I often point to history to discredit doomsayers, support arguments, and generally vet various arguments and statements. In the interest of consistency, I have to call out the “this is the most important election ever” crowd, and even more so, the “defeat Obama at all costs” crowd. Is the sky really falling? Is it really the most important, life-or-death-level election ever? Will the country really not survive another four years of this administration? Is reactionary voting the right idea? Does that really work? Is the “most electable” guy really worth having? Will it really be any better? These questions, and more, must be asked and answered. So here goes.
Is the sky really falling? Not quite. We have major issues, sure, and we are in it deep. Does that mean this situation is beyond recovery? No. It might be beyond fixing politically, but it’s not beyond help economically, the country and its people are not really that fragile. And the ones who are? Well, good riddance. I have serious questions about the ability of the people to fix the mess we are in with our government without a revolution. I think it might be possible, but not within the warped structure and norms that are in place now. The party system, the voting system, the blatant ignoring of the people by its supposed representatives, etc make fixing this through “normal” channels unlikely. The elitist, favor trading, corrupt people in Washington have a lot of power and are not interested in letting it go easily. Can it be taken from them? Of course. Can it be taken by playing the game they created by the rules they laid out? Not bloody likely. So, yes, it is bad. Really bad. But it is also not going to be fixed with hype and fear and emotion and reactionary voting.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying do not vote (the only people whose decision to not vote I agree with or understand are the true anarchists). I am not saying the system has to be redone from scratch. It may come to that, but it has not yet, necessarily. What I am saying is that voting for “anyone but Obama” is not even worthy of being called a strategy, and not principled enough to carry any sort of real message. It is, in fact, incredibly easy to manipulate into anything you want it to be by those who would benefit from doing so. I am also saying that replacing Obama, even with someone good, will not fix the problem. The problem is with a LOT more than the presidency, was caused by more than this administration, more than this president’s political party, and will take a lot more than four years to fix. Do not act like this is the one big act that will fix things because if you do beat him in this election, you will just put everyone back to sleep.
So is this even the most important election ever? Maybe, but that has been said almost every national election, at least within my lifetime. It is possible that it was true every time, but if that is the case, then it is an obvious indicator that whatever is being done is not fixing the problem, it is just perpetuating it. It’s like the war on drugs or the war on poverty. If you have been fighting with a certain tactic for 4 decades and you are losing, don’t you think a change of tactics is in order? Besides that, as bad as Obama has been, is he doing more harm than FDR? Woodrow Wilson? Andrew Jackson? Is it really true that this is the worst ever? Again, maybe, but in perspective, it’s not that much more extreme than the last dozen elections, it’s just getting progressively, well, progressive. Again, it’s a good indicator that we need fresh tactics.
Will we survive another four years of Obama? Sure. Why not? We have survived many things. Many of those things were worse in some ways, not as bad in others. Regardless, for all the power this administration has collected and is wielding, it is not enough to destroy the country in four years. The checks and balances are in jeopardy, but they are not dead yet. The government is messing with more and more stuff, but they do not make this country what it is, they never have. There is a lot of good left here, a lot of strength, and it will not go quietly. The worse it gets, the more people wake up and fight. Even if Obama gets 4 more years, and Congressional elections make few changes or slip further left, I think you will see a major shift come the midterms. If things get as bad as many think, that midterm could have more “awakened” people than ever, and we could see a better shift in Congress than we have ever had.
So what is the plan I keep hearing from conservatives and conservative media? Elect Romney because he is most likely to win? Who says? It’s another one of those self-fulfilling prophecies. If you think the non-political, honest, common sense guy is a wasted vote because he will lose, then he will. So you pick the pandering moderate because he fits the lowest common denominator and won’t rock the boat. Throw principle to the wind and vote for the lesser of two evils, thus perpetuating evil because you want to “win”, or “beat the really bad guy”. Please, that accomplishes nothing…or, at least, nothing good. If you vote for the status quo, then you have nothing to complain about, and no credibility when things continue to decline. If you succeed, you find things don’t improve much and your message has no credibility because people point out, rather accurately, that your guy’s policies led to bad stuff. If you fail, you and those who think like you chase after and even more moderate candidate so that maybe you can win next time. It’s a fool’s game.
So what needs to be done? We need to stop voting like desperate serfs ousting the evil lord at the behest of his evil cousin who will treat you just as badly after you bled to get him in power. We need to stop voting “strategically” like this is some chess game. This is not a game, and it is NOT about this election. This is about the very concept of representation. Winning is not what this is about, this is about finding a proper representative. If you fail to elect him/her, fine, but if a large number votes that way, it makes more impact than a win with a guy that is just like the other guy. And honestly, if the really, really bad guy gets in, then maybe more people will truly wake up. If not, then we deserve what we get, and collapse might just be less bloody and easier to accomplish than a revolution.
So who do we vote for? None of the people the news media talks about. Santorum is not for small government, not really. Romney is worse, and is definitely an “elite”. Gingrich is among the leaders of corruption and doublespeak in Congress. Paul, hypocrite that he is, was the best of the lot, but even he plays the game, though will probably hold my nose and vote for him since he is at least radical enough to get us turned around, to the extent a President can. That is, if he is not just another liar, which he may well be. The guy I want to vote for may or may not exist. I will be writing about him in my next couple articles.