This is something I wrote a few years ago, but I updated it yesterday, now that the 2008 election is in the past rather than in the future.
Consensual Political Intercourse
Ever get the feeling that your government is screwing you? Legally, of course, that’s something that it is not allowed to do unless you give your consent. Without your consent it isn’t a consensual relationship and becomes rape. So my question is, did you give your consent or not?
"Of course not," my friends tell me indignantly. "Why would we consent to having our own jobs outsourced, our homes repossessed, our children’s futures mortgaged to pay for wars based on lies, and allowing big corporations to poison our food and water?"
"I don’t know why you’d consent to things like that," I tell them, "but I’m not so much concerned about your reasoning–I just want to know if you did or did not give your consent."
"No!" they answer angrily. "We did not consent!"
And I hear their echoes everywhere I go.
"We did not consent!" shout the peace activists.
"We did not consent!" scream the 9/11 Truthers.
"We did not consent!" holler the downsized and repossessed, young and old.
I hear them, but I’m not sure I’m buying it. If they didn’t consent, how could things like this have happened? What if they actually had consented but are now ashamed of it and are trying to frame a perfectly innocent government for rape?
Now I’m not talking about implied consent, I’m talking about affirmative consent. Not just the failure to resist or to say no, but the act of saying, "Yes! I want it! Screw me! Take me for everything I’ve got! I’m yours!"
You see, our government may be aggressive abroad, but here at home it is not a rapist. It always asks you clearly and politely if you want to be screwed. And the process in which it asks is called the electoral system. Every four years our government asks us if we want to be screwed, and every four years we say yes. It even holds off-year elections every two years, and in most places citizens are asked to give their consent, at least to being screwed by state and local government, every year or several times a year.
"But we didn’t say yes," people tell me. "We voted no!"
Ah, but we have secret vote counting in this country, so how can you prove that you said no? When votes are counted in secret it is the same as when intercourse takes place behind closed doors. It’s your word against theirs and they say that you said yes.
"No," they tell me, "it so happens that the whole thing was caught on videotape and we can prove that we said no." And sure enough, there are CD ROMS with the poll tapes, the register books, and the actual ballots, proving that the citizens did not consent. But alas, the statute of limitations has run out and it is much too late to file charges now. "Why didn’t you bring this evidence forward at the time?" I ask.
"Because it was withheld from us," they whine. "The government wouldn’t let us have the proof until we’d spent years in court forcing them to release the records."
"You’re telling me," I say, "that you had a few drinks with them, went up to their room, they asked you politely if you wanted to get screwed, and you said no, clearly and distinctly, but that they raped you anyway, and that when you tried to get the tapes to prove it, they wouldn’t give them to you until it was too late for you to file charges?"
"Uh," they respond, "we thought that as long as there was a verifiable record of what happened, it would be perfectly safe."
If I hadn’t seen the evidence with my own eyes, I don’t think I’d believe that there had been any rape. People that dumb are so easily seduced that it isn’t usually necessary to rape them. But I have seen the evidence and they were indeed raped.*
In 2000 the people clearly said no, but the Supreme Court didn’t consider the evidence (the vote count, the illegal voter purges, the voter suppression, and the rigged ballots and voting machines) to be admissible, so an unelected President was installed against the express will of the people. That’s rape. But by the time the government released the evidence, it was too late to do anything about it.
In 2004 the people again clearly said no, but this time the government had become so adept at withholding the evidence that Supreme Court intervention wasn’t necessary. Once again the evidence was withheld and the unelected President was installed for a second term. And once again by the time the people were able to prove they’d been raped, the statute of limitations had run out and the damage could not be repaired..
In the 2008 election there was no need to meddle with the election. Since the only two candidates with any chance of winning had virtually identical voting records and agendas, people could vote however they wanted and the result would be the same. So once again the government asked you politely if you wanted to get screwed, and once again you shmoozed with them, had a few drinks together, and then went into their voting booth and said no. And once again you’re claiming that you were raped and that you didn’t realize it until it was much too late to do anything about it.
And yet people still berate me when I suggest that they not go to the polls this time.
"If we don’t vote, we can’t complain," they say.
What good does complaining do?
"If we don’t vote, the bad guys will win," they tell me.
Do the good guys win when they do vote?
"It’s our civic duty and responsibility to vote," they claim.
In rigged elections with secret vote counts for candidates who can’t be held accountable? Give me a break!
"This time it might be different," they say.
Really? Did we get a new Constitution that guaranteed us the right to have our votes counted and counted accurately? Did we abolish the Electoral College? Did we amend the Constitution to say that all votes must be counted before candidates are sworn into office and that the Supreme Court cannot deny anyone’s right to have their vote counted? Did we outlaw the optical scanners, electronic voting machines, and central tabulators the way that Germany’s Supreme Court did because they conceal electoral processes from the public and are therefore incompatible with democracy? Did we establish publicly funded elections and equal ballot access so that third party candidates have a level playing field? Did we gain proportional representation? What’s different this time?
Well, the first time somebody tells me that they’ve been raped, I’m inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt. But I will ask how it happened and if it seems to me that they were engaging in risky behavior, I’ll suggest that they be more careful in the future.
The second time that somebody tells me they’ve been raped, and they explain that it happened in the exact same way because they ignored my advice, I begin to feel that they are at least partially to blame themselves.
But when it happens a third time, I have no more sympathy. Unless you enjoyed it the first two times, you wouldn’t allow it to happen a third time. That’s not rape–-that’s consensual political intercourse, so don’t come crying to me.
Witness to a Crime: A Citizens’ Audit of an American Election by Richard Hayes Phillips (Hardcover with CD ROM, Canterbury Press, March 2008)
How the GOP Stole America’s 2004 Election & Is Rigging 2008 by Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman (Paperback – Sep 21, 2005)
What Happened in Ohio: A Documentary Record of Theft and Fraud in the 2004 Election by Bob Fitrakis, Steve Rosenfeld, and Harvey Wasserman
Did George W. Bush Steal America’s 2004 Election? by Bob Fitrakis, Steve Rosenfeld, and Harvey Wasserman (Paperback – May 30, 2005)
Was the 2004 Presidential Election Stolen?: Exit Polls, Election Fraud, and the Official Count by Steve Freeman and Joel Bleifuss (Paperback – Jun 19, 2006)
HACKED! High Tech Election Theft in America – 11 Experts Expose the Truth by Abbe Waldman Delozier and Vickie Karp (Paperback – Sep 5, 2006)
Supreme Injustice: How the High Court Hijacked Election 2000 by Alan M. Dershowitz (Hardcover – 2001)
A Badly Flawed Election: Debating Bush V. Gore, the Supreme Court, and American Democracy by Ronald Dworkin (Hardcover – Sep 2002)
Irreparable Harm: The U.S. Supreme Court and The Decision That Made George W. Bush President by Renata Adler (Paperback – Jul 2004)
Fooled Again: The Real Case for Electoral Reform by Mark Crispin Miller (Paperback – Jun 2007)
Loser Take All: Election Fraud and The Subversion of Democracy, 2000-2008 by Mark Crispin Miller (Paperback – April 1, 2008)
Armed Madhouse: Who’s Afraid of Osama Wolf?, The Best Legal Whorehouse in Texas, The Scheme to Steal Election ’08, No Child’s Behind Left, and Other Investigations by Greg Palast (Paperback – Apr, 2007)