On The Electorate, Democracy, And All That Jazz.

I heard the other day a registered voter express his intension to wait until he was in the voting booth before making his final decision whether to vote for Obama or Romney.

I was reminded of how deservedly disdainful of American voters I am.  It also triggered several thoughts re the whole electoral process in this country and democracy in general.

I swore off the political arena in this blog long ago, as it tends to dominate my discourse and detract from my speaking to my main message, which isn’t political at all, so I shall embrace this subject only in a general way.

Why, in Heavens name, do we regard voting as something the uninformed should do?

How can anyone not know already whether they side with Romney or Obama?  The contrast in their positions is stark.  I suppose there might  be room for a third alternative, but any other choice surely must be based on something other than who you would prefer to see in office.

Why do we imagine that one can become adequately informed on political positions in the course of a campaign season?  If we all followed politics half as closely as most of us follow sports for half the time they do, our democracy wouldn’t be in the hands of the few rich enough to manipulate it to their own ends.

But we don’t and it is.

Where does the idea that voting for the man, or woman, instead of the party, come from?  Perhaps it’s a characteristic of the inattention to the dynamics of politics overall.  One person, even were she/he to be president, has little or no ability to change the direction of the party–which, by the way, he/she chose to affiliate with in the first place.   That would, however, explain the phenomena, although only in a somewhat convoluted way, for the role of propaganda would be ignored in such an analysis.

Perhaps it’s the dynamics themselves.  After all, in our system, one can usually fault both dominant parties for being too like the other.  But that is not nearly as true today as it normally is, despite how much closer to the Republicans than we all expected him to be Obama has turned out to be.

How can people not understand that money, and where it comes from, is a better indicator of the mind of the candidate than words?

It’s as if the only time people believe what politicians say is when they have the least motivation to tell us their truth.  During campaigns their primary motivation is to tell us what the polls tell them we want to hear.  They try most, then–during the campaigns–to tell us our own truths.

Where is the good in allowing the hiding from the electorate of the origin of the vast amounts of money flowing into our politics?

Why do so many think America’s version of democracy is the best in the world-even the best imaginable?  Ours is far more hostile to the evolution of ideas, the rise of third parties, and the quick and effective response to changes in circumstance, than the most common form of democracy in the world today, parliamentary systems. Is it just ignorance of those other systems?  Or is it simply some knee-jerk reaction? 

Where is the good of ignorance in a democratic system?  If you can fool all of the people some of the time, doesn’t making them ignorant only increase that “some” to “most?”  I don’t see the good in that at all.

Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *