There are No Real Differences Between Democrats and Republicans

We are ruled by two political parties, Democrats and Republicans. That suggests choice and difference. The reality is both parties are in collusion to monopolize political power. They only pretend to be different. The bottom line is both parties serve the same master: wealthy special interests.

The Illusion of Choice

  • Among all Americans, the AP-NORC poll found that just 8 percent consider the Republican Party to be very or extremely responsive to what ordinary voters think. An additional 29 percent consider the GOP moderately responsive and 62 percent say it’s only slightly or not at all responsive. The Democratic Party fares only slightly better, with 14 percent saying the party is very or extremely responsive, 38 percent calling it moderately responsive, and 46 percent saying it’s only slightly or not at all responsive.

    …The survey also found evidence of overwhelming interest in the presidential contest, although less than a quarter of Americans say they’re excited about it. Worse, 55 percent of Americans, including 60 percent of Republicans and 53 percent of Democrats, say they feel helpless about the 2016 election. And two-thirds of Americans under 30 report feeling helpless. “I am despondent,” said Cserbak. “I wouldn’t say I feel totally helpless. I do have a vote.” In contrast, only 13 percent of respondents said they felt proud about the election; 37 percent said they were hopeful. (Source)

  • The report's author, demographer Michelle Diggles, warned her own party. "While President Obama won the Hispanic vote in 2012 by 44 points, a majority of Hispanics identified as independents and only 32 percent as Democrats.
"And Hispanics express lukewarm feelings about the Democratic Party. Only 27 percent think the Democratic Party cares a lot about the issues and concerns of Hispanics," she wrote. "This and their lack of identification as self-described Democrats suggest that Hispanic attachment to the Democratic Party is shallow rather than deep." (source)

Both Parties Serve Big Business

  • Years before more than a hundred media outlets around the world released stories Sunday exposing a massive network of global tax evasion detailed in the Panama Papers, U.S. President Barack Obama and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pushed for a Bush administration-negotiated free trade agreement that watchdogs warned would only make the situation worse.
Soon after taking office in 2009, Obama and his secretary of state — who is currently the Democratic presidential front-runner — began pushing for the passage of stalled free trade agreements (FTAs) with Panama, Colombia and South Korea that opponents said would make it more difficult to crack down on Panama’s very low income tax rate, banking secrecy laws and history of noncooperation with foreign partners. (Source)

The Public thinks there's no Difference

  • "Record-High 42% of Americans Identify as Independents" (Gallup poll: 1/8/2014)
    Independent voters

Both Parties Depend on Campaign Money from Big Business

We cross-checked the Open Secrets list of the top 100 individuals donating to outside spending groups in the current election against the Forbes list of the world’s billionaires and found that, as of June 19, there were 22 individuals on the
Open Secrets list who were billionaires. Of those 22 billionaires, 13 -- or more than half -- gave predominantly to liberal groups or groups affiliated with the Democratic Party. The other nine gave predominantly to conservative groups. (A list of billionaires and how much they donated can be found here.)

Also, neither party is pleading poverty these days due to funds raised from people below the billionaire bracket. So far in the 2014 election cycle, the top Democratic Party committees have raised more than $725 million, according to Open Secrets. The top Republican Party committees have raised more than $600 million. In the 2012 election, the Democrats and Republicans each raised about $1.7 billion.

Democrats may have closed the gap this cycle by getting more support from the growing number of young, ultra-wealthy liberals in Silicon Valley -- like Hoffman, who is worth $3.2 billion at 47 years old -- suggested Forbes reporter Clare O’Connor, who has covered the subject. At the same time, an increasing number of the very rich are splitting their support between the parties, she said.

We can’t make a final call on whether or not Reid was right in saying the Democratic Party "doesn't have many billionaires." We know that both parties have billionaire backers. In 2012, the advantage went to the Republicans. So far in 2014, the Democrats have the edge in terms of public donations to outside spending groups. But this is far from a full picture because of current donation disclosure rules.

We can’t answer the question of which side has more because it’s impossible to know exactly who donates to elections and how much they give. Certain types of political nonprofits are not required to disclose all their funders, although some do so voluntarily.

  • "With the battle for the Senate tilting toward Republicans and President Obama’s approval ratings hovering near his all-time low, Democrats are more reliant than they
    have ever been on the very kind of big-money groups they have spent years trying to outlaw." (source)
  • "Rep. Charles Rangel, who was called out by challenger Adriano Espaillat during a recent debate for a vote to water down Wall Street reform. Espaillat, a state senator, has been hammering Rangel for weeks over his ties to the financial industry. On Thursday night, Rangel pulled out of the final debate before the election." (source)

Democrats Quite Often Act Like Republicans

  • "It’s one thing for Democrats running in red parts of the country to sound like Republicans on the campaign trail. It’s another when Democrats running in purple or even blue territory try to do so." (source)
  • The Democratic National Committee has rolled back restrictions introduced by presidential candidate Barack Obama in 2008 that banned donations from federal lobbyists and political action committees. (source, May 2015)
  • A glaring pay-to-play pick came from Wasserman Schultz, who selected former Claire’s Stores CEO and North Carolina resort and spa owner Bonnie Schaefer of Florida. Along with her wife, Jamie, Schaefer has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to Democratic candidates, party organizations and super PACs in recent years. (source, May 2016)
  • THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY’S 2012 platform pledged to “curb the influence of lobbyists and special interests.” But the 2016 convention in Philadelphia will be officially hosted by lobbyists and corporate executives, a number of whom are actively working to undermine progressive policies achieved by President Barack Obama, including health care reform and net neutrality.

    Some of the members of the 2016 Democratic National Convention Host Committee, whose job is to organize the logistics and events for the convention, are hardly even Democratic Party stalwarts, given that many have donated and raised thousands of dollars for Republican presidential and congressional candidates this cycle.

Neither party stands for anything

  • Democrats have become a confused political party with a muddled message and an inability to turn out enough of its loyal voters, a party task force charged with how to revive the embattled party said Saturday.
“I am here to tell you the Democratic Party has lost its way,” said Gov. Steve Beshear of Kentucky, who presented the report to the Democratic National Committee WINTER. (source)

Both parties are corrupt
  • The Epipen Scandal
    • Mylan CEO Heather Bresch would never have been hired at the company had it not been for her father, Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, NBC News reported.

      Bresch herself admitted as much in a 2012 interview published in WV Living magazine.

      “I don’t deny that I got my first job at Mylan because of my dad,” she said at the time, adding, “I couldn’t have told you what Mylan did. I vaguely knew it had something to do with science.”

      ...Bresch and her company have come under fire recently for hiking up the price on EpiPens while also giving herself a $16 million raise.
  • "...a rising star in the Democratic Party in Pennsylvania was charged with obstruction of justice and conspiracy after allegedly leaking secret documents to a reporter to harm her predecessor, a criminal complaint says.Just three days earlier, another top law enforcement official, this time a Republican in Texas, was charged with counts of securities fraud; he's accused of soliciting investors in a hometown company without disclosing he was profiting." (August 2015)
  • "The Milwaukee County executive’s office under Scott Walker 'obstructed' a criminal investigation into missing donations to a veterans fund, two investigators alleged Friday in a federal court brief that includes recently unsealed investigative records." (August 2015)
  • "U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah paid off an illegal $1 million campaign loan with federal grants and charitable donations, funneled campaign funds toward his son's student loans and disguised a lobbyist's bribe as payment for a Porsche his TV anchor wife never sold, prosecutors said Wednesday in announcing a racketeering indictment against him.The 11-term Democrat from Philadelphia led a conspiracy that engaged in bribery, fraud, money laundering and other crimes and netted him hundreds of thousands of dollars, federal investigators said." (source)
  • "A once-powerful New York politician was convicted Friday on charges he lied to the FBI in an attempt to obstruct a corruption investigation targeting him for embezzlement." (July 2015)

Americans want Choice

  • Gallup poll on third parties
    "The 2016 presidential election is shaping up to be more boring than ever, with the Bush and Clinton dynasties poised to take the reins of America’s corporate capitalist system, likely to deliver unsubstantive debate and the illusion of choice in a duopoly that offers very little in terms of real meaningful change." (Source: Mintpress)