Courtesy Getty images

~ By Greg Zangari
Well over a year ago, Wendy and I decided we didn’t want to be part of the political process any longer. We believed Presidents are “selected” not “elected”. We learned that it’s not always the people or the electorate that chooses our leader, but the corporations feeding dollars to their campaigns.
We find the same contributors giving money to both campaigns so they can get favors from whomever wins. We didn’t want to be part of that illusion any longer.

Until a few weeks ago, we thought we had made up our minds, we just “knew” Obama was going to be “selected” so why bother voting?

Well, I’d like to thank/blame our friends for changing our minds (thanks Sandi, Jennifer, John and Christina!), however it was mostly one or two of the issues at hand that pushed us in that direction. The one that put it over the top for me was Women’s Rights (Kristi, you spoke up just at the right time!). The other one was the economy. Didn’t want to see a repeat of failed trickle down theory. Why should we put ourselves in a time-loop to keep repeating our mistakes? Obviously if something didn’t work in the past, it probably won’t work in the future or until there are major changes in regulations or the tax code.
It wasn’t until around 6PM last night that we decided to go vote. We didn’t want to see any chance of Romney getting in and doing the repeat economic mumbo jumbo that we know does not work. It’s kind of like why people buy life insurance. We seem to be programmed that way. We needed insurance and assurance that Romney wouldn’t win. At the end of the day, did our two votes make a difference? Nope. Do I feel like I was duped because I fell for the illusion? Somewhat. However, knowing Obama will be sitting in the big chair and not Romney does give me some satisfaction.
When I heard how much money was spent on the campaigns this time, it blew my mind. I needed to look deeper.

“Show Me The Money!”

Let’s take a minute to see if we can analyze each campaign’s biggest donors. We’ll take a look at Obama’s donors first. This information was found at OpenSecrets.org.
University of California
$1,092,906
Microsoft Corp
$761,343
Google Inc
$737,055
US Government
$627,628
Harvard University
$602,992
Kaiser Permanente
$532,674
Stanford University
$473,372
Deloitte LLP
$430,084
Columbia University
$411,894
Time Warner
$408,512
DLA Piper
$393,102
Sidley Austin LLP
$377,133
University of Chicago
$325,256
Comcast Corp
$320,366
IBM Corp
$318,645
US Dept of State
$308,926
University of Michigan
$308,410
US Dept of Justice
$300,455
Wells Fargo
$288,804
Apple Inc
$270,856
Here we see mostly educational institutions and donations from the tech sector. However, we also see a bank in there; “Wells-Fargo” is near the bottom. Remember that one.
Now we take a look at Romney’s biggest contributors…
Goldman Sachs
$994,139
Bank of America
$921,839
Morgan Stanley
$827,255
JPMorgan Chase & Co
$792,147
Credit Suisse Group
$618,941
Wells Fargo
$598,379
Deloitte LLP
$554,552
Kirkland & Ellis
$496,722
Citigroup Inc
$465,063
Barclays
$428,250
PricewaterhouseCoopers
$421,085
UBS AG
$400,390
HIG Capital
$385,500
Blackstone Group
$360,225
Ernst & Young
$293,067
EMC Corp
$288,440
General Electric
$287,495
Elliott Management
$281,925
Bain Capital
$279,220
Rothman Institute
$263,700
Well what do we see here? Lots of Banks and Investment firms! Let’s get into the Way-Back Machine with Mr Peabody and Sherman. Let’s go back to 2008 when we saw our economy dive into the ocean. Seriously folks, if you know for a fact now that it was these banks that caused the sorrow and pain for millions of hard working Americans, how could you align with a candidate who takes donations from them? Wouldn’t you be afraid that your candidate may make things worse for American based on the banks’ lying, cheating and stealing that caused all this mess? At the end of this, whom should we trust least? How about Wells-Fargo – they donated to both ($598,379 to Romney and $288,804 to Obama). The worse part, this is our bank, not for long though, we’re switching to a local credit union.
Look at the money raised through direct donations, those from the DNC or RNC and those from SuperPACs. As we know, SuperPACs are political action committees. These committees can raise money without having to disclose their donors. Do they have to tell the truth or can they bend it or take things out of context? Well yes they can lie and the worse part is that most constituents believe these lies instead of fact checking for themselves!  There were only two SuperPACs working to re-elect President Obama. Former Governor Romney’s campaign had eight!
It’s interesting to see how the money came in. Most of Obama’s donations came in directly to him where as most of Romney’s came from the SuperPACs. This is what I found at the NY Times (click image to enlarge):

Source: http://elections.nytimes.com/2012/campaign-finance

Almost a billion dollars raised by both. You thought the spending for the 2008 Campaign was out of hand, this election trumped it. Does that much money really need to be spent? If I had the power to change the process, for each primary you would get a hard copy of each candidate’s platform, you analyze and make your choice. Same thing for the General Election. No TV ads. No internet ads at places like Hulu and YouTube. No Junk mail. No phone calls. Oh and a whole lot of money left over that could go to feeding people or some other worthwhile, tax deductible donation to the needy. Let’s face it, those are the ones that need help and those are the places we should be donating money to, we shouldn’t be donating to millionaires!
So now we’ll break down where the money came in from, including direct donations to the candidate, by the affiliated party committee or from the SuperPACs, again from the NY Times (click image to enlarge):
Source: http://elections.nytimes.com/2012/campaign-finance
Look at where Obama is getting most of his funding – from donors like us, mostly. Remember, the most you can donate directly to a candidate is $2.500. A total of 56% of Obama’s direct donations were less than $200. However 43% of Romney’s direct donations were from people who donated the maximum. Does that mean, at the end of the day, that more people who had much less to give, donated to their candidate, Obama? Yes it does. Does it mean more people who could afford a $2,500 donation, donated to Romney? Yes it does. What I can’t understand is the number of middle income people who donated to Romney.
Can’t they see that Romney is being fed money from the wealthy and not from middle class donors? Why didn’t that paint a picture for middle class Republicans? Why? Because the Republican candidates are so adept at lying. They dramatize everything and use their scare tactics and out of context quotes, to brainwash the middle class Republicans and it makes them mad. How can these people be so ignorant as to accept lies as truth? Why don’t they take some time to fact check and beg their candidate for the truth? Maybe our readers would like to give some rationale for this as it just boggles my mind.
The way I see it, Obama came into office and could have passed just about anything he wanted. He was trying to be bipartisan. People saw that as weak. Then came the 2010 elections. From that point on things have been stagnant. If Obama pulled a Bush and just started going with his own agenda instead of wanting to play house with the GOP, things may have been done more quickly.
Obama’s downfall during that time was not talking to the people enough, which he knows he has to do better this time. The Affordable Care Act took way too long to deliberate, the GOP made up tons of lies like Death Panels, and the Act was torn to pieces just to get passed. Was Obama trying to do a good thing by being bipartisan? Absolutely. He acted the way all of our elected officials should act, working together for the best of everyone. I think our GOP House knows that if they don’t start playing ball, they will be out on their asses come the next mid term elections in 2014.
I read the American Jobs Act when it came out in Sept 2011. It made good sense. But because it wasn’t a GOP idea, it didn’t get a second glance. Why aren’t people bitching at the GOP for wasting time trying to make Obama look bad, instead of trying to create jobs? There could be millions more jobs by now. Why aren’t people in the GOP upset because their GOP House didn’t come up with any plans to create jobs? Why is it solely Obama’s fault?
So does the GOP want anything changed for the better for this country? It’s hard to tell. Does the GOP want anything other than to be able to line rich people’s pockets with more cash? Will having the rich pay their taxes make them so poor that they will not be able to create jobs? Please. If you believe that you’ve been permanently brainwashed.
The money should not all be held at one end of the see-saw. There needs to be less disparity between the richest and poorest in our nation. The only people who still feel America is the place to live if you want to fulfill your dreams are people who want to emigrate here. These people still see the USA as the greatest country in the world. I think we need to once again take pride in ourselves as a nation, be a shining example for the rest of the world, instead of being the world’s whipping boy and its World Police Force and get back to being a prosperous nation that the world sees as a positive example to all.
It’s time to move away from “Nation Building” in other countries and time to start “Nation Building” right here in the USA, starting with our crumbling infrastructure. Sure it costs money, but it would put people back to work, it would increase our tax revenue and ultimately  would be more cost effective as it would cost more to do, the longer we wait. Why would any person in the USA not want to fix what’s broken? How is spending money to put people back to work a bad thing? Do we deserve better roads, better schools for our kids, more manufacturing jobs here at home based on all the taxes we pay? Sure we do. Don’t even get me started on the wasteful spending at the Department of Defense – that’s a whole other article in itself!

So where do we go from here?

In closing today, I want to reach out to our friends on the “right”. We love you and we only want the best for you. It’s time for us to work together. However, I’d like to say something about that new term we heard this year from Romney, “Personal Responsibility”. What he’s saying here is that people should be able to make it on their own without handouts from the Federal government.
Let’s say it’s a few years from now and Romney got in office. Let’s suppose that he cut social programs, including FEMA. Okay, now let’s pretend that you live on the NJ coast or in NYC and a huge superstorm hit your area hard. Just like Sandy hit them. Imagine if now “Personal Responsibility” was implemented. This question goes out to the Republicans who were affected by Hurricane Sandy. What if you lost your house, had no family or close friends in the area and no one from the government were there to help you?
All of a sudden you found out it wasn’t as easy to make it without help. Would you agree that Mitt’s idea of survival of the fittest isn’t in your best interest and that we need these types of social programs as we deserve help as taxpayers? Imagine no student loans and that your kids could only go to college if you had the cash to pay in full. So many example I could give.
It’s time for both parties to work together for the good of the country. I for one do not want to spend the next 4 years watching the House filibuster. Why should they get a paycheck for doing nothing but blocking every idea the administration has? The last thing I want to see is 50% of the country upset that their candidate didn’t win. Perhaps it’s time for a new tactic, Republicans. It’s time to work together with the “other side” for the good of everyone, not just when it comes to your re-election campaigns.

So, getting sucked back into politics, was it worth it?

That’s a tough one for me and I have to get my ego out of the way to answer. Did I gloat a little last night when Obama was announced the victor? Yup, I’m only human but I promise to get better at not being overly prideful. One should have pride in themselves and their accomplishments but not to the point where one brags or makes others feel bad because of they have been more fortunate. That kind of pride needs to be turned into gratitude. One may want to turn to counting one’s blessings instead of bragging to others about themselves. However I digress…
After thinking about the question my response is, yes, it was worth it. You may ask why we voted if we think it’s all an illusion? The way we see it, we’re here to learn, to experience, to grow, to find our way back to Source/Creator and to be as connected, as much as possible, to that life force/love force. In order to do that, we must all grow together as we’re all connected. I feel a connection to everyone, not just to those who believe in what I believe in.
We can’t label ourselves in a way which makes us unable to connect. If we pull ourselves out of these illusory systems for a while, we free ourselves, as we know what is happening “on the inside” of the system. That knowledge gives us power. Now we “know” that it’s time to get back into the illusion to help drag others out of it, so they may experience the truth, gain the knowledge, evolve and be enlightened with that amazing reconnection to Source/Creator, most importantly reconnecting to the core of our Universe which was created, based on and derived from, Love.

This week’s lesson?

We can not teach or assist humanity if we totally step out of the illusion. We need to change the illusion from the inside. Therefore, we have no choice but to reconnect with those that are stuck inside. I now believe it’s the best and most important thing we can do, for not only each other, but for the entire planet. It’s time. No time like the present to build the world we want to live in. Together.
Peace.
Sources:
http://www.opensecrets.org/pres12/contrib.php?id=N00009638
http://www.opensecrets.org/pres12/contrib.php?id=N00000286
http://elections.nytimes.com/2012/campaign-finance

© 2012, shiftingtimesarehere. ™ Wendy & Greg Zangari, All rights reserved. Permission is granted to copy and redistribute these articles on the condition that the content remains complete and in tact, full credit is given to the author(s), and that it is distributed freely.

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