What Manafort, Podesta, Hastert, and Flynn Teach Us about American Democracy

Or, Why Grassroots Really do Make the Difference

When the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) says “grassroots make the difference,” it’s because we know that our voice is an authentically American one, representing registered voters and real taxpayers across our great country, not simply the billable hours of a rented former politician or some pay-to-play PR firm.

(L to R) Paul Manafort, Tony Podesta, Dennis Hastert, and Michael Flynn,

Grassroots do make the difference, and we’re seeing that difference in the news every single day.

Podesta disgraced. Hastert imprisoned. Manafort arrested. Flynn under investigation.

It’s no accident. It’s a pattern.

More than that, more often than not—its a standard D.C. scam.

The immoral enriching the unethical. A marriage of the depraved and deplorable:

  • The fake lobbyists bank their cash.
  • The corrupt “leaders” keep their power.
  • The American people get sold a fake bill of goods.
  • And the folks back home get the short end of the stick.

It’s a win-win for the insiders. Lose-lose for the rest of us.

Why? How does this happen, over and over again?

The answer’s pretty simple.

Regimes lacking legitimacy back home hunger for validation in Washington.

Desperate for photo ops and always looking for a quick shortcut to a good reputation (instead of the tough but necessary work of good governance), authoritarian “leaders” are quick to fall for slick pitches by sleazy “Beltway Bandits” who inevitably fleece their foreign clients, and then, very often by virtue of their own criminal conduct, crash and burn themselves.

It’s no coincidence that the disgraced Tony Podesta represents Azerbaijan—taking millions to suppress Artsakh’s democratic self-determination. No coincidence that Michael Flynn fronted for Turkey—reaping riches to prevent honest American remembrance of the Armenian Genocide. No coincidence that Dick Gephardt and his fellow former U.S. House leader Dennis Hastert—himself a convicted felon and admitted child molester—aided and abetted Turkey’s obstruction of justice for the mass murder of millions of Christians.

The author, during May 2017 testimony before the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee (Photo: ANCA)

The answer to this darkness is not more darkness, it’s democracy.

It’s American citizens of Armenian heritage—or any heritage—participating in our participatory democracy. Engaging with Members of Congress, state-level officials, and municipal leaders. Supporting legislation. Backing appropriations. Building coalitions. Working with the media. The good work—the hard and honest work—of a free people in a free land. #goANCA.

Aram Hamparian

Aram Hamparian

Aram Hamparian is the Executive Director of the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).


  1. Aram, with all due respects, if you are not Jewish, Black or Homosexual in the US, or not supported by any one of the aforementioned, you have no voice. Therefore, in “grassroots” simply means dirt for people like us. The mess we see going on in Washington has been going on for many generations behind closed doors. The only reason why we are now seeing it play out in plane view is because of an internal struggle between Globalists and Nationalists.

  2. Now, please do not take what I am about to write as a criticism of the ANCA or the AAA, but have these men not successfully thwarted our effort at getting the most fundamental justice of recognition? Yes, it is true that the ANCA represents real people, and that these crooks are now paying a price, but their overlords in Baku and Ankara kept winning and are still winning. Maybe the lesson is simpler still, Washington is a plutocracy.

  3. Mr. Hamparian, point well taken. Now how do we apply this to our own country? How do we make Armenia more democratic? How, specifically, does the ARF help make Armenia more democratic?

  4. Norserunt
    “your America”… Beside your insulting comment I bet you will love to have American dollars in your pocket than Ruble! There is no more room left for Armenian corrupted Oligarchs, who will sale their own underwear for few extra US dollars, they are not better than those corrupted American officials! By the way I am not American!! We are fighting for the rights of Armenian Nation of the world!

    • Yes GB, you are right. The American empire has turned the US Dollars into commodity. They have created a system in the world today where you have to speak English and trade in Dollars – or you die. And that is esentially why the American empire has to die.

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