Archive for October 30th, 2012

By JC

“This election is not between Obama and Romney, it is between corporate power and us.” — Chris Hedges

There have been many asides and aspersions cast about the blogosphere and elsewhere about 4&20 lately concerning why we have or haven’t had much to say about the 2012 elections (or where we choose to write them). Both Liz and jhwygirl have alluded to their reasons — combinations of disgust over corruption and hypocrisy, among others —  and I decided 6 months ago to hold my tongue during the long run up to the election. Pete’s been putting up some posts at PoliticalMontana.

I choose not play into the hands of party hardliners who want to accuse us independent lefties of somehow being responsible for whatever dem losses that transpire (either directly through third party votes, voting regressive, or somehow doing the work of the right by suppressing dem, independent or undecided voters as we try to hold a politician accountable). Actually, I really don’t care if dem/lib/progressive party activists lambast me, as I really doubt that I have much influence over established voting patterns, outside of the few phone calls I get from fam and friends asking about issues or candidates on their absentee ballots.

If anything, the attacks have pushed me (and many others) further away from the mainstream of contemporary electoral politics, and solidified our views that the system as it is, does not provide avenue to meaningful reform. So it becomes an exercise in how, if, or to what degree does one participate in elections, knowing that anything less than a soft revolution is necessary to bring about the conditions in which our future can realistically be built. Or are apocalyptic visions of the future really just a matter of degree and timing, and resistance is futile?

So the following article, “Why I’m Voting Green” by Chris Hedges comes at the appropriate time for me to do a “me too” ditto on his take and his conversation with Dr. Jill Stein, Green Party nominee for President. While I believe that Hedges does a good job in his article and interview with Stein, I still think that he isn’t willing to go the extra mile and approach directly the question of whether or not capitalism and democracy can coexist. I for one, don’t think that they can — at least not as currently conceived and constructed.

The policies that Stein advance are likely to be better liked by those to the left of the political spectrum, and if this election were only about policies, she most likely would win. But our elections no longer are about policies — or maybe they are not about the big questions of out times: empire & war; capitalism; climate change; eroding civil liberties, etc.. They more and more are about wedge issues designed by the corporate funders of our elections meant to instill fear, and reduce the voting populace (and the less the better) to contests based around ignorance and deception, to which the defending party turns into the lesser of two evils and harm reduction candidacies. And there are many who believe that the better harm reduction is done when democrats are in minority status in the Senate.

Having said all that, I will vote, as down ticket races still have some meaning at the local and state level. There are several ballot issues to be voted on that are designed to either restrict further our civil liberties, undo the work of bat shit crazy legislators, or to begin the process of identifying the roots of some of our electoral and constitutional problems.

Instead of just taking Hedges’ piece and reducing it to blurbs to illuminate, or asking you to click a link and jump to another website, I’ll include Hedges’ piece intact, and hope that you take the time to read it, and comment here.

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