Election's Over: It's Time to Organize!
Okay, the etch-a-sketch vulture capitalist who would have given us four years of that smarmy missionionary-at-your-door smile, was thankfully sent packing by the voters, and Barack Obama gets four more years in the White House.
It was less an election than a contest between two hugely financed products. There was no “movement” for either candidate (though Romney actually claimed to be heading one) -- the president made only one televised ad endorsing a member of his party running for Congress -- a last minute promo for Chris Murphy, the representative in Connecticut who ultimately defeated wrestling magnate Linda McMahon for the seat of retiring former Democrat Joe Lieberman.
In the end, after both parties spent a combined record of over $2 billion in the presidential race, and another $4 billion on the Congressional races, we have ended up more or less with the same balance of power between the two corporatist parties, with the House having a few more Democrats in the minority and the Republicans still in control, the Senate with the Democratic caucus picking up perhaps two seats, and the president back in the White House.
So in a sense nothing has changed, but then actually, there are a lot of things that have changed. Let’s look at some of the implications of this election:
First off, most of that staggering $6 billion came from corporate funders and rich people, and those donations came with the expectation of a payback. Starting today, we citizens, and those of us who are still journalists, will have to watch and ferret out who’s looking for a favor, and what those paybacks are, and we’ll have to fight to prevent them.
Next, the people, mostly on the left, who keep claiming that elections are a fraud and that they will be stolen by a secret cabal of Republican operatives and the corporate crooks who own and run the makers of the computerized voting machines, have a lot of explaining to do, since this incredibly close election, in which winning margins in states like Ohio, Florida, Virginia and other jurisdictions were decided by one or two percentage points, were ideal places for electronic voter theft to have occurred. It did not happen.
I’m not saying there should not be major reforms to guard against electronic voter fraud. This has to be done. It’s only common sense. But going from saying computers can be hacked to saying they will be hacked is a big jump, and telling people that elections are a joke is a terrible way of discouraging voters from voting, including third party voters. I wonder how many more votes the Green and Libertarian parties would have gotten this election if there had not been so many shrill voices on the left and the right claiming that the elections would be stolen?