Why antiwar fighters should not be fazed by election results

LouPaulsen LouPaulsen at attbi.com
Thu Nov 7 07:09:54 MST 2002


This 'mandate' business is such a crock.  For people outside the United
States, here are a few key facts:

In the United States, a high proportion of the working class and
particularly of the oppressed nationalities, maybe 15 per cent, maybe more,
cannot vote because of non-citizenship or previous conviction of a crime.

Of the remainder, you cannot vote unless you have previously registered with
the government.  Only a little more than half of the people actually do
register.

Of those who registered to vote, only about one-third actually DID vote in
this election.

Of the number who did vote, only about half voted for the Republicans.

Therefore, Bush's "mandate" consists of the votes of about EIGHT PER CENT of
the adult population.

Furthermore, nobody would be talking about a 'mandate' if the Republicans
had not won a majority of the Senate.  They won this majority by taking
three seats from the Democrats.

In Georgia, a Republican challenger defeated incumbent Democrat Max Cleland,
WHO HAD VOTED FOR THE WAR RESOLUTION.

In Missouri, a Republican challenger defeated incumbent Democrat Jean
Carnahan, WHO HAD VOTED FOR THE WAR RESOLUTION.

In Minnesota, the incumbent Democrat, Paul Wellstone, the most progressive
person in the Senate, who had voted against the war resolution, was KILLED
IN A PLANE CRASH and was replaced at the last minute by former Vice
President Walter Mondale who last served in the Senate before 1976 and whose
name is a synonym for moderation.

I hardly think that anyone can reasonably argue that because the Republicans
won those three Senate seats, this gives Bush a mandate for war.  Who were
anti-war people in Missouri and Georgia supposed to vote for?

NO Democratic senator who voted AGAINST the war resolution lost his seat in
consequence.  In Illinois, Democratic Senator Durbin, who voted against it,
won in a landslide.  Of course he is not a genuine 'anti-war voice', but
still you wonder where this 'mandate for war' is supposed to be.

I am not even going to get into the other undemocratic features of the whole
thing, such as the fact that Senate representation with two seats per state
regardless of population is inherently undemocratic, or the fact that the
Democrats didn't even run senate candidates in some states, or the fact that
everyone knows ahead of time that the vast majority of the seats are 'safe'
and only a very few are 'contested' and if you are in a 'safe' state or
district your vote will have absolutely no effect.

Anyone who gets depressed by this election is just reading the bourgeois
media too much.

LPaulsen


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