January 24, 2005
By Ernest Partridge, The Crisis Papers
Like biologists with evolution and atmospheric scientists with global climate change, those who warn us that our elections have been stolen and will be stolen again must now be wondering, "just how much evidence must it take to make our case and to convince enough of the public to force reform and secure our ballots?"
The answer, apparently, is no amount – no amount, that is, until more minds are opened. And that is more than a question of evidence, it is a question of collective sanity.
In his new book Fooled Again, Mark Crispin Miller not only presents abundant evidence that the 2004 election was stolen, but in addition he examines the political, social, and media environment which made this theft possible.
When I first read the book immediately after its publication, I confess that I was a bit disappointed. What I had hoped to find was a compendium of evidence, from front to back. To be sure, Miller gives us plenty of evidence, meticulously documented. But evidence tells us that the election was stolen. Miller goes beyond that to explain how and why it was stolen, and how the culprits have managed, so far, to get away with it.
So on second reading, I find that it was my expectation and not Miller’s book that was flawed. We have evidence aplenty, to be found in John Conyers’ report, and the new book by Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman, in addition to the Black Box Voting website among numerous others. Soon to be added is Prof. Steven Freeman’s book on the statistical evidence of election fraud. What we don’t gain from these sources is an understanding and appreciation of the context in which this crime was committed. This we learn from reading Miller’s book.
If, in fact, the last two presidential elections have been stolen, and if in addition there is a preponderance of evidence to support this claim, then this is the most significant political news in the 230 year history of our republic.
So what is the response of the allegedly "opposing" party to the issue of election fraud? Virtual silence. And of the news media? More silence. Case in point: the media response to Mark Crispin Miller’s Fooled Again. As he reports: "There have been no national reviews of Fooled Again. No network or cable TV show would have the author on to talk about the book. NPR has refused to have him on… Only one daily newspaper – the Florida Sun-Sentinel – has published a review."
Force the question of election fraud and demand an answer, and the most likely response will be a string of ad hominem insults – "sore losers," "paranoid," "conspiracy theorists" – attacks on the messenger and a dismissal of the message. We’ve heard them, many times over.
Persist, and you might get as a reply, not evidence that the elections were honest and valid (there is very little of that), but rather some rhetorical questions as to the attitudes and motives of the alleged perpetrators and to the practical difficulties of their successfully accomplishing a stolen national election. Questions such as these:
- How could the GOP campaign managers believe that they could get away with a stolen election?
- Why would they dare risk failure, and the subsequent criminal indictments and dissolution of their party?
- What could possibly motivate them to subvert the foundations of our democracy?
The answer to the first two questions is essentially the same: they believed and they dared because they controlled the media and thus the message. Miller’s sub-text throughout his book is that the great electoral hijack has been accomplished with the cooperation, one might even say the connivance, of the mainstream media, without which the crime could never have succeeded.
Immediately following the election, the critics were shouted down with such headlines as these: "Election paranoia surfaces; Conspiracy theorists call results rigged" (Baltimore Sun), "Internet Buzz on Vote Fraud is dismissed" (Boston Globe), "Latest Conspiracy Theory – Kerry Won – Hits the Ether" (Washington Post), and in the "flagship" newspaper, the New York Times: "Vote Fraud Theories, Spread by Blogs, Are Quickly Buried." (Miller, 38.)
Even more damaging than the slanted "reports" in the media, was the silence. The Conyers investigations? Ignored. The scholarly statistical analyses of exit poll discrepancies? Ignored. Evidence that Bush cheated in the debates with a listening device? Dismissed. The recent GAO report on e-voting vulnerabilities, and the Florida demonstration hacking of computer vote compilation? Ignored. And most appalling of all: the media blackout last week of Al Gore’s eloquent speech, warning of the threat to our Constitution and our liberties posed by the Bush regime.
And all this merely scratches the surface of media malpractice. For more, read the book.
The motivation to steal the election, says Miller, combined religious (or quasi-religious) dogma and self-righteousness and a perception of the opposing Democratic party, not as the loyal opposition, but as the enemy – deserving not defeat, but annihilation. ("You are either with us or against us," says Bush). Together, this adds up to what Miller calls "The Requisite Fanaticism." He writes:
It is not "conservatism" that impelled the theft of the election, nor was it merely greed or the desire for power per se… The movement now in power is not entirely explicable in such familiar terms… The project here is ultimately pathological and essentially anti-political, albeit Machiavellian on a scale, and to a degree, that would have staggered Machiavelli. The aim is not to master politics, but to annihilate it. Bush, Rove, DeLay, Ralph Reed, et al. believe in "politics" in the same way that they and their corporate beneficiaries believe in "competition." In both cases, the intention is not to play the game but to end it – because the game requires some tolerance of the Other, and tolerance is precisely what these bitter-enders most despise… (Miller 81-2.)
Reiterating a theme that is prominent in his writing, Miller points out that the psychological pathology most conspicuously at work in the right’s demolition of politics is projection: the attribution in "the enemy" of one’s own moral depravity:
The Bushevik, so full of hate, hates politics, and would get rid of it; and yet he is himself expert at dirty politics: an expertise that he regards as purely imitative and defensive. Because his enemies, he thinks, are all "political" – dishonest, ruthless, cynical, unprincipled – he is thereby "forced" to be "political" as well, in order to "fight fire with fire." As we have seen, this paranoid conviction of the Other’s perfidy suffuses and impels the propaganda campaigns of the right, and it was especially important in Bush/Cheney’s drive to steal the last election. Indeed it was their firm conviction that they had to steal the race, in order to frustrate the Democrats’ attempt to do it first. (Miller, 82.)
This is just a brief sampling of Miller’s astute political and psychological analysis of the "why" and the "how" of the stolen elections of 2000, 2002 and 2004. That analysis, which takes up about a third of the book (Chapters 3 and 4), adds an invaluable dimension to our understanding of the political disaster that has befallen our Republic, and that analysis suggests guidelines in the struggle to avoid the theft of the upcoming elections of 2006 and 2008.
I have written at length about what might be done if we are to restore the ballot box to the voters. These crucial steps come immediately to mind, as I read Miller’s Fooled Again.
Briefly, we need a media, we need an opposition party, we need an aroused public, and we need a miracle. But take heart: history tells us that political crises have a way of producing miracles.
The mainstream media (MSM) must be discredited and an alternative media established in its place. The internet offers a voice to an opposition that is excluded from the mainstream, and a few independent publications and broadcasts remain, however feeble in comparison to the MSM. If a sizeable portion of the public deserts the mainstream, and directly informs the publishers and broadcasters why they are doing so, the media, and particularly their sponsors and advertisers, will take notice. Recently, some of the media have become more critical of the Bush regime and the GOP Congress, but it is, by and large, too little and too late.
So either the commercial media must resume the role of watchdog of government power, as intended by Jefferson and Madison, or it must be made irrelevant. The Russian dissidents late in the Soviet era have given us an example: if you have no media, create one, even if it is suppressed by the government. It was called "Samizdat" – a painstaking process of typing several carbon copies of forbidden manuscripts on condition that the recipients would do likewise. Similarly, the Iranian dissidents during the reign of the Shah copied and distributed audio tapes of revolutionary speeches. In the computer age, there are huge advantages: Internet publication and, f the Internet is taken from us, CDs and minidiscs. For now, the Internet is our Samizdat.
The Democratic party is the only potentially effective opposition party in sight. But at the moment, it is a toothless tiger. We must tell that party that it must either lead the struggle to restore electoral integrity or step aside. When the Clintons, Cantwells, Liebermans and Feinsteins run for re-election, they must be opposed in the primaries by authentic progressives. Even if those progressives lose, but with a creditable showing, the "establishment" Democrats will nonetheless get the message. Next time you get a solicitation notice from the DNC or the Senate or Congressional Campaign Committees, tell them "no dice" unless they deal with the election fraud issue. Then tell them that instead of a contribution, you are purchasing Miller’s book and donating it to the local library.
As for the public, remember that more than half the public is awake, aware, and opposed to the Bush regime. Of these, a small but significant minority is convinced that election fraud is a serious problem. But that dissenting public lacks a voice, cohesion and leadership. This is a recipe for potentially sudden change: like fuel and oxygen, lacking the third necessity – heat of ignition. A message, from a Tom Paine or a Jefferson, or leadership from a Washington, a Gandhi, a Mandela or a Sakharov, can ignite the fire that will consume this evil regime. Or not. That depends on whether concerned citizens sit by and wait for others to act, or instead take some initiative and join the struggle – writing to Congress, talking to any and all associates that will listen and perhaps a few that won’t, contributing to alternative media, copying and distributing dissenting essays, and generally raising hell.
And finally, miracles: they are, by nature, unpredictable. Some possibilities: A few corporate and financial elites will finally come to realize that where Bush is leading, they don’t want to follow, and they will join the opposition. (There are a few intimations of this already). Similarly, perhaps a few journalists, and even some Republicans, will finally if belatedly decide that they would prefer not to live in a dictatorship. Bushenomics is bound to lead to an economic collapse that is certain to wake up the public. And even now, some state Attorney General or some District Attorney may be preparing an indictment for election fraud against an e-vote company executive that could break this conspiracy wide open.
But don’t wait for miracles to happen – make them happen.
If we are to take back our country, we must first take back our vote. Mark Crispin Miller’s book will tell you what has happened, how and why it has happened, and what must be done about it.
Will we, the people, take up the challenge? On that question rests the fate of our republic, of our liberties, and of "our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor."
Dr. Ernest Partridge is a consultant, writer and lecturer in the field of Environmental Ethics and Public Policy. He publishes the website, The Online Gadfly and co-edits the progressive website, The Crisis Papers. He is at work on a book, Conscience of a Progressive, which can be seen in-progress here. Send comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org.