portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article commentary united states

actions & protests | government | political theory selection 2004

ABB is Loyalism, is anti-democracy, is completely wrongheaded and foolish

Voting is meant to be a judgement and a command, not a plea, not a wish, not a pledge, not a bribe, not a cajole, not an entreaty, not even a deal or a contract, but a JUDGEMENT AND COMMAND. ABB is nothing less than a complete abdication of the ultimate sovereign power of the People, hence a complete renunciation of democracy.
The three powers separated into our three branches of government are combined in one in our vote. We judge, we execute and we legislate whenever we vote. So we can do this with an awareness and attention to what we are doing, and thus do it with great effect, or we can do it as if it did not matter, in which case, it won't.

Voting doesn't have any effect unless it is done as a JUDGEMENT AND COMMAND. The People are sovereign in this country, by law, enforceably with the full power of law enforcement and military if necessary. But a sovereign has no power if that sovereign does not use that power. If all a King does is say, "It would be nice if ..." but never actually says, "This is good, that is bad, do this, don't do that, you're hired, you're fired," then the King will eventually be ignored, and won't be King anymorew. That's what has happened in this country.

If you are voting ABB, then you've obviously resigned yourself to living under the kind of government the puppetmasters behind every President and major Party presidential candidate in recent memery, most recently Clinton, Bush and now Kerry, have to offer us -- constitutional aristocracy where the aristocrats can suspend whatever clause of the Constitution they happen to find inconvenient on any given afternoon. If you not only plan to vote ABB, but advocate ABB to others, then you seem to think it only makes sense for everyone else to resign themselves to aristocracy. Well, it doesn't make sense. It doesn't make sense at all. It certainly isn't "strategic" as is so often claimed.

Using your vote in a democracy to vote for aristocracy is just about the only way of using your vote that is truly unconscionable and truly idiotic from a strategic point of view. And voting for Prince John to demonstrate your loyalty in the hopes that, once annointed Monarch, he will then reward that show of loyalty by seeing fit to regard your entreaties to the Crown more kindly and generously than he does the entreaties of those disloyal subjects who voted for his rival, Prince George II, is nothing if not the use of your vote as if it were a pleading or a flattery rather than what we must have the courage to use it as in a democracy -- a judgement and a command from the supreme power of the land, the will of the People. Once the People lack the will to govern, democracy devolves into aristocracy. And that is precisely what you are ADVOCATING we do, abdicate our sovereignty as a People, by voting ABB, by voting as if our votes were not supreme judgement and command, but plea, entreaty, flattery.

So it's not about "voting your conscience". That hints at the judgement aspect of the vote, but it omits the command part. Voting the way it was meant to be, and must be for democracy to function as democracy, is about voting as if your vote decided the election, voting as supreme judgement and command, thus wielding the power of one's vote as it was designed to be used. If voters simply did that, our democracy would never devolve and die as it is doing now with this onslaught of ABB, of Party "loyalty", of voters abdicating the power of their vote, and wasting it by using it as if it were a preference poll or a test of loyalty rather than the first and final word on everything our government shall be and do.

Even thinking of your vote as a contract-signing is selling your vote WAY short. It isn't "let's make a deal." In fact, that's illegal. You're not allowed to sell your vote. So when you advocate voting for Kerry in order to make a deal with him, that you'll let him off the hook for everything he's done wrong for the People, if in exchange for your vote he'll agree to take your criticism into strong consideration later on, then you are acting as if your vote is a contract with the candidate you're voting for. But that isn't so. When you vote, you are the Monarch, the supreme power in our country. You do not have to cut any deals. What you say goes. You cannot be punished for what you do. The ballot is secret. You have ultimate power. You could promise Kerry you'll vote for him, then go in there and vote for anyone, and he would never know. He is FORBIDDEN BY LAW TO KNOW, OR TO RETALIATE AGAINST YOU IN ANY WAY EVEN IF HE DOES FIND OUT SOMEHOW. So it cannot be a contract, because by law you can NOT ever be held accountable if you don't hold up your side of the bargain. So there's no deal, even if you think of it is a deal, there's no deal.

Vote as command and judgement, as if you are all three branches of government in one voice, because that is what it REALLY IS (REALLY - READ THE NINTH AND TENTH AMENDMENTS). Do that, and we'll have our democracy back in no time.
Wrong 03.Aug.2004 01:55


Holding one's nose and voting for Kerry is practical and functional. Your post has idealistic merit, but at this point it's fantasy--wishful thinking. We need to get Bush out now, then continue by putting the pressure on Kerry and pushing needed agendas. This requires awake and aware citizens. The lack of such is how we got into this mess and it's not going to be easy or quick to rectify.

The only other option is revolution. Fat chance, with all of the fat asses in the recliners watching Fox News. Besides, the government and the right-wingers have all of the guns.

preach to the converted 03.Aug.2004 07:47


I am so glad that the nader contingent is nothing more than 500 deluded fanatics talking to themselves. Sincere nader boosters are a tiny minority of the left, working for the right.
Why else would Murdoch, Armey and DeLay be in bed with you?
I'm glad there aren't more of you, and nobody but your little clique will give you the time of day.
Why don't you expend your energy on something useful, like lobbying ralph to support fascism-lite (kerry) in return for a supreme court nomination, where he could actually do something useful, something he is trained for that would truly benefit the population in general?

Onthe 03.Aug.2004 09:16


Holding ones nose and voting for Kerry is the act of fear. It is a sign of slavery. And it ignores what is going on. Bush has committed clear impeachable offenses. If the Democrats had any spine, any courage, any real moral position, they would be vigorously launching impeachment proceedings against Bush. That is the intelligent strategic thing to do and it is the right thing to do.

In 2000 Al Gore ran a campaign to lose. Then he and the Democrats allowed Buch to take the White House. If they had fought, they would have won. I wonder if they were told to lose and they did as they were bid. That is what it looked like. And then to cover up their own false ways, they endlessly shift the blame to Nader.

And you know what? 2004 is shaping up the same way.

Bush has provided all the possible ammunition anyone could want in order to defeat him and the Democrats are not using it. The Democrats are not trying to win this election. They are playing right into the hands of the Bush agenda and they know it.

It is the classic two person con game and you are the mark. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. Shame on all the "Anyone But Bush" Kerry supporters. You are ushering in the final destruction of any semblence of democracy in this country.

correction 03.Aug.2004 09:54

other voter

pursuant to the 2nd Amendment, the Left has guns too. Don't get it twisted.

This election cycle 03.Aug.2004 10:03

is rehash

Now I know why they write off the seniors, they have been around long enough to see them repeat themselves.
This con was tried in the Carter years. First they set up the Iranian hostage scam then they ran the ABC mantra. Anybody but Carter. The whole show is a repeat and I am tired of reruns.

I will not participate in this show no stand-ins for me, instead I will demonstrate against the fake elections and our fake representative governmnet. Maybe that is what the troops are really training for.

Actually 03.Aug.2004 10:13

George Bender

Last I heard Nader represents about 1 in 5 Oregon voters. Nationally 2.7 percent as of the 2000 election. We will be heard, whether the sellouts like it or not.

Nader supporters = deceitful liars 03.Aug.2004 10:22


Nader has the support of 1 in 5 Oregonians? ha, ha, ha, ha

I've never seen such a dishonest campaign. They lie about every aspect of the campaign: Their reason for running, who supports them, why Greens evil and bad, etc. etc.. Really, you can just about dismiss everything out of their mouths since they've lost touch with reality and no longer have any integrity.

it must really piss you off 03.Aug.2004 11:47


That Nader will get far more votes than Cobb, leaving the green party looking like the just another socialist or communist party. Well, all actions have consequences. I'd love to see the green party do well, but how many people in the US have even heard of Cobb? I think this election will be a wakeup for a lot of people.

How many have heard of Cobb? 03.Aug.2004 12:05

Brian Setzler

More people would hear about him and Patricia LaMarche if Green-Naderites spent their energy promoting the Green candidate rather than bashing him. The Cobb / LaMarche campaign is getting press but it is much more local and regionalized.

You won't hear a ton of stuff about Cobb here in Oregon because
1. He isn't covered in the corporate press (Unless he visits).
2. This state isn't vital to our strategic goals.
3. Local Greens are working on other issues like the PUD campaign, local candidates, anti-patriot act work, anti-corporate work, growing the party.

Just as Kerry/Bush have written off 35 states as unworthy of wasting their limited resources. Cobb / Greens are focusing our resources on important goals like: Increasing ballot access, increasing party registration, increasing membership and sending George Bu$h packing. The best place for us to accomplish these goals is in the 35 states the other candidates aren't visiting.

We don't expect help from corporate media but it would be nice if we weren't getting arrows in our back from supposed progressives.

Nader is as viable as any candidate 03.Aug.2004 12:17

Anybody But Skull and Bones

On any given election day, the 50% of registered voters who normally don't bother to vote for "more of the same" can show up and deliver a win to this or any 3rd party candidate.

The Nader-bashing so popular with the Democrats belies the weakness of a party too lame to criticize Bush instead.

so then what you're saying is... 03.Aug.2004 12:17


Getting votes isn't "vital to our strategic goals". What an interesting strategy. We shall see if it works out for you. So, will getting less than 1/10 of 1% of the vote be considered a victory for the greens this year? I think it's understandable why people would be critiquing this strategy. I understand that there are rules requiring a part to run a presidential candidate to maintain ballot access so why don't the Greens just come out and say that Cobb is only filling that purpose and given the choice the greens wouldn't have run a presidential candidate. That seems more honest than saying they are running a candidate who is not really going to campaign in most states and isn't really interested in getting votes.

WTF?! 03.Aug.2004 12:42


WTF does ABB stand for?

What a waste of energy. 03.Aug.2004 12:57


Just think of all the actual, concrete, direct changes you could be making in your own community instead of spending all your time and energy debating Nader vs. Kerry. I am so tired of hearing all this rediculous banter, from all sides, about how to be "most effective" in an electoral system which represents only the most limited effectiveness REGARDLESS of the candidate in question.

Kerry is plutocracy - it's true. On the other hand, Nader's no revolutionary. Choose how you're going to choose and get over it, because the REAL WORK THAT NEEDS TO BE DONE ISN'T IN WASHINGTON, IT'S HERE.
Vote however you want, keep it low because it's FAR from the most important thing you should be doing, and then get out there and start organizing.

- You could be doing prisoner support work, monday and wednesdays, 6:30 - 8:30 pm, 60 NE Sacramento.

- You could be doing anti-racist organizing in outer SE because in ten years, at this rate, it will be a Nazi stronghold.

- You and your neighbors could be revitalizing your street in connection with City Repair Project, laying a foundation for community control.

- You could be involved with planting gardens with low-income communities so they can get healthy food, at virtually no cost.

And that's just the beginning. In reality it either doesn't matter, or it matters only to a limited extent, who is elected. What does matter is if we can build a directly democratic, community-oriented power base to undermine this entire system. It's being done all over the world, especially right now in Latin America. The ingredients hypothetically exist here in Cascadia... so let's get to it.

which david cobb? 03.Aug.2004 14:45


prior to GP candidate cobb's rigged "nomination", this david cobb was the 23rd most popular person with this name on a Goolle search.

he has subsequently become a well known curiousity and is now probably #1......................and has made the GP a national laughing stock

various responses 03.Aug.2004 18:15


glassguy -- like I said, cutting deals over your vote is pointless, because it's an unenforceable contract -- it is ILLEGAL to enforce such a contract, so any deal you cut over voting behavior is null and void, completely meaningless. If Nader were to cut such an illegal-to-enforce deal with Kerry, he would have no legal recourse if Kerry reneged. Only raw power could force Kerry to make good on his promise. But as President, Kerry would hold so much more raw power than Nader that there would be no contest. So what you're really suggesting here is that Nader first help Kerry get elected, then PLEAD with Kerry to give him a Supreme Court nomination. In this deal, Kerry commits himself to do absolutely nothing. So you're really just suggesting that Nader surrender his right and duty to act as an equal citizen to Kerry, and act instead like a serf.

As for the rest of your posting, I'll reproduce it in full because it's so beautiful:

"I am so glad that the nader contingent is nothing more than 500 deluded fanatics talking to themselves. Sincere nader boosters are a tiny minority of the left, working for the right.
Why else would Murdoch, Armey and DeLay be in bed with you?
I'm glad there aren't more of you, and nobody but your little clique will give you the time of day.
Why don't you expend your energy on something useful, like lobbying ralph to support fascism-lite (kerry) in return for a supreme court nomination, where he could actually do something useful, something he is trained for that would truly benefit the population in general?"

You are deep into the realm of wishful thinking here. Nader supporters exist in about the same percentages in virtually every demographic category you can come up with this year. We're everywhere, and we're talking to you. We're generally not particularly ideologically left or right. We're just deeply concerned about democracy in America. We certainly aren't a "clique" -- we are far too diverse and dispersed. You could say we are the yeast that will make the contraction of the vision and will of the People reverse itself. The conservatives we're "in bed with" include Alan Keyes, Bay Buchanan and Paul Weyrich over the common issue of open debates -- www.opendebates.org -- but certainly not corporatists like Armey, DeLay and Murdoch. They are doing their best to sabotage our campaign as well. Why else would they openly advocate signing our petitions in a manner which they KNEW would open us up to Democrat challenges, in the case of Arizona using Republican lawyers?

And there is certainly nothing "lite" about the corporate aristocratic rule Kerry would carry out as President.

Indeed, the most popular argument from ABB lefties is that Kerry is lying about most of his aristocratic platform, and that once elected, he will betray all those swing voters he lied to to get their vote, and work instead to appease the loyal left who sacrificed so much to get him in.

But why would he do that unless the left threatens to vote him out in 2008? But they won't, just as the left is not threatening to abandon the Dem Party even though they argued against the Nader/Laduke campaign 4 years ago that we should all vote Gore and then threaten to abandon the Dems if they don't shape up. So what happened? Bush? That doesn't change a thing - Gore won and the Dems refused to claim the victory in court or on the streets. All those hold-nose-vote-Gore lefties were supposed to threaten to bolt the Dem Party this time around if the Dems didn't abandon their corporate line. They haven't, and now the left is even more prostrate. Kerry has NOTHING to fear from the left if they help elect him again. The left will lie down even flatter in suppliance to him if he's elected, and they'll do and believe whatever lies and trickery he wants them to.

Because so much of the left has resigned themselves to aristocracy.

glassguy, what you say seems to make sense to you only because you're so convinced of and resigned to the powerlessness of your vote. Same with you Binyamin. But your vote does have Supreme power, which is precisely why it takes such an enormous and elaborate ritual and ruse every election season to cheat you out of it, by demoralizing you into thinking that yo have no choice but to vote as if you are kneeling before a court of nobles, begging for mercy from the good-cop prince who promises to treat you nicer than the bad-cop prince, while the conservatives similarly on their knees are being defrauded get the bad-cop treatment from your good-cop prince, and the good-cop treatment from your bad-cop prince.

Binyamin, your assumption that Nader supporters anti-Nader advocates are not already fully engaged in grassroots organizing is unwarranted. My sense is that the strongest advocates on both sides of this issue are actually among the most politically and social-issues active people around, on both local and broader issues. Electoral behavior does matter, especially when grassroots organizing can be so easily crushed by the confluence of corporate national government and globalist corporatism.

Brian Setzler -- the main reason why people haven't heard of Cobb in Oregon is because Cobb doesn't WANT anyone to know of him in Oregon. Oregon is not a "safe state" for him to show his face in, because his very presence might delude some foolish lefty to think it's okay to actually VOTE for Cobb in Oregon. He can't take that risk, and he'd probably prefer it if you stop using his name in Oregon. Call himself something else if you must mention him, but his actual name might induce someone to recognize him on the ballot and check him as their choice instead of Kerry. So probably the best thing to do from Cobb's perspective is just to call him Kerry -- inside Oregon state lines, that is, or in the presence of any Oregon voters who happen to be traveling out of state. It's best to ask if anyone is from a swing state, in fact, before you say anything political. You never know how they might take it.

As for LaMarche, she actually declared that she is going to vote for Kerry. Well, why does she stop there? Why not just actively campaign for Kerry in swing states? Why not organize joint appearances and high-five him like Howard Dean? Woops, better refer to her as "Edwards".

I meant one in 20 03.Aug.2004 23:29

George Bender

I shouldn't type so late at night. When I typed "Last I heard Nader represents about 1 in 5 Oregon voters" above, I meant one in 20, or 5 percent. Enough to do the job.

Funny how someone always thinks Nader, and his supporters, should be doing something other than what we are doing. Because what we are doing is threatening to them. Good.

Let's all get together and kill the two party system.

Thanks a lot assholes! 04.Aug.2004 00:29


You people are total assholes. I asked a simple question and you ignore it. Fine. Fuck you, too.

clamydia 04.Aug.2004 00:57

George Bender

"ABB" stands for "Anybody But Bush." It is the rallying cry of the Democrats, since they have no other.

You're welcome.

Assholes everywhere! 04.Aug.2004 14:29


I shouldn't type so drunk at night. Sorry for calling you assholes (even though you might be assholes, how do I know I don't even know you...)!