Election 2008- The Winners & Losers

Now that the dust is beginning to settle, lets take a look at who the real winners and losers are following this campaign season:

sarah-palin-headshotSarah Palin, Winner

After decrying her critics as “jerks”, Palin remains the party’s favorite for a 2012 run for President.

ma27-homeless1-1004yLower Class, Loser

Joe-six-pack, Joe-the-pumber, and yes, bob-the-builder have been in the spotlight for the past few months. And why not? They are apparently the only people in the country who matter. I can’t think of a single reference to the “lower class” during the debates, or election cycle in general.

alaska_thumbnailAlaska, Winner

Alaska, that pesky state that curiously sits somewhere in the south pacific in all our maps, has risen to a level of national prominence not seen since it first became a state 50 years ago. Alaska’s love for loyalty has become unrivalved across America, as Senator Ted Stevens, recently convicted on 7 felony counts, has likely been re-elected to the Senate. If so, he’ll become the first felon elected to the Senate in history.

alg_turmoil_pollsElection System, Loser

Hours long waiting lines, malfunctioning equipment, voter intimidation, voter fraud,  varying voting requirements, a confusing electoral college- America’s outmoded election system has shown its flaws over the last few elections. Out with the old, in with a new federalized system.

barack_obama_head_shot1Barack Obama, Winner

An excellent orator & a thoughtful intellectual, Barack Obama garnered 52% of the popular vote- the highest of all time for any non-incumbent Democrat. Obama has united and excited the nation in a way not seen before, and is poised to become a great president.

republican_logoRepublicans, Loser

In this election, Republicans lost at least 20 seats in the house (50 since the 2006 elections), and so far- 6 seats in the senate. For the first time in decades, Democrats control the presidency, the senate, and the house. Many noteworthy republicans snubbed the party in endorsing Obama for President, and some are even predicting a split of the republicans into two parties- the republicans, and the conservatives.

. mccain-head-shot John McCain, Winner

In the span of three short minutes, McCain managed to gain my respect for a tasteful & appropriate concession speech. A cancer survivor at the age of of 72,  McCain can gracefully retire after the completion of his senate term.

guns008 Guns, Winner

Following Barak Obama’s election, gun sales have soared. Many gun shops report sales rising by 30% or more, as people fear a Barakdown on gun ownership

barack_obama_head_shotBarack Obama, Loser

After becoming the historic President Elect, Barack Obama has just inherited a whole lotta trouble: the economy, two wars, the housing market, crumbling infrastructure, a broken health care system, a staggering national debt…

socialism1 Socialism, Winner

Although the McCain/Palin campaign attempted to paint Obama as a dangerous Socialist in the closing weeks of the campaign, Socialism, has actually been doing quite well. The United States Government is now in the business of nationalizing banks to the tune of $700 billion, and following $25 billion in loans to the auto industry earlier this year, Democratic leaders are now urging a  bailout for struggling automakers.

sarah-palin-headshotSarah Palin, Loser

Sarah Palin, who came within a few million votes of becoming the first female vice-president. To add insult to injury, the Repulican National Committe is taking back all the clothes they bought her. Finally, her credibility has sunken so low, that she has been forced to deny allegations that she didn’t know whether Africa was a country or continent.

americaathome America, Winner

They just got Barack & Co

-kd-

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What frightens you?

27 million people worldwide are enslaved?

Or

2 men marrying?

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1% of the world’s population controlling 40% of global wealth?

Or

Taxing people with earnings over $250,000 a year?

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America’s prison population of 2.3 million representing 25% of the worlds total?

or

Leveling the playing field for women and minorities?

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18,000 people in America dying every year for lack of health care insurance?

Or

Making health care available to all Americans?

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The genocide in Darfur leading to 300,000 deaths over the past 6 years?

or

Allowing a rape victim to terminate her pregnancy?

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1,900 immigrants dying over 6 years trying to cross into America

or

Immigrants working in our country?

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1,000,000, American homes in foreclosure?

or

The specter of electing a minority to the White House?

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If the right wants to run a campaign on fear,  go ahead think about what really worries you.

The national discourse in America today couldn’t be further from what truly matters as human beings in this world. But not to be deterred, the religious right, fiscal conservatives, and closet racists have become galvanized in their quest to suppress the most dynamic and promising candidate for president that our nation has seen in nearly a decade. If the McCain/Palin ticket is successful, four more years of reckless guidance, international arrogance and wanton disregard for human rights, civil liberties, and equality will be ushered in.

The Democratic Party is by no means a panacea, but try as I may, I cannot wrap my head around the republican line of reasoning that believes a 72 year old self-proclaimed “maverick”, and mind numbingly unqualified governor can bring us the “change” we need.

The economic divide between the impoverished and the rich has grown steadily over the past decade, millions suffer from lack of health care, hundreds of thousands are homeless, women still make less than eighty cents on the dollar to men, more black men in America are incarcerated than in college, civil liberties have been slashed by the Patriot Act… the list goes on.

Conservatives have decried the liberal nominee as “inexperienced”, “unknown”, and most recently “socialist”. Absentee ballots mailed out to three hundred voters in New York, even “mistakenly” spelled Barack’s last name “Osama”.

During the 2000 election I was dumbfounded at how the election was stolen in plain sight. In 2004 I was confident America would reject Bush’s four years of “leadership”, and again was crushed. Now we have Obama and the nation has not seen the kind of unity, excitement and collective hope for a new, respectable course in the world since the nomination of JFK.

I’m not sure how I would take another Democratic  defeat, especially one clouded by suspicious behavior. Meanwhile, the right is decrying the registration of false names nationwide (which will have no bearing on the election- “Mickey Mouse cannot cast a ballot on the 4th) while meanwhile, states are purging thousands of registered voters by “accident” (6,000-Ohio), or simply rejecting applications for voter registration (35,000-Arizona).

Conservative politics have brought us slavery, second class female status, xenophobia, market deregulation, imperialism, George Bush, John McCain & Sarah Palin. Liberal politics have brought us women’s suffrage, the New Deal, the civil rights movement, Bill Clinton, Al Gore & Barack Obama.

The choice couldn’t be clearer for me, and it breaks my heart that some will read this post and still conclude that the conservative McCain/Palin ticket will move us into the future.

This video was shot on a college campus 1 hour from Philadelphia:

Stand up for justice, acceptance, and progress in this election.

-kd-

A Bunch of Nobodies

Did you see the debate last night? Who do you think won? Obama? McCain? I can’t tell you who won the debate last night, but I can tell you who didn’t: Charles Jay, Ron Paul, Charles Baldwin, Alan Keys, Gloria LaRiva, Gene Amondson, Ted Weill, Bob Barr, Brian Moore, Roger Calero, Jonathan Allen, Ralph Nader , Jeffery Boss, Richard Duncan, Bradford Lyttle, Frank McEnulty, Cynthia Ann McKinney, and Thomas Stevens .

Who are these people? They are all candidates for President of the United States of America. Several, including Barr, Nader, and McKinney will appear on ballots across the nation on Election Day. However, none of them were invited to speak at any of the debates, and now none stands a chance of victory.

It is a curious phenomenon that the American people settle for two choices every election cycle. Sure we vet out the various democratic and republican candidates during the primaries- but what about third party and independent candidates? Is it really possible that the collective views of hundreds of millions of Americans are neatly summed up by two men, year after year, decade after decade? I would venture a guess that the answer is no. I would also venture a guess that this might have something to do with our nation being polarized…

Across the world other nations have recognized this reality, and have adjusted their political process accordingly. A quick summary of some of the world’s leading nations, and how many parties are represented in their government: Canada- 4; France- 9; Japan- 7, Germany- 6, India- 40+. It would be a hard sell to convince me that these countries are employing some sort of backwards system that wouldn’t work in the real world.

Actually, I would beg to differ & would go so far as to suggest that several of these nations have done a better job running their economy and political affairs than we have over the past 8 years. Further, when the World Health Organization ranks us 36th of all nations in terms of meeting the needs of its citizens, it might be a hint that we need to start thinking outside of the box.

So how has this curious system come to pass in the United States? After all, in the past there have been numerous political parties in America such as the Green Party, Constitution Party, Libertarian Party, Boston Tea Party, & Socialist Party. If I were cynical, I would tell you the system was rigged.

So here goes: the system is rigged.

Every election since 1988 has been hosted by the non-profit Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD). This sounds pretty innocuous until you learn that the Commission is run by a former head of the Republican National Committee (Frank Fahrenkopf) & a former head of the Democratic National Committee (Paul Kirk). These were the two guys you saw at the pre-debate introductions last night.

Every election cycle, the CPD negotiates a “memorandum of understanding” with the major candidates over who gets to participate in the debate, among other things. Surprisingly, independent contenders usually do not make the short list. The most recent exception- Ross Perot, was only allowed into the 92’ debate because the other candidates agreed to let him participate. Now, it is true that the CPD has only been in existence since 1987- so does that mean 3rd parties were part of the scene before the CPD took over? In a nutshell, yes.

Prior to the CPD, the non-partisan League of Women Voters hosted the debates, and in 1980, when independent candidate John Anderson wanted to participate in the debate, the league allowed him to participate over Jimmy Carter’s objections and eventual boycott. This willingness to do what is right, and not bend to the wishes of the two major political parties was lost when the League refused to continue to sponsor the debates after learning that these “memorandums of understanding” were being created.

So what do we do about the fact that the American people are forced year after year, to buy into a political establishment run by two major parties who are content to fight over congressional and executive seats?

I’m not sure. In the word of Eugene Debs:

“I do not want you to follow me or anyone else; if you are looking for a Moses to lead you out of this capitalist wilderness, you will stay right where you are. I would not lead you into the promised land if I could, because if I led you in, some one else would lead you out. You must use your heads as well as your hands, and get yourself out of your present condition”

I would suggest however, that you educate yourself on this topic if it matters to you. Try some of the following links:

Democracy Now

Open Elections

Presidential Candidates

Commission on Presidential Debates

Knowledge is the first step towards achieving change. Martin Luther King put it best when he said: “In any nonviolent campaign there are four basic steps: collection of the facts to determine whether injustices exist; negotiation; self-purification; and direct action”.

I would submit to you, by reading this article and the attached links, you have begun step one.

-kd-

A Tranche of Reason

Barack Hussein Obama is an Arab. An Islamic Arabian Prince to be precise. Congressional insiders report that Obama’s Islamic leanings have been growing more pronounced in recent weeks; in an effort to mend broken relations with his brother Osama, Obama has agreed to rekindle their pen-pal pact. White House staffers have also confirmed that when not conversing with jihadist over dinner, Senator Obama has been known to yell “Allah Akbar” while running through the halls of the Senate. Equally grim for the American public is that Hussein’s counterpart, McCain, is expected to expire before the election cycle ends. Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a surgeon close to the ailing centurion has suggested that McCain could kick the can before the close of Tuesday night’s debate. He quickly added however, that even if McCain doesn’t fossilize soon, credible rumors have indicated that McCain is actually George W. Bush incognito.

With a choice between a mysterious terrorist, and a living-dead moneybags for president, it is understandable that Americans have turned a critical eye to the vice-presidential candidates. Fortunately, both politicians have been frank about their qualifications: Bidden has confessed that as an impoverished Senator, he’s just an average Joe from Scranton. His financial hardship has been confirmed by the MSNBC discovery that Bidden has been pulling 12 hour shifts in the coal mines between campaign stops. Governor Palin’s story is equally compelling: as a sexually appealing maverick, she’s the kind of woman you could go the rink with. Palin’s credibility has been further bolstered by timely reports she provided to the CIA over “funny looking” troop movements in Georgia.

Whomever the American’s choose to put at the helm of the U.S.S.R. United States of Investment Banks, U.S.A. over the next 4 years, it is certain they will be able to stay the course of change. They will face stiff challenges however, from an American financial system infiltrated, and eaten from the inside out, by thousands of poor people emboldened by the Community Reinvestment Act to buy homes. Now that these individuals are being foreclosed upon, the real loser is Main Street. The damage that was done to the stock market when it suffered its greatest point drop two weeks ago, was only matched in its intensity  by the 3rd greatest point gain in history on Monday. Amidst these calamitous times,  Americans are crying “Never again!”

However all is not doom and gloom for the American people- the Department of Homeland Security announced that as of October 14th “There is no credible, specific intelligence suggesting an imminent threat to the homeland at this time”, assessing the threat level to be a manageable “yellow” (significant risk of terrorist attack) In other good news, with the election only three weeks out, national gas prices have recently sunk to a comfortable $3.20/gallon.

Watch out Washington- change is in the air.

-kd-