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The rhetoric flooding television is unbelievable; it makes us think this election was the beginning of the end of the world. "It's in your hands!" they trumpeted. This neurotic paranoia filtered down through conversation, where any number of people berated me for voting Nader. "You're going to let the evil empire just happen!"
A friend of mine once said he would never give credence to the political opinion of any musician he respected, because, as a musician, he knew that any good musician had to spend so much time on music as to exclude study of politics. I now feel this way about anyone who has a job. They simply do not have time for an informed opinion.
Kerry wouldn't have changed America. Bush won't change America. America's course, on the 500 year scale, is already determined and neither candidate will change it, because what's required to change it is so unpopular among the dutiful heads at jobs that it will never be elected in any form. This is why great leaders lie their way to power in democracies; they recognize that telling the truth is an offense and thus an election loser.
Bush's environmental policy is terrible; so is Kerry's. Both give lip service to the environment, sign some legislation saving another strand of trees for the next 99 years, and continue to allow rampant overpopulation, pollution and overuse of resources including animals. They may care, but we'll never know. The fact is that to state the level truth on this issue will get anyone voted out of office.
One of the major complaints at George W. is that he's a "fascist," and is revoking civil rights across America. I have news for you: Clinton (a Democrat) did more for revoking your civil rights than Bush did, and without Clinton's start, Bush would not have had the foundation upon which to build. Your civil rights went away the day you made government arbitrator of "good" and "bad" opinions. You now cannot have them back, because in order to do so you have to make the unpopular statement that we will tolerate any view, including that of al-Qaeda, neo-Nazis, radical Greens, and others who wish to destroy our way of life.
That way of life is what this election was destined to maintain regardless of who won. We all go to jobs for too long and come home to many tasks. Money is our only goal, and our way of penalizing those who go out of line. We have no connection to nature and think that a few more billion-dollar studies, government programs and television campaigns will actually "change" environmental, social, racial and economic problems.
In other words, we just don't get it.
Most of us still believe that our civilization is the product of all civilizations before it, and through some ultra-simplification of Darwin, therefore "the best." We view life before technology as ignorant, pathetic, disgusting, oppressive. We see technology and morality as the forces lifting us out of a primal scum of human failure toward a distant Utopia. And if we just check the right boxes on the vote cards, we'll get closer!
That is a television-watcher outlook. There on the sofa, it comes down to one single choice. Click the correct button, you're a hero - you get a puppy biscuit. Click the wrong one, and no one says anything but everyone hints that you're a bit Neanderthal. But it all comes down to clicking the right buttons, moving us closer to Utopia.
This election meant nothing because people were being elected to roles in the system. The system itself wasn't up for criticism. The system isn't something simple like "conservativism," but something complex, like the idea that human must rule over nature with technology and thus, lacking any external checks and balances, expand recklessly. And in the process, lose its courage and spirit internally, and begin rewarding mediocrity instead of excellence.
We're breeding ourselves into a race of button-pushing clones. We have depleted our fish supplies, our natural wood, our wild animals, and pour pollution into earth, air and sea at record rates. Our population is now such that in another generation we'll have to cannibalize what's left to survive. And of course, when that becomes obvious, our remaining energy will be devoted to internal warfare.
The election is a fantasy show for button-clickers; the real issue at hand is that your species is failing and it has constructed a political, social, moral and economic system to perform elaborate denial of that fact. You want to make a difference? Clear the system-logic from your head and stop worrying about the puppet show of this election.
November 4, 2004