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Democracy Hurdles



By the time this is printed, the 2012 election will be over. And again it will have been one marred by half-truths, half and full-blown lies and what are now standard procedures of the So Wrong Right to stop legitimate voters from voting. On the first issue, we had Mitt Romney proudly claim, “We will not let ‘fact checkers’ run our campaign.” In other words, “Truth is irrelevant. We will say whatever we want to win, and to hell with those who correct us.”

According to Igor Volsky at, as of Oct. 16, Mr. Romney had told 857 of these less-than-true tales in 39 weeks of campaigning. Sadly, when these “inaccuracies” are pointed out for correction, it is the messengers who are skewered by the media punditocracy and his supporters.

And in the name of protecting elections from nonexistent voter-impersonation fraud, millions of legitimate voters are excluded from the polls. False felony purges, inadequate voter facilities, intimidations and frivolous technicalities disqualifying both voters and their votes after the fact all serve to deny those mostly low-income, of-color and elderly voters who do not vote the “right way,” meaning the GOP way.

Even voting machines that can be programmed or hacked to favor one candidate over another is common practice (see “The Spoonamoore Interview”). The votes of military personnel overseas (again, often African-American) are challenged as illegitimate (Democracy Now!, Oct.18). Another trick is to spread disinformation about voting days, “informing” the electorate that Republicans vote on Tuesday and Democrats vote on following days. The latest incident was in Arizona in an election for the infamous Sherriff Arpaio—fliers in Spanish “informed” Latinos to vote on the following Thursday (Democracy Now!, Oct. 18, and ABC 15).

U.S. voter turnout is already the lowest in the world or nearly so, and the GOP would ideally prefer it be even lower, reserved for Republicans only.

Another question begging for an answer is why the media, and the Democratic Party, for that matter, let these totalitarian tactics occur election after election. A properly functioning democracy would seek to increase voter participation, not limit it.