Robert Sachs

Let's Talk

A different kind of election - in my dreams?

June 19, 2012

Tags: election, Democrats, Republicans, Obama, Romney

Big money has been ubiquitously understood as the bane to any fair, democratic electoral process. It was understood by our Founding Fathers, Abraham Lincoln, FDR, and Dwight Eisenhower. Our current President seems to almost understand this, but his will to commit to an act on this understanding is suppressed in the commonly held belief that this "necessary evil" has got to be used one more time because "so much is at stake."

How many times do we fall for this line? In recent years, I have watched the $20 million war chest of the Democratic party that was supposed to be used to contest voter fraud disappear in 2004 as Ohio's results were ignored by Kerry. In January of 2010, we watched both Republican AND Democrats in the House of representatives allow to lapse the one piece of legislation that would held back unlimited funds to be donated by both individuals and corporations. And with Citizens United getting their marching orders from Karl Rove and friends, it is ludicrous for Democrats to think that be hitting the phone banks and milking the millions, that they will be in any way capable of keeping up with the Rove-machine.

My good Democratic friends have said they feel no choice but to make donations - that it is to give up to not. But I was wondering...

What would it look like if all good progressives and Democrats gave absolutely NO money to the political machine and just decided to come out a vote in unprecedented numbers? Is this a teachable moment? Is it possible to demonstrate that principle trumps funds? Is it possible to build such a strong grass-roots movement as to provide in-the-street and neighbor-to-neighbor dialogues and raise the political bar of this country above the 24-hour fear based media drone?

For certain, it is clear that corporations and big money are on both sides of the fence. But, I believe that the rhetoric of the Democratic party - at least in my mind - comes closer to our country's revolutionary ideals. It makes me think that if we can get the election to go strongly in the direction of a healthy democratic majority that the lip service they seem to pay to campaign finance reform, single-payer health care, and an end to tax cuts for the super-wealthy individuals and corporations will be more than just lip service.

So, an election not based on money... If not now, I can assure that there is almost ZERO chance of there ever being a when...


  1. July 17, 2012 9:23 PM EDT
    The author of this political tract sees political donations as corrupting of the election process. He visualises a return to elections where no money is involved.

    Could the author - and I assume it is Robert Sachs - take us back to basics by telling of the fundamental principles on which he bases his political conclusions?

    Is it Buddhist principles the author is using? Or is it more traditional writers on politics such as Plato, Hobbes or Kant?

    And maybe the writer could comment on why he needs to pontificate on politics in a web site given to Buddhism, wellness and beauty. Surely such muddies the water.

    Further, could comment be made on the issue that if one is of the right politically, does it mean one is largely shut out from Buddhist wisdom, Ayurvedic health and beauty?



    - Anonymous
  2. December 9, 2013 8:10 PM EST
    Mindfulness is mindfulness. Being in the world but not of it does not mean that you stay in some bliss bubble and just write off everyone else's woes to their bad karma.

    When I interviewed major Buddhist leaders about such world events, they were vocal, direct, outspoken, and very politically engaged.
    - Robert Sachs

Selected Works

Medicine Buddha, Sangye Menla, Tibetan Medicine, Ayurveda
Helping to heal the Three Poisons that are the root of all our illnesses and suffering...
Autobiography, Philosophy, Self Help
A moving story that inspired Robert to put in print many insights and practices to help each of us to die more consciously and at peace.
Self-help, spirituality, Buddhism, death, dying, and bereavement
Shows how we can embrace dying and death with greater clarity, wisdom, power, and joy.
Astrology, Personal Growth
A system of astrology used over the centiries in Tibet, Japan, and China - easy to calculate, but profound in its possible applications for all facets of life.
Relationships/Self Help
A must for anyone seeking to practice the profound path of intimate relationships.
--Tsultrim Allione, author
Self-help, spirituality, Buddhism, relationships, marriage
Addressing the challenges to and rewards of developing deep love and cultivating lasting relationships
Current Affairs
Practical and transcendental wisdom that every concerned citizen and social and political activist needs to hear.