Don’t Kid Yourself

Greg Palast

for Blog For America

Don’t kid yourselves. If you think Bush’s lower-than-my-laces ratings portend victory for Democrats, that’s what Rove wants you to think. Bush shoplifted Ohio (and New Mexico and Iowa and…) see, he doesn’t need your vote. And he doesn’t count your vote, either. The Rove-bots are preparing next year’s model (probably Good Doctor Frist) and will load the bad vibes on to the lame duck and the lame Dick. Frist will run on a platform of stopping homosexual flag-burnings by enforced readings of the Ten Commandments in courthouses.

What to do?

I wrote ARMED MADHOUSE for just such a contingency. We can’t do a damn thing to stop these dangerous inmates running this asylum unless we know HOW they’re doing it.

Lots and lots of topics. Let’s begin with two: votes and war.

Counting all the votes: why not? In America we don’t and that’s not much of an issue for any politician elected under the current system. THREE-MILLION, SIX-HUNDRED THOUSAND THREE-HUNDRED AND EIGHTY ballots were cast in the last election AND NEVER COUNTED: “spoiled” ballots, “provisional” ballots and “deficient” absentee ballots. And — ready for this — 88% of the ballots not counted were cast by voters of
color.

This non-count doubled from the 2000 election and will double again for 2006 and 2008 unless we make it an issue. We are not getting the will of the people under
an apartheid voting system.

By the way, these figures are not from my black helicopter, but from data available from the United States Elections Assistance Commission. The racial calcs I did (I used to teach statistics) with professors from Cleveland State, Harvard and the US Civil Rights Commission. Not that you’d read about it in the US papers.

WAR: “Operation Iraqi Liberation” (OIL) was NOT, I discovered, about getting our hands on Iraq’s oil and bringing it home — which would have brought down the price of petroleum. The invasion was, rather, about getting our hands on Iraq’s oil and preventing it from entering the market. The oil-poisoning of our foreign policy, the bending of our “War on Terror” into a war on democracy has simply not been addressed. It’s all about “The Quagmire” versus “Cutting and Running.”

It’s about the oil. And when the discussion wanders away from that core truth, we end up in rancid national debates about whether we have the testosterone to send other men’s kids to combat.

What do you think?

WHAT TIES IT ALL TOGETHER? Whether it’s the war on Black voters or the war on the Tigris, it’s all about the money; or, to revise a much-needed and forgotten phrase, CLASS WAR. Them versus Us. The Haves versus the Have-nots. Taking away your vote is of a piece with taking away your Social Security, your child’s educational security and your national security through war on the planet.

The Democratic Party of 1933, of FDR and the New Deal, was created from the realization, after the 1927 flooding of New Orleans, that the rich would rather we drown economically, even physically, than share the wealth and bounty of this nation.

Unfortunately, some nominal Democrats run away from their party’s working class heritage and heart. This week, 47,000 GM and Delphi workers will lose their jobs — the endgame of the half-billion a year in auto parts that have flooded in from Mexico and Canada since NAFTA.
It’s an inconvenient truth, but the Democratic Party won’t stand a chance until it starts worrying less about the future flooding of Malibu beach homes and more about the economic drowning of heartland assembly-line workers.

When the average guy and gal have a choice between the party of NAFTA and the party of NAFTA, they’ll use their vote to stop boys from kissing boys.

What do you think? No, better yet, WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT IT?

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Greg Palast is the author of the New York Times bestseller, Armed Madhouse: Who’s Afraid of Osama Wolf?, China Floats Bush Sinks, the Scheme to Steal ’08, No Child’s Behind Left and other Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Class War.

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