This is the personal blog of Rick Staggenborg, MD. The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the official positions of Take Back America for the People, an educational 501.c3 nonprofit established by Dr Staggenborg.

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Thursday, July 28, 2011


Today's blog refers to politics in Oregon, but the lesson is one that all Americans should learn. Only the Tea Party can save the Republic. It is time that we reached out to them to work together to end fascism in the United States. The following is an editorial that will be published in Oregon in the next month.

The corporate media and the politicians who depend on it to get their message out would have us believe that Americans are sharply divided about the issues that are causing gridlock in the US Congress. Nothing could be further from the truth. Roughly 70% of citizens want out of Afghanistan, nearly everyone wants the debt limit raised most Americans agree in principle that we should work to achieve universal health care in some form and a large majority wants no cuts to Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid.  The difference between what Americans want and need and what the corporate-driven Congress will give us is appropriately referred to as the “democracy gap.”

What was quickly forgotten by the corporate media and largely by the “alternative” media is the fact that nearly 80% of both self-identified liberals and conservatives are opposed to the Supreme Court decision in Citizens United. Recognizing that giving corporations carte blanche to buy the politicians of their choice to serve their interests in Congress is a dagger aimed at the heart of democracy, Americans across the political spectrum were momentarily united in the common cause of defending the possibility of true representative democracy. Unfortunately, the point was lost to most as the story was quickly buried in the 24 hour infotainment cycle.

The significance of the Citizens United case is not just that it is an outrageous step closer to fascist control of the US government but lies in the possibility of using the nearly universal anger toward it to build a bridge across the artificial divide between those who regard themselves as liberals or conservatives, Democrats, Republicans or independents. We the People now have an historic opportunity to create a truly democratic Republic in which the interests of the citizens of the US take precedence over those of the corporate Puppetmasters of Congress. All we need to do is to heed the lessons of 1775 and come together to fight for liberty and justice for all.

There is a growing movement to abolish corporate personhood and overturn the Supreme Court in Citizens United by working together to get a constitutional amendment introduced and passed in Congress. Oregon’s own US Representative Kurt Schrader recently took an important first step in introducing an amendment that would give states the power to regulate corporate money in elections. While still falling short of the goal of eliminating all “rights” granted corporations by an Imperial Supreme Court, has the potential to lead to the end of corporate control of the US government. If enough in Congress are willing to step up and support it, the issue will finally get the attention it deserves in the so-called “alternative” media.

Imagine if Peter DeFazio were to support the Schrader amendment. It would shine a spotlight on the issue of where Robinson gets his campaign funding.
 Last year he came from nowhere to raise $1.3 million dollars, much of it as soon as he announced his run. That’s pretty good for an unknown. Apparently he is not unknown to the big money interests who supported him and other ostensible “Tea Party” candidates. As was pointed out by a member of Americans for Prosperity in the district, he cannot be both a Republican and a Tea Party candidate, since the Tea Party represents those to the Right of the Republican Party. Similarly, Sharon Angell challenged Harry Reid and almost beat him, Rand Paul was actually elected in Kentucky and other candidates who were marginal at best were elected with sophisticated and very expensive corporate-funded propaganda campaigns.

In 2008 DeFazio won with 82% of the vote.
  In 2010 he won with less than 54%. Despite his liberal voting record, he has historically been supported by conservatives in his purple district because of his staunch support of veterans and his principled stands with Republicans when the Democratic leadership is on the wrong side of issues such as the first bankster bailout. In 2010, amid wild charges of socialism by the Robinson camp, his re-election was seriously challenged for the first time in years. The corporate money behind Robinson financed a very successful propaganda campaign that convinced many self-described conservatives to place a false ideological principle ahead of their own interests and that of the people of Oregon.

Interestingly, when I asked Robinson in Roseburg at one of his mock “debates” why he referred to a government that funneled taxpayer money to corporations “socialism,” he had a momentary lapse into reason. He shouted “You’re right! It’s fascism!” Then he expounded on the point for a full five minutes while I listened in amazement. Of course, by the time he got to the real debate in Coos Bay he had returned to the script written for him by his corporate Puppetmasters. If even Art Robinson recognizes that allowing corporations to buy Congress and dictate legislation and policy amounts to fascism, why don’t more Democrats capitalize on the fact when running for Congress? Neither Defazio nor Merkley take dirty money. Making their support of a constitutional amendment to abolish corporate personhood would not only be principled but would tap into the truly independent voters who want to see something done about our system of corporate welfare.
Some time ago I wrote an editorial for the Advocate in which I argued that the key to saving the Republic is to get Tea Party supporters to join the effort to abolish corporate personhood through a constitutional amendment. Many of my friends scoffed at the idea. What they seem to have forgotten is that these people are more highly educated than the general public. They are not stupid, just misinformed and thus unable to see that the solution to our woes is not fighting the imaginary specter of “socialism” but in fighting creeping fascism. It is our job to educate them of this fact. They value democracy as much as the rest of us do. I spoke to Jeff Kropf, former state director of Americans for Prosperity about this. He was intrigued by the idea of working together to restore our democratic Republic through the process of constitutional amendment. He also confirmed my impression that although the Koch brothers initially provided funding for Tea Party events, the state organization is now self-funded.

Tea Party supporters are actually ahead of the political curve in one respect: They have rejected both Republican and Democratic politics as usual and are seeking to create the change America must see to save itself from economic, social and moral destruction. While I remain convinced that they are going about it in entirely the wrong way, they will be key allies in the fight to end corporate rule in America once they understand what Robinson in a rare moment of honesty admitted: Fascism is the enemy, not our fellow Americans. Partisan Democrats can take a lesson from the Tea Party. If they learn to put America before the Democratic Party, they can join in common cause with the Tea Party to rid Congress of the corporate tools who are destroying the American experiment in democracy.


  1. UNIFICATION - it's the ultimate principle behind the creation of our great nation, and the key to perpetuating (or saving) what the Constitution calls "the Blessings of Liberty." The big question moving forward, is whether this necessary UNIFICATION will ever occur; or more precisely, when. Can we UNIFY fast enough to prevent governmental, economic (or environmental) collapse? Will the minority (special/corporate) interests who benefit from lack of unity in America, the interests responsible for war and the shipping of jobs overseas, continue to be successful in fueling the partisan divide and apathy that prevent coming together? Or, will self-interest and large egos, from either end of the political spectrum, put partisanship over country and prevent the UNITY necessary for us to reclaim or nation's destiny? As Manly P. Hall stated in his 1944 classic, The Secret Destiny of America, "The story of humanity is the record of the struggle upward and forward, from isolation to unification. No one can go against this motion without betraying themselves, their world, and their God."

  2. 23e(do you mind if I call you that?), I think that if we can stop labeling ourselves and others that we can achieve this sort of unity IF we share a common cause that is important enough.

    I am confident that establishing democracy in America is important enough to most Americans to come together to force the passage of a constitutional amendment by making it a campaign issue.

    After all, 80% of both self-identified conservative and liberals were opposed to Citizens United. We just have to make it clear that together, we can get special interest money out of politics:

  3. I disagree with your analysis of the Tea Party. They are funded by major corporations. The entire membership of the KKK is in the Tea Party. They want Obama out because they are bigoted and prejudiced and would vote a foreign corporation in office in his place.