I just got back from a two-week vacation overseas. Anything interesting happen while I was away? I mean, other than the Great Maws of Hell opening wide and swallowing our nation whole, that is?
Actually, I wasn't out of the country on Black Tuesday. I voted, and then, after watching the election "results," spent a few days over at a local, uh, "facility." I am happy to report, though, I am now officially off the 148-hour suicide watch, news sure to make many of my readers happy. Well, some of them, anyway. A couple? Well, all right, then, at least my wife's pleased. (I think.)
I truly hope that what I am about to write is flat-out wrong, because if it is, it means the Bunsen Burner heating the great experiment of American democracy has not lost its flame. (Okay, so some analogies are better than others.) But, if it's not, it means that, barring a minor miracle or the dramatic, last-second appearance of a new superhero like, say, Fair Elections Man (or Woman), we can pretty much kiss our country goodbye.
Count me among those who are certain the election was rigged.
'Tis true: Now that I have thrown up, I have thrown down with those who believe that, in reality, Dubya was thrown out.
Frankly, I came to this conclusion during Selection Night. As Florida allegedly went early for Bush in overwhelming fashion, and Ohio stayed gray, and New Hampshire couldn't decide (New Hampshire??), I fired off a couple of emails to friends telling them the numbers made no sense and the fix was in—again.
I understand what this means: As a guy who makes a fabulous non-living as a writer, I am putting my reputation (such as it is, but, hey, at least it's mine, so get your own!) on the line by stating I firmly believe the election was a done deal before the first vote was even cast.
I can hear the cries now, mainly because my window is open and my leather-lunged, Bush-supporting next-door neighbor won't shut up: "Conspiracy loser! Sore nut!" Whoops, sorry. I mean: "Conspiracy nut! Sore loser!"
No matter. Considering that during Bush the Unbearably Terrible's reign, I and others sharing similar political views have been called traitors, terrorist sympathizers, just plain terrorists, terrorists with sprinkles, Saddam-lovers, bin Laden-lovers, animal lovers (not in a good way), trash, garbage, sewage, America-haters, cowards, enemy helpers (why does this one always make me think of hamburger and macaroni?), wimps, degenerates, idiots, naïve, ignorant, stupid, and blind . . . well, being viewed as one who sees shadows everywhere or dines on sour grapes pretty much seems like a couple of steps up. (I am far from a conspiracy junkie, but I have caught myself thinking someone should investigate the World Series to determine if that was really the Boston Red Sox in those uniforms.)
Also, and here's the kind of important part: I don't give a flying frog what anybody thinks, nor do I give a rat's rear what I am called, if my actions can possibly somehow help my country stay alive another day. As long as America has a single breath left in her, I will do whatever it takes to help ensure that the real American values rightly adored and aspired to by millions worldwide—the ones so beautifully enumerated in the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, and so constantly under heinous assault by the Bush bunch—are not snuffed out while I'm still upright.
Speaking of America's last gasp: she wheezes it now, and immediate attention is needed to revive her. If the Bushies get away with rustling this election, all that remains to be written follows:
July 4, 1776–November 2, 2004
Why am I convinced Bush has just extended his own major league record of Most Consecutive Presidential Elections Stolen?
Well, for starters: how 'bout them early exit polls, huh? These are the same type which for decades have allowed the talking heads to accurately "call" states moments after polls close, but which are now suddenly unreliable, showing Kerry with leads in states (like Ohio, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, and New Mexico) that later—poof!—go to Bush.
Or, how about the "fact" that Bush, who had half a million fewer votes than Al Gore in 2000 and has compiled a monstrously putrid record since then, somehow this year beats Kerry by 3.5 million votes? Are millions of Gore voters now down with Bush? (Yes, I know, millions more folks registered and voted this time around, but even that should swing in Kerry's favor considering higher turnouts and registrations historically favor Democrats.)
Then there's the incredible about-face in Florida. Statistically a dead heat last time around, but this time Bush supposedly creams Kerry by 377,000 votes? Come on. Not only that, but the "Nader factor," which assumedly cost Gore almost 96,000 votes in 2000, would have, at most, taken from Kerry the 32,000 votes Nader got in Florida this year, thereby weirdly expanding the margin even more between Dubya and this season's anti-Bush.
Is Dubya all that all of a sudden in brother Jeb's domain?
This is all anecdotal, true, and I'm sure there are some who would prefer a little harder proof that Kerry is the real victor.
To which I say, "Proof?? We ain't got no proof. We don't need no proof. We don't have to show you any stinking proof!" (Well, actually, we do, but I couldn't resist doing my all-too infrequently requested Alfonso Bedoya impersonation.)
Actually, there is plenty of evidence all over the country that shows Bush's "election" was fraudulent. At this moment, many fine people are working furiously to put the numbers together in rational fashion so the whoreporate media and just plain folks who've been jobbed yet again cannot help but know that conscienceless thieves have stolen the show one more time.
A couple of patriots leading the charge are Bev Harris, executive director of Black Box Voting Inc. (http://www.blackboxvoting.org/
), and Randi Rhodes of Air America Radio.
Bev is gathering information (and donations) from citizens and filing "the most massive Freedom of Information action in history" concerning nationwide electronic voting machine irregularities to prove Bush's "victory" was a foregone conclusion, and, just as critically, to bring it to mainstream America's attention before our nation's democratic history is concluded forlornly. If you have info, please contact her at the above link.
Randi has voiced her suspicions strongly, sensibly, and consistently on her afternoon radio show about the (un)fairness of the election since the day after, and has also greatly helped give credibility to those of us who had the exact same reaction to the startling numbers, something along the lines of a collective "What the f***?"
Additionally, Greg Palast has checked in with a couple of must-read articles (http://onlinejournal.com/evoting/110504Palast/110504palast.html
), one of which shows Kerry was down almost a million votes even before the election (http://www.tompaine.com/articles/an_election_spoiled_rotten.php
). Another hot source of information with links galore is the "Presidential Results and Discussion" forum on Democratic Underground.
Here's our "duh" statement of the day: The right to free and fair elections is the most basic underpinning of a democratic society. One can march in the streets day and night, write letters to editors nationwide, send countless emails to one's senators and representatives, staff phone banks, walk precincts, make donations, debate with friends, inform co-workers, speak with neighbors, publish essays, call radio shows, write editorials, register voters and it won't make an ant's ass worth of difference if elections aren't on the up-and-up.
Which brings us to—briefly—the stupendously surrealistic obsession du jour of plenty of pontificating pundits (have you ever noticed how "pundits" is an anagram for "stupid" with an extra "n" thrown in?), to wit: Bush was elected (sic) because of his "values."
Come again? Just what "values," exactly, would these "values" be (even if this theory were true, which it isn't)?
Ignoring warnings about an impending devastating attack on America? Killing 100,000 people for fun, power, and profit? Using America's young as fodder? Authorizing torture? Raping the environment? Looting the treasury? Demonizing half of America? Squelching all political opposition to secure absolute power? Incessantly spitting on the Constitution?
You mean, those "values"? But, I digress and depress.
This is it, folks. Unless those of us who smell a big Texas-sized rodent are wrong (and I surely hope we are, though I doubt it), this is America's last chance at the democracy dance. If we don't expose the 2004 election fraud and bring the perpetrators to justice, we have nothing. (Well, except for a nifty budding fascism, of course.)
It's clear the American porkerate media isn't going to upset its administration-filled feeding trough unless its piggish hand is forced. It's up to us to get this story out of the barn and into the open spaces for all to see.
One very notable exception in the U.S. media—a.k.a. "Ostriches-R-Us"—is Keith Olbermann of MSNBC, who picked up the election fraud story from bloggers and appears intent on seeing it through. He's also reporting some eye-popping stuff on his own blog, like his mention on November 10 of a "voting machine [that added] 4,000 votes for one presidential candidate in a 650-vote precinct" and "another one in the same state [that turned] a day's balloting into a net result of negative 25 million [votes]."
The state? Ohio.
There is hope, but the window is tiny and we all must do whatever we can before electors' votes are certified on December 13. This is the time to write letters to editors, contact senators and representatives, make donations, inform anyone and everyone, publish essays, call radio shows, write editorials, and do anything else you think will help spread the word to the widest possible audience the quickest.
Whatever connections we have, we must use them. Whatever chits we hold, we must call them in. Whatever lines of communication we employ, we must burn up the wires.
There must be an uproar and it must start with us. For the sake of American democracy, it's now or never.
Copyright© 2004 Mark Drolette. All rights reserved.
Published originally in Online Journal. http://www.onlinejournal.com/index.html