I ran across this cartoon today on ZNet that nicely captures the essence of U.S. “democracy”:
Today on NBC’s Meet the Press, Ralph Nader announced that he is running for President in 2008 again as an independent candidate, and I couldn’t be more excited!
Ever since Dennis Kucinich and John Edwards dropped out of the Presidential race, I have found myself unable to vote for any candidate in the Presidential elections nor any hope that someone with any media visibility would be challenging the status quo candidates on substantive issues like the war in Iraq, the bloated and wasteful military budget, corporate welfare, and true single-payer universal healthcare for every American.
That has now changed with Nader’s entry into the race. Not only is it exciting to actually have a voice again this election season, but also Nader’s campaign isn’t simply about giving voice to millions of Americans whose issues are ignored by the corporate candidates – it’s also about building a citizen’s movement around the country to put pressure on our elected politicians and to break through the trappings of the two-party system that make our dearly bought voter rights nearly meaningless.
Nader can’t do it alone. His campaign will need active and informed citizens in every State to volunteer and dedicate themselves to fighting against corporate control in our lives. One of the first big issues the campaign faces is the struggle for ballot access in all 50 states.
Visit the Nader campaign today and find out what you can do to help!
So today is “Super Tuesday” and I can think of nothing super about it.
Today Americans around the country who actually realize that Presidential primary elections are being held will be heading out to their polling stations to “pull the lever” for one of what has been effectively whittled down to a pool of four candidates among whom the solid differences are so minor as to be a joke. All four candidates offer nothing to change the status quo when judged by their records and their words rather than campaign slogans. All four candidates seem likely to get us involved in more imperialist wars while continuing the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. All four will leave our health care system firmly in the hands of the insurance and pharmaceutical industries instead of yanking these parasites out of the system, publicly funding health care, and putting medical decisions back into the hands of the public and their privately chosen doctors.
I was reading the “issues” section of the Atlanta Journal Constitution on Sunday where there was an entire article devoted to comparing the musical selections of the candidates to see what exciting insights this exercise might provide. The same article also subtly observed the importance of selecting a candidate who seems likely to win in November, effectively reducing elections down to the horse race terms in which it is often framed in the corporate media.
These elections are a sham and an obscene circus.
Every four years the American public gets to select its master-in-chief from a narrow field of candidates who fiercely compete and debate within a very narrow range so as to give the illusion of choice and dialog while keeping the true options fixed to those acceptable and profitable to corporate America.
Where is the voice for peace? Where is an opponent of American empire? Where is the defender of civil liberties? Who is the champion for the workers in America living from paycheck to paycheck? Who will put an end to corporate welfare? Who will check the obscene excesses of the military-industrial-complex that President Eisenhower knew so intimately and warned the public about so many years ago?
Don’t look for these voices in an American politician because if you do see such a rare bird, you will get to witness its systematic silencing and the elimination of its chances to fly.
We cannot look to leaders to solve the problems in America anymore than a slave might look to his master for freedom.
Sheesh. You’d think this Ad on Facebook was confusing the primary elections with the Super Bowl: