The Weak Link in American Democracy
The following is a post by "Shihar" on Slashdot that I felt deserved to be reprinted and referenced outside of the Slashdot world.
The sections in italics are a previous post which he is quoting and to which he is responding. The entire post is copy/pasted and has not been edited. I find his post refreshing for many reasons, one of which is that it soundly rejects the conspiracy-hurling assertions placed by those who wish to escape blame and culpability for our current problems. People are far too quick to claim victim status, rather than taking the responsibility and actions necessary to bring about that which they claim they value.
So this is why 2 american presidential candidates were arrested trying to gain entry to the 2004 debates?
The green and Badnark got arrested for trespassing. You can get yourself arrested too without much trouble; that doesn't make this Soviet America. You can't even put the US and a solid half of the world nations on the same scale when it comes to political freedom. Suggesting that you can simply shows deep ignorance about the state of the rest of the world.
oh please!.. the 2 reigning parties have essentially made it impossible for new parties to form.
I don't disagree in the slightest. You miss the larger point though which we shall get to in just a moment.
ross perot had 2 billion dollars at his disposal. Unless everyone else has that kind of money no.. the system does not work, and how dare you try to pretend otherwise
Ahh, now we are getting closer to the "problem" with American politics...
And this is why the majority of americans dont vote.. they know it's essentially communist china here with a little potpurri on the grungier and more totalitarian aspects.
And this is where the point flies right over your head. The Americans could have made Ross Perot president if they wanted to. Nazi storm troopers didn't drag Perot off in handcuffs. No evil corporate death squads showed up to prevent people from voting. Americans just didn't vote for him. They could have and they didn't. End of story.
Ask yourself why Ross Perot did so well. To give you a little history, this man for a brief time actually was LEADING in the polls. He only started to get trounced after his somewhat defective personality was brought to light by his public appearances. Ross Perot almost won because of marketing. Don't get me wrong, he had a message too, but what made him different from the Greens and Libertarians that loose each year is that not only was his message centrist enough to appeal (lets face it, the Greens and the Libertarians are extremist), but he had enough money drive his message like a spike through every single American's head.
This is the heart and the root of the problem with American democracy. Americans are too fucking lazy to learn about politics. You need to practically beat the American public in voting. You need to blast the airwaves and the TVs. You need to shove your message down their throat and send out armies of volunteers. The problem isn't that the poor oppressed masses of Americans don't have an alternative. They do have an alternative; they just either don't know about it because they don't bother to look. Even when they do have the alternative (as was the case with Perot), they further fail to not just vote for the alternative, but the majority simply fail to vote. The Americans are not the poor oppressed people whose will have been broken as you make them out to be. They are just flat out lazy and/or stupid. America's lack of choice is American's fault. Pure and simple.
If Americans were not so complicate and easily swayed by corporate sponsored political marketing campaigns, corporations would have no power. If Americans spent 5 minutes on the Internet, found an alternative, then voted for the alternative, the democins and republicrats would be out within a week. The Gestapo isn't going to stop them from voting or rig the election. No one is going to be sent to the Gulag for failing to vote for one of the two established parties. If they simply voted differently, the established parties would vanish.
Any political failures in the American political system are not the fault of evil corporations and politicians. The blame lies completely and ONLY on the shoulders of the voting (and more importantly) non-voting public. The failures of our political system stem directly from a failure to exercise the political power that all Americans over the age of 18 have.
So can it with the inane talk of revolutions and evil corporations. If you think the system is so corrupt, do this one simple thing and you don't need to bother with the guns, the mass protests, and the riots to change the system. Simply get 25% of all the Americans who can vote to vote for one "alternative" candidate. They don't need to arm themselves. They don't need to quit work. They don't need to risk their life and liberty in a peaceful or violently struggle. They need to take just one fucking hour out of their day every 2 years and vote. You don't even need to achieve a majority. Since less then 50% of Americans vote, you actually only need 25% of the voting population to agree. In fact, you need even less if you can leech from people who currently vote democrat and republican.
If you can't accomplish the simple feat of getting a quarter of the population to vote differently, then the problem isn't in the corrupt political system. The problem is SQUARLY on the shoulders of the American people. We let this political system get built and we could sweep it out by simply spending 1 hour every 2 years voting.
So, excuse me while I laugh my ass off at the idea of an American revolution. If you can't even a quarter of the people to waste a messily hour voting for one alternative candidate, you are fucking delusional if you think you are going to get people to roll up their polo shirt sleeves and start a revolution.
The only thing wrong with the American democracy is that it relies on Americans to run it.