By Carolyn Baker |Dateline Thursday, 14 February 2008
FOUR YEARS AGO, I wrote “Why I Will Not Vote In 2004” for which a number of readers thanked me profusely while another segment of readers sent scathing emails questioning how I could be so cynical and unpatriotic.
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.
Clinton doing what he does best, sucking up to the powerful or whom he deems “his betters.” You can take the little boy out of his humble origins but you can’t take the humble origins out of the little boy.
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 ecocide. 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, s/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.
And who benefits from an infantilized citizenry? Quite simply, the street smart adolescent gang leaders with names like Bernake, Paulson, Citigroup, and J.P. Morgan Chase. Even now, as adult economists are willing to admit the reality of global financial collapse, the home boys, Ben and Hank, are telling us there will be no recession in 2008, no doubt hoping that their prey will spend their forthcoming rebate checks (translation: hush money) on more stuff instead of paying off their debts.
If I sound incensed, it’s because I am. America’s political candidates are colluding in the mass delusion-the collective trance in which a willfully ignorant citizenry is somnambulating on the edge of a precipice, and the ones who have the backing of the corporatocracy are enabling the chimera. I’m insulted by their cluelessness about the state of this planet and their inability to analyze or address any issues from the reality of ecocide-that is, the collective murder of the earth by its human inhabitants. And dear readers, please do not fill my inbox with emails telling me that ecocide isn’t really happening because climate change is a hoax not caused by humans but perpetrated by nasty tyrants in order to take away my freedom. For me, this issue is not up for debate or discussion because the earth, not you or I or any other mortals, will have the last word, and it is having it even as you read these words.
What more proof does one need as a result of the performance of both political parties in the past 16 years that there is only one of them? Progressives love to rant about the “Bush crime family” yet appear unable to comprehend that the American political system is exactly as I named it in my 2006 article “Godfather Government.” Mike Ruppert said it best in “America From Freedom To Fascism” when he stated that the choice is between the Genoveses and the Gambinos with both crime families feigning vast differences between them but unequivocally joining forces the moment anything appears to threaten their collective racket.
What I would ask every reader of this article to consider is: If you are planning to vote in the 2008 presidential election, what is your need to engage with that system? How is it that you believe you have a valid, authentic choice between two divergent political and philosophical positions? What keeps you tethered to the charade? It’s not important that I know your answer, but very important that you do.
Local Solutions: If It Isn’t Local, It Isn’t A Solution
An essential ingredient of the collective trance is that we must act nationally to address problems that candidates aren’t even talking about. In true adolescent fashion, like pubescent males who live for bigger engines, bigger rock concerts, and bigger genitalia, we still believe that issues must be addressed by a change in mass consciousness and federal programs that allow the system to continue functioning as an empire-this based on ignorance or denial that the empire is collapsing and that a Second Great Depression is about to engulf the United States and the world. Conversely, a mature, awake adult is more likely to comprehend that the imperial miscreant is crumbling into myriad pieces and that this is not something to be mourned but celebrated-that our work now as grown-ups is to take the crumbled fragment that is our local community, hold it close to our breasts, caress and cherish it, and remake it for the wellbeing of ourselves, our families, and our bioregion. In this way, we assist ourselves and our loved ones in preparing for the collapse of the larger system and in the process, make it possible to create seed communities that can truly bring forth an authentic antidote to empire.
Some passionate citizens of the state of Vermont have taken this concept to the next level and have organized a Vermont Independence secession movement. I have no idea how successful they might ultimately be, nor do they, but I do know that theirs is a model that buys out of empire and into local, community-based, community-determined autonomy. Other communities across America would do well to learn from their efforts.
I love it when people say, “But we need leadership.” Yes we do-our own. What we don’t need is a feel-good celebrity candidate, owned by corporations, whored by handlers, clueless about the magnitude of the issues (if even aware of what the issues are), narrowly focused on the federal system, whose only mission in life is to get and stay elected. Alternatively, we need to focus on our local bioregions, work in concert and consensus with others who see and feel as passionately about the transformation of our communities as we do, and become our own leaders and team players.
Who Really Owns These Candidates?
In 2007 I reviewed Daniel Estulin’s True Story of the Bildergerg Group, an exposé of that group and two related monster organizations of the ruling elite, the Council on Foreign Relations and the Trilateral Commission. With control of central banks, discount rates, interest rates and gold prices, the core members of these organizations, Estulin demonstrates, have set out to loot the planet-and they are doing just that. The current mortgage crisis and ensuing global economic meltdown, as I stated in my review, is due to the stupendous success of the Big Three’s strategy for planetary economic hegemony as the cacophony of their carefully engineered global economic cataclysm reverberates across America and around the world. It was never about home buyers who didn’t read the fine print when taking out liar loans. It was always about silver-tongued, ruling elite politicians and financial systems which ultimately and skillfully stole and continue to steal governments from people and replace them with transnational corporations. No, I’m not making that up. One of the explicit goals of the Bilderberg Group, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Trilateral Commision is the ultimate dissolution of nation-states to be replaced by global corporate hegemony.
In addition to Estulin’s excellent expoé of the Bilderberg Group, I highly recommend Trilateralism: The Trilateral Commission and Elite Planning for World Management, edited by Holly Sklar (1980) An overview of the book may be read at the Third World Traveler website.
The Trilateral Task Force Report of 1977, “Toward A Renovated International System” states:
The public and leaders of most countries continue to live in a mental universe which no longer exists-a world of separate nations-and have great difficulties thinking in terms of global perspectives and interdependence.
Holly Sklar summarizes: “In other words: “(1) the people, governments, and economies of all nations must serve the needs of multinational banks and corporations; (2) control over economic resources spells power in modern politics (and of course, good citizens are supposed to believe as they are taught; namely, that political equality exists in Western democracies whatever the degree of economic inequality); and (3) the leaders of capitalist democracies-systems where economic control and profit, and thus political power, rest with the few-must resist movement toward a truly popular democracy. In short, trilateralism is the current attempt by ruling elites to manage both dependence and democracy-at home and abroad.” (4)
What is more, every American president since the inception of the Big Three has been a member of one or more them. Both Bill and Hillary Clinton are Bilderberg members, and Barack Obama and his wife are members of the Council on Foreign Relations, Michelle Obama currently serving on the board of the Chicago Council of Global Affairs.
TRUST HER AT YOUR OWN RISK.
Specifically, in regard to Obama’s foreign policy, Los Angeles writer, Juan Santos, notes:
With respect to Black interests, Obama would be a silenced Black ruler: A muzzled Black emperor. A Black man at the head of the White Amerikkkan State – one who’s unwilling to speak truth to power, but more than willing, like a Condi Rice or a Colin Powell, to become that power and to launch wars of aggression against other people of color.
In Obama’s case the targets will be Iran (which he has threatened with “surgical” missile strikes) and Pakistan, rather than Iraq. That’s the only difference between Obama and Rice and Powell, or Bush, for that matter.
Even ABC News notes that “Obama, one of the more liberal candidates in the race, is proposing a geopolitical posture that is more aggressive than that of President Bush.” Washington Post columnist Robert Kagan, in a column entitled “Obama, the Intervensionist,” cites Obama’s claim that “he wants the American military to ‘stay on the offense, from Djibouti to Kandahar.”‘ To help the empire stay on the offensive, and despite the fact that US military spending is breaking the bank at over $1 trillion a year, and far outstrips the spending of any potential imperial rival, Obama wants to beef up military spending, adding 65,000 troops to the Army and 27,000 more Marines beyond the obscene levels already under arms in the so-called “War on Terror.”
For further insight into the candidate who is a “master of pretending to be progressive”, see Carolyn Kay’s “He Ain’t A Saint: A Citizen’s Guide To Barack Obama”.
The Life And Death Issues Eclipsed By Election Hysteria
Specifically, here is what I would need from a candidate to even consider the possibility of voting for her/him:
•1) Is that candidate aware of and astutely informed regarding the reality and scope of climate change? Will he in the first month in office convene a worldwide summit on the issue and enact emergency measures in the United States to address it?
•2) Is the candidate aware of and astutely informed regarding Peak Oil, Peak Natural Gas, Peak Water, and the depletion of all of the earth’s substances which we have come to call “resources”? Will he in the first month in office convene a worldwide summit (in conjunction with a climate change summit) on Peak Oil and other energy depletion issues and enact emergency measures in the U.S. to address them?
•3) Is the candidate aware of and astutely informed regarding the approximately 4 trillion dollars “missing” from the U.S. Treasury? Will s/he within the first month in office demand that Congress implement a full-scale investigation of the missing money?
•4) Is the candidate aware of and astutely informed regarding the creation of the current housing bubble? Will he immediately demand a Congressional investigation of the key players in the current subprime mortgage crisis?
•5) Only 16% of Americans believe the official story of 9/11. Has the candidate researched the events prior to, during, and after September 11, 2001? Will she immediately demand a Congressional investigation of September 11 in which all sessions of that investigation are open to the American public and in which all individuals who testify are under oath?
•6) Did this candidate vote for the Patriot Act? In terms of the unprecedented shredding of the Constitution and the evisceration of civil liberties during the Bush II administration, is that candidate willing to demand repeal of the Patriot Act and all Executive Orders signed by George W. Bush?
•7) Is the candidate fully aware of the catastrophic financial situation in the United States and the world in terms of debt, balance of trade, and fate of the dollar issues? Will he enact emergency measures to return the U.S. to a gold standard and implement a full-scale investigation of the Federal Reserve with the long-term goal of abolishing it?
I know what you’re saying, “Carolyn, you’ve got to be kidding!”
My point exactly: No candidate who is committed to such an agenda has a prayer of getting elected, not only because s/he is owned by the corporatocracy, but because he/she would have to tell the American people thousands of things they refuse to hear, and because they have been unwilling to hear them for the past six decades, they now find themselves on the brink of unimaginable catastrophe.
I am thoroughly pessimistic that on a nationwide scale Americans will awaken from their collective trance. I concur with Sally Erickson when she references Daniel Quinn’s statement that “there is a secret plan”, and the plan is that we are going to continue in the direction we’re going until we can’t anymore.
Forty years ago I struggled diligently for equal rights for women-as fiercely as I fought for civil rights and against U.S. imperialism and the Vietnam War, and today I proudly call myself a feminist. That does not mean, however, that I am deluded by the assumption that if it’s female, it’s flawless. In fact, in 1996 I was moved to write a book Reclaiming The Dark Feminine in which I argued, among other things, that women can be as treacherous, driven, greedy, aggressive, corrupt, and duplicitous as any man has ever been. For this reason, I am not enamored with the notion of a female chief executive, particularly when it is clear that corporations, not presidents, govern what is left of the nations those corporations are intent on obliterating-and, when the female candidate in question is irrevocably engaged in assisting those corporations in achieving their agenda.
In addition to the fact that Hillary is a member of the Bilderberg Group, her voting record speaks for itself: Voting for the Iraq War, the Patriot Act, and voting with and for corporations in the 2005 Bankruptcy Bill. In addition, Hillary’s healthcare nightmare, over which the American banking system is salivating, would create more personal debt in America by forcing people to buy health insurance. And what more need we add to her presence on the Walmart board of directors for six years which in itself speaks volumes?
Yet even more egregious are the Clinton ties to Monsanto about which I posted an article on my website on February 3, “An Open Letter To Hillary Clinton” written by a Wellesley alumna and classmate of Hillary’s confronting Bill Clinton’s ties to the genetically engineered and industrialized food giant, as well as Hillary’s connections with Monsanto through her Arkansas Rose Law firm. The letter, written by Linn Cohen-Cole of Atlanta, was superbly documented and offered some of the finest research on the topic that I’ve ever read.
I was aghast, however, when I received an email from a woman who opined that we should not “blame Hillary for her husband’s mistakes”, as if somehow we can discern where Bill ends and Hillary begins. Furthermore, the letter from Cohen-Cole skillfully clarifies Hillary’s specific connections to Monsanto, rather than blathering vaguely about her guilt by association. Yet this email comment is very telling in its unquestioning, naïve, almost sycophantic allegiance to Hillary the woman while disregarding the boots-on-the-ground track record of the shrewd politician who gives new meaning to the words “corporate clone.”
You Have No Right To Complain If You Don’t Vote
This nonsensical and frightening platitude sounds as if it might have been taken from Joseph Goebbels’ propaganda playbook. What kind of tortured logic concludes that I can only complain about a rotting political system if I play by its rules? Whoever invented this notion had undoubtedly never read the Founding Fathers who asserted in no uncertain terms that if my government has become the enemy of the Constitution, it is not only prudent, but obligatory to “alter and abolish it.”
I have every right to complain about “choices” that aren’t really choices and election charades that distract my attention from issues that corporate clones dare not touch-like the 200 species that went extinct today and the million innocent citizens of Iraq who’ve died since 2003 and the unprecedented numbers of U.S. military suicides in the same period of time and the carcinogenic bovine growth hormones in my genetically engineered lunch and the guy down the street who blew his brains out over mortgage foreclosure and bankruptcy resulting from having no health insurance and the polar bears that drowned today because their ice shelves had melted away. All of this happened while the election distraction served the same purpose as mainstream media coverage of Britney Spears’ latest psychotic episode or the true confessions of yet another steroid-crazed athlete.
I will complain-I will scream and rant bitch and whine, and I won’t shut up, and what I will complain most loudly about is a culture where citizens get what they settle for because they refuse to face the reality that the system is completely rigged against them, and they prolong their own agony by hanging on to the fantasy of business as usual as their empire, well into collapse, sucks the last drops of their blood and rides off into a Stage Five smog-alert sunset to rape and pillage and plunder the rest of the planet in the name of things like “democracy”, “the two-party system”, “Super Tuesday”, and let’s not forget, “the first female president.”
No, I won’t be voting for a president of the United States in 2008. Should I be able to use a paper ballot, I may well vote for state and local officials in a venue where authentic choice exists.
But it’s only the nasty Republicans who rig elections, right? Well, have you noticed how cozy Bill Clinton and Poppy Bush have become since Bubba left office? The mind reels imagining those intimate afternoon conversations between Bill and Poppy on Senior’s yacht.
“So what’s on your mind Bill? Do you mind if I call you Bill?”
“No, not at all sir. Well sir, I’ve been thinking a lot about 2008, and I know you know a lot about these things.”
“Yes son, I do, and trust me, everything’s under control.”
Sorry, I couldn’t help verbalizing my fantasy. It’s all so touching. Do you feel the love?
And now Hillary wants to send them off together in the first few weeks of her presidency to repair the damage done around the world by Junior? It’s enough to make one feel warm and fuzzy all over, isn’t it?
I think my cousin said it best when I asked if she planned to vote for a president this year.
“Me vote?” she replied.
“No, not when my only choices are between Satan and the devil.”