fooled again

Every so often, someone says I moved to Canada because I couldn't accept that the Democrats lost the 2004 election, that I am a "sore loser", and that no one should leave a country over who is president. Occasionally they throw in that they didn't like Clinton, but didn't leave the country when he was president. (How nice for them.)

I am forever explaining that we made the decision to emigrate long before the 2004 election, we filed our applications in early 2004, and we were leaving no matter who won. Liberals who briefly contemplated leaving the US after the last election - but who feel the election of John Kerry would have solved the problem - didn't go anywhere.

With that preface, I also say that the 2000 and 2004 "elections" figured prominently in our decision - but not solely because of the outcomes. Allan and I both believe that the US does not have fair and free elections. And if you don't have fair elections, what makes it a democracy?

(I used to blog about this all the time. There are lots of old posts if you feel like digging them up. Search for Black Box Voting.)

Through reading and observing, I've come to believe that the US is governed under a new form of fascism, one that retains the superficial appearance of democracy. We don't see tanks rolling down the street. There's no assassination or military coup. Elections aren't suspended - in fact, they're intensified. So the rest of the world, even the majority that knows the Cheney White House for what it is, is not unduly alarmed.

The citizens continue living their lives relatively undisturbed. They work, or try to, they struggle to support their families, they shop, they follow sports, they go to church, they watch TV. Ordinary life gets harder for many, softer for a few, but it continues. Activists, both left and right, continue to work on individual issues, judicial appointments or pending legislation. Sometimes they win, and are encouraged, and keep working.

Every four years, the circus comes to town. It appears to be an election. Hundreds of millions of dollars are spent, thousands of hours of air time used, untold words written and speeches made. About half the eligible population trots off to the polls, thinking they have voted.

But it's a sham. It's a stage set. And not just because neither party is working for real change. Because it's not really an election.

In Mark Crispin Miller's new book, Fooled Again, John Kerry says he knows the 2004 election was stolen, but feels that political expedience demands he keep quiet. As you probably know, Kerry has denied saying this. Those of us who know Miller's work know that Kerry absolutely must have said exactly what Miller says he did.

Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman wrote How The GOP Stole America's 2004 Election And Is Rigging 2008, and, with Steve Rosenfeld, What Happened In Ohio (to be published in the spring). Read their most recent story in The Free Press.


mkk said...

Laura, this piece is brilliant and extraordinaryily well written! Now I'm going to explore all your links, and perhaps we'll start packing our bags -- figuratively, anyway, as we know it's a very long process. I may also begin to correspond with some of wmtc's BC readers.

L-girl said...

Oh my, thank you so much. It's the same old thing I say all the time - but wmtc has so many new readers, I thought it was time to repeat myself. Thank you for your feedback, I'm much abashed.

Wouldn't that be amazing, if you and MAK ended up in Canada, too...!

mkk said...

MAK's response: "That would not be outside the realm of possibility." Actually, he's the one who continues to talk about it nearly every day, as he has done for a couple of years. We've done some sporadic research and are tentatively planning a trip in either April or July.

Typo check: I meant "extraordinarily," of course! You know how typos drive me crazy.

L-girl said...

We all wish we could spell check - or at least edit - comments!

Expat Traveler said...

I'm there for editing the comments.

But you hit the head on the nail with politics. For me it's just so hard to explain why I don't live in the states and why I left in 2001. Why I don't give a crap about voting there because really our vote doesn't matter. Why can't people understand that?

I guess being able to hear the non-censored version of life in the real world really brightened my awareness too.

G said...

The transition from America to Amerikka seems just about complete.

This is frightening for many Canadians, in terms of where it places us with the rest of the world.

We do have a relationship with the US, one that is complex and cannot be ignored. We do depend upon the US for certain things, and the US depends upon Canada (though they hate to admit it) for others.

Yet, here is the America of today, functioning under politicians lost in their own hypocrisies as they defend a Constitution that's arguably lost all meaning under their rule, with the rest of the world beginning to see through the mask and question how they can follow such a vision of democracy.

This puts Canada in a tough spot. We continue to support our neighbours with the hope that one day they will begin to right the ship, but at the same time, we have to worry about just how long it will be before we face international threats (be it trade relations or terror) simply for the existance that relationship.

Maybe it isn't a huge worry just yet, but it is one that is growing, and in the minds of many Canadians. The best we can do right now is to hope that America does begin to get it right, sooner rather than later, lest we all suffer for their quest for defacto leadership of the entire world (honestly, is it anything other than that?).

After all, Rome may not have been built in a day, but when it fell, it fell hard and relatively fast, and it never did recover. And here we have history repeating itself once more ... to the peril of those who are still friends and neighbours of a nation with so much potential.

L-girl said...

Great stuff, G. Worthy of a post over at LB. :)

For me it's just so hard to explain why I don't live in the states and why I left in 2001. Why I don't give a crap about voting there because really our vote doesn't matter. Why can't people understand that?

As much as I believe the US election system is rigged, I've never not voted, and have expended an enormous amount of energy encouraging others to vote. The only hope for change is in people's movements. For that, people have to be active and engaged, and voting is often the first step.

I feel that not voting is exactly what the powers that be want. The fewer people who are engaged in the system, the more they can get away with.

And if the true votes are ever uncovered and counted, I want to be among them. I want the world to know how many people really voted against the Bush junta.

Expat Traveler said...

I've voted every time too. But my biggest problem is that I don't see a solution to the change. I'm just puzzled on how this can happen.

L-girl said...

I'm glad to know you voted. :)

And clearly, voting is not a solution, does not bring about enough change or give us enough power. So I understand exactly where you're coming from.

Masnick96 said...

well said....