This past week on my way to & from work, I saw a number of folks standing on the side of the road with big signs which read “Vote Democratic: Help Obama Out”, “Vote Early”, “Vote for Continued Change”, & so on. This was to be expected as my area is the third most Democratic state. What has always bothered me about electoral politics in the U.S is the fact that it is, for the most part, a sham. I don’t need a civics lesson to know the importance of voting and the hard-earned right to participate in the democratic process, especially for people of color like myself. I also understand that socio-political change is a very slow process so one should not expect structural and institutional change to happen overnight. OK–I get that.
What has gone terribly wrong in electoral politics in the U.S is the fact that Big Money has a more powerful influence over electoral choices & outcomes, especially now after the Supreme Court this past January opened the floodgates to allow big corporations to, without any limits, fund any candidate or issue of their choice. Of course, corporations have been doing this for quite some time (soft money) in the shadows, but now direct corporate campaign finance is law which signals the closing of the door to any third party that had any notions of taking on the two-headed Hydra (Democrats & Republicans) running the block.Your vote, what so many died for to give you this right, has been rendered to nothing but toilet paper.Every politician, including the President, can now be legally purchased lock, stock and barrel. And who benefits? Not you, not me, but the health care, banking, investment & oil and gas industries. The dirty water that is politics is now a fucking swamp (examine what the billionaire Koch brothers are doing to influence the current elections as ONE instance of how the deck is stacked against us).
So on November 2nd when you go out to vote, keep in mind what we’re up against. As the late great George Carlin once observed, “The next time they give you all that civic bullshit about voting, keep in mind that Hitler was elected in a full, free democratic election”.Here are some more shards of sanity from Carlin:
If voting changed anything, they’d abolish it-Ken Livingstone