We all know that there are some huge and supposedly important elections coming in November. Turn on the television — there are already a myriad of back-and-forth attack ads slandering one politician, because he or she took this or that sleazy donation, or said something that could or could not be construed as marginally racist.
The real problem is that voters in this age, or of any age with elections, have no choice of candidates.
We are always being prodded to vote like it is our civic duty, and that it is such an honorable choice for a wonderful and free country. The trouble is that it doesn’t even closely resemble civic duty when it is so obvious that politicians on every level are lying, slimy thieves who take big donations from rent-seeking corporations, pull legal and fiscal strings or name buildings built with other peoples’ money after themselves, even though they haven’t done anything to deserve it.
And maybe I’m wrong, because there always seems to be perpetual dissatisfaction with the way our government works on every level, but people still seem fooled enough by politicians’ whims and empty promises of fixing all our problems and giving us supposedly “free” handouts.
These only seem to materialize by launching this country into more serious economic calamity or by engaging in populist class warfare by blaming or looting wealthy people.
Funnily enough, politicians are absolved of their sins when they make even catastrophic mistakes (other than soliciting prostitution). They can always use their pulpit to redirect anger and blame (which should be focused on them) to nebulous scapegoats like “capitalism.”
While there are some politicians who think they can tell us what is best for us in our economic lives, there are those, of course, who think they have the moral high-ground when they tell us what is best in our social lives.
It is perfectly germane for politicians to think they can tell us whom we can or can’t have in our beds, if we can or cannot have salty or sugary foods or whether it is or not morally right to have an abortion when it isn’t even their own body that they are deciding for.
I guess I am questioning the basic and all too common assumption that fundamental moral and economic leadership comes from a supposedly enlightened class of elected leaders, when all they do is plunder, lie, and continually game the system.
The overwhelming majority of Americans have the power to make these decisions for themselves, and it is wholly and morally right that they both make and feel the consequences. Yet every November we seem to choose the other idiot that also has the temerity to say that they know what’s best for us.
Morals, as well as prosperity, do not come from the top. Just as no one designed the social conditions in which we live, no one designed the economy in which we interact.
Therefore it is ethically repugnant and technically impossible for someone to say that they can build or solve our problems when each day millions of people who live in this country make trillions of overlapping, far-reaching and intimate social and economic decisions.
Maybe, in the end, it is not just the politicians who are morally nauseating, but the system that allows for the rules to be perpetually bent and the normal candor and proper function of government to be ever expanded whenever someone makes enough vague promises and wins enough votes to do so.
Just know that in this and every November, apathy is a perfectly acceptable, if not morally right, decision to make about the elections.
Staying home is the most powerful statement you can make to show your disapproval with things as they are.
We are only standing idly by when we vote like automatons to preserve a morally and fiscally corrupt system of limitless government.
We shouldn’t be fooled by lofty or articulate rhetoric, and we shouldn’t be forced to choose between a thief and an immoralist. Apathy is action, and apathy is change.