Saturday, November 27, 2004

Pushing the Envelope 

It's time for progressives to push the envelope for our issues, instead of having it pushed at us:

Progressives should take note and take heart from the actions of the Ukrainians. Over 50 million Americans opposed Bush at the polls. It's not necessary to stage a March on Washington tomorrow in order to make a contribution. We can initiate or join any number of efforts, from local to national, forming coalitions, pooling money and human resources toward legal challenges on every level. We can donate or get involved in organizations like blackboxvoting.org. We can inundate Congress with demands for investigations. We can pressure news media to stop marginalizing election reform efforts by telling us to move on. We can educate the general public about what's at stake and what they can do about it. We can (and must) launch relentless, full-scale, legal assaults on the usurpation of our voting systems by unscrupulous corporations and upon the flagrant conflicts of interest presented by secretaries of state working for the campaigns of candidates who are running in the elections they oversee. Proprietary trade secrets of Diebold and ES&S must be smashed in the courts and the legislatures lest democracy be smashed in the wake of the incestuous marriage of right-wing government and corporate power. Meanwhile we must remember that the movement is not for or about John Kerry. Its purpose is to demonstrate to the powerpaths who continue wresting away control of our country that they will be relentlessly challenged. Progressive Americans must, at a minimum, demand uncompromising reforms to our electoral system before it becomes irrelevant. It would be an abandonment of principles and duties to country if we didn't. Indeed, it would be unpatriotic.

James A. Nickel is a psychologist, social scientist, writer and founder of SolutionSociety.org. He may be contacted at jimnickel@solutionsociety.org.