By John Danz Jr – firstname.lastname@example.org
We all love elections, don’t we? We love the constant media coverage of the unfolding story, seeing results of what we already knew was going to happen months ago, and the inevitable back-and-forth debates with friends and coworkers who accuse each other of being full of crap and in need of some research. It’s a wonder they didn’t make the elections the day before Christmas!
Now that the 2010 Midterm elections are all over, people everywhere are either jumping for joy or ready to jump off the nearest tallest object. A united nation obsessed with a divisive game – politics. Whether your political heroes won or lost, you feel a swelling of pride because the peeling sticker on your nightstand says “I voted.” You made your voice heard and did your civic duty as a citizen of this great democracy. A notion of which will mean nothing once the anger, frustration and indignation come as a result of your poor choices.
And there it is – the word “choice.” As a voter, you chose the man or woman you thought could exemplify what representing this nation should be. You’ve been told from birth that you have freedom of choice, and no one questioned it because they told you people like terrorists and The Boogeyman don’t want you to have freedom of choice.
Let’s think logically here. There are two parties in this nation that have a shot at holding elected office – Democrat and Republican. The rest are just there to give the illusion that we all have choice. Those other “insignificant” third parties are chastised at the end of the election because the votes for them could have decided the race between the selfish Democrats and GOP. So, what kind of choice is that? Two people from two parties going for one office? For all of the ideas people have to fix things in this nation, all of the convictions they have, you’re telling me two parties are sufficient? With two parties like we have right now, people are basically forced to relegate themselves to either category and accept all of their beliefs and all of what people think makes them unsavory and useless. Joining a third party is like going to the Chess Club after school instead of the arcade.
So a new category is made for people who can’t find their fit in any of the parties: People who don’t vote, like me. This year would have been the first election that I could have legally voted in now that I’m over 18. I chose to stay home, and I was verbally reamed and told “you have no right to complain!” Good. I’m not going to complain about politicians, because I know they don’t do anything. I also know that politicians are citizens of this nation like you and I who came from the same places we did. Therefore, if these politicians are such dirty crooks to people, then they don’t have to look far in their daily life to find another one. I don’t blame a damn thing on politicians, because if I blame the state of this nation on them, that means I have to step up and change things myself. Fat chance of that happening when the powers that be are in charge. Politicians suck so bad to people, but there’s no one to step up and save the day because they’re either too content with their political debate-fueled ego, or can’t get out of their EZ Chairs and Snuggies. Or, they’re like me and know their voices just won’t be heard.
Why? In order to even be considered a front runner for political office, you have to have a good amount of money for a campaign. That notion alone makes the working man, who votes these corporate-influenced politicians into office in the first place, ineligible to run for a political seat. Linda McMahon alone spent millions of her corporate dollars on her campaign just to lose. Every Presidential candidate in recent history has spent millions on advertisements, travel and luxury suits just to run for office. I could not just jump out of my seat and run for Mayor of my town, because the next guy would spend thousands of dollars smearing me all over the media and making me look like an incompetent imbecile. People know elections aren’t abut who’s good and honest, it’s who looks to be the least full of crap – dollars can give you the illusion of honesty in a heartbeat.
What’s my point? Maybe this nation isn’t the great democracy that we’ve been told it’s been since birth. Maybe, just maybe, things are being run like a plutocracy. Think about it – these politicians, who are pretty much bought by lobbyists and corporate influence, are only there because they were able to spend millions on a campaign to raise public awareness of them. You’ve either had to have held public office before or you’ve had to have been some kind of corporate tycoon to be considered a candidate. In January of this year, the U.S. Supreme court ruled that corporations, labor unions and advocacy groups can use their funds to buy advertisements and make sure their golden hero wins the election – what kind of DEMOCRACY is that? A nation where a corporate entity can spend all the green they want to ensure that their selection can get into office? Are people really fooling themselves thinking these people that they’re only electing on paper are going to make a difference for US? The people?
I know I’ve said a lot, and I know the one thing that a great number of people will say: “Oh, to be young and think I knew everything again…” Well, you do have a point. I’m not a political genius, in fact, I probably wouldn’t know politics if Thomas Jefferson rose from the dead, tattoed the Declaration of Independence on my arms and gave me a magnifying glass. I’m only going by what is logical. However, I’m not taking the time to write this to tell you that I know everything and have all the answers like many do. I don’t have the answers because I don’t have the money and corporate power to fool you into thinking I do. My high school textbooks in Texas had information in them that was predetermined by a biased board of directors. Maybe I’m another disillusioned, freedom-fighting moron. However, I’m not going to fool myself into thinking my vote counts toward some great purpose and wear my “I Voted” sticker like a badge of honor. In fact, I’m not even upset that politicians are in it for the money because they know how to play the game and fool the people. I admire their persistence and dedication to furthering themselves, because the people have no one to blame but themselves. Whatever the business interests want, they’ll get, and maybe that’s why your nation is in shambles in the first place.
If I were to run for political office, I’d say one thing and one thing only on my campaign trail: “I’m probably the greedy anus that you say I am, and I’m probably going to take some money and cheap votes to please some dirty people – but at least I’m being honest about it.”
John Danz Jr. is a work in progress, who enjoys the freedom of writing. Contact him at email@example.com.