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The Vote Neareth

“A state is a human community that (successfully) claims the monopoly of the legitimate use of physical force within a given territory.” Max Weber.

The new issue of Gilbert Magazine arrived yesterday. My friend Dale Ahlquist is taking some serious (though charitable) abuse in the letters to the editor. In a previous issue, Dale wrote a biting editorial about the state of American politics, pointing out that it’s largely a fraud and stating that he’s not voting this November (my paraphrase).

I was surprised to see the editorial. Even when Dale and I communicated regularly, we never talked politics. I had no idea that he and I had basically reached the same conclusions and, given GKC’s support of democracy, I just assumed he was a staunch voter of one stripe or another. But no. Dale, too, has seen through the maya that is the American political system. It doesn’t matter who wins this November. Nothing is getting rolled back; government will keep getting bigger; Wall Street will get richer and entitlement programs will continue to expand. It is what the Powers want (we can discuss some time else who those “Powers” might be, but I’m the first to admit that my political atheism gets a little faith-based on this point).

Do you think this election will really make a difference? Let me ask you this: When has a government welfare program ever been rolled back or eliminated? When has government ever not come to the aid of big business? The only example I can think of comes from the 1990s: Clinton’s (a Democrat) welfare reform. And that example is awfully lame, as evidenced by the continued rise of the food stamp program.

Dale’s point, and my point, isn’t that Romney is a bad guy (it’s hard to argue with facts like these). It’s that the choice of president doesn’t matter. Do you honestly think Obama is a real person? Come on. He’s been propped up and fluffed up, put on a pedestal by [you tell me]. He is the first concrete proof that anyone can be president . . . as long as the proper people think you’ll do their will.

So why waste time this November? We vote; they do whatever they want. We vote; they take whatever money they want. We vote; they laugh behind closed doors.

It’s ugly, it’s sordid. It doesn’t have to be this way, but that’s the way it is.

And if you think it’s legitimate, ask yourself why people would spend millions of their own money, why business men would donate millions of their own money, on an election, if the resulting president is merely going to do the right thing? You’re incredibly naive if you think all those multi-millionaires are simply altruistic servants of the American people and promoters of the public good. They know the federal government is huge, they know it’s incredibly powerful. They know that access to Washington can be leveraged for far more money than they can make in legitimate business deals. They know. Wow, do they know.

Don’t worry: I will vote for Romney this November. Even though he’ll continue the federal government growth and pandering to big business, he certainly appears to be a better person that Obama. Plus, at the federal level, he’s an unknown. Maybe he’ll shock the hell out of everybody (especially me) and actually start slashing the federal government’s reach. I know Obama won’t (he’s proven that), and I’m 99.9 positive that Romney won’t, but .1% chance is better than 0%.

Now, would I vote for Romney if I didn’t have to go to the polls that day anyway for some local elections? I seriously doubt it. I simply wouldn’t deem it worth my time. If I really wanted to make a difference that day, I’d be better advised to work on concocting magical potions and perfecting my rain dance.