Monday, October 08, 2007

How to avoid wasting your vote in a Bush dictatorship

I recently blamed "pundtry" for much of what is wong with this country. Everyone's a frickin' pundit and no one, it seems, is prepared to take a stand unless they've checked a poll first. Not wealth, but "punditry" and modern sophistry has trickled down. Instead of weighing the merits of various candidates, voters read the polls and columns and make calculations. Would John Edwards beat Guiliani? Can Hillary Clinton win the center? Can Obama keep the black vote while courting a "white" center?

When was the last time a "major" candidate said anything that had not first been vetted or parsed by a focus group, a consultant, or an entire PR firm? No one, its seems, does what's right because it's right! Mr. Smith never got to Washington. Except perhaps once in the person of Mike Gravel, remembered for his efforts to end the Viet Nam war, to end the draft, and for having put the Pentagon Papers into the public record in 1971.

For twenty years this nation has been at war in Indochina. Tens of thousands of Americans have been killed, half a million have been wounded, a million Asians have died, and millions more have been maimed or have become refugees in their own land. Meanwhile, the greatest representative democracy the world has even seen, the nation of Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln, has had its nose rubbed in the swamp by petty war lords, jealous generals, black marketeers, and grand-scale dope pushers.

And the war still goes on. People are still dying, arms and legs are being severed, metal is crashing through human bodies, as a direct result of policy deecisions conceived in secret and still kept from the American people.

H. G. Wells, the English novelist and historian, once wrote:

The true strength of rulers and empires lies not in armies or emotions, but in the belief of men that they are inflexibly open and truthful and legal. As soon as a government departs from that standard, it ceases to be anything more than “the gang in possession,” and its days are numbered.
This is nowhere more true than in the conduct of a representative democracy. Free and informed public debate is the source of our strength. Remove it and our democratic institutions become a sham. Perceiving this, our forefathers included with our Constitution a Bill of Rights guaranteeing the maximum competition in the marketplace of ideas, and insuring the widest opportunity for the active and full participation of an enlightened electorate.

--Sen Mike Gravel, History of US Decision Making on Viet Nam

Mike Gravel was absolutely correct about Viet Nam and he is just as correct now about Iraq. Every war fought by the US since WWII has been ruinous and immoral, wars fought --not for defense --but in order to enrich the Military/Industrial complex.

I have no illusions. Even before the GOP figured out how to use computers to steal elections, elections had become mere window dressing. The fix was in because the Military/Inustrial complex hedges its bets. As the GOP was fond of pointing out in numerous campaign manuals, the candidate spending the most money usually won the race. An "Axis of Evil" --the MIC, the GOP and the CIA --has manipulated every election outcome in recent memory.

The time has come to draw a line in the sand. Just as I never play carny games, I refuse to play the election game as its been designed by the major parties and the GOP in particular. I am not going to compromise my conscience voting for someone based upon a pundit's view of his chances in a general election.

I will support Gravel's candidacy because Gravel is right, one of only two candidates who still has integrity, who has a complete program based upon what is right for this country. I would support a Gravel/Kucinich ticket or even the other way 'round.

Many will object that I will have wasted my vote. When Diebold can change the outcome of an election with a few lines of code, my vote is wasted already. When the US Supreme Court can set aside an election by passing off transparent bullshit as "law", my vote is wasted. When Tom DeLay's gerrymadered districts are still "stealing" votes in Texas, my vote is wasted. As long as candidates are bought and paid for by corporations, my vote is wasted. If I try to game an evil system, my vote is wasted. But --not this time! Gravel for President.

Additional resouces

Why Conservatives Hate America

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