Oregon plays a unique role in national politics and American thought. We are a forward-thinking state, and we value the liberties of the individual more than most.
We are also a small state, and occasionally the policies we enact are watched nationwide as an experiment, before they are adopted by the entire country. We are the microcosm of America’s progress.
We will soon be facing another opportunity to exhibit our individuality. Another election for president of the United States is on the horizon, and the likelihood of a fair and clean election is low. Computerized voting, an untested, secretive and unverifiable method of ascertaining the will of the people, will tabulate more than a third of America’s roughly 200 million votes for president.
The CEO of Diebold Election Systems, the company which controls 50 percent of the electronic voting market, wrote, “I am committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president.” The same president who, some say, stole the 2000 election. The candidate who, as the recounts show, lost the election in the state of Florida. There is undeniable (if unreported) proof, according to the non-partisan University of Chicago’s National Opinion Research Center that George W. Bush did not legitimately win the Presidency in 2000.
This year Republicans control the House, Senate, Supreme Court, all the major media outlets and now the methods to tally our votes.
My question is, as Oregonians, what should we do if the election is tampered with and voters are disenfranchised? What should we do if votes for Kerry are lost in the binary source code while votes for Bush count 5 times? As America’s progressive conscience, what should we do if we are unable to elect our federal government?
Are we under an obligation to follow the orders of anyone who calls himself President, even if he is not legally elected as our constitution requires?
As an Oregonian, I believe in freedom. I am a patriot who believes in democracy. Because of this, I am concerned that this year’s election will face us with a difficult choice: in the event of an illegitimate election, should we abide by whatever results it illegally concludes? Or should we demand a new election, a fair, accurate tally of the people’s will?
As Oregonians, we could do no less than demand that the Union to which we belong have representatives that we elect. But if our demands are unmet – the demands of the democracy that we fight for – are we under any obligation to stay in a union that is undemocratic?
We belong to the United States of America only by our own consent. If George Bush steals the election again, and takes a presidency that is not his, the sovereign state of Oregon must secede from the Union.
We have marvelous resources in our state, which we can use to sustain ourselves. We have thriving industries. We will surely gain lucrative contracts from anti-Bush nations around the globe. And, most importantly, we have no obligation to follow the laws of a tyrant who seizes power contrary to every notion of freedom and self-governance that we hold dear.
Should we lead the way, others would follow. A confederacy may arise. Bush may then be threatened out by his own party, allowing us to rejoin the Union, and the good ol’ U.S. of A will be whole once more.
Maybe we will never need to implement these options. Maybe the elections will be fair, contrary to Jimmy Carter’s and the UN’s warnings. But we have already seen to what lengths evil men will go for absolute power. It would be imprudent for us not to plan for what we know they are capable of.
Should the people’s will be subverted again, it is our civic duty to secede, either symbolically, or actually. For we are Americans, and we live in the Land of the Free. Any man who would take our freedom away is a man that we have no obligation to follow.