Sunday, April 25, 2004

Kerry, Kerry, Kerry

Hmmmm... long talk with my dad the other night. He's still not sure who to vote for. We have Bush, we have Kerry. Bush is the evil we know, but Kerry, despite his cleaner record, is the evil we don't. Who should my father choose?

Despite my misgivings and outright rejection of Bush's policies, decisions and self-serving action, I am still not sure it's right to vote for Kerry. The logic for voting for Kerry seems to follow one of a few major threads: a) he's not Bush, so vote for him; b) he's a Democrat, so vote for him; c) he's an experienced military man in a time of national combat, so vote for him. None of these reasons appeal to me. A, for example; just because Kerry isn't Bush doesn't mean he's necessarily going to be a good president. B's equally useless for me, with my ethical system as it is; I don't subscribe to political parties, and besides can anyone actually say what the Democrats stand for anymore? Granted they've been at the head of many national transformations in the last century, but over the course of the last decade or two they've been reduced to political survivalists. Finally, c), and this is to me the worst reason, because I want peace, not war; neither do I think war has any chance of ending terrorism, which is not a warlike action but a desperate crime. And since war produces more desperate people... the logic should be inescapable, but isn't.

I'm NOT saying Bush isn't bad! I'm not denying my line of thought might put him in office for four more years! I'm not denying I'm terrified at the thought! But if we just run to the first available solution instead of looking for ways to find or create real change, if we just continue struggling to work in a system already-proven to be corrupt, we're really just setting ourselves up for an endless parade of Bushes. That's what I'm really concerned about. Kerry might or might not be another Bush; we just don't know that, we don't have a way to know that, and we don't have a way to guarantee he won't be that.

During the first American Revolution, the popular uprisings of Boston in 1774, farmers nonviolently ended the control of the British over Boston. They did this because the British monarch altered the law, making the Judges and local governors all-powerful and not accountable to the people. We have now come to a similar point in our history, where those we elect are no longer accountable to us. Without the establishment of a system to encourage such accountability, votes are useless. All they have to do is lie till they get in office. Then they do what they wish with impunity till their time is up. No matter how much they lie, no matter how immoral or ill-thought their action, we can do nothing. Worse, the supposed system of checks and balances has been completely destroyed, first by the two-party system which removes any checks on individual branches of government, since one party can control all branches; secondly, by the alterations to existing law made by our current "President," who has given himself and his office more power than anyone should possess. Finally, the two-party system, in itself, has managed to turn politics into a sport, so people come to care less about what we're fighting for, and more about who wins. Folks, it's supposed to be about making things better...

So, again, who should my dad vote for? And keep in mind that America is in deep ca-ca here. We've been put in a situation of competition whereby we continually produce more terrorists by ill-advised actions; Bush has destroyed quite a bit of our environment (remember Yellowstone? Your children won't) and done a lot of irreparable things. We need a real leader if we want to get out of the red into the black. Is Kerry a real leader? What do you think?

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