Sunday, 17 October, 2004

Here's the Ballot. Make Your Choice

(Cartoon uncredited because I can't find the source.  Anybody?)

This one sums up my thoughts on the matter of the upcoming election (every election since I started voting, come to think of it) better than any of the others I've seen.  We're limited to one of two candidates, neither of whom we're particularly interested in voting for.  In 25 years of voting, I don't recall ever voting for a particular candidate or party.  It's always been against the other.  And yet we're somehow considered derelict in our duty as citizens if we abstain.

Living in Texas now, I have the advantage of not having to worry about my vote affecting who gets elected President.  With the exception of the lower Rio Grande valley, which is overwhelmingly Democratic, Bush will carry the state with a very wide margin.  For all intents and purposes, there is no Presidential "race" in Texas.

Unfortunately, there isn't anybody else worthwhile on the ticket, either.  The Anarchists (Libertarians) are running their favorite wacko again, and the Greens are making their typical noise, but neither party or candidate has a coherent platform.  I think Nader was shot down in Texas by the Democrats, as he was in many other states.  I've yet to understand how the Democrats--the party that claims to speak for free choice and fair elections--manage to justify the lengths to which they've gone in order to keep Nader off so many states' ballots.

I used to think I was cool being cynical, but over the years I've learned better.  I'm still a bit skeptical about hype in any form, but I've realized that in most cases cynicism is an intellectual crutch.  It's much easier to say "That's a bunch of b.s." rather than to study and understand something.  But in the case of our modern political system, cynicism is indeed called for.  How else can one bear having to choose from a field of candidates who all are undeserving of a vote?