From Marco Ugolini:

Hi Mark.

In my opinion, the present system of never-ending presidential campaign
works amazingly well for the people who are now so safely ensconced in
positions of political power (Republicans and Democrats), and for their
delighted sponsors in major corporations (foreign and domestic).

The modus operandi in election campaigns in the U.S. is not dissimilar in
intent and practice from the mercantile, market-worshiping mode that runs
the rest of society: one long protracted advertising onslaught meant to
twist the “consumers” (of our degraded “politics”, in a fashion directly
analogous to that of commercial goods) into abject submission, a process
which creates the widest possible distance between the reality of everyday
life and the dreamland of slogans, jingoism and religious piety.

The rest of the Western world (my native Italy as well) has strict laws
governing how campaigns are run and how money is allowed or not to enter
them. This doesn’t mean that corruption is unknown over there, mind you,
only that, at the very least, the law clearly makes felonies many of the
abuses that in the U.S. are just considered business as usual. The
monumental, mind-bending, officially-sanctioned corruption occurring here is
not only perfectly legal, but it’s almost unanimously viewed as *necessary*
to the survival of our “system”. The *perversion* of the process has become
the “normality” we are all expected to live with.

Mandating and enforcing brief campaigns would be only *one of many* needed
changes in our system. Among the others would be:
– Abolishing the electoral college, and directly counting the presidential
votes nationwide instead of state by state;
– Holding elections for 2 days on weekends (for ALL elections);
– Public financing exclusively, with no exceptions whatsoever (ha! it would
be nothing short of a revolution…);
– Voiding Buckley vs. Valeo (1976) (as well as the concept of “corporate
personhood” that was introduced into our laws with the Santa Clara vs.
Southern Pacific decision of 1886) and issuing a prohibition of *any*
politically-related advertising on TV and all private media (based on the
principle that money is NOT free speech);
– Replacing the advertising circus with free public debates (that MUST be
broadcast by TV stations as a non-negotiable condition for the issuance of
their public license) which provide equal access to *all* candidates,
instead of more access to the public ear (via advertising) for millionaires
and/or those well-connected to moneyed entities, and far less access (or
none at all) for those without — that being a clear travesty of “free

Short of changes such as these taking place, the public will grow ever more
factionalized, disgusted, fed up and/or apathetic, and the interests of the
majority of working Americans will keep getting the shaft, as has been the
case for the longest time already.

Marco Ugolini

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