The Act of Voting Will Co-Opt Dreams of Real Democracy

In my weekly email, I described an increasing sense of unease. Chris Hedges’ words are rolling around my skull like bad speed deja vu. “Obama lies as cravenly, if not as crudely, as George W. Bush.”

The folks at Adbusters and OCCUPY seem to be feeling it too: ”

“Will you allow Occupy to become a project of the old left, the same cabal of old world thinkers who have blunted the possibility of revolution for decades? Will you allow MoveOn, The Nation and Ben & Jerry to put the brakes on our Spring Offensive and turn our struggle into a “99% Spring” reelection campaign for President Obama?

We are now in a battle for the soul of Occupy… a fight to the finish between the impotent old left and the new vibrant, horizontal left who launched Occupy Wall Street from the bottom-up and who dreams of real democracy and another world.

Last week, Robert Reich, a guy who has an occasional flash of brilliance, reminded me, once again, that he is part of the cabal of old world liberal thinkers: “We need to do everything we can to make sure Barack Obama is reelected president…We need to fuel a movement to take back our economy and our democracy.” I’m sorry, but this is liberal schizophrenia at it’s mush-headed, Nattering Nabob worst. Why should anyone who is truly committed to real change, real revolution, spend a second of time or a single dollar to support a president who, just last week, touted and signed a “JOBS” act that doesn’t create a single job?

Two weeks ago, Robert Scheer, a TruthDig.com columnist who often has many insightful things to say, wrote a convincing post, Obama by Default, “The Republicans are a sick joke, and their narrow ideological stupidity has left rational voters no choice in the coming presidential election but Barack Obama.” I say convincing, but only if one believes that the current two party system can address or incorporate the ideals of a movement like OCCUPY–a movement that correctly points to the cynicism of that path.

Mr. Sheer doesn’t get it:

They [Republicans] obviously learned nothing from the disasters of Bush the Second, who hijacked the tragedy of 9/11 to launch the most wasteful orgy of military spending in U.S. history in his failed effort to take out an al-Qaida enemy that had no significant military arsenal.

What did Democrats learn? Mr. Obama’s budgets have never called for a decrease in military spending.

Chris Hedges, another TruthDig.com columnist does get it:

The liberal class has ossified. It has become a part of the system that it once tried to reform. It continues to speak in the language of technical jargon and tepid political reform, even though the corporate state has long since gutted the mechanisms for real reform.

Bill Maher pointed out last night, as a presidential candidate, Mr. Obama said his administration would not interfere with state medical marijuana laws. Mr. Obama also said that raiding patients who use marijuana for medicinal purposes “makes no sense” and that the Justice Department’s prosecution of medical marijuana users was “not a good use of our resources.”

Mr. Obama flat out lied. The April 2, 2012 high profile raid of Oaksterdam University is a recent case in point. We know now that the number of the current administration’s pot prosecutions will surpass those of the Bush administration.

Speaking of Bill Maher, he should just shut the fuck up about his goddamned million dollar check to the Obama campaign. What a waste. That money, divided by ten or twenty or more, could have been used to support tenant organizations, food programs and even local OCCUPY chapters. Mr. Maher is a typical liberal who would rather donate to PETA or Obama. He’s scared shitless of a real revolution, just like most liberals.

How can anyone see the Democrats as an alternative? Unless, perhaps, one understands that Republicans will fully employ all of the police state measures–eavesdropping, torture and assassination–that the current administration helped to create. Round ‘em up boys!

I’m feeling queasy because I’m going to sit this election out. I have voted in every presidential election since I was old enough to do so. For many years I believed that people who didn’t vote got what they deserved. The problem with that hackneyed thinking is simply that nobody gets what they deserve, unless you’re a rich asshole and then you don’t deserve what you get.

I now understand that people don’t vote because they know that their vote will not change anything. Emma Goldman is right, “If voting changed anything they’d make it illegal.”

I cannot be a proponent of true, revolutionary change if I participate in a system that is corrupt to its core.

Only a few weeks ago, I confided to my friends that, in the event that California looked shaky, I’d probably vote for Mr. Obama. But that’s bullshit. Why should I have the luxury to proclaim my opposition to Obama simply because I live in California, a “safe” state? Why should I, like Mr. Obama, allow my ideals to be co-opted in case of an emergency? Fuck it. If I did that, I’d be the same liberal ass-wiper that I rail against every day. I’m done.

Of course, coming to that realization makes my queasy because I too am scared shitless of a real revolution and I don’t even have much to lose.

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