Well, it looks like the opposite is happening. Election technology and related components are getting worse, and the new commission headed by James Baker and impotent nice-guy Jimmy Carter bodes badly, suggesting that things will go even further downhill, disenfranchising even more poor people from voting.
The HAVA Help America Vote Act is spewing out billions of dollars that states are using to buy untrustworthy, unreliable machines. Georgia has already passed a law requiring voter IDs and poor people will have to buy them. This is tantamount to a poll tax. The new report from Carter and Baker is recommending an ID for voting and most states will probably charge for it, again, creating a poll tax that will discourage voting by the poor.
The criminals who have helped steal elections in Florida and Ohio have gotten off scott-free. Katherine Harris has been rewarded with a congressional seat. These criminals should be in jail at least, or, in my opinion, executed, for murdering democracy. That 's right --executed. People who meddle with the democracy that hundreds of thousands of Americans have died to defend deserve to die. And the threat of death should be used to dissuade potential perverters of justice.
Thomas Jefferson wrote, "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." He lived through a time when a fascist president, John Adams, under the pernicious law of the sedition act, was jailing people for speaking against the president and his administration. The vote back then was safe enough so Jefferson was able to unseat Adams and get himself elected president.
Now, it doesn 't look good for 2006 or 2008. There is talk that Cheney will run for president in 2008, and, if the election system is not made BETTER than it is now, the fix will be in and he 'll steal another election. In 2006, with millions of voters required to use less reliable electronic machines instead of their older, more reliable lever machines, the vote will be more at risk. Don 't give me "that 's paranoid " crap. The mainstream media have betrayed this nation. It is not enough to say they have failed to protect our democracy. They have CONSPIRED to destroy our democracy.
The tree of liberty is wilting and dying in the USA. It is at risk. From the robustness of the Iraqi struggle, it is clear that the Iraqi people care more and have more passion for their rights than the people here in the US, where complacency is killing what is left of a dying democracy.
Quiet, peaceful demonstrations will not bring about the changes that must be wrought for our nation to survive as a democracy. Rush Holt has a bill in congress, a new one, when his previous one never got enough support, to make voting trustworthy. Even though it is not a very strong bill, and fails to require that the paper ballots be the ones officially counted, hardly any Republicans have signed on to this bill. We must demand that this bill be passed before any more HAVA money is thrown away on bad technology. We must take whatever action is necessary to make it clear to the house and senate that clear laws must be passed requiring paper ballot records that will be used in all counts and recounts, requiring that any voter ID be provided for free, with federal subsidy, if necessary, and that any other approach to voter IDs be illegal. Tough laws should also be instituted making any efforts to corrupt the vote punishable by the severest penalties. People who contemplate corrupting the vote should not be able to sleep at night for fear, that if they are caught, they will end up in Guantanamo or worse.
We already live in a nation that has slid into deep debt, where there are over 20 nations with better educational systems, over 20 nations that have lover death rates for infants. Even the third world nations where the tsunami hit fared better than our own people in the gulf, where Katrina and the Levee floods hit. Our nation is going under and is at great risk. The time to be patient is over. The time to be nice to our right wing neighbors is over. They are supporting a regime of monsters that could end up making Hitler, Idi Amin and Mussolini look like mild mannered trolls. These right wing supporters declared war upon us years ago. They have been winning that war.
In my congressional district, we have a "nice guy " who, as a republican, rubber stamps 90% of the evil that Tom DeLay spews from his foul cavity. There are democratic congressmen and senators who sell their souls and support the right wing agenda because they fear the pressure in their red states. We can no longer let the surface "nice guy " image stand when underneath there is an obedient "soldier " working for right wing "generals. " These republican and centrist democrat legislators have no loyalty to their constituents or to the United States. They are loyal to big business, military big government, and they are a threat to the democratic nation our brave soldiers fought for.
Perhaps it is time for some Americans to find the toughness of the Iraqis to stand up to the true evil that threatens the world ... and that comes from within the USA. It is too easy and comfortable for these right wing enemies now. Yes, they are enemies. They will be happy to take away your freedoms. They have been thrilled to see elections stolen. They are happy to have the media corrupted and turned into a propaganda tool, though they are not satisfied that there are a handful of isolated voices of truth still allowed to persist. They would happily force their religious beliefs upon your children, and force you to live by their hypocritical "religious " rules and standards. They smile and wear friendly Santa pins and "Jesus loves you " pins while marching as soldiers for the transnational corporations that would kill you if it helped their bottom line.
It is easy, when one thinks this way, to understand, how, in the civil war of the 19th century, brother could fight against brother, neighbor against neighbor. I hope it is not too late to save our nation. The thought of what these monsters are doing and will continue to do for the next three years is horrifying. We must do all we can to turn the tide in the house and senate, as great as the odds may be. We must get Rush Holt 's HR 550 bill passed. We must bring some balance to the media. We must seriously fund progressive policy promotion organizations. We must lift ourselves to the next level of political activism in which we do more than write letters, more than mill passively in the streets. We must show the millions of people who are still asleep and not yet fully recruited by the evil forces within the US that they can not be comfortable with things as they are, that they ARE paying a dear price they never expected to pay. The Republican lies are wearing thin. Hurricane Katrina, at least for a few moments, pierced the veil. A few more sleeping dupes who voted for the right wing disaster team woke up and more are close to rousing. Now is the time to put the pressure on legislators, on the media and on the streets.
Tell your congressmen to support Rush Holt 's bill HR 550
Tell your senators that they must fight for a similar bill in the senate.
Tell your local newspapers how horrified you are with the incompetence you 've seen in the wake of Katrina. Tell them how disgusted you are by the cronyism that is continuing. And demand that they cover the insane rush to spend money on bad voting technology.