t this delicate moment in the primary season, we all need to take a deep breath and evaluate what comes next.
Bernie Sanders has a mathematical chance to win. But Hillary seems the likely Democratic nominee.
Donald Trump has an army of delegates. But if he doesn’t win on the first ballot, Paul Ryan could be the Republican nominee.
For a wide variety of reasons, we believe Hillary and Bernie could beat Trump. But we’re not sure about Ryan, who we find absolutely terrifying.
Key is the stripping of our voter rolls. Millions of Democrats have already been disenfranchised. In a close race, that could make the difference.
Also key is the flipping of the electronic vote count, which few on the left seem to be willing to face in all its depressing finality.
As Greens, we believe this election’s most critical imperative is that Bernie convert the HUGE upwelling of mostly young grassroots discontent he has ignited into a long-term multi-issue movement. His success won’t be measured by whether he wins the nomination or presidency. Miles Mogulescu has written nicely about this at The Huffington Post.
It matters most that those he’s energized emerge after November full of commitment and heart. We’ve seen too many electoral campaigns feed into a general “disillusionment” when they don’t win the vote count. We’ve seen too many youthful uprisings too quickly dissipate.
As geezer vets of the civil rights, anti-war, No Nukes, social justice, election protection and other campaigns, we desperately want all these brilliant folks of all ages to take on the issues nearest to their hearts with renewed ferocity in the coming months, years, decades.
Having awakened this glorious beast, we need Professor Sanders to teach this class of ‘16 the ultimate lessons in staying power (of which he is such a sterling example).
So whatever happens with the nomination, we respectfully request that Bernie soon organize a broad series of grassroots gatherings where those who have worked so hard for him will get the best possible training and inspiration toward becoming lifelong activists who’ll make a tangible difference in the day-to-day business of saving this planet.
We all know that some meaningful changes can be made by putting better people in office. But in in the long run it’s the nitty-gritty grind of facing down the corporations issue by issue, place by place, nuke by nuke, that will save us.
Along the way there’s the collapse of our electoral system. From Jimmy Carter to Harvard to the UN and so many others who’ve studied it, it’s patently obvious the mechanisms by which we conduct elections in this country are ridiculously decrepit and corrupt.
As a partial solution, we’ve concocted the “Ohio Plan,” which demands: universal automatic voter registration at age 18; a four-day national holiday for voting; voter ID based on a signature that matches the registration form with stiff felony penalties for cheating; universal hand-counted paper ballots.
We also want money out of politics, public-funded campaigns, an end to gerrymandering, and abolition of the Electoral College.
In 2016, the first thing to face is the massive disenfranchisement of millions of voters, mostly citizens of color and youth. We are heartened to see Bernie and Hillary joined together in an Arizona lawsuit.
But the long lines and urban registration stripping that we saw in Phoenix, Madison, and elsewhere this spring will spell doom for the Democrats if they cannot guarantee their constituencies’ the right to vote in November.
At this point, we’re not optimistic. The efforts at re-enfranchisement are little and late. Among those doing superb work on this stripping of our voter rolls are the great Greg Palast (www.gregpalast.com), Ari Berman ofThe Nation, and others.
But the electronic flipping of the alleged vote count remains a demon black box. The 2000 election was turned from Gore to Bush by electronic manipulations in Volusia County, Florida. The 2004 election was turned from Kerry to Bush in a Chattanooga basement which transformed a 4.2% Democratic lead into a 2.5% GOP victory in 90 dark minutes.
All that could happen again in 2016.
By Bob Fitrakis & Harvey Wasserman, Reader Supported News