Monday, October 04, 2004

They are trying to steal the election

This story at the Progressive details efforts by Republicans to disenfranchise and intimidate minority voters to depress turnout and influence the outcome on Nov. 2. Latinos in the Southwest, African Americans in Florida and Missouri, Native Americans in South Dakota (not a swing state but very tight Senate and House races) - all these groups have been targeted by right-wing intimidation campaigns aimed at depressing turnout in Democratic districts. No wonder they don't see any problem with going ahead with elections in Iraq and Afghanistan - they don't think free and fair elections are important at all as long as their guy wins. Rather than making Iraq and Afghanistan more like the US, they are turning the US into Afghanistan, with local warlords (Ismail Khan, Jeb Bush) influencing elections with threats and fraud.

Some may think that democratic voting is too entrenched in the US for us to degenerate into the chaos and violence at the polls. But violence, intimidation, and exclusiong of minorities have been part of the American political landscape since the end of reconstruction. The memory of 1968 and 2000 should be enough to convince us that violence could erupt here as well if people lose faith in the fairness of the process.

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