Cultural Crossroads: Goldwater’s Ghost


Published:

Computers in the electoral process started in 1964, the year Goldwater opposed Johnson for the presidency. Back then, though, when states bought computers to read punch-card votes, the states owned and operated the computers, and the electorate could thus examine their processes and results. Even Barry Goldwater, ever suspicious of the creeping power of government, approved: the process was relatively transparent.

But in the past two years, things have radically changed. True conservatives (as opposed to the corporate shills found today in both parties and the media) are as horrified by today’s situation as are progressives.

It turns out that the computer-controlled, modem-connected voting machines hastily rushed into many states in the wake of 2000, are the property of, and operated by, private corporations. And some of those corporations have apparently told “We, The People” that we have no right to inspect their machines’ innards, no freedom to audit their processes, and no ability to determine why their results are so dramatically at variance with our exit polls that in 2002 our polling companies had to sit down, shut up, and scratch their heads in bewilderment.

As Bev Harris of http://www.talion.com and Steven Hertzberg of http://www.votewatch.us have documented, this private, corporate takeover of the voting process at the very core of democracy raises disturbing issues about who controls the fate and future of our nation.

Barry Goldwater summarized the context of this issue well.

“In the beginning we were thirteen colonies perched precariously along the Atlantic seaboard,” he wrote in his 1979 autobiography, With No Apologies. “We had no army. We had no navy. We had no manufacturing capacity. We had no wealth. What we did have was the belief that God intended men to be free, and on the strength of that belief we challenged the greatest commercial and military power in the world. In times of tribulation we have found among the people, leaders — uncommon men whose understanding, whose courage, whose devotion to the Republic lifted us up to meet the challenge. They promised us nothing more than a chance to retain our freedom, to preserve the Republic, to continue this most noble experiment.”

We may still have a chance to continue America’s noble experiment, but only if we understand its history and change course quickly.

When humans moved from living tribally to living in “civilization,” where populations grew beyond the point where everybody knew everybody else and decision-making could be done by consensus, we arrived at a turning point. We needed leaders, people who would devote their lives to serving the public interest, while setting aside self-interest and personal ambition. It was a dicey proposition, grounded in tribal values but applicable to modern city/states. And it took a long time to emerge.

In the 6000-year history of civilization, three earlier types of leaders had emerged before democracy arrived on the scene.

The first were warlords like Gilgamesh, who ruled by their willingness to use terror and violence. We find the remnants of their rule in the dungeons of British castles and the palaces of Middle Eastern kingdoms.

The second were theocrats who claimed their god or gods had given them the right to rule. We hear the remnants of their rule echoing in Osama’s still-fresh anger over the Crusades, and a right-wing Christian leader’s claim that 9-11 was his god’s way of punishing America for not listening to him and his.

The third were aristocrats and plutocrats who ruled by the Calvinist and neo-Darwinist claim that great wealth was a sign from gods or nature of a moral worthiness and destiny to rule. We find the remnants of their rule in the now-empty desk that Ken Lay had in the White House, and the history of feudalism in Europe and Japan.

But, as Goldwater notes, although “Freedom is a fragile thing,” it’s also true that, “Nowhere is it written that freedom must succumb to slavery.”

Thus came the Athenian Greeks, with their 200+ year experiment in democracy, and then, two millennia later, Jefferson, Adams, Franklin, and the other Founders with the idea of trying it again. It was the noble experiment of creating a government whose leaders drew their power, their legitimacy, and their authority solely from the consent of the governed. Rule by “We, the People.” Tested by other nations, by civil war, and by economic disasters, it seemed at once fragile and powerful. It was an experiment that, while young and unproven on the grand stage of civilization, just might succeed in outlasting its Greek progenitors. The basis of its strength was the consent of the people and its worthy leaders.

“We have arrived at our present position of peril in the world and at home because our leaders have refused to tell us the truth,” Goldwater said in his memoirs. He added, “If the Republic is to survive, we must find and follow new leaders.”

Another conservative Arizona Senator, John McCain, echoed those sentiments in a July 11, 2002 speech. “Threats to our greatness come not just from foreign enemies and alien ideologies that hold our ideals in contempt,” he told the National Press Club. “They also come from those few among us who perceive their self-interest as separate from the interests of our society, who in their selfish pursuits abjure the values of honesty, fairness and patriotism, and threaten to damage the very trust that makes freedom work.”

It’s time for America to return to the core value that is embraced by true patriots of every political stripe: that our republic of individual citizens must retain the rights and liberties granted by our Constitution for its people, and that all other human-created institutions — such as corporations — shall have privileges which are granted and are revocable by individual human voters. It’s time for us to restore constitutional democracy to our republic, and restore the power of governance to We, The People, not just corporate interests. It will set the stage to return to us our electoral process and the public auditing of voting machines. And it may put Goldwater’s ghost back to rest.

Thom Hartmann is the author of Unequal Protection: The Rise of Corporate Dominance and the Theft of Human Rights, and The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight. Visit http://www.thomhartmann.com for more information. This article is copyright by Thom Hartmann, but permission is granted for reprint in print or web media so long as this credit is attached. This article originally appeared onhttp://www.commondreams.org.

Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

Daily Astrology

January 28, 2020

Nighttime dreams can cause vague dissatisfaction or deep unease. The Pisces Moon is conjunct Neptune and testing Mars. Breathe. Relax. Be sure to consume only healthy foods and drink. Slow down and be careful if you’re on the road overnight, when Mars’…
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Alternative Health Directory

Browse all listings »

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Calendar

January 2020

What is an animal totem/power animal? Does everyone have them? Do animals communicate with us? Join us! Get these questions answered and more. We will explore the world of animals, learn how...

Cost: $65

Where:
Private Office
Andover, MA


Sponsor: Diana Harris
Contact Name: Diana Harris
Website »

More information

Come shine with us! Join us in harmony and in our goal to bring the light of Spiritualism forward to all those who are searching.

Where:
VFW Post 2597
775 Boston Rd, Rt 3A
Billerica, MA
View map »


Sponsor: The Spiritualist Fellowship Church Of New England
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Join the Initiating Inspiration Book Club, a partnership with the Waltham Public Library and the Agape Spiritual Community. We are reading Evicted by Matthew Desmond. Copies of...

Cost: Free

Where:
Waltham Public Library
735 Main Street
Waltham, MA  02451
View map »


Sponsor: Waltham Public Library
Telephone: 781-314-3429
Contact Name: Louise Goldstein
Website »

More information

Discover Beauty. Discover Goodness. Discover Yourself. Your soul’s gifts are waiting. Breathe. Find stillness. The spark you need to ignite your life is here, within. Max Meditation...

Cost: $15

Where:
Modern Mystery School Boston
132 Charles St
3rd Floor
Auburndale, MA  02466
View map »


Sponsor: Modern Mystery School Boston
Telephone: 617-694-0994
Contact Name: Jordan Bain
Website »

More information

2nd and 4th Monday of every month This psychic message circle is for anyone wishing to raise their connection using their psychic centers known as the “clairs.” Learn how to use...

Cost: $20

Where:
Messages From Heaven Healing and Learning Center
646 Central Street
Suite 3
Leominster, MA
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Join us for this special evening with Magdalena of My Metaphysical Maven. The topic is fear and anxiety and how to tell what's anxiety versus what's a message from the universe. We'll...

Cost: Free

Where:
Waltham Public Library
735 Main Street
Waltham, MA  02451
View map »


Sponsor: Waltham Public Library
Telephone: 781-314-3441
Contact Name: Debora Hoffman
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Did you know that practicing energetic hygiene plays an important role in maintaining a healthy mind, body, spirit and even your home? Everything is made up of energy including us! Energy can...

Cost: $10

Where:
Center For Inner Wellness
26B Main Street
Chester, MA  01011
View map »


Sponsor: Center For Inner Wellness
Telephone: 413-315-1133
Contact Name: Maureen Suriner
Website »

More information

January 29–March 25 With Jody Daniels, MBA and Natalia Cepeda, MA Why take Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)? To better manage your stress and enhance...

Cost: $600–$650

Where:
CHA Center for Mindfulness and Compassion
1035 Cambridge St
Suite 21A
Cambridge, MA  02141
View map »


Telephone: 617-591-6132
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Join the Marion Institute for our Winter Film Series, a curated line-up of health documentaries that will change the way you think about food, medicine, and disease. Each film will be followed by...

Cost: Free

Where:
St. Luke’s Hospital McBratney Amphitheater
101 Page Street
New Bedford, MA  02740
View map »


Sponsor: Marion Institute
Telephone: 508-748-0816
Contact Name: Patti Rego
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

"Master your breath, let the self be in bliss, contemplate on the sublime within you.” —Krishnamacharya Join us for an evening of deep exploration and transformation using the...

Cost: $40

Where:
Friends Meeting House
5 Longfellow Park
Cambridge, MA  02138
View map »


Sponsor: Allen Howell, M.Ed. LMHC
Website »

More information

A fundraising evening of song, stories, and slideshow honoring the migrants seeking political asylum in the US. Co-sponsored by the Peace and Justice group of Cambridge Friends...

Where:
Cambridge Friends Meeting House
(in the Friends Rm)
5 Longfellow Park
Cambridge , MA  02138
View map »

More information

January 31–February 2, 2020 Enjoy heart-opening talks, music, spiritual discussion, connect with like-minded people. Free and open to the public. Attend any or all sessions.  Guest...

Where:
Sheraton Springfield Monarch Place Hotel
Springfield, MA


Telephone: (508) 754-9042
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Led by Chuck Raffoni ( E-RYT200) named a “person making postiive change in the world for the LGBTQ Community” by Pride Connections and featured on NBC's Today Show for...

Cost: $50

Where:
The Athlete's Yoga
Woburn, MA


Sponsor: www.yogawithchuck.com
Contact Name: Chuck
Website »

More information

Participate in the fourth annual Lincoln Holistic Wellness Fair!  Saturday, February 1, 2020 from 11:00am–5:00pm in Lincoln, Massachusetts The Lincoln Holistic Wellness Fair...

Cost: $50

Where:
The Pierce House
17 Weston Road
Lincoln, MA  01773
View map »


Sponsor: Lincoln Parks and Recreation
Telephone: 781-738-1920
Contact Name: Jai Kaur

More information

This free event showcases an impressive variety of wellness practitioners offering complimentary sample treatments, short classes, demos, presentations, and healthy treats. Mark your calendars...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Pierce House
17 Weston Road
Lincoln, MA  01773
View map »


Sponsor: Lincoln Parks and Recreation
Telephone: 781-738-1920
Contact Name: Jai Kaur

More information

Get a personal teaching for Brother Granite's new Visionary Shamanism Tarot. This class includes the new Visionary Shamanism Tarot deck as well a 90 minute one on one class with Brother Granite...

Cost: $80

Where:
407 Deans Plaza
407 Rte 44
The Enchanted Forest Taunton
Raynham, MA  02767
View map »


Sponsor: Brother Granite
Telephone: 774-208-6195
Contact Name: Granite
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags