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The Fool's Ballot

By       Message Paul Jacobs       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   No comments

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A fool's ballot works the same way as fool's gold, only Mother Nature isn't doing the fooling. In both cases, a person thinks they are holding something of value because they don't understand the composition of that which they hold. Wishful thinking comes into play as one wants to believe they have struck it rich or are partaking in an important function of democracy, but in actuality the thing treasured turns out to be worthless. A ballot that isn't counted in the open is as relatively worthless as a rock called pyrite.

Americans believe we have the best democracy in the world and reject notions of mass election fraud because that only happens in other, lesser countries. We accept that politicians are corrupt as reflected in the low approval rating of most in public office. We read and hear of scandal after scandal, but refuse to think that those same corrupt politicians would corrupt the whole system of our precious democracy. Maybe that's why they call it the American dream?

The citizenry has been sleeping and once again, the aristocrats have run off with our very liberty. Apparently, it wasn't enough for democracy to be taken over by lobbyists and obscenely expensive campaign financing. Transnational corporations weren't satisfied with closing America's mom and pop stores, exporting jobs to other nations and fleecing the public through scheming the energy and financial markets. Even broken down and broke, the public is still the political decider with the power of the vote, and that's why it's been taken away from us.

Just like every other part of the commons that has been transferred to private industry, the final lynchpin of democracy – the ballot – is now but another commodity to be traded in a clandestine market. "Those who cast the vote decide nothing; those who count the vote decide everything," as Joseph Stalin liked to say.

Still, Americans sleep even after our supposed leaders erroneously and illegally attacked a sovereign nation that posed absolutely no threat to our own soil. We accept unwarranted government eavesdropping and what has to be the most dumbed-down news media in the world.

Sometimes I don't know whether to throw up my hands in despair or to clasp my hands together in prayer that we evolve past this dark era of human destruction and into enlightenment. In the meantime, I put my hands to the keyboard to compose text to reach out to patriots on the web and to speak directly to power at government meetings. We mustn't go silently into the abyss.

Voting to me anymore is only symbolic of a bygone democracy that I still believe in. Where my vote goes, nobody knows. When I say the Pledge of Allegiance to our flag, I do so out of loyalty to our nation and not to any political party. I see the substance through all the symbolism and I'm not afraid to admit it when I'm holding a piece of fool's gold. But I keep on mining for a real piece of democracy.


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Paul has worked in health care for the past 30 years and writes a weekly column for a local newspaper in California. He is involved in local civics, a member of Citizens for Democracy, Temecula Valley and active in the election integrity movement. (more...)

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