THE DNC, to protest or not to protest
Pete Stid Boston, 2004
A number of local and national groups are organizing large demonstrations against the Democratic National Convention, yet many people are asking why. “Shouldn’t we be supporting anyone who can replace Bush?” they ask. Anti-authoritarians feel that protesting the DNC would effectively be a demand for better candidates, thus going against their message that any leader is illegitamate. Others seem to answer any political activism call with, “What the hell difference will it make?” In the same way that all of these statements show a divided and unorganized movement for change, they also show the potential for a unified movement, and a singular goal. An ideal “teaching moment” for a new direction towards direct democracy is presented to us all this July at the DNC. The message should be “change the system” not “regime change”. It is time to begin dismantling the centralization of power in the hands of the Republicans and the Democrats.
Anyone But Bush!
We have all heard the expression, “anyone but Bush.” Voting against Bush seems to be the national game plan in this election. The phenomenon of voting against rather than for is neither rare nor unique. Noam Chomsky spoke of the same trend in the 1980 (Reagan-Carter), 1984 (Reagan-Mondale), and 1992 (Clinton-Bush) presidential elections. In the Reagan elections the majority of Americans opposed Reagan’s policies, but did not vote because their views on the issues were not being articulated by anyone. Traditional democrats were not galvanized by the campaigns of Carter or Mondale, the ones who did make it to the polls were voting against Reagan. Reagan ended up winning in 84 with less than a third of the electorate. The Clinton Democrats interpreted this loss and Dukakis’ loss to daddy Bush as meaning they should move further to the right to seize active voters instead of moving to the left to attract the inactive voters who traditionally supported the democrats in the past, like labor and women. (Class Warfare, 1996) This years primaries have played out in a very similar way.
The new buzzword for this rightward slide is “electability.” This word has become synonymous with “insider,” “conservative,” and some words that are unfit to print. Democrats have become used to the fact that their candidates do not represent them. They now feel comfortable voting for people who share the sentiments of their enemies, sacrificing true victory for the superficial accomplishment of carrying the Democrat label into the Whitehouse. In effect, both parties are now vying for the conservative vote and the vast numbers of people who were once represented by democrats have no representation at all. Labor, women, the working class, African-Americans, Latino-Americans, Students, and Intellectuals, all of these groups have now fallen outside of the two-party system. The vast majority of these groups’ only contribution is a negative one, they are voting against. But what will they most likely be voting for?
John F. Kerry
· Member of the National Security Council (we can assume he saw the paltry WMD evidence)
· Supported the Iraq war
· Voted for the PATRIOT Act (and loved it)
· Voted for Bush’s No Child Left Behind Act
· Supported Nafta
· Member of Skull and Bones with Bush (extremely powerful secret society)
· Takes special interest money
· Was recently busted trading campaign donations for defense contract recommendations
· Hired Rand Beers as his National Security Advisor who:
* Was Bush’s counter terrorism advisor
* Suggested the Columbian FARC had ties to Al-Qaeda (and was later forced to apologize)
* Supervised Plan Columbia
* Signed false documents to protect DynCorp there
Protesting the DNC is not a protest against Kerry, it is beyond that. It is a protest against a political system that does not allow for fair representation of its constituents. The RNC will attract as many or more protestors with the same battle cry. We are protesting at the walls of power in order to destroy its concentration in the hands of the few and distribute it more equally into the hands of the many.
This is a goal that all of us can agree on. America’s electoral system is highly restrictive. It is designed to prevent the entrance of peoples candidates, and it is steadily getting worse. In other democracies, such as Germany, minority parties do have a voice, even when they receive as few votes as the Greens did in our last Presidential contest. The two party system, the electoral college, gerrymandering, and their ilk are all mechanisms of a system based on economic power, not people power. In the months leading up to the DNC the IMC will produce a series of articles examining all aspects of this sick system, the DNC, the candidates, and related items in order to promote a better understanding of the issues at hand, who we are, and where we are headed. Feel free to add your opinions to the mix.