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Aug 24th
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If democracy is denied by Michael Carmichael PDF Print E-mail

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The sheer momentum of the Obama-Biden ticket has triggered  frantic and massive Republican vote-rigging operations in key battleground states designed to manufacture a counterfeit majority in the Electoral College. 

Tactical operations now stemming from the McCain-Palin campaign and its surrogates are designed to lead to litigation in the Supreme Court now under the direction of Chief Justice John Roberts who capably served under James Baker and George W. Bush as the primary architect of the legal maneuvers that decided the presidential election of 2000 by a party line vote in the Rehnquist Court.

Given the current momentum and dynamics of the presidential campaign, it now appears as if the Democratic ticket led by Obama-Biden will capture a clear majority of votes on Election Day.  That said, it is equally clear that Rovian strategies of electoral subterfuge are now being deployed to rig the election and morph a Democratic win in the popular vote into a narrow defeat in the Electoral College mirroring the election of 2000.  Republican plans are now afoot to install McCain-Palin regardless of the outcome of the votes cast in the election. 

Following a stream of reports in the mainstream media, it is now perfectly clear that -- due to the collapse of the McCain-Palin ticket in a growing number of national polls, Republican strategic operations have shifted gears and are now engaged in executing a tactical campaign involving vote suppression, vote-rigging, litigation and the ultimate nullification of the election results.  The Republican Party is now deeply engaged  in the process of deploying thousands of highly trained operatives in the guise of ‘observers’ to the polls on Election Day to target and intimidate poor, minority and recently  voters. 

In court documents, Republican officials that they have used foreclosure lists to target and disqualify registered voters on Election Day.  The situation is critical -- voter suppression operations in key battleground states are targeting Democratic strongholds, intimidating voters and jeopardizing the ballots they cast in a coordinated operation to skew the results in favor of the increasingly unpopular McCain-Palin ticket. 

There is little serious doubt that the systematic suppression of Democratic voters and the disqualification of their ballots will unfold on Election Day.  In Ohio, Michigan and other states large-scale Republican-backed voter suppression operations are now well underway.  Obama-Biden supporters have already filed suit in Michigan, but there is an urgent need for more proactive lawsuits – and more public awareness about the immediate threat to American democracy.

According to Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and other electoral experts – partisan voter purges are taking place in Florida, Colorado, New Mexico and other battleground states to delete up to 20 per cent of eligible poor, black and Hispanic voters from the rolls.  Greg Palast, the bestselling author of The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, has issued shrill warnings that Rovian election-stealing operations are already in advanced stages of execution.   Amy Goodman of Democracy Now interviewed Mark Crispin Miller who attested to the covert threat of massive cyber-fraud to rig the election in key battleground states by agents he identified as evangelical computer technicians motivated by the anti-abortion agenda of McCain-Palin.  Earlier this week, Rachel Maddow interviewed Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. who described some of the most insidious threats to the integrity of the vote and urged the audience to read his graphic voter guide, Steal Back Your Vote.

Given the history of the past two elections, this rapidly growing constellation of threats to millions of eligible Democratic voters must be taken seriously. To defend against the cynical and insidious scenario emerging from the McCain-Palin campaign, it is both prudent and patriotic to develop a preliminary contingency plan.

In American history, peaceful demonstrations have led to the abolition of slavery, women’s suffrage and the civil rights movement.  In other nations, people have organized massive nonviolent demonstrations to protest unrepresentative governments and the stealing of presidential elections.  For instance, in 1989 the Velvet Revolution in Prague propelled Václav Havel to power over an unpopular but entrenched Communist government in Czechoslovakia.  Here is a brief synopsis of the early stages of the Velvet Revolution. 

  1. Students organized a peaceful demonstration in Prague to shed Communist rule.  Labor unions organized simultaneous nonviolent demonstrations in several Czech cites.
  2. The police clashed with the demonstrators. 
  3. Negotiations between students and the government led to assurances that the police would not crush the popular movement. 
  4. A massive demonstration was organized on Wenceslas Square, at the same time demonstrations unfolded in other Czech cities amid calls for a general strike.
  5. Religious, civic, labor and artistic leaders announced their support for the students. 
  6. Employees of the state media threatened to strike if events taking place were suppressed or ignored by the media. 
  7. Uncensored reports of the Velvet revolutionary events were reported. 
  8. Military leaders refused to take any action against the people involved. 
  9. State television broadcast a speech by Václav Havel. 
  10. Leaders of the opposition were granted time on television, and large newspapers began to join the opposition movement. 
  11. A cascade of public demonstrations led to negotiations between the Public Against Violence and the civic authorities.

Given the lessons of history, both American and Czech – non-violent public mobilization for progressive change strengthens democratic traditions.

In the event of a third stolen presidential election in the United States, peaceful public pressure should be brought to bear on what will be seen by the majority of American citizens as a rogue regime arriving in the wake of another corrupt presidential election.

Under any conceivable set of circumstances, it would be foolish to ignore Rovian plans for the stealing of the 2008 presidential election while Republican field agents are busy marshalling their forces to manufacture a synthetic majority of the Electoral College for McCain-Palin.

If corrupt Republican operations are allowed to steal a third consecutive presidential election – peaceful protest should be marshaled to morph a crime against constitutional democracy into a Red, White & Blue Democratic Revolution for America modeled on the Velvet Revolution of 1989.

Responsible contingency plans should be moved into position to organize peaceful protests in Washington DC, Chicago, New York and other cities in the immediate aftermath of November 4th. 

Licenses and permits for marching in Washington, DC and other cities to enable students, organized labor, peace groups and progressive reformers to mobilize should be organized as a prudent first step toward defending and promoting democracy in America.

Initial contingency planning and preliminary organization for nonviolent demonstrations from student, labor, religious, civic and civil rights groups as well as the police, the military and the media should commence before the election takes place on the 4th of November.  Planning and preliminary organization should proceed as a matter of course.

If Obama-Biden wins an outright majority in the Electoral College that now seems probable, peaceful public demonstrations of enthusiastic support for the progressive agenda will strengthen the political mandate for positive change.

An earlier version of this paper was circulated privately on September 27th.

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Comments (1)Add Comment
written by Entebbe, October 26, 2008
Indeed, the election process in America in modern times, with the disenchisement of qualified voters, has made a mockery of Democracy. Excellent article.

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