It has been a while hasn’t it since I’ve written anything. Well here I am writing again to who know who will ever read this post. not a problem, as I write for my own interest rather than necessarily to attract a great readership. As of this writing, we are just over 1 month away from “the most important election of our lifetime,” or so they say. Of course they say that every time, and perhaps they are right. The choice we have is Mitt Romney or Barack Obama. One is pretty standard issue presidential looking White guy and the other is, well, Obama.
Frankly, I can’t say I really know what the election is about. Obama is running for re-election primarily it seems because he doesn’t have anything better to do. His entire campaign thus far is summed up in, “vote for me because…” and you can fill in your own blank. There is no there there, and there never was, but now it is more evident. The country hasn’t collapsed under his leadership, but things are pretty crappy.
Romney is running a campaign whose slogan, officially or not, is “vote for me because I’m not Obama!” That will work for a lot of people.
The lackluster campaigns though point to something more problematic, which is why I titled this post Electile Dysfunction… and it’s not because of the film I’d never heard of by the same name that I only discovered when I Googled the phrase.
The American electoral process is dominated by two entirely entrenched political parties that have conspired to control access to the levers of power. The electorate is basically stuck choosing between option A and option B, and pretty much every voter leaves the voting booth dissatisfied and ready to burn down the country, especially if / when their guy doesn’t win (and that’s guaranteed about half the time).
Even when your guy wins though, you feel somewhat cheated. After all he campaigned on XYZ, but year upon year we continue to get BS and BS.
No matter who is in power:
- The debt goes up
- The Middle East is a mess and the US is involved in it
- The culture degrades
- Our education system continues to suck
- Big monied corporations get away with stuff
- Government continues to be non-responsive to the needs of the electorate
- Add your own…
So there you have the basic issue. People don’t want to vote because it frankly feels (and is mostly) pointless. It has become much less a sober exercise of civic responsibility and much more like texting in to win a contest. It is a huge popularity contest, or rather a beauty pageant with media people acting as judges of the contestants.
Maybe it would be better if it were a pageant. At least then we could have a swimsuit competition.