(Bruce E Levine, Counterpunch, 20 October 2012)
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“If the Bush administration didn’t like somebody, they’d kidnap them and send them to torture chambers. If the Obama administration decides they don’t like somebody, they murder them.” — Noam Chomsky
“I don’t vote. On Election Day, I stay home. I firmly believe that if you vote, you have no right to complain. Now, some people like to twist that around. They say, ‘If you don’t vote, you have no right to complain,’ but where’s the logic in that? . . . You voted them in. You caused the problem. You have no right to complain.” —George Carlin
When the Republicans win, Americans get senseless wars and corporate control. When the Democrats win, Americans get senseless wars and corporate control. Learned helplessness means a belief that no matter what one does or does not do, one cannot decrease one’s level of pain, and so one gives up trying. If a society’s electoral process promotes learned helplessness, it is not a democratic society. . . . Military spending under Obama, as a percentage of GDP, has been higher than it was during any year of the George W. Bush administration. And under Obama, there has not been a single prosecution of a high ranking Wall Street executive or any major financial firms for their criminal practices that helped produce a worldwide financial meltdown. There are differences between Romney and Obama, but not when it comes to democracy activists’ helplessness around stopping senseless wars and corporate control. . . . The bottom line is that regardless of what we do or don’t do in the election booth, we continue to get senseless wars and corporate control. . . . There are other democracy battlefields not as easily controlled by big money as is the U.S. electoral process. . . . Real power in the workplace is being fought every day by worker cooperatives, labor unions, and the self-employed. Battles for power over housing are being fought by housing activists such as City Life and the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America. Battles for power over who controls the food supply are being fought by family farmers and others. And other battles for power are being fought in health care, education, and in nearly every other arena where the corporatocracy reigns. These real battles for power and democracy are being fought—and sometimes won—and unpublicized by the corporate media. . . . So, instead of voter and nonvoter democracy activists arrogance over their position, and instead of them flailing out at one another, let the ruling class tremble at unified voter and nonvoter democracy activists who, instead of overfocusing on electoral politics, join together on winnable battlefields.