TUESDAY MORNING GLOBAL ELECTION NEWS
HOW THE OTHER HALF VOTE
DEMOCRACIES REAL, PRETENDED, AND INTERRUPTED
As The US Prepares To Elect A President, The World Keeps Turning
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PAD Thai not on military menu today.
THAILAND Bangkok Post
"Army, police don't want crackdown on PAD rally"
THAILAND Thai News Agency
"PM: no coup, constitution will be revised, protest must halt"
THAILAND The Nation
"Sensible solution needed to end irrational politics"
Kenya finding post-election reconciliation difficult, too.
KENYA The Standard
"ODM: No retreat on amnesty quest"
KENYA Daily Nation
" Discordant voices on the issue of amnesty confusing "
Former Yugoslavia still sorting things out.
"U.S. Embassy concerned over election incidents"
Racism, oil politics, unlawful elections; no, it's SOUTH America.
BOLIVIA New Statesman
"Dirty deeds in Bolivia"
FINALLY! US Primary season ends today. Nobody told Hillary, though.
UNITED STATES San Francisco Chronicle
"Pelosi stresses Dems must unite after Tuesday's primaries"
UNITED STATES Washington Post
"A Campaign to Hate"
UNITED STATES Chicago Sun-Times
"Hillary not ready to concede"
MEANWHILE, Back In The States . . .
A vote is a terrible thing to waste. I know I held mine, and expected to keep holding until November, as usual. Usually, our interminable Primary seasons drag on until everybody good is gone. Either that, or they self-destruct, or get torpedoed on the way to the polls. So it didn't seem to make much sense to get involved until the dust had cleared.
Only thing is, that strategy had backfired several times before. By the time the dust had cleared in 1968, Bobby Kennedy was dead, and Gene McCarthy was shut out of the Democratic Convention in favor of Party leadership choice Hubert Humphrey, LBJ's VP. Humphrey let sometime Democrat George Wallace "outnigger" him and split the South, in favor of Nixon.
By the time you could see to breathe in 1972, the fractured Party had allowed George McGovern to win the nomination without ever putting any real support behind him. He lost 49 States against Watergate burglar Tricky Dick Nixon, including his home State of South Dakota, to a crook who would be forced to resign months later.
In 1976 we got Jimmy Carter. He ran as an outsider who could still take the Old South right out from under the old racist Dixiecrats who'd defected to the Republicans. He was right. But I never could quite believe in Carter. I just never got on board. Big mistake. To everyone's disbelief, Ronnie "Bonzo" Reagan slipped in when nobody was looking and stole the election with 3rd Party loser John Anderson's help in 1980. Reagan beat Carter's VP, Fritz Mondale, in the 1984 election. Mondale was OK, but he was Hubert H. Humphrey's right-hand man, and I never forgot or forgave what happened in 1968.
In 1988, Reagan's VP, George HW Bush (George the First) walkered all over wonky little Massachusetts Greek Governor Michael Dukakis, with the media's help. It was hard to get excited about a guy who couldn't get fired up enough to shoot a guy who tried to rape & kill his wife. That was actually a scenario put to him during a debate. He didn't answer it. He lost. He looked stupid in a tank, anyway.
Then came Bill Clinton, in 1992, against incumbent Bush I. Clinton seemed like another Carter, with a dash of philandering Gary Hart thrown in. But Anybody But Bush, right? Bush lost, in an upset arranged with billionaire 3rd Party candidate H. Ross Perot's money. Clinton ran again, against somebody, in 1996, and won. So we had eight years of scandals real and imaginary, and tens of millions of dollars worth of investigations, impeachment hearings, and prosecutions which all amounted to nothing: No health care, no nothing.
Now it was Clinton VP Al "Woodman" Gore's turn. He actually beat George Dubya Bush (George the Second), and then allowed the Reagan-packed Supreme Court to take it away without much of a fight. That was 2000. Then we had 9/11. And Iraq. And the Patriot Act. And another wooden, wonky, ball-less Democratic punching bag, John Kerry, in 2004.
I actually liked Kerry, at first. He seemed ready to fight, and keep fighting. Until he was "Swift-Boated." He couldn't seem to mount an effective defense against wildly false accusations that he had not served, or not served well, or even served dishonorably in Vietnam, despite all his medals. He still won, but, again, failed to effectively contest a rigged count.
So, maybe you can see why a guy might not wanna give his heart to any of these jokers, at least until they seemed viable. Remember, my first President was assassinated. (Ike doesn't count.) The second one turned out to be a near-total disaster. The third was a crook. Presidents didn't seem like such good investments to me.
But after all that's happened, I realized that I had to get involved, get involved early, and stay involved. We all do. We can't allow another right-wing cockroach to slip through the cracks in our polity.
We're fortunate to have a candidate that seems to have brains and balls, street-smarts and diplomatic skills, charisma and beer-drinkability, money and organization, strategy and tactics. He can win, and he can fight to hold onto it. He's no god, no saint, no hero, no Superman. But he'll do. We'll have to stick with him, support him, and make sure he doesn't get shafted or corrupted. That'll take a lot more work than most of us have ever done, in politics. This time, we'll all have to put our hearts into it, and make it work. It starts today, with the end of Primary season. It starts with us.
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