The Color Of Dissent: Preparing For The Stolen 2006 Mid-Term Elections
Note: I am republishing this post (one of the first ones that I wrote for this blog) because it fits in with the theme that I have been stuck on this week, that we the people are the last line of defense against the absolute power being rapidly consolidated into what was once our White House, but is now George Bush’s house. It doesn’t matter how an election is stolen, by putting fewer voting machines in Democratic districts, by erroneously putting law abiding voters on felon’s lists, by randomly instituting absurd levels of compliance to HAVA recommendations or by “flipping” results on automated vote counting machines. If the will of the people is thwarted, however it is done, it is the duty of the people to make their voices heard. This is my humble suggestion for one way to do that if the worst-case scenario becomes reality (again).
In November 2004 the election results were in and there were discrepancies between the exit polling and the official results. There were widespread reports of voter fraud and voter intimidation. Collin Powel said in a press briefing, “We cannot accept this result as legitimate because it does not meet international standards and because there has not been an investigation of the numerous and credible reports of fraud and abuse." The White House issued a statement saying that the United States is "deeply disturbed by extensive and credible indications of fraud in the presidential election”. George W. Bush went on to say, "These elections ought to be open and fair. The position of our government is that the will of the people must be known and heard.” Of course, they were not referring to our election, but rather the election in the Ukraine.
When US policy demands that a democratic election be overturned in a foreign country (on those rare occasions when we are unable to rig it before hand) we use exit polls and immediate activation of organized “protests” by the people to do it. One must only look to the election in the Ukraine to see how it works and how effective it can be. While our own election was riddled with fraud and our exit polls indicated there were serious problems with the official results, instead of watching Americans up in arms and demanding a fair accounting of the election process on television, we watched Ukrainians doing it in their country. The protestors in the Ukraine had two important things that those who protested the election here at home did not, strong organization and more importantly, an easily identifiable marker of dissent.
The CIA knows that in order to get the number of protestors to swell, they must make it easy to identify and easy to join. That way, those who are inclined to add their voices, can add them to an already robust choir. A flourishing movement will sweep people up, trying to get one going, now that’s the hard part. In the Ukraine, it was as simple as the color orange. Orange signs, orange shirts, orange armbands and orange hats were on display everywhere. Ukrainians who were inclined to challenge the election were able to look out of their window, see the orange all around them and know that they were not alone. They could walk outside, join the sea of orange and have their sense of solidarity increased as they were immediately handed an orange armband of their own, now marking them as one of many in a fight against injustice. No one wants to be the lone dissenter against the power structure, but most of us are energized by the act of joining a crowd with a common cause.
For those of us who believe that the next election is only going to bring more of the same, we should start preparing now to fight the injustice we know is coming. We should be stocking up on bright orange shirts and hats and hording bright orange fabric and start sewing away on those armbands and flags that people can attach to their car antennae (we know how much Americans love to decorate their cars). Orange paper to print up flyers to pass out on the street and post up on every telephone pole and orange banners to place on freeway overpasses and orange stickers (you know, for kids). By having an easily identifiable marker of dissent, an instant community is created.
After the 2004 election, those of us who knew there was something fishy going on, were left alone to wander the streets scowling at people around us wondering, “are you one of the idiots that voted for this jerk?” Imagine instead walking down the street and having our eyes drawn to all the orange t-shirts and bumper stickers around us, pointing out all of the people of like minded dissent. Instead of a feeling of hopelessness, we would all be comforted by the knowledge that we are not alone and fueled by the possibility that our numbers will grow.
So we must prepare for the next election by making sure we are registered to vote or by knocking on doors for candidates or issues that we believe in or by writing to our elected officials telling them we have no intention of voting in unverifiable elections, but whatever else we do, let’s give some thought to what we will do after the election results come in. Hopefully we will have no need for orange in our future, but let’s also hope that if we do, there will be plenty of it visible from our windows and that it spreads like wildfire all across the country.