All day on November 5th I was met with Election Day posts. People looking forward to making changes, to getting America back on track, to cause the change that this country so desperately needs. To all of these people, I have a message. To everyone who has has posted something to the effect of “you have no right to complain if you do not vote” and has supported themselves by saying “the lesser of two evils”, I would like you to do something for me.
I ask that you reflect on everything you’ve ever said about politics. Everything and anything you’ve ever said during election season. Anything you’ve ever thought or believed about politics and presidential candidates. Now, I want you to think long and hard about how many times you’ve said “the lesser of two evils” over all of these election cycles you’ve been participating in, whether it be through encouraging or actual voting. How many times do you think that that same phrase has been used in our country’s history? For how many election cycles has that same idea been spread, that we need to vote for the least of the two evils to run our country, believing that that ‘lesser of evils’ will bring us out of our slump and into long-term success, growth, and prosperity?
Now think about how many times that has actually happened.
Think of all the times you’ve been disappointed by your ‘lesser of evils’. Think of all the times that you’ve vowed to change the system in the next election. Will you just at the very least consider this? Maybe if you think long and hard about this, you’ll understand why I am not voting this year. Maybe you’ll understand why I don’t plan on voting in the foreseeable future.
Do you get it now? It doesn’t matter what you say, which of the ‘least evil’ you select and support. Just because you select the least does not mean that you do not select evil, and it certainly does not mean that you have selected the best. The politics of America have been corrupt for decades; we all know it, and we all openly admit that politicians are crooked criminals. And yet every two years, we bamboozle ourselves into believing that somehow, someway, this year is gong to be different. If only we can get them in this term, then everything will be fixed: we’ll be on our way back to the once-great America that we dreamed of, that the Founding Fathers envisioned for us to enjoy.
But it won’t change. The status quo will remain the same. The two-party paradigm will hold strong, and the change that we so desperately seek will be put aside by the powers that be for things that they knew they were going to put on their priorities list all along. They have already been bought out long before you cast your ballot, and they will do whatever it takes to keep the money flowing. This fake choice cycle will continue on ad infinitum unless you actually do something productive for change.
Voting is the LAST thing you should be doing to encourage and foster change in this country. Talk about the issues in a meaningful way with everyone you meet. Pose those hard questions and don’t take bullshit answers as being acceptable. Ask why. Demand support for positions. Don’t settle for those ‘politics’ answers that we so often hear at debates. Become active, pass out fliers and hold debates. Create a club to talk about topics. Meet up with friends at a cafe and chat for a few hours about those pressing questions that all too often divide us. Encourage an intellectual base, and you will get educated leaders.
If you actually want to help change America and you want to vote, I urge you to vote third party. I don’t care what party it is, I don’t care why you do it. If a third party candidate gets at least 5% of the popular vote, that candidate will receive federal funding for the next political election. That means more money to spend advertising, pointing out the flaws of a closed two party system (one that’s really only a single party in the first place). If you REALLY want to see some change, start locally. Look at your state legislators. Hell, look at those in your city who make decisions. Making big changes starts locally.
If you really want to take control of America’s fiscal policy, America’s energy crisis, America’s endless wars, then vote for a senators and state representatives who are aligned with your values. The idea that the President is the one who does these things is ludicrous. The dynamic is certainly different now, but the President isn’t the only one who influences the decision. Congress needs to be reigned in. Congress is the one you should be looking at, wondering what in the flying fuck they are up to. The President is the least of your concerns if those are your three major issues.
I just ask that you all think long, hard, and critically about the decisions you are all about to make on this election day. I know I did.