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The 1998 Election Rebellion

by Jim Hightower

People are taking the initiative to deal with issues that matter to them
Stories in all the papers today claim the people voted for "the status quo," to "not rock the boat," to demand "centrist policies."

Hogwash. "The people" didn't vote at all, much less approve the mushy, do-nothing approach that Clinton and the Congress take on the "Kitchen table issues" that affect America's workaday majority -- issues like good jobs at good pay, health care for all, the globaloney globalization that's selling out the middle class, stopping the pollution of our air and water, and keeping Wall Street's grubby hands off of our social security money. Turnout nationally is at a pathetic 36 percent! Two-thirds of the voters are in silent rebellion against our money-soaked, corrupt political system in which both major parties are in cahoots with the powerful few to stiff the needs of the majority.

The good news is, as this election shows, people are taking the initiative themselves to deal with issues that matter to them, against the wishes and efforts of the legislative and lobbying elites. Both Arizona and Massachusetts, for example, said "YES!" to public financing of their elections, throwing out the corrupting money of corporations. Washington state said "YES!" to a living wage of $6.50 an hour, even indexing it to inflation. Colorado voters said "NO!" to the march of multimillion-dollar hog factories across their land. And, in open defiance of the political establishment, voters in Alaska, Arizona, Nevada, Oregon and Washington state said "YES!" to the medical use of marijuana.

These are hardly expressions of support for the "status quo."

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Albion Monitor November 4, 1998 (

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