Tuesday November 6th, 2012 will be a great day. Cause hopefully the election ad campaigns will FINALLY end! I don’t even live in America, and I’m sick of the he-said, she-said, playground name calling bullshit that is tossed back and forth continually, most of which is paid for by some bullshit organization that seemingly can say anything they want without repercussions.
All of this comes from the country that prides itself on being a beacon of freedom, liberty, and justice.
This is why I call bullshit.
Sure American is a great country. A powerful country. A pop culture powerhouse. An economic juggernaut (usually). The last of the Super Power nations. On a personal note, they have produced some of my favorite things (Coca-Cola, Hollywood blockbusters, Joss Whedon, to name a few).
But there are some very serious things wrong with America.
My research and knowledge extends as far as the few documentaries and news reports I’ve watched, which also includes the Daily Show and the Colbert Report. Being Canadian, I think, gives me and my fellow country people a unique perspective, since we are so close, yet so very different.
So what do I and my fellow Canucks see? Perhaps the slow, agonizing down-fall of the 21st century Rome via the weight of government representatives, thanks to their lined pockets, weakness, and indifference.
Notice I didn’t specify a party? That’s because both are not necessarily going to benefit anyone.
First off, I tend to lean more to the left. Therefore, I don’t agree with much of what the Republicans say, especially their current flavor, Mitt Romney. After that leaked footage of him calling 47% of the nation lazy, welfare-cases, I realized he’s not in-touch with any of those people, and anything he says is disingenuous, and only said to try to get him votes. Which is pretty standard for any politician, north or south of the 49th parallel.
The sad thing is, if Obama was a white Democrat incumbant, Romney would have a cake walk. As happy as I was to see Obama get in, and as much as he’s done, he hasn’t done enough, especially the way fellow Democrats cheered his initial election. I think they expected him to kick as and chew bubble gum, or walk on water. But shock of shocks, he was just a man, with a huge mess left over from Dubya, a mess that Romney and the Republicans now blame on Obama.
But I was reminded just last night of how very petty both parties are, and it involves Ralph Nader.
For those not in the know, Ralph Nader is the reason that cars have safety features, like seatbelts and airbags, and that consumers have rights at all. He has been a crusader for decades and in 2000, he finally put his knowledge and beliefs on stage when he ran for president of the United States. If there ever was a man to lead the Democratic party, and perhaps an entire nation, it was him. He had the convictions of his beliefs, he was a natural leader, and whether you agreed or disagreed with him, he was someone who stood for something.
Of course, these very necessary skills for a person to lead a nation weren’t what anyone wanted, particularly the Democrats or the Republicans, nor the fat-cats who funded the parties. But he did have support. Big names like Michael Moore, Eddie Vedder, Bill Murray, Bill Maher, Tim Robbins, and Susan Sarandon, to name a few. But when Dubya got in and made a mess of the nation, liberal-minded people left Nader in the cold. These passionate, Democratic people, known for their moral outrage and desire for a better nation, threw Nader under the bus. I particularly liked when Bill Maher and Michael Moore, two of the biggest, leftists big-mouths around, began to make pointed jabs at and about the man they had supported, all because the Democrats lost the election and didn’t have the balls to fight for it when they had the chance.
There is a difference between Republicans and Democrats, but it’s only as far as their beliefs are concerned. They are still two, large organizations whose only function is to get whoever they are touting elected by any means necessary.
Which bring me to the American election system. I call bullshit on that too.
If there was a way to make the means of electing someone even harder for the average American, I suspect the government would adopt it. Up here in Canada, people vote for local members of a specific party. That vote is also counted towards the election of the leader of the party who, if he has the majority of votes, becomes Prime Minister. Pretty simple eh!
Not so in America! Sure you can do a lot of electing on one ballot, but when it involves someone so utterly important as selecting someone to lead the country, it should be made a lot simpler so that more people can make the correct decision. Its this complicated method that probably drives voters away, and why the turn-out is so low. Then you have these “Electoral College” votes. I’ve actually read up on how it works, and I’m still baffled. How in Sam Hill can anyone be elected the leader of the most power nation in the world without getting a popular vote by the people?! How is that a Democratic process?! Proponents argue that it gives fair representation to places with smaller populations. But it also creates swing states, where the main focus of candidates is put, ignoring the rest of the country (my sympathies for Alaska and Hawaii, who must feel like outcast children, even with Sarah Palin being from Alaska).
In the span of a few months during a Canadian election, the people running for Prime Minister visit as many locations as possible, all over the country, a country that’s bigger than the U. S. of A. Sure they focus on their home ridings and the places where they are sure to get votes, but they are continually trying to expand their influence. Maybe it’s because our country is a little more diverse, and a little more open-minded. There are a few places that have their own quirks (Quebec), but in the last federal election, the majority of Quebecers turned their backs on the Bloc Quebequois (a Quebec-based national party), and the Progressive Conservatives, to vote for the New Democratic Party (NDP). That’d be like two thirds of Texas deciding to vote for someone other than Republican. But, of course, if that happened in America, the Electoral College votes would still ensure a Republican victory.
Your system is flawed. Badly flawed. Unless you’re wealthy or have a stake in big corporation, then as long as the system doesn’t upset your pocket-book, all is right with your self-inflated world. If something tries to upset things, you just buy whoever and whatever you need to get it back to normal.
Which brings me to my last point, Capitalism. In theory, it’s an interesting system. It allows people to shape their future, if they have the skills, ideas, and fortitude to follow through. Of course, America is supposed to be a Democracy. There’s a difference between the two, folks! You see the capitalist mentality every time you mention anything with a hint of Socialism. Butts pucker. People get outraged, and start talking about how un-American socialism is. If it costs something and doesn’t have a return for them, it’s bad!
As Canadians, we don’t get it. We’ve had socialistic tendencies since Tommy Douglas, then premier of Saskatchewan, introduced Universal Health Care legislation in 1961. Britain, France, and other nations have similar programs, all with Socialist leanings. Yet America is afraid of such ideas. Why? Ask all the insurance companies, private clinics, pharmaceutical corporations, and anyone else making money from people’s illnesses. Of course, Canada has all those things too, yet the system runs fine, even if it needs to occasional fine-tuning.
But in America, the system is made for those with money to make more money. If the system is altered, they’ll have to change, and they don’t like change. Their greedy version of Capitalism is all about making money at any cost, in any way possible, at the expense of the public. Whether it be via their debt, their mortgages, insurance fees, credit cards, or others trying to sell average people the American Dream through shiny, pretty, expensive, fatty, wasteful things that start with a lower-case “i”, large corporations need America just like it is, placated and stupid.
To keep this Capitalistic leviathan going, big corporations will throw their support behind whoever they think will help them most. I don’t mean the figure heads like Obama and Romney. I mean the ones behind the scenes, the ones who draft the bills that get passed without being read. I’m talking about the patents on genomes, viruses, diseases, and biologically altered genetic material by corporations as they attempt to make money on life itself. I’m talking about companies trying to buy the rights to water and air. These are the things average people never hear about, and are probably the most fearful things happening in the Capitalistic America.
Other people from other nations listen to American music, watch Hollywood movies, see famous people, see the majestic landscape, and hear the line where it is the land of the free, home of the brave, where it is liberty and justice for all. These people embrace the American Dream and come to live it. Some actually succeed. Many don’t.
That’s why I call bullshit.
I think America can become what it touts. But until brave men and women do something to change system, the country will fall like Rome. Sadly, neither Obama or Romney (especially Romney!), will affect that change, nor will an independent, thanks to the current system. While there is money to be made and control to be had, the system will rumble along until something drastic happens. When it does happen, and it will, let’s hope what remains, or what rises from the ashes, will be more true to the spirit of what America was founded on, than what it has become.