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Why Should I Vote?

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I've been getting appeals for donations from "Bold Progressives" and other groups with names like "Americans for a Free Society" and others with like-sounding names. Basically however, they almost all represent the two corporate political parties, the Democrats and the Republicans, both of which are neither progressive, nor do they support any kind of "freedom".

People tell me that voting is not just a "right" in this nation, but it is also a duty. They tell me that many have died so that I can cast my ballot on the second Tuesday in November. They tell me that it is a sacred responsibility that binds us together as a people. Voting is something that we should all take very seriously and that if you forfeit your right to vote, you are forfeiting your right to speak out on the issues. Like most political issues, this is patently ridiculous.

Voting has become something of fraud in and of itself in the United States. We have become the ones that legitimize the theft of our representative republic by the corporate plutocracy that has taken control of our political system. Reform should have happened long ago, and because it hasn't happened, the powers that control the political system are too well entrenched to hold out any hope of changing the way that politicians are nominated and elected in the USA.

Before any meaningful change can come to the political arenas in this country, Americans must first understand how the system actually operates, and unfortunately, most of us don't have a clue. Many Americans think they understand political realities in this nation, but sadly, they don't. Many people believe that all it takes to get elected in America are a few good ideas and someone that can express those ideas to the people. It would be great if this were true.

The Democrats and Republicans have had such a lock on the political system for so many years, they have virtually eliminated any meaningful form of competition from any other political party.

Sure, there are other political parties out there, but they are there to give the appearance of robust alternatives to the two corporate political organizations, not to actually provide any real choices. How did these two parties manage to accomplish this? What happened to the so-called "checks and balances" that were designed to prevent just such an occurrence?

The last time that any meaningful competition came from outside the Republican or Democratic political camps was the emergence of Ross Perot who ran for President in 1992. Even though he garnered almost 19% of the popular vote in a three way race, he didn't manage to capture any electoral votes. If the United States was a true Democracy (or was based on a Parliamentary system as in Europe), Perot's candidacy would have been a game changer, instead it remains a footnote.

Getting a candidate on a ballot is something that the RNC and the DNC have managed to make virtually impossible. (1)

This is just a brief summary of ballot requirements. The other essentials for a successful bid for elected office, the campaign and the advertising of a candidate are cost prohibitive. When one witnesses the Presidential election on 2008, one can only remember how Former Senator Mike Gravel was shut out the debates by General Electric and then Rep. Dennis Kucinich after him to see how corporate control of the political process was just about total in its control of who received the political exposure that was needed to get elected.

Now we really must look at the "differences" between the Democrats and Republicans. Even if the two parties were diametrically opposed to each other (which they are not), can only two political parties represent all of America's 240 million potential voters? Especially when both parties claim to represent the "center' of the political spectrum and are neither "right" nor "left", just exactly what are the differences? If this were indeed the case, why is it important to vote for either party, especially when they openly declare that they are "middle-of-the-road" political entities? How ridiculous is this really?

It is fairly obvious that the Republicans represent the conservative end of the political reality. This has different meanings to different people. Some say that "conservative" is a description of a "socially conservative" view on things. Others claim that their conservatism is a type of economic conservatism based on less government spending and smaller government as a whole. If this is indeed the case, how do they justify the years of the Bush Administration when government spending went through the roof and eventually led up to the financial breakdown of the financial sector? Well, blaming the entire crisis on the current President is one way of doing it.

The Democrats on the other hand, claim that they are the party of the people and that they are the ones that have had to clean up the mess that Bush and Company left. Obama was elected on his mantra of "change". In reality, nothing much has really changed. In his two years in office he has refused to close Guantanamo, rescind the civil-liberty-killing laws such as The Patriot Act, The military Commissions Act, The John Warner Defense Bill of 2006 (which rescinded Posse Comitatus, the law that prevents using Federal Troops for law Enforcement), torture, extraordinary Rendition of suspected "terrorists" to US client States for questioning using torture, and the refusal to appoint a Special Prosecutor to determine if Cheney or Bush broke the law by torturing suspected "terrorists" or if they had lied to the American people in the run-up to the illegal wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Democrats claim that they have ushered in a new era of health care which turned out to be nothing more than a bail-out of the insurance industry. They can force you to pay for private insurance or face a fine while taxing "Cadillac" health care plans won by the Unions through years of hard bargaining. Meanwhile the wars go on and the military budget has increased over the Bush Administration's years of skyrocketing military expenditures.

Both the Democrats and Republicans for more war and more drone attacks, we remain involved in military actions in Afghanistan, Iraq, Sudan and Yemen. We have bases on every continent and support regimes that use torture. There not many nations that we are not involved in militarily.

Yet I still receive requests for donations. The very organizations that ask for my money are the very ones that support the US plan for military hedgonomy. This time around I won't be supporting any political party, nor will I vote for any one of their candidates. If I should cast my ballot for the lesser of two evils, I would be an accomplice. I refuse to support the wars and the dismantling of my civil liberties.

Change will come. It may not come tomorrow or the day after, but it will come, history has proved this fact. Whether change will come from the barrel of a gun, or from a ballot box, we will still see it come. It is unlikely that the ballot box will bring change to America anytime soon. Unless we have an alternative to the two corporate political parties voting is a waste of time.

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http://liberalpro.blogspot.com

Former Chairman of the Liberal Party of America, Tim is a retired Army Sergeant. He currently lives in South Carolina. A regular contributor to OpEdNews, he is the author of Kimchee Days (or Stoned Cold Warriors).

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That I'll get some flak here at OEN. I don't care.... by Timothy Gatto on Thursday, Oct 28, 2010 at 1:58:38 AM
We got this show on sports radio here in Minnesota... by Ned Lud on Thursday, Oct 28, 2010 at 7:43:10 AM
Democrats could not even pass the 'entry exam" t... by BFalcon on Thursday, Oct 28, 2010 at 6:53:07 PM
except for the part where your local school board ... by Matt Osborne on Thursday, Oct 28, 2010 at 4:40:51 AM
" In the contest between a douche and a turd sandw... by J. Edward Tremlett on Thursday, Oct 28, 2010 at 11:05:02 PM
since elementary school boards share responsibilit... by John Sanchez Jr. on Friday, Oct 29, 2010 at 8:00:18 AM
And we all scream for ice cream, during the celebr... by Ned Lud on Friday, Oct 29, 2010 at 9:38:20 AM
http://www.carolinareorg.com... by Barry Krusch on Thursday, Oct 28, 2010 at 5:03:08 AM
more likely sooner than later. We can participate ... by John Sanchez Jr. on Thursday, Oct 28, 2010 at 8:52:00 AM
with military actions continuing in Afghanistan, I... by Allen Oliver on Thursday, Oct 28, 2010 at 8:56:08 AM
and provided their logic in the awarding of the pr... by John Sanchez Jr. on Thursday, Oct 28, 2010 at 9:12:25 AM
question who, I asked what. There's no rhetoric i... by Allen Oliver on Friday, Oct 29, 2010 at 6:46:34 AM
say it wasn't Political. What exactly had he done... by Laura Roberts on Friday, Oct 29, 2010 at 10:23:59 PM
he wasn't neocon George Bush/Dick Cheney belligere... by John Sanchez Jr. on Saturday, Oct 30, 2010 at 7:57:37 AM
he got it for being the first African American to ... by Laura Roberts on Saturday, Oct 30, 2010 at 8:08:52 AM
Perhaps this is why we should vote: I wrote this 5... by Lynne Kringler on Thursday, Oct 28, 2010 at 5:16:44 PM
No. 6: Create an Advanced Manufacturing Fund to in... by Lynne Kringler on Thursday, Oct 28, 2010 at 5:21:37 PM
That phrase "I'm voting for the democrats so we do... by Timothy Gatto on Thursday, Oct 28, 2010 at 7:12:29 PM
tim; How convient not to address any of my posts. ... by Lynne Kringler on Thursday, Oct 28, 2010 at 8:12:55 PM
How truly sophmoric your views are. Maybe it's all... by Timothy Gatto on Friday, Oct 29, 2010 at 3:14:40 PM
more facts than your article or your posts.Just th... by Lynne Kringler on Friday, Oct 29, 2010 at 5:23:29 PM
will help Republicans win? For us regular people i... by BFalcon on Saturday, Oct 30, 2010 at 9:03:38 AM
but people should "earn" the government If all is ... by BFalcon on Friday, Oct 29, 2010 at 1:09:53 AM
earn it, or at least we thought we did. By deliver... by Allen Oliver on Friday, Oct 29, 2010 at 8:30:43 AM
I know you did your share But things don't happen... by BFalcon on Friday, Oct 29, 2010 at 8:48:13 AM
maybe the conscientious anti-democrats have their ... by John Sanchez Jr. on Thursday, Oct 28, 2010 at 8:53:46 PM
you are to be commended for your loyalty, in this ... by Laura Roberts on Friday, Oct 29, 2010 at 10:28:07 PM
That is indeed a high compliment.... by John Sanchez Jr. on Saturday, Oct 30, 2010 at 8:03:58 AM
It is the bankers and corperations that OWN this c... by Laura Roberts on Friday, Oct 29, 2010 at 10:34:24 PM
Do you really believe that the GOP will have a vet... by Timothy Gatto on Saturday, Oct 30, 2010 at 1:02:42 PM
doing the same thing over and expecting a differen... by John Sanchez Jr. on Saturday, Oct 30, 2010 at 2:59:08 PM
But you don't see that the Democrats have been wor... by Timothy Gatto on Saturday, Oct 30, 2010 at 3:57:27 PM