When comedian Lewis Black said sardonically that he knew we shouldn’t go to Iraq, and he was just sitting on his couch, he also echoed how numerous Americans felt about the stolen presidential election of 2004.  On November 3, of that same year, we woke up and felt that, once again, we had been had without knowing all the facts.  We felt it because we knew that what had happened in 2000 had not been fixed.  Sadly, before the 2004 election we proceeded on a noble mission to register thousands of more voters than ever before, believing that the truth of a great turnout would be the antidote to voter fraud, as if a higher paying job would resolve being robbed at the bus stop every day.

However, they, the GOP, had done it again, but how could we prove it, and what could we do, especially since another Democratic contender passively walked away from us?  A collective depression set in and then we began the stages of grief, but somehow we weren’t able to go beyond denial.  Fortunately, some followed the inference of the last election, and lifted themselves above the post-election stupor in order to find out exactly what happened.

How the GOP Stole America’s 2004 Election & Is Rigging 2008 is 99 pages of fact and stats outlined in user-friendly form. Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman concisely lay out the facts that substantiate our worst suspicions, and offer the information we need to pull us out of the malaise. They affirm our malcontent; yes, the election was stolen, but most importantly they show us exactly how it was done.  They explain that the GOP, using guerilla-like tactics, created an extended strategy of political planned chaos to disrupt the voting process; that it wasn’t just one maneuver that caused the crisis, but rather a succession of actions set to go off at precisely the right moments in different places and at different times to cause reticence, fear, and confusion, and ultimately the disenfranchisement of voters particularly those voters in Ohio, and most particularly, those in poor communities in a state historically crucial to the American presidential election.

Regrettably, “stolen elections” is a topic often snubbed by liberals and progressives alike.  I have listened to and engaged in many discussions where I am stunned at the reaction of respected intellectuals and activists in response to the theft of our votes.  I hear rejoinders like, “It’s [the election] over now…there are more threatening issues at hand…there’s only one more year…if we talk about this, people will be afraid to vote…we need to move on, etc.”  And, what are the more threatening issues that we must address?  While “justifiable” resignation becomes the cone of silence that hats the progressive media, the news is out that illegal massive shredding of voter documents has simultaneously taken place. This morning the world woke up to find out that President Bush has once again rolled over the Democrats and democracy with expanded wire tapping legislation.  The Executive Branch refuses to comply with Congressional calls to appear before the House, and those who do appear defy reason with their memory loss and self-contradictory statements.  Once we stepped onto the path of denial, “We’ll just let this one go for the sake of our collective psyche”, we began a journey into an almost incomprehensible dark, a darkness that defies the division between the conscious and unconscious world.  Every day we wake up knowing that something is wrong, that today we feel a little less able to control our lives than yesterday, we’re a little poorer, and a little more confused, a little angrier about the war.  In the midst of this darkness from which we seem unable to awake, we find that our democracy is no longer our reassuring base; it is now something that we must aggressively save.

Voting is the right that establishes our democracy.  It IS the issue.  Sublimating this fact only further establishes a new infrastructure that cannot support any meaningful moves to make our lives better.  In Part Three, “Winning Back Our Democracy”, Fitrakis and Wasserman lay out a perfect plan of action in order to insure that the election in 2008 will not be sabotaged, the foundation of which is, “Honor every voter, count every vote.”  Once again, in a democracy, what issue could be more important than that?  What could be more important than making voting easy, accessible, and honest in a democracy?  It is what allows all other issues to have voice.  How the GOP… shows us that our voice has been cynically silenced, and how without it there will be no liberty, no well being let alone pursuit of happiness for the majority.  It is a 99 page history lesson that we cannot deny if we are to truly move on.

In fact, this book should be in the curriculum of all high school, college, and university courses in every political science, sociology, and history class in America.  It speaks for the majority of the American population, and gives us insight into the soul of our system without nuance, without rhetoric, and without reservation.  It is factual, reliable, and necessary.