Ron Paul is not the only man who can save America. Electing Sarah Palin is not going to fix the economy. A second Obama term is not going to provide adequate healthcare for every man woman and child. Putting Ralph Nader in office would provide countless hours of entertainment, but it wouldn’t do squat for the environment. The congressman you think is the most evil thing this side of Satan? He’s not going to do much more than pad his pockets the same way the senator you think is the cat’s meow will.
In short, there is no way to fix our country at the ballot box.
Am I saying it’s time for switching to the ammo box? No, I am not. That opportunity has already been passed by. The next shooting war will be when it all breaks down, not because of a revolution intent on recapturing American. What I’m saying is that to all people on every side, voting isn’t the only answer to whatever problem you are complaining about.
To the OWS Protestors – You continue to give the government the power to choose the winners and losers in the economy. By constantly voting in politicians who promise to use regulatory and taxation powers to ‘guide’ people and companies into making the ‘correct’ choices, you’ve granted them carte blanche powers. These corporations you despise so much (well, at least the nebulous ‘banks’ that ironically provided the funding to the ‘good’ corporations like Starbucks, Apple, and those that manufacture the myriad of cheap products you’ve been utilizing in your protests) can only rent seek because you’ve allowed the government the authority to manufacture the rules that permit corporations the ability to snuff out competition via purchasing politicians’ favor.
The answer is not to demand the government do something, but to do less. Allow GM to fail, allow banks to collapse, allow people to make bad decisions. Competition will see others swoop in, purchase those companies for pennies on the dollar, and provide the jobs and manufacturing that we need. Oh, it will be painful, by the way, but it will work just as it always has.
To the Wookie Suiters – Stop spamming the Interweb tubes with how Ron Paul is our savior. Please, we’ve already tried a God-King and how is that working for you? Nothing says “I’m serious about cutting government power” like claiming a single person could fix it all.
To the Conservatives – Romney? Seriously? Bill Quick’s Pomeranian could beat Obama and instead of pushing for someone who actually represents your values, you’re allowing the GOP to nominate someone who differs from Obama by being 1/2 less black. Instead, the infighting is horrific about what candidate said something stupid or how poorly a debate went as if somehow the POTUS isn’t much more than leader of the American Debate Club.
And to all of you – it doesn’t matter who you vote for. This is why Democracy is a failure as a method of governance.It is a moral failure to assume that voting equals action.
To the bleeding hearts, you gain no moral ground by demanding others expend their time, energy, and money on the causes you believe to be moral (and yes, that includes things like healthcare, food, and shelter). Simply handing a $20 over to someone isn’t the same as getting out there, finding the sick and needy, and doing something for them. When is the last time you went to a nursing home and volunteered to offset their costs by performing things like janitorial tasks or preparing food? When have you taken in a homeless person for a few days, given them food, clothing, and a safe place to sleep? Have you donated the money you would have spent on your Internet connection, cable TV, or that vacation you were going to take directly to someone with cancer and no insurance so that they can receive the treatment needed to stay alive?
Or did you just go fill in the circle next to a Democrat and walk away thinking “There. I’m a good person!”?
Oh, and conservatives and Libertarians, you don’t get out of it easy either. Electing ‘the right person’ is a moral cop out as well. Liberty isn’t gained by simply trying to put the right people in charge. Down that path you’ll simply find more of the same. No, liberty requires sacrifice. It means standing up and saying “No, I will risk arrest and imprisonment for defying these laws you claim to have authority to pass”. It means not giving money to the companies that receive federal dollars even if that means you have to not buy that new car / TV / mutual fund you wanted.
And education? It takes more than bitching about the school system to count. It means being an active part of your children’s education process. Even if you cannot afford a good private school, you can afford to take the time to instill the proper mindset into you kids. It’s hard because it means you have less time to hit the range, drive to the beach, or go boating. Join the PTA, become a thorn in the side of the educational-statists.
But no, it’s just easier to go vote and, should your guy win or lose, consider that you’ve done your part to make America a better place.
Now, in my political views, we shouldn’t have to be so concerned with what’s going on at a Federal level. Senators from Iowa should NOT have any power to affect my life here in Florida. In fact, the average American should have no interaction with the federal government whatsoever. However, we do not live in Robb’s Fantasy Land so that’s not an option.
Technology has been a wonderful boon to humanity. We have been able to do more with less and that cycle continues to speed up. However, it has done very little to assist in the arena of politics and social interaction (I’m not talking Facebook here). We can communicate faster but we don’t appear to be communicating any better. Hell, I’m of the mind that we’re communicating more but saying a whole hell of a lot less. Twitter & Texting isn’t much more than the digital equivalent of grunting and arguing on Facebook is as useful as taping up flyers in a hurricane.
The issue is that managing the social contract still requires effort. A great quote I saw the other day was this
The social contract exists so that everyone doesn't have to squat in the dust holding a spear to protect his woman and his meat all day every day. It does not exist so that the government can take your spear, your meat, and your woman because it knows better what to do with them.
I’d like to extend this to say that it doesn’t exist so that your meat and women can be taken by others to be distributed amongst who they feel are served better. No, the best way to protect yours and your own is to do more than just sit there and point your spear at those who come near you.
It means doing the hard work of volunteering your time and effort in the arenas you feel are important and allowing other to do the same, even if you do not agree with them. It means not assuming sending your kids to be educated by strangers is all that’s required to shape their minds. It means, Heaven forbid, skipping out on a few episodes of Dancing with the Jersey Shore Stars to be a part of the community you live in so that things get done and people don’t feel the need to demand the government fill the role you should have been doing from the start. It means standing up to the injustices and not just sitting back, hoping the regulatory alligator eats you last.
I fail in many of these items. The thing is, I know I fail and I’m looking at how to better my life and those around me by doing something about it. I achieve no moral victory by having someone point a gun at your head and demand you make up for my shortcomings.
I am responsible for my actions and my inactions. If I do not extend my hand to help you, I deserve no better when I’m down on my luck. It is in my own selfish interest to help others. It is in my best interest to not allow the government to choose the winners and losers by granting them the authority to punish and reward those who help or hinder their campaigns. My life is easier when I expend the effort necessary to better my environment and community.
I’m not 1%. I am not 99% or the 53%.
I’m the .00000003%, the individual, the smallest minority.