The most expensive elections in American history – thanks to president Obama’s refusal to reform the laws on spending - have actually made little impact. The gap between Obama and Mitt Romney has been narrowing, the more money and approaches to voters are thrown at the campaign.
The parties are now so close so that there could be a tie in the electoral college. This would mean that the House of Representatives could chose the president while the Senate would chose the vice-president – the first time since 1824.
A number of shocking attacks highlight the ultra-reactionary nature of the Romney camp. So much so that one
US website warns that a Romney victory could
“steer the US
towards a capitalist dictatorship”.
, anti-abortionists –
encouraged by Mitt Romney’s Mormon fundamentalism - spray-painted the words
Baby Killer on the campaign headquarters of Democratic candidate Wayne Powell.
An Obama campaign office in Cleveland,
was vandalised last month with swastikas.
whose election system became notorious during the 2000 “hanging chad” scandal,
would-be voters were turned away. The Democratic party filed a law-suit to stop
polling stations being closed early as voters stood up to seven hours to cast
their votes in Miami. Other would-be voters were turned away.
One campaign group, No More Stolen Elections, supported by well-known democracy campaigners like Naom Chomsky, Ben Manski, Daniel Ellsberg, Tom Hayden, Green Party presidential candidates, is calling for voter assemblies to be formed to ensure the right to “free and fair” elections.
Reprehensible as the Republican Party’s religious right war-mongering elements may be, Obama is equally gung-ho about an attack on
Romney’s war dogs are barking, Obama’s “the party of restraint” administration
“has engaged in a staggering military build-up in the Persian
Gulf and at US and at allied bases around Iran.
As billions poured into the election means a non-stop flood of election propaganda and the farcical elements are being mocked. “Under the circumstances, the slogan of ABC News seems either touchingly or mockingly silly: ‘Your Voice, Your Vote.’ Whatever this thing may be, it certainly has ever less to do with your individual voice or your individual vote. As Big Election becomes a way of life, democracy -- small “d” -- increasingly seems like a term from a lost time. If this is democracy, it’s on steroids and on the Comedy Channel. It’s our own Democratic Mockpocalypse,” writes Tom Engelhardt.
Whoever wins faces the same economic crisis. And neither have a strategy to deal with what is known as the
cliff, set for January 2013. G20 policymakers have declared the combination
of sharp tax rises and spending cuts the biggest short-term threat to the world
The candidates are desperate to place a distance between themselves and are using every campaigning technique possible. But the decreasing margin between them points to a lack of real difference. It’s evident that Obama has lost the confidence of those he inspired back in 2008. He promised “change you can believe in” and instead his supporters got another pro-business government.
The Republicans and Democrats are both dependent on the corporate, militaristic monster they preside over. Historically, they are two wings of the same American ruling classes. US Green Party candidates Jill Stein and Cheri Honkala rightly talk of the “continuing economic and ecological crises”. But they refuse to identify these with capitalism as a social system so offer no alternative.
election has exposed above all is the deep crisis of legitimacy that pervades
every level of the union, at state and federal levels. This is, as Engelhardt
says, a democracy with a very small “d” – and getting smaller all the time.
A World to Win secretary