Friday, September 21, 2012

Why Vote?

I just read that House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) vowed today not to raise taxes on the rich even if President Obama wins in November. So why vote? If the system is rigged against the 99%; if the GOP is blatantly in the pocket of the mega–wealthy and devoted to their betterment and not the welfare of the country as a whole, why vote? 

First, let me say that the United States is a plutonomy, a country of, by, and for the wealthy. It has been this way for decades, and both political parties are guilty of doing the bidding of the oligarchs. I have no more faith in the Democrats than I do in the Republicans when it comes to freeing the system to promote the middle class or see to actually help lift the poor out of poverty. 

Second, I am a values voter. Since my pocketbook doesn't really matter to either party, and the economy will tank regardless of which group of oligarchs owns the politicians in power, I tend to focus on values issues: civil rights for all Americans regardless of gender, sexual preference, race, etc. being chief among them. A Republican president will tilt the Supreme Court even further to the right, making it more difficult for America to live up to the call to freedom at its heart. 

The GOP values weapons more than women. I don't. The GOP values ignorance over reason, and faith over science. I don't. The GOP fears Islam. I fear extremists of all stripes. So I will vote Democratic not because I think the Dems will lead this country to greatness, but because I think they will take longer to lead it to its doom.


No One Special said...

I agree with 99% (no pun intended).

I was thinking the exact same way until I read the platform Jill Stein is running on and that's who will get my vote.

I'm no longer willing to pick the lesser of two evils.

Until we eliminate the 'two part/one corrupt government' from power, we won't move forward.

Raksha said...

I agree with you, No One Special, and I also plan to vote for Jill Stein. For the very first time in my life I will NOT be voting a straight Democratic ticket. As one of my more articulate Facebook friends has been saying quite often lately, Obama isn't the lesser of two evils; he's the more effective evil.

Just because Mitt Romney is so blatant and in-your-face with his support for the oligarchy, doesn't automatically mean that Obama is on the side of the 99 percent. People interpret his relative silence on class warfare issues for support for the middle class and the poor, but I believe they are making a huge mistake.

I have seen very little indication from Obama's actions during his first term that he supports a populist agenda, and plenty of indication that he doesn't. And I look ONLY at his actions; I stopped listening to his speeches years ago when I realized he was lying. I KNOW he's a great speaker; maybe not quite as good as Bill Clinton, but close enough.

Democratic presidential candidates are chosen for their ability to speak fluent populist, after all. But equally important to the PTB is that it's ONLY talk, and that they not back it up with actions that would even inconvenience--let alone actually threaten--the power structure. Most of Obama's cabinet secretaries are tools of Wall Street, the military-industrial complex or the economic sectors they allegedly regulate. The one who particularly enrages me is Eric Holder, the head of Obama's so-called "Justice" Department, who was evidently tasked with protecting the Bush war criminals and making sure they are never held accountable for their crimes. Obama's record on human rights and civil rights is every bit as abysmal as Bush's, and in some ways it's even more odious to me as a former lifelong Democrat. I never voted for Dubya or his father, after all. I DID vote for Obama and I've been sorely disappointed.

So for once in my life, I'm going to be voting my values and my conscience.

Barry said...

I agree and disagree with the two previous commentors. Neither candidate will bring economic justice; no one will charge "W" with war crimes.

I disagree because Jill Stein has no chance to win in any state. All she can do is possibly throw the election to Romney, a disaster for America. If you use birth control, if you are gay or lesbian, if you are concerned about the environment, if you are a union member, it makes no sense to help elect Romney byvoting for Stein.

Politics are about what is possible. Jill Stein is not a viable candidate; Mitt Romney, unfortunately, is.

Erick Reynolds said...

If this was a parliamentarian government, voting for the Green Party would make sense as the parties with similar beliefs could partner and select a leader. But in this evenly divided presidential election where the winner takes all, a vote for the Green Party is a vote for the Republicans. Just as a vote for the Libertarian party is a vote for the Democrats. Bush Jr won in 2000 because of Ralph Nader sapping just enough votes from the Democrats in his futile bid.

For there to be a new third party, it will need to be a grass roots process of winning state and local elections and building Congressional presence. A third party president would be useless without Congressional alliance. Just look at the obstruction of record numbers of filibusters by the Republican senators to block any progress by Obama over the past four years. If one party can work so hard to make a president look ineffective, imagine what both parties would do to a third party president.

Aron said...

I can't say I'm comfortable with the presidential election as it is. I support notions like changing the majority rules process and being able to vote a 1st, 2nd, 3rd candidate, so we could support the candidate we want to vote for and the candidate we feel like we have to vote for as well. Otherwise, a 3rd party will simply replace one of the 2 parties and we'll be back at square one, again.

But I'm going to vote because I care about local elections at least, even if I often feel federal elections feel fairly meaningless most of the time.

Aron said...
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Rabbi Rami said...

I believe that both Democrats and Republicans are in the pocket of the oligarchs who run the country. Economic justice isn't on either party's agenda. I will vote Dem for fear of what a Romney presidency would do to the already bought Supreme Court. And if I have to be governed by the rich, I chose Bill Maher over the Koch brothers.