By MARC McDONALD
Lately, I've noticed that a favorite theme running through the right-wing blogosphere is that "liberals are sore losers in elections." The right-wing blogs note that Mexico's leftist presidential candidate Andres Obrador is strongly challenging voting results in the recent election.
As usual, the right-wingers don't have a clue. Indeed, most liberals I know have never disputed the results of the 2004 U.S. election, despite the fact that exit polls showed that Kerry triumphed by over 3 million votes.
Frankly, the 2004 election results were a non-issue among liberals, as well as the mainstream media. The 2000 election, of course, was an issue. But what do you expect from an election mired in controversy that somehow resulted in the candidate who lost by 549,000 votes being awarded "victory"?
A few observers did point out that the 2004 election was also riddled with problems, from over a million "spoiled" ballots to unprecedented numbers of voters being challenged at the polls. But the outcome of the 2004 election was never really disputed by the American Left----or, by the mainstream media, for that matter.
I'm sure this will come as a surprise to your typical Bush-worshipping Republican who gets all his news and views from Fox News. Many of them who I've talked to are convinced that the "liberal" mainstream media has been disputing the 2004 election results. I wish they were right about this. But in fact, outside of a couple of lonely commentators reporting from outside the U.S. mainstream, the 2004 election has never been disputed. The vast majority of Americans remain blissfully unaware that there were any problems at all with the vote.
Which brings us to the upcoming November election. Reporters like Greg Palast have convincingly detailed how the GOP stole the 2000 and 2004 elections and how they're already plotting to steal the upcoming election. Unfortunately, Palast doesn't work for the American media----he reports for Britain's BBC---and his program does not appear on U.S. television.
This leads to a critical problem. The GOP has already successfully stolen two elections and gotten away with it. What do you think would prevent them from stealing the upcoming November election? The fear of being caught? Unlikely. The fear that the mainstream media will do its job and investigate problems with the vote? Even more unlikely.
The fact is, it's obvious and apparent that the fix is in already for the November election. And outside of Palast and a few other brave investigative authors, we can almost be certain that the American people will be kept in the dark about all this.
Democrats these days are brimming with optimism, as they gleefully watch Bush's poll numbers sink further into the toilet. To most Democrats, victory in November seems like a foregone conclusion.
This indeed would have been the case in America once upon a time. But that was before George W. Bush took power. The fact is, we are in a new era in this country--an era in which we cannot trust our nation's election results. And until the mainstream media takes a look at this deepening crisis, America's democracy will continue to be in danger.