by Tom Pappalardo
April 24, 2016
Before this piece goes into a very dark place about American politics, it needs to be emphasized that there is a much greater force currently at play than the darkness that will be addressed. At present there are millions of courageous, good hearted, clear headed US citizens fighting hard to pump blood into our dying democracy. Of course Bernie and Jane Sanders are among these but this includes other key but not so obvious players such as Richard Charnin, Shyla Nelson, Debbie Lusignan, the entire crew of TYT, the brave souls who got arrested at the Democracy Spring demonstrations and of course the many other protesters, organizers and organizations that have earned our respect and gratitude. They have all become vital cogs in the undertaking to heal a profound sickness that ails America. In this writer’s opinion these citizens are spear heading an extremely important group of voters that has emerged as not only vital but soon to be the most powerful force in American politics.
Now back to the bad news. Over period of years, way too many Americans got lazy and selfish and dropped the ball of maintaining a thriving democracy that so many heroes died to defend. Many of those same Americans are now stepping to the plate ready for action. After the New York primary what little doubt existed that democracy was under fierce attack has been removed. At least this is the case for those willing to look the truth square in the eye. American democracy has suffered many near fatal wounds by selfish nefarious players and these players have been exposed during this latest exercise in choosing the next president of the United States. It used to be that right wing Republican politicians were carrying the banner of darkness and that many perhaps not all but many of the Democrats were fighting on the side of righteousness. Then the Clintons entered national politics and they ultimately converted many of these Democrats to embrace a lust for power and money over morality. This shift in values was a key factor leading our country into our current very dark place.
The seeds of destruction for American democracy were planted when Nixon was pardoned by his former VP Gerald Ford for his crimes. It was said back then that this had to happen because American pride could not bear otherwise. It was believed by many that the collective ego of America could not face the shame of an ex-president in prison. This writer recalls many years ago fearing this would set a very dangerous precedent. Since then many individuals with serious power committed crimes and treason against our nation but none of them spent any time in prison. The banksters of Wall Street being the most obvious ones in recent years. Then there is the matter of Al Gore and John Kerry very likely being cheated out of becoming presidents. Many of us were furious that they did not pursue justice. They both had more than enough solid evidence to support that they were cheated. In retrospect it appears as if not fighting for the voting rights of those that voted for them also made it easier for future politicians to cheat in elections. It is quite possible they both were afraid like their Nixon era counterparts that Americans did not have the courage to accept the truth. It appears Gore and Kerry were also quite reluctant to be the catalyst for the possible chaos that could have resulted from their challenges. Now history is showing us even though their concerns may have been legitimate that by laying down from the fight, it paved the way for the further down slide of American democracy. This bit of history is something that Bernie Sanders should strongly consider as he contends with HRC to become the Democratic nominee for president.
Checks and balances are essential to any democracy. This includes mechanisms to deal with those that try to undermine our democracy. With that in mind any good parent will tell you without consequences a child will only repeat destructive behavior. This same principle is the reason we have laws, a justice system and prisons. Human nature dictates serious blowback if the perpetrator is to learn from their mistakes and also fear to not repeat the same transgressions they had committed. In this writer’s opinion this is why our democracy keeps getting weaker and weaker until it now barely resembles a real democracy. The maintenance of a true and thriving democracy is complicated. Removal of key components can easily undermine it. A key factor to a thriving democracy is a strong middle-class and that’s why the removal of Glass-Steagall Act was harmful as it led to a near meltdown of our financial system in 2008. Eliminating the Fairness Doctrine as well as allowing only 6 corporations to own all of the media has also greatly contributed to the decay of our democracy. It is impossible to have a genuine democracy without an informed electorate. That is of course one that is informed with truth not lies and half truths. If the media wants to join in on fixing American democracy as opposed to fiddling while Rome burns, a helpful project would be to analyze and report about all the components required for a true democracy. A thorough checklist would be nice to get from them if they have the courage to put it together. Should they choose to take on this important mission, they need to include not only the obvious but also the not so obvious but vital components to a robust democracy.
The foundation for any real democracy is the legitimacy of its elections. In this season to elect the nominees of the Democratic Party ever single one of their primaries and caucuses has been bedeviled by dirty politics, breaking of rules and outright voter disenfranchisement. There can even be made a case for flipping of votes by Diebold voting machines. Richard Charnin has written two books with compelling evidence to support this possibility. He rightly places much emphasis on exit polls which are globally used to verify the validity of elections. There is also strong evidence to show the use of Diebold Voting Machines have greatly damaged our democracy. There is a video on the Internet clearly showing that the tally of Diebold machines can be changed using software. Diebold machines are outlawed in Europe yet somehow there are legal in the US. If the people that run elections and our government were serious about maintaining a healthy democracy Diebold machines would also be outlawed in our country. Is it really a coincidence that the exit polls of the New York primary were quite accurate for the Republicans candidates yet there was double digit discrepancies for the Democratic candidates? Did Brooklyn really vote 60% for HRC and 40% for Bernie? Which is not what the exit polls showed. This does not even take into account the hundreds of thousands of voters who were removed from the voter rolls for allegedly changing parties. If there were serious consequences in the past for manipulating voter rolls the disgraceful elections would not have happened in New York and Arizona. When Katherine Harris the Republican Secretary of State of Florida who over saw elections in Florida in 2000 purged tens of thousands of African American voters allegedly because they were felons, this opened the flood gates to politicians cheating in elections. Now purging of voter rolls seems to be going on in more states than not. There was no blowback to this Secretary of State of Florida for her transgression. Then there is also the Supreme Court nullifying the Voter Rights Act of 1965 which has added much more fuel to the fire of cheating in elections. The rights of American voters is under siege from ruthless immoral politicians who are very willing to cheat to win an election.
Now there is hell to pay. Americans were mad enough about their greatly diminished earning and purchasing power, highlighted with the middle class being decimated by losing millions of good paying jobs. They are furious that pay to play politics absolutely dominates every aspect of government greatly undermining the value of citizen’s votes. Now they have compelling evidence that having honest elections is either difficult or near impossible under current conditions. The history of American politics is that when Americans are complacent they do not pay a lot of attention to politics. However this sleeping giant has been awakened and is ready willing and able to inflict pain on those that have taken away their good jobs as well as cheating them of honest elections and fair governance. Part of this pain could very well be the implosion of the Democratic Party. There is so much to be angry about that is unlikely most American voters will become complacent for quite awhile. The anger towards the Democratic Party and the media in their disgraceful treatment of Bernie Sanders run for president is enormous. This tidal wave of anger could easily result in a very strong third party made of Progressives. These would be voters that previously had been aligned with the Democrats. Progressives and independent voters are flocking to Bernie. Both groups are drawn to Bernie because of his honesty and the consistency of his positions over decades. A coalition of progressive and independent voters could possibly get Bernie a nationwide 60% in a general election. This would be quite the game changer in terms of the shifting of power in the body politic.
This gets us to the current queen of dishonest elections, Hillary Rodham Clinton. In HRC’s mad rush to power she has managed to damage some stellar reputations and virtually shatter our supposedly world class election system. She is on a path of destruction that is both impressive and terrifying. However this very selfish woman has on her own planted the seeds of her own destruction. She thought she was clever in her ploy to hide her correspondences from the Freedom of Information Act by her use of a private email server. She almost got away with it if not for the tragic attack on Benghazi which ultimately brought to light her use of a private server for all her emails as Secretary of State. The FBI which probably does not like her much in the first place has from all appearances plenty of evidence to show she has committed a crime or crimes against national security laws. Here are two articles one by this writer and another more lengthy and detailed to strongly support that she has committed these crimes. HA Goodman has also covered the FBI probe into HRC’S emails from just about every angle imaginable. He has many videos on this subject as well as articles published in the Huffington Post and Salon. This leads us to the billion dollar question. Will HRC like every other powerful person of the last 45 plus years who has committed a serious crime, pay for these crimes with some serious time in jail. If and when it is proven HRC has committed any crimes the next questions is what is the proper punishment for these crimes. In a fair democracy the punishment needs to fit the crime no more no less than is fitting. Circling back to the damage done by Nixon’s pardon, if a proper punishment is inflicted upon HRC, this might just be a key remedy for what ails our very broken political system. This would send a much needed warning to politicians and the power brokers of business to keep it clean or jail time is in their future. This would certainly be true under a Bernie Sanders administration.