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Twelve Ways Jim Crow is Winning in 2014 and Future Elections

Twelve Ways Jim Crow is Winning in 2014 and Future Elections

by Harvey Wasserman and Bob Fitrakis
October 30, 2014

http://freepress.org/article/twelve-ways-jim-crow-winning-2014-and-future-elections

Jim Crow is already the big winner in this year’s election.

The corporate elite uses him to to gouge the planet and dominate the rest of us.

So the voting rights of millions of student, elderly, black, Hispanic and other citizens are being lynched.

Which may now decide control of the US Senate, many state legislatures...and the White House in 2016.

The corporate-Christian right has long used the drug war to disenfranchise millions of citizens of youth and color. Gay and reproductive rights, feminism and the cultural war have mobilized Christian crusaders to flood the polls for the GOP.

But with the winding down of the drug war and widespread gay rights victories, Republicans now need the outright destruction of democracy itself to win an election. This election is a prelude:

1. The Corporate Cash Tsunami: The Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision allows gargantuan sums of corporate money to shape every election. It’s now the norm for unlimited cash to buy air time, fake “news” reports, billboards, phony astro-turf campaigns, and key election officials in charge of counting the ballots.

2. Killing Voter Registration: With a wide range of tactics, corporate/GOP functionaries are restricting access to the polls. In Ohio and elsewhere millions of citizens have been stripped of their voter registration rights, almost all in dense-packed urban areas that lean heavily Democratic. “Golden Days” when voters can both register and vote have been eliminated. Voter registration organizations like ACORN have been destroyed and strict restraints have been placed on others, all with the focused agenda of making it increasingly difficult for grassroots, non-millionaire citizens to vote.

3. Denying and Destroying Absentee Ballots: More than 40,000 absentee ballots are now “missing” in Georgia, with similar reports inevitable elsewhere, as they were in Ohio 2004. In Georgia the critical US Senate race may well be decided by fewer votes than were “lost” in the mail.

4. New Poll Taxes: Despite the 24th Amendment abolishing the poll tax, voter ID and other requirements are placing financial restrictions on who can vote. In many cases citizens registered at the same address for decades are being turned away at the polls. At least 500,000 Texas voters may be disenfranchised by ID laws that work heavily against students, the elderly and people of color, more than enough to turn most key elections in the state, including the governor’s race.

5. Discriminatory ID Demands: Student IDs are being rejected in Texas and elsewhere, with the obvious impact of denying young people the vote. Gun owners’ permits are being accepted as valid voter ID.

6. Electronic Vote Theft: Easily manipulated electronic voting machines were key to Florida 2000 and Ohio 2004 for George W. Bush. They have spread at the whim of billionaires. The easy electronic flipping of entire elections has obvious appeal to hugely funded corporate players throughout the US.

7. Suppressing Electronic Dialog: The Democratic Party generally refuses to even discuss electronic vote theft, apparently fearful the mere dialog will scare away voters. The Daily Kos website has banned numerous election protection bloggers (us included), apparently for just that reason. Democratic candidates tend to run from the issue despite the fact that without hand-counted paper ballots, their campaign are often exercises in futility.

8. Bought Democrats: Democrats also depend on corporate money and regularly vote pro-corporate. As with Al Gore in 2000 and John Kerry in 2004, they do walk away from elections they legitimately won, and refuse to fight for the basic rights of their core supporters to safely vote and have those votes counted, even if it means their own defeat

9. Buying Rigged Legislatures: Numerous key states have been gerrymandered to guarantee GOP majorities no matter what the states’ citizens want. Key is Ohio, whose popular Democratic majority is “represented” by an overwhelmingly GOP state legislature. Also, 12 out of the 16 US representatives are Republican. Throughout the US, corporate money is buying parallel control of legislatures in states with Democratic majorities.

10. Buying the US Senate: With unlimited cash, Jim Crow attacks on registration and voting, electronic vote theft and much more, the corporate GOP is on the brink of taking over the US Senate. Even if they only come close, corporate billionaires can count on Democratic timidity and easily purchased swing votes.

11. Assaulting Local Activists: In Ohio, the conservative governor John Kasich has a “hit list” of anti-fracking activists and Pennsylvania state police and the FBI have put environmental activists in terrorism pamphlets. Wherever a governor or mayor or town council or grassroots activist group has risen to block corporate theft, a heavily funded coup d’etat ensues. In Richmond, California, Chevron is spending millions to remove a mayor and town council that have been trying to bring a local refinery to heel. Wherever corporate interests are threatened, huge sums of cash now pour in to rid local governments of grassroots citizens and legitimate public servants who are actually concerned about the public health and well-being.

12. Killing Hope: The corporate media regularly denies, ignores and marginalizes election integrity activists and campaign finance reformers. The for-profit continually declaring “popular support” for their bought politicians. A key moment came with ABC bloviator George Will declaring a 1980 “sea change” for Ronald Reagan without revealing his role as a paid Reagan operative. Expect the usual corporate wind bags to proclaim great “grassroots victories” for corporate flunkies as they buy, steal and lynch their way into the new Gilded Age.

Through it all the activist community must maintain our balance---and our levity. The new Dark Age of corporate dominance will only last forever if we fold our tents, ignore the problem and fail to work for our core beliefs.

In the face of overwhelming corporate power to pollute our planet and debase our democracy, we have always found ways to win. Now’s no time to stop.

*************

Harvey Wasserman and Bob Fitrakis have co-authored numerous books on election protection and the theft of the 2004 election, which are at www.freepress.org, where Bob’s FITRAKIS FILES can be found. Harvey’s SOLARTOPIA! OUR GREEN-POWERED EARTH is at www.solartopia.org.

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