In the 2004
Presidential election I sat home on my hands and wished bad cess
to all the candidates. I even had a bit of an argument over the
net with the late Harry Browne as to whether or not he and all the
other candidates for prexy were not convicted by their very candidacy
of being dedicated to the Fhrerprinzip (you know, the fond
and also usually fervid belief that the hero on a white horse alone
can lead us out of our bondage into a marvelous new freedom and
to total victory over our adversaries).
In the 2000
election, I had voted for Howard Phillips and the Constitution Party
(formerly The Taxpayers Party), as I had in 1996 and 1992. I consider
that I have paid my dues to the grand idea of starting a new party
and breaking the stranglehold of the Big Two.
It ain't a'gonna
happen. That's what I've learned over a quarter-century. The idea
of it is an ignis fatuus, a will o' the wisp, an utter delusion.
The Fates (or something) have decreed that there will be but two
effective political parties in America. Power and perks will be
lobbed back and forth between them, while both instinctively work
smoothly together to keep any real ideas, any real solutions, any
real options, from ever being presented to the voters.
great tennis player, Roger Federer, furnishes us with an instructive
modus operandi: When your opponent is proving stronger than you
expected, think through a way to bring him down, and then implement
it; don't just keep on playing the way you like to. It won't do
the job. Ratchet up, baby.
We all know
what the Republicans are going to bring to the party: Bush, Bush,
and more Bush, which means Neocon Nastiness, or the Strauss Solution,
or Halliburton Hell, till the rafters ring.
war, war, and more war, all prosecuted in a gross fog of mendacity
and delusion and presented by our wonderfully compliant "major"
media as a reasonable and ethical line of action.
In view of
that, how, indeed, does one ratchet up and win? I don't know. Give
me a little more time to think. But meanwhile let me outline for
you what is not going to unseat Bushbaby.
I quote from
Alexander Cockburn's March 23 column on Counterpunch.org:
[a current Dem catchword] calls for the Democrats to hinge the
2006 fall campaign on how the Republicans have failed us on the
issue of national security. Harry Reid says Democrats should wrap
themselves in the flag, use tanks as backdrop and then try to
outflank the Republicans from the right with demands for increased
military funding, a better fought war, tighter borders, and ports
run by white American-born Christians, preferably free of radical
organizers from the ILWU.
reported in the Washington Times, Reid’s strategy memo
advises: u2018Ensure that you have the proper U.S. and state flags
at the event, and consider finding someone to sing the national
anthem and lead the group in the Pledge of Allegiance at the start
of the event.' Next up was Joe Biden, standing between two gold-fringed
flags, and probably with Old Glory underwear, telling the press
that u2018to the extent that Bush fails in Iraq, American interests
are seriously damaged, and I’m rooting for his success, not his
failure.' This is the man who explained his 30-minute opening
speech at the Alito hearings by saying he wanted to put the nominee
at his ease."
And so forth.
The same basic report can be found in the copy of a considerable
number of pundits just now.
So what is
going to happen is a rerun of the 2004 movie, "Kerry, the Lethal
Opponent, Takes a Dive." Hillary seems to have positioned herself
along these same lines; her version is "More Iraq, but Smarter."
A friend of mine who claims to know what odds the bookies are making
on the several likely candidates puts Hillary waaaaaay out in front,
which seems incredible, but I have to admit that practically everything
more and more seems that way to me.
Can it really
be that no "Peace Now" candidate is going to come forward,
or what is even more important, be heard nationally and be on the
ballot of one or the other of the only two viable parties? Yes,
it can really be. Our so-called representatives are no longer representing
us (did they ever, really?); they are representing themselves and
their real constituency, which is certainly not us, but rather special
people with power and money (of course I repeat myself), who can
therefore command the attention of our loyal legislators. You must
try to understand the problem of having a sort of political ADD.
what is the forward strategy to be — for this mid-term election
and the one to follow in 2008? I see two choices. Decide which of
the two Warmonger parties you think is liable to do the least damage
over the next two years. If, with me, you think that it is likely
the Dems, then go to the polls and support the Democrats in all
races, even if their candidates for all offices are the very Devil's
disciples. You will have sent a message of sorts to the Republicans
that they are personally unpleasant; have, that is, political body
odor. Thus we might, just might, vote one batch of humbugs out and
another in, as James Russell Lowell put it way back in the early
years of the Republic, and gain thereby some slight access of sanity.
Or (and I suspect
this is the way I'll go), stay home and sit on one's hands one more
time. That way I think I will be turning my back on Bush and all
his accomplices as Karen Kwiatkowski suggested we do in her column
last weekend, "Our
Little Nero." And we get to do the same to all the Dem
phonies into the bargain, "Don't vote. It Only Encourages Them"
seems a good slogan still. It may move us up on the Halliburton
Detention Camp list, but what the hell. I have only one freedom
to give for my country.
White [send him mail]
writes from Odessa, Texas. He is the author of Bill
W., A Different Kind of Hero: The Story of Alcoholics Anonymous
and the newly-published Lost
in the Texas Desert.