Monday, April 11, 2016

The Real Face (Farce) of "Democracy"

                                                 From The Ramparts
                                                Junious Ricardo Stanton
                                      The Real Face (Farce) of "Democracy"

             "In what may go down as the defining moment of the 2016 Republican Presidential Race, GOP party insiders in Colorado completed their scheme to cancel the voice of over 900,000 registered Republicans and award the states delegates to Senator Ted Cruz in what is widely believed to be a transparent attack on the candidacy of Donald Trump. In late August GOP insiders quietly decided to cancel the vote of the citizens of Colorado,a move that put the election of delegates into the hands of establishment insiders and activists. Now, seven months later, the scheme has apparently paid off with Cruz gaining all 34 of the states delegates."

            The 2016 presidential primaries are revealing just how corrupt the American political system actually is. The revelations are getting more bizarre and disturbing every day. As the stakes get higher the Democratic and Republican Party inner circles are rallying to maintain the status quo in the face of overwhelming voter dissatisfaction, discontent and a genuine desire to alter the current course of politics in the United States. During the various presidential primaries both political parties have distinguished themselves as unabashedly corrupt.
            Beginning in Iowa there were allegations Ted Cruz won based on voter fraud and dirty tricks. As Donald Trump surged and won several states to become the frontrunner the Republican elites have openly and publicly conspired to deny him the chance to become the Republican nominee. They are so desperate they are plotting several strategies to steal the nomination from Trump: one is to rig the elections in favor of Ted Cruz who is universally disliked by the Party and a man many say is not even qualified to run since he is not a natural born citizen of the US and the other plan is to do everything possible to deny Trump the need delegates to win on the first ballot so they can manipulate a "brokered convention" in Cleveland Ohio this summer. That is not democracy where the  party members choose the candidates they want to represent them by voting in the primary and general elections.  What we are seeing in both political parties is banana republic type stuff.
            On the Democratic Party side, Hillary Clinton is alleged to have used out of state paid staffers pretending to be precinct captains in Iowa to steer local participants to vote for her. There are additional instances of seeming irregularity such as in every contested precinct vote in Iowa the winner was decided by a coin toss; and in a statistical improbability, Hillary Clinton won every toss! Moving on from Iowa, Clinton used her formidable backing by the party insiders to gain every advantage possible. But even with that Bernie Sanders is surging in the polls and has won eight straight primaries.
            I don't have a dog in either fight, to me the system is a sham and is totally corrupt. I have known this for decades but what we are seeing now confirms it for all the world to see. My first experience with electoral politics came in the early nineteen seventies when I was asked to help one of my college fraternity brothers who was running for the Pennsylvania state legislature. He was running against the current speaker of the Pennsylvania House Herbert Fineman in a district that was changing demographically. Fineman popular and he was also a powerful ward leader. The Jews were leaving the Wynnfield section of the city in droves but were still thick in Overbrook Park and in the apartments on the Philly side of City Line Avenue in the 70's. Blacks were concentrated in what was called The Bottom but there were also a lot of white students from Drexel University there. His strategy was to concentrate on the Black wards and his Winnfield neighbors and leave the white enclaves to Fineman. I went out every Saturday and sometimes during the week when my schedule permitted putting literature in people's doors and talking to folks on the street.
            My frat brother was his neighborhood's  committeeman but he had no financial support from the Democratic Party. He was operating as an independent reformer on a shoestring budget to say the least and our efforts were made more difficult because  many Blacks in the district were afraid to go against an incumbent who was very powerful in Philadelphia and Pennsylvania  politics.
            On the day of the primary I took a day off from grad school and served as a poll watcher in the Wynnfield section of the district. I began my duties when the polling place opened and became friendly with the other poll watchers and workers most of whom were supporting Mr. Fineman. Around lunch time one of the women whispered to me, "I'm only telling you this because you seem like a nice person, the machines aren't registering the votes of your candidate."  We didn't have cell phones back then so I went to a payphone and called my frat brother. He followed up, made some calls to The Committee of Seventy an election watchdog group who sent representatives to the site and Mr. Fineman came to the polling site later that afternoon asking what the commotion was all about. The election proceeded the rest of the day without incident. I never found out if what the woman told me was true, but my candidate lost by a landslide which I attributed to our lack of money and staff, Fineman's name recognition and political longevity as a candidate as well as the dirty tricks. I received a first hand lesson then that the reality of electoral politics is not what they each in civics class in school, college and grad school.
             Two years later, my frat brother ran against Herb Fineman and lost again.  I helped him in that campaign also. He had the same problems then as he had the previous time: lack of money, lack of name recognition outside his immediate community and lack of party support and endorsement although they liked his energy and spunk.
            I experienced dirty tricks used against my running mate and I when we ran as an incumbent candidates for borough council in a small all Black incorporated self -governing town years later when I moved to New Jersey. I had served the community on the Planning Board for many years and was asked to fill an open council seat when one of the council members passed away unexpectedly. During my second term the council was considering a controversial land development proposal and there was staunch opposition to it by some community members.  The opposition used fear mongering, lies and a lawsuit which our side eventually won in federal court but that cost the town over $400,000.  For a small town of less than 4,000 residents that was a lot of money, especially when the government mutual insurance fund our town belonged to and contributed money to that was supposed to help in cases like this, refused to give us money to defend ourselves. The irony of it was the people they ran against us had never done anything of significance in the town or volunteered to serve the community.  They won but were voted out of office three years later after serving one term.
            As the 2016 presidential circus continues to unfound, do not be surprised when the ruling classes pull strings, bend the rules or openly steal the nominations from Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. What we are seeing is abject proof  the American system is totally corrupt and the will of the people is being thwarted! The ruling elites have high jacked the system, elections are a sham merely a way to keep the rabble going for the ruling elites' okey-doke.
            I'm not saying don't vote. You should vote for the local initiatives like the school board elections  (where applicable), the school board budget, referendums and your local representatives. But as we can see, the presidential process is a farce. We should recognize this and act accordingly.



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