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News ::
How the poor can use elections (english)
24 Nov 2003
It's been done before, and it's happening now.
So you’re thinking: I’m poor, I’m anti-corporate, the media and politicians ignore me. Elections don’t help me, so I guess I’ll be best off if I stick with holding signs and chanting stuff, right?

Maybe you should ask the other poor, anti-corporate, ignored people whose culture-war is being served by the White House, Congress, Senate, most Governorships, and is busily conquering the world while you chant stuff.

I’m talking about cultural conservatives. In the 60’s, these poor, often unemployable whites were holding signs and chanting stuff, burning Beatle records, burning crosses, protesting school busing and accusing everyone and their pet of bolshevism. The media either ignored them or was disgusted, politicians couldn’t come near them (the only “Republican president” between Hoover and Nixon didn’t even know what party to join until the GOP simply handed him the nomination) and corporations didn’t like them, (they would rather drop jobs overseas than nuclear bombs), and the elites are just too educated to fall for their ignorant propaganda.

In fact, one could say that the cultural conservatives dream of a Taliban-style theocracy is far more frightening to corporations and the rich than any of our proposals. Listening to their screeching of “limosine liberal” “satanic Hollywood” “ivory-tower elitists“ “evil entertainment media” “New York elite” “its time for a culture war!” probably scared more rich people into gated communities than anything we’ve said. So how did these cultural conservatives get so much power?

They voted. Straight tickets. All the time - elections, byelections, on those little propositions that only fanatics vote on. They volunteered, donated, ran stealth candidates everywhere, starting with dogcatchers, right up to the ultimate stealth candidate, Bush. They grabbed the dirty work in the republican party until they became indispensable, and because they were indispensable they gained more and more power until they took over the GOP.

And because they didn’t stay home, moaning that the parties are identical, their party won elections, or at least got close enough to get away with stealing them.

On the left, the story has been the complete opposite: from the New Deal to Kennedy, the left stuck with the democrats, winning victories like the New Deal, civil rights, unionization, the UN, the birth of environmentalism and feminism, etc. (that’s just off the top of my head). It was only during Vietnam that the left decided to begin the “victory through self-destruction” strategy, which has lead to rightward movement ever since. 35 years of sign waving and non-voting have not had their desired effect.

So this is my question to you: do you want to stay home and moan or do you want to control the world?
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