Initial disclaimer: I’m still working out my thoughts on this, but where better to do so than among such aggressively creative and kindheartedly critical people as my E2 family? I welcome your feedback, either as messages to me or another writeup in this node.

This morning, in the afterglow of what I consider to have been an extremely successful and inspiring Democratic National Convention, 2004, a shadow dawned on me while chatting with my wife. Let’s face it, Kerry did what he had to do in his nomination acceptance speech, and if he continues to throw strikes through the next 3 months, he will win the White House. Unless. . . .

It’s only reasonable to assume that as the prospects for a Democratic victory in November brighten, the countervailing prospects for a manipulation of the electoral process grow simultaneously more ominous. So?. . . What do we do?

I think the answer is obvious, frankly, and organic. I propose a general strike, to begin immediately concurrent with the announcement of any cancellation, postponement and/or abridgment of the Presidential Elections scheduled for November 2, 2004; such strike to terminate when, and only when, elections are successfully completed and fairly counted.

If you work, simply don’t go in. If you’re a student, simply don’t go to school. If you’re a stay-at-home mom or dad, simply stay-at-home with your kids. Don’t shop, don’t drive, don’t eat at restaurants. Don’t do anything, except subsist. Unless another person’s life is in your immediate professional hands, cease doing what you normally do until such time as the powers-that-be come to their senses and remember that whatever power they claim necessarily derives from the people.

As far as the logistics go, we should all already have a three day supply of food, water, medicine and other necessities in case of an emergency. It probably wouldn’t hurt to supplement this stockpile in advance of late October/early November.

The issue of impeaching and removing from office all public servants who collaborated in the unconstitutional and baldly illegal act of election tampering can be dealt with when a lawful government is sworn in.

My wife is convinced that if they try to take this election away from us, the majority of Americans, petulantly privileged as she believes them to be, will do nothing. I have an inkling of fear that she’s right, but a stronger instinct to prove her cynicism wrong.

Will you join me?

2004.7.30@19:09 Servo5678 says re . . . Good idea in theory, but when the work stops, the people also are not paid. Eventually we have no choice but to go back to work to earn money to continue to exist. I thinking they will just wait us out.

2004.7.30@19:32 Scriblerus says I actually had the same idea a few days ago--to simply shut down the country in the titular event. And the same assumption that it wouldn't work that your wife makes. But I'll join you.

2004.7.30@19:39 Nero says do you really believe the elections will be canceled due to one party looking like they are losing the election, you honestly believe this?

To which I answered: "Yes, Nero, I honestly do. It happened in New York City while I was living there."

2004.7.30@22:57 Lennon says:Approaching the 2000 election, there were a lot of Republicans who believed Clinton was going to institute a state of emergency and cancel the elections. It is funny this has come up again The Reps had a different kind of strike in mind, a violent one. There were people who were ready to march on Washington, however futile, to remove the corrupted government and install a 'lawful' one.

My response to all the gentle noders who have messaged me their doubts about a general strike's effectiveness I say: "Isn't there value in the threat itself? Don't we gain something by simply stating here and now, good and early, that we won't sit down, even if, in fact, most of us will? There seems to be an generally accepted notion that I, for one, do not accept: that they are less afraid of us than we of them."

"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals and you know it." - Agent K to James Edwards, Men in Black

It's easy to say "I will do this" or "My friends and I will do that" when it comes to organizing actions based on upon one's beliefs. What's much harder to do is to anticipate events and stir up the people at large, especially when one is talking about the people of the United States. Also consider that seeing as how the United States has a habit of super-sizing everything it gets its hands on (from jumbo toilet paper to sport-utility vehicles), it is feasible that any potential solution to the problem will be carried to an oversized extreme.

Suppose there was a general strike if elections were postponed. People stay home, stop going to work or school, and generally just exist. The idea is that we'd bring the nation (and eventually the world) to a screeching halt until elections are reinstated. This is, at best, a very short-term solution. Without work there will be no income for the people, and Americans get rather cranky when the cable TV and air conditioning stop, not to mention food and electricity. Americans who live paycheck to paycheck would not last long in a general strike. Add to this businesses who would begin firing absent employees and hiring those who would gladly work for the chance to earn money, thus defeating the strike's purpose in the first place. And what of general utilities and services? When the food runs out there will be no one to open the grocery stores. Power plants need staffing to continue cranking out power. If we all go on strike, we're going to wind up hungry and in the dark. Then comes the general panic and looting which leads to the declaration of martial law and the eventual riots of hungry, unwashed, naked people crowding the streets in a deperate attempt to find beef jerky and orange-flavored soda. Not to bring up the specter of the old cliche, but by disrupting our own way of life further we do the terrorists' work for them.

The difficult thing about civil unrest is that whatever we do to disrupt the system also disrupts our own lives. Also consider that some people will agree with the decision to delay the elections and due to humanity's adversarial nature they will make life as difficult as they can for those on strike. For every person who lashes out in anger against the current administration, there is another who demands that we follow the president's lead no matter what because it is our duty as Americans. Friendly political debates turn into serious heated conflicts. Eventually the news stories begin to break that one man shot another due to a conflict of opinion. Brother turns against brother and another civil war breaks out. Once the smoke clears and the bodies are carted away the underlying problem is no closer to being solved. Once again this is what the terrorist factions want: the United divided.

So what can be done? What is there to do? The best course of action would be for the elections to occur as scheduled, but in the event they do not we must not take to the streets with weapons or horde bags of rice and beans. Go to work, go to class, and stay informed. Watch the news, read news websites (both domestic and international), and discuss what you read without raising a weapon. Write letters to the media and your congressional representatives. Flood your local election commissions with phone calls and e-mails demanding the reinstatement of elections. Follow the daily events so that when it comes time to vote you're educated enough to vote for who you believe in and not who the campaign commercials tell you to believe.

You know how they say that freedom is won at the barrel of a gun?

You know how the Bush administration is all about protecting the constitutional right to bear powerful weapons?

You know how the Founding Fathers won the United States' independence by kicking ass and taking names?

You know how that assault weapons ban just expired earlier this week?

Here's what I'm sayin'. Since all law-abiding Americans have easy access to butt-kicking weaponry now, why don't we use it to protect ourselves against the deprivation of democratic process? Here's what we do.

November 1: Tom Ridge bumps the Homeland Security Threat Level up to chartreuse, saying that Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, and/or Jacques Chirac are plotting acts of terror against "an unspecified polling site." Bush orders the election delayed indefinitely. Witihin a couple of hours, protestors surround the White House. Bush boards Marine One and escapes to Crawford, Texas. Meanwhile, key revolutionary leaders are called to a secret conference in Everything, Kansas.

November 2: At the Everything conference, a strategic plan is drawn up. Several teams of paramilitary troops, armed with fully-automatic Chinese AK-47 knockoffs1, board unmarked vans at midnight and trek toward Crawford, New York, Atlanta, Los Angeles, and Chicago.

November 3: News organizations briefly wonder when the election will take place, and then go back to the Scott Peterson story. Troops inch closer to their targets. Protestors begin getting angrier.

November 4: Trucks depart for major cities across the U.S., loaded with cases of automatic rifles and Kevlar vests.

November 5: Troops reach their destinations, and after surprisingly brief altercations, take control of television and radio stations. Threat level goes up to red instantaneously, but nobody can hear about it, because the airwaves are now being used to broadcast...

La Resistance!

Meanwhile, private pilots drop thousands of leaflets over major cities, urging citizens to join in.

November 6: Troops entrenched around Crawford close on the Bush compound, take the president hostage, and force him to resign. A special motorcade, escorted by rogue police officers, transports John Kerry from Boston to Washington, where protestors have overrun the White House with the support of armed militia.

OK, it wouldn't be that easy. There would be lots of fighting, and Bush would probably mobilize the armed forces and National Guard against the rebels, and the South would probably secede again somewhere in the process. But you get the idea.

Liberty has to be won and re-won many, many times.

Note: I'm not serious, Mr. Ashcroft. Really. You guys are great. Four more years! Heh. Hehheh...

1 NotFabio says: Dude, if I am going to get all revolutionary on someone's ass, I am *so* using a 'Merican gun to do it. Like a Heckler & Koch or a Glock.

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