Coastal Post Online

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December 2000

Who Cares?

By Frank Scott

The permanent campaign has become the eternal vote count, creating equal amounts of hysteria , hilarity , boredom and disgust. America's short attention span is being sorely tested by our closest presidential election, which has become a battle between the ruling party's hired shysters.

The nation's richest lawyers have lined up at the financial feeding trough for a litigation frenzy that may last until the next election. Media information spinners are offering breathless and often brainless coverage and analysis, but some good may come of this mess.

We may finally change our antiquated electoral system, which is shamed by other nations with procedures that work more smoothly and democratically. Our politics are already corrupted by money, and now that the dreadful condition of our election process has been revealed, there may be less tolerance for our imperial rulers telling other people how to achieve what we don't have: democracy.

The global community is having great fun, with South Africa , Serbia and Cuba offering to send us election advisors. TV comics hope this farce goes on forever, and anarchists love having "nobody" for president. The ironies are numerous, and humorous.

A boring race between a biogenetic pro-government drone and an intellectually challenged anti-government clone was transformed into an exciting vote count, for a while . Then Democrat William Daley complained about voting irregularities. He is the son of Chicago mayor Richard Daley, who created affirmative action programs for zombies, featuring an annual parade of footprints from the cemetery to the ballot box on election day.

Republican supporters of state's rights went to federal court to stop the state from recounting, while Democratic supporters of federalism professed more faith in Florida than in the USA.

For all the squabbling about dimpled and pregnant chads, and machine or hand counting , history may simply remember the outgoing president as being impeached for a blow-job in the white house, and the incoming president for being elected by a hand-job in Florida.

And the American presidency will be decided by a state that has thousands of voters who care more about foreign countries-Cuba and Israel-than they do about the USA.

Every national election is filled with errors, lost ballots, confused voters and bigotry. This one was no different. It is only the closeness of the vote that has focused attention on imperfections, but not the right ones.

The hole in our ozone is tiny compared to the gaping wound suffered by our democracy, but that wound was not inflicted by confusing ballots, corrupt officials or ignorant voters. Democracy was savaged by the corporate party, when it denied Americans the right to hear opposing viewpoints from Nader and Buchanan in the debates.

The recount controversy has temporarily halted the Democratic hate campaign against Nader. Despite personal slurs and a fear crusade that had many believing their vote for him would bring Nazis to power, he got 2.7 million votes, while spending only seven million dollars. Goreberman spent that much on TV ads in Michigan alone, and Bushney may have spent more than that on lunch for their staff.

While some Democratic "leaders" were trashing Nader because his campaign was seen as too white, the Democrats may have been defeated by their own racism.

The "new" Democrats criminal crusade that locked up thousands of Blacks for non-violent offenses damaged their candidates far more than Nader. 13 percent of Black men can't vote because of past convictions, and those who served their time and went on to lead productive lives could have provided the victory margin for Al Gore and the Democrats , had they had been allowed to vote.

Along with our racism, our social priorities become crystal clear in this fiasco: in the USA, shopping and driving are far more important than voting.

We maintain a multi-trillion dollar credit system, accurately tabulating balances while enabling millions to over-consume, often without leaving their homes; why can't we create an easy, accurate voting system?

We provide ATM machines that balance accounts and produce cash when operated by consumers properly trained in their use; why can't we educate people to use ballots and voting machines with the same proficiency?

We transport billions of gallons of gasoline to fuel pumps all over America, have citizens operate those pumps to fill their polluters, and bill them to the penny; why can't we enable those same citizens to go to a polling place, be quickly and easily registered, and have their votes tabulated without a mistake?

Welcome to the marketplace, where democracy is more expensive than consumer goods, and more difficult to find than a parking space at the corporate mall.

Make no mistake, whichever of these weaklings assumes the presidency, it is the corporadoes who have won. Their foreign policy will assure that military spending increases, innocent people die in unjust wars, and the Israeli occupied territories still include the West Bank, Gaza, Congress and the White House.

They will continue selling drugs that play profit roulette with our nervous systems ; they will continue peddling biogenetic food products that treat our digestive systems as a merchandise mart; and they will continue using our democracy as a contested turf among their hired hands, in this and all elections that pit one gang of the corporate mafia against another in a battle for territorial control. Until we claim control of that territory, which is our bodies, our souls and our nation, these dope dealers, polluters and murderers will go on contaminating it with their political, economic and moral savagery.

Enjoy your holiday dinners, but don't expect much from the turkey in the White House. When we finally give "the bird" to the system he serves, we'll all be able to enjoy a real season of peace. Meanwhile, drive, and shop, carefully.

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