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The Election to Nowhere

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Even worse than a taxpayer financed bridge to nowhere is the much ballyhooed upcoming election to nowhere.

If Republicrooks should retain control of one or both houses of congress, our country continues downhill. Our trust and faith in our constitutional republic is surely flushed down the toilet, with George, Dick, Don and Condi jointly and joyously pushing the lever down.

What if Democraps win? Where are we going? To somewhere that really matters? That depends on where you think our nation should go. What problems do you want solved and what policy and political reforms do you think are critically needed?

Lately, the Dems talk about a "new direction." To where? To the Promised Land? Where exactly are they promising to take us? That logically should result from a sincere rejection of our current system. Can they reject their system? Or, is their new direction likely to be nothing more than a sleazy political U-turn?

Are they going to take us to a democracy-land free of corruption by corporate and other special interests? On the other side will the Dems take us out of the insane pre-emptive Iraq war that is wasting American lives and treasure? Will that new destination include vigorously protecting our borders from illegal immigrants and terrorists? Once we cross over will we finally see a true overhaul of our tax system that works in favor of economic justice and equality, where the rich no longer get favored treatment? Once there will they impeach or better yet, prosecute G.W. Bush and his accomplices for mass criminally negligent homicide? Will they restore honesty and integrity to our constitutional republic?

This is what Nancy Pelosi says the Dems will do in the first 100 legislative hours in office:

"Restore civility to the operations of the House and break the link between lobbyists and legislation." Do you really believe that the Dems will totally run lobbyists off? I don't. They take too much money from special interests. There will be nothing more than cosmetic, superficial actions.

"Pass all the recommendations made by the bipartisan and independent 9/11 Commission." Fine, long overdue, but requiring many detailed legislative actions and appropriations that may not happen.

"Raise the minimum wage." Fine, but will a Republicrook-controlled Senate and that loser in the White House go along? I'm not sure. Anyway, many states have already acted. A lot must be done to combat growing economic inequality.

"Cut the interest rate in half on student loans." Okay, sounds good, but is certainly nothing profound, especially because getting good-paying jobs has become problematic because of all the outsourcing and investment in foreign operations by "American" companies.

"Allow the government to negotiate lower drug prices for Medicare patients." Another no-brainer, but no substitute for universal health care.

"Roll back the multi-billion-dollar subsidies for Big Oil companies and invest instead in energy independence." A little late and nebulous. Will they raise mileage requirements for cars?

Where is the big vision? Where is the acknowledgement of just how awful, abusive, wasteful and invasive our federal government has become? Where is the admission that our economic system serves an elitist and aristocratic Upper Class, rather than working- and middle-class Americans? Where is the commitment to reverse the many undemocratic, fascist and criminal actions by the Bush administration?

Like a waste of time crossing over a bridge to nowhere, using your time and energy to vote in an election to nowhere is either a waste or a monument to self-delusion. There is no there, there, if you are motivated by the belief, hope or desire that voting for Dems will bring a sea change in American politics, and deliver a revitalized and restored American democracy where working- and middle-class people are the priority of our elected representatives. Where the people running our government take responsibility for ensuring that our capitalist system serves our citizens and nation, not elitist and global interests. Where the government cares about future generations and, thus, works aggressively to curb global warming and make us a lot more energy efficient, not just independent. Where citizens are better informed and educated to become politically engaged. Where our culture of lying and corruption is transformed into a culture of honesty and trust.

Ask yourself, when a representative democracy has a rancid electoral system and only two superficially competing parties that have a partnership to keep out third-parties does voting make sense? With no true path to a better society and government, is voting justified? Is it that much different than voting for dictators in countries without any credible democratic government?

Does replacing Republicrook political hacks with Democrap political hacks justify participation in a fake and delusional democracy? Will winning Dems move closer to progressives?

Of course, we want Republicrooks to lose. If we have an election to nowhere, then why contribute to the legitimacy and credibility of the political system by voting? Voting should mean you have confidence that your vote will be honestly counted and that who you vote for really matters. Without such confidence, does voting make sense? Especially if you are in a congressional district where a Dem victory is pretty assured.

Those in power won't give us the option of "none of the above" for every office on the ballot, which would be a meaningful way to show our rejection of them and still vote.

Think about all of this if you decide to cast a lesser-evil vote. Millions of us used that short-term tactic for decades. And our country kept going down the toilet. True conservatives have done too much of that and put Republicrooks in power. Liberals and progressives can make the same mistake and shift power to Democraps. Is your lesser-evil vote really necessary to defeat a Republicrook?

Consider this alternative: You could choose to only vote for ballot measures and third-party candidates. Let the statistics show widespread voter anger and dissent. Make the election to nowhere say something about public rejection of the corrupt two-party system.

The Bush years have accomplished something very positive: An enormous amount of dissent- and anger-driven steam has been built up among the population. A Democrap mid-term victory will dissipate that energy, as if our political system has "worked." As if real political change has been achieved. That's the genius of the two-party system. Each can take turns running and ruining our nation. Change happens, but the status quo remains. And most people remain stuck on either distraction or despair.

However the election turns, our delusional democracy with delusional prosperity will continue. Millions of misspent dollars will be devoted to the 2008 presidential election by both parties. Our political system will continue to deliver money to the mainstream media and an army of consultants and pundits, while we the people at best are entertained by bipartisan chicanery and become poorer.

Our democracy has been down so long, it looks like normal.

 

http://articlev.wix.com/statusquobuster

Joel S. Hirschhorn is the author of Delusional Democracy - Fixing the Republic Without Overthrowing the Government. His current political writings have been greatly influenced by working as a senior staffer for the U.S. Congress and for the (more...)
 

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Pelosi puts at the top of her list: "...break the ... by Daniel Geery on Tuesday, Oct 31, 2006 at 1:54:27 PM
Bad form to plagiarize a title to a book not yet r... by Jim Prues on Tuesday, Oct 31, 2006 at 2:38:25 PM
Rest assured, I have hope, but NOT hope in the two... by Joel S. Hirschhorn on Tuesday, Oct 31, 2006 at 4:08:22 PM
Joel, I agree with you here (and elsewhere) abo... by unlawflcombatnt on Wednesday, Nov 1, 2006 at 12:41:46 AM
I would gladly vote for 3rd party candidates if we... by my2cents on Wednesday, Nov 1, 2006 at 2:43:22 AM
You miss this point entirely: right after this ele... by brantl on Wednesday, Nov 1, 2006 at 8:26:23 AM
Mr. Hirschhorn, you've nailed it. There's nothing... by Michael Bonanno on Wednesday, Nov 1, 2006 at 9:33:53 AM
It's true that the Dem's and the GOP are both corr... by Sarah Swatosh on Sunday, Nov 5, 2006 at 9:01:16 AM