It’s just occurred to me that I have yet to write a post about politics. This is immensely strange, given that I am a deeply political animal and that the US election is less than eight days away. I will now endeavour to correct this omission; consider yourselves warned.
If I were an American, as quite a few of my friends are, I would vote for Ralph Nader on November 2nd. Yes, I am being serious – and to the Americans among you, please don’t shoot me. However, this was not always the case. Earlier in the electoral year, I was briefly seduced by the “Anyone but Bush” doctrine, which, as I understand it, holds that the current political situation is sufficiently dire that progressive citizens have an ethical obligation to vote Democrat in spite of their misgivings about the party and/or its current leader.
This is, at first glance, a reasonably compelling argument. Bush, or more accurately, the cabal of Rove/Cheney/Wolfowitz/etc. for which he acts as the endearingly oafish figurehead, has managed in four short years to annul the separation of Church and State; to reinstate economic policies that give free reign to the most despicable of his nation’s robber-barons while consigning the majority of its citizens to working poverty; and, in his spare time, to destroy a formerly viable nation-state and thus nudge the Middle East to the brink of regional collapse. Without question, things are every bit as bleak as they appear.
However, I do not believe for a moment that a John Kerrey administration will enact anything but cosmetic change. I wish it would, but having followed this infernally long campaign since day one I am now convinced that Kerrey is more concerned with securing political power than with governing on the basis of political principles. Speak out against the war in Iraq? Nah, too dicey; better to present yourself as a gun-toting, camo-wearing hawk than to risk alienating the dreaded swing states. Reject the growing influence of religious conservatives on social and educational policy? Heaven forbid: it’s far more politically expedient to kiss Catholic ass in full view of a salivating horde of cable-news spin jockeys. Identify the corporate class as the real force behind virtually all political decision-making in your country and, as Halliburton and its anonymous cohorts so aptly demonstrate, in the international sphere? Then where would your so-called liberal, so-called democratic party get its financial support?
No, Nader is absolutely right: America’s two-party system is profoundly, irredeemably corrupt and it has got to go. Now.
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