You Were Right

Shelli, I owe you an apology. It was years ago when I was giving you hell about voting for Ralph Nader; when I told you that you would be helping to give the election to Bush by doing so. And after that, with all my told ya so’s, we both waited in horror for what was bound to come. But I’m sorry for pressuring you, or laying guilt trips on you. I was very wrong doing so. It’s only now that I begin seeing what you already knew.

On the Democratic side of things, in this primary, I can find no rational justification to vote for one candidate over the other. Our country, over the last few years, has sickened me. And I don’t say that lightly. I am part of a great wrong. I desire change. Just like the candidates keep repeating, again and again, with no details, only words. But I desire fundamental change, not merely cosmetic ones. All the candidates we have, regardless of what they say, have played, and are continuing to play the game as usual. Their histories reveal it, to varying degrees, and current their overly-generalized commentary shows they are willing to continue playing the game in one form or another.

I am certain there are all kinds of strategies associated with what they say and do not say, designed to help them win the Presidency, thinking both toward the primaries and toward future debates with the Republican candidate. I’m sure they, or their advisors, know the “game” very well. The only problem is, I’m sick of those games. And playing those games, is not change.

I didn’t go to the caucuses yesterday, to choose between Hillary and Obama. When I put them on scales, they weigh the same. I also believe it’s best not to vote on an issue when you don’t have a good reason for making a determination. My dad went, though. He said there were probably a thousand people there for the deliberations — a far greater number than any he had previously seen, with no room to stand and stuffy air. He came back home without participating. Obviously, something is afoot within the people. Something is stirring their quiet coals into action.

Strangely, the Republican side of McCain doesn’t even sound that bad. He seems to take our climate problems more seriously than any candidate. And although he is often obtuse, he seems to be honest. Then again, you can be quite honest while continuing to shift money to the wealthy, and driving our armies to “glory”. And as for Huckabee, I’ll just go get a pink triangle tattoo and throw myself in an oven to save anyone else the trouble.

In this whole bloated, gaudy menagerie of candidates my two favorite were Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich. They had by far the most interesting, challenging and relevant things to say. I suppose that is why they were the ones censored by both the media networks and their own parties — including the other candidates.

And this is where I have come to understand you better, Shelli. We truly do not have choice within this limited and insular field of candidates. We merely have variations on a theme. Variations more akin to the dubious Hayden variety than the spectacular and honest works of Bach. Variations that merely support a towering and quite broken spectre of Democracy. And what change can we truly hope for, from these?

I want us to help people, not hurt them. I want us to make sure that everyone can have food before any of us start dancing around with diamonds. I want us to be smart and inquisitive, not prone to deceit. I think we should take care of each other, as much (or more) than we take care of ourselves. Lunatic, eh? I had always associated these characteristics with the Democratic Party. Their actions, since they took control of Congress, has proven me wrong. Again, they may have all manner of strategic reasoning, but there is a time of reckoning for us all when words and excuses become merely noise, and our objects of faith and hope must be reexamined.

I am told that hope and change will come from these candidates. But how can I expect change from them if I am unwilling or unable to change myself? It is these thoughts that lead me to seriously consider lending my support to “alternative” candidates in the upcoming election, even though there is little hope in their victory, and doing so might strengthen the forces leading us into further darkness. Change does not come unless we are, each of us, willing to take our own actions toward change. And this is how stupid I was, Shelli, by not fully realizing that.

Any of the candidates we have before us will need to go a long way proving themselves worthy of my vote. If they cannot, they will not have it, just because they are a member of one of two parties. I know my one vote is a small thing. But somehow the thought of my conscience being clear, at least, is encouraging. I suppose this is my personal form of change, in more than just words.

There are many people who seem very hopeful right now, swirling in their support of this “underdog” Obama. I have to wonder, what has caused this? Our collective will to escape the tyranny of the Bush regime? Or is it a personality? A personality that capable of rallying people beneath his cause, even when that cause is largely amorphous…

This is the very definition of the “cult of personality” that, amongst other things, rules marketing and is a primary ingredient within totalitarian states. I do not trust it. I have to look at facts instead. And the facts, to me, show no clear winners on the Democratic side, and certainly not on the Republican. As for other party’s candidates? I have no idea. They are never offered as an option. You have to go digging, deep for such things, and when that much effort is required, almost nobody will do it. Both dominant parties make efforts to shut out the alternative parties, while our media, using our public airwaves, keeps them invisible.

I cannot say that I will forgo voting for Hillary or Obama. Even McCain is not far from them. But the Democratic party no longer has my vote outright, without earning it. The last Congress has sealed this decision for me, and these candidates who emphasize repetition and generalizations. The hypnosis now fails.

There is an image I have of a cheerleader, shaking her pompoms and kicking up her sexy legs, while all the building around her burns with people falling to their death, skewered by collapsing metal frameworks. That cheerleader really irritates me, and it doesn’t matter which routine she’s dancing. Call me cynical. Call me a killjoy. Call me a horses ass. But maybe I’ll be happy a few years from now, when we’ve sifted through the bodies and made certain that everyone left alive was safe and cared for outside. Hell, I might even put on a skirt.