Civil War in America-- and the Weapons to be Used to fight it
George Stephanopolous says there will be a civil war within the democratic party between progressives and centrists. But why stop there. If, after the final courtroom conflict, George W. Bush is declared the winner of this election, it will be based on over 45 million mostly un-recountable votes on election machines owned and operated by republicans, transnational corporations and foreign corporations. There is no reason why we should treat this election as fair, no reason to assume that it was honest. Already, over 600 reports of voting machine problems have been reported.
An LA Times article reports that "voters in Georgia, Texas, New Mexico and Florida reported that they tried to select one candidate, but the computers — made by a range of manufacturers — selected the challenger."
Going into the election, all the newscasters reported that Ohio could be the next Florida and that Florida was on the way to being a repeat performance-- a mess with plenty of problems.
There are also enough other close-call states that were decided primarily by electronic voting machines that I don't trust. I don't trust the machines to be safe from tampering, from manipulation, from lost votes and miscounts. For me that makes the integrity of this election totally unacceptable. Why is it that way? Simple. Because the Republicans wanted it that way. They had legislation in both the house and senate to require paper ballots that would have massively reduced the risk of the above abuses and risks and they chose not to enact that legislation. Now we have a president who has been elected on a sham-- with machines that are totally un-trustworthy in my opinion.
The way they sell electronic voting machines is they are supposed to reduce voter error. That could be true. The same could be said if we compared handwriting deposit and withdrawal slips from a bank and using automatic teller machines. But there's this one huge difference. We get a RECEIPT when we use ATMs. The damned machines are often made by the same companies that make the electronic voting machines. This should be a no-brainer. It's almost like they intentionally pull the printers out of the voting machines. Shame on the Republicans for allowing this to happen.
This was set up to be a bogus election and I don't buy it. There was never an intention to allow an honest election. I participated in the process this year, serving as a poll watcher. We use mechanical machines in our district. They may have some problems, but they are not susceptible to tampering by modem and they are not susceptible to pre-programmed modifications in the vote count-- both flaws in the electronic voting systems that cannot be checked or tested without paper back-up.
Kerry better not concede this election until every stone is unturned checking for potential corruption of the vote.
Now let's talk about that civil war. Stephanopolous says that the democratic party will divide along lines supporting Howard Dean and those of the more centrist politicians. He suggests that Howard Dean will start looking at running for president in three years. I wonder if this is his wish for the democrats-- to break up and divide, to further lose power and strength. The gerrymandering done in Texas has further weakened the Democrats' strength in the house of representatives. But the same flaws in the electronic voting systems put the senate and congressional races in doubt too, particularly the closest ones. Why trust a voting system that relies in faith in a flawed technology? Why trust the elections of any state that uses electronic voting without paper back-up?
Let's not forget how close this race is. the way it's going, a projected 115-120 million people will have voted, and that means that 55 million Americans clearly voted and had their votes counted against George W. Bush. But it could be millions more, since all it takes is manipulations of a few votes each in the tens of thousands of electronic voting machines used in this election. With over 45 million ballots cast on electronic machines, a difference in the counts of just a few percentage points could change everything.
There is no way I can just sit and accept the outcome of this election. It is tainted and it was meant to be tainted by the Republican majority in congress. If Bush is declared president, it will be a dirty win, as so many of us expected.
This is a bitter article, made more bitter because a few honest legislators could have prevented this situation. There is talk in the mainstream corporate media of hopes that the nation will come together. Right winger George Will calls Michael Moore and his supporters shrill. Screw you George. You want shrill, then wait until you see how 55 million ripped off Americans act now that they've been politically energized and activated. You think the Sinclair boycott was something. Well you haven't seen anything yet.
The civil war Stephanopolous talked about will not be just between democrats. It will be between the red and blue states, between the 55+ million who voted for Kerry (and Nader) and the undetermined number of voters who supported Bush.
Me personally, I'm going to look at the final stats on the elections, state-by-state and I plan to boycott the states that were most solidly for Bush, to boycott the states that send the most toxic legislators to congress and the states that are most clearly corrupt when it comes to the vote. So I won't be going to Wyoming or Florida or Ohio. I can live without all of them.
More importantly, I will be living a new "boycott" lifestyle, taking a list of brands with me to the supermarket, to the convenience store, department store and mall, to makes sure I don't support companies that solely sponsor right wing media.
I will do all I can to fight for the healing of the American media, since I believe that the loss of media ownership diversity has drastically damaged the democratic process here in the US. It is unlikely that the disease that has led to loss of media ownership diversity will be cured if Bush's election theft is upheld. But there are other things we can do to force the corporations to do business with liberal and progressive media. We must band together as we did to take on Sinclair Broadcasting. We DO have the power to make major inroads.
We must demand that every vote that is counted can be recounted. Not another single election should be held in this country that fails to meet that test. This is an issue that should bring out protests bigger than any antiwar protest. They should be peaceful, but they should be massive. I am angry about the failure of the congress to pass laws to make elections trustworthy. As was said in the classic movie, Network, I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore."
America used to be a shining example for the rest of the world. Now, it is an embarrassment. A senile democracy that is doddering along, barely providing health care good enough to keep our statistics from comparing with third world nations. Our balance of trade puts us at such risk, that if our creditors decided to call in their loans, we'd be in huge trouble.
And who do we have to blame for this? As Michael Moore put it, Stupid White Men. If we went by the women's vote, Kerry would have been elected by a landslide. But we can narrow down those stats a bit further. Bush's biggest supporters are white Protestants, Episcopalians, fundamentalist Christians, orthodox Jews and a bit more than half the Catholics. The Bush election team used the churches to get elected. In thousands of these churches, ministers, reverends, preachers, rabbis and congregation leaders encouraged their flocks to vote for Bush. Most didn't use his name, but they winked their eyes and used codes that clearly sent the message.
The message was that Bush was the more moral president and republicans are the more moral party. What a crock of shit. We can do better at turning this around. We must no longer allow right wing liar, crooks and flim flam artists to masquerade as the good guys.
Not all of these stupid white men were persuaded by their religious leaders. Some were brainwashed for Bush by right wing talk radio and Fox News. We on the left are making progress developing a counter to the far right's media. It is imperative that we continue to support and nurture the left wing media-- internet sites, progressive talk radio and we must demand that sponsors that give money to the right wing media start funding programming, stations and networks that support the other 55 million plus Americans.
Yes George Stephanopolous, there will be a civil war in this country. It will be fought, for now, in the marketplace. The 55 million plus Americans who voted for John Kerry are more organized and energized than ever before. We will not take this corrupt election sitting down. We will do whatever it takes to make US elections honest and trustworthy, whatever it takes. The US and the rest of the world deserve no less.
Rob Kall is editor of http://www.opednews.com/ Read over 150 of his articles at Rob Kall's article archive Read his blog at www.opednews.com/robsblog.htm Rob lives in Bucks County PA, which, went for John Kerry in the 2004 election.