Democracy, Aristocracy, Hypocrisy?

11 Comments

Indulge me while I step away from my normal platform to discuss a text I received yesterday from the The Nephew that troubled me.  I text messaged this question to the over-18 crumb snatchers who I know:

“Two weeks.  Are you registered to vote?”

Mama Bread Baker doesn’t align with any particular party.  She just likes to make fun of both sides on Twitter during presidential debates because “Lie to Me” was cancelled and I’ve forgotten all the non-verbal cues that indicate these candidates may be lying except for the one where you can tell by their mouth being open, so the debates don’t necessarily help to sway my vote.

But Mama Bread Baker does advocate voting.  The rule in my house if you’re over-18 is:

“If you didn’t cast your say, don’t complain today.”

This is the response I received from The Nephew.

“My candidate got s****ed out of his nomination and I haven’t got to hear the opinions of the candidates who did get on the ballot because sweet corporate America wouldn’t let them in the debate because they didn’t bring enough monetary interest.  One even got arrested for wanting to participate in the debate which she had every right to do.  America is an aristocracy and I personally won’t further the false image of a democracy by casting a vote for someone that isn’t really MY choice.”

I wouldn’t be so concerned if this were the isolated sentiment of The Nephew but among the over-18 young adults that regularly gather at our home, many seem to have a similar disillusionment with our presidential election system.

I’m not here to debate whether or not independent and third-party candidates should be included in debates.  I’ll just regurgitate the information I found on the web about their impact.

“Independent and third-party candidates have always held a larger than life image, with Ross Perot and Ralph Nader being perfect recent examples. Independents are consistently at a disadvantage compared to their Republican and Democratic peers – from a financial, organizational and captive voter base perspective.

Despite the fact that they have never mounted a credible challenge to candidates from the two major parties, their presence have the potential to affect the outcome of an election, as can be observed in the 2000 presidential election won by former President George W. Bush. Democrats contend that Ralph Nader’s presence took away some crucial votes from their candidate, Al Gore.

While there have been no notable national-level performances from any independent or third party candidates for as long as we care to remember, it bears reminding that our very first president, and one of our founding fathers, George Washington, ran on an independent ticket – and won!”  (Source: http://2012.independent-candidate.org/)

I will, however, argue that I believe there should be campaign spending caps to level the playing field for all candidates, and the Electoral College system should be dumped for a popular vote.  “The United States is the only current example of an indirectly elected executive president, with an electoral college comprising electors representing the 50 states and the federal district.” (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electoral_college)

Federal Candidates Can Lose Even If They Win

Federal Candidates Can Lose Even If They Win (Photo credit: Occupy* Posters)

When our young people are this disillusioned with our election process, then we are country in greater need of change than I ever imagined.  And there’s nothing funny about that.

© 2012 CThacker

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11 thoughts on “Democracy, Aristocracy, Hypocrisy?

  1. In Hindsight, We are compelled to pray for our recently elected ….Leader? I wonder if praying for a divine lightning bolt misses the spirit of that instruction.

    What I find particularly disheartening is the likelihood of any real reform in our current processes is slim to none. I will still vote though… even if I have to write in on the ticket, “None of the above” 🙂

  2. Right on Sister! I would even advocate we go so far as adopt some of the policies of other democracies which are – at least on the national level – more democratic that we are. For example, in the U.K., the candidates for Prime Minister can only advertise for 30 days prior to the election, third parties are alive and well to the point that the major parties court them and make concessions to them, and a vote of no confidence can force new elections (and they are directly elected!). It looks like the original western democracy could learn from it’s followers.

    • OMG! I love the advertising limitation. And maybe somewhere in there we could implement the “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all” rule so they will have to focus on their agenda/accomplishments only instead of trashing the candidate. And they all do it.

  3. I have always felt terribly discouraged that the electoral college usually renders my presidential vote moot. I vote anyway, because I believe it to be my duty as a citizen and I know that my vote actually DOES mean something in local contests. During presidential election years, though, it feels pretty demoralizing to be locked out of the decision I most want to be part of.

    • I think you pegged it Jennifer…they feel demoralized. But you are also right, and I remind them of this fact, that there are other positions up for grabs on the ballots where their votes do actually count. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Even as a die-hard Democrat I agree with many of your points. The Electoral College should be eliminated. It harkens back to the days when citizens were uneducated. (Now we are simply intentionally ignorant.)

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