US Elections and the “Voter’s Responsibility”

I was talking to my wife today about how much I hate election years. You have a bunch of idiots spewing garbage all over TV while the media falls over itself dedicating hours of airtime restating the same “news” about the campaigns.

I have several gripes about elections. First off, this is not a democracy; it’s a republic. It has never been a democracy. By definition, a democracy is a form of government conducted by the whole population, or at least by the eligible members of the state. As far as I remember, Greece was the closest thing to a true democracy that as has ever existed in history. Even then, it was only men who could make the laws, but at least it didn’t matter what their background was.

Everyone who talks about how America is a democracy is forgetting this. Yes, a republic is a form of democracy, but it is a selective form. It also irritates me that America thinks it has such a monopoly on democracy that we have to force the rest of the world to adopt democracy, often at gunpoint. Though I guess this isn’t terribly far from what our English/European forefathers did whenever they went exploring.

The problem is the same problem I have with feminism. The whole point of these movements is that people are entitled to a choice in what they do. Yet, when people do exactly that, other people get all uptight because the people did it wrong.

Feminism: “We are fighting for the right of women to be empowered to do what they want in life.” But if a woman decides to not have a career but rather stay at home and be a mother, she is berated for not “fulfilling her destiny” or some similar crap. My wife deals with this nearly constantly.

America: “We are bringing democracy to the world” (or a similar thought process).  Yet, when people in other countries vote in “bad people” (read: people the US government doesn’t agree with, can’t control, or otherwise doesn’t want in power) then the US gets pissed off and starts with the political shenanigans.

Granted, there are times when involvement is good, e.g. mass murder of civilians, genocide, etc. Yet the US picks and chooses where to get involved. I won’t point out examples because the list is long, but most people probably won’t have a problem thinking about misappropriate uses of US power. You can probably also think of some places where US involvement might be good, but we are nowhere to be seen.

Second thought: “If you don’t vote, don’t bitch”. That line is such a piece of crap. Here’s why.

America essentially has two presidential parties, unlike many other countries. These two parties have gamed the system to make it virtually impossible for an independent, third party candidate to do very well in an election, much less make it to the Presidency. They have BS rules regarding who can be on televised debates, who can be on ballots, etc. Not to mention all of the voter shenanigans that always make the news.

Some people accuse me of “wasting my vote” if I vote third party. Why? I have the right to vote however I choose. How can I waste my vote if I vote for the person who I think will do the best job? What if my vote is a statement saying that I don’t care for either of the two “main” candidates?

To follow that thought, not voting is essentially the same as saying “none of the above”. People who don’t vote are still voting; they are just saying they don’t care enough about the candidates running to bother standing in line to pick the lesser of evils. Not voting is a totally legitimate statement. If each ballot had a box for “none of the above”, I’m sure people would turn out in droves to vote. I suspect the main reason voter apathy is so high is because people are tired of shitty politicans. As the saying goes, “The people most qualified to be President don’t want the job.”

So, regardless of whether you vote third party or don’t vote at all, you are making a statement. If you vote third party, at least you show that you are not interested in the status quo. Too bad it doesn’t matter. The electoral college will never vote for a third party candidate; even if everyone in a state voted independent, the people in the college aren’t obligated to follow the popular vote. It’s happened quite a few times in history, most recently in 2000 between Al Gore and George Bush.

Finally, why do people care so much about who the vice presidential candidate is? It’s not like they do anything once they get in office. (Yes, yes, I know the VP is the President of the Senate.) But realistically, unless the President is incapacitated (rare), why is the VP candidate such a big deal? It would be more interesting if it was like the old days when anyone could be elected Vice President; at least then you could have some fighting between a Democrat President and a Republican Vice President.

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One Response to US Elections and the “Voter’s Responsibility”

  1. mr. Scatman says:

    Hi man,

    I wish most americans could think as sensibly as you we won’t have the current problems we have with regards to bad foreign policy choices.

    Then again im assuming the politicians would listen to us the people.

    nevertheless i shouldn’t stop wishful thinking should I since hope is what we people have.

    love from europe!

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