8/15/2005

VOTING REALLY DOESN’T MATTER

Welcome to a world where statistical probability and normal arithmetic no longer apply! The Democrats, rather than vigorously pursuing these patently obvious signs of election fraud in 2004, have nearly all decided that being gracious losers is better than being winners, probably because – and this may be the most important reason for the Democrat’s relative silence - a full-scale uncovering of the fraud runs the risk of mobilizing and unleashing popular forces that the Democrats find just as threatening as the GOP does.
The delicious irony for the GOP is that the Help America Vote Act, precipitated by their theft of the Florida 2000 presidential vote, made GOP theft of elections as in the preceding examples easy and unverifiable except through recourse to indirect analysis such as pre-election polls and exit polls. This is the political equivalent of having your cake and eating it too. Or, more precisely: stealing elections, running the country, and aggressively, arrogantly and falsely claiming that “the people” support it.

Flavor Flav of the rap group Public Enemy used to wear a big clock around his neck in order to reminder us all that we’d better understand what time it is. Or, as Bob Dylan once said: “Let us not speak falsely now, the hour’s getting late.” To all of those who said before the 2004 elections that this was the most important election in our lifetimes; to all of those who plunged into that election hoping and believing that we could throw the villains out via the electoral booth; to all of those who held their noses and voted for Democrats thinking that at least they were slightly better than the theocratic fascists running this country now, this must be said: VOTING REALLY DOESN’T MATTER. If we weren’t convinced of that before these last elections, then now is the time to wake up to that fact. Even beyond the fraudulent elections of 2000 and 2004, public policies are not now, nor have they ever been, settled through elections.

The Role of Mass Movements and Alternative Media

What can be done? The Eugene McCarthy campaign of 1968 and the George McGovern campaign in 1972 didn’t end the war in Vietnam. The Vietnamese people and the anti-war movement ended the war. Civil rights weren’t secured because JFK and LBJ suddenly woke up to racial discrimination. The Civil Rights Movement and Black Power Movement galvanized public opinion and rocked this country to its foundations. Men didn’t suddenly wake up and realize that they were male chauvinist pigs - women formed the Women’s Movement, organized, marched, rallied, and demanded nothing less than equality, shaking this country to the core. The Bush administration is bogged down and sinking deeper in Iraq not mainly because the top figures of the Bush administration consist of liars, blind (and incompetent) ideologues, international outlaws and propagators of torture as an official policy, but because the Iraqi people have risen up against imperialist invasion. Prior to the war, the international anti-Iraq war movement brought out millions of people into the streets, the largest demonstrations in history, denying the U.S. imperialists the UN’s sanction and leading to Turkey denying US requests to use their land as a staging area. These are major, world-historic feats.

The 2000, 2002 and 2004 elections fraud underscores the critical importance of building a mass movement, a movement of resistance that doesn’t tie itself to the electoral road and electoral parties. In addition, as Robert Parry has eloquently argued, a counterforce to the right-wing media empire must be built by the left and by progressive-minded people. As it stands today, the right can get away with nearly anything because they have talking heads on TV, radio, the Internet and other outlets who set the tone and the political agenda, with mainstream media focusing on sex and sensationalism and taking their political cues to a large extent from the right.

Like a bridge broken by an earthquake, the electoral road can only lead to plunging us into the sea – which is precisely what happened in the 2004 election.

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