Posts filed under Election 2010

Change You Can Believe In (Vol. III, No. 3, March 2011)

Apparently this is becoming an ongoing monthly feature.[1] Here’s this month’s. You may recall back around fall 2010, a lot of voting Progressives were passing around links to a site called WhatTheFuckHasObamaDone.com. When I went to the website, some cosmic force decided that this is the first thing the random number generator would throw at me:

A screen from a website, reading: "What the fuck has Obama done so far? Issued executive order to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay." A button below the text reads, "Big fucking deal. What else?"

And I closed the browser window, because, well, what else can I ask for after that? To be sure, Obama did sign an executive order to close the prison at Guantanamo in January 2009. And with that piece of paper under his belt, Obama went on to keep the prison at Guantanamo open and running for the next year and a half while voting Progressives were marking that one up as a win. Now, in March 2011, after two years of running the prison at Guantanamo, the Hopester’s got this to serve up:

NEW YORK – President Obama today issued an executive order that permits ongoing indefinite detention of Guantánamo detainees while establishing a periodic administrative review process for them. The administration also announced it will lift the ban on bringing new military commissions charges against detainees that don’t already have ongoing cases in the substandard system.

The American Civil Liberties Union has long called for Guantánamo to be shut down and opposes the indefinite detention of prisoners there, some of whom have been imprisoned by the U.S. without charge or trial for nine years. The ACLU has also long called for an end to the illegitimate military commissions and for the government to prosecute terrorism suspects in the federal criminal courts.

— ACLU (7 March 2011), President Obama Issues Executive Order Institutionalizing Indefinite Detention

The more things Change….

(Link thanks to Cheryl Cline 2011-03-08.)

  1. [1] Here’s January 2011; here’s February 2011.

Don’t Vote

I’ve never opposed voting on moral principle. Of course, I oppose government on moral principle, but, Patriotically Correct mythology to one side, the notion that casting a vote has any meaningful relationship to controlling the apparatus of government is one of the more ridiculous lies that representative democracies — that is, elective oligarchies — such as the United States government love to promote. Defensive voting is not immoral; it’s a strategy. But strategies may be foolish. And if the last few election cycles have proved anything, they’ve proved that this is a strategy with no pay-off. No matter how many times you change out the party in power, the interests of power remain the same, and even when you win, you lose.

So I am boycotting the election today. I hope that you will too. I will not vote for any candidate for political office, Democrat, Republican, or other, no matter what promises they make, and no matter what party they come from. I do not support them as candidates, and I do not support the oligarchical political machine they represent. If the last few election cycles prove anything, they prove that power-plays beat promises every time. It’s not just a few radicals who have noticed that something is deeply wrong; it’s not just a handful of malcontents who know that we need a radically different direction, away from the insane and destructive Beltway consensus — away from this government’s wars, this government’s bail-outs, this government’s secret surveillance, corporate health-insurance cartels, PATRIOT Acts, runaway police powers, catastrophic economic policeis, shameless fear-mongering and constant, unremitting power-grabs. But people have HOPEd and parties have CHANGEd and if it all accomplished anything at all, it was only to prove that we’re never going to get anything but more of the same as long as we maintain a false hope in electoral politics. If what you want is social progress, there is no shortcut around principled agitation, grassroots social movements, community organizing, civil disobedience and direct action. There is no low-calorie political substitute for D.I.Y. social transformation. Elections and party politicking are no way to make a revolution. They’re not even a way to make small change.

No matter who you vote for, the winner is always the government.