My intent in writing that article was not cynicism but honest questioning and exposure of what the voting process in this nation has become in recent years. It was authentic and sprang from genuine issues I had at the time regarding the wisdom of voting in a federal election. Since then, my skepticism of the integrity of the electronic voting machine process has deepened exponentially. And since then, Bev Harris of Black Box Voting produced an HBO documentary "Hacking Democracy" which exposes the jaw-dropping abuses of the electronic voting system and calls into question the veracity of any outcomes produced by it.
In fact, as recently as the New Hampshire primary, 2008, Black Box Voting and others have illumined spurious results in electronic voting in that state. Harvey Wasserman and Bob Fitrakis painstakingly researched the 2004 election and concluded in 2005 that, "The latest critical confirmation of key indicators that the election of 2004 was stolen comes in an extremely powerful, penetrating report from the Government Accountability Office that has gotten virtually no mainstream media coverage." In 2007, Wasserman shared his irrefutable confirmation of a stolen 2004 election in an exclusive interview on Democracy Now.
As I've frequently stated, I will never again vote in an election where I cannot use a paper ballot. For me to do otherwise, I believe, is to engage in a shell game of smoke and mirrors to which I will not sacrifice the preciousness of my right to vote in a so-called democratic republic.
As for my 2004 article, the world is remarkably different than it was then, and so am I. A larger, bleaker picture has emerged since then-one which for me calls into question the very process of selecting and electing candidates in the context of empire-in a culture of fascism, genocide, greed, corruption, and ecoside. It is that larger scenario that this article addresses.
For me, the first issue is the political system itself which is indistinguishable from the corporatocracy. The Democratic and Republican parties are de facto extensions of corporate America. Unless a candidate is systemically embedded in the corporatocracy, not only for the purpose of raising money, but in order to insure electability, she/he cannot succeed. Candidates from the Green Party or others such as Kucinich and Paul, are unequivocally consigned to the periphery, and while they may add fascinating nuances from the media-image perspective, they have exactly a snowball's chance in hell of prevailing. And while I could cast my vote for one of the peripheral candidates as a moral statement, it would be meaningless in terms of affecting change. In summary, if my vote won't make a difference, I'm not willing to cast it.
Now let's examine more closely the notion of affecting change, and let's be painfully honest about whether the current political system in America is even remotely capable of it. If only candidates embedded in the corporatocracy have any chance of winning, what is the purpose of voting? Choosing the "lesser evil" you say? Holding one's nose and voting? Those very expressions belie the political, moral, philosophical, and cultural sewer into which the nation has deteriorated. They also belie the magnitude of the situation, the surface of which could not even be scratched by the most uncorrupted candidate, let alone a corporate clone. You really must have a great deal of blind faith and uncritical thinking when playing in this system; in fact, you must be swimming in raging rivers of denial in order to even engage with it.
But that should not surprise any of us. We live in an extraordinarily adolescent culture. The election charade that occurs every four years has been constructed by an emotionally pubescent media, creating and gratifying a puerile citizenry, which like the sixteen year-old male drooling over the prospect of owning a Hummer, cares about absolutely nothing but image. The level on which problems are even perceived, let alone addressed, is not even adolescent, it's downright infantile. An essential aspect of childhood is fantasy, and the infantile/adolescent fantasy of America is that a corporate clone, obligated to his/her ruling elite handlers and contributors, willing to say or do anything to get elected, needing to address only a narrow spectrum of issues in order to prevail, is capable of meaningfully confronting issues such as climate change, energy depletion, population overshoot, species extinction, and global economic cataclysm.