“Democracy is being allowed to vote for the candidate you dislike least,” so sayeth Robert Byrne.
While often this is the case, the most worrisome problem is as Dan Quayle pointed out (and yes, before “W” there was another Republican politician who yielded as many, if not more, idiotic sound bites):
“A low voter turnout is an indication of fewer people going to the polls.”
So what is it with Americans? Embarrassingly, we have the lowest voter turnout in the industrial world. In early American (US) history, our politicians sought to keep the votes in the hands of the wealthy classes. It is still the wealthy classes that control much of the vote in this country.
Noam Chomsky has written that:
Democracy is to be construed as the right to choose among commodities. Business leaders explain the need to impose on the population a “philosophy of futility” and “lack of purpose in life,” to “concentrate human attention on the more superficial things that comprise much of fashionable consumption.” People may then accept and even welcome their meaningless and subordinate lives, and forget ridiculous ideas about managing their own affairs.
Chomsky also stated that, “The genius of the political system is to render policy irrelevant. Voter attention is to be focused on style, personality—anything but the issues that are of primary concern to the concentrated private power centers that largely finance campaigns and run the government. “
While many of us are waiting for a viable third party, we must still participate in elections. If there is going to be a political “natural selection” then we must weed out the oppressors and make our voices heard. Make sure you read up on the candidates and their views – in some cases the Independent running is scarier than the established parties – and make sure you vote in your local/statewide elections on November 8th.