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Stolen Election--"an American tsunami" ?

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marions ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 11:59 AM
Original message
Stolen Election--"an American tsunami" ?
This article is another strong statement about why libs cannot afford to ignore the stolen election. Many regular posters in THIS forum seem to agree that our demand for election reform is integrally tied to the rest of the fight for legitimate government. It has been argued convincingly here that election theft is a symptom of the extreme abuse of power we are now witnessing. But does this article speak to other liberals, who may not give election matters the weight that we do? Does it add anything to the debate? Does it 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--any problems w this article?

(PS--you have to read the source to get the subtle point that Chomsky is that we have no real elections anyway)

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

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.


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.


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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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 03:45 PM
Response to Original message
1. An important post that didn't get any attention, I see.
(goes beyond the election robbery, and )"...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, the election robbery surely is a symptom of a much, much bigger problem--and I would add the wealth of the military-industrial machine and its desire for more war weightily into this huge problem--but, when we had more or less honest elections, we could enforce the public will that some of the wealth be shared, and that workers and the poor, have protection from the rich and powerful. A better balance was achieved. Full of contradictions, unfairness and injustice, true. But, well, more balance. That is all gone.
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marions ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 05:57 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. One more kick for the road...
Thanks Peace Patriot, I was surprised to see this come back around. I can understand why readers on first glance may have had a hard time getting the point of it when I put it up:

--for one thing, probably I should've just posted the link, instead of trying to slice and dice such a dense article
--the article is ponderously written, kinda redundant
--the reference to Noam Chomsky is confusing, makes it seem like he's arguing against the stolen election claim, when I think the point is to put it in the larger context.

Anyway, I think this is a good article for libs/Dems who may not get why some of us are so obsessed with the election business.
Also puts the election reform work in a larger context, for those who ARE focused on it.

Someone else posted the article again later yesterday and it got some discussion:
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