More than 6 million United States citizens are currently denied the right to vote due to state laws that disenfranchise citizens who have been convicted of a felony. More than 75 percent of these disenfranchised citizens are not in prison, and more than half have completed all terms of parole and probation.
What do we do when we finally understand that the elections really are stolen? Or rigged? Or thrust out of our reach by the manipulations of rich and powerful people? Corrupted by corporations? How long does it take before we call the bluff? Another disappointing election cycle? Two? Three? How much more gerrymandering, corporate buying of elections, voter disenfranchisement, and outright fraud can we stand? When will we take seriously the necessity of change?
Gossip is the opium of the American public. We lie back, close our eyes and happily inhale the stories about Roosevelt’s and Kennedy’s affairs, Lyndon Johnson’s nude swims with unnamed partners and, now, Nixon’s pathetic “final days” in office.
The Vote – the beloved, abused, scorned, corrupted, stolen, hijacked, pointless, profound, hopeful, depressing, hard-won, cherished vote – is not the only way to take action for meaningful change. Currently, the elections operate in our nation like a cattle chute, all too often forcing us back into the deadly, no-win tracks of the two-party duopoly that serves only the moneyed class. It becomes a handy device for siphoning off the demand for revolutionary change by giving false hope that elected officials will actually enact their campaign promises once in office.
One trait of imperial decadence is untrammeled hubris. Given the increasingly arrant arrogance on display by United States’ officials, public figures and news media we can safely conclude that this empire is accelerating into decadence.
Historian, David Van Reybrouck, in his new book Against Elections, identifies modern day examples of Aristotle’s “drawing lots” underway in Iceland, Ireland and Australia marking innovation in democracies. He thinks democracy only can survive if innovation occurs.
One of the more darkly amusing narratives in current establishment Democratic Party positioning for the 2018 mid-term elections and the 2020 presidential contest is the claim that the Bernie Sanders tendency represents a radical “socialist” threat that will tip the races to the Republicans and Trump.
Nick Brana, founder, executive director of Movement for a People’s Party talks with journalist Chris Hedges about the US’ two political party system, the need for third and fourth parties and his experience campaigning for Bernie Sanders in the 2016 presidential election. Continue reading →
When will the authoritarians and their political henchmen stop harassing American voters and let all citizens vote? No other Western country comes close to imposing so many obstructions for certain categories of people to keep them from the voting booth. In Canada, England, France, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, it is very easy to vote.
I’ve known Jill Stein for years. I knew weeks ago that the Senate “Intelligence” Committee was coming after her. I set up this petition to put reasonable limits on Russiagate. But I’ve not heard from Jill, nor had any secret communication from my good friend Vladimir, nor any such nonsense. I criticize the Russian and U.S. governments as they deserve it. Nearly three years ago, Russia tried to secretly hire me to spread its propaganda, and I said no and blogged about it. Although this happened right on Capitol Hill, no Congressional Committee gave a rat’s rear about it. It wasn’t part of their agenda. When I go on Russian media I say the same thing as on U.S. media, though sometimes with a particular focus on criticizing Russia — a nation I’ve never been paid a dime by or worked for as a volunteer.