Tuesday, November 02, 2010
Forget democracy: Voting is just how we fit into a corporate power scheme
by Larry Geller
Be sure to vote today – under our American system of government, it’s still your fundamental right to put the corporations you prefer, into power.
An army of Republican and Tea Party election “observers” is reportedly gearing up to obstruct the vote today.
Numerous reports have documented how state GOP chapters, local Tea Party groups and organizations like Americans for Prosperity are mobilizing across the country—holding training sessions and posting instructional videos on their websites about how to challenge suspicious voters. [The Nation, Suppressing the Vote, 11/1/2010]
These challenges have been used in the past, for example, to challenge 97% of voters in a predominantly black precinct. Many challenged voters don’t have the time to go through the hassle and leave the polling place. It’s an effective tactic.
Sadly, polls indicate we Americans may be poised to elect more of the candidates who support these actions into power:
Meanwhile, of course, corporations want to gain additional power in Congress. The Supreme Court gave them unlimited spending powers, and of course, they have more than enough cash on hand to buy the power they want. The only thing standing in their way is you, dear voter. That’s right. The pesky system of elections we still have in this great country requires you to vote. It means that they have to manipulate us in order to have their way. So they do. An example:
The next Congress is expected to throw up a whole new set of roadblocks to Barack Obama's environmental agenda - from time-consuming investigations to budget cuts.
So how much was the fossil fuel industries willing to pay to help cast out White House allies on energy and climate change?
A lot, it turns out. Oil and coal lobby groups have spent $69.5 million on television ads specifically targetted against Obama clean energy policies in these mid-term elections, according to data compiled by the Center for American Progress Action Fund. [The Guardian (UK), Big Oil spends $69.5m on ads to get the Congress it wants, 11/1/2010]
But isn’t our vote sacred, ours to exercise regardless of corporate ad buys, the bedrock of our democracy? Don’t we get to decide in the end?
They’re working on that too. For example, the spread of absentee or mail voting removes traditional checks on the process that help prevent manipulation of our vote. Here’s a very small snip of a great article on how voting by mail is being used to undermine the sacred process itself. In New Jersey, just as an example:
VOTE BY MAIL TRANSFERS CONTROL - With polling place voting, public citizens (poll workers) and observers monitor ballots and who votes. Unrestricted vote-by-mail transfers control to insiders, specifically, the IT guy, the database guy, the print shop guy, a mailing house person. Most absentee vote fraud convictions are perpetrated by persons with inside access.
Here are some examples of absentee voting fraud perpetrated by elections office insiders:
3 archived articles on absentee fraud by insiders in Essex County NJ:
1 archived article on absentee fraud by insiders in Atlantic County NJ:
Each of the above instances was prosecuted in New Jersey during a time when absentee voting was need-only. The checks and balances in place with need-only absentee voting enabled New Jersey officials to catch the absentee fraud. So what did New Jersey do? It loosened its restrictions, removing the very checks and balances that allowed the two situations above to be caught. [BlackBoxVoting.org, Vote by mail puts November election at high risk, 10/13/2010]
So Tea Partiers are out to prevent democrats from voting, corporations manipulate us for their own purposes, and our very system of voting is being sabotaged and made more vulnerable to manipulation.
What to do?
Well, there’s something you can do today: get out there and vote. (sigh) While we still can.
I always wait until Election Day to vote because:
*it gives me time to consider fully the candidates and proposals on the ballot and
*my polling place is in the cafeteria of the elementary school I attended in the mid-to-late eighties and it's nice to see how the school has (and hasn't) changed over the years.