The Joke’s On Us

Have you heard the one about the 2014 midterm elections?  Reporter asks the Senator from Kentucky, “Well, Senator, did you vote today?”  Senator says, “Hell no, son. Nowadays it’s easier to steal an election than to vote in one!”  You don’t have to be an investigative reporter to get to the meat of this joke, just a laptop and a search engine.  The facts are very well documented indeed.  Check out Billionaires and Ballot Bandits or Jim Crow Returns (Greg Palast), the film Stealing America Vote by Vote (Dorothy Fadiman), Black Box Voting (Bev Harris), Voting Machines: Computerized Election Theft and Code Red: Computerized Election Theft and the New American Century (Jonathan Simon), Dollarocracy (John Nichols and Robert McChesney), or 12 Ways Jim Crow is Winning in 2014 (Harvey Wasserman and Robert Patrakis) to get into the mood.

Voter suppression in a variety of forms has stripped the vote from many hundreds of thousands, potentially millions, of Hispanic, African-American, and Asian-Americans.  If your name is Juan Rodriguez, David Park, Keisha Jackson or any number of common ethnic names you may have been purged from the voter rolls in South Carolina, Virginia and twenty-seven other states because you voted twice.  The proof is your name.

An outfit called Interstate Crosscheck, hatched by the Republican Kris W. Kobach, Secretary of State of Kansas, has listed 7,000,000 potential voter fraudsters. Almost all of the names are Hispanic, African-American, or Asian-Americans. Just ask Google.  North Carolina actually hired an ex-FBI investigator to catch one of 170,000 fraudulent voters listed on the Crosscheck rolls. Since 2006 he has arrested and convicted zero.

The beneficiaries of Crosscheck are overwhelmingly Republican candidates for governor and the U.S. Senate. Six of the seven states with Republican Senate take-overs were Crosscheck clients.  Sixteen out of twenty-seven Republican senators in Crosscheck states won close races. Three new governors in Crosscheck states won and four new state legislatures were added controlling sixty-seven out of ninety-eight state legislative chambers in the U.S.

We who were born, raised, and educated in this country think democracy is an American quality.  It simply surrounds us like air, water, and sunlight.  In fact it is not. We can lose it just like any other people.  We can lose it to a far right political party with a corporate agenda, just like German and Italy before us.  In fact, a gentleman named Generalissimo Benito Mussolini is said to have defined fascism as corporatism plus reaction, a fair definition of today’s Republican party.  Are we in real trouble now?