Monday, November 05, 2012

Absolutely Disgraceful

No matter who wins the election tomorrow I would like to go on record proclaiming that our so-called “”Democratic” political system is a complete and total disgrace in virtually every way. It violates every notion of common sense to say nothing of ordinary reason. It is inefficient, too slow, too expensive, too nonsensical, too unserious, and little more than a charade.

The Presidency of the United States, almost certainly the most important position in the entire world, is also the only office for which one needs virtually no previous experience or training. We pride ourselves by saying “anyone can become President,” perhaps the most stupid idea in existence. Thus in recent years we have had a peanut farmer, a haberdasher, a “B” motion picture star, a failed businessman, and so on. If we actually get a really worthwhile President it is largely an accident.

The two party system itself is basically nonsensical, it arbitrarily shuts off the Presidency to anyone who is not a participant in one or the other party. This seems to assume and assure that many potentially worthwhile candidates, with potentially great ideas, have no chance whatsoever of even competing. This is even worse when both parties are not really very different to begin with so that, in effect, it becomes in reality little more than a one party system. Not only that, the two candidates are not really selected democratically but, rather, by those shadowy and not so shadowy powers that be that can make or break a candidate at will. By withholding money and air time, or both, or even by negative media comments they control who will be allowed to compete and who will not. Consider what happened to Al Gore, John Kerry, and Howard Dean, for example. When the major media is owned and controlled by only a few gigantic corporations there are no limits to their power over the elections.

This unfortunate situation has been greatly exacerbated recently by the absurd Supreme Court ruling on Citizens United, almost certainly the worst decision by the Court ever. Now we have no knowledge of who is contributing huge sums of money to influence our elections, whether it comes from American donors or foreign ones, or whatever. Our elections that were already subject to bribes and corruption are now even more susceptible.

Then there is the absurd idea that each state should be in charge of elections in their state. This might be fine for purely local elections but makes little sense when voting for President and Vice-President of the United States. Furthermore it means that all citizens of the U.S. do not have the same chance to vote and have their vote counted. When the location of the polls, the nature of the ballot, the times allowed for voting, and so on are different from one state to another, voters are not, in fact, completely equal. The idea that elections should be held only on Tuesdays is intrinsically stupid as most voters are also employed and cannot necessarily vote on Tuesday. And when voting hours are also shortened, week-end voting is restricted, and so on the result can be disastrous (as we are currently witnessing). There is no reason voting day should not be declared a national holiday to insure that everyone has an equal chance to vote. Not only that, voting should be mandatory for all eligible voters. The fact that only about half of the potential voting population actually votes is disgraceful in and of itself, and indicative of a kind of contempt for the democratic process. It is absolutely unconscionable that voters should have to wait in line for hours in order to vote. Voting is supposed to be the backbone of our democratic process, it should be standardized and financed in such a way that long lines should never be necessary. Again, this is a result of having states manage their voting rules for federal elections.

The money involved is still another rather ridiculous part of the system. If money is so important you might think the candidate that raises the most money should just be declared the winner. If It doesn’t work that way, what’s the point of all the begging for money? In this current election I find it rather amazing that even though it was acknowledged in the beginning that Democrats would not be able to compete with the Republicans they nevertheless kept trying to do so. If Obama wins all those millions of dollars poured in by the secret Republican donors would presumably be wasted. But that is not really the case because the donors also are the same people who own the media where all the money ends up, taking money from one pocket and putting it in another. It’s all part of a system so absurd as to be laughable.

We do not have a Democracy, we have a kind of pretend Democracy, controlled by those who have the most to gain and the resources to have things their way. It may be true there are differences between the two parties, but they are relatively slight and do not significantly impact the overall system. If they did we would not still have a situation where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer no matter which party is in power. It may be slightly better from time to time but not enough to upset the underlying status quo. The citizens of the United States are basically neither interested or serious about governing themselves. It’s the American Way.

At times one remains faithful to a cause only because its opponents do not cease to be insipid.

Friedrich Nietzsche

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