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Restoring Democracy in America

March 19, 2011

The greatness of America lies not in being more enlightened than any other nation, but rather in her ability to repair her faults.
- Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859), author of Democracy in America

As this system is the only form and principle of government by which liberty can be preserved, and the only one that can embrace all the varieties of a great extent of country, it necessarily follows, that to have the representation real, the election must be real; and that where the election is a fiction, the representation is a fiction also. Like will always produce like.
- Thomas Paine to the Citizens of the United States, 29 January 1803

Tyranny naturally arises out of democracy.
- Plato

The reason why I'm so strong on democracy is democracies don't go to war with each other...I've got great faith in democracies to promote peace. And that's why I'm such a strong believer that the way forward in the Middle East, the broader Middle East, is to promote democracy.
- President George W. Bush comments on Middle East, 12 November 2004

It's in our national interest that the work you're doing here, the work of helping the Afghans develop a democracy - it's in the interests of your children and your grandchildren. Because, you see, democracies yield the peace we all want. History has taught us democracies don't war. Democracies - you don't run for office in a democracy and say, please vote for me, I promise you war. You run for office in democracies, and say, vote for me, I'll represent your interests; vote for me, I'll help your young girls go to school, or the health care you get improved. Democracies yield peace, and that's what we want.
- President George W. Bush to U.S. Troops in Afghanistan, Bagram Air Base, 1 March 2006

The American relationship to democracy is very much like the Soviet relationship to communism.  American politicians and the media talk about democracy in the same way that Soviet leaders and their media spoke about communism.  The Soviet Union had institutes devoted to communism and the Kremlin fostered communist regimes in nations far and wide.  Likewise, the United States has institutes that claim to promote democracy around the world and Washington wages war to foster democracy in distant lands.  While U.S. presidents blather about waging war in support of democracy in Afghanistan and Iraq, most Americans assume that they live in a democratic nation - but do they?  If the United States is a truly a functioning democracy in which the government is controlled by representatives who are elected by the people, why is there such a disconnect between what the American people want from their government - and what they get?     

The United States of America is generally thought to be the world's most powerful democratic nation and the leading proponent of democracy.  According to President George W. Bush, this is why the U.S. was attacked on 9/11.  As the president told the nation, "America was targeted for attack because we're the brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in the world." 

After 9/11, claiming it was in the nation's interest to remove the Taliban regime and install a democratic government in Kabul, the Bush administration invaded Afghanistan.  As Bush told U.S. troops stationed in Afghanistan in 2006, "History has taught us democracies don't war...Democracies yield peace, and that's what we want."  The main reason for the decade-long military occupation of Afghanistan, we are told, is to protect its fledgling democracy.  Likewise for the eight-year-old occupation of Iraq.

The Bush belief that "democracies yield peace" is merely a continuation of the democracy doctrine of Bill Clinton, which he articulated in his State of the Union address in January 1994, saying, "the best strategy to ensure our security and to build a durable peace is to support the advance of democracy elsewhere."


All those who seek to destroy the liberties of a democratic nation ought to know that war is the surest and shortest means to accomplish it.
- Alexis de Tocqueville

While Clinton and Bush claimed to be proponents of democracy, their deeds utterly failed to match their words.  In 2006, for example, when the Palestinians held free and fair elections, the United States refused to even accept the results.  In an open and democratic election for the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) the clear winner was Hamas, who won the majority and should have been able to form a government.  Because the Hamas victory did not suit the Israelis, the United States ignored the election results and banned any meeting with Hamas officials.  As a result of the Israeli ban on Hamas, the U.S. government has supported the unelected Palestinian Authority and its self-proclaimed president for the past five years.  The Zionist diktat clearly trumped democracy for the Palestinians, a pattern we have seen repeated many times during the past decade. 

The United States supports brutal dictatorships and undemocratic regimes across the Middle East.  Israel portrays itself as a democracy although full rights and the democratic franchise is reserved only for Jews.  A Jewish settler on the West Bank, for example, is enfranchised to vote while his Christian or Muslim neighbor is not.  Why would a democracy like America support a dictatorship or an exclusive tribal state like Israel or Saudi Arabia?  It simply doesn't make sense unless one considers that the U.S. political system is controlled by Zionists.  An oil-rich democracy like Norway has to sell its oil in the same way as a dictatorship with oil.

The Obama administration has accepted the Israeli diktat and still refuses to meet with Hamas.  Likewise, Obama has shown tepid support for pro-democracy movements across the Middle East.  Rather than supporting peaceful protestors calling for democratic change, the U.S. has done little to prevent the tyrants it works with in the region from using lethal force against their own citizens.  In some cases, such as with its allies Egypt and Bahrain, the U.S. has evidently secretly supported the use of brutal force against pro-democracy protestors.

This raises a fundamental question about the nature of the U.S. government.  If the United States is truly a democratic state governed by representatives elected by the people, why does it support regimes that are clearly anti-democratic?  Why does the U.S. president ignore the will of the citizenry?  The American people were strongly opposed, in some polls by a ratio of 1,000 to 1, to the Bush-Obama bailout of Maurice Greenberg's criminal A.I.G. and the greedy investment banks it insured, yet the incredibly costly bailout sailed through Congress.  When it comes to the fraudulent "War on Terror", a recent Washington Post/ABC News poll found that nearly two-thirds of Americans say Obama's war in Afghanistan is not worth fighting and nearly three-quarters of the population say he should withdraw a “substantial number” of combat troops from Afghanistan this summer, but only 39 percent say they expect he will do that.  How can such a disconnect exist in a country that is supposedly governed by a president and congressmen elected by the people?

Ten years ago, I wrote an article about the electronic voting machines introduced in Chicago for the 2000 presidential election.  Having found that these machines completely removed the citizen from the vote-counting process and gave that power to the people who controlled the machines, I called the article "The Death of Democracy Or May the Best Hacker Win".  I have monitored several elections in Chicago since 2000 and have found that there is absolutely no citizen oversight of the vote counting process and no transparency whatsoever in how the results are tallied.  Furthermore, there is absolutely no discussion in the media of these most obvious and serious flaws in our elections.  Elections are really only a big story in America every four years and the fact that Americans have completely lost their democratic franchise does not seem to concern many people because they do not really understand how elections are supposed to be held in a democracy. 


The health of a democratic society may be measured by the quality of functions performed by private citizens.
- Alexis de Tocqueville

Franchise means the right to vote in a country's elections.  Americans are enfranchised when they have the right to vote for their representatives.  The word "franchise" comes from the Latin word francus, which means free.  In French, the words franc and franche derive from the Germanic tribe of Franks, because only Franks had full freedom in Frankish Gaul.  The French take their democratic franchise very seriously.  Having observed elections in other nations, I was most impressed by the simplicity and beauty of the open and transparent elections held in France in May 2002.

Americans don't need a violent revolution to throw out the criminals who control the United States.  What is required is to restore democracy in America by returning to open and democratic elections in which the citizens count the votes openly in each polling station.  Because Americans don't do this and don't understand how it should be done, I will explain how democratic elections should be done using my photographs from the French presidential election I monitored in Avignon on 5 May 2002, between the incumbent Jacques Chirac and Jean Marie Le Pen of France's National Front. 

Voter turnout was nearly 80 percent of the 41 million registered voters in France in the second round of the presidential election on 5 May 2002.  Nearly all of 33 million ballots cast had been hand counted in each polling station within one hour after the polls closed at 6 p.m. and the national tally was virtually complete by 8 p.m.  The French method of voting and the hand-counting of the votes by the citizens is an excellent model of how open and transparent democratic elections should be done.  There is no valid reason why Americans should not return to this foolproof method of voting.  This is, in fact, the only way to remove the criminals who have taken over our government. 

Campaign posters for the two candidates in Paris, May 2002

The author speaking to the press at Le Pen headquarters in St. Cloud near Paris

Le Pen giving a press conference several days before the election

Christopher Bollyn with Jean Marie Le Pen

Le Pen signing his biography for the author

Bollyn interviews Le Pen's daughter, Marine, who is currently the leading presidential candidate in France.  Elections will be held in 2012.

The famous old town of Avignon

An enfranchised French citizen signs in before casting his ballot.

In French presidential elections, the voter only chooses between the two strongest candidates. The voter takes a ballot for each candidate and puts his choice in a blue envelope in the privacy of the voting booth.  He then deposits his envelope in the transparent box in front of the election judges.  In America, on the other hand, the ballot on Election Day is often cluttered with hundreds of choices.  The election thieves intentionally clutter the ballot in order to confuse the voters and provide an excuse for using electronic vote-counting machines, which are controlled by members of the crimocracy.

An actual ballot for Le Pen from the election of 2002

After the polls close, the box of votes is opened by the local election judge in front of the press and the public.

The blue envelopes containing the ballots are dumped on the table in front of the citizens who will count the votes.

The envelopes containing the ballots are first counted and the tally compared with the number of voters who signed in at the polling station.  In this case there was a discrepancy of 1 vote.

The ballot envelopes are then put into larger envelopes of 100 votes.  In this polling station at the city hall of Avignon, there were about 760 votes cast.

The counting of the votes is done openly in front of the citizens and press.  This is an essential part of transparent and democratic elections.  If the vote counting is not done openly, the election cannot be called democratic.  The counting of the votes took less than one hour.

Each envelope of 100 votes is counted individually and the results checked twice and tallied.  Here the election workers remove the ballots, which are carefully counted and stacked by candidate.

Only those who are appointed to be part of the vote counting are allowed to touch the ballots or envelopes.  The public is able to witness every step of the vote counting, which is what makes an election authentic and transparent.

The station's results are tallied and authenticated by the judges.  This is what authenticates the election results in each polling station across France.  Such vote counting and authentication of precinct results was once done in polling stations across the United States but is now done only in a few rural communities.  Nearly all of the votes in the United States are processed by electronic voting machines or systems that are controlled by private companies.

The final tally for her station complete, the results are signed and sealed and returned to the box, which is locked.

The station's election judge is ready to take the results from her polling station to the central counting station for Avignon, which was in the city hall.

Election judges from across Avignon brought their boxes of votes to the city hall to be registered for the district tally.

The authenticated results from each polling place are registered.

The district results are then communicated by computer to the nation's central tally center.  Because the results of each polling place have been counted openly by the citizens there is virtually no chance for election fraud.  Because all the polling stations counted their votes simultaneously, virtually all the votes in France, nearly 33 million ballots, had been counted and tallied by 8 p.m.  Chirac won with 82 percent of the vote.  The French method is an excellent model of how an open and transparent democratic election should be conducted.

Sources and Recommended Reading:

Bollyn, Christopher, "Death of Democracy Or May the Best Hacker Win," 27 October 2000 

Bollyn, Christopher, "On Fictional Elections & Taking Our Republic Back," 3 January 2008

Bollyn, Christopher, "Who Controls Our Elections?" Solving 9/11 

Bollyn, Christopher, "Who Really Controls Our Political Parties?" Solving 9/11 

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