We had the following (slightly edited) exchange:
One leader will put me in jail, unjustly. Another leader will cut my head off. I'm unhappy with both, but I'm not crazy enough to say "they're alike." I can't wait to vote democratic.
Me: No, nobody needs to analyze the difference between the good cop and the bad cop. Everyone having to deal with them knows the difference and is truly, sincerely, appreciative of and grateful to the good cop.
But anybody who doesn't realize that they are working as a team towards the same goal, is going to fall prey to their tired old game/technique. When the leader comes into your cell and cuts your head off, you won't have time to remember the less evil leader who merely put you in jail unjustly in the first place, or to understand that they were always working together. It would be crazy to think that the bad cop who beats and threatens you is the same as the good cop who comes in afterwards, apologizes for his partner, offers you a cigarette, and questions you politely and courteously. But it would be even crazier to imagine for a single moment that they aren't partners.
The reason for voting for 9/11 Truth candidates, if you want a full, impartial investigation into 9/11, or for peace candidates if you oppose the war, or for candidates pledged to try to attempt to impeach Bush/Cheney if that happens to be your goal, rather than voting a straight party ticket, is not because you think they have a chance of winning, which they may not, but because if you don't have the courage to vote for what you really want, you can't really expect your elected representatives to do so either. If you make pragmatic political compromises, so will the people you vote for. If you stand up for what is right, and only vote for people who will do the same, change becomes possible. Not necessarily likely, but at least possible.
That doesn't mean you shouldn't vote Democrat. Dr. Robert Bowman is a Democrat. He stands for the same things most of us care about. If you are lucky enough to live in his district, please vote for him. If you aren't, please donate to his campaign if you can afford to. But don't vote for him because he is a Democrat. Vote for him because he cares deeply about issues that concern you, and, if elected will do everything in his power to represent you on those issues. And, if you really care about those issues, please don't vote for Democrats who don't. Because if they don't care, it doesn't matter how much power they have, they still won't do anything.
Shill: They're supposed to work as a team,
Me: Really? I thought they were supposed to be TWO teams. You know, like a football or a baseball game with TWO teams, not a good-cop/bad-cop team who both have the precise same agenda but go about it slightly differently because it has been proven to be an effective technique in breaking down prisoners. Neither the good cop nor the bad cop is really on your side, although the good cop may pretend to be.
Shill: and in those instances when there are legitimate differences, there is the hard work of compromise,
Me: And what do you want to compromise about? How many thousands more die needlessly in Iraq for a war based on lies? Whether it should continue for 6 more years or 10 more years or forever? Should we compromise on elections, perhaps continuing to run them on easily hacked voting machines, but letting more blacks and Democrats vote on them? How about compromising on 9/11? We don't have a full impartial investigation, but we convene another whitewash to see if we can shut the conspiracy theorists up for a little while? Would that be an acceptable compromise?
Shill: We've grown so accustomed to the rancor and bitterness existing between the two major parties, that we've come to take it for granted.
Me: We have? I didn't see any rancor or bitterness when everyone in Congress except Barbara Lee voted for the Iraq war, repeatedly, as they've been doing for six years now. I didn't see any rancor or bitterness as everyone in Congress voted for the PATRIOT Act without even bothering to read it, or to question how it could have been ready for a vote so quickly unless it had been prepared long in advance of the precipitating event that would make enactment possible? I didn't see any rancor or bitterness when Congress voted to reduce taxes for the rich and the multinational corporations, while raising taxes and simultaneously cutting services for everyone else. I didn't see any rancor or bitterness when Democrats and Republicans working together pushed through globalizations treaties like GATT and NAFTA. I didn't even see any rancor and bitterness when two Democratic Presidential candidates in a row won their elections and had the elections stolen from them. They both just conceded graciously to their Republican teammates with no rancor or bitterness whatsoever.
Shill: When you work with your competitors, as a team, you do it to make the political system work for people. The central word here, is compromise. The dems and repubs work out a compromise, and the people get a school built, or a road paved.
Me: I guess you don't drive, or you'd know that our transportation infrastructure (excluding the planned transnational highway) has been deteriorating for six years. I guess you don't have any kids in school, or you'd know that our educational system is disgracefully underfunded getting worse instead of better.
But maybe you know something that I don't. After all, I don't know everything. So would you please be so kind as to point out something specific that the cooperation, compromises, and teamwork of the Democrats and Republicans in the past six years had done to make the political system work for the people? Health care, perhaps? National security? I'm sure there's something I must be missing.
Shill: But thus Bush regime is a different kind of poilticial animal, having nothing to do with politics as usual, which is bad enough. These are tyrants posing behind a political party.
Me: Oh, I agree. They're not only tyrants, they're fascist tyrants. And most people who still remember WWII have a word for people who are willing to work as a team, compromise, and cooperate with fascist
tyrants. They're called collaborators.
Shill: I meant to emphasize a point. Even the candidate you mentioned in your post, is a Democrat. Doesn't it seem odd to you, that you're praising someone that agrees with us, while you also slam democrats, when the very candidate you're talking about is a Democrat! Do you imagine that it's a meaningless coincidence that Bowman is a Democrat.
Me: You didn't bother to read my post, did you? I didn't slam Democrats. I slammed people who don't care about the things that I care deeply about. I advocate that anyone who cares about anything, vote only for people who care about the same things they do, without regard to party affiliation, whether they have a good chance of winning, or anything else. Because if you don't vote for what you really care about, I'm going to think that you never really cared about it in the first place and were just pretending to care about it. After all, I'm not asking you to fight for it. I'm not asking you to work for it. I'm just saying that if you care deeply about something, when you exercise your only voice in government, your vote, you might just consider voting for what you care about instead of along party lines. Dr. Bowman cares about 9/11 truth, but happens to be a Democrat. There are thousands of Democrats who think 9/11 Truthers are nutcase conspiracy theorists. I wouldn't vote for them, but that's just me. I care about 9/11 truth. Maybe you don't. Maybe all you care about is electing Democrats.
Shill: I've never accepted the notion that you can depart from the urgency and reality of an important election, which would require all the votes possible, if that party, from among the two major parties, with
which you're in "greater" agreement, is to have any chance of prevailing, and vote for a fantasy candidate,
Me: The only fantasy is your own in thinking that if you vote for people who do not represent your values, you might accomplish something.
Shill: thereby wasting your vote, and further imperiling your country and your values by allowing the republican to gain, or regain power..
Me: So now I'm imperiling my country? Gore didn't imperil the country by conceding to Bush without a fight, Kerry didn't imperil the country by conceding to Bush without a fight, but if I don't vote for somebody else who will concede to a Republican without a fight, I'm imperiling the country?
You're got your talking points straight kid, but they don't happen to make sense.
Shill: I "am" voting for the candidate I prefer, when I vote for the Democrat, even if he only succeeds in approximating my expectations, and even when there is a dream candidate who has all the qualities and values I want to see, available to me, as a third party, or alternative candidate. The dream candidate does nothing for my country and my fellow citizens, because he has no hope of winning an election.
Me: Of course he has no hope of winning an election. With 80% of our votes being counted on hackable voting machines with CIA-written proprietary software, the only ones who have a chance of winning are the ones who not only don't have the qualities any decent person would like to see, but are pledged to collaboration with fascist tyranny.
Shill: But worse than that, my dream candidate, by getting my vote, makes the ascent to power, of the worst among available candidates, a much easirr task. This is not a "pragmatic" vote, to use Nader's muddleheaded notion. It is precisely that I view it as a principled vote, that I'm able to make it.
supporter Joe Lieberman as his Democratic Presidential running mate? Even though he forbid Democratic Senators from signing the Congressional Black Caucus petition to block Bush from taking office? You'd still vote for Kerry even though he conceded without a fight to his fraternity brother Bush? You've never watched the video "Unprecedented" Click here about how the election in Florida was stolen and you think it was all muddlehead Nader's fault? You think Nader is evil and it was the Democrats who brought you the 40-hour work week, OSHA, consumer protection, and almost every other good thing you've had in your life? Not some muddlehead working outside the duopoly to fight the corporations all his life?
I've met hundreds like you on left gatekeeper sites. You either aren't educable, or you are being paid to spout party line talking points. This is a 9/11 Truth list. If you care about 9/11 Truth, but you are determined to vote for people who don't, simply because of their party affiliation, or because of how well they collaborate with evil fascist tyrants to make your life better, you really don't care about 9/11 Truth very much, do you?
Don't lecture me about wasting my vote. I'd not only sacrifice my vote for the truth, I'd sacrifice my life. But only for the truth, not for a lie or for corporate profit based on lies. And certainly not for any candidate or party who cares more about power than about truth. Power may be tempting, and it might make you think that if you had more of it you could accomplish more, but it will never set you free -- only truth can do that. I don't use my vote to seek power. Not for me or for any candidate or party. I use my vote to speak truth to power. The right of the people to elect our chosen representatives (not representatives chosen by political parties, which didn't exist at the time and have no Constitutional right to exist), according to the Constitution and to this country's founders, is the only protection against tyranny we have.