It’s been a depressing election season but the end is finally near (hopefully not THE END). The Democrats tell me I must vote blue no matter who because democracy is at stake and only they can save it from the fascist Republicans. The Republicans tell me to vote for them because Biden the radical socialist/liberal is out to groom our kids, take away our guns, and disrespect our religion (it’s assumed here that your religion is Christianity). Both parties are hyping fear of the other as a motivating force. It’s not a shooting civil war; we don’t have a Bleeding Florida (yet) like we had in the 1850s in Bleeding Kansas; but the stoking of divisions in this country for electoral gains is truly dispiriting.
After reviewing my state’s ballot online and looking over the choices, I expect I’ll be voting mostly for Democrats, not because I want to but because the third-party choices are either uninspiring or non-existent. I live in a solidly blue state, so I don’t really have to worry about a red tide of Republicans surging across my little corner of this earth. Elsewhere in America, I expect Republicans will do quite well.
The reason is simple: The Democrats’ message, like Biden himself, is old, corporate-centered, and uninspiring. I can’t name one policy the Democrats are truly embracing to help ordinary Americans. A $15 federal minimum wage? Nope. Single-payer health care? Nope. A firm commitment to getting big/corporate money out of politics? Nope. Reductions to Pentagon spending and a peace dividend to those in need? Nope. I could go on and on. Just about the only clear Democratic message is “vote for us because the Republicans are going to destroy democracy.”
Of course, Democracy is already destroyed in America. Both parties are corporate-dominated. They obey the owners and donors and ignore us. The people who need the most help in America are those with the weakest voices; those who are dominant keep scheming successfully to get more and more even while loudly crying “foul.” It’s socialism for the corporate rich, dog-eat-dog capitalism for everyone else, and both parties are firmly committed to keeping it that way.
So why do I vote? I truly believe it’s one of my civic duties. Besides, there are issues/questions on the ballot that do matter in my state, and I want to have my say.
So, my fellow Americans, don’t despair at tomorrow’s results. Don’t become fearful about one party or the other winning followed by democracy’s destruction. For that happened decades ago, and we’re still chugging along, even though I’m seeing more black smoke billowing from the engine compartment.
My dad knew the score, and his words haunt me. He survived poverty, the Great Depression, World War II, and low-paying factory work before securing a decent civil service job that kept us solidly in the middle class. In the 1990s, he told me he’d had it tough in the beginning of his life but easy at the end; but he predicted the reverse would be true for me: relatively easy at the beginning but tough at the end. I hope he’s wrong, but I fear he’s right. The proof is evident at every election. Sigh.