FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

It’s Not About the Election, It’s About Democracy

It’s time to be completely frank here. If George Bush and his cabal have their way, it won’t matter who gets elected on November 2nd this year. Just like they did in 2000, these men and women will steal the election if they must to stay in power. In order to understand that this is the case, one must toss any preconceptions they have about the Bush cabal and their belief in the US system much less anything called democracy. George Bush and the organization behind him have no respect for the system of governance installed back in the 18th century by the founding fathers (even though it favors their class, skin color and gender over any other), nor do they give a rat’s ass about democracy. In case the 2000 election fiasco did not convince you of this, their actions since Bush’s inauguration should ram this reality home.

Once one accepts the fact that a greater potential for tyranny exists in the United States today than perhaps any other time in it history, then it’s quite easy to take the next step and ask what can be done. It is my sincere belief that the only answer to such a question lies in taking it to the streets. The results of the court challenge in November 2000 by Al Gore’s campaign prove only too well that the courts are not on the side of the popular will any more than today’s Republican Party. When they were asked to stop the ballot counting in Florida by the GOP, they did. Then, lo and behold, George Bush won the election by one vote in the Supreme Court. Without getting into all of the backhanding and incestuous relationships between the court and the current administration, suffice it to say that the whole deal was rigged from the get-go. Al Gore never had a chance once the popular vote (won by Gore) was ignored.

This call to action is not a call to support the Democrats. It is a call to the people of the US to support democracy in the USA. (Indeed, if John Kerry does assume the presidency in 2005, there’s still going to be plenty to protest about, from the war to the economy). In virtually every other country where there is electoral fraud on the scope perpetrated in the 2000 US elections the people of those countries protest in the streets. After the Bush-related manipulations of Election 2000 became apparent to people in the United States, the only people protesting in the streets were paid GOP workers shipped in to Florida from around the country to demand that the fraudulent election stand. The rest of us were content to watch it on television. Left, liberal, moderate, traditional conservative-it didn’t matter, we just watched as the tattered remnants of our democracy were shredded live on CNN. The revolution may not be televised, but the final takeover of our government by a reactionary tyranny may very well be.

This ain’t a TV reality show. This is reality! Unless we the people pull this country back from the abyss of totalitarianism, no one will. Leftists, liberals, conservatives-every citizen and resident who cares about their shrinking freedoms and the future of our children-must get out on the streets of their town and challenge any attempt by the government to subvert this election. It’s not that John Kerry should win, it’s that democracy can’t afford to lose anymore. For those of us who want to see radical, even revolutionary changes in our political and economic system, a protest against another rich man’s election may seem to be diversionary or a waste of time. Let’s be clear: it isn’t. Even though US presidential elections have become a mockery of representative politics, what with corporate dollars deciding everything from who gets to speak at the conventions to who gets the nomination, the fact of no elections would be worse. If we have no opportunity to vocalize our opinions in an electoral arena, then the only arena is the underground. While that might sound romantic, it sure doesn’t make for much else.

So, what am I suggesting? Just something simple-practicing democracy. People in the United States who do not wish to lose the last vestige of their so-called rights-the right to vote and the right to speak out-should start planning now how they will react to any of the election scenarios being bandied about in our nation’s public and private conversations. You know what they are: terrorist threat as an excuse to cancel or postpone the elections, computer voting machines being tampered with to change the results, disenfranchisement of voters due to computer list “mix-ups,” electoral college manipulations that tip the vote, etc. If people think they have been cheated in the November election, they should take to the streets.

If they don’t, they will have done a better job of destroying our dying democracy than even Josef Stalin could have. When democracy at the polls is denied, than the only place for it is in the streets.

RON JACOBS is author of The Way the Wind Blew: a history of the Weather Underground, which is just republished by Verso. Jacobs’ essay on Big Bill Broonzy is featured in CounterPunch’s new collection on music, art and sex, Serpents in the Garden. He can be reached at: rjacobs@zoo.uvm.edu

 

More articles by:

Ron Jacobs is the author of Daydream Sunset: Sixties Counterculture in the Seventies published by CounterPunch Books. His latest offering is a pamphlet titled Capitalism: Is the Problem.  He lives in Vermont. He can be reached at: ronj1955@gmail.com.

Weekend Edition
May 25, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Melvin Goodman
A Major Win for Trump’s War Cabinet
Andrew Levine
Could Anything Cause the GOP to Dump Trump?
Pete Tucker
Is the Washington Post Soft on Amazon?
Conn Hallinan
Iran: Sanctions & War
Jeffrey St. Clair
Out of Space: John McCain, Telescopes and the Desecration of Mount Graham
John Laforge
Senate Puts CIA Back on Torture Track
David Rosen
Santa Fe High School Shooting: an Incel Killing?
Gary Leupp
Pompeo’s Iran Speech and the 21 Demands
Jonathan Power
Bang, Bang to Trump
Robert Fisk
You Can’t Commit Genocide Without the Help of Local People
Brian Cloughley
Washington’s Provocations in the South China Sea
Louis Proyect
Requiem for a Mountain Lion
Robert Fantina
The U.S. and Israel: a Match Made in Hell
Kevin Martin
The Libya Model: It’s Not Always All About Trump
Susie Day
Trump, the NYPD and the People We Call “Animals”
Pepe Escobar
How Iran Will Respond to Trump
Sarah Anderson
When CEO’s Earn 5,000 Times as Much as a Company’s Workers
Ralph Nader
Audit the Outlaw Military Budget Draining America’s Necessities
Chris Wright
The Significance of Karl Marx
David Schultz
Indict or Not: the Choice Mueller May Have to Make and Which is Worse for Trump
George Payne
The NFL Moves to Silence Voices of Dissent
Razan Azzarkani
America’s Treatment of Palestinians Has Grown Horrendously Cruel
Katalina Khoury
The Need to Evaluate the Human Constructs Enabling Palestinian Genocide
George Ochenski
Tillerson, the Truth and Ryan Zinke’s Interior Department
Jill Richardson
Our Immigration Debate Needs a Lot More Humanity
Martha Rosenberg
Once Again a Slaughterhouse Raid Turns Up Abuses
Judith Deutsch
Pension Systems and the Deadly Hand of the Market
Shamus Cooke
Oregon’s Poor People’s Campaign and DSA Partner Against State Democrats
Thomas Barker
Only a Mass Struggle From Below Can End the Bloodshed in Palestine
Binoy Kampmark
Australia’s China Syndrome
Missy Comley Beattie
Say “I Love You”
Ron Jacobs
A Photographic Revenge
Saurav Sarkar
War and Moral Injury
Clark T. Scott
The Shell Game and “The Bank Dick”
Seth Sandronsky
The State of Worker Safety in America
Thomas Knapp
Making Gridlock Great Again
Manuel E. Yepe
The US Will Have to Ask for Forgiveness
Laura Finley
Stop Blaming Women and Girls for Men’s Violence Against Them
Rob Okun
Raising Boys to Love and Care, Not to Kill
Christopher Brauchli
What Conflicts of Interest?
Winslow Myers
Real Security
George Wuerthner
Happy Talk About Weeds
Abel Cohen
Give the People What They Want: Shame
David Yearsley
King Arthur in Berlin
Douglas Valentine
Memorial Day
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail