Apr. 3, 2016 By Jack Jodell.
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
– A very profound Benjamin Franklin –
I often wonder what those who live outside of our borders really think of the methods we employ to win elective office, particularly the presidency, in this, the supposed “land of the free” known as the United States of America. Our corporate-owned, profit-driven, conflict and spectacle-ridden mainstream media is so obsessed with ratings and dollars that it fails miserably in actually educating the public as to specific issues, and instead tries constantly to oversimplify what are often very complicated and involved topics. Even worse, this terrible media often distorts, misrepresents, and/or completely ignores many vitally important pieces of background information. Rather than presenting serious, topical debates, corporate television, radio, and newsprint revel in presenting verbal slugfests replete with catchy soundbites and “gotcha” moments rather than giving a complete examination of the ideas and issues being raised.
Foreigners must certainly think we (or at least some of our candidates) have completely lost our minds. Who could honestly blame them?
On the Republican side, we have Donald Chump (er, Trump) and Ted Cruz constantly lying about and insulting each other, and making outrageous statements and promises they know damn well they will never be able to keep. They deliberately refrain from deeply discussing policy, perhaps because each of them lacks any realistic policy initiatives to offer. On the Democratic side, we see Hillary Clinton (or one or more of her spokespersons) misstating the positions taken by her opponent Bernie Sanders. Why try to lie to demean the opponent? The truth is by far the best convincing argument: it will yield both the strengths and weaknesses in a specific position. I don’t believe in the axiom that “all is fair in love, war, and politics.” Realistically, they are not fair in the least: lies are a sign of fear and weakness – not strength – and they show contempt for not only the one being lied about, but also the one being lied to. With the horrendous level of lying occurring in political campaigns, it is little wonder that so many find politics abhorrent and utterly disgusting, and prefer to take a wide berth from the matter. This is, of course, very dangerous for our country and also for the world. Ignorant nations cannot prosper. Only when people are well-informed and can think critically and effectively can they achieve lasting greatness. In the absence of these attributes lie irrational fear and missteps which can and often do lead to lead to injustice, slavery, and war. It can also lead to rash judgments, and the populace being manipulated into supporting leaders and policies which will actually work against their best interests.
Irrational fear can be a very effective and powerful political weapon. It leads to mob rule rather than reasoned judgment, Stampeding bulls wreak nothing but havoc in their blind panic. Many often wonder how it was that tyrants like Adolf Hitler could come to power in a supposedly civilized nation like Germany. His brownshirts marched through the streets verbally and physically assaulting innocent Jews, Communists, and other perceived opponents. They were the epitome of intolerance and authoritarian mob rule. They had no respect for individual rights or opinions and viciously tried to stamp them out and completely eliminate them. We see this very similar form of intolerance today being exhibited by followers of each of our major presidential contenders. It is shameful and thoroughly unnecessary! Protestors at Trump rallies get punched in the face or otherwise manhandled. Cruz and Trump supporters both castigate immigrants, pro-choice people, and anyone who doesn’t agree with them politically or economically. Clinton supporters try to marginalize those of Sanders, and a number of Sanders supporters say they will never vote for Hillary no matter what, and will actually not vote or will offer a protest vote rather than voting for her. Such actions and beliefs are reprehensible to those who value democracy and endanger the future of this republic, and here is why.
First of all, NO candidate will give you everything you want – ever! Like it or not, taking a stance on an issue or a political platform means critically weighing a number of sometimes conflicting positions and then deciding which ones are best for you, the country, and the world in general. NO ONE candidate will ever be perfect. Each voter must decide for themselves which candidate best measures up with that voter’s preferences, and also gauge which candidate will have the best chance of winning against the opposition candidate. Should your desired candidate be defeated in primaries and become unable to attain the nomination of your party, the LAST thing one should do is not vote in the general election or waste your vote on a minor challenger as a means of protest! This represents an extremely foolhardy action which more likely than not results in dire consequences! A relatively recent example of how dangerous this can be occurred in the 2000 election in Florida. A number of Democrats were not pleased that Vice President Al Gore ended up with the Democratic nomination that year. Many stayed home and failed to vote, while others voted in protest for independent candidate Ralph Nader, who had absolutely NO chance of being elected President in 2000. Their foolhardy protest resulted eventually in the team of George W. Bush and DICK Cheney capturing the White House, which led to a disastrous 9/11, and eventually to a very costly and unnecessary war in Iraq – complete with American war crimes, an escalation in terrorism globally, and the curtailment of individual freedom in this country. THAT is why ticket-splitting or failing to vote can prove to be literally deadly, and should be avoided at all costs!
For those of you progressives who still don’t comprehend for this 2016 election: not voting this year or voting for a minor candidate out of protest will have the same result as voting for Donald Trump or Ted Cruz! You will be dooming this country to a very nasty future that will undoubtedly prove to be catastrophic! THINK, people: the balance of the Supreme Court and the nature and scope of our time-honored social safety net is at stake here! If you don’t want Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, or unemployment and disability benefits to be greatly cut or to disappear altogether, then you had damn well better vote this fall! Should Hillary Clinton receive the Democratic nomination, then all of us Bernie Sanders supporters MUST vote for Clinton and prevent the Tea Party-infested reactionary Republicans from gaining total power and ruining our country for generations to come! And, should Bernie Sanders become the Democratic nominee, Hillary voters MUST vote for him as well! And, in 2018, we must all vote again to oust all vestiges of power this miserable far-right, worker and government-hating Republican Party may still hold and replace these fools with dedicated progressives who aim to see our nation become fairer and better! As the noted progressive TV and radio commentator Tom Hartman says, “Democracy is NOT a spectator sport – it requires your participation, Tag – you’re it!” Especially young voters: please follow the advice of millennial activist and Free Speech TV television host Eleanor Goldfield: “Just fucking vote.” She passionately truly cares about our nation and fairness throughout the world as evidenced by the awesome job she does on her weekly show called “ACT OUT!” She, and all of us other activists of all ages, sizes, colors, and creeds, will help us all obtain a much brighter future – guaranteed!
JOIN THE RESPECTFUL REVOLUTION BY VISITING http://www.respectfulrevolution.org/ AND BE AMAZED AT THE BEAUTY OF WHAT EVERYDAY PEOPLE DOING RESPECTFUL THINGS CAN ACCOMPLISH! THESE AMAZING PROGRAMS WILL ONCE MORE BE SEEN THIS SPRING ON FREE SPEECH TV!!! 🙂
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