We need to recognize just how important this coming election is. It is not a contest for who gets to ride in Air Force One and invite his friends to stay in the Lincoln bedroom. It is the fight of our lives. Will there be any checks on Bush's destruction of the Constitution? Will anyone put the brakes on our slide toward dictatorship? Will anyone recognize that there are covert plans being implemented to attack Iran and stop them?
There is no getting rid of Bush for the next two years, unless we impeach both Bush and Cheney and have someone as Speaker of the House that we could trust in the Oval Office. The Supreme Court has already been loaded with two new judges who favor corporations, fundamentalist interpretations of the Constitution, and the rich. Our only hope is to wrest control of Congress out of the hands of the GOP.
One would think, what with the discontent with the war in Iraq, the ever growing list of GOP scandals that range from money laundering to allowing the sexual harassment of teen-aged pages, that the Dems would win hands down. Not so. First we have the Diebold voting machines, easily hacked and without a paper trail that may have already been used in 2004 to steal that election. Then we have the massive GOP campaign to disenfranchise huge numbers of voters who habitually vote for Democrats: purging of voter roles, laws to demand picture ID (which poorer voters may not have), posting of GOP "watchdogs" to frighten poor voters out of standing up for their rights, sending too few voting machines to Democratic percents. In 2002, the New Hampshire Democratic phone bank lines were jammed by GOP operatives so that voters who needed a ride to the polls were unable to call and request one. Fliers have been sent to Democratic districts informing them that the election was being held the day after it actually was. In 2004, in Ohio, voting machines registered votes for Bush when citizens had voted for Kerry. Poor voters in a number of places were told that election records could be used to trace people who hadn't paid traffic tickets or child support. In 2000, GOP congressional staff members were sent to Florida to intimidate the staff trying to recount the votes. People were removed from voting rolls in Florida whose name resembled the name of a convicted felon. Push poling in North Carolina in 2000 spread the rumor that John McCain had fathered an illegitimate mixed race child.
We can expect all of these tricks to be tried again. We need to watch and see what is happening in our own communities. And the Democratic Party needs to demand impartial monitoring in Florida and Ohio and all the other precincts for which there were questions in 2000, 2002, and 2004. We need to hold both parties accountable to do their part to ensure an honest election. That means, among other things, that we need to demand that the Dems don't concede early and allow the GOP to steal the prize, once again.
We need to be aware of the kinds of fear tactics that the GOP is liable to pull, to write letters to the editor when we see them being used, to talk to our friends who believe them. We need to arm ourselves with facts. We need to claim the moral high ground and stop allowing the GOP to steal it by default. When they claim to be the party of life, we need to remind people that life doesn't end when the abortion doesn't happen. That prenatal care and support for women and children are just as important. That invading a country that is no immediate threat is not supporting life. That sending an army of mostly brown and working class youth to fight without proper equipment is not supportive of life. That dropping depleted uranium cluster bombs on cities is not supportive of life. That emasculating environmental protections so that our water and food supply are contaminated is not supportive of life. That ignoring global warming is not supportive of life. That watching a city drown while you vacation is not supportive of life. That pressuring the EPA to announce that it was safe for rescue workers to go into Ground Zero while the air was still highly toxic is not supportive of life.
When they claim to be keeping us safe, when they tell us that because we are in Iraq there have been no attacks in the US since 2001, we need to remind them that there were no attacks in the US between the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center and 9/11 and that was eight years and we had not needed to invade anyone to do that, it had not cost us over 3,000 US soldiers lives, over 45,000 US soldiers health, over 600,000 Iraqi citizens lives, and our grandchildren's prosperity to achieve it.
At Truthout.org, in the article Another Stolen Election Headed Our Way, By Andy Ostroy the author, in context of an interview with Mark Crispin Miller, outlines a five part plan to prevent the theft of this election.
Let us rally round the Constitution. Let us redeem all of the blood spilled for our freedom. Let us fight. Let us demand that our Democratic candidates fight. Let us raise our voices and if necessary, a stink.
So, let's make this simple for voters:
1-Vote, vote, vote...and get everyone you know to vote as well
2-Write your congressmen and senators and demand uniformity and federal standards for the election process. Demand an end to electronic voting machines unless there's a viable paper trail. Demand paper ballots instead. Ask that election day be declared a national holiday
3-Bombard the media with letters and calls that demand coverage of election fraud
5-Go armed to the polls next month with 1-866-OUR-VOTE and call it immediately to report any fraudulent and/or suspicious activity.
In parting, the most chilling thing Mark told me was his prediction of what the Republicans will do should Democrats win on Nov 7th, which he also expounded in American Spectator: "If the GOP should lose the House or Senate, its troops will mount a noisy propaganda drive accusing their opponents of election fraud. This is no mere speculation, according to a well-placed party operative who lately told talk radio host Thom Hartmann, off the record, that the game will be to shriek indignantly that those dark-hearted Democrats have fixed the race. We will hear endlessly of Democratic "voter fraud" through phantom ballots, rigged machines, intimidation tactics, and all the other tricks whereby the Bush regime has come to power. The regime will, in short, deploy the ultimate Swift Boat maneuver to turn around as many races as they need so as to nullify the will of the electorate."