Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Vote

Yes. Well.

Your vote doesn't count. Well, it does, in the micro-scene, it doesn't in the macro. This seems to be a dawning realization among some of the Disappointed Democrats who thought they were voting on Big Important Policy Matters in the elections of 2006 and 2008 and found out they weren't.

In fact, matters of Big Important Policy are never put to a vote by the electorate, ever. It just isn't done. Elections are advisories on how already decided policies and ideological positions will be implemented, whether fast or slow, harsh or gentle, that sort of thing.

We do not get to vote on what is done, and only marginally do we have a vote on how it is done.

This is a new concept to people who are new to politics, and they resist it fiercely. Soon enough our TeaBagger Patriots are going to find out for themselves that all their stridency, all their "study" of the Constitution, all of Sarah's hosannas and heysannas, Glenn Beck's paranoia and psychosis, all their careful selections of candidates (some of whom will be elected most certainly) is not going to have more than a marginal effect on the High and the Mighty, much as putative "Progressives" discovered that getting Dems into a majority in the Congress and into the White House had at best only a marginal effect on the Powers That Be and their neo-con/neo-liberal domestic and international policies.

It is shocking to find that out. Denial comes long before acceptance.

The lack of enthusiasm among Democrats this time around is due largely to their realization that their vote doesn't really matter in the larger scheme at all. The wars are still going on, the Imperial Project is, if anything, more secure than it ever was, the Rich and the Privileged continue to prosper, and the Poor and the Working Class continue to take it in the shorts -- and pay for what they have repeatedly rejected besides. The radical transformation of our government from that of a faltering Republic to an all-out Empire that commenced with the lawless intervention by the Supreme Court in the election of 2000 has been consolidated and institutionalized under the Democrats; the Empire is expanding, not contracting; wars are being ginned up mercilessly throughout South Asia and East Africa; the wealth at the top is growing exponentially; those in the middle and on the bottom are being relentlessly squeezed economically. Civil liberties are being extinguished.

The United States is not yet a totalitarian society, but it is mindlessly slouching toward Autocracy. There is nothing our vote can do about it. The direction is set.

We have somewhat of a say in how we proceed, that's all. And that's temporary. That "say", however slight it is, could disappear at any moment, and our elections will have as much influence on the Powerful as elections had in Imperial Rome.

You can't correct this descent by voting. You don't have that choice at the ballot box.

Nevertheless, I always advocate voting, and as a rule, I advocate voting for the milder course to the Inglorious Future -- ie: the Democrats -- rather than the harsher Republicans.

No, you do not change the direction by voting, you change affect the implementation. That's all. But that's important when the Rs are batshit, bloodthirsty and cruel. When you vote for the Rs you are voting for the worst in human nature to be applied as broadly as possible. And that inevitably results in death and destruction on a massive scale.

The Dems are headed in the same direction, but their path is not quite as slick with quite as much bloodshed, and their "sanity" contrasts with the R's continuous psychosis. As coldblooded as Dems can sometimes be, they are not, for the most part, as consciously cruel as Rs almost always are.

That doesn't make a big difference to some of the political Puritans out there, for whom the consequences on other people simply don't matter.

They matter to me.

On the other hand, if we want Big Changes in the direction this country is headed, if we want an end to the Imperial Project and its associated wars, if we want an end to legal injustice, if we want economic and social justice as well, we need to do something other than cast our vote in elections.

And Americans are simply not willing to take the personal risks to do what it takes.

Not yet, anyway.

And never forget:

Big Ball's in Cowtown

1 comment:

  1. I always compare it to a scene in the movie Star Wars. Tarkin is sitting at a table with flunkies in the Death Star. Well...

    General Tagge: The Rebellion will continue to gain a support in the Imperial Senate-
    Governor Tarkin: The Imperial Senate will no longer be of any concern to us. I have just received word that the Emperor has dissolved the council permanently. The last remnants of the Old Republic have been swept away.
    General Tagge: But that's impossible. How will the Emperor maintain control without the bureaucracy?
    Governor Tarkin: The regional governors now have direct control over their territories. Fear will keep the local systems in line. Fear of this battle station.

    So, the two sides are:

    A rubber stamp imperial bureaucracy that pretends to listen to local systems but is just a front for the brutal Empire

    The Death Star