Where Do We Go From Here?

By Chuck Zlatkin

Before you go and sign up for the Hillary in '08 bandwagon, step back and take a look at what just happened to us. As soon as we are prepared to see it, we can experience the truth that the presidential election in 2004 was stolen, too. This was a more sophisticated heist on a much grander scale than 2000.

We shouldn't feel badly that we were fooled again. We are a basically good people many of whom still have problems seeing the depths of the evil that the rulers perpetrate. It is just beyond our vision. It is something that we wouldn't be capable of doing ourselves. In our lives we have told little lies, but nothing that would come close to scope of the rulers' BIG LIES.

We are constantly being fed an elaborate drama that clouds our minds, wastes our time, saps our energy, diminishes our spirit and depletes our resources. Our minds were so clouded by this drama that, even though we are in the midst of a war, our anti-war movement put itself on hold to campaign for a pro-war candidate. And we are upset because he 'lost.' With all the indications that this election was stolen, Kerry, like Gore before him, didn't fight against the theft of his own election by galvanizing the citizenry in protest. You have to question any political campaign that does not want its people to become a movement.

The main reason that the Howard Dean campaign was a threat to the rulers was the fact that it he was leading a growing movement. Most of us didn't expect the kind of campaign that Howard Dean and his campaign manager Joe Trippi ended up putting together. While they were building a grass roots movement in the community of cyberspace, they were also showing that democracy was still possible in a winning campaign. What Howard Dean was revealing was that he had started a movement that was in the process of turning the Democratic Party into a truly democratic party.

It didn't just implode.

The rulers decided that Howard Dean must be stopped. And before Dean could realize what was happening, he had become the simultaneous target of the RNC, the DNC, Roger Stones Al Sharpton, John Kerry, and the entire media establishment. He was history. To the rulers, stopping Howard Dean was the real victory of 2004.

The script called for John Kerry to start out as an apparent loser, who miraculously became the overwhelming choice to be the Democratic candidate only to morph back to being the loser we all felt that he was initially. John Kerry was billed as a 'closer' - and that's what he ending up to doing to our dream.

We can't really be blamed for wishful thinking; but it's just a terribly ineffective way of building a movement. After what happened in 2000 and now what is transpiring again in 2004, it is being made crystal clear that electoral politics is dead...and that we will have to find another way.

Going to the polls has been reduced to a meaningless ritual; we must mobilize a means of 'voting' outside the electoral process.

In 2003, Walden O'Dell the CEO of Diebold (the voting machine people) sent out a fundraising letter for George Bush in which O'Dell is "committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year.

We should have known then that the party was over.

In 1886 billionaire Jay Gould's Southwestern Railroad was struck when a worker was fired for going to a labor meeting. When asked about the threat of labor unions, Gould answered that he was unconcerned because, "I can hire half of the working class to kill the other half."

What we failed to see was that Gould's strategy is still in play. Keep 50% of the population warring with the other 50%. The best way to keep people in this mode is to stage closely contested elections.

Let's find another way.

The powers-that-be want our labor, our money and our obedience. How we resist is the only way we have of 'voting' that is left to us.

I think back to the Vietnam War era. People protested the war in many different ways. Some people refused to pay the war tax that was placed on our phone bills. That was a good strategy because they feel it when we withhold our money from them. I also think back to the success of the divestiture movement that took on Apartheid in South Africa. Money talks.

As we get over the shock of the election, we will be getting together to discuss ideas about what we do now. I would like to suggest that among the ideas discussed would be the possibility that we start finding ways that we can vote with our dollars. Make it clear that until the war ends in Iraq there will not be business as usual. We have to be willing to make sacrifices.

I will not watch television. And this is not an easy thing for me to do. I am approaching it as I did quitting smoking cigarettes in the 70s because I'm an addict.

I'm going to have my cable disconnected. I am going to do this as a protest against the war. I will no longer send a check to Time Warner Cable of NYC and I will tell them why. It will be an act of conscience on my part, if others join me it will be a movement. For you it might be not eating at McDonaldís, shopping at the Gap, drinking Coke, or smoking cigarettes. We can each pick the poison we will stop ingesting to protest this war.

If even a moderate minority of the 113 million people who voted in the sham election had decided to stop watching television until the war and occupation of Iraq had ended, the war would have been over by now.

The rulers want us to believe that our vote counts every four years. But the truth is that our vote counts every time we spend money. And up till now Iíve been very lax in that regard.

It was easy for me to boycott Clear Channel after they made its position clear on the war. I stopped listing to its radio stations in New York and stopped going to concerts that it was promoting. Obviously, I wasn't the only one. Clear Channel knew that it had a problem. Would Clear Channel change its policy?

30 years ago, Lowry Mays the founder, CEO and chairman of the Board of Directors of Clear Channel wrote the following:

"We are in the business of helping our customers grow their businesses. We do this effectively with our wide variety of media and entertainment products.

We believe in maximizing our customer's satisfaction, we will deserve and will earn their continued loyalty. Our goal is to have long term, mutually profitable relationships.

We believe in providing superior value to customers through high quality, technologically advanced, fairly priced services designed to meet customer needs better than all the possible alternatives."

The way Clear Channel does that now in the face of protest is to get local people to front for them, so the public won't know that it is the promoter. They will never admit our strength especially to us. We need to stay vigilant and share the information.

I don't have the time, resources or inclination to attempt to head up a corporate protest movement, but I will be a willing participant. I will no longer watch General Electricís, Disney'S, Viacom's or Rupert Murdoch's version of reality anymore, at least on television.

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