Fundamental Failure

So, I got into a political debate with a friend of mine a few days ago.  He and I are of the same mind that politics are not a taboo subject.  They used to be discussed and debated openly and regularly, and they should be again.  

Anyway, as we were talking, the topic of McCain vs. Obama came up.  A couple years ago, I pretty much determined that my friend and I basically have the same opinion of the political parties.  I believe the Democrats are evil and the Republicans are incompetent.  My friend agrees, but switches the parties around.  So, it really wasn’t a surprise when he said he was considering voting for Obama.  I expressed my dislike for Obama, and he wanted to know why.

I don’t like Obama because I think he’s a stuffed shirt.  I feel like Obama can give a good speech, but is clueless without a teleprompter.  (If he were a Republican, I’m fairly certain his comments about 57 states and his planned 8 to 10 year term would be garnering him all sorts of grief.)  He’s clueless when it comes to economics, foreign policy and energy.  He changes his stance on issues with alarming frequency, and he generally strikes me as just more of the same old same-old.  My friend responded to all this with, “You just don’t like politicians, do you?”  Our better halves joined us on the porch, then, and the conversation shifted.

The question has stuck with me, though.  And the answer is, hell no!  I’m sick and tired of politics as usual.  Because, for as much as I dislike Obama, I don’t think any higher of McCain.  I didn’t like my choices between Bush and Kerry in 2004, and I didn’t like my choices between Bush and Gore in 2000.  There’s no difference between the stuffed shirts on either side of the aisle in Washington, and I’m sick and tired of the game.  Worse yet, I’m registered Libertarian, but I can’t stand Bob Barr, either.

Our political system is broken.  To give credit where it’s due, Dan Carlin really articulated this thought in his podcast, Common Sense, Show 129.  I’ve had a vague sense of this for a while now, but I’ve never really been able to pin the feeling down.  The system IS broken, though.

The problem is, aside from a full-on revolt, there seems to be no way to change the system.  Voting for the lesser of two evils only produces two more evils next election.  Not voting is no good.  Politicians only care about the people who vote.  And voting for a third party is pointless, because they stand no chance.  Well, maybe it’s not pointless.

Here’s the trick.  A lot of people don’t vote because they don’t like either of the candidates.  I’m sure that a lot more don’t vote because they’re confident their candidate is going to win, but I don’t really feel like researching voter statistics.  If I can’t rant wildly about things I know little about what’s the point of blogging?

Sorry.  Tangent.

Anyway, my thought is that if everyone who chooses not to vote because they don’t want to vote for either person simply voted for anyone else, we might start to see a shift.  How powerful would it be if neither presidential candidate received 45% of the vote?  40%?  If we got to the point where all the third party candidates combined actually got more votes than either of the main party candidates, then, realistically, neither of the candidates can claim victory.  Sure, the person with the most votes wins, but if the nation has clearly said, “We don’t want either of you,” then….  Well, I don’t really know what then.  

All I really know for sure is that not voting doesn’t change anything.  If elections were voted on by only three people in every state, I think most politicians would be thrilled.  It’d save them a lot of time.

I’m tired of throwing my vote away by picking the person I dislike least.  I’m not going to throw my vote away by not voting.  I hope others will join me in throwing my vote away on a third party.  Any one will do.

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Published in: on July 23, 2008 at 4:58 pm  Leave a Comment  
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