Voting & Democracy
“The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all.” John F. Kennedy
All that really matters in a democracy is the vote (well it used to anyway). The fundraising, the propaganda, the investigations and the debates exist only to affect that vote. One aspect of political action is quite underrated, the process of face-to-face confrontation to change your fellows’ vote. We can win over friends, relatives, acquaintances, coworkers and neighbors if we go about it correctly.
It is important to remember that the immediate object is not to change someone’s party affiliation, their core ideology or nature, but to have them vote for Democrats rather than Republicans. Remember, a vote changed is one less for Republicans and one more for Democrats, resulting in a two-vote advantage.
Take a day off every Election Day. Visit friends who you know do not usually vote but would vote Democratic and cajole them into your car for a ride to the polls. Explain that Republicans, those in control, do not want them voting, and by voting they are giving the establishment a kick in the head.
These are people you will have long-term relationships with, so always favor wit, humor, and affability in lieu of browbeating, yelling and personal attacks.
Keep in mind the majority of Republican voters are uninformed (concerned mostly with balls and malls) and ill informed (what they consider news they get from Rush Limbaugh and Fox News). Make sure to help them understand the real issues and the facts. Recently I had one conservative neighbor tell me there had never been an abortion before 1972, and another did not know that Jews didn’t accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Find the issues they are most concerned with and work from there.
To deal with their propensity to disbelieve any fact you present, pick two, do the research, present them with printed reliable proof that they will have to either accept or look extremely unreasonable. If they still question the facts you present, joke around that you have proved your facts to them twice, were right both times, and now it’s their turn to do the research to prove you wrong.
Stay away from propaganda, exaggerations and lies. You will find that the truth presented in a simple manner works best one on one. As an example, do not charge conservatives with eating the poor. That is not true, conservatives do not hate the poor, they just could care less.
Never let them forget that the only real concern of the Republican Party is to benefit the wealthy, those far wealthier than they.
Do not admit to being an atheist, agnostic, or anything other than a Christian. Explain yourself with an intellectual approach; accept religion and faith as good things which enhance our lives, but also something best left out of politics and government advocacy.
The conservative side of every issue can easily be whittled down to a few core values: Selfishness, intolerance, bigotry and not caring about much of anything other than themselves. It is these matters of the heart and perceptions that move people more than do the facts.
Once you have presented the case on an issue or a candidate in an intelligent kindly manner and fail, don’t sharply slap them up side of the head as they deserve. I found the most successful response is to tell them how you have always thought they were just a little better than that. Keep at them. “I remember when you did (kind thing) and I (we) thought so well of you. What happened?” Kid around, joke around; but keep pressing the issues of what’s nice rather than what’s mean, what’s right rather than what’s wrong, what’s good rather than what’s bad, what’s best for all of us rather than just what’s best for the few.
Don’t waste your time with people who have NRA bumper stickers, proudly call themselves Dittoheads, display the Confederate flag, carry a Bible wherever they go, or turn purple when they hear the words affirmative and action used congruently.
If just the few people reading this today were to follow these directions and succeed in changing one Republican vote to one Democratic vote, that would have been enough to now call Al Gore President.
Classic Conservative - Barry Goldwater/Ronald Reagan - Their main issue to support big business over the working class. Often referred to as Country Club Republicans. These people are mainly concerned with their wallets and little else. Some can be swayed to vote outside their party for overriding social issues.
Neo-Conservative - Newt Gingrich/Rush Limbaugh - Their main issue is to hate all things liberal on an intense personal level. Right-wing ideologues mostly concerned with military might, self-aggrandizement and accumulating personal power. Though they give religion a nod for the support it gains them from those they consider morons, they do not give a rat’s ass about it. Seldom can they be swayed to vote outside the party line.
Libertarian - Ron Paul/John Stossel/Charles Murray - Their main issue is to hate all things liberal on such an intense personal level it puts even neo-conservatives to shame. This is our Godless extreme Right-wing. Their central issues are full legalization of all drugs, elimination of all income taxes, a gungoonery putting even the NRA to shame, the elimination of most if not all economic and environmental regulations and rescinding civil rights laws. Will only vote Libertarian or Republican.
Religious Right - Pat Robertson/Tom Delay – Their main issue is to hate all things liberal and deny the right of women to choose to have an abortion. Seeped in intolerance, bigotry and so susceptible to indoctrination, they allow themselves to be led blindly by their political advisors who call themselves ministers or preachers. Even though Republicans kick these mostly blue-collar poorly educated people in the head economically, they cannot be swayed to vote outside their conservative religious ideology. I have come to give this group a little slack, for unlike the Neo-conservatives and Libertarians, they really don’t have the education or intellectual capacity to know any better.
With a President whose first allegiance is to his personal rendition of a violent Jesus Christ rather than his country, and no longer concerned with elections or public opinion; more intolerance and war will be our lot for the foreseeable future.
What I most not want to hear from my fellows is putting the blame upon Democrats or Karl Rove for that matter. No, it is the the fault of the American voter consumed by religious intolerance, flag waving jingoism, anti-environmentalism, intolerance of gays, their quiet racism, that base conservative selfishness and above all, our American brand of parochial ignorance. If one wants to place blame to our present ideology, put it to four simple changes in the 1980's:
One last blame game. The hundreds of millions of dollars and man hours and all the pro bono celebrity work that registered millions of young new voters turned out to be a wash. No more came out to vote than last time. It is what we were counting on, just a tiny bit of altruism in our children. It is their unvoting that will put them face down in the deserts of the Middle East, that will erode their own individual rights, will place them in a world of ever less health care, wages and education and job opportunities, while paying the bill for Bush's debt and wars. So do me a favor, when you can find time to drag yourself away from Reality (stab a friend in the back) TV, when you are done getting another tattoo, can't find another spot on your face for new hardware, come out of your mosh pit kiss my ass.
You need a political revelation? Google up a Red State Blue State map of the United States where it allows you to see the colors within each state by county. There it is. Every state I punched it blares out in no uncertain terms. Blue population centers and a sea of red as density dissipates. I suppose it could also be seen as racial, but that is not the core of it, it is religious in nature.
Contrary to what many may believe, the Republican lock on Evangelical Christians did not begin with Roe vs Wade. It began in 1964 with the Civil Rights Act, exasperated further in 1965 with the Voting Rights act, and the coup de grace was the freedom women gained via the pill. Abortion only slammed and locked the door that had already closed. Which certainly doesn't say much for Christianity in this country.
What is unique about small town America where the Republicans hold vast majorities of the electorate? It is where most of our under funded and bad schools are. It is where infrastructure is failing most. It is where corporations have reduced wages from $20 an hour to $6 an hour. It is where farms fail and all family members have to work to just keep their heads above water. It is where hospitals, emergency services, and health care have most deteriorated. Where the taxes go down for the wealthiest, made up by these people paying more in taxes on utilities and other services. It is where the best kids leave and where those who stay build methamphetamine labs to cope with it. It is where most of your kids dying in Iraq come from and where terrorism is least expected. All issues that would cause any rational person to pull a straight ticket lever for Democrats. But just the opposite happens. This religion of ours is not rational. It is driven by fear, based upon selfish redemption, its baggage is intolerance and it is sustained through bigotry of other lifestyles, cultures and religions. The GOP panders to it, the voters suck up to it, and it only gets worse and if things don't change soon, it will lead to blood in the streets.
And overwhelmingly; the military, veterans and our flag waving jingoists voted for the sniveling draft dodging little coward. Boy is something out of whack.
Over $50K - 60%
18 to 24 - 20%
The troubling aspect of our primary system is that our choices for President are decided in two very rural, very White and very conservative places; Iowa and New Hampshire. Do you want to change the political order and direction of America into something based more upon reality? Move the initial primaries to urban states rather than rural ones, have all voting done online or by mail so weather, health, transportation and escaping work are not hindrances. And how about a choice of either a 12-pack of Bud, a 6-pack of Ripple or a dozen tamales for everyone who votes?
We are quick to give our Founding Fathers a bit too much credit for our constitutional system. For I must say, after watching Tony Blair in so much political trouble at home for backing the war with Iraq, the Parliamentary system is beginning to look like a better system of democracy. Whenever the opposition senses that the majority of people have come to understand they have a bozo in power, they can throw their hat in the ring and force an election within a few weeks. Bang, the bozo is gone and not sitting around the White House screwing everything up even more than he already has. And more importantly, as the whole process takes only six weeks, it removes most of the money corruption from the process.
What makes totalitarian communism different than socialism? One party rule. The key to fascism? One party rule. What keeps Iraq and many Moslem states from democracy? One party rule. Cuba! It transcends political and economic systems, making it the central Ax of Evil in the world past and present.
A recent report regarding the new demography of the US Military shows a new paradigm at work. Since the advent of our volunteer military, the politics of its members have been moving steadily to the Right. It is mostly now populated from rural areas and the South: Evangelical Christian, conservative and Republican. About three fourths of the enlisted are conservative Republicans. And as the officer corps aged and matriculated, what variation there once was now been replaced by 90% conservative Republicans. It is postulated that at the present rate of change, within this decade the military will be made up of 99% conservative Republicans. Who, by universal decree, we must all support or be labeled traitor and told to get of the country.
The United States of America has become a democratic capitalist one party system.
“The difference between the right word and the almost right word, is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.” Mark Twain
The Dwarfs have decided on a run to see who gets the top job of fucking Snow White. The winner gets to fuck her royally while the losers just get to keep on fucking as good as ever. Grumpy is way out in front only because he’s been around the longest. Meanie, far behind Grumpy with numbers not much different than the rest of the secondary horde gets more attention than he deserves by no other criteria than his visual and auditory likeness to Yertle the Turtle. Nasty is probably the next in line, though as disgusting as Dwarf bigots come, he has some pizzazz about him which pushes him way beyond where he should be. Then of course follows Dull and Boring who are so much so, I can’t remember who they were. Trailing behind comes Loonie and Loopie whose central themes are getting Jesus to help them fuck the living shit out of Ms. White. Bringing up the rear, but making headway is Plenty, who just wants to buy the broad and be done with it. The eighth Dwarf, Evil, who has been clawing himself up from the bowels of the Earth for a decade recently bowed out after realizing that as Speaker, he was already in the best possible position to fuck most everyone in most every way whether anyone likes him or not.
After the Gulf War George the Father gained the highest positive poll ratings ever recorded for a President at 90%. American took to the streets with tickertape parades and more flag waving than a Nuremberg Rally, for stomping on a fire ant. Nevertheless, he soon fell out of favor with his conservative base when his lips slipped. To do something about Reagan’s growing debt and deficit, he did not veto a tax bill passed by both houses of Congressthat slightly increased taxes. What was he thinking, gosh, Republicans don’t do that, ever under any condition.
With his base angry with him the opportunity arose for a little known Democrat from Arkansas to seize the moment. With a bit of charisma, an attractive smile and an activist wife, Bill Clinton won the White House. It was such an unexpected blow to the conservative movement they went completely off their rockers and began the most personal, vindictive political campaign in American history. And so successful were they, they now control all branches of government.
“Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.” HL Mencken
SORRY TO SHOUT BUT... MY GOD! GINGRICH, ARMEY AND DELAY ARE IN CHARGE OF THE UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES! THE THREE MOST COLD HEARTED NEO-CONFEDERATE RIGHT-WING BASTARDS IN NATIONAL OFFICE ARE RUNNING CONGRESS! THIS COUNTRY HAS LOST IT’S MIND.
“There’s a new breed. They don’t care about getting anything done. All they want to do is tear things down. The right-wing is gaining ground. It will be our undoing eventually. And his friends (Gingrich’s), they talk as if they’re interested in ideas, in what’s good for America. But don’t be fooled. They’re out to destroy. They’ll try to destroy anything that gets in their way, using whatever tactics are available.” 1994 outgoing Republican House Minority Leader Bob Michel.
By 1995 Right-wing Christian neo-confederates took over the leadership and control of both the House and Senate. Bomb throwing Newt Gingrich as Speaker, rabidly obnoxious Majority Leader Dick Armey, nasty dimbulb Majority Whip Tom DeLay, and later in the year slicker than Bill Clinton Senate reactionary confederate Senate Majority Leader Tent Lott. All frequent guests on Pat Robertson’s 700 Club. To the last man, all selfish, callous, intolerant, homophobic, bigots and Southern cracker darlings of gun toting racist Americans.
Their issues were no different from those publicly stated by Pat Robertson and David Duke:
· In lockstep with the NRA wanting to eliminate both the Brady Bill and the Assault Weapon Ban.
· Advocates of tearing down the wall of separation of Church and State.
· Pushing for the destruction of not only the Department of Education but replacing it with private schools controlled by the Religious Right.
· Extreme anti-environmentalists and bagmen for the tobacco industry.
· All active in denying rights to blacks, homosexuals and women.
· Rabid Pro Life activists.
· Hardcore proponents of all this hate the government crap taking over this nation and this reactionary Civil War states’ rights crap and true believers in pure liaise faire capitalistic anarchy.
What is most frightening is that the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse were myth, these guys are the real thing.
“The 104th Congress could be the worst in 50 years.” Prophetic truth from conservative pundit and writer Kevin Phillips.
“Its bad enough to stick us with a dolt like Armey as majority leader in the House, a half wit like Delay as whip and former cheerleader Trent Lott as Senate majority leader, but we draw the line at Jesse Helms as chairman of foreign relations.” Columnist Donald Kaul on what Moderate Republicans should be shouting.
It’s up around your neck nipping at your chin and ever rising. Sandbags of well-intentioned rhetoric fall to the steady onslaught of the Right winning over a simple-minded public. The small spoonfuls of response so sparingly dabbed against that thickening wall of sandbags may be satisfying but it sure holds nothing back. This rising tide of Right-wing angst in America comes from six basic sources:
1) Having tasted the power of the executive branch for twelve years running and being tossed out in 1992 caused them to go ballistic. Resulting in mainstream liberal democracy becoming defined as Marxist socialism. All to the old tune of red-baiting and personal attacks directed at anyone wishing the government to promote the general welfare.
2) Instant media coverage and saturation of easy to report crime stories on TV have created a highly exaggerated fear directed at blacks and immigrants.
3) Taking control of AM Talk radio in pure one-sided conservative propaganda has driven the politics of gun waving selfish disregard to the forefront, giving Republicans a louder more pervasive voice than ever before.
4) Grassroots religious activism with intra-issue and extra-organizational networking and tax exemption for their political lobbying has made the Religious Right far more powerful than their actual numbers portray.
5) Liberals on the run in fighting over specific issues or hiding under their beds.
6) But most of all it comes from a very simple human condition regarding
collective behavior. Peer pressure is most conducive to adolescence, but that does not mean it is only a function of youth. Once the log starts rolling and people like Limbaugh and Gingrich apply pig fat to its ground contact axis it grows ever larger, knocking down and flattening anything in its way. There is no stopping the damn thing, all that can be done is either jump on board or get out of the way.
It seems the only answer is to let it play itself out to its logical end. Perhaps after they have control of everything; the White House, both Houses of Congress and the Supreme Court the slap of jackboots will get so loud this fat, lazy, self absorbed culture of ours will finally wake up and will follow a hundred years of pax liberala.
”Most people are mostly stupid.”
I would like to take credit for that quote, but I am sure many others have come up with it long before I, perhaps it was the anthem of cave #219. But it matters not who said it, what does matter is that it is one of the few great truths of human kind, connected as it is to its sister great truth, people are only going to believe what the want to believe. I have noticed these two most debilitating traits of humanity are most prevalent in the areas of religion, politics and sex; those things we are suppose to avoid in everyday social interaction. For good reason I should add; after all, pointing out to them in person, that most people are mostly stupid, can often be problematic.
Albert Einstein, a pacifist liberal Jew, was recently crowned Man of the Twentieth Century. It caused me to read a fair amount of relativity articles of late. As such I would first like to suggest to gay activists that they take a trip around the world in both time and space. For not only are things better for gays and lesbians here and now in America than almost anywhere else in the world, the policy achievements made over the past decade have gone beyond most expectations. With that said, the last bastion of acceptable popular bigotry in America is directed at gays. Rather than look into the hatefulness of this, let’s look into the stupidity of it.
First of all, Homophobia is much like racism in that when homophobes and racists jump about expressing their bigotry, they often find their more moderate Republican counterparts wish they would quiet down a bit. After all, that bigotry like the racism, is suppose to be a secret. Secondly, the non conservatives among us hearing all that bigoted crap only find that old saying pop into their heads: Most people are mostly stupid.
This old issue reared its head in the 2000 Primaries when both Bill Bradley and Al Gore openly said that the Ask Don’t Tell program regarding gays in the military was untenable and gays should be allowed to serve openly. Looking for votes in the Primaries both began backtracking when they heard the punditry say it would be the defining factor of the Presidential Election. I disagree; homo hating (a real highbrow American concern) will be low on the list no matter what positions they take. The defining issue will be how many people a candidate has killed, and how many he is willing to kill both at home and abroad. So Al who is far behind in the matter had best get his Christian bloodlust and vengeance cranking or he isn’t going to make it to the Oval Office.
Remember that darkest of all days in November of 1994? The day the music died? When Right-wing reactionary neo-confederate Christian bigots took control of the House? Gingrich, Delay and Armey running the show. Moving on a year later to give the Senate to Trent Lott, another Right-wing, reactionary, neo-confederate Christian bigot. Where are they now?
Many of the new crop of that conservative class of ‘94 fell quickly. Steve Stockman, Wes Cooley, Jon Christensen, Sonny Bono and Enid Waldholtz to name a few. Bob Dornan, the top Right-wing lunatic of the House, did his own self in and was out before the impeachment he had been wetting his pants for six years even began. After the impeachment, Gingrich imploded, as did the next Speaker (Livingston) who lasted minus three minutes. Both went down because of sexual affairs even worse than the one they were impeaching the President for. The GOP finally did find a man unattractive enough that such dalliances would not be an issue. Dennis Hastert is still with us, a different breed, a Northern Right-wing reactionary neo-confederate Christian bigot. But Denny is quiet and seems harmless enough. And where has the great and grand spokesman for Christian Pro Life values disappeared to? Henry got his nose bloodied so bad leading the impeachment, I haven’t heard Hyde nor hair of him since.
Trent Lott has been reduced to just another Mississippi cracker, Phil Gramm is retiring, Jesse Helms is retiring, Dickass Armey is retiring and Bob Barr got creamed. Even the King of Jingo himself, Dana Rohrabacker is perceived as only a leftover clown. So what stars are left from the Gingrich Revolution?
Houston, we have a problem. Tom DeLay is here to stay. As my congressional representative, I can tell you there is nothing my neighbors like better than a sleazy anti-environment Christian bigot with both sides of his brain tied behind his back. I’ll tell you what.