Monday, March 23, 2015

Week of 03/23/2015

Mandatory Voting? We Already Have It.
So the man that spearheaded and championed the biggest capitalist enslavement since the Emancipation Proclamation under the guise of “reforming healthcare and making it affordable for all” now wants to solve the endless problem of voter apathy in America.
Yes, President Barack Obama wants all of us to fulfill our civil responsibility as Americans and vote in all future elections.  Apparently he’s been so moved by the turnout in the recent elections in Israel – in which the so-called “experts” got wrong – and equally disappointed by the turnout in America’s own mid-term elections – which, again, the so-called “experts” got wrong – that he thinks we should be a little more politically involved.  We are, after all, the United States of America.  We’re supposed to set the example when it comes to “democracy” and the “will of the people”.
And I have to agree that it is embarrassing and insulting to know that at any given time we cannot count on three-fourths of the American people to actually show up at the polls.  That every effort made to register people to vote is ultimately betrayed and slapped in the face when all of those newly-registered people don’t even bother to look at a ballot, much less make a choice.
So what is Mister Obama’s solution to getting us all to vote?
No, I’m not kidding.  President Obama thinks we should all be forced – by law – to vote in every election.
It’s not a new idea.  Eleven countries around the world do this.  Australians, for instance, can be fined or even jailed if they refuse to vote in elections.  Never mind the shrimp; your butt would be on the “barbie” if you don’t vote over there.
“If everybody voted,” Obama told people in Cleveland, “then it would completely change the political map in this country.”  He even speculated that it would counteract the obscene flood of campaign money that has been buying and paying for politicians like they were Amsterdam prostitutes.
Well I don’t disagree with the statement.  If everyone voted in the last election, you probably wouldn’t have seen the GOP taking over Congress.
But to force all registered voters to vote?  To force them with fear of fines and/or jail time to cast a ballot?
No.  Absolutely not.
In fact, to force Americans to vote is pretty much about as anti-American as you can get.  And, no, I’m not exaggerating when I say that.  I consider that to be as much of an abomination as the ongoing efforts of a certain political faction to suppress the vote of those that would not vote for them.
Besides, there are two huge reasons why Obama’s hair-brained idea to force all Americans to vote is an inherently bad idea.
First of all, we have a political system that has been carefully and meticulously designed to drive voters away.  And this is not by accident either.  This is intentional.
Between gerrymandering of districts into art deco projects, the loosening of campaign rules so big money can buy politicians like Amsterdam prostitutes, the scheduling of primary elections, and the deliberate manipulation of who can appear on the ballots much less in the debates, the Democrats and the GOP have systematically perverted the political system into a de facto plutocracy.  Their party bosses determine who is “allowed” to run for office, and they manipulate the ballot qualifications so that any kind of challenge faces a herculean uphill battle.  Special interest control the debates, and they spend obscene amounts of money on political propaganda, thanks in no small part to our court system.
Campaigns are nasty and dirty, and they continue to get nastier and dirtier, because they are meant to drive voters away!  It’s a game of attrition, not attraction.  The incumbents already have all of the support they “need”, so all they have to do is make sure nobody else votes and they are assured a re-election victory. 
And the masses have already been thoroughly conditioned to believe that no matter what the career politician says or does, no matter how outrageous or offensive, there is supposedly some false equivalent somewhere on the other side of the ballot to validate it.  Drunk driving?  Child molestation?  Sex slaves?  Murder?  “They all do it,” is the damnably scripted response, as if saying it negates the offense.
All of this is designed to drive the voters away from voting, President Obama.  If you want people to show back up at the polls, this is what you need to address first.
And I really don’t think you want to do that, sir.  Because to do so means you have to take on not just the GOP and their party bosses, but also every single Democrat in the House and Senate and your own party bosses.  It means you have to wage war against your lobbyist friends in K-Street and C-Street that have gotten fat and rich and powerful off the system as it is today.  You may not have to worry about running for office ever again, but Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid and Elizabeth Warren do.  And I really don’t see you changing the status quo if it means risking your own political party’s survival.
The other reason why the idea of “mandatory voting” is a failure... is because we already have it.
Let’s get brutally honest here... every single eligible voter already votes in one way or another!  If they don’t vote, then they automatically default to the ones that do.  It’s a passive vote of surrender to the inevitable outcome.
This is precisely the kind of vote that your friends in Washington have carefully crafted and coveted, President Obama.  Electing to not vote, to not take an active part in the process, to not choose between the lousy choices presented to them, because it gives your friends in Washington that much more power.  It gives power to all of those “consultants” and “advisors” and so-called “experts” that get fat and rich being able to orchestrate the outcome of the elections.
The same people, sir, that got you elected and re-elected.
If you want more people to show up at the polls, then you have to give them a reason to take part instead of surrendering by default.  It is not enough to get them to register.  Registration is not the same as actual participation.  They have to feel something personal at stake for them to take part.
For all that we condemn the GOP’s extremist factions for doing, they still manage to get the bible-thumpers and the gun nuts and the senile seniors to the ballot box, because they give those groups something to vote for.  The old people will show up if they feel their Social Security money is threatened.  The thumpers will show up if they feel a moderate could get elected.  The gun nuts will show up if they hear someone threatening to take their guns away.  The so-called “tea party” voters will show up in droves if some new tax program was at stake.
I’ve seen it happen on the local level.  Give them an issue to vote for or against that they feel strongly about and they will be there.
They know how to play the game, Mister Obama.  The real challenge is making it work for more than just the special interest groups.
You want us to vote?  Then give us a real reason to, and not just because you “said so” or threaten us with the government’s ever-present gun.

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