"Last night's presidential debate was an important exercise in American-style democracy.
But democracy has no real meaning when citizens qualified to vote are deliberately
prevented from casting their ballots, or are intimidated to the point where they are too
frightened to vote.
Disenfranchisement comes in many guises. Two professors at the University of Miami did
an extensive analysis of so-called voter errors in Miami-Dade County that has not
previously been reported on, and that gives us an even more troubling picture of the
derailment of democracy in Florida in the 2000 presidential race.
Bonnie Levin, a professor of neurology and psychology, and Robert C. Duncan, a
professor of epidemiology, said the purpose of their study was to examine the
demographics associated with the uncounted votes in Miami-Dade, a county that
disqualified 27,000 votes.
Most of the public attention surrounding Florida's disputed election focused on
"under-votes," when machines failed to record a vote for some reason - because of the
notorious dimples or hanging chads in punch-card ballots, for example.
Professor Levin told me yesterday that the study convinced her that a much bigger
problem in Miami-Dade involved "over-votes," instances in which ballots were reported to
have been disqualified because individuals cast votes for more than one presidential
In their analysis, the professors factored in variables associated with increased errors, such
as advanced age or lower education levels. What they found startled them. The instances
of voter errors, after taking all relevant variables into account, was much higher - higher
than could reasonably have been expected - in predominantly African-American precincts.
And, peculiarly, there was an especially high amount of over-voting among blacks.
"Although African-American and Hispanic precincts are similar in terms of household
income and education, the African-American precincts have many more over-votes and
under-votes," the professors wrote. "Interestingly, they differ strongly in party affiliation
(African-American predominantly Democrat, Hispanic more Republican)."
Dr. Levin said she did not believe these were the kinds of honest errors one would expect
to find in an analysis of voting patterns. Something else was at work. "The data show that
it was so specific to certain precincts," she said. "It was so targeted toward
African-Americans. There was nothing random about it."
She said, "The most important finding was that education was not a predictor for
Now, in the 2004 presidential election, we're already seeing widespread vote-suppression
efforts, from the failed attempt by the Jeb Bush administration to use bogus, biased lists of
alleged felons to efforts in many parts of the country to prevent the registration of new
voters, especially African-Americans.
The people trampling on voting rights today are following the same ugly tradition that
resulted in the disenfranchisement of millions of black Americans and led to the murder of
Viola Liuzzo and others."
This may seem like a hard I think Bush suffers from NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder)
Here's why I think this.. Its clear to me that Bush (and many of the leading Republicans) have a profound (pathological) lack of empathy for others.. That's the only way they could do what they are doing. This behavior is also a lot like the behavior of cults.. (NPD and cults are really very much two aspects of the same thing, as pretty much all cult leaders have NPD..)
If any of you do some research on it, you'll see that people with NPD often seem as if they are in their own world.. they honestly think the whole world revolves around them and their needs..
Narcissists also have a tendancy to fly into an uncontrollable rage when they are confronted. It's not something that they can control. Then, its not unheard of for them to lose control. Sometimes spectacularly..
So it seems to me the trick might be to get his narcissistic rage out where people can see it..
Lets face it, the media is coddling Bush.. probably because most of the media conglomerates are pro-Republican..
But if Bush flies into a narcissistic rage on live TV, nomatter how much they try to spin it, it will be very difficult..
That might not be too difficult to have happen.. Kerry just needs to confront him head on with the facts, relentlessly, undeniably, instead of trying to say things politely..
At least that is my cut on it...
Imagine how a delusional President might handle a real crisis..
Let me get to the point. It may not be clear to most Democrats, but it is clear to me that what we are dealing with is in many ways a cult, and so 'political' tactics that a normal, sane person would use - say, debating issues on their merits - are not as valuable with the core 'believers' in this cult-like kind of opponent.
The reason is cognitive dissonance. Cognitive dissonance 'theory' is no longer a theory, it has been proven.
Leon Festinger proved that once people have invested a great deal of energy in a particular viewpoint, that they will ignore or forget immediately a very great deal of evidence that contradicts that belief.
Democrats should familiarize themselves with the techniques used by anti-cult fighters as well as the key underlying theories of how totalistic cults indoctrinate (and isolate) people.
One could posit that we are in the early stage of cult formation.
Before you brush this off, please take a few moments to read the following papers..
I'm surprised we have not heard about Bush's arrest in Houston for possession of cocaine in 1972, which he managed to escape prison for (and have his record expunged) by working for Project P.U.S.H. - an inner city organization working with disadvantaged youth. The story of this arrest is in the "Fortunate Son" book, by JH Hatfield, along with many other facts about Bush's past. It appears quite credible..
Perhaps this arrest is why Bush was removed from flying status.. (its indisputed that he failed to show up for a mandatory medical examination, but the obvious reason is never given why he might not have shown up - the reason being that he probably wanted to avoid a drug test..)
Also, its clear from Bush's published (www.glcq.com) National Guard records that 'adequate' service in the National Guard was VERY 'part time' - Just HOW 'part time' floored me.. they were only required to 'work' a few days..
How could anyone get away with this? The mind reels...
- So, for example, Bush supposedly 'satisfied his obligation' in 1973 by working in the National Guard for only NINE DAYS... This is undisputed...
But it has never come up as an issue how unfair this was to the many boys who were drafted and served FULL TIME 24/7 - for years - and often dying, in Vietnam...
And now they want to reinstate the draft..
(but not till after the election)
What a nightmare!
In the RNC campaign to drown out the legitimate concerns about Bush's record of going AWOL from the National Guard while others were dying ( for an absolutely amazing amount of stuff on this see The AWOL project ) we are not hearing anything about the various documents which were clearly forged to create the impression that Iraq had a current WMD program. This is an important issue, as it involves lying to the American people by government officials..
Also, I'm wondering, how can polls be accurate when they only survey people who are at home (and on land telephone lines) in the early evening. many of my friends have cellphones and many have ditched their old landline telephones completely. Are these numbers ever polled?
Also, people who have jobs, especially people who work two jobs might be underrepresented since they are almost never home. These working people would, I'd guess, be more likely to vote Democratic, given the right's war on the middle class...