In the 2008 General Election in the United States, I cast my vote for Barack Obama to become the President of the United States. I stated publicly that it was important to me to vote for Obama for three reasons.
First, I wanted to rebuke the race-baiting of the campaign, beginning in the Primaries with Clinton and in the General Election by most of the Republican street. It became a question of solidarity with black people, not an election.
Second, I wanted to rebuke the Republicans for the lawless Bush years.
Third, I wanted to demonstrate once and for all to die-hard Democrats and ever-hopeful independents that the wars, the economic crisis and the depredations of the rich against the poor were not the exclusive province of Republicans. I said so before I voted. I said that Obama would behave like a Bill Clinton, because he is of the same ilk – a tireless shill for the Democratic Leadership Council, which is a tireless proponent of whatever Wall Street and the war-makers tell them.
I was proven right about the last; and that proof still fails to penetrate the consciousness of many who will support Obama even if he were to dress up in a pig costume and masturbate into the fountain at DuPont Circle, singing “Deutschland Uber Alles.”
I am not categorizable within the current popular discourse about politics. I am not a Democrat or Republican. I am not a conservative or a liberal or a progressive.
Being Wrong for the Right Reasons
The reason I am finished with this kind of probative voting is that by now all who can be convinced probably are convinced; and all who treasure the delusion of American democracy more than the evidence of their senses will continue to cling to those delusions until they die. Now, I want to convince those disillusioned with Obama to consider a deeper problem than Obama’s personal moral failures, which accompanied his naked ambition far in advance of his announcement for presidential candidacy. I want to convince as many people as possible to quit voting altogether.
I for one am registered to vote now in the State of Michigan; and I intend to go to every major election to stand outside the polls with a sign that says, “I am not voting because the choices are intolerable.” I hope a million others will join me in 2012 to do the same thing; but I doubt they will. Those who care enough to think about voting at all are already in the minority; and of those the majority remain convinced that elections might fundamentally change society.
This is wrong for all the right reasons. People who are unhappy with the status quo and who want to change it for unselfish reasons – and there are many of these people from across the political spectrum – are genuinely motivated by their good will. They simply don’t understand yet that the most important choices are made by flows of cash before a single voter has a say in these so-called elections. They don’t understand that the most important topics related to changing our society are excluded by both parties, censored by ruling class media, and that these excluded topics mask the substantial agreements between the putative opponents. They don’t understand that elected officials have very little power once in office, or that the system is now designed to prevent anyone in office from having power in any critical realm sufficient to make changes in the relative power of the rich and the rest.
The only exception to that, in my opinion, is the ability of the President of the United States to stop wars and end the forward-deployed US military presence overseas. No candidate who advocates this with any seriousness will get past the first gate. If she does, I’ll break my promise and vote twice for her.
The reason it won’t happen is that any candidate that doesn’t give behind-the-scenes reassurances will face a tidal wave of money.
Let me start explaining myself by responding to the strongest argument I’ve heard for voting. The argument goes something like this:
Whether you like it or not, the political system we are stuck with for the time being chooses officials by election; and those officials make, interpret and enforce laws that shape society. Even if the choices we get in elections are choices between two or more people whose access to cash is the major determining factor in deciding who can run for office, the result will determine who exercises that power. If there is any difference at all between two hypothetical candidates, then we are obliged to ensure that the least offensive candidate wins.
In presidential races, this argument is ramped up a bit by the power of a President to appoint members to federal courts and in particular to the Supreme Court.
Many opponents of this argument make the claim that there is no real difference between candidates, and that the two parties are really a single party with two names. This claim contains a grain of truth, even though it is essentially dishonest. There are differences between the two US political parties, and restating the similarities – which are striking and important – does not disprove the differences.
Some notable similarities between the two parties as a whole (there are a few dissidents tolerated in each party, so long as they don’t have the power to derail the majority positions) are commitments to capitalism, to US imperial power, to so-called drug wars, to agricultural subsidies for agribusiness, to Zionism, to neoliberalism (and its public face “free trade”), to the military-industrial complex, and to expansions of executive privilege when either party has executive power. These common positions are seldom discussed because (1) competing parties don’t emphasize similarities, they emphasize differences, (2) the ideology in which the public has been schooled by ruling class media, the punditocracy, and mainstream academics considers these aspects of the status quo to be axiomatic, (3) the practices of imperial power, neoliberal economics, etc. are essential to the stability of the existing organization of social power, and (4) raising these issues for a genuine debate could threaten the positions of people who are in power, whether that power inheres in politics, industry, finance or media.
Notable differences between the two parties have evolved and continue to evolve based on the evolution of competing interests among various constituencies. White men tend to vote Republican. African Americans overwhelmingly vote Democratic. Small business owners tend to vote Republican. Labor unions tend to vote Democratic.
These tendencies have changed over the years, as society has changed. The Democratic Party at the turn of the 20th Century proudly called itself the party of white supremacy. Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned against the growth of the military-industrial complex (he actually gave it that name).
In the 1960s, the Republican Party took advantage of white discontent at two Democratic Presidents who had signed civil rights legislation into law. Richard Nixon’s campaign called this the “Southern Strategy,” and it led to a massive migration of black voters from the Republican to the Democratic Party. Likewise, there was an exodus of white voters from the Democrats to the Republicans.
Since then, a new demographic appeared on the American scene – the suburbanite. Suburbanites, according to Matthew Lassiter – author of “The Silent Majority,” had a fixed set of common political identities: homeowner, taxpayer, commuter, school parent, and consumer. As the suburban population grew, this set of political identities became hegemonic in American politics, and both parties now cling to their traditional popular bases as they compete heavily for the loyalty of Suburbia.
So there is a dynamic evolution of parties and bases that constitute a recursive feedback loop of influence. And there are differences between the two parties as a result, even though the struggle for Suburbia is further homogenizing the parties.
Right now there is a crisis in the Republican Party because it consists of two antithetical narratives – libertarians and conservative evangelicals. Time will tell how this contradiction shakes out. There may be a similar shake-up in the Democratic Party between technocrats and populists, though this hasn’t yet reached the boiling point.
Because both parties define themselves against one another, each has a stake in the two-party system; and because neither party disagrees on the stability-fundamentals (military-industrialism, neoliberalism, Wall Street, etc.), the debates between them are limited to the ways in which each defines themselves against the other.
Electing one candidate instead of the other can make a difference. It will not be a systemic difference, but short-term differences can be pretty scary.
Black people, as one example, have good reason to fear Republicans. For many years now, since Nixon’s Southern Strategy in fact, the overriding appeal – never spoken aloud in public – of the Republican Party has been an appeal to white negrophobia. In 1981, Republican strategist gave an interview in which he said:
You start out in 1954 by saying, “Nigger, nigger, nigger.” By 1968, you can’t say “nigger” — that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states’ rights and all that stuff. You’re getting so abstract now… you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is… blacks get hurt worse than whites. And subconsciously maybe that is part of it. I’m not saying that. But I’m saying that if it is getting that abstract, and that coded, that we are doing away with the racial problem one way or the other. You follow me — because obviously sitting around saying, “We want to cut this,” is much more abstract than even the busing thing, and a hell of a lot more abstract than “Nigger, nigger.”
Despite Atwater’s claim that encoding the language (called “dog-whistling”) is somehow defusing racism is fairly preposterous, but the admission is clear that Republicans are signaling to constituents to arouse their negrophobia.
So Republicans are arousing fear in black people (more and more now of Latin American immigrants, too, though some Democrats have also jumped onto that bandwagon); and many black voters vote Democratic – regardless of how mediocre the Democratic politician – out of fear of Republicans.
An African American friend of mine once told me, “Voting for Nader is an exercise of white privilege.”
She was in a very real sense right. I am not advocating voting for Nader. I’m advocating not voting at all; and her critique could be leveled against me as well, if I believed that the short term defensive interests of African America outweigh the long term damage that has been done and will continue to be done to African America and a lot more people by short-term, defensive voting in the two-party monopoly. It was Bill Clinton that signed the law that facilitated the shameful overflow of American prisons with African American and Latin@ prisoners.
A similar phenomenon exists with regard to legal abortion. In a 2009 Gallup Poll, 44% of women supported legal abortion, while 49% opposed; and 54% of men supported legal abortion, while 39% opposed it. For those voters who are most passionate on this issue, there is a clear difference between the two parties. The Republican Party largely opposed legal abortion; and the Democratic Party largely supports it.
Many anti-abortion voters consider abortion to be tantamount to murder, so they have a real fear of pro-abortion officials. Conversely, many legal abortion advocates see this as a women’s rights issue and have a genuine fear of anti-abortionists.
Given the powerful fears generated around these issues, it is more difficult to make the case for simply not voting, when there are clear differences between the parties at least on some issues. It is dishonest to make the claim that there are no differences between the parties; and if this is the sole reason for discouraging voting, it can easily be invalidated.
That is not my argument for not voting. I don’t believe, however, that fear ought to be a reason for voting either.
One of my arguments for not voting is that participation itself in the process legitimates something that is not legitimate.
There is also an argument against the legitimacy argument that goes like this:
If voting makes any difference at all, then voting the lesser of two evils – while not a solution – does at least apply the brakes when the polity is headed in the wrong direction. Refusing to vote simply because it might legitimate the process is refusing to get one’s hands dirty and allowing the greater evil just so you can claim some moral high ground, while real people will be affected if the greater evil prevails in the election.
Again, this strikes me as a powerful argument, assuming one accepts a utilitarian moral standpoint – that is, that the ends justify the means. Some of the ends are pretty persuasive, e.g., protecting Social Security (one near and dear to my aging 60-year-old heart), protecting the minimum wage, etc.
Boiling the Frog
The problem with the argument is that appeals to specific, short-term interests to continue to legitimize the process with our participation is never a one-time tactic. It is renewed indefinitely, as long as there is something that needs protection through rearguard voting. There will always be something that qualifies as an end that will continue to demand the same means. Meanwhile, many of those practices and policies that both parties agree on (Wall Street hegemony, foreign wars, subsidies for the rich, etc.) are perpetuated and legitimized along with those more narrow interests. We are demonstrating our dependency on the lesser evil that allows lesser-evil politicians to claim a mandate for themselves, as they continue to take our votes for granted while they betray many constituents once they are in office.
There is simply no end to defensive voting; and what it has resulted in over time is a steady increase in power for the most powerful who control both parties. So the short-term advantages are actually lost incrementally over time. This is the frog-boiling process. The frog won’t jump out of the pot of water if you turn up the heat very slowly, because the frog gets used to the gradual increase in heat… until the frog is boiled.
Defensive voting, because it is inevitably recycled through every election is the very basis of the current trap’s stability. There is little doubt what Republicans will do in office when they control the executive and legislative branches. We have seen them in action. But what never gets mentioned in this equation is that we have seen exactly the same things happen, on exactly the same trajectories, when Democrats were in control, giving the lie to the idea that Democrats will defend anyone except Wall Street and the military-industrial complex. Obama’s performance so far is living proof of precisely this, and was true before Democratic sellouts of their constituents led to their election debacle in 2010. He has expanded Bush’s wars, rubber-stamped the Bush policies to consolidate arbitrary executive power, refused to support the unions and workers, continued the drive to privatize Social Security, continued the policy of illegal kidnappings and torture, the support for building more nuclear power plants, co-signed a coup d’etat in Honduras and tacitly endorsed the Bush coup in Haiti, continued the same disastrous policies of the Federal Reserve Chair and bailed out the very same bad actors in Wall Street whose depredations led to our current economic malaise (a process that was substantially facilitated by Bill Clinton’s administration).
The only efficacious political group is the ruling class, no matter which party is in power. To believe otherwise is to ignore the empirical evidence of history. And voting for third-party candidates that don’t have a chance in hell of getting elected is just as silly an exercise of faith in the same system.
The problem is not electoral outcomes; it is elections. The things we call elections in the United States are not in the least democratic. They are a consumer choice between Coke or Pepsi. Why do we try to convince ourselves otherwise? Choose neither. If someone pours it down your throat, at least the coercion is not something we help to cover up by wearing a sticker that says, “I voted.”
Voting defensively, that is, voting out of fear of the worst, has not stopped and will not stop the inevitable movement of policy and law toward an ever more reactionary orientation. This is not the result of elections, but of changing material conditions for the ruling class. They have squeezed what they can out of the world, and now that the world is drying up, they are coming for you.
Concentrating Incentive to Power
Clearly, those with the least stake in elections are the least likely to participate in them; which sets up another dynamic wherein fewer and fewer people participate, and the remaining voters who continue to vote gain comparatively more influence. It’s fairly simple math: if 75% participate, then winning requires 37.51% , whereas if 25% participate, then winning requires a mere 12.51%. These smaller and smaller groups that vote are more likely to be massaged through policy by elected officials, leaving out the non-participants; and voting blocs that remain intact will gain more influence during low participation because they constitute a greater portion of active voters.
The concentration of incentive via lower turnout leads to greater responsiveness to those smaller interests and greater neglect of non-participants, who then have even less incentive to vote. The political organization of insider-groups increases; and the political organization of outsider-groups disappears.
This might seem like an argument for greater participation, but the two parties have learned to game the system for big turnouts and for small ones; and the two parties backers are the same stratum, often the same people.
Show Me the Money
The hypothesis that simply getting people to turn out to vote can change the overall picture does not take into account that money and organization are the most effective means of turning out voters; and those with little of either cannot make a dent in the numbers. Media buys, in particular, make a tremendous difference in organized, well-funded campaigns and grassroots campaigns. One television ad can reach more potential voters than 10,000 canvassers working around the clock.
Here is one of the crucial realities about elections: money. There is nothing original that needs to be said on this topic. Money and politics research has shown again and again, unequivocally, the single most important factor in getting someone elected is a campaign treasury. Money buys influence in school districts. Money buys influence in neighborhood associations. Money buys influence in churches. Money buys influence in politics. This is a money-dependent society, where money counts more than everything else.
Even a simple city council race in many places costs tens of thousands of dollars. As of 2008, the average campaign for a seat in Congress cost more than $1 million. Senate races cost tens of millions, with the hotly-contested Minnesota Senate race costing more than $46 million between the two candidates. Presidential races will from now on cost in the billions. Obama spent $730 million in 2008, next to McCain’s $333 million.
The idea that popular political forces can amass campaign treasuries that outstrip giving by the rich is an ill-informed fantasy. This fantasy does not take into account the wealth stratification that precedes elections. 24% of all wealth in the US in 2010 was held by one percent of the population. When you look at the top 20% of the population, that quintile controls fully 85% of the income. This means that if you are in the bottom 80% of the US population, your combined assets are five percent less than the combined assets of the top one percent. Moreover, the further down the scale you are, the lower the percentage of your wealth is available for spending beyond necessity. So if the bottom 80% percent of the population gave five percent of their total income to one political campaign, that would be 3/5% of the total, which could be outstripped by the top one-percent using a mere 1% of its total income.
In the United States, the majority of the most powerful enterprises are multinational corporations (MNC), with substantial holdings overseas. The MNCs are partnered with non-US financial elites, who with their US partners and their US corporate charters, have a direct vested interest in US elections. Worldwide, this income-asset stratification is even more profound, with two percent of the global population controlling more than half of the monetized wealth in the world, with one percent holding 40% of global wealth.
This doesn’t even take into account the strategic spending that goes on through campaign contributions and lobbying directed at key gatekeepers within the established order. Key committee chairs in Congress can act as roadblocks to any legislation they wish. Buy one, get a lot of stuff free.
So the truth is, when you get your choice between a pro-this or anti-this candidate, you are second in line. Anyone who is pro-80% against the interests of the one-percent has already been culled from the herd. And there is not one single thing that any of us can do about it. We are all trumped by money. We ought to just admit it.
As long as the system is challenged on its own terms, the logic of money will be invincible.
— Alf Hornborg
I once worked for an organization that promoted something called publicly-financed elections, that is, elections that are subsidized using public money, disallowing private campaign contributions. In theory, this is a grand idea. Each candidate who can show a minimum level of support through petition signatures can qualify for a fraction of the total public campaign fund. Everyone gets the same; and there are no thermonuclear spending escalations like we see every year now. The problem is that this system has to be voluntary; and no one who accepts the public money will be able to spend a fraction of what the privately financed candidates can. And money is required to get the signatures in the first place.
So the better idea is to impose spending limits on a campaign. But the Supreme Court has ruled that campaign money is a form of constitutionally protected speech.
That’s how this works. Citizens want something that will threaten incumbents who know how to operate in the current system (by fundraising), and their counterparts in the courts trump any future legislation in an arena where citizens have no power to intervene.
Someone might suppose that the internet will enable a poorly-funded but charismatic candidate to end run the wealth primary; but anyone who knows information technology knows that money is the decisive factor in I.T.’s employment, too.
What if you run a candidate from a different party? Most, but not all, political junkies know that the US has very strong laws that prevent ballot access by third parties. Each state has its own separate laws, but all of them make it very difficult to get on the ballot as a third party; and the history of third party runs is so embarrassingly difficult, that most voters who agree with the positions of the third party candidate will fall back on the fear-based utilitarian practice of choosing the lesser-evil who is “electable.”
Democrats vote against expanded ballot access as ruthlessly as Republicans do. Everyone who is in office got there with support from the party’s bureaucratic apparatus, which each one knows how to navigate, and they are not going to enable future challenges from the outside. Both parties would have plenty to fear from expanded ballot access. Because expanding access nationwide would entail 50 separate statewide campaigns, each challenging a system of long standing party-interest group codependency and patronage, this becomes an uphill struggle. In states where Greens and Libertarians have gained access, the states have made them re-petition every four years, starting from scratch, to get back on the ballot.
If they can’t get you coming, they are going to get you going.
The parties will not allow a dissident candidate to run unless that candidate is safely contained in a single district (think Dennis Kucinich or Ron Paul). If a dissident goes for a more important office, as Kucinich and Paul did, or if a candidate pisses off key funders and interest groups, the party will dump that member with all the regret a snake shows for eating a mouse.
Both parties have bosses. These bosses are bosses in every sense of the word. And they look after the health and welfare of their parties as their boss-life-support system, not as an agent of social change. These are vast, top-down institutions.
In 2001, Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney of DeKalb County, Georgia, made public remarks critical of the State of Israel. This flew in the face of Democratic Orthodoxy; and in 2002, her own party fielded a well-funded candidate – Denise Majette, a black woman like McKinney – in the primaries to defeat her. The Democratic Party knew full-well that in an open primary (where voters can choose which party’s primary to vote in), pro-Zionist Republicans would cross over to vote for Majette because they knew no Republican could win in her district.
This kind of cynical maneuvering is apparent in both parties. And both parties receive their money from many of the same sources… from the one-percenters.
What is the Alternative?
Why does there have to be an alternative to voting? The idea of there being an alternative to voting presupposes that somehow voting is efficacious. I think I have shown that it is not. That is the crucial point. Voting only makes a temporary and cosmetic difference in the real world, the real United States, right now, in 2011.
The alternatives are boycott, strike and non-violent disruption. Even before those measures, the alternative is to delay, dissemble and disobey where necessary. (Warning: these take more work than voting.)
A mistaken-in-my-view idea that is widely and thoughtlessly embraced is that people exercise power through voting and that any other kind of power is illegitimate. This belief presupposes that our relations with other people are antagonistic, and that we all need to participate in a process of determining which 51% ought to exercise power over the remaining 49%. Even if the issues that are put to a vote weren’t predetermined by the guardians of the ruling class (which they are), and even if many important issues weren’t foreclosed to voting by the same ruling class (which they are), I don’t want to be part of imposing my will on someone else.
There are two kinds of power: the power-over and the power-to. One of our main problems is that we have surrendered our own power-to to the people and institutions that have the power-over. The same government that drops bombs on Afghani children is educating our own children. The same government that is indebting out children to Wall Street is the same government that will put them in prison if they don’t accept their lot.
The state is a reflection, condensation and expression of existing power relations. It has never been otherwise. Behind the public personalities of elected officials are hundreds of thousands of functionaries spread throughout the recesses of the state’s administrative apparatus. Each one of them has a job, a job they want to hang onto, because most of them have families that are in some way dependent on that job. In addition to the hundreds of thousands of jobs in the “public sector,” the industries that have a critical fraction of their contracts with various government agencies are also tied to the system. The employees of those industries are likewise bound to the status quo, as are the families of those employees. The people who work in the finance, insurance and real estate sectors are definitely tied to the system, since the last bailout went directly to their employers. Most farmers are bound to the public sector with subsidies, as are most utilities. The retail sectors that surround government establishments and military installations depend on those regular government issued checks.
Because people are loathe to exercise friendship or hospitality to the down-and-out, we have used our governments and our churches to institutionalize care… to provide impersonal services in service warehouses, because while we claim to embody some Judeo-Christian tradition of care, the command to love the neighbor is too difficult to take literally and personally. Then we can debate, far away from the “service stakeholders” who does and who does not merit “assistance.” One side will refuse to help with its own resources and invoke the right to property, and the other side will blame them for their lack of compassion (with appropriated funds) while never lifting a hand themselves to befriend or personally assist these compassion-object abstractions that they’d really rather not deal with. Let a social service expert do it; that is what they get paid for.
Yes, I am disrespecting right and left on this count. A society run by technocrats is a shit society no matter whose technocrats are running it. Take responsibility for one another, and quit relying on “experts.”
Now a host of people are dependent on the government for such services, and no one on either side of the ideological debate is willing to think outside the system that is running up against a systemic crisis. The very money that is the lifeblood of the whole system is in jeopardy of losing its value, and the secular trend of escalating fossil fuel consumption that underwrites our entire civilization is on the brink of a permanent reversal.
We see that wind-down already, on the financial end, as money is printed for Wall Street and states go broke; but the level of public discourse on the causes of these trends is so dismal that 99% of the people we come into contact with an any given day have no clue what is happening to them.
There are a lot of things people can do with the power-to, as opposed to the power-over. Mainly, they need to get to know each other and start hammering out solutions to their problems locally that in whatever way possible makes them less dependent on only-money. Money is what ties them to the system; money is what makes them dependent; money is the reason they can never exercise any power through the ballot-box
If the two parties were to dissolve into factions, with libertarians splitting from right-wing evangelicals, local business people getting fed up with corporations, progressives breaking with DLC Democrats, and un-categorizables like me off on our own, then I might vote. That is not on the horizon yet, but I’d be happy to be surprised. I hope no one turns out for that warmonger in the Oval Office in 2012. He has behaved exactly as his rivals would have; and on the issue of war, probably worse. He is now risking the ignition of a war in a nuclear-armed state.
The Ethical Arguments
My problem with elections is more than whether or not they are efficacious, and more than whether or not they legitimize a fraudulent system. As someone who is a small-l libertarian when it comes to making public policies (I don’t think I should tell other people they have to send their kids to state schools or any schools, force people to vacate their homes under immanent domain, tell them that they can’t smoke a joint, prohibit chickens in their yards or punish them for buying raw milk), I am very hesitant to use a ballot to co-sign policies and laws that force half the people to do something they don’t want to do.
We participate in a system domestically where voting allows 51% to impose its will on 49% (and let’s be clear – what either side believes is often the outcome of successful propaganda campaigns). The reason this is problematic may not be obvious to everyone. Why shouldn’t the majority rule? some may ask. Isn’t that democracy?
The question ought to be whether this is the only kind of democracy. This version of democracy means that in almost any case, there is a civil war enacted at the ballot box, which forecloses solutions sought by consensus or sought locally without some general rule being established that cannot take into account the idiosyncrasies of various situations.
I am a supporter of civil rights laws, so this is not an across-the-board Kantian position. Using that same power to force people let the state “educate” their young or jail them for growing pot at home or exercising immanent domain to throw families out of their homes to build highways is an abuse of that power.
I believe in some rules; but I also believe that once any community exceeds a certain size, rules become simplistic, nay idiotic, solutions to complex problems.
The problem is that people have lost any capacity to imagine any method but elections, laws and policies to deal with each other, putting us all on a permanently antagonistic footing.
We live now with dishonest politics, disinformed and disinforming media, disconnected cultures, disjointed economics, dysfunctional communities and disrespected citizens. To attempt to repair such conditions without a morally conscious politics makes as much sense as trying to revive a body without a heart.
— Sam Smith
A morally conscious politics, to me, is neither utilitarian nor rule-based. The ends do not justify the means; and everything we do doesn’t need to be regulated by simplistic, one-size-fits-all rules, that are administered by brainless bureaucracies.
The utilitarian trap is what we are in now, where we let charlatans continue to co-opt us into the gamesmanship of elections where we are forced to choose between two amoral, ambitious satraps for the rich into perpetuity. It is a sham; and participating in a sham helps perpetuate it. Never forget that Hitler was elected.
Right now, the Obama administration – as reactionary in every sense as the Bush administration – is depending on the most disgruntled of its supporters having no choice in the next election. The power they hold over us is fear. Fear of Republicans, but we just survived eight years of them; and when we changed parties, those same policies remained.
Don’t give them the power. Walk through your fear. Refuse to vote. If those of us they count on shatter the Democrats, then the Ron Paul wing of the Republicans will feel empowered to do the same to the Republicans.
Refuse to be a part of the fraud that are US elections.