If our team wins, what do we get? (Or: Elections — the big minstrel show we stage for Massa)

Today’s relaxed rules for absentee balloting destroy the secrecy of the voting booth — and thus the credibility of the overall canvas.

Because the voter no longer even has to pretend he or she will be out of town or in the hospital, union shop stewards and presumably even the occasional employer can order their workers to request absentee ballots and bring them to a “work session” where they can be instructed how to fill them out, and then see their ballots gathered up by their bosses for mailing.

Add “early voting” — which invites fraud by allowing votes to be cast miles away from the neighbors and poll-watchers of a voter’s home precinct (have you ever seen anyone arrested because their “signature didn’t match”?) — and about half of the minority of Nevadans who will “vote” in this election, at all, will have “voted” long before Nov. 6 — whether they’re still alive, or not.

So much for the old “national day of decision.” Some have compared this to allowing trial jurors to cast their ballots before the defense is done presenting its case, if they want to go home early.

Our elections are of limited effectiveness in allowing us to dictate a “course change” as a nation, anyway. Our kleptocrats have borrowed trillions that can’t be repaid, except with the inflated “rubber money” the Treasury and the Federal Reserve now desperately create out of thin air with their electronic keyboards, a vast improvement in efficiency over the boxcars full of paper and ink on which the Weimar Republic had to rely.

And what did our wise government masters spend that money on? Windmill farms that stand mostly idle, bankrupt solar manufacturers, enraging Third World nations by killing thousands of their civilians with drone strikes, schools that take the six-week process of teaching a child to read and stretch it over a decade so it costs $100,000, endive research at the University of Massachusetts, a big pile to reward our failed banksters for their irresponsible speculation and encourage them to do it all again — surely the road to hell is paved with pork.

Why do you think the Red Chinese are buying up our derelict real estate? Gotta spend their hoard of dollars on SOMETHING before those colorful scraps of paper become completely worthless.

Yet candidates of both parties vow to “protect Medicare” (no matter how much more we have to borrow, or loot from the struggling young) and “work to undo the draconian 15 percent across-the-board spending cuts that are due to go into effect Dec. 31.”

Draconian? We’d have to cut federal spending by 50 percent — not 15, but 50 (Gary Johnson says 47, actually) — overnight to convince anyone we ever mean to stop “selling bonds,” balance the budget and start paying down the debt.

That’ll happen after hell freezes, or the rioters burn Anacostia to the ground, or a Libertarian gets elected president, whichever comes first.

Yes, former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson will be on your Nov. 6 presidential ballot — though you wouldn’t have learned that by watching the sham “presidential debates.”

As Jacob Sullum of Reason magazine pointed out in an op-ed in Thursday’s Review-Journal, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney pretty much agree on keeping the Patriot Act, keeping the constitutionally toxic National Defense Authorization Act, and continuing our vastly expensive and counterproductive interventions in the internal affairs of nations around the world.

It’s OK for Pakistan and Israel and the Ukraine to have nukes, apparently, but we’ll invade Iran — which is like Afghanistan except with an actual army — if they try to build a single weapon of which we possess thousands.

(At a rally in Las Vegas Thursday, Vice President Biden asked for a show of hands by supporters who knew someone killed or injured in the wars in Iraq or Iran. Many raised their hands. Iraq or Iran. Has he seen the future?)

Both Mr. Obamney and Mr. Rombama would continue the absurd and vastly expensive (and coincidentally unconstitutional and ineffective) strip-searching of every American airline passenger, and would continue to incarcerate a higher proportion of our populace than any nation in the world — a curiously high percentage of them black and Hispanic males — by perpetuating the “War on Drugs.”

Why wasn’t Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson, who will be on the ballot in all 50 states, allowed to participate in at least one of the three major presidential debates?

Because these sham debates are in fact orchestrated by the Democratic and Republican parties in a joint venture designed to create the impression they’re the only game in town, like the American League and the National League somehow forgetting to invite any Japanese teams to compete in what they call the “World Series.”

(“Why should we let those guys in? They’d only lose, anyway! And if they ever did win, they’d do it by bunting! Who wants to see that?!”)

Johnson wasn’t invited “lest an actual debate about foreign policy break out,” Mr. Sullum quips.

Or maybe about the Federal Reserve, or the U.N.’s Agenda 21.

In fact, after being denied entrance to the campus because they “lacked credentials,” Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein and running mate Cheri Honkala were arrested outside Long Island’s Hofstra University prior to Tuesday’s thoroughly orchestrated “debate.”

The two candidates sat down in the street in front of the university with an American flag across their laps, ABC News reports. They were led away by police and reportedly detained till the debate was over and no more possibility existed that they could panic American voters by causing them to hear anything but the homogenized Republicrat line.

Not that I sympathize much with the positions of the Green Party, mind you. I just can’t understand why they’re not allowed to be heard. Things are going so well that we don’t need any fresh ideas?

This conspiracy of silence extends to our local races in Nevada, when it comes to TV. At least those who peruse the Review-Journal’s election tabloid this weekend will learn that there’s a candidate on the ballot in Congressional District Four who would vote to REALLY cut taxes and get government out of our lives — local schoolteacher Joe Silvestri.

I’ve got nothing against Republican Danny Tarkanian, mind you, who’s smarter than Democrat Steven Horsford, less dependent on memorized party talking points, less ethically challenged, and more likely to keep in mind the plight of the small business owner whose efforts alone can bring about an eventual economic recovery.

But it’s 46-year-old local schoolteacher Joe Silvestri who argues that a truly free market in health care would look more like the market in consumer electronics — largely free of government mandates and regulations — where technology keeps improving even as costs fall.

Ending the War on Drugs? Ending our wasteful and counterproductive meddling in scores of nations overseas? Just as those issues failed to come up in the presidential debates thanks to the exclusion of Gary Johnson, so those issues went unmentioned in our local televised debates in Congressional District 4 because of the systematic exclusion by the statist press of the Libertarian Party nominee — personable, articulate, local high school history teacher Joe Silvestri.

And we wonder why the few candidates we’re allowed to see are so alike on all the big issues that they end up arguing about Big Bird and “binders full of women.”

Also doomed to defeat — in part, to be fair, because he isn’t running much of a campaign — is local Las Vegas surveyor Robert M. McEntee, who writes at his Web site (http://mcentee4assembly.com/english/philosophy.html): “In order to have a ruling class, there must exist a slave class. … The laws that apply to the slave class don’t apply to the ruling class. … Today, we are told … that union negotiations (must be held) behind closed doors even though we have laws requiring open meetings. Today, we are told to trust that the union has the students’ best interest in heart when they win raises for the teachers in arbitration, even though the school district says the raises will require layoffs. Today, we are told that the police officers that serve our community refuse to participate in investigations into police shootings. Today, we are told that if firefighters e-mail their plans to use sick days to pad their salaries, there is nothing that we can do about it — that this state with its right-to-hire and right-to-fire laws has to pay these firefighters for the time that they were fired. … Enough is enough! … We must limit the reach of government in our daily lives.”

But voters in Nevada state Assembly District 42 presumably don’t want to hear any of that. No! Vote for the party your dad belonged to. Vote, like Archie Bunker, for the candidate who matches your skin color, or whose name sounds most like yours. Vote for the judge who looks prettiest on the yard signs, for the guy you’ve seen on TV.

That’s the ticket!

7 Comments to “If our team wins, what do we get? (Or: Elections — the big minstrel show we stage for Massa)”

  1. MamaLiberty Says:

    In an involuntary situation, any “vote” is irrelevant, of course. In a voluntary organization, those involved need to decide for themselves if the “secret ballot” is necessary or even advisable. Seems to me that if one votes, they need to be prepared to be responsible for the consequences of that vote as an individual, as well as a part of whatever majority prevailed.

  2. Sean Says:

    “union shop stewards and presumably even the occasional employer can order their workers to request absentee ballots and bring them to a “work session” where they can be instructed how to fill them out, and then see their ballots gathered up by their bosses for mailing.”

    Have you seen these “voting sessions” first hand? Has someone been prosecuted for holding one?

    I have been a union member for 10 years (and work alongside members with 20+ years in) and I’ve never heard of such a thing.

    Yes, my union did send out a “we recommend” packet and yes, it was largely Democrats they recommend. But that’s no different than the RJ publishing their picks, or the packet my wife received from Station Casinos (her employer).

    Bu nobody has ever told me (or anyone I know) to grab an absentee ballot and come in to be told how to fill it out.

    A quick search on Google turns up articles about forging absentee ballots (a particular problem with nursing homes in Miami, apparently) and 31 people who voted from both New York and Florida in 2010.

    Nothing about union mandated voting, though. But Vin makes it sound like common practice without providing any specific cases.

  3. liberranter Says:

    Yes, my union did send out a “we recommend” packet and yes, it was largely Democrats they recommend.

    Given how “leadership” in most unions behaves (having once been a non-union employee in a union-dominated shop, I’ve had experience with this), I can only imagine what a union “recommendation” consists of and how it’s conveyed. Somehow, I think that’s just a polite euphemism for something a little stronger than a “recommendation” for anyone who is interested in keeping their job.

    No! Vote for the party your dad belonged to. Vote, like Archie Bunker, for the candidate who matches your skin color, or whose name sounds most like yours. Vote for the judge who looks prettiest on the yard signs, for the guy you’ve seen on TV.

    That’s the ticket!

    Take your pick between Obamney and Rombama, Republicrats or Demopublicans, Conservarals or Libertives. It all amounts to the same end product, from the same batch of rancid ingredients.

  4. theCL Report: Loopholes Says:

    [...] If our team wins, what do we get? (Or: Elections — the big minstrel show we stage for Massa) What is morally wrong can never be advantageous, even when it enables you to make some gain that you believe to be to your advantage. The mere act of believing that some wrongful course of action constitutes an advantage is pernicious. — Marcus Tullius Cicero [...]

  5. Sean Says:

    Liberranter: It was, literally, a list of candidates that the union endorses. No different than any newspaper endorsements, or the list my wife received from the NRA. (well, different candidates were endorsed, to be sure.)

    That was it. No coercion, arm twisting, peer pressure, or anything else. Certainly none of the “voter fraud” that Vin brings up without a shred of evidence.

    Note that I never said I voted for these candidates. I voted the way I chose and have no fear for my continued union membership or my job.

    Interesting that you, who once worked as a non-union employee in a union shop, are able to determine how “most union leadership.” behaves.

  6. LiberTarHeel Says:

    SEAN: while your statements may or may not be true, you are arguing an irrelevant point. Vin said only that such (union) activity CAN happen, because our voting system lacks credibility due to the loss of secrecy in balloting. He never said that your union, or any union in specific, DID coerce votes, only that it is possible. He cites other infringements on the validity of the process as well, arguing that the system can be manipulated to produce a predetermined set of outcomes, while excluding that set of outcomes that provides us with real choices.

  7. liberranter Says:

    Interesting that you, who once worked as a non-union employee in a union shop, are able to determine how “most union leadership.” behaves.

    To use a metaphor, if you work in slaughterhouse, you become intimately familiar with pigs and how they behave even in if you’re not one yourself.

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