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I’m Afraid of the 99%
by Mike Pirsch
The Occupy movement was based on the proposition that the State serves the interests of the 1%, while the rest of us are left out in the cold. But, why do 99% of Americans vote for presidential candidates of “the financial industry dictatorship and its enforcer, the military empire” every four years? If 20% voted for progressive parties, it would “frighten the financial dictators more than a thousand Occupys.”
I’m Afraid of the 99%
by Mike Pirsch
“Less than 1% voted for a better vision as outlined by the third party’s platforms and promoted by their candidates.”
I am pleased to say that I am part of the 1% in America. It is the 99% that frighten me. This has nothing to do with Occupy’s slogan, it has everything to do with how Occupy’s 99% vote in our “electoral extravaganza” (Chomsky’s description). In 2008, in spite of having the best third party candidates in many years, the 99% freely cast their vote for the candidates selected by the Occupy’s 1%. Less than 1% voted for a better vision as outlined by the third party’s platforms and promoted by their candidates. The candidates I refer to were Cynthia Mckinney and Ralph Nader. Mckinney was a four-term member of Congress with 12 years of service versus Obama’s 2 years. Mckinney was a pariah for the Democrat Party due to her criticisms of Israel’s inhuman treatment of the Palestinian people. In fact, the Democrat Party drummed her out in 2002, backing another more pliable Democrat who received the decisive Republican vote in the Democratic Party primary.
McKinney received more than 80% of the Black vote but white Republicans support resulted in Mckinney’s defeat. She reclaimed her seat in 2004, but was again drummed out of the Party through defeat in the 2006 Democratic Primary. Again, Mckinney earned the vast majority of Black votes, but enough Republicans crossed over and again were the margin of defeat. Her progressive principles exceeded all other members of Congress and she was never afraid to speak out or ask questions others were afraid to ask. Nader, of course, was unfairly blamed for Gore’s loss in 2000.  Nader’s record as a consumer advocate is well known having successfully helped enact legislation protecting our health and safety from the excesses of corporations in their quest to ignore “externalities” such as unsafe automobiles, disregard for the environment when disposing toxic waste in the air, water and ground. He was not well regarded in the suites of corporate America.
“The bailout was only salvaged after Barack Obama returned to Washington D.C. from the campaign trail to crack the whip on behalf of Bush and the banks.”
The backdrop of the 2008 election were two illegal endless wars in Afghanistan and Iraq; the resulting attack on our civil liberties previously guaranteed in the Bill Of Rights by nearly bipartisan consensus; the collapse of the banking system due to its fraudulent activities relative to the housing market using subprime loans as the weapon of mass destruction. Two months before the election, in September, the banking system was nearly dead, it needed a mass transfusion of dollars (blood) to survive. The proposal was for the Congress and the Executive to authorize trillions of dollars to bailout the financial industry dictatorship. However, due to a massive unorganized phone campaign to reject the bailout, the House of Representatives rejected the bailout proposed by Bush and the congressional leadership. The bailout was only salvaged after Barack Obama returned to Washington D.C. from the campaign trail to crack the whip on behalf of Bush and the banks. He did, the banks won and Bush got the blame. All the energy that went into defeating the bailout initially was ignored by the Democrats and organized labor. However, right wing members of the financial dictatorship did make an effort to organize and the result was the horribly misinformed and misdirected Tea Party.
When it came time to vote in November 2008, slightly over 99% voted for the candidates chosen by the financial industry dictators. Thus, the 99% endorsed both the financial industry dictatorship and its enforcer the military empire which serves to open and control other nation’s resources, including the nations of the Indigenous people here in America. This is thinly disguised as a war on terror even though the stated enemy, Al Qaeda, was created by America to fight the Russians in Afghanistan; recruited by Clinton to join Bosnian Muslims in their war with Serbia; turned on their masters (USA) in Sudan and the 9-11 attacks; rejoined with their masters (USA) in Libya and Syria serving as “rebel” forces; and are very likely in alliance with their masters (USA) in African countries providing a pretext for US “humanitarian” intervention on that continent. It is all about the control of the other nation’s resources as well as control of the nation’s citizens.
Many who voted for Obama will object to my characterization but they cannot deny who benefits when the wealthy elite receive such an overwhelming endorsement. The final score in 2008 was financial industry dictator’s candidates receiving just over 99% and the progressive candidates receiving less than 1%. On the ballot there is no space to rationalize our vote. A vote for the Republican or a vote for the Democrat is an endorsement of the wealthy elite. We object to the ruling in Citizens United: we are witnessing over $2.5 billion being spent mostly on brief television or radio advertising by the financial industry dictators, and we are seriously considering voting for the candidates selected by the financial industry dictators. How does our supporting them help us? It is possible to spin this any way we want but we can clearly see the result of voting the “lesser evil” over our recent past.
“A vote for the Republican or a vote for the Democrat is an endorsement of the wealthy elite.”
The only alternative is to vote for one of the progressive parties on the Presidential ballot. I strongly suggest this because each party has a platform wherein it states the party’s purpose, principles, and identifies the problems we all face along with proposed solutions to address our problems. These problems will not be addressed by the two who have been chosen by the financial industry dictators. The problems include, but are not limited to: catastrophic human caused climate change; the scandal of our prison system, the new Jim Crow-wherein we, with a population 25% that of China have more people in prison than China; the increasing wealth gap between Indigenous and Black people and their white counterparts; a war on Black and Indigenous people disguised as a war on drugs; an economic system where humans and all other life have no value; and the military component of the financial industry dictatorship which sucks our national treasury dry.
We owe it to ourselves and the next generations to finally take a stand. To borrow from the madman from Tel Aviv, we must draw a red line. We can make a loud and eloquent statement by voting to support the platform we think best provides a good start on reclaiming our lives and our democracy. We don’t need to consider the chances of the third party candidates to win; they can’t win. Their purpose is to call attention to the party platform and it is from that platform that we should decide to cast our vote. Voting to support the platform makes a statement that supporting a candidate does not. We have a miserable system for choosing candidates. We rely more on the personalities than principles. The two part-one party campaign resembles professional wrestling more than a campaign based on ideas that address issues that in fact are life or death.
If we are able to gather 20% or more of the vote as represented as the total vote for progressive parties, that statement will frighten the financial dictators more than a thousand Occupys. One immediate benefit will be a slowing down of the excesses of our masters simply because we did something unexpected. We cannot stop there. If we are able to gather 20% or more we will have also started the process of building an organization controlled at the grass roots with the eventual goal of overthrowing the financial industry dictatorship which controls our material and spiritual lives.
“The two part-one party campaign resembles professional wrestling more than a campaign based on ideas that address issues that in fact are life or death.”
Each of us bears a huge responsibility for the current situation. Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, a valued advisor and supporter of Martin Luther King Jr., once said “In a free society few are guilty but all are responsible.” Our immediate responsibility is to become better informed and educated as to our voting options. This means identifying the progressive parties that will be the Presidential ballot in your state. From that knowledge we can find their platforms on the internet and read with a critical eye how the policies would serve to benefit all Americans. Please don’t tell yourself that “that will never happen.” If enough of us begin to make it happen, it will happen. Study the platform, inform your neighbors about what you’ve learned, discuss these issues with your neighbors and encourage each other to vote to support the issues not the personalities. It may be “pie in the sky” now, but a strong endorsement of progressive principles is the proper and courageous act if we are interested in our own lives as well as the lives of those who have yet to be born. Our vote is as much for the not yet born as it is for ourselves.
The alternative of voting for the chosen of the financial industry dictators is more of the same except much more disastrous. There are many lives hanging in the balance around the world and we are the only ones who can stop the madness that surrounds us today. Be courageous and vote for progressive principles and be vocal about it.
Mike Pirsch is former union organizer and pirate radio station d.j. He is an economic refugee from America living in Thailand.
The real problem in Florida was the refusal of Gore and the Democrats to challenge the disenfranchising of over 90,000 Black voters due to fraud and manipulation of Florida’s laws banning felons from voting. It turned out this list was one complete fraud with people banned from voting because their name was close to someone who was a felon or, in the case of one man, was barred because he was said to have committed [sic] a felony 2 years in the future. Gore lost the Florida vote by 537 votes. It is a safe bet, most if not all, the illegally banished voters would have voted Gore. The U.S. Senate, with Gore presiding had a chance to open an investigation of the Florida fraud when members of the Congressional Black Caucus stood in the well of the Senate as each member of the CBC asked that one senator would object to the conduct of the election. Had one senator complied with the request, an investigation of the Florida fraud would have been required. Mckinney did hold a special hearing of the fraud but had no support from the Democratic Party congressional representatives controlled by the financial industry dictators.
Greg Palast: The Best Democracy Money Can Buy. Chapter One - “Jim Crow In Cyberspace: The Unreported Story of How They Fixed the Vote in Florida.” (Constable & Robinson LTD.; 3 the Lanchesters; 162 Fulham Palace Road; London W6 9ER; 2003 )