Our two party system is, in essence, always a vote for the "lesser of two evils", but how "lesser" are they? Let's take McCain and Obama as grand examples, let us allow them to represent their party. Obama is the most Liberal Senator in the Senate. McCain is a stereotypical Neo-Conservative. It is true that the two parties initially had many candidates running for hten omination, some of them interesting, but these two, walking charicatures of, respectively, they steretypical Republican and the Stereotypical Democrat, are the ones who float to the top. Why? Because the party-leadership decided to coronate them. On the Republican side, John McCain just so happened to win most of his victory states with 34% of the vote, becuase, conveniently, that is how the Republican system works. On the other side, the Super-Delegates have the final say, just in case the decision is not to the Party Leadership's liking, although this time around their services were not required.
So these two candidates are truly representative either of the core beliefs of those who rule the parties, or representative of what face those rulers want to project to the outside world (In my opinion, the former in McCain's case, the latter in Obama's). Now they might seem like different candidates, when taken at face value. McCain's conservative, Obama is liberal. McCain is old, Obama is young. McCain is white, Obama is not. But this is difference is only skin-deep.
On the Issues, they differ little. The both support amnesty for Illegal Aliens. Neither support hte Border Fence. Neither supports English as the Official Language of the U.S. Neither will remove U.S. troops from Iraq in their first term. They both support the current administration's trade policy(Obama has said he doesn't, then said he does, privately told the Canadian government he backs NAFTA while publicly decrying it, etc.). Neither are pro-Gun (Obama believes sad, pathetic "Rural American" hicks cling to their guns, their god, and their racism out of bitterness, McCain has tried time and again to close the gun-show "loop-hole" and gets a poor rating from gun-rights advocacy groups). Neither are pro-Life. Neither have any willingness to confront China and India as our nations greatest threats in the 21st century. Neither will really attack the entitlement system, corporate or private. Neither has any great answer to the questions of Inflation, Housing Crisis, the Trade Deficit, unemployment, Gas Prices, or the skyrocketing National Debt and Private Debt.
What are their differences? McCain will follow Bush's policy on Iran - tentative "diplomacy" thorugh the U.N., alongside sabre-rattling. He wont fight them unless they attack us, because our military is incapable of launching an offensive against them. Obama doesn't really know what he will do, but will probably fall somewhere between the actions of Bush and the words of Carter. Obama talks about Nationalized Healthcare, which is not a good thing, but it is a moot point, as he will not be able to pass any such legislation, nor is it likely to be a high priority. Democrats have promised National Healthcare for decades (it was one of Clinton's first-term campaign-promises), and yet I see no new socialist healthcare-bureucry. Obviously, McCain does not back nationalized healthcare, although a moderate step towards it (loaded with corporate subsidies and tax-vreaks) might be graced with his signature if a Democratic Congress sends it his way. Obama talks about energy, but will most likely go no further with it than endorsing the same bogus Nuclear Power plan McCain has unveiled, or one close to it. That is also a bad idea, of course.
What are their real differences, though? You may have noticed the list above is fairly unimpressive. The truth is, I have yet to see a glaring difference. Except the first ones I listed. One is white and old, the other isn't. Add in the (D) and (R) near their names, and you have the extent of their glaring differences. One will maintain the Status Quo, the other won't change a thing.
So what is the answer? Maybe you are concerned about Privacy, in which case McCain's National Security position will frighten you into supporting Obama. Maybe you are concerned about Firearms, or Abortion, in which case the fact that McCain, though not a Conservative on either issue, will be forced to act like he is one if elected is reassuring enough to net your vote. Maybe when Obama says that all of us lowly country bumpkins, clinging to guns and god and racism (sorry, "Antipathy towards people who arne't like us") should be more concerned with teaching our children Spanish than with teaching the children of Immigrants (presumably legal and otherwise) English, it is enough to frighten or anger you into McCain's arms. Maybe McCain saying he would be fine with maintaining a U.S. presence in Iraq for a hundred years, or daring the American worker to pick lettuce for a measley $50 an hour ("You can't do it!"), or calling Vladimir Putin the President of Germany or this
are enough to scare you into voting against McCain.
But you are wrong to respond that way. That kind of thinking is why you have to choose between an old, white idiot and a young, black idiot. That kind of thinking is why an average of 92% of Congressional (House and Senate) Incumbants have won re-election since world war two , . That kind of thinking is why there is only one non-Republican and non-Democratic Senator (two if you count Lieberman, which most don't), and no Congressmen. It is why people think there is such a thing as a "Two-Party System". It is unacceptable thinking.
So what is the answer, you ask? Don't fall for it. Don't allow yourself to be drawn into the game. Vote your conscience, vote on the Issues. Don't abstain, but don't vote for either of the mainstream clowns. Vote third-party. Vote Independent. Vote anything other than the big two. Write in a candidate if you have to. Use paper ballots so your vote can't be erased at the touch of a button. Protest-voting will have a much greater impact than abstention, and in non-Presidential elections, you might even send a few Independents or Third-Partiers to washington. The two parties represent the establishment, the Status Quo, and the Status Quo needs to be sent a message. Falling for their game is not the way to do that.
I will close by including this video, which mirrors my sentiments fairly closely and inspired this post.
Labels: The 2008 Election