My guest today is Harvey Wasserman, author, teacher, environmental and election activist. He just co-wrote a piece with Bob Fitrakis, How the GOP Flipped & Stripped Yet Another American Election [11.20.16].
Joan Brunwasser: Welcome back to OpEdNews, Harvey. Is this just more post-election sour grapes? How would you like to get this started?
Harvey Wasserman: Let’s just say we have another STRIP & FLIP DISASTER OF AMERICA’S STOLEN ELECTIONS, this one perhaps the worst ever.
JB: I recall you wrote a piece back in February AFTER IOWA, CAN BERNIE WIN A “STRIP & FLIP” SELECTION?, albeit in a Democratic primary context. Is that relevant to our discussion today?
HW: Our statistics indicate the nomination was stolen from Bernie and now the election has been stolen from Hillary.
The 2000 and 2004 elections were stolen from Gore and from Kerry.
So we had eight years of W. and now a nightmare coming up from Trump.
It appears Hillary will win the popular vote by almost two million. An honest vote count would also have given her a landslide in the Electoral College.
How much longer will this go on?
JB: Great question. Let’s get to some facts and figures, Harvey. Otherwise, this sounds like so much wishful thinking. What have you got to back up your brash statements?
HW: We should have been doing this since 2000. Instead of forming a circular firing squad around Ralph Nader, there should’ve been an organized movement to deal with our election disease STARTING THEN.
We all know the votes were flipped and stripped in Florida (and elsewhere). Then, the Supreme Court intervened to stop the recount. Then, the Electoral College nailed the coffin shut.
And then they all ganged up on Ralph for daring to run.
If everybody who voted for Ralph Nader in Florida 2000 had voted instead for Al Gore, George W. Bush still would’ve become president.
So, first we apologize to Ralph.
Then, we form a national coalition with a very specific set of goals:
1. Universal automatic voter registration, with transparent voter rolls.
2. Four-day national holiday for voting.
3. No photo ID for voting.
4. Ample voting stations everywhere
5. Universal hand-counted paper ballots.
6. End the Electoral College.
7. End gerrymandering.
8. No corporate money in campaigns.
Then we find out how to win. Our lives depend on it.
JB: A comprehensive list, Harvey. What if any energy is being devoted to initiating audits or recounts in key states? How do we take advantage of that small window before the Electoral College votes on December 19th?
HW: There are people working hard to raise money for recounts and I hope they succeed.
I’m a bit skeptical because I’d prefer to see a big grassroots long-term movement dug in for the deep fight of establishing a democratic (small d) election procedure which includes universal automatic voter registration, no photo ID, transparent voter rolls, universal hand counted paper ballots, ban on corporate money in campaigns, end to gerrymandering, end to electoral college and more.
This was yet another electronic Jim Crow election and we cannot allow it to happen again.
Al Gore, John Kerry and now Hillary Clinton have allowed their elections to be stolen and have not say a word. Hillary could pay for all the recounts out of petty cash.
Meanwhile, under Obama, the good people at the Dakota pipeline are being assaulted. Trump will probably use live ammunition.
But we have to find a better way.
JB: If, as you say, Hillary could sponsor a recount out of petty cash, why is she silent? What’s your theory?
HW: Like Gore and Kerry, Hillary is a multi-millionaire. Her first loyalty is to the establishment that keeps her rich. She would never challenge the basic illusions of our democracy. It’s too radical a thing for her to do. Like that line in “A Few Good Men”: ‘TRUTH! YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!”
This election marks a shocking and tragic end to democracy in the US as we’ve known it. Our nation has been on a death spiral since the murders of JFK, MLK and RFK, and the horrible miasma of the Vietnam War. We have never really recovered from Lyndon Johnson’s escalation of the war in Vietnam.
This is the basic message of a history of the US I’ll soon publish entitled: AMERICA AT THE BRINK OF REBIRTH: THE ORGANIC SPIRAL OF US HISTORY.
Our democratic process, which was far from perfect, has now deteriorated (like our nuclear plants) into something that can only be described as rigor mortis.
A fascist party has stolen control of the government from a corporate one which has no interest in fighting for even those elections it has won but were stolen from it.
Yet at the grassroots, we have a vibrant, savvy and committed core.
We don’t know what is forthcoming for our civil rights and liberties. The internet will be attacked, as will free speech. Our survival on this planet is about to be assaulted as never before.
In other words: We are all about to be tested. As never before.
JB: Sheesh. Not a very uplifting or hopeful message. Do you have anything you’d like to add before we wrap this up?
HW: I’m a born optimist. one has to be to be an activist. I believe in the survival instincts of our species, and our core beliefs in social justice and civic responsibility.
I also believe we understand what we have to do to have our families’ survival. This must be a fit world for our children, and it’s our responsibility to make it so.
So, I believe we will get through this. It’ll stretch every muscle in our psychic bodies, but we’ll get there, whatever it takes within a non-violent framework.
And, somehow, we’ll have fun doing it. I haven’t quite figured that part out yet. but i’ll let you know when I do. And we’ll see you in solartopia.
JB: Thanks so much for talking with me again, Harvey. Looking forward to seeing your new book when it comes out. Good luck with it!
Pokey Anderson put together a good synopsis of post-election articles about voting irregularities. Thank you, Pokey. Check it out here.
Things are not looking good but we don’t have to passively acquiesce either. Here are two simple actions you can take. Share widely:
Publicize this petition demanding a post-election audit of the paper ballots in seven key states (Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan).
Donate funds to facilitate audit here.
This interview of Harvey Wasserman by Joan Brunwasser was originally published at Op-Ed News