One percent of Americans possess more wealth than the other ninety-nine. Combine that with the electoral college
and you've got the recipe for a bonafide plutocracy.
Clandestine government surveillance operations
thumb through private emails, creep personal Facebook data and eavesdrop on the telephone calls of innocent Americans.
When brave informants come forward with the truth, their passports are revoked, their planes
are grounded and they are held against their will as though The Whistleblower Protection Act doesn't exist.
And there have been 31 school shootings
in America since the Columbine massacre (more than double that of the rest of the world combined) yet firearm legislation grows more relaxed
All this makes it easy to understand why disillusionment in the two-party political system in America is at an all-time high. "I simply want to push for a more informed public who find the truth on their own, auto-didactically, rather than being lied to by their government," says Patrick Cassady, founder of The Distopian Party (which is purposely not spelled as Dystopian
According the organization's official website
: "The Distopian Party is a political platform for exposing the lies and deception disseminated by illiberal democracies, unrestricted warfare, terrorists, and intelligence agencies around the world." Although it may sound a little like 'Tin Foil Hat Army' hyperbole, the group appears to be built on fairly pragmatic footing.
"I think if we stop supporting the Pseudo-Republic, and create new parties with new views, then the age we live in will be a more enlightened age. During the Enlightenment, the biggest factor of revolution was the creation of universities which replaced the Catholic institutions," says Cassady, who holds a Bachelor of Arts in criminal justice and another in religious studies, both from the University of Colorado in Denver.
Still though, one needs more than simply acute dissatisfaction before being allowed to jump into the arena of regional, let alone federal, politics. The party's first task is assembling 10,000 political supporters, which would make Cassady and his band of politicos the first official small party in Colorado.
But Cassady knows you don't need your name on a ballot in order to precipitate change. "I knew that our electoral system is corrupt even before going into this," he says. "Just look at some of the people in D.C. who have been there for fifty years. There's no way they could have done it without robber barons corrupting the electoral process in the 20th century. This party is focused more on public awareness of corruption then it is on competing in a rigged system."
"I think that for a new enlightenment and revolution to occur, our party needs to reach out to scholars on college campuses whose views are ignored by the current intellectual elite," Cassady said when I asked about the preliminary party strategies. "If small groups such as Root Strikers, Anonymous, hacker groups, citizen journalists, transparency organizations and other new grass-roots think-tanks stick together, then real change is possible."
Cassady's Distopian Party may be destined for the luxurious contours of American obscurity just like many of the small third parties that came before it (remember The Concerned Citizens Party of 1975 or The Aloha Aina Party of 1997 or how about The American Populist Party of 2009 — really, the list
is discouragingly long). But, in a country where anything could happen, we may find Cassady in 10 years time at the froth of a crowd a million strong with banners waving and drums beating, rabid for change.
On the other hand, The Distopian Party may never graduate beyond politically-spirited pontification over handfuls of shattered peanuts and pints of cold Budweiser.
When the time comes, you don't have to vote for Cassady, you don't have to give him your support, you don't even have to show up for the beer and peanuts, but, it's hard to ignore his point. "I just imagine what our country would look like if people actually had control of the legislature, not some smoke and mirror campaign that we have now. This idea, that people vote and they have no control over the rule of law in this country, is exactly what the founding fathers didn't have in mind. Its a dystopian scam created by the uber-elite. A system where the executive branch writes its own laws is corrupt, period."
You can follow The Distopian party on Twitter here