Saturday, April 27, 2013

A Pox On Both of Them!

In the backward politics of this vividly crimson red state of Oklahoma, last November in the presidential election, I was not given any acceptable options.  Only the Republican or Democrat candidate.  No write-ins allowed.  No other candidates were allowed on the ballot.  And there was no option to vote "NO!" for President.

So my only option was the inevitable:  the lesser of two bad choices.  This seems to have become the default situation in American politics these days.  Yes, there were clear differences between the Republican and Democrat candidates, making it relatively easy to choose between them.  But I was not permitted to vote my conscience, not permitted to reject both in favor of a third party candidate, or to simply vote "NO!" - to express my profound displeasure with the candidates offered to me on my ballot.

With time, I'm becoming less and less satisfied with the current sitting President.  I'm not one of the lunatic fringers who thinks Barack Obama is a foreigner, or a closet muslim, or a communist-socialist, out to take away everyone's guns before installing a dictatorship.  But I do find his performance in office to be mostly about maintaining the status quo established by his predecessor.  Guantanamo remains packed with prisoners being held without charge or trial.  A war continues in Afghanistan, taking American lives, to say nothing about those of innocent civilians.  Drones can now target pretty much anyone in the world on the whim of the President.  No charges, no evidence, no trial - judge, jury, and executioner by remote control.  The Patriot Act remains in effect.  Universal health care has stopped far short of where it should be.  Corporate and banking executives responsible for the plundering of our economy and ruining the lives of millions of Americans go unpunished and unchecked in their greed. I could go on and on.  The President simply has not even come close to living up to his promises and has caved in to conservative political pressure with hardly a whimper, over and over again.

No, the default assumption that if I take a position proudly that would be called "liberal" (as if that's some sort of vile curse word), I must be a supporter of Barack Obama's administration (or that of Bill Clinton, or whomever) - is simply not valid.  I think I can discern things I dislike about all the recent liberal Presidents in my lifetime.  It's  true that I dislike the conservative Presidents even more, of course.

American politics is such that political parties now act against the will of the American people in many ways.  They're no longer responsive to the electorate.  They're bought and sold in a cynical 'market' where political office can be subverted to support the highest bidder, not the Constitution.  Although I certainly believe a lot of my conservative friends have been duped into supporting things that are contrary to their own best interests, I detect a growing dissatisfaction within the ranks of the 'moderates' among them.  Not all conservatives want to force the christian religion onto the secular American government and its public institutions.  Not all conservatives favor a jingoist foreign policy, where American warfighters are mired in endless, pointless conflicts in which America's freedom and liberty are not at all at stake.  Not all conservatives want to replace science in the classrooms of our public schools with religious dogma and denial of the reality of anthropogenic climate change.  Not all conservatives are adamantly opposed to reasonable enhancements to gun control, such as universal background checks.  And not all conservatives are in favor of the misogyny and bigotry embodied in the statements of some Republican politicians.

It is high time we all stopped voting for those craven politicians offered to us by the two dominant political parties.  It's time that we voters began to take political office away from the corporations and the demagogues - push all these bastards out of office!  Centrist conservatives and liberals can unite to propel a positive change in the political atmosphere!  Rather than wasting our time talking past each other and promulgating divisive propaganda, we can unite to reject politics as they have become, in favor of politics as they should be!  Let's work to have more than two alternatives included on our ballots, so we can begin to find a consensus that rejects both the dominant political parties as failures to represent us.  Give us a choice beyond the lesser of two evils!!


Anonymous said...

An excellent assessment of our current state of affairs Chuck! Our Democratic Republic was not founded on a two party system. As a result of unspoken alliances between the two dominant parties, third party candidates are dismissed, thrust aside and prevented from participating in mainstream debates and political activities. It's high time the people of this country realize that we have been summarily ignored. The will of the people is no longer being represented. It's time for a revolution! Not with guns and violence, but with our voices and our votes! Corporate tyranny must end! NOW!

Chuck Doswell said...

Note: The American Heathen is R.J. Evans ... I'm allowing this post this time.

Don Baker said...

We essentially have a ruling class duopoly, propped up by both major parties. They have conducted a successful scam in promoting the illusion of choice. I think gradually more and more people are catching on, and might actually start thinking about things, vs voting party loyalty cause the "other guy is worse". The lesser of two evils is still, by definition, evil. Money buys everything in the two parties today. The media barely cover any 3rd party candidates, and then said candidates can't even get on stage with the establishment candidates cause they don't "poll" well enough. It's all corrupt.

Garrett Fornea said...

From the libertarian peanut gallery in Mississippi, I have to say: wow, I really like this one. Half the conservatives I know are the more moderate/libertarian types, and while I am a Christian with right-wing opinions, I do not necessarily desire the Federal Government impose them on the rest of nation! So we're in the same boat here!
If my fellow conservatives and I give the Federal Government power to impose our right-wing views on America, we have unwittingly torn down that same wall that stopped the Federal Government from imposing left-wing views on us. (Note that this is basically what the Republican leadership did under President Bush II.) I do not want either view imposed on me by the Federal Government - I just want just the right to determine my own views, practice and express them peaceably, and be left alone (i.e. First Amendment).
Both parties claim to be the champions of freedom, and I say they're both wrong; they both want to control some significant portion of my life. When the government's boot is on your throat, whether it is a left boot or a right boot is of no consequence - I just want the boot off of my throat! I was displeased with both major candidates last fall; all that was really guaranteed by the two is status quo maintainence, if not making matters worse in this nation. Next time, let's do something else; let us stop electing parties, and start electing people once more.

Anna Vincent said...

I agree, but until something is done about Oklahoma's ballot access rules, you won't be able to vote for any third party candidate anyway. The state rarely allows an Independent candidate, but no other parties are recognized by the state.