HOW TO SAVE DEMOCRACY? we ask: WHY, and WHEN?
The well-known legacy activist and writer Victoria Collier, a veteran election-integrity movement leader, asked this question last night at a leadership conference held at the University of DC Law School by Progressive Democrats of America, now also People Demanding Action.
Collier wanted to know where the movement should go if we haven't yet succeeded in convincing the people, all the people, that without the vote there can be no democracy, that their vote counts. Even the MSM made a Hollywood film back in 2008, Swing Vote. Unfortunately, it was a comedy. People went away laughing about one vote making such a huge difference.
"Without the vote, we are toast," Collier said. But voting is outsourced and privatized--all major vendors are conservative Republicans certifying their products, with their proprietary sourceware, through independent test authorities whom they know and trust . . . to certify faulty and easily hacked machinery.
"The back room has become the black box," said Collier. Her father and uncle, James M. and Kenneth F. Collier, "the Collier brothers" who wrote their story of battling back room-primitive computer corruption, Votescam, would swiftly recognize black-box tactics, the corrupted and corruptible software that works so hard to force the GOP agenda on this dying beloved country.
And that's just the beginning. There are so many ways to purge voter roles of the "underclasses," including people of color, victims of poverty, youth, disabled people, and felons who have served their terms and want to rejoin mainstream society, voting as well as paying taxes, which they are always obliged to. These are enough of the people who vote Democratic swept under the rug to assure GOP sweeps.
So if we're struggling so to increase the number of qualified voters who can vote, where are the Democrats, the people's party? Where is their very necessary support? Are they spineless? Yes. Do they want to rock the vote? No. Are they always ten years behind the Progressives in discovering things wrong and sweeping them under carpets while groveling for Super PAC funding to carry forth their extremely diluted platforms? Ask President Obama, who vehemently supports TPP.
Part of our job is to publicize widely the huge difference between voter fraud (proved again and again to be nonexistent though rumored to be rampant by extremist wingnuts) and election fraud, the ubiquitous cancer sweeping the country's cardinal and ordinal values into oblivion. Once upon a time there was a Constitution, until George W. Bush called it a piece of paper and SCOTUS took it from there. Once upon a time there was a Declaration of Independence, until someone read down a few paragraphs and found our Native peoples referred to as savages. Well, that hatred has borne fruit.
Once upon a time there were foresightful founding fathers who realized the dangers their doctrines could lead to in the wrong hands.
They left voting and elections to the individual states largely. So it's at slightly above the grassroots level, i.e., the state legislatures, who may listen to us, said Collier. We still vote them into office. They still promise to care about us. Some have no choice, voted in by large Democratic majorities.
Catch them before they have to cheat to rise.
We must count our paper ballots by hand right where the people cast them. We must junk the junky electronic machinery purchased hysterically to avoid Florida 2000, a ghost that not only haunts us even now, but has infected elections with countless other forms of corruption. We must allow the hand count blocked in Miami-Dade County by Republican stooges to proceed, with legible ballots this time.
We must involve youth in civic affairs, convince them that they matter--their votes and civil service, to the future of democracy. We can pay them to man precincts on election days, as a start. We can teach them light--to divorce money from politics and let ballots, not bucks, elect our leaders.
We must reach out to the small patches of blue within scarlet states and make sure they are represented rather than melded into Republican districts to find representation on ballots but nothing beyond that.
Many ideas were traded by the smallest breakout group at the conference. Did you know that the presidential election in Georgia was more catastrophic in 2000 than what happened in Florida? Ditto for New Mexico? Small numbers of electoral votes do add up, as must support for the goals of election integrity: to keep democracy alive.