History and Morality


This has been a very stressful time for political junkies like me. My conservative friends have been aghast watching the Republican Party devolve into civil war. They have found themselves facing the awful thought they’ll need to either vote for Donald Trump or defect from the party.

And they can’t stand the thought of voting for Hillary.

And my progressive liberal friends have been disheartened to see Bernie Sanders come So. Close. and yet fail (in the absence of a miracle) to get the nomination. Now we are faced with the same distasteful choice. Vote for Hillary or defect from the party.

In my world, this has lead to a lot of arguing and quite a bit of bitterness.

“If you don’t vote for Hillary, you are voting for Trump!”

“If you vote third party, you are wasting your vote!”

And on and on. I get it. I do. I profoundly fear living in a country lead by an egomaniacal, power hungry, delusional tyrant.

But after a LOT of thinking, soul searching and historical research, I am convinced that I just cannot vote for either candidate. I want to try to explain why.

First of all, I do not believe in a two party system. The Constitution does not mention political parties at all. In fact, George Washington said this in his final address as President:

“However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.”

So political parties could allow greedy, power hungry people to take over the democratic process and use it for their own power?  Huh.

And John Adams said this in 1789:

“There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution.”

I humbly agree. Two parties in opposition to each other means total gridlock, constant swings back and forth, no compromise. Which describes our government perfectly.

But of course, the U.S. doesn’t really limit itself to two parties. There is a Libertarian running for President. There is a Green Party candidate running.

So why aren’t they in the news? Why haven’t you seen Gov. Gary Johnson on CNN? Why hasn’t Dr. Jill Stein been on Meet the Press?

And why haven’t they been at even one televised debate?

Here is my second reason for not voting either D or R.  These smart, capable, sane candidates are not being heard because the two parties are owned and operated by Big Money. And Big Money wants to keep its Big Profits.

There is an election debate commission that is dominated by Democrat and Republican leaders. THEY decide who gets on the debate stage.

And here is my third reason. The media and the two parties are completely enmeshed and intertwined. You can find stories about huge media company donations to Clinton on conservative sites and you can find the same about donations to the GOP on liberal sites.

I went to the site “OpenSecrets,” which I highly recommend. It exposes the donations made to all candidates by all donors. There are a whole bunch of articles about the ties between media and the two big parties.

So here I am. Faced with pressure from the left to vote for the Democrat. Faced with the fact that I truly fear a Trump Presidency.

But also faced with the fact that as long as I continue to play the game with the two corrupt parties, I am part of the corruption. As long as I refuse to stand up and say “Enough!” and cast my vote for the person I believe will be best for the country, I am part of the problem.

I wish that the millions of people who plan to “hold their nose” and vote R or D would join me in choosing a third option.

We do NOT have to be stuck in this corrupt system. But we have to work together to take the process back.

John Adams would thank us.

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16 thoughts on “History and Morality

  1. Karen, I’m feeling the same conundrum regarding the upcoming election. I hate to vote for a candidate who I don’t align with politically just for the sole purpose of keeping Trump out of office. However, he’s just to scary not to cast my vote for Hillary.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know! But when you dig in and go deep; they are actually friends, they have the same groups of big money pals….I just don’t buy the whole thing. I honestly think there is a very serious and concerted effort to keep the power within a very tiny circle. These royal families are an example (Bush, Clinton, Kennedy). I have had to really think hard about it. If there was a concerted effort to elect Bernie as a write in, or an independent, I would do that. Otherwise, I will vote Green again.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I can’t help but feel if you don’t vote, you don’t vote. You are not actually choosing another way, you are allowing others choose for you. They are taking your vote and using it.
    Your not voting will change nothing as far as I can see, although perhaps it’s a conscience vote as you cannot vote for either?

    Like

    • I should have been clearer, Tric, because I agree with you totally. I always vote. Always!!!! Too many people around the world die for the right to vote, I would never give it up. But I will vote Green Party, as I have done in the past. I won’t let the spectre of a terrible Republican force me to vote for a less terrible Democrat, because I truly believe that they are in it together. No matter who wins in the US in November, the power stays in the hands of the very rich, corporate and individual. The 1% win, democracy loses.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ah, I did read your post but it just shows we read what we expect to read and I missed that rather large detail.
        That would be amazing if it were done by the many who seem to be saying exactly what you are. (I’m reading from Ireland and that seems to be the thinking of so many)
        Sorry for even thinking you’d not vote!

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      • I forgive you, my friend! I wrote this post this morning after many many days of ruminating on it. I don’t think I did a good job of explaining myself. I didn’t even touch on the moral dilemma of knowing that if I were to vote for Clinton I would be agreeing to continue the wars and the drone strikes……The only reason I sleep at night now is that I didn’t vote Obama last time; I voted Green party and the world didn’t end!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. You write, “We do NOT have to be stuck in this corrupt system. But we have to work together to take the process back.”

    I’m curious. Are you saying the Republic has been made corrupt by the advent of political parties? And if so, given that political parties have been organized since the Presidency of Jefferson, how would voting Green today, change the color of any governance tomorrow. Or was the party system actually a strategic response to acquire political power via an electoral system designed to limited participation, and in fact promote minority vote acquiring political actors to the centerstage of government.

    Recently in our lifetime we have witnessed a minority elected President, as well as both minority controlled upper and lower chambers of Congress. (Granted the House minority control was due in measure to gerrymandering, yet it is still mathematically possible.. due to demographic distribution of voter preference concentration.) And in the Senate, just within recent memory, Democratic Senators had received some two million more votes in total than Republican Senators, but the GOP controlled the flow and pace of legislation. Voting in a Republic requires far more strategic thinking than the simple thumb up, or thump down, of a Yea or Nay democracy.

    Which brings us, “…But we have to work together to take the process back.” And don’t take offense, and please know I’m on your side here, but that reads a bit like; “Make America Great Again.”

    What process do you want back? The one that gave us George W Bush, when Al Gore received a half a million more votes than the 43’rd President. Is that what you want. Because that’s how those Founders set it all up, and you’re saying they’d thank us, for returning to the tried and true.

    I looked at your about page and I’m a few years older than you, but you recall when the two parties were populated with liberal Republicans and Conservative Democrats, when elections had consequences, and the institutions of government had cache, and the Secretary of This or That had some clout.

    So what the hell happened? You tell me. And I’ll share this with you. As much as I’d like to exercise my franchise in voting for a third party, given the current hyper-partisanship and hyper-individualism of American politics, and the geographic clustering taking place today based on ideological identification, I fear further political balkanization.

    I would prefer a return to the yesteryear of not too long ago when a strong two party system compelled both the Democratic and Republican Party to accommodate left, right, and center, into the fold of their governance, or that loyal opposition.

    Regards,
    Doug

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    • HI, Doug. Thanks for reading, and more importantly, thanks for a very thoughtful and thought provoking comment.
      I admit to a certain level of naivete and definitely to a tendency to simplify when I blog.
      Here’s what I believe: that political parties are a detriment to democracy when they are structured in such a way that they become more important than the candidates/politicians who are theoretically supposed to represent the needs and wants of the voters. I believe that at one time our parties were more fluid and more general. I know that a lot of people of my parents’ generation voted across party lines up and down the ballot. I think that there has been a systematic funneling of more wealth and more power to the top. The two parties stand on opposite sides of every single issue now. Is the climate changing? Yes! No! Is abortion a right? Yes! No!
      They are in perfect balance, so neither will budge. Witness those first words after Obama’s inauguration: “It’s our job to make sure he is a one term President.” You know the Dems would have said the same thing (although probably not on camera).
      Add in Citizens United, and we have a system where there is no more power left in the electorate. If I truly have NO choice other than a corrupt D or a dangerous, crazy corrupt R, then I have no voice in how my country will be run. And that means that this isn’t a democracy (which I don’t think it has been for a long, long time.)
      As for “Take the process back,” in some sense we are doing that here. Discussing, debating, thinking. Occupy Wall Street made a start. Bernie Sanders carried it forward. To some extent, the insanity and chaos caused by Trump is hopefully bringing it further.
      Regards back to you. Thanks for making me think!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I very much appreciate your response and welcome a thoughtful back and forth, but like a well worn record album, I just may wear out my welcome in having to scratch an itch. You write, “ that political parties are a detriment to democracy..” in fact the very Founders you quoted in the beginning of your fine post feared the hell of a democracy, ran from it, and wrote about their reasoning in doing so contemporaneously. We have never been a democracy, in fact the Constitution was constructed to best thwart that possibility.

        Now some, OK, many, may argue I’m nit picking here, given that even the POTUS uses the term as synonymous with the” Republic,” but that’s just retail politics shinola, and sop to one/person one/vote GOTV (get out the vote) electioneering. My point in browbeating the matter is, if you really want to change the process, you had best know how power is structured, and the approbate Constitution tools to effect any remedy.

        Damn I don’t want to sound schoolmarmish but take the affectations of public outrage that followed the release of the quote you site, “It’s our job to make sure he is a one term President.” To that I recently responded like this: “I was tempted to use that tidbit of Mitch McConnell meshuga but have always felt it contains a parliamentary parse. Even the most loyal opposition is not obliged to help a political opponent’s re-election effort. Helping the country while hindering one’s opponent not being mutual exclusive.” …..So in the name of political purity the public wants to make war against McConnell’s “impure” pronouncement, but failed to recognize that his actions actually did cross the line, of “not being mutual exclusive.” Cart before the horse. And McConnell get’s to be Senate Majority Leader.

        And the consequences of a political, purity not to be confused with a Fox infused faux pushback against, “Political Correctness, still blind us in how best to really take the Republic back.

        But I bore, and produce the snore, and it’s time for that nine o’clock pour of bourbon.

        Thanks so much. Hopefully we can parry and party and parse it all during this cycle.

        Regards,
        Doug

        Liked by 1 person

    • OK, Doug; second reply to you, and this one’s better! Just perused your blog (and followed). I can’t find a way to comment on your posts. But I want to tell you that my uncle, Lennie Merullo, was the last living member of the Cubs to play in the series. So I am with in your excitement!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hey, your first reply was great. I’m a big Cubs Fan. How cool about your uncle Lennie. Regarding comments at my site. It just opened. It’s self hosted. It’s a soft opening, so I’m still configuring, and will make a determination about how best to handle comments a the site soon. Thanks for the follow.

        I still have a WordPress.com site here https://beltwayfanfiction.wordpress.com but I’ve pretty much moved over to the self hosted .com and .net.

        I really look forward to reading your election/ political and other stuff here.

        And thanks so much in allowing me to go on and on and….Go Cubs Go

        Regards,
        Doug

        Liked by 1 person

  4. You’ve got to be a bit careful with history. Back in the 18th century, the US was a lot smaller, had a population the size of Lithuania and most people weren’t entitled to vote. The system as it stands seems to be grossly imbalanced in favor of a two party model and people who are either ridiculously rich or who are able to attract ridiculously large sums of money through Faustian pacts with vested interests.

    The question is whether the current system can be made more effective or whether it needs a radical overhaul.

    Interestingly the freedom that the internet gives for ordinary people to discuss election issues and the dilemmas people face when deciding how to vote may very well be part of the answer. The keyboard may yet prove mightier than the check book.

    Liked by 1 person

    • So true about history; and I am well aware that our famous Founding Fathers didn’t actually want a democracy. They certainly didn’t want the riffraff choosing the government. Still, I think that the current situation is just so corrupt that “complete overhaul” seems like the right idea to me.
      But how?…….

      Liked by 1 person

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