Monday, October 27, 2008
What's the Point of Voting?
How long shall we allow the system to kick us in the head, take our money, insult us after taking our money, and still expect us to participate in its frauds? With every passing year, the differences between the two ruling political parties in the U.S. diminish further, and their outlook, conduct and even advertising campaigns merge so much so that their members can be mistaken one for the other. By now it must be clear that the 'two-party' system is not only no such thing; it is corrupt to the bone.
It should be instructive to recount some major points of Obama's record:
Barak Obama has voted for all the war funding bills that have gone through the Congress; Obama has voted for USA PATRIOT ACT that effectively suspended the habeas corpus, and he voted for the FISA bill that gave free reign to government to spy on all Americans; his Democratic Party has gone along with policies allowing torture, and we have not heard a single word out of candidate Obama regarding the evils of torturing people; had it not been for the Supreme Court rulings, the Democrats would not have been the ones to come to the defense of habeas corpus, this oldest of legal protections granted to human beings against arbitrary government harassment, and neither have we heard anything from Obama, although he is reported to be a constitutional lawyer; it was with the energetic pushing and shoving of the Democratic presidential nominee, Barak Obama, that the theft of people's money was given legal cover in the recent $700 billion bailout of the banking industry (the actual figures are much higher).
Moreover, as pertains to how the American imperial machinations work beyond the American borders, Obama, or at least his rhetoric, is every bit as dangerous and bloodthirsty as McCain's. He was one of the first people to advocate publicly (and on campaign trail, which is even more telling) that Pakistani sovereignty be disregarded and indeed violated completely if, with regards to the 'war on terror', the Pakistani government 'can't do the job'. He is a strong advocate of increasing the number of troops in Afghanistan and to intensify the bloodletting in that country, in a war of occupation every bit as barbaric and immoral as that in Iraq. As regards the war of occupation in Iraq, Obama has never said he will end the occupation; in his stated policy, he will leave a substantial number of troops in Iraq to 'fight the terrorists' and protect the embassy, 'aid workers', etc., which is to say he too will leave substantial troops in Iraq, into an indefinite future. Finally, as regards the ongoing, brutal subjugation of the Palestinian people, the theft of their lands, water and resources under one of the most barbaric contemporary colonial ventures, he is every bit a slave to the Israeli lobby and government.
Despite all this, a good section of the American left is still agonizing over whether or not to vote for this 'lesser' evil! Luminaries as large as Chomsky and Zinn, The Nation magazine, and even the Communist Party USA, as they did in the 2004 presidential elections, are again raising the specter of the 'necessity' of voting, albeit with noses well held, for Obama. Some qualify this support with: "But, don't have any illusions!" Anybody who supports, even qualified tenfold, voting for an imperial (hence criminal) Democratic Party candidate, is already filled with illusions.
What on earth is the point of voting at all, when the two evils under consideration do not even present a noticeable degree of difference is avarice? Such recommendations coming from the 'left' are stunning if it weren't so infuriating to hear such talk always being qualified with tons of qualifications, which make the recommendations not just absurd, but insane.
[Some have argued] that by voting for Obama, they are acting against racism. To think that one is fighting racism while voting for a candidate that upholds every racist element of the structures of imperialism is to venture into political oblivion.
What is to do then? For starters, a good half of the eligible voters have been conducting a de facto boycott of the presidential elections, since they instinctively and correctly realize that the two ruling parties do not represent them. So, why not join them?
The only thing that can transform the non-voters' 'apathy' into an actual political force is to recognize that a boycott of the elections must be done loudly and with the purpose of announcing to the non-voting public that another way must be sought and created to bring about political change. This other way must engage them, the non-voting population, in a serious effort to build a real party of opposition.
This, in turn, requires a genuine opposition party-building effort. The Populists in the 19th century did not debate whether or not to vote for the lesser evils of their days. They built their own party. [...]
Within the context of building a real opposition party, then, a boycott as a political move makes good political sense. It would bring coherence and political direction to energies not wasted in the electoral fraud (yet sitting still), not burned in the electoral game presented by the system as an opiate (to paraphrase Max Kantar).
In my opinion, at this point, the tiny benefits of getting the independent candidates, such as McKinney or Nader, enough votes to bring them Federal dollars and a place on the presidential debates in the next election, is simply not worth the participation in the fraud created by this machinery of deception called 'voting', which in turn only helps re-create the illusion that there is democracy in America.
The American people are fed this lie every four years that their voices can make a difference. Really? It didn't make a jot of difference in 2006, when people, out of pure illusion, voted into the Congress a majority of Democrats with the hope that they would bring the war of occupation in Iraq to a speedy end. As George Carlin would have said, people might as well have wished on a rabbit's foot!
It didn't make any difference when a huge majority of the American people kept yelling down the jammed Congressional telephone lines, and over-stuffed Congressional email inboxes with, "Don't give my money away to those scum sucking swine!" The people's 'representatives' stole people's money anyway and handed it over to the banksters in broad daylight!
So, instead of wringing our hands over whether or not to vote for an evil, which is only a tiny bit less so, let us recognize the necessity of building a truly oppositional party. The first step in that direction is a loud boycott of these elections with an even louder declaration that voting is bunk until real political alternatives representing people's needs are built. Don't waste your vote, and don't encourage the bastards. Invest your time vociferously boycotting the voting farce, and build an oppositional socialist party.
Read the complete article here ...