Category Archives: Elections

The debt and the election to come — FDR Then

The story isn’t yet told. The answer to the riddle is to be revealed by history. Anne O’Hare McCormick, the New York Times. May 8, 1938

Continuing with the line of dreamy optimism. The argument on the debt deal is this, don’t sweat the details… for now. It can be fixed. But there will a moment to take a stand, and who will be the baritone who inspires us? The following, pointed out by Bob Burruss, is making the rounds.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt, October 31, 1936.

For nearly four years you have had an Administration
which instead of twirling its thumbs has rolled up its
sleeves. We will keep our sleeves rolled up.

We had to struggle with the old enemies of peace —
business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless
banking, class antagonism, sectionalism, war profiteering.

They had begun to consider the Government of the
United States as a mere appendage to their own affairs.
We know now that Government by organized money is just
as dangerous as Government by organized mob.

Never before in all our history have these forces
been so united against one candidate as they stand today.
They are unanimous in their hate for me — and I welcome
their hatred.

I should like to have it said of my first
Administration that in it the forces of selfishness and
of lust for power met their match. I should like to have
it said of my second Administration that in it these
forces met their master.

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What is the Choice?

It is difficult enough to govern when you are a president who has inherited a war based on fraud and deception that generated dysfunction and a deficit fueled by that war.

More difficult, if not impossible, when you happen to be a president trying to negotiate with an opponent whose majority believes you are not an American, born in Nigeria, a socialist, a danger to their fabulous ideas.

So as president, a patriot, a balanced thinker, you go pragmatically for the best deal possible.

The details of the debt deal? Looking at the details ain’t American. Neither are a good education for those who need it, critical thinking, or a sense of history. Raise your hand if you think that Tea Party members of Congress read the details. They’re trying to derail the president, no matter what, no matter the state of the nation.

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American Democracy: Will you be able to vote?

If you enjoyed the presidential election of 2000, you’ll have a great time with what’s coming in 2012. Governors and state legislatures around the nation — color them red states — are taking mighty efforts to further gerrymander the people’s right to vote.

"No man is good enough to govern another man without that other's consent."

Led by Florida and Texas, Republican-dominated state legislatures are seeking to demand picture IDs and positive proof of citizenship before people can vote. The decision will certainly curtail the voting ability of the poor and undereducated. All will be forced to pass a litmus test before they can vote.

This amounts to little more than a poll tax, papered over with blather about non-existent dangers of fraud– a further attempt to stop voting by the underclasses. It is nothing new in Florida, which decided the 2000 election, and where unseen hands wrongly expunged thousands from the electoral rolls as possible convicted felons. Leaving hanging chads aside, reports in the Sunshine State showed the tendency to find more faulty voting machines and systematic intimidation at minority polling places than elsewhere.

The Brennan Center for Justice
reports that 21 million American citizens do not have picture IDs, although there is no constitutional reason why that should stop them from voting.

“Spreading fear of a nonexistent flood of voter fraud,” writes The New York Times, Republican legislators “are demanding that citizens be required to show a government-issued identification before they are allowed to vote. Republicans have been pushing these changes for years, but now more than two-thirds of the states have adopted or are considering such laws. The Advancement Project, an advocacy group of civil rights lawyers, correctly describes the push as ‘the largest legislative effort to scale back voting rights in a century.’ “

Are you paying attention? In the United States –where a coalition of working class African-Americans and Hispanics tipped the scales to elect Barack Obama in 2008 — state legislatures are about to restrict voting rights. Who do you think this organized Republican campaign is intended to benefit?

First came a landmark, highly partisan and criticized 5-4 Supreme Court decision in 2010 that allows unregulated corporate financing of elections, the work of a conservative bloc that also decided the outcome of the 2000 election. With this latest decision, the wealthiest can spend as much money as they want to sway the minds of the collective electorate. We will see a personality-driven, lie-besmirched campaign for the presidency and Congress in which untold billions — six or seven billion it is estimated — will be spent in the battle for victory.

If you’re not fired up about the problem, try some quotations over history about democracy: one of my favorites is from John Adams [to get even more passionate about our democracy, watch or watch again the HBO TV miniseries about John Adams. Next go see the current film, The Conspirator, a well-wrought film about the rule of law.]

Here’s what Adams said:
“Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.”

Get fired up and prove that John Adams was wrong. Fight laws that will restrict voting rights.

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