Who’s Getting My Vote?

I recently came across a tweet that read: “The presidential election is like the political version of the Super Bowl: Everyone gets caught up in cheering for their favorite team, but after the game is over, your life is pretty much the same.”

Another commenter posited: “If voting really changed anything, governments would make it illegal.”

The same commenter wrote: “If you want to keep voting, that’s your business. I think it’s immoral and counterproductive, but that’s your decision.”

Since 1852, the Democratic Party and the Republican Party have dominated the United States’ political party system. These two parties have won every presidential election since 1852 and have controlled the U.S. Congress since 1856.

Every election cycle repeats the same old song and dance. Politicians make promises to change the status quo to improve the lives of their constituents and the general populace. And although there has been notable progress through participatory civic engagement, the weight of evidence suggests that here in the United States, voting does not produce change very often, and on the rare occasion that it does, the health, wealth, and education gap remain statistically insignificant.

Voters overwhelmingly believe their participation makes a difference. Voters want to believe the people they are putting in office will fight for them rather than pursue their own personal agendas. Voters have been conditioned to believe that their lives will be significantly better, or worse, based on the political party that occupies the White House and Congress.

The fact is, special interest groups, large corporations, and lobbyists dominate U.S. politics. These well-organized groups of bloodthirsty mercenaries and highly motivated extremists cater to their clients’ long-term economic needs and at the peril of the American people.

U.S. politics is nothing more than a fight between competing wealthy factions, none of whom genuinely care about the nation or its people.

Here is the stark reality. No one is coming to help you. So while voting might give us a sense of patriotic pride, voting will not save us, at least not in the realm of our personal lives. It is up to us to break free from blindly following political puppet masters and adopt a self-directed approach to improving our lives and those within our concentric circle.

The power to figure out what we want to accomplish in life and how to get there comes from within.

Do you agree/disagree? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

25 thoughts on “Who’s Getting My Vote?

    1. Frank, thanks for sharing. It’s been said that participating in politics is like playing a social selection process game that always results in the “haves” accumulating more and the “have nots” getting less.

      Like

  1. I agree with you for the most part- Capitalism has a stranglehold on everything and has, always. In this time, though, i think apathy will not cut it. Voting and following up with actual engagement is what is required now, to make the deep and sweeping changes that we all need and must have. Even though power is inequitably distributed, we still have to engage with those who hold it or claim to, in order to really create the change and better world we want. Those at the top truly do not care about anything but their own perceived well being, and they don’t seem to be smart enough to wonder how they’re going to walk after having shot themselves in the foot over and over. Perhaps this time voting will create just enough of a breeze to turn into a push!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Kelley, I appreciate your insight. There is a difference between political apathy and civic disengagement / uninvolvement. A person can choose not to vote and still bring positive and measurable change to his or her community.

      We can effect change through educational sponsorships, academic tutoring, coaching, after-school mentoring, financial donations to the performing arts, free financial literacy training.

      Building homeless shelters (something my construction company is doing in Southern California), food drives, senior programs and volunteering, environmental projects like beach cleanups, Summer camps, etc.

      In essence, change does not begin at the ballot box. Societal transformation starts by adopting a mindset that’s other-centered––honoring every person’s humanity.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Absolutely! the ballot box is, at this point, a very small part. The only thing that counts, ultimately, is changing one’s mind, adopting a kinship relationship with all, and acting accordingly. Sometimes i have wondered if people think voting is all they need to do, and it certainly is not. It’s just that in this particular snarl-up, it seems to me that we have to start at a very ground level which includes sending a message in more than one way. Vote AND act. We all have to pitch in wherever we are and do the Work. Every day. There is no going “back” (in fact that shouldn’t even be an option, in my mind) and the deep acknowledgement of the change that is needed won’t be easy for many. There’s got to be some re-negotiating coming up ASAP.
        Thank you for all you do!!!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Kelley, beautifully captured! I love the thought of “adopting a kinship relationship with all.” Compassion in action is definitely one of the keys to achieving personal and social transformation.

        Like

  2. Yes, I was reflecting on this today, and my wife and I had a follow-up conversation. For most, a vote for Biden will be a vote for a return to ‘normalcy’. Yet, that normalcy helped deliver us to this polarized mess. And, no, we won’t see significant change if Biden wins and normalcy is embraced. The Democrats will strive for political unity and the center. That’s not where change will take place.

    Food drives, clean-ups, etc, are all noble and helpful, but they’re bandages on symptoms. The greater problem remains a human one; too many people want wealth and power. The government and people generally kowtow to power. This is especially true of our police forces.

    Cheers
    True change begins at the bottom and works its way up. It’s only embraced by the politically and economically powerful and elite when they discern an advantage to embracing the change. Embracing it is usually tantamount to saving their own asses and keeping themselves in power.

    Yes, we have a terribly flawed and unbalanced democracy. It won’t change with this election. But, for many, a comforting return to normalcy will be enough.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Michael. A “return to normalcy” might indeed be comforting for many. Conversely, “normalcy” for many others means living in a country that only functions for the elite.

      The political language of a “new normal” is often deployed as a way of placating the masses into accepting present reality as some sort of standard out of which one should ease his or her way.

      It could be argued that the promise or hope of “normalcy” is just another way of describing a reality to which many do not (and will not) have access.

      Thanks for sharing.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. one of the most interesting things I’ve read..and saddest..is how the last few years has helped spell out the end of the US. Our country has been around for more than 200 years and many countries don’t last that long! I hope it keeps existing, but how will it exist is something else. I do believe that change starts with self and the circle around that self. Then, we pay it forward.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Kris. Your reflection is certainly one to consider. I am hopeful for this country because there are so many people who are (and others who want to be) a part of something that does good in their communities and makes a meaningful difference in people’s lives.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m all for doing good things that pay it forward. I’m also not impressed with the place our country has been or is going. I recall when my eldest, he’s in his 30s, was in HS and a history teacher suggested this would happen. The class freaked out and it was suggested he should be more careful in the future with his surmises. Historical or not!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I think given your conclusion that ultimately we have to help ourselves, with which I agree, I think it’s important to do our best to elect leaders who espouse policies most likely to make it easier to do that. I get the frustration that quite often it feels impossible to do that, and I definitely long for a day I might be excited to vote for a candidate in a general election rather than against a worse alternative. But I’m optimistic. I’ll still vote. Also, the very first election that occured after I turned 18 came down to a tie and was determined by a coin toss. My birthday fell just after the latest registration date (in Illinois) and so I couldn’t actually participate. The person I wanted to support lost. Granted, that was a tiny local election for a school board position, but still, it’s stuck with me. I don’t miss a chance to vote.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. i think this year IS the year when your vote will count most (if Biden wins). I mean, there’s things I don’t like about him, but he’s far more mentally stable than the orange toddler currently occupying the white house. We’ve got someone who “rules” through tweet and tantrum, and millions of enablers that wish they had the supposed wealth and privilege that would let them act like jackasses in public without repercussions, too.

    I haven’t watched anything all day because the headaches would be too much (and it’s not gonna be decided tonight anyway), but just heard from some anchors that are covering this (forgot which channel) that what they’re looking forward to most is to go three or four days without hearing what the president is doing a dozen times a day. IF he’s overseas or something on a goodwill tour or in a G8 summit, great. I miss the days when you saw a basic snippet and moved on with your life, or read a couple paragraphs in the paper.

    For myself, I’m so tired of hearing and seeing that name everywhere. Can’t imagine where the hell we’d be as a cohesive nation in four years if he got in there again. It’s mind-boggling to have an incurious blowhard as the “leader” of the country, a person who regularly slams our intelligence services and kisses the butts of dictators while annoying or dismissing his allies.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tally, your candor is refreshing. I imagine that those on the other side of the political spectrum also believe that this election cycle is when their voices and votes will matter most.

      They believe a Trump presidency is a win for the country. As of 03 Nov, 23:50 PST, it kinda looks like this race is a toss-up…leaning toward Trump. But Biden can still pull this off.

      Nonetheless, whatever the results, no one is coming to save us. The economic disparity between the rich and poor is likelier than not to widen regardless of who wins the White House. Of course, promises will be made to address this matter, but unless big money is removed from politics, it will just be more of the same.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Definitely not asking for a savior (that’s how we got the Great Pumpkin in the first place), but it would be a social win if some semblance of decency and the ability to compromise came back. Big money is always gonna hinder things, but an overwhelming Biden win (which thanks to current numbers is not overwhelming) could’ve sent a message that they’re as blind as their leader if they assume most of the country agrees with them.

        The fact that the numbers are so close is really disheartening to me. I don’t think my anxiety can take 4 more years of that Tangerine Toddler screaming how mean everybody is while grinning as his supporters instigate fights with protestors (who then get arrested or beaten by cops). There aren’t supposed to be two sets of rules in this country, and I’m annoyed as hell that the Dems never seem to get that the Republicans (Dumpers more specifically) have written their own playbook and are working through that. Sen. Whitehouse had that right during the confirmation hearings.

        And then Dump wants to put together a commission to change how history’s taught in schools–a man who has never been curious about history a day in his life. My inner teacher is dying inside. Biden HAS to win, if only to help put the brakes on this bus going over a cliff. We’ve got time to pull back, but only if the Great Pumpkin’s fat foot gets off the accelerator.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I hope you are wrong, but you may be right. My experience of politics in Canada and the UK, though , is that there are differences in the ways different governments enact legislation. Perhaps the difference is that there are more than two political parties in the UK and Canada. Each party has a particular vision and purpose that is, at least in part, different from the others.

    My observations of the US political scene is that, although both parties pander to large corporations and the wealthy, the Democrats provide for more social services and Republicans expect individuals to provide for the unexpected without government support.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Anne, for the most part, your assessment of the US political system is spot on. History is replete with examples of the dangers and consequences of unchecked, one-party dominance. I say “one-party” because it’s the wealthy class that controls both the Republican and Democratic parties.

      The fact that special interest groups make it virtually impossible for opposition parties and leaders to have general participation in elections is an affront to the US Constitution itself. The one ray of hope lies with the other systems of government and non-governmental organizations that function to balance and ensure accountability, transparency, rule of law, equity, and inclusiveness.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s