Dr. John Hagelin's Analysis of the Election Results
The 2000 Presidential election was remarkable in many respects, revealing weaknesses in the electoral process, the media, and the education of the voters. The most notable outcome was the severe suppression of third party votes due to an eleventh-hour stampede to support the "lesser of evils." This stampede was due, in part, to the fact that the major party candidates were so flawed that many voters were understandably concerned about the consequences of a Bush or a Gore victory. It is indeed a failure of our partisan system that neither of the so-called major parties could produce a more credible candidate.
But it also highlights the failure of the press to provide fair and intelligent coverage of the third party alternatives. Such coverage would have revealed the stark contrast between candidates of integrity and substance, and the special-interest-owned, ideologically bankrupt corporate puppets.
My candidacy, for instance, was based on scientifically proven, field-tested solutions to the crucial problems we face as a nation. These solutions would have improved our national health, rescued Medicare from bankruptcy, dramatically improved educational outcomes, addressed the problem of global warming, averted international conflicts, and achieved national energy self-sufficiency using clean, renewable energy resources.
However, despite an alleged respect for science in this most technologically developed country, the media in fact have little or no understanding or appreciation for science, or for objective knowledge of any kind. For the media, reality is a matter of opinion only. Statements that are backed by extensive publication in peer-reviewed scientific journals are often placed on an equal footing with hearsay or uninformed conjecture. In the absence of intelligent, substantive coverage from the media, the voters remain uninformed. When the voters are uninformed, democracy becomes the rule of the ignorant--mob rule.
Of greater concern is the fact that we do not have a "free" press anymore--an institution that was considered essential by America's Founders for successful democracy. The networks are owned by a handful of corporations that are defense and nuclear contractors and that are major contributors to the Republicans and the Democrats. In exchange, Republican and Democratic candidates are granted free and exclusive use of our publicly owned airwaves. The Equal Opportunity Provision of the Communications Act of Congress, which used to guarantee equal access to the media for all legally qualified candidates, has been eroded to the point of nonexistence by judges who are political appointees of the two major parties.
For profit, the media sells our publicly owned airwaves to the highest bidder. And such TV exposure brings votes. As a consequence, 90% of elections are won by the candidates who spend the most. Thus our country is ruled by those who are most skilled at courting money from the ultrawealthy and from corporate special interests. This is no basis for government.
George W. Bush spent nearly $3/4 billion on his campaign--money raised from the tobacco, pharmaceutical, defense, oil, biotech, and other corporate interests. These special interests will be the true leaders of a Bush administration. Seventeen of these same top twenty Republican donors also bankrolled the Gore campaign. This guaranteed that whoever won the election, the American people would lose. Such legalized bribery has no place in a true democracy "of, by and for the People."
Yet crucial campaign finance reform will never be enacted as long as there is no competition in the political realm. And there will be no competition as long as third party candidates are locked out of the media, shut out of the debates, and kept off the ballots by discriminatory ballot access laws. And, more importantly, there will never be competition if the majority of the voting public--even when exposed to high-level corruption, and even when exposed to solutions that are crucial for the progress and survival of our society--continues to vote for the Republicans and Democrats, no matter how badly they abuse their power, or how brazenly they defy the popular will on campaign finance reform and other issues of crucial importance to the American people.
The failure of so many voters to seek alternatives--or to understand and support scientifically proven solutions--speaks poorly of our educational system. The Founders realized that proper education was essential to a successful democracy--to a self-governing society, in which the people choose their leadership. Education has clearly failed in this respect. Our educational system has produced, by and large, an immature and dull electorate. This dullness may be a by-product, to some degree, of the immoral, life-negating policies of the country, including our military interventionism and our role as the world's largest arms peddler.
As a consequence, we can declare no winners in this election. Neither Bush nor Gore could claim victory on Election Day. And no matter what happens with the recount, neither candidate will be able to claim a mandate, and will therefore govern from a position of extreme weakness. In addition, Nader failed to achieve his crucial goal of 5%, due to the willingness of the voters to compromise their principles. And I will be unable to bring into government my crucial solutions to America's health, education, crime and environmental problems--solutions that cannot wait four more years.
The only true solution to the current crisis in our democracy is education--education that expands comprehension, develops the brain, and elevates our national consciousness. To quote Albert Einstein, "One cannot solve a problem with the same level of consciousness by which the problem was created." Only by harnessing our most tragically underutilized national resource--our human resource--can we reverse the dangerous decline in our nation and its democratic institutions.
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