Former presidential candidate and longtime political activist Brian P. Moore has endorsed comedienne Roseanne Barr for President. Moore, who is serving as one of Barr’s 29 presidential electors in Florida, was the Socialist Party USA’s presidential candidate in 2008.
The 69-year-old Moore, who once studied in a Franciscan seminary before joining the Peace Corps in 1969 and spending three years working among the indigent inhabitants of Latin America, announced his support for the former sitcom star and her vice-presidential running mate, Cindy Sheehan, on Wednesday.
In declaring his support for the Peace & Freedom Party’s national ticket, the outspoken political gadfly urged his fellow Floridians “to send a strong message to the two Wall Street-dominated, warmongering parties that have destroyed the global economy while allowing the affluent and their corporations to turn the United States into a nation of wage and debt slaves.”
Barr and Sheehan, an antiwar activist whose son Casey was tragically killed in Iraq in 2004, are on the ballot in California, Colorado and Florida — the latter two of which are hotly-contested “battleground” states — and are waging a write-in campaign in more than two dozen other states.
A fixture in Florida politics for the past decade, Moore predicted an unexpectedly large showing for the Barr-Sheehan ticket in the Sunshine State on November 6th and said that he wasn’t worried that the Peace & Freedom Party’s ticket could potentially play the role of spoiler, a la consumer advocate Ralph Nader a dozen years ago.
Though it’s not his way of saying things — he’s far too polite to phrase things that way — Moore would undoubtedly agree with James Carville’s famous line during the 1992 campaign: “It’s the economy, stupid.”
Moore, like Barr, worries about folks living from paycheck to paycheck. He worries even more for those without any paycheck at all.
He worries far less about what others may say about him, especially Democrats concerned about keeping the White House at all costs. He could care less about partisan politics and meaningless cries of “hope and change.” Given a choice between two Wall Street scarlets — a pump-and-dump takeover financier pitted against an astoundingly inexperienced yet ambitiously popular politician who greedily took $37.6 million from the financial sector in his furious climb to the White House — there’s really nothing to spoil.
Even when refrigerated, cabbage spoils in about four or five months — and both Romney and Obama have been at this for much longer than that, jokes Moore.
Like Roseanne Barr and Cindy Sheehan, he knows the reins of powers are slowly, sadly, slipping away from the citizenry. The 2010 Citizens United decision, allowing corporations and wealthy individuals to dominate the country’s political dialogue, will make sure of that.
Moore, nevertheless, is willing to be a spoiler. In fact, he believes this might be the perfect time to throw a monkey-wrench into the thoroughly corrupt electoral process.
He’s calling for a citizen revolt at the ballot box.
“Ms. Barr certainly has the potential to be a spoiler and to disrupt the outcome of the 2012 presidential election,” said Moore, adding that such an outcome wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing.
“Over the past five years, the two major parties and their deep-pocketed sponsors on Wall Street have disrupted the lives of millions of ordinary Americans,” he said. The Democratic and Republican campaigns, he contends, are being largely underwritten by Corporate America.
“There’s a lot of anger and discontent out there,” he says. “President Obama has done little for struggling working-class and middle-income Americans. This economy isn’t working for them.”
He thinks that Roseanne — one of the first nationally-recognized figures to personally address the Occupy movement in the autumn of 2011— can harness that anger, even if it means that voters in most states will have to take a pen or pencil with them when they enter the voting booth.
“If fifty-six men, risking their lives against the British monarchy, used a quill pen to sign the Declaration of Independence over a five-month period in 1776, there’s no reason why 56 million Americans can’t take a BIC pen or a #2 pencil with them to the polls on November 6th to preserve those ideals,” said Moore. “It could be a bloodless Revolution. Short and sweet.”
Citing the Federal Reserve’s triennial Survey of Consumer Finances, published this past June, the Spring Hill activist said that American households have lost a median 39% of their total wealth between 2007 and 2010 — a period in which the assets and profits of the nation’s twenty largest banks returned to their pre-crash 2007 levels.
The current financial crisis and its “make believe, fairy tale recovery,” Moore continued, has wiped out nearly two decades of gains for the median U.S. household, dropping total family assets from $126,400 in 2007 to barely $77,300 in 2010.
“As much as President Obama wants to believe otherwise, there’s no Hans Christian Andersen writing this script,” quipped the scrappy Florida socialist.
“While the values of their homes, savings and retirement accounts have plunged, household debt as a share of middle-income assets rose from 14.8% to 16.4% during that same three-year period,” said Moore.
“The American people are hurting, and they’re hurting badly,” asserted Moore, who polled more than 200,000 votes in an unsuccessful bid for the Democratic nomination for governor of Florida two years ago.
“Roseanne Barr has the ability to shake things up. There’s no other candidate for the presidency with the courage to say the kinds of things she does,” Moore told Uncovered Politics. “People remember what she says. They truly identify with her.”
In a display of her uniquely acerbic wit, Barr once joked about bringing back the guillotine for the “worst of the worse of the guilty” on Wall Street — those responsible for plunging the country into the worst recession since the Great Depression.
It was Roseanne at her best.
Maintaining that the 2012 presidential election will be decided on pocketbook issues, the former Socialist candidate for President pointed to Florida’s 8.7 percent unemployment rate — well above the national 7.8 percent jobless rate — as evidence of President Obama’s failure to usher in a real recovery. The state gained a meager 800 jobs in September while more than 808,000 Floridians remain officially out of work.
Gov. Rick Scott’s bluster notwithstanding, several rural and sparsely-populated counties in the state continue to experience double-digit unemployment numbers, rates not seen since the Hoover administration in the late 1920s and early 1930s.
Moreover, the Bureau of Labor’s U-6 figures, a more accurate picture of joblessness which includes part-time workers unable to find full-time employment, places the number of unemployed and under-employed workers in Florida at a considerably higher number.
There is no economic recovery.
“Chronic unemployment, coupled with widespread underemployment and abject hopelessness isn’t the kind of future America voted for four years ago,” says Moore. “Sadly, as much as we all hoped he would succeed, President Obama doesn’t have the slightest inkling of what it takes to turn our economy around.” Obama, he said, should have studied FDR’s New Deal before assuming the presidency.
“It would have helped if he and his advisers had understood Franklin Roosevelt’s administration” said Moore.
He’s right. History is important.
“While doing great damage to the country’s middle-class, Wall Street’s recklessness has utterly devastated working-class and poor Floridians, the most vulnerable of our citizens,” said Moore, adding that President Obama has done little to turn things around for ordinary citizens.
“Aided by the Fed’s generous monetary policies aimed exclusively at benefiting the world’s financial markets, President Obama wittingly propped up the Zombie banks here and in Europe during his first term while planning a penurious future of austerity for already suffering working-class and low-income Americans in his second term,” said the one-time presidential aspirant.
“If there was ever a time for a powerful and poignant protest vote, it is now,” Moore concluded.
Like John Hancock — the most flamboyant signatory of America’s founding document — the former Socialist candidate is hoping that voters outside of California, Colorado and Florida will carry a pen or pencil with them as they enter the voting booth.
“Roseanne is the Revolution,” says Moore, the catalyst for change in our deeply flawed, corporate-dominated political system that promises to become even more selfish and soul-less with every passing election cycle as a result of the misguided 2010 Citizens United ruling taking the country back to the “Gilded Age” when the super-wealthy and corporations reigned supreme in American politics. J.P. Morgan would be proud.
It’s time to take a stand for America’s better self. It might be our last chance.