Monday, July 4, 2016

Independence Day

When both parties are immoral and corrupt, and the system is rigged such that any alternative vote only serves to benefit that same two party system, the only virtuous action seems to me to drain legitimacy from the system itself by refusal to vote, and by stating one's opposition to the system itself, clearly and without apathy.
If the majority of Americans (who, polls suggest, prefer neither party's candidate) were vocal and active about their disbelief in this corrupt system, rather than silent or abetting it by voting for the "lesser of two evils" (in a system where both sides look more and more identical, and increasingly evil), there might be a chance of good reform. As things currently stand, however, both sides use manipulative and coercive means to gain and retain power.
I was raised to believe that voting, beyond being a right, was a civic duty, and as a corollary, that one had no legitimate voice to complain about one's government without exercising that right. I now feel our situation is the exact opposite. To vote for either party is to participate against my own conscience, and to maintain a system by which truly just public and foreign policy is made impossible. In such a circumstance, the system itself needs to be altered or changed.
I've thought long and hard about our political situation for many years now, and even tried to enlist friends of mine to argue me out of what I've been seeing. I would have loved to become a good card carrying liberal or conservative. I'd even have loved to become a moderate decrying both extremes. But none of it will do. The corruption is obvious and unsolvable by the rules of the current game. By participating we give it legitimacy. By apathetic, cynical non-participation we ignore our responsibility, as adults and human beings, to work towards a truly just political culture, for the benefit of all people. One alternative to this, and the one I'm currently espousing, is active, critical non-participation with a healthy dose of civil disobedience, when the opportunity presents itself.
I think it's time for the American people to declare independence from a corrupt system. Happy July 4th.