A study released October 20, 2006 by the Program on International Policy Attitudes, What Kind of Foreign Policy Does the American Public Want?
, showed that the majority of Americans want major change in U.S. foreign and military policy in a more peaceful direction. Respondents were asked their priorities for the budget, and the results were dramatic:A large majority (76%) want deep cuts in funding for the military. This includes a majority of Republicans (61%), as well as Democrats (85%) and Independents (81%). On average, respondents cut defense spending the equivalent of $198.1 billion or 36 percent.
Meanwhile, House Democrats are promoting their “Six for '06” so-called “New Direction for America”. The first of the six planks calls for doubling the Special Forces, the shock troops of American hegemony, and spending billions of dollars to build “a state-of-the-art military capable of projecting power wherever necessary.” And as for Senate Democrats, every single Democratic Senator voted to devote over half of the relatively controllable portion of the U.S. budget to war and preparations for war.
Disgusted by the extreme policies of militarism and aggression of the Bush Administration, many people are thinking of voting for Democrats. But people should not be duped into thinking that the Democrats represent a real alternative to the Republicans. Both parties are thoroughly devoted to militarism, imperialism and corporatism. That all Senate Democrats and all but a handful of House Democrats stand directly opposed to 85% of grassroots Democrats on budget priorities demonstrates that the Party is not presenting a meaningful alternative. Many candidates may be critical of one particular war, but only a tiny proportion of Democratic candidates actually challenge the war system.
Don't let the Democrats sucker you into believing they are an opposition party. Do not vote for any Democrats or Republicans who will not actively support meaningful cuts in the military budget. Vote against both wings of the War Party. Unless one of the small handful of Democratic candidates who opposes the militaristic policies of their Party is on the ballot where you are, don't vote for a major party candidate. Vote for a third party or independent who does offer a real alternative, or write-in someone who represents your values.
-Bill Samuel, November 1, 2006