TCBH! Election Issue, Part I:
I’m Voting Third Party This Year
By Dave Lindorff
I, for one, can’t do it.
As much as I loathe the Republican Party and its standard bearer, the incredibly smarmy shape-changing one-percenter and serial prevaricator Mitt Romney, I cannot bring myself this Nov. 6 to vote for the re-election of President Barack Obama, the Nobel Peace Laureate with the mushrooming Kill List on his desk.
First, by way of full disclosure, let me state that I did, with misgivings and angst, vote for Obama in 2008. I did it with eyes open, based upon a (you’ll excuse the expression) “hope” that the many progressive voters, including a huge cadre of idealistic young people voting for the first time, and an unprecedented wave of minority voters, as well as working-class people of all races, religions and ethnicities, would come together after the vote and press him to be a progressive president, much as the working people of America back in the early 1930s had pressed a new president, Franklin D. Roosevelt, the bankers’ candidate from New York, to be a progressive president.
Boy was mine a vain hope!
What we got instead was a president who backed down in advance at almost every challenge, telegraphing his fall-back position, whether it was pulling troops out of Iraq or defending Social Security and Medicare, or even his supposed signal “achievement,” the passage of the so-called “Affordable Care Act,” now known as Obamacare.
Had the president barnstormed the country promoting what his supporters (myself included) had elected him to do -- a massive jobs program, breaking up of the big banks and a restoration of the Glass-Steagall Act, passage of a new stronger labor law to make union organizing and bargaining more fair, establishment of a single-payer system for health care akin to what they have in Canada, ending the chain of endless wars, and restoring the Bill of Rights, this election next week wouldn’t even be close...
TCBH! Election Issue, Part II:
Why I’m Voting for Barack Obama
By John Grant
For an ordinary American these days, there isn’t much one can do to affect the direction of the federal government of the United States. Much of what our leaders do with that government -- especially the more and more secret military and surveillance activities symbolized by the Pentagon -- exists beyond the realm of real change.
One very small power a citizen retains in his or her public life is the vote. The problem, of course, is that critical issues are not discussed in the mainstream media where the national political dialogue occurs. For instance, you can’t use the term “class,” you can’t use the phrase “global warming” and you certainly can’t use the term “imperialism.” They are embargoed terms. And anything you cannot talk about and discuss in an effective manner is difficult or impossible to change.
As one soon learns in the journalism business, a national issue has to become a Democratic-Republican “pissing contest” before the mainstream will even touch it. Then it becomes a circus of who’s up and who’s down. So our imperial military-industrial complex -- absurdly lumped under the euphemism “defense” -- is discussed only by out-of-the-mainstream publications like This Can’t Be Happening and by third party candidates.
My more revolutionary friends, thus, see voting for President Obama as tantamount to selling out to the beast. I understand how they feel. While I’m as much a red-blooded American citizen as anyone and while I feel many Americans are good people, I’m thoroughly disgusted with the leadership in this country and the steady rightward drift over the past 30 plus years.
This feeling began for me when I came home from doing my service as part of the international war crime called the Vietnam War. I went to college and then started a career in journalism. Along came Ronald Reagan and his Shining City On a Hill. He preached the line that there was no “malaise” in America, and too many Americans ate it up like a herd of hungry cattle.
The joke going around these days is that Richard Nixon would be to the left of Barack Obama. It’s really not a joke; it's true. The joke is on the American people and what could have been...
TCBH! Election Issue, Part III:
Lying Lines Republican Route to White House
By Linn Washington, Jr.
It’s bad enough that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney lies repeatedly on the campaign trail and top Romney surrogates like John Sununu crassly engage in race-baiting that elicits no rebuke from Romney.
But the Republican Party’s penchant for prevarication and prejudice in pursuit of the U.S. presidency is reaching a new low – yet again – with actions by a GOP aligned group called Raging Elephants.
This group is funding billboards in Texas and Tennessee trumpeting the factually flawed assertion that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “Was a Republican,” and is urging black voters to "VOTE REPUBLICAN."
A Raging Elephants’ billboard campaign in Memphis links that MLK-was-a-Republican line with requests to vote for a black female Republican congressional candidate running there.
This King-was-a-Republican claim resurrects a similar fraudulent claim mounted in 2008 by a group called the National Black Republican Association. That Association placed billboards in South Carolina, Florida and Denver pushing the same flawed contention about Dr. King.
There is no historical evidence that the decidedly non-partisan Dr. King worked for either Republicans or Democrats. Nor is there any evidence that King’s father publicly identified himself as a Republican, though many blacks during the early-to-mid-20th Century did, understandably identified politically back then with the party of slave-emancipator Abraham Lincoln.
Dr. King’s son, Martin Luther King III, in 2008, told the Associated Press that it was “disingenuous to imply that my father was a Republican. He never endorsed any presidential candidate and there is no evidence he ever even voted for a Republican.”
David Garrow, author of a Pulitzer Prize-winning biography on Dr. King, has told reporters that it is “simply incorrect to call Dr. King a Republican”...
JOHN GRANT, DAVE LINDORFF and LINN WASHINGTON, JR. are all members of ThisCantBeHappening!, the new independent Project Censored Award-winning online alternative newspaper.. Their work, and that of colleagues LORI SPENCER and CHARLES M. YOUNG, can be found at www.thiscantbehappening.net