My main squeeze Lady Liberty wrote me last week:
Has anyone heard of Lawrence Lessig’s Super PAC to end all Super
PACs? Dubbed The Mayday (https://mayday.us/), it is exactly what we’ve been talking about but now crystallized into action.
US: I checked it out, and it’s pretty hot. It’s what we’ve been
missing: a covalent political initiative wherein the agenda that’s being pushed is to establish a change in free speech as well as the money situation. The best example of that that I’ve seen to date is Bill Bradley’s suggestion regarding a constitutional amendment and other things that go with. But a political solution without trying to break the stranglehold from another direction, from populism, can’t work. That’s why Occupy was so promising; and this is its bastard stepchild. We need both. Neither should be the hostage of the other and both movements should be free to act equally. Now, however, we can have that combined consciousness overarching both. Neither alone will gain the clout that when taken together will offer the needed difference.
Mary wrote back: Lessig’s PAC to End All Pacs is multi-pronged, and
includes collaboration with Congressional representatives who are
putting forward initiatives for campaign finance reform. Lessig
argues convincingly that 2016 is a pivotal year. If current campaign financing practices haven’t taken a major blow by then, it will be hard to turn the tides. Thus, we see his current efforts to back 2014 candidates who want to challenge campaign financing.
I don’t believe it is just the same old front in new packaging. Why?
Because its ultimate goal is to crush the PAC system. Could that
backfire, with a taste of money and potential power polluting the
effort? Sure. It still seems to me the best current option we’ve
US: Yes. I agree. Furthermore, the fact that it is a form of PAC
itself is not even a weakness, but rather just something we need to
be completely on top of if things are going to change. My critique
isn’t from the perspective of the purest. It is from what I’ve seen
work so far and therefore what I think can work in this country and
climate. I’m not one of the subscriber’s of the school of thought
that the people don’t care. I just think that the ways they can care
are unprecedentedly truncated. We really are in a fog. We really are
overwhelmed. Given the current system there isn’t enough to go
around. It’s a little complex to make the argument that there could
be enough if we change things when it’s not clear to most people how
to do. It really isn’t clear which way to go. For most of us, we
just don’t want to be a fool or lose our share. So in and of itself
the PAC to end all PACs can’t make it by itself. True political
reform alone without going after the money can’t work. I don’t
believe that isolated level of addressing the problem is going to
resonate with most people. It probably is, however, part of the
solution. The thing that’s going to get us over the hump is a
cleaner, catchier, more concrete notion. Now if we add the third
element, the public element, protest, activism, the media…if we
add everything from occupy the commons to “we’re not going take it!”
rally cries to people values over money values…if we add all that,
then maybe, just maybe we’ll have something.