I am cursing myself now for (only somewhat) buying in to the election nonsense.
There once was (and it is still running old strips) a cartoon strip called Peanuts, featuring Charlie Brown, a hopeless loser with a good heart. Each year his pal Lucy would offer to hold a football for him to kick. She had to talk him into it, as in every year prior at the last moment she would pull the football, as seen above. That’s me, thinking that while we nominally have two major political parties, we really have but one. The purpose of the “other” party, no matter your alignment, is to prevent the rise of a true second party.
Steve Kelly, our friend and writer here, is running as a Green in Montana, and I support him in that effort. It might seem a quixotic mission, but he is not a man who embraces despair. The Green Party once challenged the major presidential candidates (2000), and at a presidential debate featuring only blah and blah blah (Bush and Gore), Green candidate Ralph Nader was arrested in the parking lot trying to break in. But Steve is a man who enjoys being a thorn in the foot of the powerful. I support him for that reason.
Was the Nader arrest staged? Most likely. Was Nader a willing participant? Most likely.
Another play was on the horizon, the Dade County fiasco that led to the Supreme Court intervening, stopping all recounts, and declaring George W. Bush the winner.
Did SCOTUS intervene knowing the recount would elect Gore? Most likely. But given that Al Gore is a tool, and George Bush apparently a useful idiot, what would be the purpose of choosing one over the other? I suspect, as a matter of principle, it was to signal the end of paper ballot voting. Bush v Gore showed me that the United States Supreme Court is as corrupt as any branch of government.
Dade County, most likely staged, was used to lure the public into supporting a bill most likely written well in advance of 2000, called “HAVA”, or the Help America Vote Act. By means of that act, precincts nationwide were given funds to use electronic voting machines to count votes. The machines were quickly shown to be easily tampered, so that vote counting quickly became a black box affair.
No matter. The midterm elections of 2002 and presidential election of 2004 (where Bush defeated John Kerry (meh) were shown by exit polls to have been stolen, Democrats the victim of the theft. When I saw that Democrats did not care that their wins became losses, I finally came to my senses. Both parties wanted electronic voting, neither cared that it was merely a means of election theft. So, after 2004, exit polling was ended.
At the end of this post I am going to once again run a “news” story by Nevada AP reporter Gabe Stern. No need to read it, only skim and note that 1) he is complaining that counting paper ballots is so slow as to be foolish, and that he misstates the number of registered voters in Nye County, NV, as “33,000” when the actual number, easily found, was 40,419. Stern is going on about two tasks, one to reemphasize that paper ballots are antiquated and tedious, and two (by invoking the ’33’ signal) that no true recount will ever be allowed. Vote counting is so quaint, so over.
I do not mean to say that prior to HAVA that we had meaningful elections. I don’t know that, cannot even imagine that we had a functioning republic prior to that time. But look at the 1992 and 1996 presidential elections. The fair-haired boy who was handed those elections, each time with less than 50% of the vote, was Bill Clinton (meh).
How did they manage that? It took real effort – they used Ross Perot to suck off Republican votes. Perot behaved like an indecisive fool, dropping out, backing in again, as if he could not make up his mind. His American Independent Party was polling well, but would not under any circumstances be allowed to win. Perot’s job was to suck off Republican votes from Bob Dole (meh) to anoint Clinton (meh). He came in and out as the polls dictated he must.
Well, who cares if the two parties are but mirror images of one another? I don’t. My point is this: They had to use Perot to defeat Dole because votes were being counted. For real. I know, elections were stolen at high levels, maybe at the local level too. But the point is that it took complicated machinations to get the job done.
With the advent of Black Box Voting, stealing elections became a much easier task. Now all it takes is the flip of a switch. That was the true purpose of HAVA, and the Dade County 2000 debacle.
This is why I am kicking myself, imagining that there would be allowed a red tide, and that annoying and corrupt Democrats would be turned out, to be replaced by less annoying but equally corrupt Republicans. My bad.