Crosby, Stills and Nash once wrote about our corrupt political system and especially how those who try to be honest and creative often are destroyed by the system. They pointed to the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy. One of the lines was, “No don’t try to get yourself elected, because if you do you had better cut your hair.” The system has little tolerance for those who believe our best solutions are outside the corporate box.
One of these was Ron Paul in 2012. Many Progressives, myself included, agreed with Paul on ending endless war, and our need to defend our Bill of Rights. That corporatist stooge Mitt Romney couldn’t do enough to erase any trace of Paul, including rigging what delegates got into the Republican National Convention to create the pretense that everyone was behind Romney. This was patently false.
The second case of creativity being treated as the equivalent of political ideological heresy is Karen Ramsburg, the Congressional candidate from Pennsylvania’s 9th District. According to an article in the Herald Standard newspaper (10/24/12) in Uniontown, Pa. Ramsburg believes that Fayette County Democratic Party leaders have been unsupportive of her candidacy.
Ramsburg’s belief is not without significant merit. For one thing the wife of a local state rep. told one of Ramsburg’s campaign team that she couldn’t help Ramsburg because she was working for Dems for Shuster. Of course they denied this when confronted by the paper. But then the apparent plan has seemed to be to block Ramsburg’s getting a message out while pretending innocence.
A write in candidate who suddenly surfaced in late June almost two month’s after Ramsburg won the Democratic Party nomination let slip, when confronted about being a Shuster plant to take votes away from Ramsburg, that he had been asked by a local state senator to run. This write-in has an office that he offered and was granted the Obama Fayette County Obama campaign headquarters, in a conflict of interest that a lawyer who the campaign consulted, called probably illegal. This gave him access to a list of all registered voters in Fayette County and people to make phone calls to registered Democrats. It doesn’t take rocket science to figure out that it is likely that they weren’t saying vote for Ramsburg with each call, even as the Obama Campaign has been encouraging a straight ticket vote which would have included her.
It is rumored that for once Congressman Bill Shuster is afraid of losing. He is running against a candidate who has been recognized by Ezra Klein’s Washington Post Wonkblog as one of 13 creative and innovative politicians to watch. In addition, Shuster has nothing to offer but the same tired old ideological bromides because $900,000.00 of his 1.3 million dolllars raised so far are from special interest, corporate interests and PAC groups who believe their contributions are an investment and Shuster will deliver legislation favorable to their bought and paid for needs and wants. He defends this with tax cuts to the rich and using pork largesse to grease the skids even with Democrats and it is the fear if Shuster loses the gravy train will be cut off that is probably behind the efforts to support the incumbent even though he is a Republican.
Ramsburg is a nurse, author, and political activist who has a broad range of support ranging from Progressive groups, Unions, Independents and Libertarians, to moderate Republicans. This is because Ramsburg does not depend on ideological talking points but reasoned creative solutions based approaches to confronting problems. This is a breath of fresh air to voters worn out from thirty years of partisan conflict.
Two of her most creative are the Public Option based on the VA Hospital model to provide competition and lower costs as an alternative to the private, expensive, wasteful private insurance industry and the GI Bill for coal, oil, and natural gas workers who lose jobs in our necessary transition to sustainable renewable energy. (more about these bills can be found on Ramsburg’s website http://ramsburg4congress.com)
When Gallileo put forward the idea that the earth revolved around the sun he was jailed and branded as a heretic. For the last thirty years we have had no solutions. Social issues are a diversion. Ramsburg took those off the table and Shuster turned out to be as hollow as his economic policies have made this nation. The last gasp of the weak is to try to blot out the message of the creative in hopes no one will hear the message and realize how completely empty they are.