They Say a Picture is Worth 1000 Words…

As a visual person who prefers text, I find some tables and charts more confusing than helpful.

These, however, are illuminating.

If you want to understand how money affects our political system, these charts tell the story–no propaganda, no spin, no explaining away the data. As Sgt. Friday used to say, just the facts, ma’am.


  1. We, the people will continue to reward these trends at the polls, or will discourage them. The people who are successful getting their way will not voluntarily stop doing what works for them.

    That’s why the work of democracy has shifted to sources of truth like this blog. Nobody knows if the path we elect will be democracy or plutocracy, but once taken it will be hard to go back without essentially the revolutions that we read about everyday going on around the rest of the world.

    Encouraging real debate and discussion based on facts will be the source of our decision on which path.

    Plutocrats can’t steal what we have been bequeathed, but we can give it away.

  2. One other point.

    If our system was parliamentary, with many political parties, we could see more clearly the alliances that comprised the majority and the good and bad components that make up the whole.

    In a two party system the arrangement of individual issue publics that ally under the flag of one party or the other, is pretty obscure.

    For instance the GOP gathers the votes that they do by pleasing (generally) the gun lobby, evangelical Christians, the gambling business, white supremacists, Tea Partyers, the Wall St gambling business that we call big banking, right to lifers, science deniers as well as many much more center of the road, dare I say more legitimate contributors to the greater good.

    What if I am a big supporter of 51% of the issues associated with the GOP but question the other 49%? I probably will still support the party. What if I’m a rabid fan of an issue public that represents only 1% of the GOP. I’d also vote Republican.

    The effect of this has been the more or less accidental development of a party that represents many desperate extremists, with a legitimate moderate core. And a sufficient voter base as a result.

  3. Pete – as I recall from my college course in comparative political systems, parlimentary systems only truly thrive when the power is divided primarily between two major factions. With larger numbers of factions, shifting coalitions and even threats of changing sides lead to ineffectual and even unstable governments.

    Our two-major-party system, similar to the British two-major-party parliamentary system, survive basically because they work better than the alternatives. Ours, of course, worked better when both parties beleived in our system of government which has always been based on some sense of compromise.

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