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Philip Slater Headshot

Are They Doing it Again? Are You?

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A federal judge last week struck down an attempt by the state of Florida to ban exit polls during elections. It fair takes one's breath away how blatant the Bush regime is in its anti-democratic shenanigans. Exit polls are, after all, the only clue we have that election results are fraudulent. In 2004 such discrepancies were dismissed as meaningless, but when a short time later the same discrepancies occurred in the Ukrainian elections the administration was quick to join the losers in crying foul. The implication was, I suppose, that Ukrainian pollsters are more reliable than ours. But having taken this position it apparently occurred to some of the brighter bulbs in the Bush bubble that future exit poll discrepancies in American elections might be taken more seriously. Especially in Florida, where free and fair elections are as rare as impartiality on Fox news.

It's remarkable how complacent the Bush regime seems in the face of recent polls. "What, me worry?" Georgie seems to be saying, "Democrats are too lazy to vote, and we've got those brand new easily hackable voting machines? We just have to get rid of those pesky exit polls, that reveal how people actually voted!"

Anyone who feels complacent about Democrats taking over Congress is naïve. The American people need to get off their collective duff and vote for once. When will non-voters realize that not voting is still a vote? When people tell me they're not voting, or voting for a fringe candidate, I always say, "Oh, so you voted Republican." Non-voters elected Ronald Reagan--if they had voted their preference they would have given Jimmy Carter a landslide in 1980.

Remember, if you didn't vote you're not an adult and no one wants to hear your whining afterward. If you're so passive you won't even make that minimal effort to vote, you've just admitted you're a devoted slave.

Power corrupts. You vote for the Democrats not because they're wonderful but because they're not the incumbents and are capable of beating them. Duh!

A lot of naive idiots in 2000 said the two major parties were tweedldum and tweedledee and voted for ego-maniac Ralph Nader, just because he said all the right things. Today they're all coming out of Al Gore's movie and asking why he doesn't run again.

The real difference between the two parties is this: unlike the Republicans, Democrats have always felt some obligation to represent the will of the entire populace, not just their "core constituency"--the very reason the left hated Clinton. Clinton believed in consensus politics and wanted to represent the whole country instead of just radical America. You can say he just wanted everyone to like him. Who cares? He did what democratic leaders are supposed to do. The more radical left has always wanted its representatives to act more like Republicans and play to their core, but it's not going to happen. Until we get proportional representation in America--don't hold your breath--we're stuck with this choice: you can have a national government or a right wing government. One will annoy you, but the other will enslave you.

"Oh," but you say, "if it's rigged anyway, why bother?" The usual excuse of the closet authoritarian slob who just wants to be left alone with his TV, his Big Mac, and his Ipod and secretly thinks Hitler wasn't so bad.

The answer is that not all the ballots are machine ballots, and they can't even rig the machines everywhere, and if you don't vote we won't even be able to tell if it's rigged.

But we'll be keeping a sharp eye on the exit polls--the only way to tell if we've been shafted again by Republican trickery. And if the results are as questionable as they have been in recent presidential elections Americans need to take action this time instead of rolling over and playing dead.