Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Could this happen today? Nah.

This is the 60th anniversary of what is known as "The Battle of Athens."

No, I've never heard of it either.

60 years ago, vets took up arms in Tenn.

Harold Powers was only 20 when he watched a frightening sight unfold here 60 years ago: Battle-hardened World War II veterans in a shootout with armed sheriff's deputies.

The so-called "Battle of Athens" began Aug. 1, 1946, when veterans opened fire on the local jail to stop corrupt local officials from stealing an election.

Felix Harrod, 84, was a 25-year-old poll watcher at the courthouse during the shootout and said it was common for incumbents in the county about 45 miles northeast of Chattanooga to take ballot boxes to the jail and stuff them with pre-marked ballots.

That was a practice the former soldiers hoped to stop. They offered an all-ex-GI, nonpartisan ticket that promised a fraud-free election and reform. Their rallying cry: "Why fight overseas for freedom and come home and be denied the right to have your ballot counted?"

The shooting continued until the pre-dawn of Aug. 2 when the former soldiers tossed dynamite at the jail, prompting deputies and a sheriff candidate holed up with ballot boxes to surrender.

The uprising left one man with a bullet wound and sent a deputy to prison.

Now, I rarely condone any sort of violence and thankfully no one was seriously wounded or killed in this incident. But, think about it. In this situation, or any situation where those in power attempt to remain in power through theft, it's really an act of force on the part of the one stealing the election. Government is a method of force, and supposedly in a Deomcracy, those with the power to use force on the people are given that power by consent of the people upon which the force will be used. If the power of force is taken by force, and done so by the law, what other recourse is there?

In Mexico, those that voted for the 'left' candidate, Obrador, have taken to the streets (claiming election fruad). Will this accomplish anything? Will it bring them 'justice'? Maybe so, maybe not. Or, as in McMinn County, TN in 1946, is the system so thoroughly corrupted that the only way to achieve achieve 'democracy' is by force (a tad oxymoronic, eh?)

Imagine if what happened 60 years ago happened today. What would it look like? How would the authorities respond and how would it be portrayed in the news?

I can imagine cable news channels declaring it an insurgency or some sort of terrorist act. Those fighting for 'justice' and 'democracy' would be labelled criminals and vigilanties (technically they would be.) The SWAT teams would roll out, along with the FBI and the ATF, and we'd likely have a nice Waco style BBQ. Then we'd get right back to business as usual. The stuffed ballot incumbent would go back to his office and carry on applying the force of government onto citizens without their consent, just like everywhere else.


Blogger Lazaro74 said...

Have you read Jeffrey Toobin's TOO CLOSE TO CALL, about the 2000 vote-fight? I don't want the situation down south to come to violence either (hell, I never want anything to come to violence), and I suspect Obrador's tactics aren't helping, but I'm glad he's still holding out. Even if he actually lost, the people still deserve to know who actually won.

8/02/2006 2:05 PM  
Blogger beervolcano said...

No I never heard of it. I'm googling it right now.

O it's about the 2000 election? I don't get too worked up about that.
I just can't bring myself to support Al Gore.
But, lord knows what would be happening now if Al Gore had been president.
I wonder if we'd be in Iraq. If 9/11 would have even happened.

The Republicans would still own Congress and they might have declared war themselves.
Or Al Gore would have asked for an attack on Iraq. I just don't know.
Saddam switched to the Euro for oil sales. His sanctions were going to be lifted in 2003.
The price of oil would drop. Countries would dump their dollar reserves and the dollar would plummet.
Everyone in the US would be poorer, especially the really rich people at the top.
I don't think "they" would let that happen.

2004 was an even bigger fiasco. It was doomed before the actual election even began.

We've got distant cousins, both Skull&Bones Yale men, both for war against Saddam Hussein.

Just look at all the things Kerry was saying about Saddam before and after the war. Also look at what he said during his campaign. $200 billion? Not enough. Defense contractors need all the money the China, Japan, and Europe can lend us.

8/04/2006 9:26 PM  

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