Well, the elections are over. I’d like to inform you of a dirty little secret of mine…. I did not vote. That’s right I’m part of everything that is wrong with this country. I failed to take part in my civic duty as a citizen. I failed to choose twiddle dee over twiddle dum. Instead I voted for none-of-the-above. A swing voter that never swung. I am a fence sitter that just can’t get his ass off of it. But maybe I’m sitting on the fence because each side of the fence is flooded with unbearable (although difference smelling) sewage. The truth is I just flat out despise both parties.
I’d have to say my hatred for politics began in 1988. That was an election year and Jr. high school held a mock election. The result of the mock election was a Republican sweep in all races except one. How could a bunch of 6th, 7th, and 8th graders be so decisive? Even back then the answer was clear to me. The president was Republican so the kids voted Republican. Most of us couldn’t remember any president other then Ronald Regan. I don’t have any solid proof that this was the case but most of the students I talked to implied as much. What about the one Democrat that won? Well, that democrat was Gary Hart. If you recall the 1988 election Gary W. Hart from Colorado was a frontrunner for the Democratic nomination. However, Gary W. Hart was rocked by scandal as it became well publicized that he was having a extra-marital affair. The name Gary Hart was plastered all over TV. When the students where in the voting booths they ran down the list checking off each Republican until they get to the name Gary Hart. Hey, I know that name… and they voted for him. Well, the really funny thing was it wasn’t the right Gary Hart. The students voted for Gary K. Hart in the California State Legislature.
So we were a bunch of kids what does that have to do with adult politics? As I grow older I always had that experience in the back of my mind. I looked at all politics critically. The more “adult politics” I saw the more I began to believe that those 6th, 7th, and 8th graders were not that far off from adult thinking. Politics was not about who is the better public servant or the what was the better policies it was about spin and publicity. People don’t get elected by being the best for the job but being the best at selling an image. Often that image is completely fraudulent.
Why I didn’t vote Republican
“Hey, you got religious dogma in my conservative”
I’d have to say the number one reason that I cannot consider myself a Republican is that they are currently too controlled by the religious right. I believe that even though the founding fathers never used the term “separation of church and state” it was very clear in their intent that the government should stay out of peoples religion and religion should stay out of government. The current Republican party has a tendency to support measures and laws that promote one religion. In my perfect society every individual has a right to engage in his/her own religion to the full extent possible up to the point that it begins to interfere with another’s right to engage in their own. Many (an example) in the Republicans party yearn for a Christian based government.
I don’t understand the republican stance against gay marriage. I don’t see how it hurts them if a gay couple is married. If they don’t like it then don’t practice it yourself. If your Church doesn’t like it then don’t perform the ceremony. Hell, excommunicate gays from your organization if you like. I don’t care. But why must a pair of people that have a loving relationship be denied the rights of marriage? I don’t get it.
Then there is the topic of intelligent design. The republicans supporters of intelligent design try to argue that we should teach “both sides” in school science class. What are these “both sides” they talk about? One sides is a well established scientific approach (that means testable) to explain the origin of species. This side is accepted by many people of various religions all over the world. Then there is the “other side”. That other side is a non-scientific approach (that means un-testable) that teaches life was created by God. And not just any god. The Judeo-Christian God that THEY believe in. What about the atheist, the Buddhist, or the Raelians? Should we teach their side? Should we teach the “alternative” story that the “Blackman is the original man. From him came all brown, yellow, red, and white people. By using a special method of birth control law, the Blackman was able to produce the white race.”
I am also very pro-choice. I think a woman should have the right to choose. I think that nature has a valid mechanism for aborting an unhealthy fetus during the first trimester of pregnancy and as sentient creatures we should have the right to extent that mechanism to those times that birthing a child would be unhealthy for the mother (physically or mentally). Again the only “Republican” objection centers around their holy texts.
And last but not least is my opinion that the current Republican party is not a conservative party at all. Conservatism to me is not blind adherence to religious dogma but a belief in small government, respect for checks and balances, fiscal responsibility, and a conservative foreign policy. This does not describe the current Republican party. The current Republican party is a representative of the rich and big business.
Why I didn’t vote Democrat
“You got tree-hugging hypocrite in my liberal”
I’ll start my criticism of the Democratic party where I left off on the Republicans. I believe in small government, fiscal responsibility, and a conservative foreign policy. While the Republicans seek, and fail, to achieve these ideals the democratic party doesn’t even try. Unlike many in the Democratic party I believe the government should support those that cannot help themselves not those that will not. I believe in compassion for those less fortunate not a welfare state. As long as natural resources are limited we must limit our expenses. I believe social programs must be constrained to the most essential and the most impoverished. I’ll rethink this opinion when cold fusion becomes a reality, in other words more energy and money then we can handle.
In addition to freedom of religion I believe strongly in freedom of speech. That means all speech, even speech that I personally despise. How many times have we seen a group of liberals protest a person that has an opinion they don’t agree with? Don’t they see that their right to protest (peacefully that is) is the same right that allows the person they are protesting to speak?
Another issue I have with the Democrats side of our “dual-party-system” is the eco-terrorists. Just as the Republican party caters to the religious extremists the Democratic party caters to eco-extremists. It seams like many on the Democrat side would rather 10 children starve then 1 rare spotted owl die. I don’t think that is right or the natural order of things. We need to promote environmental conservation that is rooted on real science, not wishy washy feel good politics, while recognizing that we need to support our species over all others. Go ahead accuse me of speciesism but I’ll save your life over a 100 Virginia northern flying Squirrels any day. Matter of fact I would give up every Idaho Springsnail if it preserved your freedom speech.
I despise the “War is bad, let’s not have war” mentality. Do they honestly believe there are large numbers people out there that enjoy war? Sure there are a few war-mongers here and there but for the most part people just want to live their lives to the fullest. Unfortunately, there are those that want to threaten the things that we believe in (see freedom of religion and free speech comments above). When our way of life is threatened sometimes we have no choice but to defend ourselves or our allies. If we could just make love not war then we would have done it. Unfortunately, sometimes war is inevitable.
Why I suck
Ok, so I have outlined why I didn’t vote for twiddle dee or twiddle dum. Is that really an excuse? No, it is not. There are other parties. There are ballot initiatives that need to be voted on. I really have no excuse and as a non-voter I think I have no room to complain about politics. That is why this is the first and may be last (long) political post on my blog. Unlike a computer problem I can’t solve political issues after a few hours of head banging on my desk. I’d like to stick to things have constructive input into…. politics is not one of them.