Fast forward to Election Day 2008: Network anchors, cable
pundits, and state and local election officials are going nuts as evening hours
pass and voter turnout is hardly approaching 20 percent nearly everywhere.
�What�s going on?� everyone is asking incredulously. TV and
computer screens all over the planet show Americans in streets celebrating and
shouting things like �We�ve had enough political corruption. We�re not going to
In contrast, news anchors are grim and aghast with little
help from spin-fatigued and stammering Democratic and Republican spokespeople.
At 2 a.m. on NBC, Brian Williams sits with Tim Russert and Keith Olbermann, and
sums up: �Americans have spoken and American politics have changed forever.�
�It�s like the nightmare of entertainers: nobody shows up
for their event,� says bemused Olbermann.
Russert grimly observes, �We should have seen this coming;
people have been fed up with both parties for a long time.�
Meanwhile, the Internet is buzzing with talk of voiding the
presidential and congressional election results; that President Bush may
declare a national state of emergency, and that the Supreme Court might step in
again. Did anyone think that the Constitution required a minimum voter turnout
to make elections legit?
America�s political system is a large and complex criminal
conspiracy. Most voters enable it without benefiting from it. Voting is a ploy
of the two-party power elites to keep the population docile, delusional and
duped. Our government has been hijacked in plain sight, despite elections. We
cannot get it back by voting. All the main candidates are part of the
conspiracy. Voting only encourages them.
In our fake democracy, corrupt politicians use doses of
voting as a political narcotic. We must free more Americans of the addiction.
Otherwise they will keep hallucinating that some Democratic or Republican
president or controlled Congress will actually give us the changes we crave
Attempts to hold the government accountable have failed and
will continue to fail. The system is rotten to the core. It sustains itself
both by preventing major political reforms and undermining those that get
passed to temporarily placate the public. Arrogant power elites feel no
obligation to be accountable to the public. Elections are not a threat to the
status quo. Elections are distractive entertainment, a political narcotic.
Voting became a political narcotic when it stopped working
to improve government and became used to legitimize a corrupt, two-party failed
Voting -- especially lesser-evil voting -- sustains our fake
democracy more than any other citizen action. It lets politicians claim that they
represent the sovereign people. It tells the world that our elected government
has public support. Voting sends the wrong message to everyone. No matter who
you vote for, voting says the political system is fair. It is not.
Power elites own the government and use it to serve their
interests and protect a corporate plutocracy. Though a numerical minority --
probably about 20 million Americans -- an Upper Class easily manipulates the
remaining 280 million by controlling the consumer economy, the distractive
culture, and government policies and spending.
This is what America�s political freedom has morphed into:
Dissidents free to protest (to make us feel good). Elites free to control (to
maintain corruption). Conned citizens free to vote (to keep the system looking
democratic). And most Americans free to borrow, spend and consume (to stay
hooked on work, antidepressants, sleeping pills, alcohol, sports, computers,
religion, gambling and illegal drugs). Where do you fit in?
In our drugged fake democracy, Americans replace objective
reality with illusions. The US does not excel in nearly any statistical measure
of democracies. Our voter turnout is a disgrace. We imprison more people than
all other nations combined. We do not provide universal health care or affordable
prescription drugs. Our primary education system is mostly awful. Economic
inequality is incredible -- with the top one percent owning 21 percent of the
nation�s wealth -- and getting worse. People are lured into addiction to
consumption and borrowing, then left to suffer from crippling debt. Painful
economic insecurity blinds the submissive middle class whose belief in the
American dream is akin to expecting to win a lottery.
In a nation that supposedly prizes competitiveness, there is
no real political competition. The two major parties maintain a collusive
stranglehold on our government. Third party candidates are purposefully
disadvantaged. Incumbents can thwart opponents. Worse, though the two major
parties shout their differences, they are merely two sides of the same coin,
two heads of the same beast, two servants of the Upper Class, and two
protectors of the corporate plutocracy. They are criminal co-conspirators.
Superficial differences between candidates keep voters entertained, manipulated
and rooting for �their� team in the political game that the corporate media
(more co-conspirators) make tons of money from.
In this charade, minor, maverick primary season presidential
candidates contribute to the illusion of a competitive system. Their loyalty to
party trumps their commitment to major political reforms. They do not tell
their supporters that if they do not receive the nomination �stay home� rather
than vote for one of their opponents. No, those they opposed in the primary
season are seen as lesser evils than anyone from the other party. This protects
the two-party system.
In America�s fake democracy, citizens are fooled by personal
freedoms. It is a fake democracy because the will of the people is not
respected by those elected to run the government, the rule of law is routinely
violated by those in power, the Constitution is regularly dishonored and
disobeyed by elected officials and judges, and all but the wealthy are sold out
through government-assisted corporate globalization.
No wonder that America is a joke to much of the world�s
population. Foreigners envy our materialism, not our government. With
horrendous hypocrisy we use military power to impose democracy abroad, despite
having a flawed democracy at home. Foreigners� disgust with our government is
one thing, but they like Americans. Yet Americans enable and sustain the
detested government by voting, then blame those elected rather than fix the
broken system. A few crooked politicians and corporate bosses go to jail. But
the criminal system remains. Nothing but token reforms are made. Corruption
Few Americans are dissidents. Many more block the painful
truth that their cherished democracy is a fraud. The land of the free is no
longer the home of the brave. Foreign enemies are used to keep people from
bravely fighting domestic tyrants.
Like magicians using sleight of words and misdirection
through lies, politicians (and those that own them) have trivialized the fact
that about half of the electorate does not vote. Nonvoters have been blamed
when the corrupt system is at fault. Rather than see nonvoters as apathetic we
should see them acting rationally because voting is unproductive. Nonvoters
should never feel guilty, only proud to have sent a "none of the above"
But voter turnout has not been sufficiently low to
forcefully discredit, dishonor and de-legitimize American democracy. Though
low, it has become an accepted norm, allowing the manufactured myth to continue
-- that we live in the world�s greatest democracy, though nothing could be
farther from the truth.
With false hope, voters believe that the right Democrat or
Republican will do what none of their predecessors has done, and that campaign
rhetoric and promises will actually translate to post-election action and
policy. Voters fail to understand the depth of our culture of dishonesty that
has also invaded the voting process.
Held secretly in private hands is proprietary source code
that instructs the voting machines on to how to count the vote. More than
one-third of all votes cast in our nation are made on touch screen machines
driven by proprietary source code and 90 percent of all votes cast are counted
by software that�s unverifiable.
No sane American should trust the political system, the
politicians, and the voting process. And when you cannot trust all three, you
have a fake democracy. Many of us thirst for major change, but mainstream
politicians simply exploit this and lie. By voting for any of them we ensure no
serious change. The way to shake up the system is to boycott voting.
In sum, despite personal freedoms, we also have political
tyranny as oppressive in its own way as any authoritarian, dictatorial
government. Americans have lost the revolutionary spirit of their ancestors. Americans
are unable to revolt, despite revolting conditions. They have accepted the
tyranny of taxation with MISrepresentation. The political criminal conspiracy
has successfully used cultural genetic manipulation to replace the DNA of
revolutionary courage with the DNA of distractive, self-indulgent consumerism.
Our primary freedom is to borrow and spend. Our currency should read, �In Greed
We Trust.� We have populist consumerism, not populist politics. Divisive
politics keeps people fighting each other rather than uniting against the
Delusional prosperity is what our delusional democracy
creates for the majority. Many millions of Americans are hurting from loss of
good jobs, crippling health care costs, staggering debt, unaffordable college
education, imminent foreclosure or bankruptcy, rising economic insecurity,
working two lousy jobs, time poverty, dependence on food stamps and charity.
Millions more are angry about endless political corruption and bipartisan
incompetence, the inability to get a new 9/11 investigation, uncontrolled
illegal immigration, and our national debt. The rebellion needs all of them.
And they need the rebellion.
True, we have plenty of passive nonvoters, a good head
start. Now we need active, vociferous nonvoters -- proud protestors and
dissidents urging others to join the civil disobedience to reach the tipping
point for revolutionary change. After we achieve major political reforms we
should pursue mandatory voting -- when voting once again has civic meaning.
Massive, unprecedented nonvoting has the power to produce
systemic political reform by defiantly discrediting, dishonoring and
delegitimizing America�s fake democracy. When I choose not to vote I do not
make the votes of others more important. Their votes already serve an evil
system. The critical choice is to vote or not vote, not picking a particular
Democrat or Republican. When I choose not to vote I embrace an honorable,
patriotic rebellious act of civil disobedience. I no longer buy the BIG LIE
that there still is an American democracy worth participating in. As James
Madison said, �Conscience is the most sacred of all property.�
Mass nonvoting sends the message of rejection -- as powerful
as using guns. The Second American Revolution begins with this recognition: We
must work together to drive voter turnout down to abysmal levels -- so low that
everyone gets the rejection message. We must let the world know -- and
America�s power elites fear -- that we sovereign Americans intend to take back
our government. But how?
It begins with a boycott of voting. See it as a populist
recall of the federal government that makes our framers proud. It is followed
by demanding what the framers gave us in our Constitution for exactly the
conditions we now have: an Article V convention of state delegates that can
propose constitutional amendments, especially ones to reform our political
system to make it honest and trustworthy. Learn more at www.foavc.org.
Why have we not had one in over 200 years? Why has Congress
been allowed to disobey, actually veto a part of the Constitution, and violate
their oath of office? There is only one logical explanation: An intensely
watched convention could wreck the political status quo and take away the power
of those running and ruining our nation. That so many Americans fear a
convention just shows the success of the social conditioning and political
narcotics the elitist plutocracy has imposed for decades. Imagine an amendment
that required at least 90 percent voter turnout for federal elections to
produce a winner.
When it comes to our nation our choice is not to love it or
leave it, but to accept the painful truth and take responsibility for restoring
American democracy -- because we love it. Let�s move forward with this slogan:
�Don't vote--it only encourages them.�
S. Hirschhorn was a senior official at the Congressional Office of Technology
Assessment and the National Governors Association, and is the author of
Delusional Democracy -- Fixing the Republic Without Overthrowing the
Government. Reach him through www.delusionaldemocracy.com.