Now, I would never say that I’m a political kind of guy. Politics, I admit, intrigue me but, I don’t think I’d ever want to have my family involved — it’s just too nasty out there. However, if there is a way to become involved in making the “system” work, then I say “go for it.”
Me and my BIG mouth. The next thing I knew I was on the street, asking people in front of grocery stores if they’d like to register to vote. What an education!
What I found is that the average person has a somewhat level head in which there is absolutely no understanding of either the political process or who to vote for. There are always the “been a Republican or Democrat all my life. Daddy was one, too ya, know” kind of person. They vote the party ticket all the way and, from what I hear them say, they don’t even know why.
Then there’s the “I’m voting for the Green Party. It’s my way of protesting against the system.” And there’s the Libertarians…the American Independents…The Peace and Freedom Party…the Reform Party…the Natural Law Party.
I didn’t make these up. They’re on the registration form along with “Decline to State” and “Other.”
What’s wrong with this picture? Well, let me tell you.
We, in this once grand country of ours, have come to a place where Democrats sound like Republicans; Republicans like Democrats and most of the rest like barn yard animals braying at the moon. The one clear issues of integrity, honesty, morality and service have been so muddied you can’t recognize them. And any small special interest group with large enough wallets and mouths, can hog tie the entire nation. If you don’t believe that, ask an out of work family living on the meager subsistence of welfare what they think about a small owl that cost them their livelihoods and their children’s education.
The very thought that the candidate of the “Natural Law Party” (whoever he/she is) might have even an infinitesimal chance of becoming President of the United states stretches credibility to the breaking point. And the rest of the herd, including one of my favorite billionaire, Ross Perot, fall into the same category. They’re not candidates, folks. They’re spoilers.
This game is for the “big boys and girls,” not the ones with no chance, whose apparent function is only to get their faces on camera and defeat the meaning of the process. Their only purpose in political life is to take votes away from either the GOP or Democratic candidate. They can’t win, but, with your help, they can exert enough influence to achieve their own political agenda at the cost of the rest of the system. And, never forget, if it costs the system something, it’s going to cost you ever so much more.
“But,” you say, “I don’t like Clinton or Dole. What’s a body to do?”
Simple, make a choice. Even with a mind set like that, one of them has to be in the position of being the “lesser of two evils.” You may even find that yourself satisfied by saying that you are not voting for Dole or Clinton. In reality, you’re voting against one or the other. At least that way, the vote you cast, exercising your inalienable right under the Constitution to “run ’em outta town” if you don’t like what they’ve been doing is serving a purpose.
However, to vote for Perot or Nadar — or any of the other power hungry folks in the herd seeking political office or their 15 minutes of fame — is just plain silly. I am straining not to use the word STUPID!
The freedom these people rely upon to get your vote is far too valuable to be made a part of a private agenda that has nothing to do with you or me. Now, I’m not suggesting that it’s not important to save a wetlands someplace — it is — but not at the expense of something much more precious: one human life. The special interests would have you believe that “natural law,” or “being green,” addresses the issues of the day. Nonsense. We, as voters, must deal with the choices given to us through the exercise of the system we have, and under which we must live. Changing the system must wait for another day.
The job ahead for you, as an integral part of this system, is to look at the two candidates — one of whom is surely going to win — and make a choice between them, not because you like or dislike the color of his hair, age, smile or suit. Make the choice after you have studied carefully the issues in which he believes, his background and record in service to his country, his integrity, honesty, faith, and reliance on the good judgment of the American people to help him do his job.
Once you have done that, you will be in a place to make an “informed decision,” one which will mean something.
Now if nothing I’ve said strikes a chord of response, then I can save you some time come election day. Send me a SASE and I’ll send you a match — so you can set fire to your Voters Registration Card. At least then you can get some real use out of it. You can light your barbeque.
Just something to think about.
Paul McShane of Carlsbad writes book reviews for Good News, Etc., as well as occasional commentaries.