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The 1998 election rebellion



Our ballots in the recent national election were barely counted before a chorus of pundits, politicos and pollsters were rushed out to put the official spin on the results for us peasants. The people, we were told, voted for a continuation of the "status quo," for "centrist" policies, and for a "don't-rock-the-boat" approach to economics.

Hogwash. First of all, "The People" mostly didn't vote at all. Turnout was a dismal 36 percent -- the lowest since 1942, when millions were off fighting a World War. Two-thirds of today's voters -- some 120 million citizens -- are in a silent but seething rebellion against the money-soaked, corrupt political system in which both the Republican and Democratic parties are in cahoots with the powerful few to stiff the workaday majority.

These folks know that neither party gives a damn about them and the "kitchen-table issues" that really matter -- issues like good jobs at good pay, health care for all, the globaloney globalization that's selling out the middle class, stopping the pollution of families, and keeping Wall Street's grubby hands off our Social Security.

And of those citizens who did vote, most took every opportunity they had to stick it to the establishment. Minnesota, for example, had a 60 percent turnout and put third-party candidate Jesse "The Body" Ventura into the governor's chair. And check the state initiatives: both Arizona and Massachusetts said "YES!" to public financing of their elections; Washington State said "YES!" to a living wage of $6.50 an hour, even indexing it to inflation; Colorado said "NO!" to the relentless march of corporate hog factories across their land; and Alaska, Arizona, Nevada, Oregon and Washington State said "YES!" to the medical use of marijuana.

These are hardly expressions of support for centrism. The great majority of American voters are not looking for status quo politicians -- but for a political movement that kicks butt.

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