Vote Your Dissent

For decades now Americans have  joked about having to vote for the lesser of two evils. I suppose the humor of it serves some emotional need. But it’s come to the point where it isn’t funny anymore. It’s time to consider what you and your children’s future holds. It’s fruitless debating about whether it’s the fault of the politicians or the voters. That’s a chicken-egg question and it’s just distracting at this point. However, there are a couple things I do know. The opinion of the voting public still matters in this country. But there are problems: one, the public seems uninformed, apathetic and distracted. Two, there is little done to hold politicians accountable after an election. Three, the de facto answer seems to be government intervention, thus leading to a larger and more controlling government.

When I say voters are distracted what I mean is that the media and politicians are doing the distracting. If you feel it’s your civic duty to vote and you plan to vote into the two party system, I’m begging you to reconsider. Take a few moments to suspend your current beliefs and consider another possibility: the two party system and the media are participating in a great con.

Two parties or one?
There is not much substantial difference between the major parties policies. In fact, often even the public message is nearly the same. Sure they have their typical talking points. They have to find something to distinguish themselves during an election year after all. So, what makes a perfect talking point? Ideally it is something that will not affect the status quo political machine while it also  appeals to people emotionally and tilts the vote in your favor.  These politicians are playing us as fools. Why would they do that? There are two reasons:

One, they don’t believe the average citizen of this country is capable of understanding enough about what’s going on to make any important decisions. Think about that: these elitists believe they know what’s best for you. When it comes down to it, it’s a dangerous ideology.

Two, it serves their own interests. The typical politician is not necessarily like you or I. They enjoy the power they have over others and bask in the greatness of their own minds. This isn’t usually something you will hear them say publicly, but Henry Kissinger’s arrogance may have lead him to make this statement:

The average person thinks that morality can be applied as directly to the conduct of states to each other as it can to human relations.  That is not always the case, because sometimes statesmen have to choose among evils.

Read that carefully and think about what it is saying. If you squint your eyes and leave your brain 1/2 turned off, it almost, sort of, kind of has merit. But, to put it bluntly, I’m sure Hitler thought the same thing. He feels that somehow being a ‘statesmen’ puts him on higher moral ground and therefore his job is to make decisions that others are not capable of (typically in secret). The result of this arrogance: extending the Vietnam war. This type of arrogance is par for the course when it comes to our great Washington leaders.

It doesn’t need to be conspiratorial or evil. The word conspiracy is just another distraction in this game. This desire to control others is just as strong in both parties. However, the real battle that needs to be fought is the battle to get our dignity and freedom back. They treat us like children and we seem to dutifully obey. It’s no different than an over-bearing mother who’s children grow up dependent and spoiled. The problem is that we have been duped into thinking the debate is between the republicans and democrats.

Trending toward tyranny
There’s no doubt that this country is trending toward a tyrannical police state. We aren’t there, but we are headed in that direction quickly. Many would point at the events after 9/11 as the start of this, but I disagree. The debates relevant to this trend started during our countries founding and the battle between Jeffersonian vs Hamiltonian ideals. For those of you who think the concept of America and tyranny can never go together, I’d suggest you take some time to study Alexis Tocqueville’s Democracy in America, who described a new kind of tyranny, which does match the average Americans Hollywood script.

American Exceptionalism
I think this is a misunderstood term. American exceptionalism today seems to be primarily a tool used to justify empire building. America was founded on principals that make us special, but those are the principles of freedom and liberty, not domination. Domination was the reason we fought the revolution in the first place.  The words of the declaration of independence and the constitution are indeed special. But with each passing day, we are moving away from actually living out those principles. In fact, what we are seeing is that leaders are questioning the value of the words altogether.

The danger of “Do something”
When something bad happens, inevitably we all come to the same conclusion: “We have to do something about this!”. We are inpatient and want a quick and easy solution. Not only that, but it usually doesn’t occur to most people that maybe the answer might be to do nothing, or to stop doing some thing. So, in government we have a quick, easy, convenient solution. You might argue that it’s not quick, that politics is slow. But consider the satisfaction we get from simply hearing politicians say they are going to do something. Ah, the bliss of unloading our problems on the great elected officials! And politicians are never ones to leave a good crisis go to waste. But shouldn’t one of the potential solutions in any such discussion be that we the people will work this out on our own? That we can “stand on our own two feet”?

Destruction of Human Incentives
There are so many ways that government action is destructive of human incentives and behavior. Where to begin….

First, our politicians seem to have no issue at all in using fear mongering to further their agendas. Never mind that this weakens us and limits our ability to enjoy our lives. This creates the illusion that we can’t fend for ourselves. This increases their own power by making us believe we are dependent on them.

Next, they take control over basic services so that we eventually begin to believe these services wouldn’t exist without them (health care, roads, education, housing, food, etc). Never mind that these services all existed, and still do to an extent, without government. Never mind that many great writers, historians and philosophers have shown that this simply is not true. This builds a false belief that this dependency is vital to our existence. This completely ignores the virtues our country was founded on: liberty, self confidence, independence and self reliance. Again, we are becoming like children whose parents never let them do things for themselves. And as I’ve already eluded to, they will literally say and do anything to get elected. They will of course rationalize this because they know what’s best for us. It is necessary, you know.

Humans are a generally emotional,  imperfect beings running around, often half-cocked, and so it’s probably best if we avoid any centralization of power at this time in our evolution. It is the responsibility of all of us to accept our own imperfections, to not fall into the trap that America is so special we could never fall into a complete state of tyranny, and to remember the principles that made this country special.

My hope is that you will consider your vote carefully. My hope is that you will read, think and ponder our countries future. And whatever you choose, don’t vote for either of the two major parties this year. You have other options or you can choose to not vote at all. As long as you refuse to vote into the two party system you show that you are withdrawing your consent. Then the roles are reversed: the fear is directed toward the politicians not the people. Only after we educate ourselves and withdraw our consent will we have any chance of peacefully changing the direction we are headed.

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