By MARC McDONALD
Over the past six years, many Democrats in America have wondered why Al Gore didn't fight harder to claim the presidency that was rightfully awarded to him by the American people in 2000. We also wondered the same thing about John Kerry in 2004, after exit polls showed that he handily won the election.
What's up with Democrats and their strange reluctance to contest elections that are obviously stolen?
In the aftermath of stolen elections in 2000 and 2004, we needed the Democrats to take off the gloves and fight tooth and claw to claim what rightfully belonged to them (and to us, the American voters). Instead, the Democrats turned strangely silent and meekly accepted the GOP election theft.
But it wasn't just Gore and Kerry who lost. It was the American people---and, indeed, the entire world. And as a result, we've had to endure six hellish years of Bush/Cheney---the most evil, corrupt administration in U.S. history.
I really think the Democrats need to tear up their rulebook and throw it into the trash. They need to fire all their slick, highly-paid consultants and listen to the street for a change. They need to be bold. They need to embrace risky positions that haven't been approved by PR consultants and focus groups.
I mean, what have they got to lose? After all, for Democrats these days, there is absolutely no direction to go but up. The GOP controls every single lever of power in this country, as well as the media.
It's clear that the GOP will try to steal the upcoming November elections. I mean, what's going to stop them? The media? (Don't make me laugh). The Republicans got away with election theft in 2000 and 2004 and they know full well that they can get away with it again.
I think the Democrats should already be preparing for this possibility. And for lessons on how to deal with election theft, the Dems ought to be looking at their less-timid brethren south of the border.
You really have to admire a fighter like Mexican leftist candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. He's utterly unafraid to stand up for the truth and for what's right. And he's determined to not let the Mexican right-wing establishment steal another election.
The American Left ought to be studying and taking notes from the current Mexican election standoff. I don't know if Obrador will prevail. But it's clear that he knows that the aftermath of a disputed election is no time to be polite and timid.
Here's a few lessons I think the Democrats can learn from Mexico:
1. If any irregularities emerge early in an election, move quickly and decisively. Don't wait around for an official "blue ribbon" panel to conduct an election investigation years later, when your opponent is settled comfortably in office.
2. Strongly and forcefully proclaim that the election was stolen. Loudly announce that you don't recognize the "official" results. Gore could have learned a lesson from Obrador in this regard. Recall how in 2000, Gore quietly sat around, waiting for a decision while Bush immediately began acting for the world's media as though he were already the president.
3. Enlist the help of the people. Obrador has rallied millions in the Mexican capital. His loud and noisy weekly demonstrations are sending a clear message that the people won't stand for another election fraud. Democrats here should take a page from this approach. God knows, there are millions of us here in America who are fed up with election theft and are ready to mobilize in the streets, should the November election be stolen.
A message to all Democrats running for office in November: if you're cheated out of electoral victory, just tell us where to line up. We, the American people, are ready to take to the streets and demand what's rightfully ours.