elections

I reveal my American origins by my “accent” here in NZ, and so lots of people have noticed that and asked me whether I will be voting in the US election (today). My answer is “no.” I haven’t voted for eight years. Upon hearing my answer, people tend to look at me a bit oddly before asking “why not?” Well, if I did vote for either candidate,

  • I’d be voting for someone who has demonstrated in the presidential debates that he is willing to repress his true convictions and desires in order to win support by using repetitive rhetoric and promises that cannot be fulfilled, and by magnifying the human errors of his opponent. I would be dishonest with myself if I were to support a person who says one thing and does another, who has nothing positive and substantial enough to offer that he must resort to mudslinging. My vote for him would be a statement that I trust him. I don’t.
  • I’d be voting for a figurehead, someone whose true influence on the direction of the country is overemphasized. I believe that the difference between having (in this case) Obama or McCain in office would be very small, because the president is only one person in a huge organization, the cumulative power of the organization is much more than the power of the president, and there are people who are not the president who really run the show. The money (and the people who possess it) makes the decisions, and the president helps carry them out.

Most importantly to me,

  • A vote lends credence to a candidate, a political party, a government system. In this election I can’t support either candidate or either of the parties. I can’t support a government that polices the world, taking away the freedoms of its citizens and the citizens of other countries under the pretense of freedom (ironically) and democracy. 

Those are my convictions. They are not common in my circle of friends and family. But they are right for me.
 
Why do you vote (if you do)?

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One thought on “elections

  1. What about Ron Paul, a third party candidate who seems to have a lot of things right??

    I have nothing negative and much positive to say about Ron Paul, but my second point remains. The presidential position remains a figurehead even with a good man in it. Exchanging one person in the system makes no significant change to the system. The decisions continue to be made by the ones who control the money. Rule by the economy…I might call that econocracy. A solution will only come through a change in a majority of citizens’ motivations and priorities when it comes to money, and this will not happen by changing the system of government, which is what people such as the president have the power to do. Changes in the system of government may only help a little, temporarily.

    I believe that small changes in heart, such as being willing to part with a little more cash to support a local merchant rather than a big box store (one example of many), will cumulatively have a greater positive effect on our country than electing one person versus another into the office of president. Until Americans are willing to lay down their love of money even to such a small extent, I think it is unreasonable to expect a solution to come through the government.

    To the objection that we should vote because a government has the ability to establish or maintain a level of morality such as regarding abortion and homosexuality, that is another topic to be discussed. Suffice to say that this does not change my view of the effectiveness of voting.

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