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marions ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 04:43 PM
Original message
Stolen election is the tip of the iceberg...
Does this article make a good argument for why every organization calling itself progressive should encompass election investigation and reform, at least as an area of concern and support (if not more actively)? Comments?

Should The Left Ignore The 'Stolen Election'
......... by Bertell Ollman January 26, 2005

READ THE WHOLE ARTICLE HERE:
http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?SectionID=9 ...

In the course of his very rich article, "The Non-Election of 2004" (Z Magazine, Jan., 2005), Noam Chomsky sought to minimize the importance of the fact that the 2004 presidential election was stolen. And if there is still any doubt in the anti-Bush camp that this past election was stolen, it is - in my view - chiefly because most opinion-formers (including writers in the "New York Times", the "Nation" and the "Village Voice") have (mis)understood "stealing" on the model of robbing a bank, where someone has to catch the winning candidate piling boxes of unopened ballots into the back of his pick-up truck before one can say it has occurred. Stealing an election, however, is more like stacking a deck of cards where a devious sleight of hand ensures that the same party wins every time.

The relevant question, then, is whether the well-publicized scandals over electronic voting, the numerous problems people had in registering and casting their ballots, the irregularities in counting votes, the politically biased actions of the secretaries of state in the key states of Florida and Ohio, the unwillingness of Republican politicians at all levels of government to address these problems over the last four years, the huge discrepancies between the "official" vote count and usually reliable exit polls, and the fact that practically all of the admitted incidents of blocked, lost, changed, and added votes favored Bush - the question is whether all this constitutes a "stacking of the political deck". If so, there should be no doubt in anybody's mind that the country that likes to bill itself as "the world's foremost democracy" has just gone through a stolen election.

-snip-

Does all this mean that the stolen election should replace the lack of a "real election" as our major concern? Not at all. But, rather than being a minor side show and a tactical dead-end, this stolen election (we can never repeat these words often enough) is an American tsunami, whose waves have not only ruined millions of ballots but pulled off a corner on the operations of a social and economic system that is inherently biased and unjust. Surely, it is our task - and opportunity - to complete the job, which is to explain this cataclysm in a way that helps the dazed survivors see that the robbery goes beyond Bush and the G.O.P., beyond Kerry and the Democrats, and even beyond all the biases and outright fraud in the electoral system, to include the capitalist relations of unequal wealth and power that structure all of the above. Yes, it's possible to begin with what happened on election day and to move with only a few middle steps to all the rotteness that Chomsky so relentlessly and thoroughly brings out about American society and more.

-snip-

Bush's stolen election is but the tip of the iceberg, but it is the tip that is now showing, and tens of millions of people can see it, many for the first time, and they are raging (if still too silently) about it. The Left must be part of this protest and accompanying debate, widening and deepening both - making the connections, making the connections - however we can. And don't forget the Ukraine. Rather than trying "to restore voters faith in elections", and rather than playing down the dispute over Bush's victory as missing the main point, our's must be a POLITICS OF DELIGITIMATION that seeks to undermine whatever's left of people's faith in American elections in order to help build a real democracy that is OF, BY and FOR all the people.
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indepat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 04:52 PM
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1. of which 90% is submerged
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BrklynLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 05:23 PM
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2. That is why I was so upset that Barbara Boxer was the only Senator to
stand up on Jan 6, and only 33 Reps stood up. There is so much more to this than merely a stolen election. The expediency that the rest of the Democrats gave in to will cost the rest of us much more than the next four years of the Presidency.
It nauseates me, despite the excuses, rationalizations, explanations, or whatever other names they gave to justify their behavior.
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marions ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 07:18 PM
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3. Should we first undermine people's faith in American elections?
...in order to rebuild the system? This seems to be what the article is saying:
"ours must be a politics of DELIGITIMIZATION that seeks to undermine whatever is left of people's faith in American elections...."
-----------
see these last paragraphs:

"The stacked deck of cards with which the government forces us all to play the game of politics goes far beyond the many frauds that emerged on election day, and encompasses all that politicians do after they get elected (which includes preparing the ground - socially and psychologically as well as politically - for the next fraudulent election). It also makes our elections - once people's attention is drawn and their anger aroused by the outright theft of our highest office - an ideal prism for seeing American democracy as a capitalist class democracy, run BY that class (and the few outsiders they hire to help them out) and FOR that class. For the rest of us, living in a democracy most take to be OF the people, politics can only be a series of false hopes and tragic deceptions.

Bush's stolen election is but the tip of the iceberg, but it is the tip that is now showing, and tens of millions of people can see it, many for the first time, and they are raging (if still too silently) about it. The Left must be part of this protest and accompanying debate, widening and deepening both - making the connections, making the connections - however we can. And don't forget the Ukraine. Rather than trying "to restore voters faith in elections", and rather than playing down the dispute over Bush's victory as missing the main point, our's must be a POLITICS OF DELIGITIMATION that seeks to undermine whatever's left of people's faith in American elections in order to help build a real democracy that is OF, BY and FOR all the people." (end)
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