The following is a mostly true account. Only names and a few minor details have been changed to protect identities.
Last night I received a phone call. It went something like this.
CALLER – Hello – my name is Henry. I am calling from campaign headquarters and would like to ask you a few questions.
ME – Will it take very long?
CALLER – No.
ME – OK.
CALLER – I want to know if you are going to vote for Obama or the other guy.
ME – Which other guy? There are seven others on the ballot.
CALLER – Ugh. Are you sure?
ME – Yes. Would you like me to give you their names?
CALLER – Yes.
ME – Baldwin, Barr, Calero, Lariva, McCain, Moore, and Nader.
Long pause – silence on the other end of the phone line.
CALLER – Hummmmm
ME – How can you be a campaign worker for one candidate if you don’t know the other candidates’ positions on the issues?
CALLER – I like hanging out here.
ME – How do you feel about the 700 billion dollar bail out?
CALLER – Oh, that was bad.
ME – Who are you going to vote for in the Congressional race?
CALLER – The Democrat, of course.
ME – But he voted for the bailout.
CALLER – Really.
ME – What do think about term limits?
CALLER – Yes, that would be good.
ME – Then you should not be voting for an incumbent.
CALLER – What’s an incumbent ?
The conversation concluded with my recommendation that Henry visit some web sites and read some books. I suggested that he read Joshua Frank, Mickey Z, William Blum and some others.
The ultimate responsibility for the outcome of the election is the voter; but, in defense of Henry- the-Campaign- Worker maybe he is not completely responsible for his lack of information. This phone conversation could have occurred anywhere in the country but it happened in Vermont. In Vermont some newspapers censor out information about some candidates. Being blacklisted by Vermont newspapers is so common that it has become a badge of honor. Many candidates have been ‘Naderized’ – denied access to the Press.
In addition, some newspapers in the southern part of the State have even refused to insert the Official State Candidates Information Publication. This publication is nonpartisan. It is authorized by Vermont Law (17 V.S.A. 2810-b) and has been paid for by the taxpayers. For many, this publication is the only source of voter information. A computer is a luxury that many cannot afford.
What is the difference between the Democratic/Republican Party and a gang in the hood? The gang in the hood usually limits its harm to the local area. The Dem/Repub Party causes global harm.