Democratic elections not always fair

(Graphic by Steph Truong)

Remember the 2004 film Alien vs. Predator? If you don’t it’s okay. It was pretty terrible, but the tagline, “Whoever wins…we lose,” has timeless political relevance.

It’s been fashionably cynical throughout the campaign to dismiss both American presidential candidates as the same, or to say that both are bad, but one is marginally better.

But, if you examine the candidates’ policies on their own and analyze their positions and accomplishments, you’ve got a recipe for terrible sadness.

Barack Obama’s stimulus was textbook corporate welfare, enriching the highest in society and propping up unsustainable benefits and practices.

He intervened in Libya, left an army of contractors and advisers in Iraq and has made Pakistan the second-largest recipient of American aid in the world.

He continued the Bush tax cuts, expanded invasive domestic security measures and presided over the most grimly ironic ATF scandal to date.

Mitt Romney is a typical corporate conservative, a trickle-downer who pays lip service to the free market while supporting protectionism and cronyism at home.

His policies on Iran are simply irresponsible. His immigration policy is xenophobic and fear-mongering; his social policies are backwards and his views on women are downright medieval.

People dismissed the Romney campaign as vulgar or dishonest and it was. However, the Obama campaign was not any better.

There was an obvious parallel between the savage-as-usual Republican attack ads and the slightly more tame Democratic ads.

Where Romney had his apocalyptic naysaying, Obama substituted smarmy warnings about the conspiracy of the right.

Both candidates were equally bad; maybe one was slightly better, but electing someone marginally better than the other isn’t good enough. Voters elect these people and give them power.

If your candidate didn’t win, you have no right to complain, he won the election, and so long as he doesn’t break any laws or trample the Constitution, he can do whatever he likes.

That’s your democracy.

George Carlin said something similar many years ago, and though I often found his ideas irritating, I have to agree.

Voting legitimizes the winner and the government as a whole. If you vote, you’re consenting for one of the candidates to rule you, and you lose your right to complain. You cast your vote and you lost.

Voting for the lesser of two evils— something voters have seemed to do since the dawn of democracy—just encourages more evil.

Bad government is bad government, and it seems like government has always been bad.

Ultimately, the American election will always be won by someone bad. It doesn’t matter who.

Even the third-party candidates, in the event that pigs begin to fly, will be unfit.

Is this the best we can do?

A handful of incompetents are voted for by justifiably cynical people, one of whom is given one of the highest positions of power in the entire world.

I know that probably nobody here could vote in the American elections, even if they wanted to.  But it is, I hope, a point that resonates.

We, the voting public, have produced the kind of consistently terrible candidates that we see.

The only way we can reform the state— though I hope I’m not alone in saying we should just toss it out entirely—is to truly make our feelings clear.

Don’t compromise when it comes to politics by voting for the lesser of two evils, they’re far too important. Because as it is, the world is set to lose, no matter who wins.

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