> January 2, 2001 > > A Turning Point In American History > > By Connie White <firstname.lastname@example.org> > > Election 2000 is one of those turning points in American > history: it reminded some, and exposed to others, that this > is not a country "of the people, by the people, and for the > people," and it reminded some and exposed to others that the > American judicial system is now, and has always been, > partisan and is not impartial. > > Electoral democracy is based on citizenship, and citizenship > means that the individual has certain rights and duties. What > has been presumed to be among an American citizens' rights > is the right to vote and that each vote counts. Tossing out > ballots is a fundamental violation of the rights of voting > citizens. During the debates before the U.S. Supreme Court > regarding "uncounted" votes in Florida, USA, one of the > leading justices of the Supreme Court, Antonin Scalia, > stated that there is nothing in the U.S. Constitution > that guarantees U.S. citizens the right to vote. So much for > members of the "highest court in the land" believing in the > "democratic right to vote." When the Supreme Court upheld > the decision to stop the vote counting in Florida, America > was exposed as not being a "democracy" -- representative > or otherwise. > > The Republican pundits are justifying the Supreme Court > decision (intervention) by pointing out that America is not > a "democracy," but a "republic." (The two political systems > are not mutually exclusive. A "republic" is a political > system whereby the "people" elect representatives to govern > for them -- inherent in this definition is the understanding > that there is no "king" -- and a "democracy" is a political > system based in majority decision-making. You could have a > democratic republic, which is a political system that has > democratic decision-making, and no king.) The American > government more closely resembles a "timocracy" -- a > government of the propertied class. The point regarding > America being a "republic" was also made during the Monica > Lewinsky hearings, when the overwhelming majority of the > American people denounced the Republican party witch > hunts, and the poles indicated that Clinton should remain > president. Here is where the "constitutional republic" game > comes in -- the Republicans argue that they are doing their > "constitutional duty," and indicate that America is a > "constitutional republic," and not a "democracy." Although > poles -- or popular vote at election time -- may indicate > the will of the people, the Republican Party's position > during the Lewinsky hearings was "to hell with the will of > the people," we have the power and the constitutional right > and we intend to use it. Similarly, during Election 2000, > the Republican Party said "to hell with the will of the > people" (the popular vote), and "constitutionally" relied > upon its Supreme Court partisans to render a judicial > decision that secured the presidential election for > George Bush. > > So much for American "democracy," and majority decision- > making. > > Election 2000 has exposed that America is not the > representative democratic nation of the world. It has been > exposed as a fake and a fraud, where power relations are the > motivating force in the legislative, executive and judiciary > "branches," and class interests are the glue that solidify > the Republican and Democratic parties into one. Hence, all > the talk about "bi-partisanship" today. > > But, has the American working class seen enough in Election > 2000 to understand that this is not "our" government -- that > this is not a "democracy" whereby the "people" elect the > representatives who will govern? > > Let's not be quick to forget all that was exposed in > Election 2000. > > During Election 2000, the American electorate continued to > protest the choices offered in "the race for the presidency." > Approximately 52% of the American electorate did not vote > for president or voted for a third party candidate. > Additionally, and most importantly, -- 2.5 million American > voters were considered the "under vote," which are those > ballots on which the voter did not indicate a presidential > choice. These "under vote" ballots represent those voters > whom I believe chose "none of the above" for president, but > took the time to vote for initiatives they wanted passed, > and for local or national legislative candidates. Where in > America's Constitution does it state that voters not voting > for president would have their ballots "kicked out"? The > American electorate should have known about this practice > before going to the polls. This protesting American > electorate clearly showed that their interests are > not being represented in the choices presented at > election time. > > Some have presented the initiative/proposition process as a > beginning for direct democracy in this country: the "masses" > of people would not have to get the legislature to pass a > bill, but could utilize this process for legislation in the > interests of the masses of people -- albeit this process is > currently dominated by money, big business and ruling class > lobbyist interests. The fact that 2.5 million "under votes" > were thrown out nationally without the American electorate's > knowledge or approval exposes the initiative/proposition > arena as an illusion of power -- the working class does not > control the election processes in any of its manifestations. > These election processes are controlled by the ruling class > and its representatives. > > Power in America will not concede unless confronted from a > position of power. It has been said that classes rule and > parties govern. Our (working class labor) party must be at > the seat of power -- in Congress confronting the power of > the ruling class parties. > > During Election 2000, the Electoral College was also exposed > as being partisan, and not based in the popular vote. During > the aftermath of November 7, 2000, the Electoral College was > a heavy topic of discussion. Many of these discussions high- > lighted the fact that electors are usually selected by the > national conventions of the two-party system, as well as > that electors are the ones responsible for "electing" the > president. Election 2000 has reminded some, and exposed for > others, that America's president is elected by 270 electors > who are selected by the Democratic and/or Republican parties. > > So much for majority decision-making in America. > > Election 2000 reminded some, and exposed for others that the > American president is not elected by "popular vote." This > was clearly reinforced by the U.S. Supreme Court decision > to stop re-counting ballots in Florida. The U.S. judicial > system is supposed to be non-partisan. Constitutionally, the > Supreme Court is an appointed and unelected lifetime office > so that, presumably, appointees would not need to be concerned > with reelection and, thereby, free to make judicial decisions > based on the best interests of the country rather than to > cater to a particular party or interest group. > > Supposedly, the justices of the Supreme Court have no > respect of persons, and they are "sworn in" declaring those > exact words. The partisanship shown by the judicial system > -- and especially that shown by the Supreme Court during the > aftermath of November 7, 2000 -- exposed this non-partisan > judicial system for the lie that it is. During prime time > television and radio in the aftermath of Election 2000, we > had elected officials fighting it out with and before the > State Court system, while the political parties called upon > their "partisan" judges to decide issues surrounding the > counting of votes in its/ their partisan favor Election > 2000 has reminded some, and exposed for others that these > appointed judges -- even those appointed for a lifetime to > the "highest court of the land" -- are there to represent > the interests of a political party of the ruling class, and > most definitely to uphold the class biases of the American > Constitution against the "will of the people," and the > working class as a whole, (See Beard's "An Economic > Interpretation of the Constitution of the United > States.") > > Election 2000 is not just about exposing contradictions, but > has presented us with yet another opportunity to consider > our solutions. My hope is that the American working class > has turned from its class-less consciousness, and turned > toward looking to its interests. My hope is that American > labor has turned from believing that its interests would > ever be represented by the Democratic Party. My hope is that > what is called the "left" in this country -- the "left" of > all colors, ideologies and political perspectives -- will > turn toward building a labor party to represent the > political interests of our class (the working class). > > My hope is that the American working class will see the > necessity to function as a class for itself, and to > confront power with power. > > Copyleft (c) 2000 Connie White. Redistribute Freely.
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