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Reply #47: Needn't be either / or -- just need clarity about what we are working on. [View All]

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pat_k Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-15-05 02:39 AM
Response to Reply #42
47. Needn't be either / or -- just need clarity about what we are working on.
Edited on Thu Dec-15-05 02:54 AM by pat_k
There are actually several different things going on, all loosely related to the fight for trustworthy elections. To be most effective, we need to be clear about what we are working on. For example:

(1) Making the case to lawmakers (Repub or Dem) that our election system must undergo radical change.

It is not necessary to prove past fraud to make progress in this effort. But, we do need to pin down lawmakers on what they believe the minimum requirements for a free and fair election are.

If we don't elicit even one or two minimum requirements, how can we make the case that radical change is needed to ensure those minimum requirements are met? If we don't establish what conduct they view as intolerable, how can we make the case that change is required to ensure the intolerable does not occur?

This is where dialog is mandatory. Posing questions, following up, and challenging rationalizations should yield a couple mandatory requirements that our current elections completely fail to provide.

Questions like the following can get the dialog rolling: "Do you believe citizens have a right to have confidence in their elections?", "Are hours-long poll-tax-lines for poor, minority voters AND none for affluent, white voters a tolerable condition for you?", "Some people invoke a large margin of victory to dismiss the rights of the disenfranchised, claiming that insufficient numbers were disenfranchised to change the outcome. Does that make sense to you?"

(2) Pursuing evidence of fraud and going after the perpetrators.

Identifying and punishing the perpetrators of fraud is critical. We must go after the perpetrators, even if the only court available is the court of public opinion. Identifying election manipulation is not enough. There must be consequences.

(3) Enlisting citizens in the fight.

There are many different on ramps. As you note, some people are activated by the crimes that have occurred; others by a desire to punish the perpetrators; others by the fight for fundamental principles or legislative change. Many just want to do something, they are just looking for some simple action. We can all help spread the word and help others find ways to voice their objections. Most people don't need tons of evidence. Most don't need complex talking points. A simple message to lawmakers or leaders of good government organizations is sometimes the most powerful ("I don't want to vote on a machine. I don't trust them! What are you going to do about it??")

(4) Breaking through Democratic Denial that the 2000 and 2004 elections were stolen.

As long as Democrats continue to deny the horrible truth -- that the elections of 2000 and 2004 were stolen -- they will be complicit with the perpetrators of the fraud.

When she joined Rep. Tubbs-Jones objection on January 6th, Barbara Boxer shed the bonds of complicity in the theft of Ohio.

The rest of the Senate and a vast majority of our other Democratic leaders remain in denial. Tragically, their silence and tacit complicity feeds the motivation to deny. A vicious cycle.

Confronting them with the overwhelming evidence is one approach, but to date, they have effectively brushed aside the evidence. Part of the problem is that unscrupulous lobbyists and internal government entities have turned "facts" into slippery things (consider the "Intel" on Iraq). All too often, our government officials have been presented with supposedly "solid" cases built on "facts" and "evidence" that have turned out to be utter crap.

In other words, their position and experiences make them uniquely resistant to cases built on facts and evidence.

They have strong motives to resist the case for massive fraud. Fear of ridicule is part of it, but it is more than that. It is not easy to grasp the notion that the presumably rational world you operate in is being turned on its head by irrational criminal fascists. Think invasion of the body snatchers. Folks didn't believe Donald Sutherland ('78 version) either.

There are a variety of ways to create conditions that are conducive to facing the truth. At the moment, fear of ridicule by the opposition and the public is a barrier. Imagine how the dynamics would shift if any mention of Kerry-08 or Gore-08 was met with guffaws and cries of "What, that quitter?? Just what we need! A guy who turned his back democracy out of fear of being called a bad name."

Facing the horrible truth demands action. If we keep pounding away, their wall of denial will crumble sooner or later. Progress on (1), (2), and (3) will hasten the day.
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