1. The Supreme Court. Not only could this body again determine
the outcome of this election by a widely scorned 5-4 vote based on
indefensible logic, but if Bush stays in power he'll get the chance
to ensure a religious right majority for decades--say goodbye to Roe
v Wade. Chief Justice Rehnquist is about to go down, and if Kerry
wins, that means a chance to tip the scales in favor of reason. If
everyone who would favor Kerry actually shows up, he will win decisively,
and corrupt fascists like Scalia and Thomas won't get a chance to
pervert our system again.
2. Tort Reform. The true genius of the Karl Rove PR monolith
is the administration's ability to turn their most subversive and
hideous policies into appealing soundbites. "Tort reform"
plays well to middle Americans fed up with zany stories of absurd
court abuse, but blaming frivolous lawsuits for the putrid condition
of our health care system is truly insane. Civil suits are the common
man's only recourse, and the only deterrent, against the wrongdoings
of monstrous corporate entities. That is why the Republicans want
to do away with them. All those stories about suffering OB/GYNs are
window-dressing. When you go to the hospital for an appendectomy and
wake up with one kidney, what do you do? You sue, and you should.
Bush will take that away from you.
3. Voter Fraud. Look you idiots, this is not a
crazy conspiracy theory. Ever since computers were introduced to this
process, there has been a pattern of irregularities. The two major producers
of record-less touchscreen machines are basically one huge corporate
Republican entity, chock full of routine business-ethics violators.
There are no federal regulations regarding the accuracy or security
of these systems; Bush made sure of that. The former Chairman of ES&S
has been elected Senator twice now under suspicious circumstances in
a state where ES&S counts all the votes. A Johns Hopkins study concludes
that these systems are full of security holes and unfit for public use.
There's a website in New Zealand that provides a simple walkthrough
of how to rig a Diebold machine with nothing but Microsoft Access. In
Canada, they use paper ballots and hand-count all the votes in four
hours. Why are they so much smarter than us?
Voter Fraud Pt. 2. In Florida, the evil inaccurate
felons list has returned. The very same people who were illegally disenfranchised
last time-mostly black democrats-are in for the same bullshit. Governor
Jeb Bush is George W's brother--it doesn't get much more clear-cut than
that. In addition, Republicans have been busted in Colorado shredding
voter registration forms which were marked democrat-these sick monkeys
should be shredded themselves. Across the country the Republicans are
dispatching "challengers" to contest the validity of would-be
voters at polling stations. If you encounter one of these worms, spit
on him. To avoid their scrutiny, get a dorky haircut, wear a bowtie,
and smile a lot.
4. Nader. Ralph is the man; we can't believe the
amount of rage his former admirers have for him these days. Charges
of egomania and even unethical practices have been levied against him
by even the leftest of American lefties. We think the man has a right
to run, and he is truly an ideal candidate-his positions are a progressive's
wet dream and he's the only guy out there who would actually do the
stuff he says he will. Still, if Bush wins, there may never be another
Presidential election, so Ralph's presence is ghoulishly scary this
time around. This is why instant run-off voting is key to making our
democracy work-you could vote for Nader and still get counted for Kerry.
Just imagine how many would vote Nader as their first choice in this
case--he could even win. In this case, however, fear wins out--politics
as usual sounds just peachy next to these plutocratic bible-humping
5. Terrorism. Yes folks, this is a real threat,
and getting realer every day the Bush administration continues to foster
anti-American hatred in the Middle East. Think about it: Al Qaeda commits
the worst terrorist act in history, and we go invade Iraq. Osama's still
chilling out there somewhere. How the hell does Bush get high marks
for that? It makes no sense. In reality, catching Osama too quickly
would have nixed Bush's chances to increase government secrecy, erode
your civil rights, and make a lot of money for his friends through the
unquestionable justification of perpetual war. This "War on Terror"
fright-fest must be the most delusional overreaction to a single attack
in history-at least since the burning of the Reichstag in Berlin in
6. The Patriot Act. Every time some conservative
troll tells me how the Patriot act doesn't take away any rights, I thank
God that I don't carry an ice pick. The fact is that now the Feds can
break into your house, snoop through your shit, read your e-mail and
listen to your phone calls without ever telling you. The "warrant"
required is from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court,
a secret court which isn't authorized to challenge the validity of the
evidence. It's a rubber stamp, and, again, it's secret. This directly
contradicts the fourth amendment, and any real American should be outraged.
Now the feds can do secret searches authorized by a secret court due
to any foreign intelligence component (and increasingly, drug-related
offenses are seen to have a terrorist component). The subject need not
be connected to foreign spying anymore. It's enough that the government
might learn something about an investigation. Before the Patriot Act,
FISA search warrants could be used only for information-gathering, but
now information can be passed along for prosecution purposes. Probable
cause requirements are over. This is a fiendishly spooky law, and America
is insane for accepting it.
7. Global Warming. All those logging jobs ain't
gonna mean shit when you're waist deep in melted arctic ice shelf. As
the weather gets weirder and weirder, Republicans cling ever more desperately
to the comic assertion that "the jury's still out" on global
warming. This is bone-chillingly pathetic. I hope the "scientists"
supporting their ridiculous position are getting paid well for selling
their souls as hollow shills for the dark side. Meanwhile, real scientists
are talking about the situation in terms of "damage control."
The only upside here is that we might be living right on the coast in
a few decades.
8. Christians. This is no joke. 40% of the people
in this nation are Evangelicals and born-agains--and that's not even
counting the Catholics. These people want to replace the constitution
with the bible, and they're in power. Bush is their leader. Reason is
an inconvenience to them, and facts are irrelevant: they are as incapable
of changing their minds as God. Mistakes are impossible. Science is
evil, and evolution is just a "competing theory." You are
a heathen sinner whose wishes are misguided and whose rights don't matter.
Southern religious dumbasses have been holding this country back since
the Civil War. Unless we want to spend the next four years living in
a prequel to The Handmaid's Tale, secular America must unite
and show these racist, sexist, homophobic redneck zombies who's in charge
around here. Just imagine the awful TV shows they have in store for
9. Media Consolidation. The myth of the liberal
media has given way to the reality of corporate media control. The right
has done away with what was left of market-share restrictions, so now
a handful of gargantuan conglomerates control nearly everything you
read, hear, and especially what you see on TV. The ugly Clear Channel
cartel is strangling the spirit of rock and roll. On TV, things have
gotten so bad that CNN is considered left wing. You will never see the
truth on TV, except occasionally on "Frontline," which nobody
watches anyway. We don't know what to say when the harshest truths about
our world are only printed in tiny papers like this one, except "aaaiieeee!"
10. The Rest of the World. How long do you think
they're going to put up with this shit from us? We sell them weapons
and then invade their countries because they have the arms we sold them.
We flaunt our power and thumb our noses at international law, rejecting
the International Criminal Court because, well, we're war criminals
under the Geneva Conventions. They don't have to speak English to deduce
that our leader is an incurious, unserious simpleton--they just have
to look at his face, or his devastating policies. The European Union
and China both have ideas about challenging our authority over world
affairs, and they are a lot smarter than Bush. One of these days they'll
be coming for our sad asses.
It's time to get scared, really scared of the possibilities
for our country's future. Only when properly freaked will we be sufficiently
motivated to actually do something other than complain or wear a "Buck
Fush" T-shirt. If this election goes the way I fear it will, it's
time to contemplate some real action--general strikes, massive protests,
civil disobedience. If we stop working or spending money, we'll get
their attention. We are losing the culture wars, but they aren't over
yet. It's a spooky world, but don't let your fear paralyze you--let
it motivate you. And for all that is holy, vote. Who knows; it might