Jose's posts on the elections

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Tue Dec 12 11:13:58 MST 2000

I believe that the stuff that Jose has been writing over the past few days
is of the utmost importance. At first, it might seem puzzling that he has
devoted so much time and energy into researching fraud, etc., when he was
one of the most vociferous critics of the whole "electoral farce" prior to
election day. It might help to frame the matter in a way that transcends
traditional two-party politics.

As an analogy, I would propose Watergate, another major scandal that
spilled over from a squabble between the two parties into a business that
got to the very heart of spying and democratic rights. When the SWP was
still in touch with reality, it took advantage of the scrutiny paid to
Nixon's "dirty tricks" against the Democratic Party and sued the FBI for
$40 million and a court-enforced injunction against spying and harrassment
of the Trotskyist movement.

Some of the same possibilities suggest themselves here. The question of
racism is number one obviously. But it also raises the question of the role
of the Supreme Court. There is excellent research available by historians
such as Charles Beard and others that highlight the anti-democratic nature
of our "checks and balances" type republican government. On close
examination of the Supreme Court's behavior today, it turns out that the
main "check" is against the masses and democracy. It also sheds light on
the problem of how candidates are selected and elected. On Sunday afternoon
I heard Manning Marable on tv. He proposed a number of electoral reforms
that would help resolve some of the recent mess. The one that stuck out was
a notion of allowing preferences in voting. Concretely this would mean
allowing a voter to make a first and second choice on a ballot. For
example, you can make Nader your first choice and Gore your second. This
would mean that all of Nader's votes would have gone to Gore on November 7,
if they had included Gore as a second preference. This would act against
the "winner take all" rules of American politics, which are designed to
monopolize power by the 2 big capitalist parties.

In the aftermath of Watergate, there was enormous ferment around reforming
the CIA and the FBI. Frank Church's committee dealt some serious blows to
the CIA, which made it somewhat more difficult to intervene in Nicaragua.
This was the main explanation for "contragate" which attempted to
circumvent congressional restrictions against overt and covert aid.

I suspect that if Bush becomes president, a lot of the left-liberal outlets
will be banging the drum for reform. It would be useful for Marxists to pay
attention to these developments and push them from the left.

Louis Proyect
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