By MARC McDONALD
Consider this scenario:
It's Nov. 8, 2006, the day after the midterm elections, and the Republicans are jubilant. Although pre-election polls showed that Americans were deeply dissatisfied with the performance of the GOP-led Congress, the Republicans have somehow managed to retain control of both the House and the Senate in a stunning setback for the Democrats. The GOP even managed to pick up a few seats.
Meanwhile, a few commentators pointed out troubling problems with the election. Just as in 2004, the exit polls turned out to be wildly inaccurate. GOP candidates in a number of races triumphed, despite lagging in both pre-election polls and in exit polls.
Many progressives and independents across the country have a sinking feeling that, once again, the vote has been rigged and/or stolen. A furious discussion about the prospect of a stolen election erupts on blogs and progressive sites across the Web. However, the story is ignored by the mainstream media, except for a couple of minor articles here and there that simply dismiss such talk as "conspiracy nut" speculation.
Could the above scenario happen?
Yes, it could. In fact, anyone who doubts this is naive.
Consider: there is a growing body of solid evidence that indicates that the GOP stole the elections in 2000 and 2004 while the mainstream media looked the other way. I find it incredible that any clear-thinking, rational adult could believe otherwise after reading Mark Crispin Miller's brilliant book, Fooled Again or Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s "Was the 2004 Election Stolen?" article in Rolling Stone.
And as far as the upcoming November election goes, not only is it clear that the election will be stolen, investigative journalist Greg Palast has already documented how the election theft will occur.
I think it's clear that we progressives should not only assume the GOP will steal the November election, we should already be making plans to counter this theft.
The progressive blog-o-sphere will no doubt engage in a lively discussion and analysis of the election theft. But the mainstream media can be counted on to once again snooze through this story. And without the MSM, it's almost certain that nothing will be done to address the election theft by the Powers That Be.
I'm sure there will be a great deal of wailing and gnashing of teeth by progressives. And, no doubt, there will be protests and demonstrations here and there across the country. But I suspect these demonstrations will be as ignored and as ineffective as were the gigantic, record-setting demonstrations that preceded the Iraq War.
What to do, then? I have a suggestion. Concerned Americans should indeed take to the streets when the GOP steals the November election. But we ought to protest in the immediate vicinity of nation's newspapers and other mainstream media outlets. Protests that happen right outside the door of the likes of The New York Times and CNN will be awfully hard for the MSM to ignore.
Such a series of protests would serve two purposes. One, it'd be such an in-your-face action that America's corporate media will have a difficult time ignoring it. The second purpose would be to send a very clear message to America's MSM that we're not going to allow them to snooze through yet another stolen election.
It is indeed a bleak and depressing prospect to think that the November elections will almost certainly be stolen once again. But I'd like to emphasize that I'm not suggesting that anyone not bother to vote in November. Not by any means. I still urge everyone to get out and vote.
As Palast has written:
How many times am I asked, "Why vote if they're going to steal the election?" That's the point: Make them STEAL it. Make them know they can't win UNLESS they steal it.
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