Elections, HUH? What are they good for? Absolutely nothing… if our government tampers with them

This morning is election day. In Ohio, it’s going to be more like Groundhog day, because we’re supposed to have another election day in August and another in November.

Why? Because five Republican members of the redistricting commission publicly and forcefully, told the Ohio Supreme Court to go F*CK themselves. Not once, not twice, not three times, but four times – sending a redistricting map that isn’t in compliance with a law overwhelmingly passed by the voters of this state. Just to make sure their names are immortalized in the hall of shame:

  • Republican Governor Mike DeWine
  • Ohio Auditor Keith Faber
  • Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose
  • Senate President Matt Huffman
  • House Speaker Robert Cupp

If you or I defied a court the way they have, we’d be in jail thinking about it.

Gerrymandering- the picking of voters to guarantee political victory has become an art form, thanks to powerful data analysis assisted by computers and directed by extremists who have been methodically buying and influencing state house politicians for decades (the Koch brothers).

Any time you hear someone talking about “States rights” or de-emphasizing the powers of the Federal Government, you can be sure that they are talking about ways for extremists to manipulate our laws to end abortion, empower gun owners, attack LGBQT issues, end public education, end the separation of church and state, and most of all, allow big money to get us the best politicians their money can buy.

I also woke up to a leaked supreme court draft opinion which would dismantle Roe vs Wade, the law that made abortion access legal across the nation. The reason this happened was that when President Obama nominated Merrick Garland to replace Anthony Scalia, Republicans in Congress refused to vote on his nomination, suggesting that “it was too close to the end of Obama’s term”- and that that the voters should have a say. When Ruth Bader Ginsburg died in 2019, even closer to the end of Trumps term, the Republicans whipped through the nomination of Amy Comey Barrett in 30 days, much closer to an election- and damn the voters.

Did the hypocrites in Congress suffer any penalties for their failure to do their jobs? No. If most Americans refuse to do their job, they get fired.

That’s supposedly why we have elections in this country. So we, the American people, can fire our “elected representatives.” The reality is, our elections are so wonkered that their validity is becoming laughable. Many would point to the Supreme Court Decision of “Citizens United” as a major turning point- which allowed dark money (unattributed donations) to influence elections – like the $10M donation of Peter Thiel to Republican Ohio Senate candidate J.D. Vance through a superpac.

Many American’s don’t want anything to do with either political party- and refuse to vote in partisan primaries. It’s unfortunate that we allow a small minority of die hard party voters, often extremists, pare down our choices to just two candidates, of which most hold their nose while selecting. Imagine if you are going to an amazing Chinese restaurant with a huge list of choices, only to find out that someone came before and said you can only choose between 2 items? And the two choices- are things you don’t like or even may be allergic to?

In the last presidential (s)election, where by the time democratic voters got to choose their candidate for president the field had already been narrowed to one despite some other names on the ballot (they’d all dropped out already). Staggered primaries give the voters of Iowa and New Hampshire outside influence and punish the rest of us. The real solution is to eliminate primaries all together, create a true Voter Information System and use ranked choice voting via vote by mail (today it looks like it’s going to rain all day, which lowers turnout). It’s why I founded a 501(C)3 non-profit, The Modern Policy Institute, to create a true, open source, transparent, voter information system to replace the advertising driven, money influenced, shitshow that looks like an auction but we call an election.

After the 2020 election, the loser, Donald Trump, tried to claim that the election was tampered with and the results weren’t legitimate. He incited an attack on the Capitol on January 6th, an insurrection, a violation of his, and the Congressional oath of office. To this date, we’ve yet to hold any politician accountable for treason- which is punishable by death.

Yet, accept around $40K in bribes in office like former Dayton City Commissioner Joey D. Williams, and you get sentenced to a year in prison.

Speaking of the Williams case, if you want to see election tampering, this was a clear example of it. No, we don’t need to worry about Russian’s hacking our election results, or Hillary’s laptop- we had the FBI and the Department of Justice allow a known felon to continue in office from the time they’d caught him in a felony, through an election, with an agreement that he’d resign if he won.

The headline, in case you were wondering, was adapted from the Edwin Starr song, “War”. But, did you know it had an alternate, less gritty version done by the Temptations first? The Starr version, despite being a number 1 hit, was actually placed on a do not play list by Clear Channel radio after 9/11.

Unfortunately, our elections have become a war, instead of a celebratory patriotic act that verifies our democracy.

You have an opportunity today unlike most other local Dayton elections to actually make some choices on either a Democratic or Republican ballot. In the rarest occurrence, you can choose between 3 Democratic Senator options (I’m backing Morgan Harper), two common pleas judge choices (Angelina Jackson or Jackie Gaines- both qualified, but I lean toward the Public Defender Jackson because we haven’t had a judge from that side of the law for a long time) and 4 choices for Congress- of which I’m one. And, the Democrats in a very few precincts can vote for new precinct captains who may or may not, overthrow the local Monarchy of Montgomery County that likes to run our politics on the friends and family plan. I wish I could give you the list of the right people to vote for, but, instead, I can tell you if you received a mailing for precinct captain candidate that looks like the one I posted before, vote for the other candidate.

I’m David Esrati and I approve this message. Here’s the song to remind you about what happens when we forget that electing statesmen instead of politicians has real costs:




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