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Archive for October, 2008

It is the humble (read: self-righteous & cynical) opinion of this author that the Presidential election cannot be taken much more seriously than the election at any local high school for the Prom King.

Oh don’t get me wrong, the outcome of the election has grave importance on the world at large, from how many billions of dollars are funneled into desperate causes (like alleviating AIDS epedemics, feeding children, fighting other diseases, eradicating modern day slavery), important causes (weakening dictators, improving the ways that we care for Creation, increasing the quality of life for all Americans), and modern causes (how healthcare is handled, the rules of the internet and media, how much the government will give you back of the money you gave them). There are real issues at stake after January 20th.

They do not seem to be at stake right now. What seems to be at stake right now is who has consistently stated the right answers to the right questions; befriended the most right people; never once lied or changed positions; never made a stupid comment; and never hired a person who has done anything wrong in their life. 

He can’t be president because he hung out with her. She can’t be vice president because she was mean to him. He can’t be president because his friend says this. And so on and so on and so on.

This election is about popularity, and that is all. Sure, there are people arguing about issues and dealing with facts and figures, but they are the fringe. What is worse, they examine those issues in light of who will like them. This position that does X will be unpopular with this demographic, that plan doesn’t stand well with this demographic. In order to win over this demographic, he has assigned this task force to understand these needs.

Well I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore.

To hell with demographics. To hell with what voters want. We don’t know what we want. We are really damn selfish, and we want to vote for the candidate that serves us or our view best.

So I’m abstaining from the election. Not because I think democracy is stupid, or because I believe Christians shouldn’t choose governmental authority, or because of any other reason I’ve ever heard mentioned. 

Mostly, because I don’t see that I need to participate in a popularity contest. No one truly knows what Obama or McCain or Barr or Nader would do if elected. But what is worse; most people don’t truly know what they say they will do, what their actual plans are, or how this will effect this country. We turn on the TV, hear what we want to hear, and make our strong decisions. We then will draw lines between friends over these completely shallow choices.

It is not enough for me to “turn the tide” and become an educated voter and put in one educated vote. I’m still participating in a broken system. I’m not saying that democracy is broken. I’m saying that the modern form of popularity politics, based entirely on entertainment and media is broken, and from my point of view, wrong.

We are not choosing a leader. We are choosing favorites. I am not making a stand, and saying join with me. I’m not even claiming that this is the right stand, I don’t know. But in good conscience I cannot vote in a popularity contest and support the system as it exists today.

I do hope to find ways to change things, but I don’t know if that can happen. I’m going to try, and I’m not going to sit back and complain and do nothing; that feels too much like I’m a product of the system I’m lamenting. But I can’t change anything in the next month, and so this is the best choice I can make.

[with this post I am resurrecting this blog, which was last updated way back in 2007. I’m getting married in a week, and after getting back from the Honeymoon Freya and I have committed to spending time practicing and improving our passions. One of these passions for me is writing, so I will be using this blog as my writing pad.]

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