Saturday, October 6, 2012

American Election Nonsense

Well, its now October.  Which means the good thing is that the mountains are beautiful.  And that the farce that is an American Presidential Election is almost over.  The bad thing is that the sure loser in the Election seems to be guaranteed to be the American people.

For the record, if America had some sort of instant runoff/preferential choice type of Presidential election system, here's what my ballot would look like...

1. Dr. Jill Stein, Green Party
2. Mayor Rocky Anderson, Justice Party
3. Gov. Gary Johnson, Libertarian Party.
4. Andre Barnett, Reform Party
5. Stewart Alexander, Socialist Party USA
6. Roseanne Barr, Peace and Freedom Party (despite the continual question of "Is she joking?")
7. Peta Lindsay, Party of Socialism and Liberation Party
8. Jerome Whitehead, Socialist Equality Party
9. James Harris, Socialist Workers Party
10. Tom Hoefling, American Independent Party (despite having the worst campaign website ever)
11. Barrack Obama, Democratic Party
12. Mitt Romney, Republican Party
13. Tom Stevens, Objectivist Party
14. Mervin Miller, American Third Position Party
15. Virgil Goode, Constitution Party
16. Lowell Fellure, Prohibition Party

I wonder what if feels like to be ranked below Roseanne?  And, wow, there really is a "Prohibition Party".  A quick look at their website saw only references to the King James Version Bible and the "Sword of 1611".  So, I'm not exactly sure what they'd prohibit, but I'm guessing its likely a very long list.  And the bit about the sword makes it sound like they might be rather violent about it.

And actually, writing in Ron Paul would probably be about third on the list, except for the fact that I respect the man's wishes in that while he is obviously interesting in becoming President, he has chosen not to run outside the Republican Party and thus has deliberately chosen not to have his name on my ballot.  Odd that in a movement that speaks often of individual choices, many are going to ignore Rep. Paul's choice and will write him in anyways.

For people who say that "instant runoff voting" is too complicated, does it look hard to make a list like the above ranking your preferences from first downwards?  You wouldn't even have to rank every name, just the one's you wanted, in the order you wanted them.  Does that sound hard?

Since I live in a relatively free state in Colorado, most or all of the above names will be on the ballot.  Again, not a bad thing.  I don't see the harm in looking at some names and trying to make a choice.  Doing this exercise today made me at least visit the websites of candidates of whom I had not heard.  An interesting experience.  I learned that just maybe Roseanne isn't joking, and that there really is a Prohibition Party with a rant about the King James Version and the Sword of 1611 as their party statement.

Of course, the only candidates anyone sees on TV are Obama and Romney.  Not that I watch them much, but I suddenly realize that I don't think even reruns of Roseanne's old and popular TV show are on TV much these days.  That's how complete the blackout seems.  Well, ok, research says you can find Roseanne on a cable channel called TV Land at 1 am MT.   More to the point, a google search of C-Span and Roseanne Barr didn't reveal any hits beyond a speech at the Green Party convention when she ran for that nomination.  She, and many others on the above list are completely blocked from any voters who don't already know about them and who don't deliberately go search them out on the internet.  Fascinating that Roseanne Barr can actually get a bit of TV time on an obscure cable channel at 1 am in the morning, but only as a comedian.  As a politician running for the highest office in the land, she can't even get that much.  And its not just her.  Its the same for every name on the above list that isn't Obama or Romney. 

Once I saw a list of what the Carter Center considered conditions for a free and fair election.  Important criteria was that people were not only free to vote, but people had to be free to become candidates.  And all candidates had to have at least some access to speaking to the people about their candidacy.  The right to vote is meaningless if candidates can't get on the ballot and when candidates are denied the ability to speak to the people about why they should be elected.  Think about that, then realize that in most of the states most of the above list can't get on the ballot.  And that you've probably never heard most of these candidates speak unless you've gone out and deliberately found them on some place like YouTube.  Then ask yourself how free and fair American elections are in the early 21st century?  And that's before you consider things like voting machines and the computer programs that non-transparently count our votes.

A system of elections where two candidates are widely promoted, while all other candidates are blocked from ever using media to talk to the people is obviously rigged and will produce the predictable result of the election of one of the two widely promoted candidates.  Go around to people you know, and see how many names from the above list that they can give you, other than of course Obama and Romney.  The fiction that there are only two choices is widely promoted and unfortunately, widely believed.

Meanwhile, Romney and Obama seem to continue their contest to see who can be the biggest liar.  After the first debate, a 'fact-checking' organization produces a long list of the lies and exaggerations that both candidates came up with during the 90 minutes.  The document is 9 pages long if you want to kill a small forest by printing out the lies.  And this is on top of Obama acting like he's never even been President so he wants to tell us what he'll do if elected.  This of course ignores the small question of why the heck haven't you been doing this for the last four years?  And before anyone says "Republican Congress", just remember that Obama had two years of Democratic control of both houses, as well as the momentum of the landslide win in 2008 behind him, and yet he still didn't even try to do then what he now says he'll do for us in the next four years if only we re-elect him.

So, the above list reflects a desire to vote for an honest candidate who will help the American people.  Obama and Romney are both low because to me, both are liars and both will only help their big contributors.  I generally prefer some sort of humane, leftist approach to government rather than the fight-to-the-death, dog-eat-dog sort of world favored by the right.  But I'd take a competent right-wing candidate who can win if they'd at least respect the Constitution and hopefully be honest in governing for what they think is best for the nation.  That would be far better than the corrupt liars that both the Democrats and Republicans now regularly put forward as candidates.

But, since it seems hugely likely that if its not Obama winning, it will be Romney, that just means that virtually nothing will change after the election.  We will still live in a country with a corrupt government that takes our money in taxes, but then doesn't use that for the common good instead using it as a pig trough from which their rich friends/contributors feed.  Both will waste billions on programs that do nothing but funnel money to rich contributors.  Both will continue to spend outrageous amounts on unneeded 'defense', which is really just a specific category of our money being taken and given to their rich contributors in the 'defense' industry.  We certainly don't need a trillion dollar defense budget to stop Canada from invading us.  Both will continue to serve the bankers at all times, giving them money when they need it, and protecting them from prosecution when they break the law ... at least up until they then change the law to make the bankers 'legal' again in their frauds.  Both will continue to kill people in their wars.  Both will continue to get Americans killed in their wars.  Both will start a war with Iran.  Both will continue to aggressively spy on the American people, and to deploy the ever-more-militarized riot police to put down any signs of opposition among us suckers who have to work two jobs to pay for all of this greed.

So, most of all, I'll be happy when the election is over and we can get back to just having exercise machine commercials on the "tele" every 4 minutes whenever we try to watch TV during one of our short breaks before heading back to work to make more money for them to tax and steal.


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