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RJ Eskow

RJ Eskow

Posted October 31, 2008 | 12:44 PM (EST)

100 Million Suspects

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In the end, the decision couldn't be clearer. This is more than just a choice between parties, or ideologies, or policy positions. It's a choice between philosophies and worldviews. It's a choice grounded in moral psychology. We will choose between different portions of our own brains, between our baser instincts and what used to be called "the angels of our better nature."

In the end, this election is a referendum on trusting the electorate. It's a referendum on democracy itself.

One candidate represents collaboration, optimism... and yes, "change." The other represents fear and greed, and his campaign reflects the lower-order impulses that have guided his party and given it success. They've triggered fear in us so effectively for so long that they can't believe it's not working this time. They're still frantically sending memo after memo to our lizard brains: Khalidi, Ayers, redistribution... be afraid! And the more this old strategem fails, the harder they try.

Now they're trying to make us afraid of ourselves. That's what the ACORN con is all about. That's why McCain called it "one of the greatest frauds in voter history" and suggested that its "destroying the fabric of democracy." Sure, it's a calculated diversion, an attempt to delegitimize any Democratic victory and encourage resistance. But it also reflects a fundamental belief, one held deep in the heart of the powerful elite McCain represents:

Be afraid of the voters... voters are unpredictable... voters might do anything. We can't let that happen.

You probably remember Rumsfeld's line: "Democracy is messy." But you may not remember when he said it. It was in response to widespread looting of banks, offices, and museums. That says a lot. To this crowd, "democracy" is a violent mob. Representative government is an unpleasant necessity, not a value or an ideal. The rest of us think "war is too important to be left to the generals." They think self-government is too important to be left to the voters.

To some extent this is nothing more than greed and lust for power, the misuse of conservatism as a cover for naked self-interest. But it also reflects a difference in political philosophy that goes back to Locke and Hobbes. Their equation of democracy with mob rule, so clearly mirrored in Rumsfeld's comment, helps explain why they feel morally entitled to lie, cheat, and steal votes. To them, voters aren't reflections of a democratic ideal. They're suspects, threats, enemies. They're the Iraqi mob looting the Museum of Antiquities.

That's why they've condemned Obama's donors, too -- all 30 million of them. Somebody might have used a phony credit card! Never mind the lobbyists that crowd McCain/Palin's campaign staff, or McCain's apparent violation of his own "reform" laws during the primary. Lobbyists and big-money contributors are "us." But grassroots donors are the unruly mob the candidate will have to please if he's elected. That makes them 30 million "cronies," to go along with that list of 100 million suspects.

Voters are guilty until proven innocent. That's why they hate voter-registration organizations like ACORN. To them, minorities are nothing more than an especially untrustworthy subset of an unsavory crowd. The lines at the polls might as well be a perp walk.

The only thing that makes a citizen more of a threat than voting is "voting while black." That's why they can sleep at night after creating long waiting lines at "separate but equal" polling places in states like Ohio, despite the fact that what they're doing is no different from what was done under Jim Crow segregation. That's why they can live with themselves after creating photo ID requirements in Florida that disproportionately exclude minority voters (who are less likely to drive and therefore to have a driver's license.)

It's also why we fight. Don't let up. Vote. Help others vote. Bring camcorders, cell phones, and cameras to your polling place for some election "sousveillance" (surveillance from below.) Document the intrusions. You can sign up here to help track problems, or you can participate in the Election Protection Wiki described here. And work hard over the next few days to get out the vote.

Democracy isn't a subversive activity. It's our way of life, our highest ideal. They will try to overrule the will of the people on Nov. 4. Don't let them.

Democracy. It's the "real America."

RJ Eskow blogs when he can at:

A Night Light
The Sentinel Effect: Healthcare Blog

In the end, the decision couldn't be clearer. This is more than just a choice between parties, or ideologies, or policy positions. It's a choice between philosophies and worldviews. It's a choice g...
In the end, the decision couldn't be clearer. This is more than just a choice between parties, or ideologies, or policy positions. It's a choice between philosophies and worldviews. It's a choice g...
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- knowBuddhaU See Profile I'm a Fan of knowBuddhaU permalink

Hey hey hey! We nailed this one, eh Brother RJ?

Liddy Dole's "godless ad" is blowing up in her face.

    Reply    Favorite    Flag as abusive Posted 10:56 PM on 11/02/2008
- New knowBuddhaU See Profile I'm a Fan of knowBuddhaU permalink

I'd like to add some background, and a scary hunch.

I'm an independent research psychologist aka poet. I've been studying this since the 80s. This is our new method for manufacturing consent.

My hunch is, Muthee's heinous acts of social engineering in Africa were field trials for a new black psy op.

Physicists deliberately chose the absolutely isolated point particle as their fundamental unit. Psychologists, despite Oppenheimer"s 1955 warning to the APA convention, adopted this as our model of the ego. [SOURCE: Kinget, G. W. (1979). Objective psychology: a case of epistemological sleight-of-hand. Journal of Phenomenological Psychology, 11, 83-96.]

This implodes our psyches into quantum singularities of pain.That"s right, I"m saying we're cosmic pinheads. We are cellf-imprisoned in cellves of our own mistaken making. Defining our selves as essentially imprisoned is at the root of human suffering.

What are the hallmarks of the Bush-APA Torture Doctrine? Isolation and psycho-spiritual attacks.

Torture by isolation isn't aberrant for us, it"s what we do. Remember the abuses of Islam at Gitmo and Abu Ghraib?

Katherine Harris Was in Sarah Palin's Spiritual Warfare Network

    Reply    Favorite    Flag as abusive Posted 12:15 AM on 11/03/2008
- PSM42 See Profile I'm a Fan of PSM42 permalink

This article was a pleasure to read. Also good was Gore Vidal with Jon Snow on Channel 4.

He was particularly good at Cal Poly on Russians @19.00.

    Reply    Favorite    Flag as abusive Posted 01:22 PM on 11/02/2008
- Krikkit See Profile I'm a Fan of Krikkit permalink

This battle between Democracy and the elitism of the Aristocracy isn't new. We've been waging this battle since the Revolutionary war. Anyone familiar with American history knows the story of Hamilton and his croneys who distrusted throwing the fate of the country into the hands of the uneducated landless mobs. History does not repeat itself exactly, but common themes and struggles continue for hundreds of years without abatement.

The only difference is that Hamilton's crowd was open about its distrust of democracy. Today's like-minded souls hide their intentions behind propagandistic rhetoric, powerful symbols and shouts of "USA! USA!".

    Reply    Favorite    Flag as abusive Posted 09:36 AM on 11/01/2008
- krocklin See Profile I'm a Fan of krocklin permalink

Ok. We know that:
1) a younger demographic favors Obama so that gives him an edge among first time voters.
2) more Hispanics than ever are voting Democratic.
3) Obama's organization is broader and more eficient than previous Democratic get out the vote drives, including in some Red States where polling shows the closest election in decades.
4) Palin has a high disapproval rating that has significantly increased every week.
5) McCain himself is lame, seems stumbling and creepy and capable of waging only a specious ad hominem campaign.
6) Obama was widely thought to have won all three debates by a large margin, as did Biden.

So why wouldn't the margin be much greater than the polls indicate?

My theory: McCain and Palin get far more MSM coverage overall than Obama and Biden, despite the latter's great advantage in ads. They have discovered that if you come up with new smears and revive old ones every few days, the MSM will dutifully give you free airtime and endlessly discuss the merits of the flimsiest allegations.
Who needs campaign funding if this tactic unfailingly dominates the newscycle?

This has been their formula, and it has successfully kept them alive, if not ahead. And unlike the Obama camp, they have "doubled down" with Palin, while Biden has hardly been heard from.

Plan your next getaway with AOL Travel. Check out Today's Hot 5 Travel Deals!

    Reply    Favorite    Flag as abusive Posted 09:14 AM on 11/01/2008
- XME See Profile I'm a Fan of XME permalink

One more piece of advice. Especially if you are a first time voter, take any kind of ID you can find. I'm going with my driver's license, my SS card, my birth certificate, AND a utility bill. Don't let anyone steal your vote!

    Reply    Favorite    Flag as abusive Posted 02:13 AM on 11/01/2008
- Dap See Profile I'm a Fan of Dap permalink

Indeed Brother RJ, Agape.

    Reply    Favorite    Flag as abusive Posted 06:30 PM on 10/31/2008
- knowBuddhaU See Profile I'm a Fan of knowBuddhaU permalink

(Pardon me if this repeats.)

There aren't exuberant enough characters to express my delight, my outright joy, with what you've said here, o brother my Brother RJ. You struck speechless this Zen poet (fair warning: it may not last!).

I bow deeply in your virtual direction (hold still a sec, I'm north of Seattle, and the Hallowe'en Ethereal-net traffic is heavy right now).

    Reply    Favorite    Flag as abusive Posted 06:14 PM on 10/31/2008
- knowBuddhaU See Profile I'm a Fan of knowBuddhaU permalink

Fellow Eskow fans: consider that a post that is blatantly provocative and wildly off topic just MIGHT not be sincere. C'mon! We're supposed to be thinking liberals, not knee-jerk conservatives, isn't that what Brother RJ just said?

Think! Don't let your buttons get pushed.

Michael and TheSarge, I'm looking at you!

    Reply    Favorite    Flag as abusive Posted 05:48 PM on 10/31/2008
- knowBuddhaU See Profile I'm a Fan of knowBuddhaU permalink

BRAVO FORTE! You just struck speechless this Zen poet. Nothing left for me to say. Fair warning: it may not last :-> .

I bow deeply in your virtual direction.

(Thanks for the link to A Night Light, too.)

    Reply    Favorite    Flag as abusive Posted 05:45 PM on 10/31/2008
- Hamneggz See Profile I'm a Fan of Hamneggz permalink

I think the situation is more complicated than Republicans hate democracy. Rumsfeld was speaking of emerging democracy in Iraq - the looting that occurred after the Iraqi military was disbanded. I think the Republican party can be divided into two groups - some rich folks that pay for it, and everyone that they can get to join.
The important end of the Republican party are the rich folk paying for it. The Republican party is a profit driven operation. Imagine an outfit or an individual that makes two hundred million dollars in a year. In a forty percent tax bracket they will pay eighty million dollars of tax. That is eighty million reasons to influence the political process towards lower taxes. It's eighty million reasons to have a Republican party. Most tax money comes from a small percentage of people, because most of the wealth is concentrated - that's what capitalism means. That group of people at this point in history are not patriots - they don't care about America as such. They are short sighted in the extreme, because they are oriented towards a financial market that rewards short sightedness. It's the way many great nations fall, people who don't care about the institutions take control of them to make a fast buck.
My point is that the current Republicans aren't against democracy because it's messy. They simply don't want to pay taxes.

    Reply    Favorite    Flag as abusive Posted 05:22 PM on 10/31/2008
- Anachronist See Profile I'm a Fan of Anachronist permalink

This might well be the single most important article that has been on huffington post for quite a while!

And it contains the most important advices:

1) Go vote
2) Brace yourself for fraud
3) Prepare to document fraud

The depressing thing: I can't do it. I'm not a citizien of the USA.

It's up to you guys ! Do it!

    Reply    Favorite    Flag as abusive Posted 05:01 PM on 10/31/2008
- knowBuddhaU See Profile I'm a Fan of knowBuddhaU permalink

Anachronist--great name, wish I'd thought of it. "One who is without or outside of time." Brilliant!

I agree. In this article, the author sums up a long history of the vote-jacking methods that have stolen democracy right from under our noses. Better still, he doesn't leave us stunned, but provides masterly advice on how to defend ourselves.

Now ain't THAT America!

They keep beating us with the Fearsome stick, even though it no longer works. Every move they make betrays their distrust of the sovereign citizenry.

"This could be made into a monster/ If we all pull together as a team." No let up! We haven't crossed the goal line yet.

    Reply    Favorite    Flag as abusive Posted 06:23 PM on 10/31/2008
- Anachronist See Profile I'm a Fan of Anachronist permalink

I'm following the primaries since december. In Obama's first appearance of the daily show, he and John Steward talked about the insanity of the process.

One couldn't express it better.

It was a crazy year. It is somewhat surreal that it will be over on tuesday. That we will finally know how all of this ends. I have to say: I envy you guys. You really have a choice.
The choice my democracy offers is like the choice between rotten fish and smelly brown stuff coming from your behind (Germany).

One year back I had no faith in and no hope for democracy left. That has changed a lot!

Ahhh...the anxiety starts to ged a hold of me ;)

Make it happen!

    Reply    Favorite    Flag as abusive Posted 07:03 PM on 10/31/2008
- jorge4u See Profile I'm a Fan of jorge4u permalink

I think this is good news:

Agreement in Colo. lawsuit helps purged voters

    Reply    Favorite    Flag as abusive Posted 04:21 PM on 10/31/2008
- MichaelL See Profile I'm a Fan of MichaelL permalink

I am not a minority. I am an upper middle class suburbanite Caucasian. I am not voting for Obama. I am not voting for him and I am not a racist. In fact, because I am not a racist, I am not voting for Obama. Read on:
"The question was asked of Obama, should the heinous act of partial birth abortion be outlawed in America? Twice Senator Obama answered no! When he was asked if a child, who might miraculously survive the sentence of death by abortion, be protected from an abortion doctor after surviving? Senator Obama said no! (See Born Alive Victims Protection Law.) Has he no conscience? Is he misinformed on the facts of these barbaric practices? His response to these questions is not indicative of the Black community"s beliefs, and certainly shows a low degree of conscience and moral fiber."
"Each day, 1452 African Americans are murdered by abortion. 4,000 children over all."
"There have been over 15 million African American children dismembered in the womb by the abortion holocaust and as many women victimized."
"Marriage, since the 1970s, is down 17% in America and in the African Community it"s down 34%, which is twice the national average."
Blacks make up 13% of the population and 34% of abortions. Who are you really for?

I am not racist and not voting for Obama.

    Reply    Favorite    Flag as abusive Posted 04:01 PM on 10/31/2008
- kjstjohn See Profile I'm a Fan of kjstjohn permalink

Michael, there are women out there who are terminating pregnancies largely for economic reasons. There are unemployed pregnant women pushing three months who know that in another month no one will give them a job. Help to pay these women's living expenses. Help pay for mental health services for women who don't think they have the strength to go through a pregnancy alone or who are terrified of having to discontinue medications they take for mental illness.

Your party will not help these women so people like you need to step up to the plate and help them.

Me? I hate @bortion so I am going to vote for the Party that gives women more realistic options for keeping their babies. Obama-Biden '08

    Reply    Favorite    Flag as abusive Posted 02:40 PM on 11/01/2008
- Dap See Profile I'm a Fan of Dap permalink

Racist, maybe not? Ignorant, without question!

    Reply    Favorite    Flag as abusive Posted 07:03 PM on 10/31/2008
- missjabez See Profile I'm a Fan of missjabez permalink


    Reply    Favorite    Flag as abusive Posted 06:03 PM on 10/31/2008
- ValereP See Profile I'm a Fan of ValereP permalink

For the hundred-millionth time: Obama voted NO... to a multi-issue BILL that was attempting to jam through a number of unacceptable propositions by leveraging them with a redundant clause about late term abortions. There were already adequate provisions in place from existing legislation to prevent such "barbaric practices" as you refer to. NOBODY wants to see an "abortion holocaust" as you describe it.

And what the hell does this have to do with Eskow's article anyways? ... except perhaps that some folks, as you so poignantly demonstrate, do not take seriously their responsibility to become informed voters.

    Reply    Favorite    Flag as abusive Posted 05:35 PM on 10/31/2008
- sticksnstones See Profile I'm a Fan of sticksnstones permalink

Michael, show the courage of your convictions. You need to march right out and adopt an unwanted baby. Sounds like you can well-afford to raise this child.

That said, you as a man have no right to tell any woman anything about her reproductive health issues and choices.

    Reply    Favorite    Flag as abusive Posted 04:52 PM on 10/31/2008
- cmonppl See Profile I'm a Fan of cmonppl permalink

Thank you for this post... one of the best I've read all season. I applaud your naming the underlying issue of the sources of fear-mongering; it's as if you are speaking the thoughts of many, thought to be too taboo to voice. I remember my first thought when the twin towers came down, that these suicide missionaries truly believed there was a place in heaven for their 'brave acts', and that the basic ideologies of fanatics were the real culprits... the lizard-brain, as you so succinctly put it. Our inability to overcome self-esteem issues from our childhoods and truly become adults, is our downfall, and opens the door to submitting to ideologies that tell us that there is a God who has a 'plan', and that this God actually chooses sides. What ever happened to free will? We need to do more than vote, you are right ~ we need to use the tools we have (cell phones, cameras, the internet), to document every action trespassing on our freedom to vote, and then we need to foillow up and publicize these discrepencies. And we need to keep back-up copies of everything we post, in case they mysteriously disappear...

    Reply    Favorite    Flag as abusive Posted 01:57 PM on 10/31/2008
- pgoody See Profile I'm a Fan of pgoody permalink

"Democracy isn't a subversive activity."

We need to scream this from the roof-top now and forever more.

    Reply    Favorite    Flag as abusive Posted 01:19 PM on 10/31/2008
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