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Politics

Democracy

The Sun Interview

Forget What They Told You

The Truth According To Greg Palast

The idea that America’s a democracy is a fucking lie. We’ve had one fixed election after another. By my calculations, Hubert Humphrey beat Richard Nixon in 1968. Of course, Humphrey was a jackal as well. But what is not widely understood is that we’ve always had a system in America of not counting certain votes. My good friends on the Left are afraid that the Republicans are going to steal the next election by computer — that the software is going to allow Karl Rove to change the vote. Well, most people who worry about that are white. Black people know they’ve stolen the vote the old-fashioned way for centuries.

The Sun Interview

Seduced By War

Andrew J. Bacevich On How The U.S. Came To Put Too Much Faith In Military Power

In retrospect we can see that the Gulf War wasn’t the triumph it seemed to be at the time. In a tactical sense, we succeeded in ejecting Saddam Hussein’s army from Kuwait, and we did it with great speed and remarkably modest casualties on our side. But in the long run all we really did was wade deeper into a political morass that we don’t understand. After the war, the decision was made to maintain U.S. bases in Saudi Arabia. And, because we didn’t remove Saddam Hussein from power, we ended up with a policy of military containment that had us imposing sanctions on Iraq — with horrific results for the Iraqi people — and bombing the country on a weekly, if not daily, basis, beginning in 1998. So we went tripping blindly down the path to September 11, 2001. The Gulf War was a pivotal event leading to this mess we call the “global war on terror.”

Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

Why I Am Not President

On January 19, 2004, the day of the Iowa caucus, I decided to run for president. Perhaps, in my tiny way, I reasoned, I can prevent America from becoming a Jesus-flavored neofascist empire. So I announced to the world (or, at least, to the portion of it that is on my e-mail address list) my candidacy for the Republican nomination. My campaign had begun.

The Sun Interview

A More Perfect Union

Tom Hayden On Democracy And Redemption

I think it’s helpful to remind white ethnics that they, too, came here in boats; that they, too, lived in slums; that they, too, had yellow fever; that they, too, were stigmatized as incorrigible; that they, too, had the highest homicide rates and the highest incarceration rates and the highest rates of mental illness; and that everything that was said about them in those days is now being said about Salvadorans, Dominicans, African Americans, Mexicans, Vietnamese, and Cambodians in our inner cities.

The Sun Interview

Thieves In High Places

Jim Hightower On Taking America Back From The Plutocrats

I think that there is a small-d democratic spirit in people that rebels against plutocracy, or rule by the rich, which is what we had from the robber-baron era to the 1920s and what the New Deal was designed to eliminate. Now here we are again with this increasing concentration of wealth. It’s not that people resent wealth; they resent greed.

The Sun Interview

Crimes Against Democracy

Thom Hartmann On Voting Fraud And The Right-Wing Attack On The Middle Class

The unfortunate reality is that about 80 percent of the vote was either taken on or counted by computers that are programmed by private corporations, and these corporations say we have no business asking how they program their computers. These voting machines leave no paper trail. There’s no way to audit them. There’s no proof that if you push button A, the machine records A rather than B.

The Sun Interview

Hidden Power

Noam Chomsky On Resurrecting The Revolutionary Spirit Of America

The big popular movements in this country did not all come about in the sixties. The women’s and environmental movements both began in the seventies. The antinuclear and solidarity movements arose in the eighties. The big global-justice movements started in the nineties. The elites have to keep trying to beat freedom down, because it won’t go back into its shell.

Sy Safransky's Notebook

January 2005

I spied you once when you thought you were alone, when all the money-boys and patriots were off somewhere making jokes at your expense. I saw you rise from the bed and stand by the window. You were naked. You were beautiful. O America, I couldn’t turn away. You closed your eyes and shook your head as if to keep from weeping. And then, America, you started singing.

Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

Hurricane Ralph

It’s been raining all day, as remnants of the fourth hurricane to hit Florida this year sweep through the South. Some see the storms as an act of divine retribution, as if God, still irritable at the way votes were miscounted in the 2000 presidential election, had decided to hold Florida’s head underwater to make a point. I don’t find the suffering of Floridians who lost homes and loved ones amusing (though I wouldn’t have minded if God had just invited Florida Governor Jeb Bush and former Secretary of State Katherine Harris out for a little swim).

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