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A lot of Republicans in the Texas Legislature and the editors of the Dallas Morning News have teamed up to oppose “straight party ticket” voting.

ballot

By now, everybody in the United States, and especially the Texans, should begin to worry when Republicans talk about “electoral reform.” They’ve already deformed our elections beyond recognition with crazy redistricting, outright voter suppression, and opening the floodgates for big money to buy every candidate.

Now they want Texas to join the states that have already outlawed “straight ticket” voting. I laughed out loud when I read the Dallas editors’ reasons. The main one was that the change wouldn’t make any difference because people could still vote straight ticket, they would just have to put a bunch more marks by each candidate on the ballot.

If it doesn’t make any difference, why do it?

And, anybody could turn the argument right around on the editors. If it’s true that people could still vote straight ticket AFTER this “deform,” then isn’t it also true that they could NOT vote straight ticket NOW? They aren’t offering to give people another choice, they’re offering to take one away!

Straight Ticket Voting Makes Sense

I’m not sure what it’s like in other states, but in Texas we have to elect almost everybody that has anything to do with government, from dogcatcher through all the judges and on up (or down, as the case may be) to the Governor and President. Nobody can keep track of all these candidates — then they throw in a bunch of undecipherable propositions and amendments at the end of the ballot. A person is supposed to have all this clear in his/her head before we enter the voting booth, but everybody knows we can’t.

Party Polarity Is On the Grow

The growing polarity between the two capitalist parties makes them more distinct than ever before. When I was a kid, I used to hear people say that they couldn’t tell the difference between the two capitalist parties. Nobody says that now.

For working families, the Democrats’ party platforms sound like Hollywood dreams, and the Republican party platforms come straight from the hallways of Hell.

Like the “local control” issue, the “straight ticket” issue is a smoke screen to hide the intentions of big money as they rob the workers and deform our democracy in order to undermine our ability to fight back.

–Gene Lantz

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Watching the Republican convention may have convinced America that never have so many white people gathered for such malevolent purposes. But, every now and then, the TV cameras pick up a dark face and zoom in. A handful of African Americans took the podium, as did a handful of Latinos, women, and a tiny handful of gays. This for a party whose avowed platform reeks of racism, misogyny, homophobia, and hatred. It’s legitimate to ask “Why?”

judasiscariot

Long before the mafia started using the kiss of death, Judas laid it on Jesus

It’s also a good time to expound on the common political phenomenon known as “opportunism.” My glossary of political terms says opportunism is “Sacrificing higher ideals for personal gain. Specifically, someone within the progressive movement who profits by selling out the interests of others.” Judas Iscariot, who turned Jesus in to the Roman authorities for thirty pieces of silver, is a classic example.

In other words, some of those few African American spokespersons for racists are getting paid, as are some of those women and gays. Did you ever wonder if Clarence Thomas is on the Supreme Court because he’s a reactionary, or if he was a reactionary because he is on the Supreme Court?

Closer to home, you can see opportunism every day in your workplace. Almost all of us feel some solidarity with our co-workers, because they’re in the same boat we’re in. Yet, almost all of us would take a promotion into a management job if we got the chance. Once in management, solidarity is gone — even though nobody will admit that. Managers always claim to feel exactly like their employees, but their every action proves otherwise.

When somebody moves from worker to management, he/she is taking advantage of an opportunity. From the point of view of worker solidarity, he/she has also committed an error of opportunism. It’s common. Almost everybody does it or would do it if they had the chance. It’s just the way our economic system works. It turns us against one another.

American politics is filled through and through with opportunists. It’s tempting to say that almost all the politicians in our economic system are opportunists. All of them aren’t. But some of them would sell out their own mothers.

The more you observe politics, the more you’ve got to admit that each party is worse than the other. –Will Rodgers

–Gene Lantz

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