Web Search nikon coolpix digital cameras The Miserable Annals of the Earth: Renderings from Caesar

Monday, August 07, 2006

Renderings from Caesar

I have to admit to a sneaking admiration for Carl Romenelli, the Green Party candidate running in Pennsylvania to try and unseat the odious and execrable Rick Santorum. His entire campaign seems to be funded by deep pocketed conservatives trying desperately to stripi votes away from Santorum's Democratic challenger, Bob Casey.

Still, I've learned my lesson from my disastrous flirtation with third party politics back in 2000, when I singlehandedly destroyed the world by voting Nader while living in Florida. (Yeah, it was me. And you thought I was powerless.)

What I think should happen, in a perfect world, is that Casey should get out of the way and throw his support to Romenelli. As a general rule, I like the Green Party platform a great deal more than anything the Democrats manage to cobble together after consulting with all their goddam focus groups.

Of course they're unelectable. Even if the Democrats all stood down and started working for the Greens, we are, as a nation, far too moderate/conservative for the Green Party to win any elections in our majority-rules system. Or, at least, that's the official story.

In point of fact, looking over the Green Platform, I have to assume that it would be appealing to at least a nominal majority of folks, if the Green Party, like all 'third parties', hadn't been so comprehensively trashed as 'unelectable'. But that becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. The people who have all the money spend it on massive disinformation campaigns aimed at convincing all the idiots out there that any party that seriously wants to change anything -- especially how wealth is allocated in our society -- is 'unelectable', and we'd just be wasting our votes. And as long as most of us believe it, and assume we really have to vote for Corporate Shill A or Corporate Shill B, it becomes the truth. One need only look, as I have already done in this entry, to the 2000 Presidential campaign to see the 'truth' of this.

Of course, there are all kinds of truth. Anyone who seriously believes there is no difference between Corporate Party A and Corporate Party B needs to wake up and smell the bullshit. There's simply no way any of us as individuals, our nation, or our planet would be in the same kind of trouble right now if Al Gore had been President for the last five years.

Yet another, deeper level of truth is that Al Gore, however preferable he would clearly be to Bush, is still just a front man for the rich get richer status quo. If Gore would have been a vast improvement on Bush, then how vast an improvement over either would Ralph have been?

We'll never know. Most likely we'll never know if Carl Romenelli would make a decent U.S. Senator, either. If I were voting in PA, I'm reasonably certain you'd have to prove to me that Bob Casey was a kiddie raping Satanist before I pulled any other lever in November. But that's only because it's already been proven to me that Romenelli, like Ralph Nader before him, is 'unelectable'... which is, in and of itself, a curious mass illusion... which is only as real as we believe it is.

Unfortunately, enough of us believe it, that the rest of us disregard it at our peril.

4 Comments:

At 12:34 PM , Blogger SuperFiancee said...

I suppose the saddest part to me is that there is such finality to being elected on one's own merits. The relics of the past, I guess.

Muck-raking can only go so far. Rigging elections using rigged equipment, locking out voters, funding distractionary third party candidates, well, that's where we've gotten.

That we continue to elect candidates who use these tactics, shows them that we're willing to overlook these tactics in our elected officials. Tactics we'd paddle the behinds of our children for doing.

I was looking at just where Romanelli’s getting his donations. Not surprising, I guess. And, honestly, no political party is going to turn down money. I'd just like to think that a party as deeply rooted in principle wouldn't allow themselves to be "used" this way. That they'd publicize what the GOP was trying to do and take actions to unseat them.

I guess they feel they are furthering their own agenda and at least getting their name out there. I'd like to think they had at least that much behind the decision to allow themselves to be pawns.

Third party candidates are such a dream. So many of us would love to see that dream come to fruition. I suppose that makes us 'marks' as much as the con using the loneliness of a wealthy woman to steal her dreams of love (along with a good deal of her money).

Every time I think politicians can't be any slimier, they correct my perception.

 
At 12:42 PM , Blogger SuperFiancee said...

Not sure what I did wrong, but a link to this site http://www.philly.com/mld/dailynews/news/local/15186074.htm?source=rss&channel=dailynews_local should have been in that last comment. I even looked at it before publishing. Grrr!

 
At 1:28 PM , Blogger CalvinPitt said...

A couple of years ago, I took a Comparative Political Systems Class, and we were looking at the American Electoral System, and my professor said something that stuck with me.

He said "Don't vote because you think your one vote will make a difference in the outcome, because odds are there are too many people voting for that. Vote for the experience of voting."

The way I've always interpreted that was that since your vote isn't likely to be the vote that decides it, there isn't any reason not to vote for the candidate you really agree with, instead of the one you think could actually win that you most agree with.

So I look at their stances, decide who lines up with me the most, and vote for them. If they don't win, well that stinks, but at least I went with what I believed in.

I think you're right that if more people actually stopped to look at the stances groups like the Green Party took, instead of just listening to those who control the media, they'd vote for them and maybe we'd get a few third-party candidates in seats of power.

 
At 11:03 AM , Blogger MJ Norton said...

Fairly obviously, as a resident of Pennsylvania, this situation's looming large on our horizon. There's little that's likely to shift my vote away from Casey, especially as I must confess my #1 objective is in kicking Rick Santorum out on his ass.

It bothers me that third party candidates are so regularly used by parties to drive wedges by one party into another they deem to be vulnerabel to a split vote. Currently the Democrats are fighting Carl Romenelli being on the ballot on the basis that a great many of the signatures (collected due to GOP efforts as you more or less note) appear to be suspect. It can't help but make the Democrats look bad, though, which is also part of what the GOP/Santorum camp wants.

Democratic volunteers should, instead, take up the cause of Libertarian candidate Tom Martin at least part time, while canvassing GOP-heavy neighborhoods. Go to those people and lay out how the Libertarians want to get the government out of their homes and pockets. Hit on those and like-minded points that the GOP has drawn on while still managing to cause the deficit to balloon.

The Greens have done a nice job of neatening up their platform from the first time I looked at it (the election of 2000), and there's a great deal to agree with. Many of their primary points are excellent, but it's some of the details that worry me.

It still strikes me as death by 10,000 paper cuts. If one follows through on their platform it almost requires every citizen to vote on every micro-issue. Part of the appeal of a representative democracy is that we don't have to all become politicians. I suppose the ideal here is an informed citizenry, but must we all become auto mechanics, roofers and electricians in order to protect ourselves from being swindled by unscrupulous ones? Also, their civil rights/social justice elements have me concerned that we'd soon find our actions monitored by social workers. Their ecological platform has me worried our every purchase and how actively we cool or heat our homes will be the subject of scrutiny by an environmentalist. Basically I'm afraid of having my behaviors (and the cost thereof) controlled by Barney the Dinosaur, some nameless hippy who sees anything he doesn't deem "natural" as an affront or even a danger and might use the term "specist" on anyone who feels a human life is worth more than that of an animal, and Richard Simmons deciding the taxes to be applied to various processed foods.

As currently formulated I see a great many elements crafted to appeal to target groups, and an overall package that, if adopted, would soon have us at each others' throats. There are quite a few PETA give-aways in the policy, too, not all of them in the "Ethical Treatment of Animals" section, but scattered in different parts of section III - Ecological Sustainability.

They're also more adamantly against nuclear technology than I care for or even see practical. They touch on some elements I agree with in part - vitrification of storage sites is definitely one approach - but I see that as part of an ongoing nuclear power element to national energy strategy.

 

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