Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Full Disclosure

I'm a former Democrat.

As far as I'm concerned, there's no shame in believing in a political system. And there's nothing wrong with aligning yourself more or less with one party or the other, given that their platforms are designed to appeal to different ends of the political spectrum.

But the more books I read and the more I follow the news, the less possible it seems to believe that electing someone is going to solve the country's problems. The current presidential administration proves this.

I voted for him the first time around because I believed the rhetoric. I actually believed it when he built a platform based on differentiating himself from his predecessor. But the record shows nothing of the kind. He's continued and even intensified the worst imperialistic, murderous practices of the previous administration.

Supporters point their fingers at the opposition party, claiming that he's road-blocked at every turn. But this doesn't change the fact that the administration has perfect continuity with United States foreign policy dating back to the end of World War II, which uses force at every opportunity. This doesn't change that the President has waged possibly the worst terrorist program the world has ever seen in its Middle East drone program.

Supporters also point to the recent healthcare reform laws as evidence of his "progressive" agenda. And though in some ways healthcare will improve for lower-income folks in this country, it doesn't change the fact that we've still got just about the worst system of any "developed" country. It's far from what would be considered a universal system. The United States controls fully 25% of the world's wealth. Why are we ranked 33rd in the world in life expectancy? Why were the insurance companies invited to help draft the law? And what makes this law essentially different from "Romneycare" or the bill first proposed by Republicans in 1993 that also required an "individual mandate" to purchase private health insurance?

One particularly virulent strain of political ignorance equates the President and his programs and agenda with socialism. A cursory familiarity with the tenets of socialist and capitalist systems makes this notion laughable. His dedication to "free-market" capitalism makes him the Darling of Wall Street. He continues the capitalist program of neo-liberal globalization, that "race to the bottom" economic system responsible for so much of the planet's misery and many, if not most of its crises.

Any good socialist would've locked all those bankers up for the financial fiasco they created a few years ago, a mess that won't be soon untangled, at least not by a government with too much vested interest in the mess. After all, who donates most of the cash that gets these guys elected? Don't wanna step on their toes, now do we?

But none of this would make me vote Republican either. For someone who believes people ought not shoot other people, and that folks ought to help one another, and "judge not lest ye be judged" and so on, this is a no-brainer.

So where do we go from here, exactly? If there's no one to vote for, no new politicians to save us from the evils of the old ones, what are we to do?