Money Raising Doesn’t Win Elections

Until this election cycle, like most people, I thought that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee was a great asset to the Democratic Party and provided invaluable services and funds to all Democrats running for congress. My eyes were opened when my son, Ron Leach, decided to run for Congress in Kentucky’s 2nd District. Having just retired from the military as a major and having spent much of the last decade in Iraq and Afghanistan, he didn’t have much name recognition and could use some initial help from the party to get his name out there. Not only did he receive no help but the DCCC siphoned money from people in the district, who assumed it would be used locally, for use elsewhere. When making telephone calls to raise money for their campaign, Team Leach was often told that money had already been donated through the DCCC.

The problem with donating to the DCCC is twofold. First of all, they evidently only support candidates who have already raised a million dollars on their own, thus proving that they don’t need all that much financial help, and they reportedly use most of the money collected for administrative expenses, salaries and polling rather than giving it to congressional candidates.

The process and philosophy not only wastes most of the money collected but ends the careers of potential party superstars before they get started. Even if supporting rising stars did not result in victory the first time around; it would gain the candidates name recognition and campaign experience for the next race which is what is required to turn purple districts blue and red districts purple. ...

Today I got a telephone call from a lady representing the DCCC. As soon as I was on the line she launched into a prepared text leading up to a request for a donation but I interrupted her by saying how glad I was to actually be able to talk to someone with the DCCC and tell them why I would never give them a dime. With that I explained basically what I said above and asked for a response. There was none because I had evidently been talking on a dead line after I said that I would never give them a dime.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is only geared to raise and spend money and not geared to listen to Democrats or give a _____ about what they think.

Charles Leach
Lynchburg, Ohio

Government Must Be the Solution

Barry Goldwater said “Government’s not the solution; government’s the problem.” Or was that Ronald Reagan? Whoever said it matters little. That people could believe it is the problem. Government is necessary — and that’s the truth. Good government should be the goal. A government without any requirements from its citizens is impossible. A government without any taxes is inconceivable. And you should get what you pay for. Absolute equality in any society may be a desire, but it has eluded reality. The reason we have police, courts and judiciaries, legislators, etc., is to maintain peace, security and order so that we may have better lives. These things must be paid for, and capable people are necessary to fill the positions. Education will make all our lives better. This must be paid for. People must be able to make enough money at worthwhile occupations to be able to support themselves and pay taxes. Government is the solution. Good government is the goal.

“Conservatives” are only half right if they want solutions to come from the government of the United States. That’s all the people, not just Republicans or one state. It’s constitutional government. For the good of the people. That’s the test. And if the people want changes for the better, they can change it! That’s the government being the solution.

So where’s the Problem?

People need to really think about what they really believe — and why. It just might result in some actual solutions to our real problems. That was the faith the Founding Fathers had in “We the People.” We need to have that faith, too.

Cheryl Lovely
Presque Isle, Maine

It’s the System, Stupid

What Jim Hightower leaves unanswered in his poignant article concerning our unending wars [“What We’ve Paid for War in Afghanistan and Iraqis,” 9/15/14 TPP] is why? Why must we be constantly on a war footing? Ascribing it to “trigger-happy Congress people” doesn’t cut the mustard. Why are they trigger happy? One doesn’t need to go very far to figure it out. Our economy runs on our war machine. The military-industrial, political process needs war (or at least the severe threat of war) to survive. This is’t just neo-liberal economics at work ... it is Keynesian. War is a money maker and job creator of the most Keynesian sort, it is government job creation without the (heaven forbid) taint of socialism:; it jump starts the economy, and causes rises in the stock prices of the various defense contractors, who in turn line the pockets of our politicians. That is the way our system works. It is not enough to change the politicians at its forefront, there has to be a change in the entire system ... be it socialism, a much more restricted and regulated capitalism, or a combination of both.

Bob Bogner
Aspen, Colo.

The Waning Vestiges of White Supremacy?

Every scurrilous attack made by the “right wing zealots” amongst us is the affirmation of desperation from the “bible thumping” hypocrites and racists who are unified under the guise of religiosity as well as their fallacious claims of superiority; are analogous to the final throes of the “white controlled governance” of the apartheid South Africa after multiple decades of dictatorial oppression of black people.

As an approaching octogenarian (11/14) who witnessed first hand “man’s inhumanity to man” during my stint in the United States Navy (1952-1955) while stationed and traveling throughout much of the South, the horrific memories of that youthful experience are more vivid today because of how much we’ve regressed once again in our inhumanity to the least amongst us as a nation saddens me terribly.

While it’s certainly recognized that we’ve accomplished multiple inroads in our quest for justice since the beginning of the Civil Rights Era to date; what were once subtle counter strategies by conservative segregationists have evolved into outright blatant acts of societal denigration, hatred, violence and oppression. We as a nation and by extension the world are approaching the precipice of great confrontational and calamitous encounters if immediate steps are not taken firstly to quell the violence, and secondly to institute policies and programs for societal justice that have eroded over the past half century. These ominous threats by a provocative segment of our population must be vigorously fought and opposed by fair minded citizens from every corner of our society and of every ethnicity, color and hue for the very salvation of our Democracy.

This nation has an historical sordid past of how we’ve treated “the others” amongst us upon their arrival and integration with-in our society; so let us not repeat our societal failures once again.

Frank Rohrig
Milford, Conn.

Why Bear Arms?

Syrians who opposed Bashar Assad’s regime have found out the hard-way that it is not always easy to overthrow an established government unless the armed forces are ready to back you up. It is not as if they lacked arms (unlike Hillary Clinton’s accusation), but the rebels, mostly Sunnis, were adequately supplied arms from other Sunni Arab countries like Saudi Arabia, Qatar, etc. What is preventing them from walking into Damascus is the lack of air-power. Americans so far have never had the occasion to mistrust a duly elected President, but if things go wrong and the office of the Presidency resorts to dictatorial behavior then maybe we should rise, but again, with the armed forces siding with you (commonly known as coup d’etat). No amount of training with automatic weapons (like the 9 year-old who was made to train with a Uzi) will help. No amount of warrior friends (those who showed up for Cliven Bundy) will help. Without the armed forces’ assistance the battle will be one-sided. Then the question comes — why the need to amass automatic weapons? Why the need to keep on quoting the Second Amendment? Knowing very well what is happening in Syria, why do we continue with RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS?

G.M. Chandu
Flushing, N.Y.

Public Service Doesn’t Pay

Professor Robert Reich has done exactly what might be expected of a first-rate social scientist. He has highlighted a major social problem in his article, “Workers who serve society aren’t rewarded for dedication” (9/1/14 TPP). He tells us of the social workers who put in long and difficult hours dealing with terribly disabled patients for $18.19 an hour; hospital orderlies doing a crucially essential job for $11.63 an hour; kindergarten teachers ($53,590 per year); writers, actors, painters and poets, who work for next to nothing. This is not just a curious quirk or anomaly of our society. It is a major disaster for all hopes for the civilized world. These, and many other equally valuable people (college adjunct teachers, bus drivers, mail deliverers, fast food workers, supermarket workers, farm workers, nurses, home-health-care assistants, etc.) are underpaid so that stockbrokers, hedge fund managers, gambling casino operatorss and various CEOs and officers of useless corporations can be grossly overpaid — $10, $20, $30 million per year.

Why do I call it a disaster? Because what will happen is that these extremely valuable people will stop what they are doing, because it doesn’t pay, and start doing something less valuable but more lucrative. They had dedicated their lives to public services, and have found it does not pay! They might find it more cost-effective to work for the local Mafia gangsters or drug dealers, to to go into business for themselves, robbing stores, gas stations, banks, casinos, or hedge funds. Many people of South and Central America have learned such a lesson. That is how a country turns into a banana republic.

Harvey Stoneburner
Brooklyn, N.Y.

Take Away NFL’s Tax Exemption

Dave Zirin is right on target in his 10/1/14 column questioning “the NFL’s Commitment to Being a Force Against Domestic Violence.” However, I believe Zorin could have gone one step further in criticizing the National Football League.

Zorin might explore in a future column whether retention of tax exempt status is a factor or the primary motivating factor of the NFL in dealing with domestic violence. I do not understand why Major League Baseball and the National Basketball Association apparently do not have tax exempt status, but the NFL has tax exempt status. Congress should be encouraged to pass legislation to prohibit tax exempt status for any professional sports organization. Taxpayers should not have to pay for player, owner, and NFL misconduct or cover-up of misconduct.

Edward L. Koven
Highland Park, Ill

From The Progressive Populist, October 15, 2014


Blog | Current Issue | Back Issues | Essays | Links

About the Progressive Populist | How to Subscribe | How to Contact Us

Copyright © 2014 The Progressive Populist
PO Box 819, Manchaca TX 78652