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Political Rant

I’m in my 40s and I have yet to vote for a single Presidential election. I’ll give you a minute to let that sink in…….

First thing that probably comes to your mind is: “How can you possibly complain about politics, if you have never even participated!!”

You are right. I have no right. But honestly, I am just fine with that.

You see, I live in the United States. We are basically a two party democracy. The Republican and the Democratic Party are the only two parties that have had an elected President of the United States since 1800. They both have a standard stance on “political topics” and you are forced to choose sides. If you live in certain states, you are not even really given a vote. I live in Texas. My state is considered a Republican stronghold. The last President that had the majority vote from citizens, that was NOT Republican, was Jimmy Carter. He was elected prior to me even being old enough to vote. Texas is not considered a swing State. Republican Presidential candidates assume that Texas is “in the bag” prior to a vote being cast.

So does my single vote really make a difference? People will scold me and say “of course it does!” But history would clearly state: “No it wouldn’t have mattered in the least.”

No political talk would be complete without mentioning the Electoral College. I don’t like it. I think that the President should be voted in by majority vote, period. Let the people decide the future.

Then there is the matter of desire. Since I have been of voting age, not a single potential President has been so amazing that I strongly wanted to vote. Most people vote for the “lesser of two evils”. To me this is just settling. Honestly I never want to settle on anything, including my vote.

There is no such thing as a well educated “common man” having a chance of being elected President. If you can’t raise 100s of millions of dollars, you’re not even taken seriously. Which is a shame. The last non-politician that made an attempt and was taken (semi) seriously, was Ross Perot. This was only because he spent 100s of millions of his own money to be given a chance. How odd would it have been to have a successful business man in office that was not influenced by the donations given to his political party. Someone who wasn’t restricted by the standard stance of the two political party system. Someone who ran because he wanted to make a difference.

I also think that a new President should focus more on renewable energy. It is sad that we are so behind other countries in this area. Oil drives so much in the United States and we need to become less dependent. There has not been a President who has really put any focus on this yet. Perhaps if one of them did, I would run down to the voting booth.

If a problem is fixable, if a situation is such that you can do something about it, then there is no need to worry. If it’s not fixable, then there is no help in worrying. There is no benefit in worrying whatsoever. – Dalai Lama XIV

{ 8 comments… add one }
  • Kerenb. September 30, 2011, 10:16 am

    Right on! I definitely have felt like I have had to ‘settle’ when standing in the voting booth. Glad you pointed out what no one would say.

  • Lisa September 30, 2011, 11:01 am

    “This”, cried the Mayor, “is your town’s darkest hour! The time for all Whos who have blood that is red to come to the aid of their country!”, he said. “We’ve GOT to make noises in greater amounts! So, open your mouth, lad! For every voice counts!” — Dr. Seuss’ “Horton Hears a Who”

    Ya see, Marc, I’m all for voting. Not because I think it makes much of a difference in the big elections—the Electoral College being what it is, Presidential elections are an exercise in futility for the individual American citizen—but because I want my vote to be counted, regardless of how small it is.

    That’s Presidential elections. My vote’s just a drop in a very big, sloppy, irrelevant bucket. But, in smaller buckets, I believe my vote is VERY influential. Local elections, most of all. And that’s the logical place to start if we’re going to reinvigorate our nation. Elect good, brilliant, hard-working people into office in your town. Then, when a few of them do a good job for you and want to go to a higher level, politically, show up and support them. And when a few of those keep doing a good job and want to go even higher, support them again, and again, and again all the way up the chain. Slowly, we build up to the big offices and if we’ve worked together and supported people who truly represent us, we’ll be in much better shape over the long haul. But we’ve got to start small. Build community and momentum behind real leaders.

    >So does my single vote really make a difference?
    >People will scold me and say “of course it does!”
    >But history would clearly state: “No it wouldn’t have mattered in the least”

    It’s very unlikely that your vote would ever influence who wins a Presidential election. But your decision to NOT cast your vote suggests a lack of interest, enthusiasm, and concern. It’s apathetic. I don’t think that accurately describes you, but your absence at the polls sends the message that you don’t care who holds office, or what they do while they are there. I think you care, but feel voiceless. So, go anyway. Make a sound. Even if it’s too tiny to be heard. Vote anyway! Add your tiny sound to the others that show up. Take your son. He’s a smart, actively engaged kid. Talk to him about the way things are, why you disagree with them, and brainstorm together about what could be done about it, and about whom to elect to get it done for you.

    You could vote for a third party. Here’s a list that shows almost fifty political parties in our country—some I’d take more seriously than others. http://www.politics1.com/parties.htm

    Or, put your own guy on the ballot. You aren’t limited to the choices that are placed in front of you in the voting booth. Write-ins are an option in all of the elections that I’ve taken part in. And every time someone chooses an individual or party OTHER than the elephant or the donkey a message is sent saying there is dissatisfaction with them both. A message is sent saying we want to change the political machine. And as more people go the alternative route, others will begin to see a reason to show up as well. We might not oust the big guys for a long time, but just showing up could serve to reinvigorate other people like us who are dissatisfied, but feel powerless to change anything.

    >Most people vote for the “lesser of two evils”.
    >To me this is just settling. Honestly I never want
    >to settle on anything, including my vote.

    Please don’t be offended when I say that by sitting on the sidelines and refusing to take part you ARE very much settling. You are settling for whatever the outcome may be, without speaking out, without objection, without attempting to influence it at all. That’s ultimate settling. (eep… love you!)

    This discussion brings to mind a favorite quote, though for this conversation I did change one word:

    “There’s a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious—makes you so sick at heart—that you can’t take part. You can’t even passively take part. And you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you’ve got to make it stop. And you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you’re [heard], the machine will be prevented from working at all.” –Mario Savio, Sproul Hall Steps, December 2, 1964

    I like it when you stir up discussion, Marc. Please do keep it up.


    • Marc Morgan September 30, 2011, 11:30 am

      TOTALLY agree on local elections!

  • Robert Wall September 30, 2011, 3:44 pm

    Not to stir the pot too much here, but if you read the Constitution as originally written (not as amended) the highest elected office that the average citizen voted for was their delegate to the House Of Representatives.

    Since I know you’ll be asking, the Senate was elected by the state legislatures. No popular vote. The House and the Senate combined picked a president. Again, no popular vote. Ever wonder why the # of delegates to the electoral college equals the number of members of Congress? That’s where we get the electoral college. Oh, and by the way – there’s no legal requirement that the delegates to the electoral college even vote for who won their state! Fun, huh?

    Regardless of what our ridiculous quadrennial beauty pageant would have you believe, the President doesn’t make laws. He doesn’t introduce bills. He doesn’t debate them. He doesn’t vote on their passage. He gets one choice – to sign it or to veto it. And if Congress doesn’t like that choice, they can overrule him with a relatively small majority.

    The framers put the electoral focus squarely on the House of Representatives. It’s also instructive to note that spending bills have to originate in the House. Hmmmm…..

    Just a personal thought, and not trying to get too political here, but I think if we focused our attention where it was designed to be focused (on the House of Representatives) we’d be in far better shape as a country.

    As always though, just my $0.02.

    • Marc Morgan October 3, 2011, 7:46 am

      NICE! Thanks Robert.

  • Ray King May 31, 2012, 12:44 pm

    I would just like to say a couple of things: First, you are right Marc. Your vote doesn’t count. Did you ever wonder why? It’s pretty simple actually: America allowed itself to get enmeshed in the morass that is the two party system, which by the way, does alot more harm than good. A majority of our founding fathers knew the same thing and actively OPPOSED it. Why? Because they saw that a majority of Great Brittain’s inability to solve problems was as a result of a multi-party system. Why? Because people involved in such a system tend to think of themselves less as members of a unified nation and more as members of a political party. The result: Mudslinging, dirty deals, special interest politics and more fighting than addressing and solving problems. The answer: ABOLISH THE TWO PARTY SYSTEM! It was never intended to be a part of the American political equation anyway and has caused nothing but trouble. Here’s another concept for you: Give States back their rights! Unless a state’s decission affects the country as a whole, let them do what the people in the individual states believe to be in their best intrest. In a word, DOWNSIZE GOVERNMENT! They are too big, too powerful and have forgotten who they are supposed to serve as a result.

  • Ray King May 31, 2012, 1:02 pm

    And by the way, the democrat ideal taken too far is communism (Which DOESN’T WORK. Ask China and Russia) and the republican ideal, taken to its extreme results in facism (Which, as history tells us, DOESN’T WORK either. Just ask Hitler…Oh, I forgot, HE’S DEAD!)

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