Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A Moral Option

Trey Smith

Progressives are protecting less and less with each election cycle. The winner-take-all electoral system makes other parties irrelevant and relegates them to spoiler status, but the argument against supporting them is weaker as the system deteriorates. The argument that voting changes nothing for the average person is a valid one, and the sight of Romney and Obama declaring agreement on the issues of empire and finance makes that point quite clearly.

We are left with a plea to honor the memories of those who sacrificed, sometimes with their lives, during the freedom struggles of the 1960s. But those people fought and died for full citizenship rights, of which voting was just a part. No one today should worry about dishonoring or dismissing their sacrifice by refusing to take part in the farce that national elections have now become.

It is acceptable not to vote at all, or to vote for someone other than Barack Obama. Some who claim to be leftists argue against particular Obama policies only to conclude at election time that he should be elected anyway. These people undercut their own arguments and make a mockery of themselves. Their pleas to stop surveillance or drone assassinations or the destruction of nations such as Libya and Syria become hollow because they refuse to acknowledge the corruption that is an integral part of the system.

Arguing for the re-election of a person who so clearly is a danger to the nation and to the world is at best illogical, and at worst is immoral. The time for defending tiny victories should end. Barack Obama and the Democrats should know that their critics mean business, and will cease supporting them. Racist statements from right wing pundits and bizarre statements about rape and pregnancy shouldn’t fool anyone into supporting policies that are wrong for this country and for the world.

On November 6th it is perfectly acceptable, morally right, and politically principled to boycott the election or to vote for a party other than the Democrats.
~ from Not Voting for Obama by Margaret Kimberley ~
I realize that many US readers feel compelled to vote for tweedledee or tweedledum. That's what we've been taught since we were knee high. Voting both is a privilege AND a responsibility. If you don't vote, the thinking goes, you have no right to complain.

There might be some truth to this axiom IF we had two or more viable candidates who represented divergent perspectives. The problem we face, however, is that the only candidates who profess divergent views aren't viable (the system is rigged against them) and the only two that are viable agree on most of the salient issues facing the nation and the world.

What it comes down to is a moral dilemma. Do you choose to participate in a system rigged to produce an outcome acceptable to the elite or do you choose not to be a party to it? I've chosen not to be participate in the farce. How about you?

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