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Debunking Myths: Wasted Votes, Spoiled Elections and Lesser Evils

A 'two-party' system is not a feature of the U.S. Constitution, but rather of a sophisticated misinformation campaign designed to dis-empower voters and maintain control by the corporate interests who benefit when we fail to think critically about how elections are supposed to function in shaping the future we hand to the next generation. This page collects thoughtful critiques which debunk these myths and empower voters to vote their hopes not their fears, to participate in a Politics of Courage. We hope you find these articles helpful.

Georgia is NOT a Swing State

Many voters, unaware of the working of the Electoral College will impose theirswing-state fears on their neighbors and coworkers in states where the outcome is of such little doubt that campaign managers for the billion dollar corporate campaigns choose not to expend their limited resources campaigning there.  Georgia is such a state where Presidential candidates campaign here only to (1) raise funds for their campaign in the so-called battleground states and (2) to campaign for downslate candidates of allies they will need in the Congress if elected.
 
Georgia voters live in a state which since Adlai Stevenson, has given its Electoral College votes to Democrats only twice: 1976 for native son and former Governor Jimmy Carter and in 1992 for DLC founder Bill Clinton, endorsed by his buddy the sitting Governor Zell Miller.  
 
It is worth noting that neither Carter nor Clinton secured the Peach State Electoral College votes in 1980 when Reagan won, nor in 1996 when Governor Miller, a Democrat, spoke at the Republican Convention to endorsed Bob Dole.
 
In summary, for the last 13 elections, the score in Georgia has been Democrats - 2, Republicans - 10, American Independent - 1, or to summarize, the Banking Elites - 13 to the People - 0.
 
Our friends in the so-called swing-states will frequently succumb to the myths by voting their fears and abandoning logic for the bi-partisan lie of the lesser-evil.   They too often fail to exercise their responsibilities as citizens to think critically and vote 'for' the future they wish to see our nation foster in the future we would hand to the next generation.
 
In Georgia though we have no such excuse.  
 
For a chart summarizing the history, follow the Read More link.

They Pretend to Think, We Pretend to Listen

Liberalism in the tank

KEN SILVERSTEIN

[from The Baffler No. 23, 2013]

http://thebaffler.com/past/they_pretend_to_think_we_pretend_to_listen 

 

Try to conjure up the dullest, most vapid intellectual experience you can possibly imagine. A Matthew Perry film festival. A boxed set of Kenny G’s entire discography. Al Gore “in conversation” with Wolf Blitzer.

Now imagine something worse. Far, far worse. Once you’ve hit the speculative bottom of the unexamined life, you’d be hard pressed to outdo Thomas Friedman holding forth on “Climate Change and the Arab Spring.” What’s still more disturbing is that Friedman’s maunderings—unlike the foregoing litany of intellectual failures—actually took place, and were recorded for posterity, during a panel event this February at the Center for American Progress, America’s most influential liberal think tank. The great globalizing muse of the New York Times op-ed page was joined on stage by Anne-Marie Slaughter, the Princeton University professor and former State Department deputy to Hillary Clinton.

 

Paid to Lose: The Progressive Movement is a PR Front for Rich Democrats

Paid to Lose: The Progressive Movement is a PR Front for Rich Democrats
by JOHN STAUBER
Originally published at:
http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/03/15/the-progressive-movement-is-a-pr-front-for-rich-democrats/

Where Obama's reelection leaves the Green Party and the left in general

One could be excused for wrongly predicting the outcome of last week's presidential election, given the the supposedly tight race that corporate-controlled media made it to be.But Obama's reelection was never really in doubt, the Democrats simply succeeded in using Mitt Romney as a bogeyman,  in order to scare progressives into voting for the president.

 

David Swanson on Swing States Voting Strategy

NYT - Nate Silver's Political Calculus: Nov. 2: For Romney to Win, State Polls Must Be Statistically Biased

 

Why is the left defending Obama?

 

The author's "Progressive case against Obama" stirred strong reactions. He takes on his critics

BY 

 

If Roney wins, Democrats will have to Oppose the War AgainThe 2012 election is next Tuesday. We face a choice between Barack Obama, a candidate whose Presidency we can examine and evaluate, and Mitt Romney, who is a dangerous cipher. My argument – made last week in “Progressive Case Against Obama“, is that progressives should evaluate these risks honestly, with a clear-headed analysis of Obama’s track record.This piece sparked a massive debate that has had both Obama loyalists and Republicans resort tooutlandish name-calling, evidently as a result of their unwillingness or inability to address the issues raised. .

 

It is remarkable to see the level to which Obama defenders have sunk. Let’s start with a basic problem – why is Obama in a tight race? Mitt Romney is more caricature than candidate, a horrifically cartoonish plutocrat whose campaign is staffed by people that allow secret tapings of obviously offensive statements. The Republican base finds Romney uninspiring, and Romney has been unable to provide one good reason to choose him except that he is not the incumbent. Yet, Barack Obama is in a dog fight with this clown. Why? It isn’t because a few critics are writing articles in places like Salon. The answer, if you look at the data, is that Barack Obama has been a terrible President and an enemy to progressives. Unemployment is high. American household income since the recovery started in 2009has dropped 5%. Poverty has increased substantially. Home equity – the main store of wealth for the middle class – has dropped by $5-7 trillion, in contrast to the increase in financial asset values held by Obama’s friends and donors. And this was done explicitly through Obama’s policies.

Open Letter To Michael Moore: Drop Obama & Go Green

The progressive case against Obama

 

Bottom line: The president is complicit in creating an increasingly unequal -- and unjust -- society

A few days ago, I participated in a debate with the legendary antiwar dissident Daniel Ellsberg on Huffington Post live on the merits of the Obama administration, and what progressives should do on Election Day. Ellsberg had written a blog post arguing that, though Obama deserves tremendous criticism, voters in swing states ought to vote for him, lest they operate as dupes for a far more malevolent Republican Party. This attitude is relatively pervasive among Democrats, and it deserves a genuine response. As the election is fast approaching, this piece is an attempt at laying out the progressive case for why one should not vote for Barack Obama for reelection, even if you are in a swing state.

There are many good arguments against Obama, even if the Republicans cannot seem to muster any. The civil liberties/antiwar case was made eloquently a few weeks ago by libertarian Conor Friedersdorf, who wrote a well-cited blog post on why he could not, in good conscience, vote for Obama. While his arguments have tremendous merit, there is an equally powerful case against Obama on the grounds of economic and social equity. That case needs to be made. For those who don’t know me, here is a brief, relevant background:  I have a long history in Democratic and liberal politics. I have worked for several Democratic candidates and affiliated groups, I have personally raised millions of dollars for Democrats online, I was an early advisor to Actblue (which has processed over $300 million to Democratic candidates). I have worked in Congress (mostly on the Dodd-Frank financial reform package), and I was a producer at MSNBC. Furthermore, I aggressively opposed Nader-style challenges until 2008.

Voting Green in a Swing State

by B. SIDNEY SMITH
 

I live in a purple part of the country (Virginia) and move in academic circles, so of course I know many, many people who will be voting for Obama. It is impossible to know, but if I sodomized the Easter Bunny in front of their children the look on my Obama-voter friends’ faces could scarcely be much different than the look they get when I say I am voting for Jill Stein.

 
“But this is a swing state…you have to vote for Obama…what if Romney wins?!?
The pain in their voices tugs at my sympathies; their fear is very real. I want to reassure them, but I was cured a few presidential elections ago. I won’t be drinking from that cup again.
 
At first they assume I don’t understand what’s at stake. They tell me about the Romney/Ryan agenda. They tell me about Obamacare. They tell me about DOMA and the Fair Pay Act. But the conversation wanes when I am not only unsurprised by the information but able to supply amplifications and corrections. I’ve read the (detailed summary of) the Affordable Care Act. I know about Romney’s probable agenda. I even know the age and bodily afflictions of key members of the Supreme Court. In short, I know what’s at stake.

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