As Political Narcotic
By Joel S. Hirschhorn
01 November, 2007
Fast forward to Election Day
2008: Network anchors, cable pundits, and state and local election officials
are going nuts as evening hours pass and voter turnout is hardly approaching
20 percent nearly everywhere. “What’s going on?” everyone
is asking incredulously. TV and computer screens all over the planet
show Americans in streets celebrating and shouting things like “We’ve
had enough political corruption. We’re not going to take anymore!”
In contrast, news anchors
are grim and aghast with little help from spin-fatigued and stammering
Democratic and Republican spokespeople. At 2 A.M. on NBC Brian Williams
sits with Tim Russett and Keith Olbermann, and sums up: “Americans
have spoken and American politics have changed forever.” “It’s
like the nightmare of entertainers: nobody shows up for their event,”
says bemused Olbermann. Russett grimly observes, “We should have
seen this coming; people have been fed up with both parties for a long
time.” Meanwhile, the Internet is buzzing with talk of voiding
the presidential and congressional election results, that President
Bush may declare a national state of emergency, and that the Supreme
Court might step in again. Did anyone think that the Constitution required
a minimum voter turnout to make elections legit?
system is a large and complex criminal conspiracy. Most voters enable
it without benefiting from it. Voting is a ploy of the two-party power
elites to keep the population docile, delusional and duped. Our government
has been hijacked in plain sight, despite elections. We cannot get it
back by voting. All the main candidates are part of the conspiracy.
Voting only encourages them. In our fake democracy corrupt politicians
use doses of voting as a political narcotic. We must free more Americans
of the addiction. Otherwise they will keep hallucinating that some Democratic
or Republican President or controlled Congress will actually give us
the changes we crave for.
Attempts to hold the government
accountable have failed and will continue to fail. The system is rotten
to the core. It sustains itself both by preventing major political reforms
and undermining those that get passed to temporarily placate the public.
Arrogant power elites feel no obligation to be accountable to the public.
Elections are not a threat to the status quo. Elections are distractive
entertainment, a political narcotic.
Voting became a political
narcotic when it stopped working to improve government and became used
to legitimize a corrupt, two-party failed government.
Voting – especially
lesser-evil voting – sustains our fake democracy more than any
other citizen action. It lets politicians claim that they represent
the sovereign people. It tells the world that our elected government
has public support. Voting sends the wrong message to everyone. No matter
who you vote for, voting says the political system is fair. It is not.
Power elites own the government
and use it to serve their interests and protect a corporate plutocracy.
Though a numerical minority – probably about 20 million Americans
– an Upper Class easily manipulates the remaining 280 million
by controlling the consumer economy, the distractive culture, and government
policies and spending.
This is what America’s
political freedom has morphed into: Dissidents free to protest (to make
us feel good). Elites free to control (to maintain corruption). Conned
citizens free to vote (to keep the system looking democratic). And most
Americans free to borrow, spend and consume (to stay hooked on work,
antidepressants, sleeping pills, alcohol, sports, computers, religion,
gambling and illegal drugs). Where do you fit in?
In our drugged fake democracy,
Americans replace objective reality with illusions. The US does not
excel in nearly any statistical measure of democracies. Our voter turnout
is a disgrace. We imprison more people than all other nations combined.
We do not provide universal health care or affordable prescription drugs.
Our primary education system is mostly awful. Economic inequality is
incredible – with the top one percent owning 21 percent of the
nation’s wealth – and getting worse. People are made addicted
to consumption and borrowing, then left to suffer from crippling debt.
Painful economic insecurity blinds the submissive middle class whose
belief in the American dream is akin to expecting to win a lottery.
In a nation that supposedly
prizes competitiveness there is no real political competition. The two
major parties maintain a collusive stranglehold on our government. Third
party candidates are purposefully disadvantaged. Incumbents can thwart
opponents. Worse, though the two major parties shout their differences,
they are merely two sides of the same coin, two heads of the same beast,
two servants of the Upper Class, and two protectors of the corporate
plutocracy. They are criminal co-conspirators. Superficial differences
between candidates keep voters entertained, manipulated and rooting
for “their” team in the political game that the mainstream
corporate media (more co-conspirators) make tons of money from.
In this charade minor, maverick
primary season presidential candidates contribute to the illusion of
a competitive system. Their loyalty to party trumps their commitment
to major political reforms. They do not tell their supporters that if
they do not receive the nomination “stay home” rather than
vote for one of their opponents. No, those they opposed in the primary
season are seen as lesser evils than anyone from the other party. This
protects the two-party system.
In America’s fake democracy
citizens are fooled by personal freedoms. It is a fake democracy because
the will of the people is not respected by those elected to run the
government, the rule of law is routinely violated by those in power,
the Constitution is regularly dishonored and disobeyed by elected officials
and judges, and all but the wealthy are sold out through government-assisted
No wonder that America is
a joke to much of the world’s population. Foreigners envy our
materialism, not our government. With horrendous hypocrisy we use military
power to impose democracy abroad despite having a flawed democracy at
home. Foreigners’ disgust with our government is one thing, but
they like Americans. Yet Americans enable and sustain the detested government
by voting, then blame those elected rather than fix the broken system.
A few crooked politicians and corporate bosses go to jail. But the criminal
system remains. Nothing but token reforms are made. Corruption continues.
Few Americans are dissidents.
Many more block the painful truth that their cherished democracy is
a fraud. The land of the free is no longer the home of the brave. Foreign
enemies are used to keep people from bravely fighting domestic tyrants.
Like magicians using slight
of words and misdirection through lies, politicians (and those that
own them) have trivialized the fact that about half of the electorate
does not vote. Nonvoters have been blamed when the corrupt system is
at fault. Rather than see nonvoters as apathetic we should see them
acting rationally because voting is unproductive. Nonvoters should never
feel guilty, only proud to have sent a none-of-the-above rejection message.
But voter turnout has not
been sufficiently low to forcefully discredit, dishonor and de-legitimize
American democracy. Though low, it has become an accepted norm, allowing
the manufactured myth to continue – that we live in the world’s
greatest democracy, though nothing could be farther from the truth.
With false hope, voters believe
that the right Democrat or Republican will do what none of their predecessors
has done, and that campaign rhetoric and promises will actually translate
to post-election action and policy. Voters fail to understand the depth
of our culture of dishonesty that has also invaded the voting process.
Held secretly in private
hands is proprietary source code that instructs the voting machines
on to how to count the vote. More than 1/3 of all votes cast in our
nation are made on touch screen machines driven by proprietary source
code and 90 percent of all votes cast are counted by software that’s
No sane American should trust
the political system, the politicians, and the voting process. And when
you cannot trust all three, you have a fake democracy. Many of us thirst
for major change, but mainstream politicians simply exploit this and
lie. By voting for any of them we ensure no serious change. The way
to shake up the system is to boycott voting.
In sum, despite personal
freedoms we also have political tyranny as oppressive in its own way
as any authoritarian, dictatorial government. Americans have lost the
revolutionary spirit of their ancestors. Americans are unable to revolt,
despite revolting conditions. They have accepted the tyranny of taxation
with MISrepresentation. The political criminal conspiracy has successfully
used cultural genetic manipulation to replace the DNA of revolutionary
courage with the DNA of distractive, self-indulgent consumerism. Our
primary freedom is to borrow and spend. Our currency should read “In
Greed We Trust.” We have populist consumerism, not populist politics.
Divisive politics keeps people fighting each other rather than uniting
against the rotten system.
Delusional prosperity is
what our delusional democracy creates for the majority. Many millions
of Americans are hurting from loss of good jobs, crippling health care
costs, staggering debt, unaffordable college education, imminent foreclosure
or bankruptcy, rising economic insecurity, working two lousy jobs, time
poverty, dependence on food stamps and charity. Millions more are angry
about endless political corruption and bipartisan incompetence, the
inability to get a new 9/11 investigation, uncontrolled illegal immigration,
and our national debt. The rebellion needs all of them. And they need
True, we have plenty of passive
nonvoters, a good head start. Now we need active, vociferous nonvoters
– proud protestors and dissidents urging others to join the civil
disobedience to reach the tipping point for revolutionary change. After
we achieve major political reforms we should pursue mandatory voting
– when voting once again has civic meaning.
Massive, unprecedented nonvoting
has the power to produce systemic political reform by defiantly discrediting,
dishonoring and de-legitimizing America’s fake democracy. When
I choose not to vote I do not make the votes of others more important.
Their votes already serve an evil system. The critical choice is to
vote or not vote, not picking a particular Democrat or Republican. When
I choose not to vote I embrace an honorable, patriotic rebellious act
of civil disobedience. I no longer buy the BIG LIE that there still
is an American democracy worth participating in. As James Madison said,
“Conscience is the most sacred of all property.”
Mass nonvoting sends the
message of rejection – as powerful as using guns. The Second American
Revolution begins with this recognition: We must work together to drive
voter turnout down to abysmal levels – so low that everyone gets
the rejection message. We must let the world know – and America’s
power elites fear – that we sovereign Americans intend to take
back our government. But how?
It begins with a boycott
of voting. See it as a populist recall of the federal government that
makes our Founders proud. It is followed by demanding what the Founders
gave us in our Constitution for exactly the conditions we now have:
an Article V convention of state delegates that can propose constitutional
amendments, especially ones to reform our political system to make it
honest and trustworthy. Learn more at www.foavc.org.
Why have we not had one in
over 200 years? Why has Congress been allowed to disobey – actually
veto a part of the Constitution and violate their oath of office? There
is only one logical explanation: An intensely watched convention could
wreck the political status quo and take away the power of those running
and ruining our nation. That so many Americans fear a convention just
shows the success of the social conditioning and political narcotics
the elitist plutocracy has imposed for decades. Imagine an amendment
that required at least 90 percent voter turnout for federal elections
to produce a winner.
When it comes to our nation
our choice is not to love it or leave it, but to accept the painful
truth and take responsibility for restoring American democracy –
because we love it. Let’s move forward with this slogan: “Don't
vote--it only encourages them.”
[Joel S. Hirschhorn was a senior official at the Congressional
Office of Technology Assessment and the National Governors Association,
and is the author of Delusional Democracy – Fixing the Republic
Without Overthrowing the Government. Reach him through www.delusionaldemocracy.com.]
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