For most of the last year, I've been lectured that I HAVE to vote The Approved Side or The Nation Is Surely Doomed.
The problem is that I'm libertarian. I think government should be hands off. Progressives love that when it comes to religion and certain social practices. Conservatives love that when it comes to entrepreneurship and finance. Everyone love it when their pet causes are protected and encouraged. But not so much when the “bad” causes are supported. Who gets to decide what are the “bad” causes? Why, the winners of course.
So when I point out that both the liberal candidates and the conservative candidates are bad choices, I'm told that I have to choose the “lesser evil.” Who gets to decide the “lesser evil?” Why, the winners of course.
We're going to examine the unstated premises here.
First is the idea that you can benefit if you play the game long enough and hard enough. And if you don't benefit from democracy, the American Way, and apple pie, you're just not doing it right.
Second is the premise that you can make a long and substantial change just by supporting the correct side. That you can possibly do more than gain yardage and make the occasional goal. That what you do during the game matters at all in your life.
Third is the idea that the platform and purpose of either side has a use outside the game.
And finally is the premise that the game matters in real life so much that it should govern real life.
Let's start at the beginning. Originally the American government was not supposed to govern but to protect. That's why the U.S. Constitution limits the powers of government. That's why there is a Bill of Rights that can't be changed through casual legislation. The government is not supposed to regulate and control you except in that it protects the rights of citizens. Government is not allowed to decide free speech or what medications are available. Government is not allowed to decide what is and is not an acceptable religious practice. And it is not allowed to decide what is or is not marriage, or how spouses legally benefit from being married. Please, don't take my word for it. Look it up in the Constitution. The reason that those powers were left up to the states is so people could change states if they didn't like state law.
American party politics is about being on the winning side so you can divvy up the prizes. That's it. That's the only reasons the parties exist. There's nothing about being for the "little guy" or being "pro business." It's all about the spoils system. It's the system that is important, not the party principles or the party platform. The system depends on the struggle. Which means that no side can be allowed a lasting advantage.
You won't understand anything I write here until you understand that. There is no long term advantage you can win. The system depends on the struggle. The system benefits from you playing the game and the parties exist only to prolong the game.
The system depends on the struggle.
Now that Trump has apparently won, is there any long term advantage? Have the forces of evil been routed and banished beyond the horizon? Can we lay down our weapons and take comfort in a job well done?
Well, not so much.
With that in mind, let's look at those premises again.
You can benefit if you play the game long enough and hard enough.
No, you can't. All you can do is gain a temporary advantage that only lasts as long as “your side” is “in charge.” It can all be upset by the next election and it probably will be.
You can make a long and substantial change just by supporting the correct side.
Only as long as your side” is “in charge.” The rules mean you can't walk away or everything will get changed again. Maybe back, maybe in another direction. But no matter how passionate your beliefs, it's always subject to change.
The platform and purpose of either side has a use outside the game.
Then why doesn't it last except in perpetual struggle?
The game matters in real life so much that it should govern real life.
If you have to point a gun at someone so they follow the rules, that is not freedom. Without freedom, why play the game?
All the premises are false. The system depends on the struggle. Your beliefs don't matter except in gaining yardage or scoring the occasional goal. You can't win because the system isn't set up for winners or loses.
The system depends on the struggle. Play today and you have to keep playing so you might keep your place. That's all the system delivers. Play hard enough and long enough and you might, just might, keep your place. Follow the rules. Be a good little citizen. Do as you are told. Don't ask questions. Don't dissent. Don't wonder if there is a better way.
The system depends on the struggle. The false choice perpetuates the system. In one year, two years, four years, you get to play all over again. Everything you've won will always be part of the table stakes.
Doesn't that make you feel special?