Well, then you should vote for a 3rd party candidate, and NOT for McCain or Obama.
I know I am going out on a limb here given that, from what I can tell, the majority of the progressive/left blogosphere supports Obama. I also understand that the “spoiler myth” is pretty entrenched in US society and most voters feel voting 3rd party is equivalent to throwing your vote away. Yet, if we continue to buy into this MSM manufactured myth, we only make it so. Is voting for the less of two evils (i.e. either Republican or Democrat) really our best option? I think not.
I myself generally try not to wade too deep into electoral politics. This is ironic given that I am fascinated with the broader notion of politics – with the various systems of power, privilege, and oppression that shape our world – pretty much 24/7.
Want to pick apart white privilege and the insidious ways it infects every stratum of our society? I’m there. Want to talk about the vast and ingrained inequality that exists between the sexes/genders? I can go on for days.
But, want to discuss McCain verses Obama, Republican verses Democrat? Well, sorry, but my eyes glaze over a bit. I get a bit bored. I start to feel like I have ridden this merry-go-round before.
I am anxious for the endless campaign/elections season to be over. I am jaded by too many rigged elections, by ubiquitous propaganda, by a media that isn’t just asleep, but is in a zombie state. I am tired of false promises of change. I find it sad to admit, but it seems too much like yet another elephant verses donkey show, a circus to entertain the high fructose corn syrup munching masses.
I realize there is lots of hope surrounding Obama – and I think he is by FAR the better choice than McCain. I think his candidacy speaks to a profound and crucially symbolic shift, to, as his refrain echoes, a CHANGE. Yet, the change is not enough when it is a change still reverberating with war cries. The change is not enough when it is politics as usual, corporations first as usual, the same old one party animal parading as a two party system as usual. I am tempted to vote for him, even though his collusion with too many of the very scary things about our current system worries me a great deal. I am tempted because he and Biden are the “lesser evil” in comparison to McCain and Palin. The potential of those two nut-jobs in the White House give me the creeps in a big way. Yet, I don’t want to vote strategically. I want to vote for the candidate that best represents what I see as the way out of this miasma of war, greed, corruption, and unchecked power.
So, I have gotten here in a rather roundabout way, but, suffice it to say, I declare my independence from the one party system. And, while I do not agree with all the political stances of all the five third party candidates, I do agree with the 4 policies they jointly endorsed at a September 10th press conference in D.C.
In short, these 4 policies are as follows
1. The Iraq war must end ASAP. All war propaganda must end and our threats of nuclear first strikes must cease. (Or, in other words, let’s stop acting like an empire.)
2. Civil liberties must be protected, the Patriot Act should be repealed, and torture/spying in not acceptable. Executive power shouldn’t be absolute and signing statements need to recognized for what they are – unconstitutional.
3. Debt is not good. There should be no increase in the national debt. (This begs me to ask, why are we as citizens expected to pay our debts yet our government is allowed carte blanche to run sky high debts in the name of illegal wars and corporatist imperialism?)
4. The Federal Reserve and the corporatized, privatized banking system that controls our economy needs to change. Our economy should not be controlled by a privately owned bank ran by unnamed private shareholders.
For the longer version of these four policies, see here.
These principles seem so basic, yet they are not on the agendas of either major party ticket. Instead, we are distracted with trumped up fears and plays to religious fanaticism. Undoubtedly the issues that are being highlighted are crucial issues – for example, a right to control one’s reproductive capacity is integral to justice – but, the cynic in me knows that this issue is not being paraded about because it is considered important. Rather, it is one that can win votes – can get the anti-choicers in a “we must save the virgins” voting frenzy.
We are all, to a certain extent I think, being played. And, if one of those allowed to play the game wins (O’Bama or McCain) it will be the same old game with perhaps a few good tweaks to the rules of O wins, and many scary tweaks if M wins.
Ask yourself, why are independent candidates so zealously kept from press conferences, debates, and media coverage in general? (For more on the ‘invites only’ way our televised debates run, see here.) How many people know McKinney and Nader are candidates? How many realize each of them would have the possibility to win the presidency given the rules of the electoral system? Not many. Guess why… Because the MSM doesn’t cover them, they are not news, they are not a blip on the conscious of the majority of voters. Why? Well, because they really want to change things, that is why.
I do think – to be fair – that Obama wants to change things too. But, not enough things. Not on a global scale. Making change here (in parts) of the USA is not enough. I am sorry, no matter how much your achievements mean, no matter how great of a speaker you are, no matter how brilliant and likable you seem, I cannot throw away my vote on a person insisting escalating war is a good idea. If voting for peace (via voting for McKinney) is throwing my vote away, well, then call me trash.