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Fixing Washington Corruption – Lets Have Fair Elections

 

By James Donahue

 

I remember when John F. Kennedy was being considered as a serious Democratic Party candidate for the Presidential nomination. It was a controversial time because Kennedy was the first Roman Catholic to be a serious contender for that high office and a lot of folks worried that if he was elected, the Vatican would have its hands on the political pulse of the United States.

 

In the days preceding the Democratic Convention, I recall listening to a Chicago radio broadcast and hearing a strange call-in by a woman who identified herself only as “Madam X.” It seems she was a psychic, well known around Chicago and the radio station, who made amazingly accurate predictions. What Madam X said that day made my hair crawl. She said John Kennedy would be nominated and would become the next President of the United States. But she said he would be the last president we would ever elect. After Kennedy, she warned, we would have “something else.”

 

Of course we all know the tragic events that followed . . . Kennedy’s untimely assassination under such mysterious circumstances most Americans still believe it was a conspiracy that remains unresolved to this day. The reign of presidents that followed Kennedy, from Lyndon Johnson to George W. Bush and Barack Obama, have been slowly leading the nation down a slippery slope of unprecedented and senseless warfare, extreme graft and corruption, deficit spending  and an obvious allegiance to big money and big business interests that have become international in scope.

 

The problems brought on by international trade agreements, subsequent union busting activities and unprecedented “gambling” of public money by banks and lending institutions has led to a flood of home foreclosures and the layoffs of millions of American workers. The rash of new homeless and jobless people, and families now living without food, housing, good schools and health insurance has taken to the streets in public protest in a disorganized movement that has swept the breadth of the nation.

 

The trouble didn’t occur overnight. If we look back through time we see that it has been a combination of events, bad decisions and careful manipulation of events that seem to have started at about the time of Kennedy’s assassination.

 

We must ask the obvious question. Was Madam X the mystery Chicago psychic correct? Have we been ruled by “something else” since the death of Kennedy? Have we even had a fair election since 1960? Have all the “leaders” that followed been puppets of a shadow government that has secretly taken over the United States if not the world?

 

Think of how we have slowly shifted from the old faithful paper ballots to machine voting and more recently to computerized voting machines. We thought we were doing this to speed up our election process and make elections more efficient for everybody concerned. But in the process, the election results have become more and more suspiciously twisted.

The horse race finish of the Bush-Gore election of 2000, with final vote tallies relying on a few final vote counts in the State of Florida, where George W. Bush’s brother’s election machine was carefully manipulating the election rules was incredibly suspicious. But then to have the U. S. Supreme Court intervene and declare Mr. Bush the winner before a contested recount was completed, made us all convinced that something was amiss.

 

There was all the confusion about the rules of the Electoral College, of course, which sometimes overrules the popular vote and gives the presidency to “the other guy.” This appeared to be what happened in the Bush-Gore campaign.

 

Various big newspaper publishers were so suspicious of events in Florida following that court decision they financed a completion of the Florida election recount, just to find out who really won that election. The work of recounting those challenged ballots was still going on when the attack of 9-11 happened. In the blink of an eye, everybody forgot that the nation questioned if Bush really won the election. We became a nation at war and people rallied behind the only leader we had. Unfortunately he was George W. Bush.

 

Talk about mass manipulation. What happened in September, 2001 was a classic example of the kind of public control that can be accomplished. Americans succumbed to fear of further terrorist attack and then our young men marched off to the nearest recruiting office and signed up to go to war. But it would be a war against what specific enemy? What nation were we about to attack? They told us the attack was carried out by a rogue and extremist Islamic terrorist group hiding in the mountains of Afghanistan. So Mr. Bush sent our forces into Afghanistan and declared war against the whole country. What was he thinking? And a year later he sent troops into Iraq and launched an unprovoked war there that had nothing to do with the 9-11 attack. And blindly, we let him do it. Neither war was necessary. Our military involvement in the Middle East cost the nation over a trillion dollars and we accomplished absolutely nothing, except to provoke a people who did not deserve what we did to them.

 

Bush won a second term in 2004, again under questionable circumstances. Most people in the country did not think he would get another term, but it happened. Then in 2008 we shifted parties and gave the job to Mr. Obama, who promised hope and change. But a Republican contingent in the Senate managed to stonewall nearly everything Mr. Obama tried to do. And during Mr. Bush’s last days in office the country’s financial markets crumbled, Congress panicked, and the big multi-billion dollar bailout happened. The government has remained deadlocked ever since. Events have continued to grow worse.

 

Now, with another presidential election looming in 2012, Americans are obviously thinking it is time to clean house. But how are we going to accomplish this if (a.) there are no viable candidates from which to choose, and (b.) our elections appear to be so rigged that it won’t matter how we vote.

 

Let’s face it. If the Republicans would stop acting like fools, show some empathy for the pain the people of America are suffering, and put a viable candidate up to run against Mr. Obama, they could probably take back the White House in 2012. But other than Mr. Romney, the line-up of questionable and illiterate clowns being offered by the G. O. P. is so ridiculous, we doubt if many people are taking them seriously. It is obvious that Romney and Obama will be the candidates from which to choose. And right now, neither man is getting anybody very excited.

 

In order to even be considered for the presidency these days, a candidate has to be very wealthy, or have a powerful backer with the multi-millions of dollars it takes to successfully win a two-year-long nation-wide campaign. Because of television and other advanced media technology, the candidate also has to have charisma that appeals to the general public, and look presidential. That means he must appear attractive and make no blunders while appearing in front of the television cameras.

 

Abraham Lincoln would never have been considered if he was in the lineup of Republicans this year. In spite of his great mind and wit, Mr. Lincoln would probably have been too ugly to appeal to television viewers.

 

The Occupy Wall Street and Occupy America crowds now in the street are demanding real change in 2012. But this cannot be accomplished unless some drastic changes are made in the way we conduct our elections.

 

We suggest the following:

 

--Create a new third Independent party and raise a complete slate of candidates for political offices from county and state to national levels that represent the people in their districts and reject the big cash donations of big corporations and lobbyists. Then elect them all, thus cleaning out the corruption from the grass roots to Washington.

 

--Create a fair and equitable system of financing campaigns and make it illegal for any candidate to take money from outside sources for promotion. Shorten the campaign season to a few months and make it mandatory for all media to devote equal time reviewing and interviewing all candidates for every office. Publishers may only support the candidates of their choice on their editorial pages and aired time slots. Promotional and especially mud-slinging style advertising should be prohibited by law.

 

--Impeach the Supreme Court members who ruled that corporations have the same right as individuals to finance campaigns by candidates of their choice. While at it, change the rules that give Supreme Court members their jobs for life.

 

--Revise portions of the Constitution so that we have eliminated the Electoral College. Candidates should all be elected by popular vote.

 

--Return to the use of paper ballots In all elections. Make all ballots clear and easy to understand, and relax the rules concerning the marks placed in the squares for the named candidates. An X that goes over the line should not be excluded.

 

I would like to think we could save our great nation, take it away from the organized criminals, and return it to the people once again. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could be assured that we are really electing our leaders and that they are really representing the interests of the people in their home districts? Only then can we again call ourselves a Republic, as it was supposed to be from the start.