Progressive Writers Bloc

Four More Years

Uncle Bill Warner

There used to be a story going around back in the days after President "I am not a crook" Nixon resigned about a young reporter interviewing him. "I am thinking about running again", said Nixon. "Honestly?" queried the reporter. " No, same way as last time." Well, I am just paranoid enough after the stolen election of 2000 to suspect some pretty outrageous tricks in this election year when the economy, the war, and the Constitution are all going down the toilet thanks to the efforts of the present administration. If Bush and Co. are going to retain control of Washington so they can continue to continue their campaign to transfer wealth from the poor to the rich and to maximize profits for all of their big campaign contributors, they had better start (I'm sure they already have) considering ways to steal the election. Let's see...what might be the best way?

The first thing that pops to mind in my conspiratorially-oriented thinking is that they might discover those WMD's that were the reason for going to war and somehow could never be found. Couldn't something be planted and then discovered? Well....that might work, but if the subterfuge were to be discovered, it would do more damage than just ignoring the affair. Probably won't happen.

The next scenario involved suddenly "finding" Bin Laden right before the election. Prisoner "Triple X", who has been hidden from the Red Cross at Abu Ghraib could just be him... But would even finding this scapegoat for all of our ills be enough to raise Bush's sinking ship? Dunno. It might.

The huge war chest raised from all those super-rich contributors could be used to wreak a lot of mischief in the form of smear campaigns against Kerry...which is not as hard as you think when you consider who owns the media, and repeating lies often enough sets them as truth in the minds of people whose only source of news analysis comes from people like Ann Coulter or Rush Limbaugh. This seems likely to happen. "Unofficial" Bush support and Kerry smear ads and mailings (personalized by computer) will inundate the voting public.

Ralph Nader is probably the most important man in America at the moment. If he runs as an independent and wins votes away from Kerry, Bush could win. This fact has not been lost on Republicans, who have created support groups to funnel money to the Nader Campaign. He can feel pretty safe, because his chances of dying in a light plane crash are near zero. My own take on why Nader is even in the race is to get media exposure for his ideas, and also to move Kerry a bit to the left. I think Kerry will make a couple of promises to Ralph, and Nader will throw his support to Kerry in return.

Perhaps the scariest scenario is the rigged election. The 2000 Florida election was a classic , ranging from the illegal disqualification of approximately ninety thousand eligible voters to blocking access to the polls. And then there were the famous "chads." And the fact that the governor of the state was Bush's brother, and the person that counted the votes and certified the results (and spent $4,000,000 of the taxpayers money to have a private group remove people from the roles if they had names that even resembled those of ineligible felons) was a leading Bush operative. And then there was the Republican Supreme Court who chose Bush as the winner. If you have any doubt that the Florida election could set the tone for the next election, why not surf up "Florida, rigged election" on Google or read Greg Palast's book ,"The Best Democracy Money Can Buy."

Another Republican strategy has always been to carefully cultivate the idea among potential voters that "there is no difference between the parties." Well...if there is no difference between parties, why bother to vote? It is pretty well documented that most of the people that don't vote are those who would vote Democrat if they did. The Republicans know what they are voting for, and turn out. Then also there is the fact that the Republicans are pouring a LOT of money into registering more Republicans, mainly young people who don't have many political "smarts." Hey, even I got suckered into voting for Nixon by a paid canvasser when I was in college. What did I know about him other than he had someone going from door to door. Luckily, Kennedy won without my vote. In some countries, there is a fine for not voting. Here, it is almost something people brag about. I have even heard the stupidest statement of all, "Why vote for anyone? It will just encourage them." And people in Third World stand in line for hours and risk death to vote...

The scariest scenario involves rigging voting machines. The machine that is Tulare County's choice is made by Diebold. You have doubtless used one of their ATM's. ATM's are pretty reliable, and I am sure their voting machines are too. The problem is not reliability, as I see it, but with the process of counting the votes. Walden O'Dell, CEO of Diebold is a committed Bush supporter, and last August did a fund-raising letter in which he said he was " committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the President..." Now, Ohio being one of the key states, that scares the hell out of me. Having private companies so involved in the voting and counting is bad enough, but to have them manned by people with an interest in the outcome of the election is mind-blowing. Using machines that leave a paper trail would help, but cheating would still a possibility. Changing votes would not be on a huge, blatant scale, but just a few here and there...just enough to make a difference in the end, like in Florida. Even if this scam was exposed after the election, it would be too late...the election would stand, as it did on 2000.

Well, your guess is as good as mine as to what will happen. As it is evident by now, the guiding principle of our present administration is "The ends justify the means", whether it has to do with authorizing torture or taking away out constitutional rights in the name of "National interest. " Let's see what " means" we are going to see used between now and election day to guarantee four more years.

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