The attacks on civil liberties that began after 911 have served to mask the longer range assault on their practice in America. An electoral process dominated by minority wealth is the antithesis of democracy, but it has been the reality of America’s dictatorship of the rich much longer than the present court appointed regime has existed. Perhaps no abuse of that heralded practice in modern times has been more blatant than the current anti-democratic aggression exercised against an independent candidate for president. A political class which usually prospers by working for the rights of minorities, is proving that only means those it can rely on to sustain its power . Any other minority, especially if it is seen as threatening to that power, can stuff it, as Ralph Nader and his would be voters are learning.

An important theory of democracy calls for protection of minorities from the possible tyranny of majorities, and this is usually the practice of the formerly liberal, rebranded progressive community . But that theory is only practiced when those minorities can offer some gain to the majority, either with votes, or more often dollars, which come through personal contributions, unions and civic organizations. But if this majority of usually enlightened and humane forces sees a minority as a threat to its interests, or is, more honestly, manipulated into doing so, its behavior becomes reactionary. It moves to suppress the minority, dishonor its rights, and perform with as much contempt for its adversaries as the more obvious suppressionists of the conservative community.

The same people who, say, rise in righteous indignation at the mistreatment of immigrants, partly through genuine humanity but often for protection of their servant class, think nothing of telling the minority of voters who would select Nader as their free choice in the political process to go to hell. Period.

An alarming series of legal and extra legal moves, and contemptible character and personal slurs have been made to deny Nader, and the minority of voters he represents, a place on the November ballot. Usually reasonable folk, under the control of Democratic party mind management, are convinced that Nader could mean defeat for the wealthy candidate their controllers have selected, to replace the wealthy incumbent of the other controllers of our anti-democratic political system.

Questions about Nader’s ego, sanity, motivations, bankroll, wardrobe and dining habits have been flung into the political marketplace in order to denigrate his character and deny his potential to take votes which, ostensibly, belong to the benevolent protectors of our rights. They are so lacking in any purpose other than not being the other candidate that he is seen as causing them to lose by the very fact of being allowed into the presidential race.

Hundreds of thousands of dollars have been spent in the dirtiest campaign to thwart the democratic rights of the people, at least the dirtiest since Nader’s last run in 2000. Then, he was denied a place in the debates, for fear that he would take votes from the corporate candidates. His pro-democracy, anti-corporate, pro-peace argument, and his intellectual superiority over the Republican intellectual wafer and the Democratic moral marshmallow who represented wealth that time, could have spelled disaster for the status quo.

This abomination of democracy was hardly noticed, while the later, and completely legal, victory of the minority vote wafer, was treated as some historic denial of the people’s rights. This double standard is consistent with our dualistic code of judeo-christian morality, which is at the root of our problems as a society. This code has a scriptural basis for indoctrinating schizophrenic acceptance of contradictions. It teaches us to welcome the stranger, unless we need to kill the stranger, and to love our neighbor, unless we need to hate our neighbor. Is it any wonder that we operate with the same tortured logic and morals in our politics?

2004 will only offer voters a choice between the same wafer, and a new marshmallow, both designed to keep a majority from even thinking about voting. While a passionate minority sees the need to get rid of Bush, an equally passionate minority sees the need to keep him. Polls taken about every fifteen minutes forecast everything from a landslide for one or the other, to a close race that may again be decided by a court. But one thing is certain. As long as anti-democratic forces rule, a majority of the American people will again be denied a real choice. More important, a minority of citizens who want to vote for Nader will be told, in no uncertain terms; you don't count and you don’t matter, unless you vote as we want you to, because we know better than you.

This behavior, exercised by the right wing and towards a more politically correct minority, would be treated with shock and indignation. Perhaps the growing number of critics and nonvoters who want real change will learn an important lesson about the need for a new, radical political party, and no longer tolerate these cosmetic beauty contests between two disfigured parties of the rich, with one ugly, imperial agenda .

Those who support the Democrat's exclusion of Nader from the ballot, and the disenfranchising of his voters , are no better than those who support the disenfranchisement of ex-prisoners, poor people or any other minority . Voting “rights” are meaningless if only those who vote “right”, according to the dictates of their elitist masters, have the “right” to vote. Being told who we may vote for is democracy, the way being told who we may have sex with is love. It is a form of political rape, in theory and practice.