As an American citizen with left leaning politics I am trapped in a small box. I have no real political choices. I have no chance. Between the American Taliban and the pragmatists, we have shut down the voice of a legitimate American left. Yes, we still have Bernie Sanders, but where are the other voices? Buried down in the layers of the noise machine. The 200 Tea Partyers get first page New York Times coverage and the thousands who fight to protect the safety net, get little notice.
- I can vote for a Neo-Liberal free market centrist, Barack Obama;
- Not vote; or
- Vote for a marginal third party, or an independent candidate who emerges.
In truth, these are not choices. In a Parliamentary system, I would be a member of a party that mirrored my political leanings. I would vote along my party line and the winner, would have to probably enter a coalition with my party, the lefty party of my choice. In the American political system, I am held captive. I could choose a Green Party, or a Socialist Party in German, Greece, Italy, or France. Cripes, Egypt will have more political parties in this election round. In the end, yes the muddy middle wins and Neo-libearal (corporatist) economics prevail.
Vote for the Democratic candidate, or the American Taliban will be elected. Your rights, actually your daughter’s rights at this time in life, the social safety net, the environmental policies, the human rights, in sum all your core values will be abolished by the fanatics. So, unless I capitulate to the corporatist Neo Liberal economic policies and centrist social policies, of the incumbent, I will have to shoulder the responsibility for the catastrophe. People still blame the Nader voters in 2000 for the Gore loss. How democratic of you.
The political blackmail barrage will start:
- It’s about the supreme court.
- Save Social Security.
- The last drips and drabs of environmental policy.
In truth, I will get a mediocre Supreme Court, Obama will most likely overhaul Social Security to satisfy the big donors that will help him raise the 1 Billion, all the money will be spent to woo the “Independent” voters, the great bipolar middle, the right will get a chunk of Congress, and the left, will still be on the sidelines diddling with lofty notions of “reason”, “pragmatism”, ”the excellent is the enemy of the good”, drone, drone and drone.
The left, by throwing its early support behind Obama, gave him a tremendous win. In the process, it failed to create a left base, or voice. In that respect, the right-wing, from the margins, was somehow better at patching together a voice via the Tea Party. We can laugh all we want, but they got their distorted populist message out and ours, the real populist message, languished on the inter webs in meek voices.
Representative Democracies need multiple viable political parties. This two-party system is killing our democracy. It is merging all the voices into the status quo. Without parties that offer real political agendas, we get this mish-mash of delirium and confusion. Meanwhile, the guys who fund all the candidates, the corporatist, get all the access.
Workers have power via unions. Voters have power via parties, voter blocks. We, of the American left, were put in the dunce corner and told to be good citizens. Our pragmatism and reason limits us to the role of saps.
Let me introduce myself: I am Stella, an American lefty. I could never be a card carrying lefty. I always have to apologize and compromise. Just once, let me vote my politics.