Election day blues

I don’t want to vote. That fairly well disgusts me, because i believe voting to be a responsibility and one that i’m both happy and proud to fulfill. Not that i take it too seriously. I once voted for Frank Zappa, and another time for the Communists (because they nominated two women and my other choice was Bill Clinton). In 2008 i voted for a Senate candidate who proudly noted that his campaign spent $400. I felt he represented spare change i could believe in. And one time i drove forty minutes to vote against George W. Bush even though i knew it wouldn’t matter, but i did it anyway. I generally look forward to the act. But now, it just seems pointless. Depressingly pointless.

We need a hell of a lot more than a rally to restore sanity.

Have we really sunk to the level of curb stomping people over politics? I guess we have, since it’s not like that was an isolated incident. I get that politics has always been dirty and that it’s often violent. I’m by no means a pacifist, and i recognize that there are political issues worth violence. (Violence being a fairly broad word; it’s not just curb stomping and death threats.) But we’re not seeing those. We’re seeing one half of the equation running on fear of the other half gaining power. The other half is running for elected office on an anti-government platform, without a hint of irony i might add, and we all know that those candidates will become happily corrupted by the same forces of “big government” they pretend to hate, just as soon as they get sworn in…in many cases it’s already happened.

We take the bullshit seriously and bullshit the serious stuff.

So far as i know, this nation was founded on Enlightenment ideals by men who deified reason. Of course that was their first big mistake. Humans are plenty capable of reason, but that doesn’t make them creatures of it. The majority of people are not rational in the majority of instances. Unfortunately, our political system requires just what we aren’t in order to function properly. More unfortunate yet, those who propose to lead us know all too well that we’re not rational. That’s how they lead us into costly, pointless and unwinnable wars. That’s how they keep us at each others’ throats for their own benefit. At this point it’s probably all they’ve got. So irrational fear, hatred, hope and blind allegiance is our electoral fare.

I’m tired of choosing between incompetent with a sprinkle of nefarious and nefarious with a sprinkle of incompetence. I’m just fucking tired of it. I’m tired of hearing that the working class is voting against its own best interest from a group of people who have proven themselves completely unconcerned with defending said class. I’m tired of listening to people accuse neoliberals of Socialism and knowing that the accuser probably can’t define Socialism in his own words. I don’t have any more patience for people who cry freedom and let loose the dogs of government tyranny. I’m just fucking tired of it.

Worse, i already know how it ends.

But i’ll go vote. It’s my duty. First i need to run through the voter’s guide one more time, because while it really doesn’t matter which asshole heads off to Washington, who wins a seat on the school board or the city commission does. I’ll leave you with a quote from Jefferson i stumbled across recently, even though it only proves that he was a silly optimist and wrong.

And let us reflect that, having banished from our land that religious intolerance under which mankind long bled and suffered, we have yet gained little if we countenance a political intolerance as despotic, as wicked, and capable of as bitter and bloody persecutions. . . .

Every difference of opinion is not a difference of principle . . . If there be any among us who would wish to dissolve this Union or to change its republican form, let them stand undisturbed as monuments of the safety with which error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it.”

~First inaugural address, March 4,1801

2 replies »

  1. I voted. It wasn’t pleasant, and it cost a fortune for somebody, but I voted. I’m not convinced the people I voted for know the price of a gallon of milk or a gallon of gas, but I voted.