I reject the two party system as neither party seems to speak for me and both are rather infuriating. But primaries are for Democrats and Republicans only. That is how the game is played now, no wishful thinking will change that. So we Independents are left in the cold, or do we feel the heat? In any case our progressive Mayor lost his bid to the House of Representatives by a few measly votes, less then 200. With a few of us Occupy rebels at the polls we might have had a Progressive fill the empty seat in the House of Representatives, a most important place vacated by the Speaker of the House. Darn, I feel conflicted about this. I want to believe in Democracy, although the Super Pac monies make it a challenge, make it seem more like buying votes, flooding the people with slanted, sometimes blatantly wrong sound bites. Anyone that claims that votes can not be bought does not know the power of suggestion, the subconscious mind and the mind numbing effect of repetition.

But I do want to believe in democracy and so I did sign up to 'wo-man' a polling station, a first for me. Waking at 4 a.m. to be on time at the place of voting was doable. Staying put until dark to accommodate a trickle of voters for 12 hours was manageable as well. Our polling machine took a total of only 288 votes during that whole day. And that was more then some of the other precincts could claim. 5 poll workers at one station for 14 hours cost the state a miserly $700. The cost of a very expensive voting machine, it's maintenance, all the paper, the printing, all the organization, think of it all for - 288 votes! Almost as many voters did not show. We destroyed about 250 unused ballots. One single vote comes at an outrageously high expense to the government and in turn the people.

I was welcoming and impartial to all voters and did my best at not expressing any political or personal opinions. Not even when our former Mayor, our very first Hispanic and female Mayor showed up, the one that garnered a lot of controversy over her tenure, but I never regretted having given her my very first vote as a newly US citizen, back 20 years ago.

So I applauded everyone for voting and congratulated them and made absolutely sure that their vote got counted properly by the machine, - while all along I was not able to place my own vote. 20 years ago I had signed up as a Democrat and I had tried to vote for Clinton, but in the newness of my experience, my first vote as an American Citizen, I had fucked up and had made a mistake. At that time voting by machine, corrections were not possible. But these days paper votes are fed to the machine and mistakes can be corrected and were, although only a few times at our station. Luckily Clinton did not need my vote to win the presidency then. While he made some serious mistakes like Nafta and the bombing of civilians, and dumber ones such as Monica Lewinsky, I still respect the man and his mind, no one is perfect.

My conundrum is that I do not wish to belong to either of the dominant parties, but neither do I wish to dis-empower myself and exclude myself from the ability to place my votes. Voting is not only our right, but also our duty. Not voting seems immature, but then always voting for the lesser evil seems simply wrong too.

At first I signed up as a Democrat, then switched to the Green Party and when that party got emasculated in a for once joined effort of Democrats and Republicans, I wondered before and after Obama's election if I should switch back and join the Democrats once again. But now after 3 years of Obama, when Guantanamo is still not closed, when indefinite detention is still practiced, when Osama got killed, rather then brought to justice, when drone attacks have become the norm, along with the killing of civilians, not joining the Democrats is my means of saying no, I do not accept, I object!

So we have all those voters that do not show up, simply ignore the hoopla, and refuse to participate. And the hoopla is obscene, the pac monies outrageous, the allegations absurd, the lies blatant, the waste of time and resources mind boggling. I detest what we have to look forward to until November when we have to chose between the outgoing guard of the Patriarchy, Romney who will be all too happy to lay the pipe lines, desecrate and rape our earth in the name of oil and money (and neither for the American people, as the oil tends to be sold elsewhere and we know how it goes with money.) Cronyism is alive and well, no doubt. On the other side we have Obama who shattered our hopes for real change and made cynics and non-believers of too many. I am afraid many will simply ignore politics altogether and will simply not show up when it comes time to vote.

I will vote for Obama as an Independent (not one that does not dare to declare an allegiance, as the state labeled us Independents during the Primaries) God-dess willing, but with no joy in my heart and no hope, but only a desire to avoid worse.

1 comment:

  1. Here in Europe Obama is still seen as the only candidate the world can treat with. I know that he has let down many, both in the US and abroad, but if you think of his position and what he has had to contend with, the lack of power and the many brickbats thrown at him to trip up his good intentions, you'll have to give him another chance.

    There is one other thing: at least he can speak!

    Thank you for the link about dogs and thunder. My Benno is too old to learn new tricks, I shall just have to continue to soothe him. And perhaps give him a bit of a calming pill.