square? When these voters are targeted by Republican operatives because they are mainly minorities who overwhelmingly vote Democratic, is that fair and square? And, when Republicans pass restrictive voter requirements in multiple states under the guise of unsubstantiated voter fraud making it harder for minorities and the poor to vote, is that fair and square?

            Dimond writes that those who are protesting the election of Trump “denigrate our political system and malign the office of the presidency.” I would strongly argue that it is Trump and his Republican cronies who have severely damaged our political system and the office of the presidency.

            In his new book, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, and movie of the same name, investigative journalist Greg Palast convincingly illustrates how the 2016 election was stolen by the Republicans. (See http://www.gregpalast.com/.) Employing a system called “Crosscheck,” Republicans robbed over a million minority voters of their right to vote in crucial states, explains Palast. Crosscheck compares voter rolls in two states and purges voters with very similar names (e.g. George Gonzales and George M. Gonzales) from the rolls in both states for double registering, without proof the two names are the same person. For example, the North Carolina Crosscheck purge list consisted of 589,393 voters. Since Trump only won North Carolina by about 177,000 votes, the overwhelmingly Democratic, purged voters would easily have wiped out Trump’s victory had they been able to vote. Palast indicates that Crosscheck was utilized in 29 states, including critical states like Arizona, Florida, Michigan and Ohio.

            In addition, Dimond implies that conservatives are too civilized to “hit the bricks in rowdy, confrontational and sometimes violent street protests.” Does Ms. Dimond prefer the Congressional Republican protest method of pledging to make President Obama a one-term president by obstructing every proposal he makes, even when many of them were originally GOP ideas? (See http://www.eclectablog.com/2013/08/10-ideas-republicans-loved-until-barack-obama-became-president.html.)

            Republicans seem to exploit every trick in the book to make certain they get their way on election day. In fact, they’re not above hacking into voting machines to assure their candidate becomes president, which appears to be how George W. Bush won Ohio and the presidency in 2004. (See http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/2319:new-court-filing-reveals-how-the-2004-ohio-presidential-election-was-hacked.) And, if it were not for GOP-controlled state legislatures gerrymandering districts, Republicans would today most likely not be in control of the U.S. House of Representatives. (See https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-power-that-gerrymandering-has-brought-to-republicans/2016/06/17/045264ae-2903-11e6-ae4a-3cdd5fe74204_story.html?utm_term=.b00980e8f6aa.)

            So, you are right, Ms. Dimond, Democrats need to stop whining. Instead, they need to start building a national movement to fix our rigged political system and make the government work for all Americans along the lines I suggest in my book, Breaking Big Money’s Grip on America: Working Together To Revive Our Democracy. (See www.breakingbigmoneysgrip.com.)

 

Is There A Silver Lining?

The 2016 presidential election was an excruciating experience for millions of Americans. Many are in a state of despair and disbelief. Like me, they wonder how we could possibly have elected Donald Trump as our president.

            This election pitted the Establishment against the Anti-Establishment. A great number of Americans, including many who worked for Sen. Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primaries, were fed up with a self-serving Establishment. After decades of being left on the sidelines, millions of voters enthusiastically backed Donald Trump, the political outsider who shrewdly crafted a message that addressed their frustrations. Finally, someone understood their anger and resentment.

            On the other hand, Hillary Clinton represented the epitome of the Washington insider. Most Democratic, and even some Republican, officials supported her. She had been around D.C. for almost 25 years. She knew how to play the game well and accomplished a good deal for our country over the years. But, in the end, Clinton had too much baggage to carry the day and win the big prize.

            Nevertheless, despite the looming darkness of a Trump presidency, there just may be a silver lining to this election. I have long thought that things may have to get worse before they could get better. Many of us have been willing to go along with the status quo because our own lives have not seemed to been affected very much by the corruption and gross inequality in our country. While we might donate to various social causes and/or write a letter to our state or federal representatives, the vast majority of good Americans have had little time for organizing and volunteering to build a fairer, more just political system.

            The election of Donald Trump very possibly changes all that. We have received a wake up call signaling that we are losing our democracy and becoming an oligarchy. With the implementation of Trump’s programs, I believe many more Americans will grasp how much politics and government policy can personally impact us in a negative way. Consequently, Trump’s election can be a great organizing tool for Democrats and progressives.

            Moreover, if Hillary had squeaked out a victory, Trump and the Republicans would have constantly been attacking her. It would have been as bad, if not worse than how they obstructed Obama. She would have had a hostile Republican House and Senate on her back all the time. We would have had more Washington gridlock, another government nightmare with little chance of Clinton successfully pursuing much of her agenda. And, what she was able to achieve would, most likely, have been watered down to meet Republican and, quite possibly, her own donors’ objections. While progressives would have been lobbying for stronger social programs and climate change legislation, it’s really hard to imagine how they could have achieved very much under such conditions.

            Now, instead, Trump and the Republicans control the whole government, ready to advance a right-wing agenda that favors big business, non-regulation and large tax breaks for the wealthy. Additionally, many of the hard-won, social justice advances of the last fifty years are in serious jeopardy. The lines between Trump’s course and one that would truly serve most Americans and our planet are now clearly drawn. That should make the need for building a broad-based, non-partisan national movement to revive our democracy even more urgent and, hopefully, our goal of a just society more obtainable. So let’s come together and get to work!

            Go to www.breakingbigmoneysgrip.com to learn how to get started. And, if you are in Santa Fe, come to the next meeting of the Democracy Organizing Committee on Monday, November 14, at 6:15 in the LaFarge Library Community Room.

 

The Great American Divide

            Our country is more divided than it’s been in a very long time, quite possibly since the Civil War. This great rift has been growing for many years. While significant political differences have always existed, a larger, more troubling gap began to develop when income inequality started accelerating in the late 1970s. According to the Economic Policy Institute, from 1978 to 2015 the average corporate CEO’s salary grew 997% while the average salary of a private sector, non-supervisory worker increased just 10.9%.1

            Additionally, as I noted in Breaking Big Money’s Grip on America, between 2009 and 2012, the first years of the economic recovery after the Great Recession, 95% of the total gain in income went to the families in the top one percent. Consequently, more and more Americans were feeling left behind as our nation dug itself out of the 2008 Recession.

            While the Establishment in both political parties was addressing the needs and desires of the donor class, they were doing little for the rest of their constituents. During the last days of the George W. Bush administration, Congress passed TARP, the Troubled Asset Relief Program. Though TARP funds were primarily to be used to save the nation’s biggest banks from collapsing, the government could have used some of it to prevent the foreclosure of average citizens’ home mortgages. But President Obama refused to require foreclosure relief from these banks as a condition for their receiving a massive bailout of hundreds of billions of dollars2 paid for by American taxpayers.

            Even Obama’s singular achievement, the Affordable Care Act, was drafted more in line with the wishes of corporate America than those of the general public. As a result, the Act failed to include a ‘public option,’ which would have helped limit the cost of people’s health insurance, while it contained the insurance companies’ requirement that all citizens obtain health insurance.

            Meanwhile, since the Great Recession, Congress has refused to pass a substantial jobs bill, mostly due to Republican obstruction, which would have assisted millions of Americans in getting back on their feet. And, if that weren’t enough, Obama continues to lobby for the passage of the TPP, the Trans Pacific Partnership treaty, that would further hurt American workers while it boosts Big Business.

            How many times can we expect working class Americans to take it on the chin before they start fighting back? Can we really blame them for being mad as hell and supporting Donald Trump? Yes, Trump is a charlatan. But, when people are drowning, they will grab onto any apparent lifesaver within reach. In fact, the rise of Trump’s presidential campaign is in large part the result of our nation’s failure to respond to the needs of his followers.

            The truth is that the Establishment, Republican and Democratic alike, has been more focused on protecting and furthering its own self interest than it has been in building a nation where we all have an equal opportunity to enjoy healthy and prosperous lives. But, this is the way it has always been. The status quo does not change unless people organize and demand it. Just look at how it took millions of Americans coming together in the LGBT, Civil Rights and Environmental movements to overcome the opposition of the status quo and achieve their successes.

            Now that this bitter presidential campaign is finally over, it’s time we turned our attention to the causes that made it so acrimonious. In particular, we must examine an economic/political system that provides so much to so few and so little to so many. Then, we must organize a broad-based, non-partisan Democracy Movement to redevelop that system into a fairer, more equitable one for all Americans. For how we can do this together, visit breakingbigmoneysgrip.com.

1 See http://www.epi.org/publication/ceo-pay-has-grown-90-times-faster-than-typical-worker-pay-since-1978/

2 See http://www.salon.com/2015/03/31/barney_frank_drops_a_bombshell_how_a_shocking_anecdote_explains_the_financial_crisis/

We Are the Ones We’ve Been Waiting For

It’s been way too long since I’ve written here. Now, however, I’m setting the intention to blog twice a week, if not more. So, here goes….

While the 2016 election cycle is about to end, our work as engaged citizens is just beginning. I believe this election, regardless of who wins, has finally awakened the American people to the fact that we are responsible for the state of our union.

Whether our government functions in the best interests of the people is up to us. Too often we have allowed the politicians and special interests to determine policy without regard for the public interest. For example, when President Bill Clinton negotiated NAFTA, the North American Trade Agreement, was he looking out for American workers or big business? And, whose concerns guided our government’s decision to repeal the Glass-Steagall Act that separated commercial banking from investment banks? Wall Street or Main Street?

In 2003 when the Bush Administration promoted and initiated a war against Iraq, was that in the best interests of the American people? With then Vice President Cheney leading the way, Halliburton, Cheney’s former company, and other Big Oil corporations sought to profit from the needless killing of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and the wasteful expenditure of trillions of U.S. taxpayers’ dollars.

More recently, when the 2008 Great Recession crippled the country, President Obama used our money to bail out Wall Street while doing little to help millions of his fellow citizens save their homes from foreclosure. In all these and other similar situations, the vast majority of Americans felt helpless, watched their government act against their best interests and did nothing.

But, the times they are a changing. A great number of Americans from all political persuasions are fed up with government as usual. They are giving notice that they will no longer stand by and allow Big Money and special interests to run the show. Whether they support Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton, voters are angry and ready to fight for what they believe in.

When President Obama was elected, people thought he would deliver the”change you can believe in” that he had promised. They did not hold his feet to the fire to assure he would make good on his promises. While one can argue that Obama faced much opposition which obstructed his performance, we, the people, were not organizing the mass movement that would have provided the necessary support and force to overcome some of the obstacles he faced.

This time is different. We are under no illusions that either Clinton or Trump will produce the change most Americans desire. This time we know that it is up to us to battle for the kind of country we want. We must make our voices heard and demand real change for the public good, not the special interests. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.

Time for a Progressive Third Party

Millions of Americans are unhappy with their choices for president in this year’s election. According to Real Clear Politics’ average of all the latest polls, Donald Trump has an unfavorable rating of just over 60%, with 33.8% favorable. Hillary Clinton doesn’t fair that much better with an unfavorable rating of 53.1% and 43% favorable.

While those numbers will likely change before November, the fact that the country’s election process could result in such unpopular candidates receiving the nominations of our two major parties is a sad statement on the health of our democracy. Meanwhile, the candidate with the highest favorable ratings, Bernie Sanders (50% positive and only 36.8% unfavorable), has been eliminated from the race. One could reasonably expect that in a democracy with an open and fair electoral process the candidate with the highest favorable rating would still be running with a good chance of winning. Then again, many have questioned the fairness of the Democratic primary process which awarded the nomination to Sec. Clinton.

Nevertheless, despite being the most popular candidate, Sanders has endorsed Clinton rather than run on a third party ticket. His primary reason is his belief that we must do everything we can to defeat the very dangerous Trump candidacy. A third-party run by Sanders could result in a Trump presidency. Understandably, Sanders is not willing to take that chance.

But what if there were an already viable third party with an established structure in every state? Would a Sanders run make more sense then? Aren’t there more than two major political viewpoints in this country that deserve the voters’ consideration on election day?

After all, who do Trump and Clinton really represent? Trump’s supporters are the base of the Republican Party, mostly male, white working class, social conservatives. Some of the Establishment Republican businesspeople, on the other hand, have deserted Trump for Clinton or Libertarian Gary Johnson.

Clinton’s support comes mainly from the Establishment wing of the Democratic Party along with minority voters and some aforementioned professional Republicans who cannot stomach Trump. Meanwhile, progressives and many younger voters believe they have been robbed of any real choice since their candidate, Sanders, has left the race.

At the same time, many Independents, a great number of whom supported Sanders in the primaries, also feel they have no viable choice. When Independents could vote in this year’s Democratic primaries and caucuses, Sanders beat Clinton, often by large margins. Therefore, it is a reasonable possibility that Sanders could beat Clinton and Trump in a three-way race. The combination of progressives, the youth, new voters, a sizable portion of the Democratic base and many Independents could put Sanders over the top, assuming the elections were run fairly.

As Clinton solicits Big Money donations and disaffected Republicans’ votes, it seems highly unlikely that her policies, assuming she wins the presidency, will meet the progressive standards set forth by the Sanders campaign. Consequently, Sanders is preparing to launch Our Revolution to advance his proposals for a better future for all Americans. To create that future, a broad-based movement to establish a viable third party must begin now.

Bruce Berlin is the author of Breaking Big Money’s Grip on America: Working Together To Revive Our Democracy. For more information, go to breakingbigmoneysgrip.com.

 

 

 

Democracy Organizing Committee Forming

Dear Friends,

This pivotal time in our country requires bold action – a Democracy Movement.

Real change in the United States occurs when Americans come together and demand it. Whether it was women’s suffrage or labor or civil rights or marriage equality, grassroots movements were necessary to compel our nation to address these issues. Now a Democracy Movement is required to break Big Money’s grip on America so that we can form a government of, by and for the people that will effectively deal with today’s critical issues: climate change, affordable healthcare, money in politics, gun violence, international terrorism and immigration reform, to name a few.

Therefore, I would like to invite you to the first planning meeting of the Santa Fe Democracy Organizing Committee (DOC) at 6:30 pm on Monday, August 8, in the Community Room of La Farge Library on Llano Street in Santa Fe, where we can begin working together to make a real difference.

As my new book, Breaking Big Money’s Grip on America: Working Together To Revive Our Democracy, demonstrates, the dominance of Big Money not only corrupts government itself but also blocks effective action on virtually every major issue Americans care about. It then illustrates that the only force capable of challenging Big Money’s corrupt and powerful hegemony is a diverse, nonpartisan, nationwide, grassroots movement for democracy.

Democracy Organizing Committees (DOC)

Creating local DOCs in communities across the country is a realistic strategy for building such a movement. It is a viable vehicle for mobilizing Americans of all persuasions whose primary political concerns are eliminating the corrupting influence of money in politics, developing political equity so every citizen’s voice counts, and creating a political process in which our policymakers are accountable to the people and the public interest. (See www.breakingbigmoneysgrip.com for more information about DOCs and building a Democracy Movement.)

If we really want a government of, by and for the people, it is up to us to make it happen. We have seen time and time again that our political leaders are too beholden to special interests and their corporate sponsors to truly serve our needs.

I urge you to attend this organizing meeting on August 8. Bring your friends and colleagues along with you. After introductions, we will discuss what a Santa Fe DOC might look like, what it could do and how it might align, or not, with other political efforts. Then we will begin planning how we can work together to revive our democracy by building a strong Santa Fe DOC in the coming months. We will end by 7:50 pm.

If you have questions about the meeting or can’t make the meeting and want to be involved in this effort, you can email breakingbigmoneysgrip@gmail.com. I hope to see you at La Farge on August 8.

Best regards,

Bruce Berlin