“I want FutureClown’s filibuster to find its way into the searches that people do when they look up other filibusters,” says artist Rachel Mason, who filmed herself mouthing along with the audio of Rand Paul’s famous anti-drone filibuster while wearing a clown costume. “I would love for people to stumble onto this piece and perhaps compare it to the original version.” If you ever feel like going completely insane, all thirteen hours of the clown filibuster can be found on YouTube or at the Lower East Side art gallery Envoy Enterprises.
[B]ad systems corrupt good individuals [by] enlisting our self-interest to convince us to betray our values. And make no mistake: America’s campaign finance system is a disaster. Most candidates can’t self-finance their campaigns, so they spend a disproportionate amount of time asking the rich to donate to their campaigns. Those donations are limited to $2,800 per individual, but the Supreme Court believes political spending is a protected form of free speech, so the rich can spend as much as they want on their own campaigns, or on Super PACs to push their political agendas.
Populists like Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and, in his complicated and contradictory ways, even Donald Trump, have risen in part because Americans loathe seeing their political system bought by the rich. Bloomberg isn’t so much a defense against those critiques as he is a confirmation of them. The populists say that politics is rigged, elections are bought by those with enough money to spend, modern liberalism is mere lipstick on perpetual corporatism. Bloomberg is here to test whether they’re right. He may pitch himself to centrists as an answer to the populists, but in leveraging his fortune to fight them, he offers the country the (hopefully) false choice between populism and oligarchy.