[From MIM Notes 271, 1 Dec 2002.]
One clear indication that the war-mongers start on top even in Massachusetts is that incumbent Senator John Kerry (D-MA) felt free to vote for the war despite the organizing of tens of thousands of his constituents. His website kerry.senate.gov does not even mention the word "Iraq" except in one document where he mentions it only to ask for a bi-partisan approach on Iraq and other subjects. Kerry won re-election in a landslide: 81% to 19% for his Libertarian opponent.
On his campaign website, Kerry seems to have forgotten that he posted the following analysis from the Boston Globe: "On the other hand, Kerry still faces a vote in the Senate authorizing military force. If he votes for it--and at this point many Democrats indicate they will--all his earlier questioning could be forgotten, or seen as empty rhetoric." (1) That's exactly what Kerry did. As the only presidential candidate for 2004 willing to talk about the "War on Terror" and "question" the proposed war in Iraq, Kerry showed his true mettle when it came time to vote. After all, he did say every time he spoke on foreign affairs that he supported President Bush.
Kerry's vote is especially embarrassing to the reformist peace movement, which somehow expected better, because he had no Republican opponent boxing him into a corner in his election. Also, Kerry does not need money and does not really need to pander to military or oil interests just on that basis. His wife has the Heinz fortune. The real reason for Kerry's vote is that the Amerikkkan labor aristocracy will not vote for someone who opposes the war and Kerry has made that conclusion. As an imperialist, Kerry does have the power to oppose the war and he can even gain support from his constituents and reformist activists for so doing, but he turns them away, because he has predicted that he cannot be elected president without the labor aristocracy's support. That means he has calculated that the Amerikkkan majority is pro-war. That is an implicit poll, better than many others, and a real statement on the Amerikkkan population.
For that matter, the Boston Globe--while suspect for its own war-mongering position--has found further evidence that Kerry is right about the population. Even in Massachusetts, George Bush's approval rating increases the more he talks about war with Iraq. Prior to recent talk on Iraq, Bush's approval rating was down below 50%. Now he is back above it again at 55% approval in Massachusetts. 59% of Massachusetts people polled said that Bush made a strong case for war on Iraq. Only 19% said Bush's case is "very weak." 58% of Democrats also said Bush had a strong case. Bush's only problem will be if he cannot line up an international coalition, because only 17% will support him then.(2)
As a result of Kerry's actions, the largest number of protest signs at the Boston rally November 3rd was for a write-in candidate named Randall Forsberg running as a Democrat opposed to the war. The fact that Forsberg is running against Kerry (another Democrat) shows the whole problem with the one-party state in Massachusetts.
Ironically, the immediate victim of Kerry's vote was Democrat Shannon O'Brien who had to sweat out a closer governor's election than she wanted with polls showing her in a dead-heat with Mitt Romney. In fact 0'Brien lost the race. The Green Party governor candidate Jill Stein who spoke at the rally drew 4 or 5% in pre-election polls and 3% of the actual vote.
MIM endorses no candidate, but would like our readers not to be naive. At the rally, Shannon O'Brien activists were not highly visible, but some did hand out leaflets with a xeroxed letter from former opponent Robert Reich endorsing O'Brien and saying that the only choice is between O'Brien and Romney. The Boston Globe also had an article being handed out by O'Brien written by Joan Vennochi. Like Reich, Vennochi ran out the standard stuff that Stein was siphoning off votes from O'Brien.(3)
It sounds oh-so-shrewd, but it is not. In Vermont, in some races, the Republican is an afterthought. In some places in the United $tates, the Republicans could easily become the third or weaker party. If the Greens are party number two, the Republicans cannot be adding any seats in Congress. One would think that the Democratic Party would figure out that that outcome is in its favor in the Congress. Instead, Republicans are giving money to Greens to run against Democrats in the West to siphon off votes, while Democrats do not help Greens in the places where the Greens could be number two.
Now in Massachusetts, those Democrats who feel trapped by a Democratic legislature with the power to override a governor must pull the lever for the Republicans; even though only 15% of Massachusetts is really Republican--and probably those, again, only because there is no choice other than the Democrats. This means that in some instances, Democratic success cannot go any further. In Massachusetts, Democratic success has reached near its limit, which is why the public has elected Republican governors in the immediate past and did so again by electing Romney. So the question becomes, why not elect a Green governor with a Democratic Party legislature.
MIM will answer the question. The Democrats do not want a Green Party candidate for governor with a real shot, because they have more in common with Republicans. That's why they give that shot to the Republicans every time. Each year the Democrats go to the Greens and say "lesser evil," but if Democrats were really closer to Greens than Republicans, there would be no Republican Party to speak of in Massachusetts.
The stupidity of the narrow-minded Democrats is dogma. They sing the "lesser evil" song every time, no matter what. It would take little effort to split up the Massachusetts Democratic Party and allow a third party breakaway to leave Republicans in the dust of third place. Yet it does not happen, thanks to the chokehold of Big Money on politics that prevents even the most obvious political realities from reaching the light of day. As time wears on, even the only state that voted for Democrat George McGovern in 1972 has to listen to Republicans dominate the press day-after-day as the only "real" alternative to the Democrats.
The truth is endlessly degraded in electoral politics, because candidates feel they have to compete with others also allowed to dodge divisive issues. As a result, candidates say what people want to hear and they do not engage with the truth often.
This is another reason that MIM does not involve itself in electoral politics. Readers only need recall that not a single candidate for Massachusetts governor answered MIM's questions about Massachusetts prisons. Those candidates would not be able to get away with that if the truth were not that the vast majority of Amerikkkans in Massachusetts do not care that much about issues. These candidates know that tough substance is not what the population wants to hear, which is why Romney's ads are all haircut, blonde dye, lipstick and his kids jumping off rafts. We can be sure that millions would not be spent on such ads if political consultants had not figured out that a majority likes them.
People stuck in electoral politics become slaves to "lesser evils" dogmas not to mention fund-raising with special interests and pulling levers every couple years as a substitute for real politics. Playing the game only legitimizes it.
Voters who complain about the process should see that there are other ways. In plebiscites, there is no opportunist competition of candidates, only a thumbs up or down on questions of substance or the performance of a leader. As we write this story, voters across the united $tates are complaining about "negative" political advertising. Most of that sort of complaint is rooted in the belief that politics should be entertainment, not issues. These people are perturbed that negative ads disturbed their harmonious music show, their ball game on ESPN or their porn channel, which may or may not be called porn. Those people who are not super-powerful but instead ordinary yet pursue entertainment above profit or anything else--these people we call the gender aristocracy, and in the context of a discussion of political campaigns, we have nothing further to say about it. It is the people who are serious about issues but who complain about negative political ads that concern us.
There is no other way in a system of electoral opportunism for candidates to show where they differ from other candidates than by attacking them. The "negative" ads by-and-large are the most true part of the electoral process that the united $tates has. The candidates speak mostly truth about each other; although they do sometimes invent it and hope not to be caught. Without those negative ads, there'd be no discussion of issues at all within the bourgeois process.
Once people learn what happens to the truth in electoral campaigns, and once they realize it was Lenin who said a vanguard party should be unpopular but speak unvarnished truth, a large number will turn to communist politics. While we defend individual liberties, we communists have seen through electoral politics and the kind of "majority rule" where one country's majority decides to bomb another's.
1. Anne E. Kornblutt, Boston Globe 16Sep2002. 2. Frank Phillips, Bostong Globe 2Nov2002. 3. "A vote for Stein is a vote for Romney," Boston Globe, 31Oct2002.