Emailing: Voters For Peace The power to end the war and prevent future wars of aggression

Voters For Peace: The power to end the war and prevent future wars of aggression

 
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Who is a Peace Voter?

A peace voter is someone who treats the
life-and-death issue of war and peace as the defining issue in American
politics. Peace voters put peace before party and vote for and support true
peace candidates.

The American public by a large majority opposes the
continued occupation of Iraq and a military attack on Iran. We do not want the
United States to serve as the world’s policeman. Yet, American voters continue
to elect candidates who support an expanded military and continued use of U.S.
military force around the world.

The
Challenge of Being a Peace Voter Today

Being a peace voter is challenging in
the United States of America because the two established political parties often
putforward candidates who support military expansion and the illegal projection
of military power around the world. Often one of the two parties, usually the
Democrats, will put forward a candidate who waffles on the war or pretends to be
anti-war while voting for war funding, an expanded military budget and other
pro-war positions. In this environment the peace voter must be:

1.
Informed so they can tell the real peace candidate from the fraudulent peace
candidate.

2. Engaged as citizen peace voters who let candidates know
their views, engage them in dialogue, support peace candidates who are not only
with the established parties but who are insurgents in those parties as well as
third party and independent candidates. Sometimes it means that the peace voter
must become a peace candidate in order to give people a real
choice.

The
Lessons of History

Sometimes it can be disheartening to be
a peace voter in a time when half the discretionary spending in the federal
budget goes to the military, when the U.S. spends as much as the rest of the
world combined on military activity and when the weapons industry is a major
contributor to both established parties. But take heart – history is on our side
and over and over history shows that voters who hold true to their beliefs at
the ballot box overcome the obstacles of the present and create a new world that
at first seems impossible.

It can be hard to see how voting for peace is
an expression of political power when the peace candidate often loses. This
leads some to vote out of fear of the greater-evil candidate and give their vote
to someone who is not really a peace candidate. But if you back away from today
and step back into history, it is easier to see the potential power of the peace
vote.

If it were 1840 and you had been trying to end slavery for decades
(abolition was older than the nation), but the two established parties were
bought and paid for by the slave “business” — slavery was more valuable than all
other businesses combined — what would you do? The Democrats were dominated by
plantation owners and the Whigs were dominated by northern industrialists who
profited from cheap cotton. As a result of these political realities the
abolition of slavery was “off the table” in Congress. What would you do if you
opposed slavery? Would you vote for the lesser-evil slave profiteer? Or, would
you vote for the various abolition parties that had no chance of success – that
generally got votes in the low single digits? Some anti-slavery voters had the
courage of their convictions and voted for the abolition candidate. Indeed, in
retrospect most Americans would say they would have voted against slavery. Those
who voted abolition were the heroes of our history because they forced the issue
into the electoral arena, forced the parties to confront it, and led to the most
successful third party president in history, Abraham Lincoln. Those voters who
voted for single-digit candidates and for their hopes and dreams — a country
without slavery — had more power in U.S. government than was evident at the
time. They changed the direction of America while voters who compromised their
beliefs helped slavery survive.

Now, flash forward 75 years into our own
future – finally the world has come to recognize war is obsolete and not a
successful approach to disputes between nations or people. How did this happen
when there were two parties that were funded by the defense industry, the right
wing Israeli lobby, the oil industry and others who profit from war? How did
this happen when at the beginning of the 21st Century the two major parties were
calling for a bigger military, pre-emptive military attack and favored
developing tactical nuclear weapons so the U.S. could use them?

One key
tool that will make war obsolete is if both political parties know they will not
get the 5-to-20 percent of the voters who care enough about ending war to vote
for it. When those parties see a solid block voting against ANY pro-war,
waffle-on-war or fraudulent peace candidates then the parties will change or be
replaced. Peace voter power will be a key ingredient to making war obsolete. A
big reason the peace voter could fail is if they continue to give votes to war
candidates.

What
Peace Voters Can Do in 2008

Take action. There are many things that
peace voters can do to educate the public, move the U.S. government toward a
foreign policy based on diplomacy not militarism, and advance peace in
2008.

Peace
Voter Power

The major change needed to create peace
voter power is for peace advocates to recognize that war and peace is a
life-and-death issue that should be our top priority for picking candidates. But
more importantly, we need to realize that the achievement of “Peace Voter Power”
will come only by voting for peace and supporting peace candidates – even if
they seem to have no chance of winning — even if they will get 5 percent or
less. When peace voters give their vote to candidates who do not recognize that
war is obsolete, we empower the empire builders who use military intervention as
the primary foreign policy tool.

Voting for pro-war/waffle-on-war
candidates strengthens war as a tool of foreign policy. Voting for peace
candidates is the only way to change the mistaken direction of the United
States.

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