Friday, February 13, 2015

Why voting as an independent is the only way forward #indyvote

Good day all;

I have wiped the dust off this old blog because I felt like I needed a place to put down a screed as we move into our next election cycle.

I want to convey to my friends and colleagues my take on these issues. Please note that I am not willing to go into an endless debate on my point of view here. I have comments disabled on this blog. Further, since this will be linked from a FB entry, I probably won't entertain many disputations there either, and will likely delete the posting the moment it turns negative, as I am wont to do.

So, why is voting as an independent the only way forward? Well, it's like this. Neither of the two parties are deserving of your support. Both of them are extremely well funded, (despite their cries to the contrary) by folks who just simply put, could not care less about *you*.

It hasn't even begun, but we are already looking at what many are thinking is going to be a race between Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton.

No, I'm not talking about a 3rd party, I'm talking about independents. Independent thinkers voting for independent, as in not subject to the sovereignty of the two party system, candidates.
Candidates who have only one constituent, only one special interest. That being the american people.

Change your registration to independent, green, libertarian, *ANYTHING* but republican or democrat.

"Oh, but that means I can't vote in the primaries".
That's true.
However, primaries, esp in recent elections are often a reflection of an individual candidate's fund raising prowess, and not so much an appeal to the electorate. It's true that a candidate cannot win without votes, but for the most part, those votes are assured by the delegate process and the dedication of the electorate to the two party system. What the democrats or the republicans put forth as their best candidates will assuredly be most loyal to the system that put them there. That is not the american people.

We need our next president to have been elected by the american people, not by the republican or democratic parties. Another president elected by the two party systems means, more 'governmental oversight' of your personal life. Less autonomy and voter input into societal issues. The citizen will be further marginalized. Yes, just like in the past. Keep doing what you've always done, and you'll keep getting the same results.

Hillary R Clinton is not a liberal. This is a democrat who believes in fracking, who believes in endless wars, who is cool with cutting the for-profits into any public service, be that health care or prisons. She isn't merely a DNO, (Democrat in name only) but doesn't qualify as a  'lefty' at all. While I haven't heard her talk about privatizing social security, I consider that a 'yet'. She's a republican's dream.

However, even if she wasn't such a shill for these interests, even if she was pure of heart, a Ms Smith Goes to Washington type, it would hardly make any difference, because, ,well,  she is a Democrat.

The Democratic National Convention is so shot through with special interests that it *cannot* represent the electorate. Even if it wanted to, it is financially joined at the hip to many other outfits with lots of agendas, many of which are at odds with the concepts of a free and democratic society. Our sitting president, Barack Obama, is considerably more progressive than Hillary Clinton, but even he is completely cool with assassinating American citizens on foreign soils. How many dispensaries were busted by his federal police after his speeches about no longer wasting the people's tax revenues on such things? Take a look at the budget he just signed. He gave all those folks in the DEA a raise for their work in the so-called War on Drugs, all the while doing very little on the education and rehabilitation side of things. The 'prison for profit' industries are doing quite well under his tenure. No, this is not the work of a progressive liberal. The list of sins against the people go on and on.
Is the ACA a better deal for the people? Maybe, but it also took the only real deal off the table, the 'public option' that would have put us on the road to joining the rest of the industrialized democratic societies of the world, when it comes to humane treatment of the citizenry. No, I don't like the ACA, which for those of us with a mind for history is more accurately titled RomneyCare than ObamaCare. But the then-governor Romney was working with a state, not a country. He did a fine job as governor.
Shame he lost his mind in pursuit of the RNC nomination really. But that's an aside. Obama's continued support for the DHS, the endless wars, and prepping right now to get us into yet still another shooting war doesn't speak well to his legacy as a progressive liberal.

Okay, on the Jeb side, or the Republican side. I know *plenty* of republicans who are thoughtful, well considered, honorable, decent and generous folks. I mean that. I've been deep inside that world. But, the power-brokers on that side are -and I mean this in the literal (old-school literal) sense- insane. There are folks who wield immense power on the republican side of the aisle who -if you take them at their word- believe that the world is only 5000 years old, and at the same time sit the boards of major fossil fuel outfits. Further, these are the kind of folks who will say with no sense of irony that not only is the world 5000 years old, but that God put that oil in the ground for us to use. These are the folks writing, or at least funding the writing of the papers that become our countries domestic energy policy. Setting aside a list and litany of sins that just goes on practically forever, this and this alone should be reason to stop and take a careful few moments to consider if these are really the people who should be setting the road map for the US in the 21st century. The answer is quickly arrived at. No. Further, there are folks on that side of things who pretty much -as is shown by their actions- feel that anyone who is worth at least ten million dollars is prima facie a 'good person' and anyone who doesn't have a measurable net worth is de-facto 'worthless' at least in part because God hath Ordained and therefore underwritten and blessed the former with their money, and the latter with their curse. Yes, there are folks who actually believe this, and act upon it. But let's just set aside the religion hot-potato for a moment, and look at the facts:

The party of 'small government' directly supports and is therefore supported by the 'prison industry' and just as aside, the very concept of private prisons is an anathema to a free society. Further, these are the same folks who seek to legislate such ethereal concepts as morality, the extremely private and personal aspects of life such as one's sexual inclinations. These are the folks who have mandated the surveillance society that we are becoming. They support and are supported by the increasingly militarized police state that we are becoming. Ex Parte Milligan, Posse Comitatus, and other such legal protections that some of us grew up under are increasingly difficult to identify in this new world. Every time it seems that something actually manages to make it up to the Supreme Court of the United States to affirm our rights under law as citizens as defined and enumerated in the Bill of Rights, it seems that we the people lose. And these folks who claim to favor individual freedoms and small government rise up in applause.

I don't know if you read "Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime", but I did, and it was a real eye-opener. I recommend it before you start making choices concerning the character of the person you are willing to support for the office of chief executive of the US. This isn't about policy, it's about popularity and it's about power, and nothing else.

But what about their constituents?

Well, those of you who may have tea-party leanings, libertarian leanings and so forth are likely as upset about this as I am. By what quality does the republican party garner your support? Here, I'll answer for you. There is no such quality. They do not, and will not deserve your vote.

For those of you who may have socialist leanings, who may have progressive liberal leanings, no doubt you too are extremely upset by the power grabs of 'the government'. By what quality does the democrat party garner your support? Because they are not republicans? That's Not Good Enough.
They do not deserve your support. Your fellow citizens do not deserve what the government is doing to them with the tacit support that you lend by voting for the mainstream.

It's Wake Up Time.

It is the third millennium. It is the twenty first century.
I honestly no longer care what happened in the twentieth century, I don't care what happened in the second millennium. It's most certainly useful to study it, to learn it, to try to understand from whence we came in order to figure out what to do in the future, but the future is where things happen. Not in the past.

Folks start whining about 'communism', 'socialism', 'fascism' etc, don't listen to them. These are 19th and 20th century concepts that have no place in modern discourse. They are useful for study, absolutely, but that's not how they are used. They are used as sticks to whack folks with, usually without even a cursory understanding of the underlying concepts and principals. That folks are *still* arguing Adam Smith, who has been dead for over 200 years is preposterous. He's DEAD. Sir John Dalberg-Acton (power corrupts, absolute power, , blah blah) has been dead over a hundred years, He's DEAD. Stop listening to dead people, stop waving platitudes around, shouting slogans. Those things don't matter.

You matter, your vote matters.

Do Not Give Your Vote To People Who Have Not and Will Not Earn It.

Even if they wanted to, no federal level elected official will act on your behalf unless of course, you were the one who bought and paid for them to be in office. Since nearly all of these folks were elected under the rubric of Republican or Democrat and they will do as their party instructs them because it wasn't YOU that elected them it was their party that elected them.

Change that.

This is the twenty first century. No one *should* require a party to support them to win a national election. Yes, I said that. Look at the websites of candidates, most are just online brochures. Most of these folks don't even know what twitter is, much less reddit. There is so much that can be done. Should be done. And ultimately must be done.

Yeah, I too once thought that you pick the best of a bad bunch, and do what you can. But that was in the days when we were still building libraries, not shutting them down. That was in the days when we had music and art as part of the grade school curriculum. We played outside during the school day, rode our bikes to school. We got our polio vaccinations at school. Those days are gone.

The days when the parties could be expected to do the bidding of the electorate are gone.

Okay, a side note.
Folks are blaming all the ills of the world on the Koch Brothers. Personally, I don't see the boogy men that others do. I see a couple of seriously wealthy folks using their power, money and influence to re-draw the rules of the system to suit their ends.  Look. They have about (according to the numbers I've been able to research) 7 billion in tar sands holdings. So, anything short of 7 billion expended in making that 'resource' realized is a win. So, when folks jump and down about how they are willing to spend a billion to influence upcoming elections, well, guess what? Duh! that's A Bargain!
Of course they are. And why on earth wouldn't they? It's what they do. They take the money they have to make more money. That just makes sense.

If you don't like it, you take that to the polls. If you are voting for any main stream party candidate you are unlikely to get the results you wished.

There is noise that Senator Elizabeth Warren might throw her hat into the ring.
Three is noise that Senator Bernie Sanders might throw his had into the ring.

Folks are saying silly stuff like
"Oh, wouldn't that be nice, shame they can't win"

However they in fact, can win.
They can win if the American people vote them in.

I heard it said years ago, reading some report from Davos on behalf of a lot of the big-money movers and shakers that "We have solved the problem of elections".

And I'd have to agree.

But the real problem is (and let me break it down):

1996: Clinton/Dole  49% voter turnout
2000: Gore/Bush     50% voter turnout
2004: Kerry/Bush 56% voter turnout
2008: Obama/McCain 57% voter turnout
2012: Obama/Romney 55% voter turnout

Gee, 57%? Wow, folks touted that as some kinda of great accomplishment.

It's not.

It's shameful

Most folks I know who have not voted in a national election have claimed that there is no one they are willing to vote for.

I *totally* get that.

Look, most of these 'recent' elections were actually pretty close in the big scheme of things, further, they only represented around half of the folks who bothered to turn out and hold their nose and pick to vote for, or more likely, vote against one candidate or the other. These numbers don't speak well of any particular mandate when one considers that most recent presidents were elected with less than 30% of the voting public's endorsement.

Okay, in closing, I feel the need to equivocate a bit and state that it is my strong and somewhat informed opinion that both parties are liberally seasoned with a lot of very hard working, dedicated, sincere people doing absolutely everything they are able trying very hard to do a good job for the people of the United States.

I also feel with some first hand affirmation that the DHS is also staffed with some people who really are trying to do the best job they can to protect and serve the people of the United States, and so on. I could go through a litany of various 'big government' outfits and say the same thing. There are a lot of dedicated people out there, doing a good job in spite of the constraints they face at the whims of elected officials who are essentially 'hired' not by the people, but by very wealthy special interests with non-democratic agendas.

We need to free these people to do the work that we the people need to get done. We need to free ourselves from this overwhelming special interest and see to our own governance. We do that by voting for the best candidate who will be bound and beholden to us, the American people. They are out there.

Many, very many people will say this is impossible, that it cannot be done. The rational behind this statement will basically boil down to "It cannot be done, because it has never been done before."
Take a few to consider the logic behind that.