Our two party system does not allow much of a choice. Corporatists all. How could it be otherwise, the money required to out compete a status quo candidate is an insurmountable obstacle (the last I read, 94% of winning candidates spent the most). It is predicted that each presidential candidate will spend around $1 billion in the run-up to the 2012 election.
To make matters worse, the (corporate) media gives virtually no coverage to any 3rd party candidate & actively works to exclude them from any debates. This has left us all without knowledge of the choices who we might want to vote for, who might be more closely aligned with our world view. This inevitably leads to a feeling of wasting our vote or voting for the lesser of evils. Certainly there must be qualified people from our educated 300+ millions. However, in the 10 times I have voted for president I was relegated to voting for the less evil on 8 occasions, once for someone who couldn’t win and once for a candidate I believed in, who subsequently left me feeling betrayed.
The upcoming election is a perfect example. Even the Republican voters
are mortified by the GOP field of presidential hopefuls. Obama is a supposed progressive who is really a centrist or worse (a committed corporatist) and has continued or enhanced many of the policies he promised to end. He has failed to hold the bankers accountable for the fraud that led us into a financial meltdown, has been a roadblock to any meaningful environmental improvement (Durbin Climate Conference), is actively killing innocent civilians in about 6 countries, has punished Bradley Manning with torturous conditions before he was convicted of any crime, only left Iraq when it became impossible to leave troops there, has permitted a small army of mercenaries to stay in Iraq to protect 4000 unnecessary embassy staff, has failed to prosecute any of the last administration for the war crimes they committed, etc., etc. Basically, he is continuing policies that alienate people all over the world which increases hostility and makes us and the whole world less safe. To top it all off, he has signed the NDAA which codifies and takes to the next level many of the unconstitutional practices of this and the last administration.
It is great to say that the way to change is through the ballot box, which would be true if we had viable choices. My conscience and sense of humanity will not permit me to vote for Obama or any of the possible GOP candidates. The only thing I’m certain of is that the next president will be beholden to the banks, the multi-national corps, and the military industrial killing machine. They will give speeches about the greatness of America as they go around the world murdering people in the name of peace and democracy.
We need something different if we are to have any hope of surviving.
Does this mean that I won’t vote in 2012? I haven’t decided. If I do, I will be voting for or writing in candidates as my sense of right and wrong dictates. I’ll keep you posted.