Establishing First Principles: If we are to believe (as it is conventionally held in our free society) that voting is a meaningful, worthwhile contribution to the democratic process, it necessarily follows that this meaning is contingent upon the value of the recipient. In other words, we aren’t voting to get a sticker that says “I voted”, we are voting for one candidate or another based on a variety of criteria. From my own observations, I have concluded that people generally vote based on one or more of three dominant perspectives.
1) The dogmatic approach: It is near commonplace for individuals to associate with political parties in the same ways they associate with sports teams. We root for the party of our parents, the most likely winner, or simply decline to participate. I would hope that readers agree that this is not the correct approach as there is no consideration given to the ability of a candidate to perform his or her job.
2) The lesser of two evils: As mild improvement to the preceding group, the lesser of two evils camp at least takes some form of a merit-based decision. Indeed, there are times in life in which one has no choice but to choose a milder malice; however, this reasoning is moot/nullified if there is an alternative complementary to one’s beliefs.
3) Merit: I believe this category to be the intended one of most citizens; however, Americans in particular almost invariably digress from their own ideals toward the previous categories. The one question that comes to mind when observing this paradoxical behavior is simply this: why?
To understand why, let’s examine one root of the problem that has been known to us for many years:
In 1961, President Eisenhower warned the American people in his farewell address of a domestic concern that, though he fiercely opposed it, grew exceedingly out of his control while he was in office. The military industrial-complex (almost termed the military-industrial-congressional complex), while not necessarily a phenomenon entirely new to the world (if one will later reflect on WWII and remember Germany), certainly has never had such an abundant environment in which it could flourish. The permanent militarization of the U.S. has created an economic dependency on war-making, so much so that American military spending eclipses the rest of the world’s combined total.
As more jobs are hinged on the manufacture of bombs, boots, etc…, politicians are less likely to cut defense spending which would lead to higher unemployment in their jurisdictions. Military spending makes up at least a third of the budget, it supports an enormous industry, and it is pulled by politicians seeking votes and representatives of the defense industry seeking to employ new technology. Both Obama and Romney remain entirely complicit with this sanguinary addiction. Romney promised to increase “defense” (it should be called offense) spending by 2 trillion, and Obama extended the Iraq and Afghanistan withdrawal dates after promising to withdraw as soon as he was elected. They both support the drone program, virtually all military intervention, and neither has offered opposition to the 4 trillion dollars we’ve spent on these wars already. Neither ever mentions the hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths in these wars, and neither seems to care. This isn’t their only area of agreement; in fact, many areas upon which they agree ought to disqualify any candidate from even seeking the nomination. Some include:
-Support of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which authorizes the assassination and indefinite detention of American citizens by executive order, effectively repealing the fifth amendment which guarantees the right to a fair and speedy trial. This act has been executed, and the President has indeed killed Americans without a trial. Neither party raises the issue.
-Support of the PATRIOT Act which authorizes the search and seizure of Americans and their belongings without warrant, provocation, or trial, effectively repealing the fourth amendment which guarantees protection from searches and seizures without probable cause. This act has been used, and both parties are compliant.
- Support of TARP and other bailouts that used tax payer money to buy shares of private companies, something one might expect from a communist government.
-Opposition of the Federal Reserve Transparency Act, which would allow the American people to see what this privately owned banking monopoly does with tax-payer money.
-Support for deficits, because neither candidate presented a balanced budget plan that added up correctly.
At this point, it appears that the lesser of two evils argument falls apart as both candidates support abhorrent policies. There is, however, the third party alternative. If merit is to be the deciding factor in electing a President, consider Libertarian Presidential Candidate, Gary Johnson, who doesn’t belong to this club of warmongers. He wants to bring the troops home (along with 75% of Americans), but such policies are never given attention by the media as they aren’t friendly toward the defense industry. Although the former Governor of New Mexico balanced his state’s budget while cutting taxes 14 times, he will never be consulted by the mainstream media for economic advice. While Obama and Romney both get huge donations from Goldman Sachs and the big banks, Gary Johnson will never see that money, because he doesn’t support the bailouts. He also wants to audit the Federal Reserve, a quasi-government entity that is privately owned by some of these same banks, but such a resolution will never pass the Senate. Why? If I’ve done my job, this answer should be self-evident. I encourage additional research into these matters. Intricate scrutiny of our political system by the public must take place before any real change occurs.
While Obamney had the country distracted with petty conflicts over tax returns and Rombomacare (since Mitt actually authored the model of Obamacare, it ought to be aptly named), the U.S has been bombing Libya, Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and most likely other countries in which our military has no business being endangered. Americans have been assassinated without trial, yet this never makes the news. Executive orders like #13603 have been passed that authorize, at the time of the President’s choosing, the government to seize all forms of energy, civil transportation, water from all sources, medical supplies, all commodities capable of being ingested by humans or animals, and order the induction of citizens into the military. Our freedoms are slowly being taken away, and few people listen when men of reason like Governor Johnson say that the government shouldn’t have this kind of power, nor should the President. The two party duopoly is an illusion; it’s a monopoly. The Democrats and Republicans are both largely bought and sold by the same big money. The only choice is which do you like better, red or blue?
To me, Tuesday was charade, a ceremony orchestrated by the real owners of this country, not the people. But what do I know; I’m just another cynical contrarian.
Stay thinking my friends,