My guest today is author, activist and frequent OpEdNews contributor, Harvey Wasserman. You wrote "An Election---and a Nation---Lost in Afghanistan & Vietnam" this post-Election Day morning. It's a pretty grim piece. Where do we find ourselves today?
HW: We're in, as always, the best of times, the worst of times.
The GOP control of the Senate is a horrific development. There's a high likelihood of a Republican president in 2016, most likely Jeb Bush.
The money is pouring into our elections from the billionaires. Jim Crow is in charge of voter registration, and the electronic voting machines are rigged.
Our public servants are being transformed into corporate zombies.
But we also won on marijuana in Oregon and DC, and it got nearly 50% of the vote in Florida. And the good people of Richmond, California, withstood a HUGE attack from Chevron.
At the core of our national disease is the unending imperial war, currently in southwest Asia. Barack Obama has repeated the tragedy of Lyndon Johnson.
On the surface, things could hardly be worse.
The most important challenge we now face is the preservation of the internet. Without net neutrality, our job of saving the planet will be much, much harder.
And yet"I believe we know what we are up against, and have the ultimate power to win"because in the long run, the survival instinct will trump the profit motive.
JB: Many of us are still reeling from the election results. At least part of the Republican sweep was caused by legal voters in many states being turned away from the polls in record numbers. Doesn't seem kosher to "win" that way. Before we move on to the crucial fight for net neutrality, I'd like to touch on a few issues you raised. What happened in Richmond, California?
HW: In Richmond, Chevron poured in $3 million (at least) to defeat a mayor and city council that want to regulate Chevron's polluting facilities in the town. It was assumed that wave of money would wipe out the environmentalists, but, in fact, they won. A great victory.
However, in Florida there is no way Rick Scott was rightfully re-elected. In states all over the US, the Jim Crow denial of citizens' legitimate right to vote was critical. There's no way to get an exact tally, but this "great Republican sweep" was clearly made possible, in large part, by outright theft and disenfranchisement.
JB: That is good news about Richmond! How can you say that Rick Scott and others were not legitimately elected? Is that sour grapes or an overly strong reaction to the election results? What proof do you have?
HW: Tens of thousands of citizens were de-registered or blocked from voting in Florida. Was it the margin of victory for Rick Scott? Highly likely. Other close races around the country were similarly impacted.