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Election Tricks - and An Interclass Alliance of Ignorance?
by Y. Kleftis
The 2004 election was stolen, but how? We need to do the research to establish the fix and undermine the sham victory at the level of ideas. We know that the Republicans have whipped the population into a paranoid frenzy, but that does not explain everything, and certainly not this sack of DU-tainted elephant dung sold as the US election. A brief outline and a few places to start looking:
After the disaster of 2000, which exposed the ruling class's vulgar arrangement of power, the plan was set to insure a popular, not just electoral, victory, and remove the taint of illegitimacy. As long as the Republicans could remain within the margin of error, manipulation would be hard to detect. A comfortable 2% popular vote margin lowers the chances of a Democratic challenge, but over 4% or so would be too obvious. How to do it? Add votes to states that you own, through various tricks, so that the popular margin comes out large, but prevent an embarrassingly suspicious percentage. Many of these "uncontested" states were not heavily polled. Coupled with the fact that most pollsters overestimate the Republican advantage, the current 3% or so "popular" margin is perfect. In addition, the Democrats, saddling themselves with a lackluster conventional team unwilling to risk their own share in power through confronting directly the current regime, proved once again unable to generate any significant percentage points of popular advantage needed to swamp the Republican election fix. Democrat-led agitation did not result in remarkably high voter turnout.
Despite the hype, Florida was an easy victory conquered years before the election. Yet a problem arose, and not in the "battleground" of Ohio; it seems those east coast boys forgot about the little people in some smaller midwestern and western states, New Mexico, Nevada, and Iowa particularly. Clear victory in any one of those states would have permitted a Republican declaration last night, but they appeared less organized in those regions in their rush to gobble the big prizes; hence the confused delay, the desperate fights, and the harshly whispered deals until dawn among owners of the two-party monopoly, or perhaps better said, the current one-and-a-half party monopoly. The Republicans continue to dominate all three branches of the federal government in addition to their powerful state and local control.
With sufficient data and mathematical analysis, the first step can be made to undermine the unscientific character of the recent faith-based theft. Good statistics should have a decreasing possibility of error toward the outer edge of the margin of error. Many reputable pollsters, used to somewhat cleaner elections, hold that a popular victory over one percent or so should translate into unquestioned electoral victory; instead, despite the apparently large popular victory, there were nearly a dozen "close" races and a substantial number of races with surprisingly similar margins of victory. A good study should examine not just the recent fiasco, but the last half-century or so of US elections with moderately reliable figures, to put this (s)election into context. This should be done not only for the popular and electoral executive vote, but also for state and county races.
Free of illusions, a determined group can run polls swiftly at the county level across the US to undermine the mathematical basis of the election, with the further benefit of hindsight, for the "results" are already known. There are no "undecideds" now and the county samples would be relatively small. This research may also reveal a higher Nader and Green party count for the last two elections. The best outcome at this point seems to be a ruining of the legitimacy and "mandate" of the current regime, if not a heartening of the anti-Bush sentiment worldwide. However, disorganized, demoralized, and poorly funded, such a project would be shut down before its inception, perhaps not least by those adopting a posture of defeat and accommodation.
Further consideration should be given to states Republicans own, with special attention to
appointments of election management officials. The local and state "machinery" can determine the federal outcome, as the advocates of "state's rights" have discovered again and again since the US Civil War. Their task has been made immensely easier not simply through the self-created chaos of idiosyncratic local laws, but also through the introduction of privately-owned voting computers. Perhaps the machines were rigged to produce a fraction of percentage for Bush with each Kerry vote, much like some kinds of embezzlement schemes. Radical activists with detailed knowledge of computer systems and mathematics must shun the consciousness of technocrats and stand up to perform their patriotic duty on behalf of humankind. A few million more election observers can do nothing about this perfect, silent, electronic white-collar crime. Inspect the election, the rightists say, but never another man's property!
Of course, there should be uniform voting procedures in the US, along with universal health care, education, blah blah blah. As the possessor of the world's most expensive and technologically advanced military, the US should be able to offer standardized publicly owned open-source code voting machines with a paper trail in a sufficient number of locations for easy voting, to say nothing of simple, mandatory registration of all citizens of voting age, including blacks, browns, felons, etc. Reliable ATMs are ubiquitous but voting machines are not? Why do all young males suffer threat of punishment if they shun military violence through avoiding Selective Service registration, yet lack the confirmation of their citizenship through an obligatory voting registration in the polity? Social security numbers, already used to track everything from criminal records to credit ratings to library books, are somehow inadequate to guarantee national voting access. The answer is obvious: the US white capitalist patriarchy will fight such possibilities of universal voting access until its very end.
Most fundamentally, radicals worldwide must take a serious historical look at the rise of rightist hegemony in the US, which has surpassed authoritarianism to attain a fascistic character, at least among 50 million Americans, who voted Republican with a "free" conscience. Added to this figure should be the bewildered and selfish undecided voters and fervent, blind supporters of pro-war Democrats who sought to suppress ballot access, the emergence of a third party, and so on, giving us a total of nearly 100 million Americans with rightist sympathies, about a quarter of the total US population and less than one percent of the world population. While there may have been some noble intentions among Democrat supporters, in the eyes of history, they, and not the Republicans alone, must also bear collective responsibility for the current crisis.
An interclass alliance has formed to create a new political culture rooted in the historical aims of US capitalism. At the core of this social phenomenon lies the relationship between the so-called "economic conservatives", formerly confined to the upper classes, and the middle and lower class "socially conservative" white base which has been led over generations to bitterly oppose equality of classes and races. They both continue the traditions of 19th century liberalism. There is no "liberté, égalité, fraternité" in the US; instead, there is only individual liberty for anti-New Deal capitalists who stir up ignorant, segregated, and violent suburban masses now dependent on militarism, oil-based consumption, credit, and wage labor. This is the new Terror, and there should be no confusion if a few "less white" or "less rich" faces appear in US ruling circles, for even a superficial examination of the past will show that such flickering differentiation is integral to the maintenance of US power's internal unity. The interclass consent and cultural hegemony of the US right permitted the Republican fixers to maintain their poll numbers within the margin of error.
Tremendous energy and factional bitterness has been expended by those nominally on the left, primarily by Anybody but Bush (ABB) partisans, which has distracted, divided, and drained the anti-war and anti-capitalist movements in the US. A wholly negative campaign is never sufficient, for a new positive program must also be developed; this is the ultimate cause of ABB failure against the right. Influential elements of the Democratic "cruise missile" left have been working hard to regiment everyone since the spring of 2004, and they succeeded by and large; yet, the domestic pandemonium has allowed some freedom-loving fish to slip away, not just in the "backyard" of Latin America, but crucially in the tragic battleground of Mesopotamia, where the militant anti-war resistance built up strength against its overlords with determined organization, blood, and the lives of their families. The "clash of civilizations" founders on the shores of human civilization's birthplace. Serious US-based radicals, contemptuous of genocide, pillage, and ecological self-destruction, need to plan for the next half century to develop a new hegemony based on justice, freedom, and the universal good.
In an unsurprising continuity at the world scale, the "field" slaves, under the murderous lash every moment of their brutish lives, are resisting more vigorously than the more pampered servants of the US "house". The election fiasco and capitulation of the US left opens a flank in the worldwide anti-war resistance. The occasional criminal and spectacular character of the violence in Iraq should not deter the US left from supporting morally justified combat against oppression, regardless of its religious or cultural tone. The chaotic violence of war does not affect voyeuristic suburbanites, many of whom are secretly thrilled by dismembered and wounded Iraqi humanity surviving poisoned earth, water, and air and genocidal state-sponsored terrorism
It is time for the ABBers and other progressives to slip out of their comfortable delusions and join with radicals who are further to their left in a passionate orgy of resistance. The iron fist, long ago shorn of its silk glove, must be met immediately with force and intelligence; otherwise, the same foolish logic that led to today's election result will emerge again when the US runs out of military labor power next year (http://www.lefthook.org/History/Kleftis072104.html). It is a selfish fantasy to believe that conscription will be "another opportunity" for the US left, for increased military labor power will result in far more than the 100,000 violent deaths of innocents sustained since direct occupation. In this way, "pro-draft" leftists, if such monsters are possible, will find themselves working at cross-purposes with the anti-occupation resistance in Iraq. Not a single child's life should be sacrificed at a gruesome altar of US "left" self-development.
The secret history of the US now flaunts itself openly with every gloating Bush family smirk. GW and his Forty Thieves (indeed, it did not take more than one or two dozen men to "kerry" out this election hijacking) must have produced reports and handbooks in addition to memos and oral agreements, for the operation was too well-planned, and some of them, such as Bush himself, need to write notes lest they forget the script. Let the search begin for the hidden trove (or is it Rove?) of documents.
It should be said that the author did not vote for any rich white Skull-and-Bones patricians, and has argued for months with ABBers that one-party states do not cede power easily, and certainly not through elections that they themselves have corrupted. Worse, I believe that ABBers actually won the popular and electoral count. Without question, this election was designed to break the will of anyone worldwide opposed to the US right. It is the duty of the US left to demonstrate the election fix, to expose and humiliate their enemies, and to let the world know that they unconditionally reject their rulers.
Attack the system's legitimacy! Wake up, rouse your principles, organize and fight! The world is more mortally dangerous today than it ever has been. The Grim Reaper strides the land, seeking his next harvest. In the Heimat ("homeland") of CIA coups, it should be clear to self-defeating ABBers that the chickens have finally come home to roost.
Y.Kleftis can be reached at email@example.com.