Binary Choice: Source Of Our Bipolar Political Dysfunction
January 1, 2018 | View PDF
Much ink has been spilled since Doug Jones’ (49.9%) close victory over Roy Moore (48.4%) in the US Senate special election. It is my hope Democrats devastated by Trump’s win and Republicans recent despair on Moore’s defeat evokes empathy of how many eligible voters (esp. those who refuse to waste their vote on duopoly candidates) feel after most elections. Even with 2% of voters who participated not voting D or R, 60% of eligible voters stayed home for another low turnout result. Reince Priebus shamelessly revels in the “binary choice” duopoly parties enjoy when voters refuse to vote for someone different. Without more competition and participation, modern elections communicate little information as those who keep wasting their votes on the only two allowed on the ballot are increasingly less reflective of citizens in general over specific interests.
After efforts (mostly mass media) successfully installed Trump in our corrupt primary process to clear the field for Hillary, they wrote epitaphs for the Republican Party. When they over played their hand (given the binary choice) and Hillary lost, they penned Democratic Party epitaphs for the dumb masses to delight or writhe reading; most unaware of the anti-competitive ballot access laws, hyper-gerrymandering, 17th Amendment inducing large money into Senate races, 435 limit destroying representation in the House, etc. facilitating the results. Foolish to write epitaphs for either of these parties under the circumstances. If you’re the recipient of transfers you care which duopolist is in power, if you’re hosting these parasites, it doesn’t matter if you’re being drained by the blue or red swamp monster. Productive hosts who continue to vote for the duopoly in these low turnout results and those who don’t participate who care about the general welfare are the problem. Now that Alabama is as backward as most other states and we have prohibition of cross-over voting in taxpayer funded primaries, I forecast the next step by our ‘political protectionists’ on Goat Hill will be prohibition of write-in votes to make results even more despotic over candidates’ and voters’ civil rights.
As most readers know, I’ve long advocated establishing a block of ‘general welfare’ voters to beat the margin of victory to get noticed as the determinant of winner. The Socialist Party accomplished much of their deleterious agenda without actually getting their candidates elected, they (think Lincoln-Lenin Brigade types) simply established themselves as the biggest block to determine the outcome to win. A small government/liberty championing block could undo the mess we’ve ‘progressed’ into if not blocked. The 20,634 (1.5%) margin of victory was exceeded by the 22,814 (1.7%) write-ins counted (even more profound if you count those who showed to vote for a non-duopoly candidate but deemed unworthy to include by the government) whichmeans the winner may have won by a larger margin or the loser could’ve won with these votes cast in their favour. Many voiced distain for Sen. Shelby claiming he wrote-in a distinguished Republican, suspiciously timed to coincide with Marine Col. Lee Busby announcing his write in campaign. Little surprise ‘Cash Register’ Shelby (to those who read the Felon Hubbard e-mails) would do this as the last Democrat Senator elected to remove small govt. Senator Denton. Shelby would quickly change parties to be the typical big govt. Republocrat championing corporate welfare/crony capitalism desired by District of Corruption elites.
Pursuant to Act 2016-450 regarding identification and recordation of write-in votes, Secretary of State Merrill correctly determined individual write-in votes cast in the US Senate special election be identified and documented for the December 12th results. This Sect. of State has a history of eliminating elections to thwart write-ins on general elections the State is obliged to provide guaranteeing our representative republic and thumbed his nose at federal court rulings Alabama ballot access laws unconstitutional deny candidates’ and voters’ civil rights to general election ballots for special elections of this sort. Dec. 12th was a rare instance to actually have write-ins allowed (unlike when Rep. Lovvorn was installed to Dist. 79 without an election) and to have them reported. The top five at press time were: Luther Strange, Lee Busby, Mo Brooks, Ron Bishop, Jeff Sessions. For those wondering Nick Saban placed sixth far ahead of Malzahn; Charles Barkley beat them both in Lee county.
The Strange/Busby top two result is little surprise. This is communicating the big govt. corporate welfare cadre of Republocrat voters angered that prohibition of cross-over voting in the primary run-off blocked Democrats from bailing out recently installed Strange. I doubt many will admit it, but those crowing how wonderful it is to prohibit taxpayers from participating in run-offs they purchase, who forecast it would ensure Republican victories, are unhappy with this first result. Some insiders claim they wanted Busby to be in the mix because if a write-in campaign did take off (like Murkowski’s write-in victory over the Tea Party in Alaska) and win, there would be no ‘sore-loser law’ ramifications. Murkowski was indeed an unusual write-in candidate result as Alaska’s incumbent senior senator from a political dynasty with $1+ million in her campaign war chest. Before Murkowski, the last successful Senate write-in candidate was Strom Thurmond (South Carolina) in 1954.
If competition were allowed on ballots, the limousine liberals and corporate welfare queens would likely coalesce to be more easily defeated when greater turnout is induced when a modern BCA Luther Strange type wins a party primary. Similarly the big govt. social welfare right candidate like Roy Moore would be more easily defeated after winning a primary, just like a big govt. social welfare extremist left candidate Doug Jones type would be segmented into a smaller group and lose on a competitive general election ballot with greater turnout. One could also pair the Brooks/Bishop write-in results as an attempt to communicate those who want a small govt. candidate representing them. I did spend a little time deciding who I would write-in until Brooks threw his support for Moore showing he’s just another politician who thinks they can reform the Republican Party from their traditional big govt. corporate welfare hegemonic roots. I wish more Brooks/Pittman primary voters I spoke with decided to participate to increase the write-in result.
I got a tickle out of Jeff Sessions’ fifth place. I certainly did not want this incompetent on economics with such disregard for our civil rights back in the US Senate; maybe it was further Republican voter backlash to Trump who backed loser Strange and then Moore. Some (including Trump?) wish he’d never made Sessions AG. I thank Trump Sessions is no longer my Senator, but I doubt Mr. Jones will be any improvement as one of the 614 write-ins (mine for Prof. Mark Thornton) in the US Senate race where Sessions ran unopposed for a fourth term. Madison county had the highest (3%) write-in result; two counties (Choctaw and Lowndes) had no write-ins reported. As a ‘college town’ county Tuscaloosa had about par turnout (+0.4) where Jones won with 57.2% and 1.9% write-ins. Lee county (still suffering the Felon Hubbard low turn-out result with contiguous counties) went similarly for Jones at 57.4% but with poor turnout 7.5 points under par. Tigertown’s slightly higher write-in result at 2.0% may be explained by two hometown candidates, Coggin’s 10 votes and Watson who received as many Ron Bishop’s 67 votes in the county.
If there were an “Electoral College” by county, Mr. Jones would not fare well winning only 25 (about a third) of our 67 counties. The most illustrative ‘battleground’ county was Monroe with just about par (+0.4) turnout where Moore won with 49.9% and write-ins clearly beat the margin of victory. The map is easy to understand, most of the counties Moore won displayed well under par turnout; Winston county went 82.7% Moore with 4.6 points under par turnout, neighboring Marion county went 79.3% Moore at 7.6 points below par. Jackson was the most under par turnout (11 points) county Moore won at 67.8% second only to Russell county with the worst turnout at 11.9 points below par (part of the Felon Hubbard effect) which went 64.8% Jones. Those familiar with what Lee-Russell govt. consortium does to rural poor, often back residents and churches mobilized efforts by several groups to get out the vote and communicate dissatisfaction with status quo. The upset result was no surprise to those familiar with the Lee County Voters League effort to increase registration and participation. We’ll see if it translates to any change in politicians’ behavior redistributing to crony contractors, developers, etc. from rural citizens. Increased turnout for a non-traditional Republican who would reverse the un-sustainable, cancerous growth observed these past years in the corrupt Lee county bubble could’ve made the difference. East central Alabama border counties are communicating something with such strong under par results: Cleburne (-10.9), Randolph (-10.7), Chambers (-8.0), Lee (-7.5), Russell (-11.9).
Regression analysis gives some interesting results unlikely to be reported by main stream media. Using Sect. of State data on race by county suggests white voters were 8 times more likely to write-in than black voters; including SoS data on voters registered as black increased the R Square result by more than double on participation. Little surprise the highest (13.5%) above par turnout was Greene county (73% black according to the SoS website) which Jones won with 87.6% in contrast to the Winston county result reported above with the lowest (0.3%) black voter registration. The most difficult result to reconcile for those who wish to emphasize gender, race, etc. is the deviation between 2016 turnout for Hillary and a 20% higher turnout for Jones a year later among black voters. Further evidence Hillary lost because of HILLLARY in spite of (or perhaps because of) gaming our corrupt, rigged duopoly system. Even if I did think Russians or some other outside entity ‘stole’ the 2016 election, I wouldn’t care - does it really matter if someone steals such polluted, corrupt unrepresentative result?
Now we hear rhetoric of a ‘Doug Jones Democrat’ -- what does that mean? Will Schumer, et al big govt. Democrats let him strategically vote against them when it doesn’t matter? I’ve observed that show enough (FDIC failure Lowder on AU BoT votes, Del and Felon Hubbard advancing Riley, Inc. political theft votes, etc.) to realize that will provide little change and voters will catch on… sadly it takes so much longer to discipline under this corrupt, uncommunicative voting process. Early in the campaign Doug Jones ran an ad which at first gave hope - acknowledging someone like Gov. Oates defending our State’s independence with such resolve in his service to the Confederacy was honorable; sadly Mr. Jones then concluded we’re now better off under federal hegemony and the distortions proffered by a central govt. addressing so many things it was never designed to (nor possibly can address well) in Article 1, Section 8. I pray it means Mr. Jones will make the effort to return the Party to being traditional, Jeffersonian Democrats. Have the courage of slave owner to set a course to end slavery, don’t go with compromises to not count population to skew power to one special interest over another, etc. Instead of simply advocating yet another increase in the minimum wage, install a federal program to help employers restore job losses in rural AL, MS, GA, where an effective federal min. wage disproportionately harms teens, minorities discriminated against, single moms, etc.
Doubtful Mr. Jones has any political advisor to tell him this, but I genuinely think him intelligent enough to understand it; follow the marginal black voters who turned out to proffer your victory. They’re smarter and wiser than you are, hoping you’ll not be more of the same Hillary/Trump Republocrat transfer game they’ve been burdened with these past several score. The usual base who turn out for the Hillary types with their desired transfers are as much of the problem as the base who turn out for Moore types wanting to use govt. to subsidize and impose their desired social results on others. Big govt. moderates who broker deals between extremists are the most deleterious of all, yet Jones advocates becoming one of them. Don’t do it as the one blessed with a victory over a demagogue who undoubtedly would’ve continued to advance the harm they impose on the general welfare of our State and nation; it would be travesty to those marginal voters who carried the day for you to continue advancing demagoguery of another sort that provides no relief for general welfare on those ‘kitchen table’ issues you espouse. A victory of this sort only comes along a few times each century.
I invite the Senator elect to attend our corrupt Lee County Commission meetings and observe the transfers in action. Witness low income citizens, often black/rural churches and their pastors complaining about what is taken from them to aid and abet transfers to developers, railroads, etc. See how not following the law and selectively adhering to access management policies makes it difficult for the average productive rural citizen to go to work and pay their taxes, attend their church, etc. I’m still angered remembering a commissioner who said, “Don’t you know that was cool in the 70s” as he was advocating the same ‘cool’ result in my county today.
I invite the Senator elect to come to our Lee County Voters League meetings and address the many who supported your campaign, interact with the true ‘salt of the earth’ types who preserve the best in our society; who understand what’s going on and want you to protect them from having even more taken from them. Be an effective watchdog over matching federal monies sent to Alabama used as an excuse to further neglect our productive citizens actually advancing our general welfare.
I’d be indebted to the Senator elect if he would actually do something about those (again mostly poor, black) who’ve had their property wrongfully taken by our corrupt Alabama State Lands Division and provide reparations for the many others who’ve suffered political theft using resources and designations by our federal government.
I do not type of the intelligence and wisdom of the forgotten ‘general welfare’ black voter lightly. When black voters realized the “Party of Lincoln” simply used slavery rhetoric to cloak their corporate welfare ends, they slowly abandoned the Republican Party suffering the legacy of hatred by the ignorant who believed the rhetoric. The ‘progressive’ movement proffered little difference in results for black voters looking to promote the general welfare although the rhetoric had to change for the times as racism was promoted over competition proving blacks outclassing unproductive whites unaccustomed to the reality individuals of colour could in fact outperform many whites if allowed. As it became clear modern Democrat rhetoric was no different than traditional Republican rhetoric (general welfare black voters still seem reluctant to be duped by the Party of Lincoln again) who used class warfare with a vengeance, they worked toward being a recognized block of voters to discipline the duopoly. Black Panthers were perhaps most feared by establishment Republocrats, certainly a thorn in the side of big govt. Democrat turned Republican Ronald Reagan in California. Some argue the Klan Party was abolished because they were splitting the vote as progressives feared they’d be diluted and beaten by ‘general welfare’ voters. As the Panther Party was becoming a similar threat, ballot access laws had to be put in place by the duopoly lest they lose control over election results.
In closing, the rare glimmer of hope I get out of Senator elect Jones is he seems to understand the problem with corporate welfare and crony capitalism. If one of the two parties is the first go, I pray it is the Republican Party who set us on the path of hegemony and using the tax code to pick winners and losers which always fails, inducing the hue and cry for social welfare (esp. FDR type) programs. To set a forward path the corporate welfare must end first. I saw little understanding of this from the Obama administration which simply continued the Bush bailouts, TARP, etc. programs prolonging the downturn/duration of recovery. Will Doug Jones Democrats be a move forward out of the mess we’ve ‘progressed’ into, or more of the same old command and control policies/programs decaying the general welfare?
Postscript: from Macon county with the highest Doug Jones win (88.1%) but still 2.7 points under par turnout as one of the contiguous Felon Hubbard counties. Witnessing Rep. Pebblin Warren helping Hubbard with jury selection in Judge Walker’s court may still turn off some from going to the polls, if only to participate by writing in. Jones’ top two (Greene and Macon) counties only had 0.2% and 0.3% write-in results. Macon is one to observe these next few years to see if those who turned out for Jones but did not make the effort for a tired old corrupt Hillary type Democrat a year ago will continue to make a difference on the margin.
A specific citizen, Frank Dillman, accepted the big and all-powerful actions of the commission for years. After observing the level of secrecy in Macon county government, use of public funds, and receiving tips from employees into activities at the county shop, Frank took a stand and has been a noted fixture at county commission meetings and writer for the Tuskegee News. This current iteration of laws ignored/suspended at the expense of taxpaying citizens begins July 2015. Dillman submitted (when the county had no stated policy) an Open Records Request for street addresses where Chairman Louis Maxwell purchased fuel using his county issued gas card. Multiple letters mailed and read during commission meetings resulted in Maxwell responding, “I am not worried,” seemingly insulated from law. I remember similar hubris from Lee county commissioners before the mileage scandal removed all but Commissioner Harris.
Little surprise retaliatory actions escalated against Dillman exercising rights commissioners swore to uphold upon taking office. Suspending Alabama’s Open Records Act commissioners developed a plan proposing their county attorney review all Open Record Requests where citizens reimburse them rounded up to a quarter hour, expressly forbidden by law. Prior to the Executive Session to “discuss county’s open record policy,” Dillman was reluctantly granted a copy of the 2018 proposed budget as New Business. After the session, he was compelled to surrender his copy and denied request to reimburse the county $1/page for the document and told it would NOT be on the county’s newly created website. Policy was indeed discussed during an Executive meeting, identified in commission minutes as “Legal Matters.” Dillman was the only citizen in attendance when the commission recessed to Executive Session.
Macon county finally developed an Open Records Policy and Open Meeting Policy these past months. It appears Dillman’s efforts are pushing this commission toward more transparency. This makes me hopeful Macon county may have a chance at
improving after witnessing the corruption and incompetence of Lee county commissioners who sold their souls to the “I believe in Felon Hubbard” influence, which shows no sign of attenuation.
Mr. Dillman’s efforts have been so effective at shining light on corruption and obfuscation that all camera equipment for streaming meetings, must be placed at the back of the annex; a wireless microphone (commissioners refuse to use their PA system) regardless of size is forbidden from the dais. A press member put a small wireless receiver/microphone beneath the dais; it was ordered to be removed. First Amendment civil rights? Not in Macon county commission meetings.
Dillman is retaining an attorney for litigation using his well earned Navy retirement to obtain public documents. The cost of justice is rising. Will Macon county ‘general welfare’ voters now discipline these corrupt members operating in darkness, or simply be more of the same after these voters showed they WILL go out and vote when a corrupt modern Hillary type Democrat is NOT one of the binary choices?