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How to Reform the Corrupted U.S. Electoral System

Austin Kirk / CC BY 2.0

Election theft is now the core reality of American politics.

It has poisoned every corner of the United States government, put the world at the brink of atomic and climate catastrophe and robbed every generation of its inherent right to a sane and prosperous future.

We are under the thumb of a vicious corporatocracy in a nation that desperately desires social democracy. A fascist government—in a nation that, at heart, hates fascism—rules us.

We are being robbed of universal health care, decent public education, renewable energy, environmental protection, accountable policing, basic human rights, nuclear disarmament and much, much more because unelected billionaire corporatists control our government instead of dedicated, accountable public servants.

The Jim Crow stripping of our voter rolls has denied millions their most basic right.

The electronic flipping of our voting machines has thrust into power a horrific horde of the most cynical, unqualified and outright destructive rulers our nation has ever seen.

Donald Trump is in the White House despite losing the 2016 popular vote by nearly 3 million votes and losing the exit polls in Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. George W. Bush buried us in the cancerous destruction of Iraq and the rest of the Middle East despite losing the popular vote by 500,000, because, as reported by Greg Palast and Bev Harris, his brother stripped and flipped the vote count in Florida 2000. As reported at freepress.org, Bush2 got a second term through the electronic theft of Ohio’s electoral votes in 2004.

All of this happened without a meaningful word from Al Gore, John Kerry or Hillary Clinton. They’ve made their disagreements with Donald Trump known. But with a corrupted electoral system, there’s no chance of changing the balance of governmental power, and all such rantings are, as William Shakespeare put it, “sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

Today, our Supreme Court, Congress, state and local governments are packed with reactionary corporatists who owe their power to manipulated elections. Through the Obama years, more than 1,000 federal, state and local offices changed hands in elections rife with fraud. In 2014 and 2016, six U.S. Senate seats went to Republicans who lost in the exit polls. Our entire electoral system is riddled with deceit. What has been done to our government is a mirror image of what our military and intelligence operatives have done to developing nations too many times to count.

A mere year ago, a self-proclaimed socialist, the New Deal Democrat Bernie Sanders, helped ignite the biggest movement for social democracy in modern American history. Deeply rooted in the millennial generation, this grass-roots uprising promised an ecologically sustainable future built on tolerance, justice, equality and peace. It offered the prospect of a decent, survivable future. It also challenged the corporate party elite and the Clintons’ Democratic Leadership Council.

And, as shown by its internal emails, the Democratic National Committee also conspired to deny Sanders the nomination. It ignored and abused the massive social uprising that comprises our nation’s last, best, hope for a progressive, sustainable future.

Despite that, Sanders then supported the Clinton candidacy. She rightfully won the presidency. Then she walked away, and, among other things, prevented a Green Party recount in Michigan and elsewhere.

And now we have Donald Trump in the White House.

To this day, Clinton has done nothing about the fact that the election was stolen. But she’s gone out of her way to trash Sanders and further alienate the movement he helped ignite. Without the youthful energy of that uprising, the Democratic Party has no meaning and the nation has no future. But we also need fair, accountable elections.

Despite being the rightful winners of the 2000, 2004 and 2016 elections, the corporate Democrats continue to say nothing about the utter debasement of our electoral system. Because of the top-to-bottom manipulation of that system, we have a government completely controlled by corrupt corporatists.

Predictably, an entire federal juggernaut is now aimed at prolonging this tyranny. Kris Kobach, vice-chair of President Trump’s electoral-integrity commission, as reported by Palast, masterminded the Crosscheck computer program used to rob countless Americans—mostly black and Hispanic—of their votes in 2016, thus putting Donald Trump in the White House. One commission member is J. Kenneth Blackwell, the former Ohio secretary of state, who electronically flipped Ohio 2004 to George W. Bush.

Trump has now appointed Republican attorney Cameron Quinn, a high-profile enemy of voting rights, to head the civil rights division at Homeland Security. It’s an obvious escalation of the nationwide assault on the voting rights of citizens of color, the young, the elderly and the non-millionaire majority.

Trump, the GOP and the Gore-Kerry-Clinton Democrats know full well that given fair elections, the American people would throw this pack of ravenous corporate beasts entirely out of power. To get an electoral system that actually works for the public good, here’s what we need:

● Universal automatic voter registration, with registration rolls that can be easily monitored, so individual citizens can confirm their status as they come to the polls.

● A four-day weekend for voting, with ample polling stations providing convenient access for all.

● Universal hand-counted paper ballots that are kept in translucent, video-monitored containers that do not move.

● An end to gerrymandering.

● Abolition of the Electoral College.

● A ban on the corporate purchase of our campaigns.

In the long run, the only thing that can save this planet from utter destruction is the will of the people, legitimately empowered. Donald Trump’s uniquely crazed genocidal/suicidal corporatocracy is the most obvious indicator it is being denied, and the consequences are lethal.

If we want any kind of future on this planet, an electoral system that works is the only answer. Win it, or die.

Harvey Wasserman is the host of “California Solartopia,” a radio show that is broadcast at KPFK-Pacifica 90.7 FM in Los Angeles on Fridays at 6:30 p.m. His weekly “Green Power & Wellness Show” is podcast from prn.fm. “Solartopia! Our Green-Powered Earth” is at www.solartopia.org, as is “The Strip & Flip Disaster of America’s Stolen Elections: Five Jim Crows & Electronic Election Theft, co-written with Bob Fitrakis.

Harvey Wasserman
Contributor
Harvey is a lifelong activist who speaks, writes and organizes widely on energy, the environment, election protection, social justice, grass-roots politics and natural healing, personal and planetary. He…
Harvey Wasserman

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