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Controlled US presidential elections

Zafar Bangash

Presidential elections in the US are a hugely expensive farce. It matters not who occupies the White House since every candidate is a slave of corporate elites and the Zionists, the true masters of America.

If America is such a model of democracy, why do candidates need to spend $6 billion on advertisements telling people how bad their rival candidates are without telling them what they themselves would do? With limited retention span — the dumbing down of America has been a huge success — people are reduced to living on media sound bites and opinion polls that vary so widely as to be meaningless. One poll says the incumbent Barack Obama is ahead; another says his rival Mitt Romney has more support. Yet others say they are neck and neck; and on it goes. Were the presidential election not such a serious matter — after all the person occupying the White House will make life and death decisions not only for America but also for the rest of the world — US elections would be dismissed as a farce.

There are other worrying aspects as well. Repeatedly polls have shown the vast majority of Americans believe it will make little or no difference in their lives whether a Republican or a Democrat is in the White House. This, however, is not something the corporate controlled media wants to highlight. Instead, their obsession is with the “Five Things” each candidate offers; or the “Five Things” people have taken away from the three debates that the pundits have already packaged for them. And then there are the spin doctors from each party that tell viewers what their candidate meant, aware that people are incapable of deciding for themselves. Most people are unable to make informed choices because the entire exercise has been reduced to meaningless sound bites. It is pure theater, trying to generate excitement where little or none exists.

This is reflected in declining voter turnout at the polls despite the seriousness of issues facing the average people. On November 6, less than 50% of Americans eligible to vote are expected to cast ballot. Why this disdain when 68 million people watched the first debate between Obama and Romney; 65.6 million watched the second debate and 59 million the third one? The declining viewer numbers are also reflective of voter disinterest and disdain. Even the TV debates are completely controlled and contrived. People are led to believe that there are only two candidates representing two political parties: Democratic and Republican that are described by most informed commentators as two faces of the same coin representing the same corporate interests.

Why are Americans not told that there are three other candidates in the presidential race: Merlin Miller, Rosseane Barr and Gary Johnson? The latter has registered in 47 of 51 states. He is the former two-time governor of New Mexico and has something to offer to voters. The first of the other two candidates also has a serious policy platform but he is not mentioned or invited to any debate because that will spoil the corporate elite’s tightly controlled agenda.

The election, however, is also flawed in other ways. It is not the popular vote that determines the outcome of presidential elections but the Electoral College. A candidate must secure 270 electoral votes to win. In 2000, Al Gore had greater popular support but lost the election to George Bush because the latter got more electoral votes. In this election, a number of states have become crucial for winning: Florida (29 electoral votes), Virginia (13), New Hampshire (4), Ohio (18), Iowa (6), Wisconsin (10), Colorado (9) and Nevada (6). According to the Washington Post, Obama has 196 solid electoral votes under his belt; Romney has 170. There are 59 electoral votes leaning toward Obama and 36 toward Romney. Thus, if each candidate gets all the leaning votes, their numbers would be 255 for Obama and 206 for Romney. Thus, the Republican has a lot more catching up to do to reach the 270 electoral number than does Obama.

In fact, pundits predict that housewives in Ohio will decide the outcome of this election. What do Ohio housewives know about the intricacies of foreign policy such as the Muslim East, Iran, China and Russia or even US fiscal and economic policies? It is not surprising that both candidates have made Ohio their battleground and have flooded the state not only with ads but also with visits. The people of Ohio must be smiling over their good fortune. For once, they get to choose the president of the United States.

It has also become clear that the number one issue in this election is the economy. Unemployment remains high at around 7.8%. That means 23 million people are without jobs; 46 million more remain mired in poverty. The US debt continues to climb beyond $16 trillion. Despite these frightening numbers, there is no mention of cutting military spending. American hawks beat the drums of war even as the one in Afghanistan continues to bleed America and soldiers live in perpetual fear of being attacked and killed. So desperate has the US plight in Afghanistan become that even the New York Times has called for getting the hell out of there before the stipulated deadline of 2014 (New York Times, October 13, 2012).

In an opinion piece published in Information Clearing House, Michael Scheuer calls the US a “Slave of Israel,” (October 19) despite Obama’s insistence that the US is the world’s “indispensable power.” Scheuer is the author of Imperial Hubris, but more importantly, he is former chief of the CIA’s Bin Laden file. He says both Obama and Romney “with their predecessors and the Congress, have willingly surrendered American sovereignty and independence to Israel and its US-citizen advocates (Jewish and Evangelical), their organizations, and much of the media.” He asks, sarcastically “whether Obama and Romney refer to Israel’s prime minister as “Massa’ Benyamin,” playing on the word master used by slaves to refer to the slave master. Scheuer insists that Israel should not dictate US policy on going to war with Iran if US independence and sovereignty mean anything at all.

Increasing numbers of Americans dislike the huge influence the Israel lobby has on US policy but the forthcoming presidential election will not change that.

Article from

Crescent International Vol. 41, No. 9

Dhu al-Hijjah 16, 14332012-11-01

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