Fool Me Once…
If you haven’t read Robert Kennedy’s article in Rolling Stone, go do that now. I didn’t learn anything new by reading it, but it did reawaken the outrage I felt that dark day in November and it has both depressed and reinvigorated me. I think Kennedy sums up the situation nicely in the conclusion of his article:
The issue of what happened in 2004 is not an academic one. For the second election in a row, the president of the United States was selected not by the uncontested will of the people but under a cloud of dirty tricks. Given the scope of the GOP machinations, we simply cannot be certain that the right man now occupies the Oval Office -- which means, in effect, that we have been deprived of our faith in democracy itself.
American history is littered with vote fraud -- but rather than learning from our shameful past and cleaning up the system, we have allowed the problem to grow even worse. If the last two elections have taught us anything, it is this: The single greatest threat to our democracy is the insecurity of our voting system. If people lose faith that their votes are accurately and faithfully recorded, they will abandon the ballot box. Nothing less is at stake here than the entire idea of a government by the people.
Voting, as Thomas Paine said, ''is the right upon which all other rights depend.'' Unless we ensure that right, everything else we hold dear is in jeopardy.
And it is just that simple. I know that I voted with little enthusiasm in the last election and I have no real faith that the will of the voters will be achieved in the midterms coming up this November. With the outrageous hijacking of our government by corrupt and damaged people that has already occurred with little resistance from the people, I just don’t see another shady election making much of a difference. I will still vote, but I have no illusions that my vote will be counted if it becomes necessary that it doesn’t. And come 2008, when we have another Presidential election, if my fellow citizens in the battleground states have their votes manipulated, thrown out, distorted or destroyed, then my vote means nothing, whether it’s counted or not. We all have to wrap our brains around that concept before any real change will happen.