As Political Narcotic
Joel S. Hirschhorn
-- -- Fast forward to Election Day 2008: Network
anchors, cable pundits, and state and local election
officials are going nuts as evening hours pass and voter
turnout is hardly approaching 20 percent nearly everywhere.
“What’s going on?” everyone is asking incredulously. TV and
computer screens all over the planet show Americans in
streets celebrating and shouting things like “We’ve had
enough political corruption. We’re not going to take
contrast, news anchors are grim and aghast with little help
from spin-fatigued and stammering Democratic and Republican
spokespeople. At 2 A.M. on NBC Brian Williams sits with Tim
Russett and Keith Olbermann, and sums up: “Americans have
spoken and American politics have changed forever.” “It’s
like the nightmare of entertainers: nobody shows up for
their event,” says bemused Olbermann. Russett grimly
observes, “We should have seen this coming; people have been
fed up with both parties for a long time.” Meanwhile, the
Internet is buzzing with talk of voiding the presidential
and congressional election results, that President Bush may
declare a national state of emergency, and that the Supreme
Court might step in again. Did anyone think that the
Constitution required a minimum voter turnout to make
America’s political system is a large and complex criminal
conspiracy. Most voters enable it without benefiting from
it. Voting is a ploy of the two-party power elites to keep
the population docile, delusional and duped. Our government
has been hijacked in plain sight, despite elections. We
cannot get it back by voting. All the main candidates are
part of the conspiracy. Voting only encourages them. In
our fake democracy corrupt politicians use doses of voting
as a political narcotic. We must free more Americans of the
addiction. Otherwise they will keep hallucinating that some
Democratic or Republican President or controlled Congress
will actually give us the changes we crave for.
Attempts to hold the government accountable have failed and
will continue to fail. The system is rotten to the core.
It sustains itself both by preventing major political
reforms and undermining those that get passed to temporarily
placate the public. Arrogant power elites feel no
obligation to be accountable to the public. Elections are
not a threat to the status quo. Elections are distractive
entertainment, a political narcotic.
became a political narcotic when it stopped working to
improve government and became used to legitimize a corrupt,
two-party failed government.
– especially lesser-evil voting – sustains our fake
democracy more than any other citizen action. It lets
politicians claim that they represent the sovereign people.
It tells the world that our elected government has public
support. Voting sends the wrong message to everyone. No
matter who you vote for, voting says the political system is
fair. It is not.
elites own the government and use it to serve their
interests and protect a corporate plutocracy. Though a
numerical minority – probably about 20 million Americans –
an Upper Class easily manipulates the remaining 280 million
by controlling the consumer economy, the distractive
culture, and government policies and spending.
is what America’s political freedom has morphed into:
Dissidents free to protest (to make us feel good). Elites
free to control (to maintain corruption). Conned citizens
free to vote (to keep the system looking democratic). And
most Americans free to borrow, spend and consume (to stay
hooked on work, antidepressants, sleeping pills, alcohol,
sports, computers, religion, gambling and illegal drugs).
Where do you fit in?
drugged fake democracy, Americans replace objective reality
with illusions. The US does not excel in nearly any
statistical measure of democracies. Our voter turnout is a
disgrace. We imprison more people than all other nations
combined. We do not provide universal health care or
affordable prescription drugs. Our primary education system
is mostly awful. Economic inequality is incredible – with
the top one percent owning 21 percent of the nation’s wealth
– and getting worse. People are made addicted to
consumption and borrowing, then left to suffer from
crippling debt. Painful economic insecurity blinds the
submissive middle class whose belief in the American dream
is akin to expecting to win a lottery.
nation that supposedly prizes competitiveness there is no
real political competition. The two major parties maintain
a collusive stranglehold on our government. Third party
candidates are purposefully disadvantaged. Incumbents can
thwart opponents. Worse, though the two major parties shout
their differences, they are merely two sides of the same
coin, two heads of the same beast, two servants of the Upper
Class, and two protectors of the corporate plutocracy. They
are criminal co-conspirators. Superficial differences
between candidates keep voters entertained, manipulated and
rooting for “their” team in the political game that the
mainstream corporate media (more co-conspirators) make tons
of money from.
this charade minor, maverick primary season presidential
candidates contribute to the illusion of a competitive
system. Their loyalty to party trumps their commitment to
major political reforms. They do not tell their supporters
that if they do not receive the nomination “stay home”
rather than vote for one of their opponents. No, those they
opposed in the primary season are seen as lesser evils than
anyone from the other party. This protects the two-party
America’s fake democracy citizens are fooled by personal
freedoms. It is a fake democracy because the will of the
people is not respected by those elected to run the
government, the rule of law is routinely violated by those
in power, the Constitution is regularly dishonored and
disobeyed by elected officials and judges, and all but the
wealthy are sold out through government-assisted corporate
wonder that America is a joke to much of the world’s
population. Foreigners envy our materialism, not our
government. With horrendous hypocrisy we use military power
to impose democracy abroad despite having a flawed democracy
at home. Foreigners’ disgust with our government is one
thing, but they like Americans. Yet Americans enable and
sustain the detested government by voting, then blame those
elected rather than fix the broken system. A few crooked
politicians and corporate bosses go to jail. But the
criminal system remains. Nothing but token reforms are
made. Corruption continues.
Americans are dissidents. Many more block the painful truth
that their cherished democracy is a fraud. The land of the
free is no longer the home of the brave. Foreign enemies
are used to keep people from bravely fighting domestic
magicians using slight of words and misdirection through
lies, politicians (and those that own them) have trivialized
the fact that about half of the electorate does not vote.
Nonvoters have been blamed when the corrupt system is at
fault. Rather than see nonvoters as apathetic we should see
them acting rationally because voting is unproductive.
Nonvoters should never feel guilty, only proud to have sent
a none-of-the-above rejection message.
voter turnout has not been sufficiently low to forcefully
discredit, dishonor and de-legitimize American democracy.
Though low, it has become an accepted norm, allowing the
manufactured myth to continue – that we live in the world’s
greatest democracy, though nothing could be farther from the
With false hope,
voters believe that the right Democrat or Republican will do
what none of their predecessors has done, and that campaign
rhetoric and promises will actually translate to
post-election action and policy. Voters fail to understand
the depth of our culture of dishonesty that has also invaded
the voting process.
Held secretly in
private hands is proprietary source code that instructs the
voting machines on to how to count the vote. More than 1/3
of all votes cast in our nation are made on touch screen
machines driven by proprietary source code and 90 percent of
all votes cast are counted by software that’s unverifiable.
No sane American
should trust the political system, the politicians, and the
voting process. And when you cannot trust all three, you
have a fake democracy. Many of us thirst for major change,
but mainstream politicians simply exploit this and lie. By
voting for any of them we ensure no serious change. The way
to shake up the system is to boycott voting.
sum, despite personal freedoms we also have political
tyranny as oppressive in its own way as any authoritarian,
dictatorial government. Americans have lost the
revolutionary spirit of their ancestors. Americans are
unable to revolt, despite revolting conditions. They have
accepted the tyranny of taxation with MISrepresentation.
The political criminal conspiracy has successfully used
cultural genetic manipulation to replace the DNA of
revolutionary courage with the DNA of distractive,
self-indulgent consumerism. Our primary freedom is to
borrow and spend. Our currency should read “In Greed We
Trust.” We have populist consumerism, not populist
politics. Divisive politics keeps people fighting each
other rather than uniting against the rotten system.
Delusional prosperity is what our delusional democracy
creates for the majority. Many millions of Americans are
hurting from loss of good jobs, crippling health care costs,
staggering debt, unaffordable college education, imminent
foreclosure or bankruptcy, rising economic insecurity,
working two lousy jobs, time poverty, dependence on food
stamps and charity. Millions more are angry about endless
political corruption and bipartisan incompetence, the
inability to get a new 9/11 investigation, uncontrolled
illegal immigration, and our national debt. The rebellion
needs all of them. And they need the rebellion.
we have plenty of passive nonvoters, a good head start. Now
we need active, vociferous nonvoters – proud protestors and
dissidents urging others to join the civil disobedience to
reach the tipping point for revolutionary change. After we
achieve major political reforms we should pursue mandatory
voting – when voting once again has civic meaning.
Massive, unprecedented nonvoting has the power to produce
systemic political reform by defiantly discrediting,
dishonoring and de-legitimizing America’s fake democracy.
When I choose not to vote I do not make the votes of others
more important. Their votes already serve an evil system.
The critical choice is to vote or not vote, not picking a
particular Democrat or Republican. When I choose not to
vote I embrace an honorable, patriotic rebellious act of
civil disobedience. I no longer buy the BIG LIE that there
still is an American democracy worth participating in. As
James Madison said, “Conscience is the most sacred of all
nonvoting sends the message of rejection – as powerful as
using guns. The Second American Revolution begins with this
recognition: We must work together to drive voter turnout
down to abysmal levels – so low that everyone gets the
rejection message. We must let the world know – and
America’s power elites fear – that we sovereign Americans
intend to take back our government. But how?
begins with a boycott of voting. See it as a populist
recall of the federal government that makes our Founders
proud. It is followed by demanding what the Founders gave
us in our Constitution for exactly the conditions we now
have: an Article V convention of state delegates that can
propose constitutional amendments, especially ones to reform
our political system to make it honest and trustworthy.
Learn more at
have we not had one in over 200 years? Why has Congress
been allowed to disobey – actually veto a part of the
Constitution and violate their oath of office? There is
only one logical explanation: An intensely watched
convention could wreck the political status quo and take
away the power of those running and ruining our nation.
That so many Americans fear a convention just shows the
success of the social conditioning and political narcotics
the elitist plutocracy has imposed for decades. Imagine an
amendment that required at least 90 percent voter turnout
for federal elections to produce a winner.
it comes to our nation our choice is not to love it or leave
it, but to accept the painful truth and take responsibility
for restoring American democracy – because we love it.
Let’s move forward with this slogan: “Don't vote--it only
Joel S. Hirschhorn was a senior official at the
Congressional Office of Technology Assessment and the
National Governors Association, and is the author of
Delusional Democracy – Fixing the Republic Without
Overthrowing the Government. Reach him through