Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Watch the Flag: Putin Comes to the American Elections

The media has been full of commentary on President Obama and Governor Romney's "aggressive" debate last night at Hofstra University. But as these two mouthpieces of corporate America squared up in their pseudo-boxing contest, the real aggression was taking place outside the gates of the University.

There, Green Party Presidential nominee Dr Jill Stein and her running mate Cheri Honkala, wrapped in the US flag, attempted to gain entry to the debate. Dr Stein pointed out that as she is on the ballot in 85% of states (local nomination rules in the remaining 15% make it virtually impossible for non-Democrat/Republican candidates to gain ballot access) she has satisfied the rules set by the League of Women Voters, which originally ran these debates. At least in theory she could win enough electoral college votes to become President and so, like John Anderson in 1980, and Ross Perot in 1992, she should be allowed to take part in the televised debates. But of course Anderson was a Republican Senator and Perot a multi-millionaire businessman.

Multimillionaire Perot made the 1992 debate
However, as the video below shows, the response of the authorities was not to open up the debate to the Greens, or any of the other "third party" candidates running. Instead, while Obama and Romney posed in their testosterone-fuelled debate as candidates for the alleged "leader of the free world", their Green rivals were arrested and handcuffed, driven to a special facility prepared to hold debate protesters, tied to chairs for eight hours and only finally released in the dead of night. 

This then is American democracy in the 21st century.

Last year, when the Russians staged-managed democracy led to protests on the streets of Moscow, Obama criticised President Putin's handling of the parliamentary elections. After last night's blatant suppression of free speech and democratic protest, America has finally been exposed for its utter hypocrisy in ever castigating other countries (and most especially Venezuela's exemplary elections) for the conduct of ballots and for daring to refer to itself as the Land of the Free.

Watch the video and as the two women are led away by police, one officer hurries to pick up the Stars and Stripes they were draped in when it falls on the ground. "Watch the flag!" he intones urgently.

Yes, indeed, Watch the flag.

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