Thursday, November 6, 2014

Via DailyKos: Something Wonderful Happened

by WinterOfDiscontentFollow

In the midst of all the doom, gloom, weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth that occurred for the Democrats yesterday, something wonderful happened. It wasn't very big. Many people probably didn't even notice it.

The people of Richmond, California reaffirmed ownership of their town. You may know the story. Chevron operates a refinery near the city of Richmond and, a few years ago had a major fire that caused a lot of damage. The city of Richmond sued Chevron to recover the costs of those damages. 

Not wanting to chance the outcome in the courts, Chevron seized upon the municipal elections to run their own candidates that would be more Chevron friendly.

Leaving nothing to chance, Chevron pumped $3 million into the campaigns for their candidates compared to the $58,000 spent by the legitimate candidates for those offices. Chevron (through PACs) used the money to buy up all the available advertising - billboards, radio, TV, and print. Their $3 million bullhorn was immensely loud.

In spite of this (or maybe because of it) the people of Richmond rallied behind their candidates and elected them over all of the Chevron candidates. It's a small thing. So was the birth of Jesus.

When the Supreme Court declared through Citizens United that money is speech, they sought to change our participatory government from each person having an equal say, to the corporate model where you have as much say as the stock you own (your ability to pump your view into the conversation over shadowing all other views). What Richmond shows is that people can see through that. People can see past the blinding light and blaring noise of big money advertising and see the simple truth of what is right and what is wrong. There is hope for us.

P. T. Barnum said, "There's a sucker born every minute."

Abraham Lincoln said, "You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time."

Richmond shows us that we may be more under the influence of Lincoln than we are Barnum. And that is something wonderful.

Originally posted to WinterOfDiscontent on Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 12:12 PM PST.

Also republished by Good News and California politics.

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