SUPPOSE THEY GAVE AN ELECTION AND NOBODY CAME
By Carolyn Baker, Ph.D.
© Copyright 2006, From The Wilderness Publications, www.fromthewilderness.com. All Rights Reserved. This story may NOT be posted on any Internet web site without express written permission. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org. May be circulated, distributed or transmitted for non-profit purposes only.
October 31st 2006, 4:50PM [PST] - Two years ago, having a significantly less-focused political perspective than I do now, I wrote an article “Why I Will Not Vote In 2004” which resulted in a number of scathing emails in my inbox about how quickly I was “giving up” on democracy and my responsibility as a citizen. In my rant, I asserted that not only was the “choice” between Kerry and Bush negligible, but that the 2004 elections were certain to be as rigged as the presidential election of 2000. In fact, I even went further and speculated that the 2004 elections might not occur due to some kind of political sleight of hand on the part of the Bush administration. While the latter conjecture proved to be false, the former did not. We now know that the 2004 elections were “decided” in Ohio whose Secretary of State was/is Kenneth Blackwell, a fundamentalist Christian supporter of President Bush, and since the Bush electoral “triumph”, volumes have been written about the spurious machinations of Blackwell and electronic voting machines in the Buckeye State. Today, many of the same individuals who took me to task for my 2004 article have since admitted that corruption in the American voting system far exceeds their awareness of it two years ago.
Editor of The Free Press, Harvey Wasserman, and political science Professor, Bob Fitrakis have published a collection of documents “Did George W. Bush Steal America’s 2004 Election?” which analyzes the 2004 Ohio electoral debacle in depth. Wasserman and Fitrakis continue to maintain their Free Press website which offers ongoing analyses of thorny issues around electronic voting and overall vote-stealing in the United States.
More recently, Rolling Stone Magazine published a lengthy analysis by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., “Was The 2004 Election Stolen?”. Alternative journalist, Greg Palast, continues to mercilessly and relentlessly illumine the 2000 election and the likelihood that subsequent elections have been and will be rigged. And then there’s the godmother of American voting transparency, Bev Harris of Renton, Washington, whose tireless research has exposed a veritable bottomless pit of electoral corruption—past, present, and future.
The caveats and horror stories regarding electronic voting—from voting researchers, from mainstream and alternative media, and from politicians themselves are ubiquitous. On any day of the week, in surfing alternative media sites on the internet, one finds voluminous information on voting irregularities nationwide. Almost no one trusts the process, yet billions are being spent attempting to engage Americans in it, even as a majority of voters themselves express skepticism about the veracity and integrity of electronic voting. Why is that? Who benefits?
Even more frightening, in my opinion, is the likelihood that the criminals who manufacture and control voting machines are taking their act around the globe. A BBC News Report “Vote machine firm agrees to probe,” and a Sunday, October 29 New York Times story “U.S. Investigates Voting Machines’ Venezuela Ties”, inform us that the U.S. Committee on Foreign Investments (Cfius) is investigating the takeover of Sequoia Voting Systems by Smartmatic Corporation, a Venezuelan software company. Black Box Voting has been tracking the ownership of Sequoia, and apparently, Cifus is concerned that Venezuela and its anti-American president, Hugo Chavez, will “try to influence elections in the United States.”
Anyone who regularly reads Latin American media understands that Chavez is enjoying massive support in Venezuela and throughout most of South America so that he does not need to manipulate elections in order to win. He has won several legitimate, democratic elections in his country, despite massive attempts by the United States to sabotage those elections. What is more plausible is not that he wishes to influence Venezuela’s elections or swing the elections of the U.S. in the direction he prefers, but rather that he may be using his influence through Smartmatic to prevent the rigging of U.S. elections. What Chavez must know, as does anyone who understands that electronic voting is the predominant method of voting around the world, is that those who control the functioning of voting machines hold in their hands the potential for controlling all or most of the voting on earth. Think about it: Who needs armies or dictators to dominate the nations of the world? In fact, the control of elections worldwide is a chilling and tragically realistic possibility. What Chavez must also know, however, is that no electronic voting machines are reliable, so his consent to use them is more than a little perplexing.
Meanwhile, back in the United States, more fundamental than the fraudulence of the voting process itself is the shell game of political parties in America and the illusion that one is different from the other. Anyone with an accurate political “map”, informed by the reading of a handful of books and the viewing of a few documentaries addressing the historical and geopolitical realities of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, many of which are available at From The Wilderness, is painfully aware of the chimera of Democrat vs. Republican, liberal vs. conservative. Mike Ruppert said it best in Aaron Russo’s splendid documentary, “America From Freedom To Fascism” when he compared the Democrats with the Gambino family and the Republicans with the Genovese family, certainly the most succinct description I have ever heard of the “differences” between the two major political parties in the United States.
No, I did not vote for a President in 2004, and if there is a national election in 2008, I won’t be voting for one then either. Yet, I hasten to add that I did vote for local candidates in 2004. Since then, my state, New Mexico, has proven itself extremely unreliable in terms of electronic voting integrity, and I have decided that I will never again cast a ballot electronically—in this state or any other. While some might enthusiastically embrace absentee voting, I do not. Bev Harris has documented a variety of reasons for distrusting absentee voting, not the least of which is the fact that absentee votes are counted electronically. If, as in some counties of Northern California, I were offered the opportunity to vote for local candidates with a paper ballot that would be hand-counted, I would vote for the local candidates of my choice. Until that option is available to me, I choose not to vote.
Many individuals argue that voting in America is a precious right guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution—so precious, in fact, that no matter how corrupt the voting system, they will not abdicate that right. While I empathize with the reverence those individuals hold for Constitutional rights, particularly in an era when so few remain in place, I would argue that the “right” to cast one’s vote in America has gone the way of habeas corpus, free speech, and an individual’s right to privacy. In fact, this debate evokes what I believe is an apt analogy.
The Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees that private citizens have the right to bear arms. In most states, private citizens may keep firearms in their homes without securing a special permit to do so. However, let’s suppose that by a unique Executive Order, the President of the United States declared that subsequent to a certain date, private citizens would no longer be allowed to keep firearms in their homes except those that discharge blank bullets and that the only firearms that discharge lethal bullets would be in the hands of the military or private security personnel. Imagine a massive ad campaign by supporters of the Second Amendment, such as the National Rifle Association, trumpeting the “right to bear arms” and encouraging citizens to arm themselves and keep as many firearms in their homes as they choose. Imagine teachers in public schools and college professors encouraging their students to support the Second Amendment by purchasing firearms and keeping them in their homes. Picture customers exiting stores with caches of legally-sanctioned firearms wearing a sticker or button that says, “I bought a firearm today” or “buying a firearm is everyone’s right.”
In essence, voting electronically in the present profligate system of rigged elections makes as much sense as purchasing for self-protection a firearm which only shoots blank bullets.
However, the underlying issue is the reality that on the Congressional and Executive levels, authentic choices for altering the essential political, economic, and social fabric of America do not exist. At their polling places, citizens are forced to make choices that really aren’t choices for candidates whose complicity in the domination of America and the world by corporate and global financial systems renders them either absurdly impotent or hopelessly obdurate for affecting any meaningful change. One has only to research campaign contributions to these candidates, their ties to globalist systems, and their voting records to validate their blatant duplicity. Two exceptions come to mind: Congressman Ron Paul (R) of Texas and Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney (D) of Georgia, the latter now leaving Congress as a result of a highly-suspicious run-off election, replete with electronic voting irregularities.
Since its inception, From The Wilderness has been pointing to local solutions detached from centralized business and financial systems. For the past eight years of our existence, FTW has echoed the famous adage of the infamous Emma Goldman: “If voting changed anything, they’d make it illegal.” Sometimes local solutions involve supporting credible local officials; sometimes not. Without exception, however, local solutions necessitate understanding how the Tapeworm Economy of centralized financial systems has imbedded itself in one’s place and doing whatever it takes to replace the Tapeworm with a localized, people-centered economy. As Catherine Austin Fitts has so often reminded us, we vote only every two, four, or six years at the polling place, but we vote every day with our dollars. Therefore, if one chooses to cease voting at the polling place, it is crucial to rigorously investigate how we vote with our dollars and direct our energy into local solutions.
Finally, we must ask ourselves to what degree we wish to participate in the charade that voting in the United States has become. A diseased organism is not cleansed by amputating a few appendages and replacing them with prostheses. Will our voting for local candidates make a difference? Will our vote be counted? Are we voting in order to convince ourselves that we aren’t quite yet living in a full-blown fascist empire? To what extent is our voting colluding in maintaining the pretense of a democratic republic? What would happen externally in the real world if we refused to buy into the voting system? What would happen internally, within our own conscience if we stopped voting? What if they gave an election and nobody came?