Thomm Quackenbush, author

The Presidential Election

The Presidential campaign is well under way and Election Day is coming. I spent quite a bit of time preparing an alternate essay on this subject that took me many hours to complete; it was a list of 101 reasons to vote for John Kerry. It was challenging because the reasons that came to my mind first were all related to how much George W Bush sucks and weren't related to Kerry as a positive alternative. I researched Kerry in order to find some positive reasons to vote for him and I was very happy with what I found, Kerry has some very good ideas. Since I compiled that list, I have been exposing myself to a lot of political material and I will be the first to admit, it is biased material, I am not researching or looking at any information produced or supported by the Republican Party. I see no reason to because I am getting to see for myself what the Conservatives stand for every time I turn on the TV and hear of another death in Iraq or another hike in oil prices. I am setting up for a warning here: This is a biased essay and in no way will it present or acknowledge "the other side" of any issues. I am not going to taint my keyboard with the filth of Republican ideas.

But I digress… In the beginning of my intense involvement in this Presidential election, I donated to the Dean campaign and told anyone that would hear me that he was the right man to do the job. Then I discovered Denis Kucinich and began telling the same people that he was the right man but there was no chance that he would get the Democratic Nomination. Surprise, surprise, Kerry won and I threw my support behind him and told not only people who would listen, but people who didn't want to listen, that Kerry was our man to defeat Bush. I donated to the Kerry campaign, I got a Kerry bumper sticker, Kerry was going to be the saving grace of our country. As I already said, I think Kerry has some great ideas but it struck me, ideas aren't actions and why in hell would I believe that he was going to follow through with any of these plans. After all - he is trying to win an election and has every reason to claim a lot of good plans but it is an entirely different story to actually follow through with any of them once a seat in the Oval office is assured. If candidates based their campaigns on what they were really going to do, we would never elect anyone. Elections aren't won on the truth and Presidency's are not run on decency, accountability, or concern for anyone who didn't sign over a huge check for the cause. After this epiphany I was jaded, angry, and very frustrated that I could not think of anything I could do to prevent this country from going further down hill. I continued looking more and more heavily into anything political.

In my research I found myself leaning toward parties that are much more leftist than "Democrats". These mainstream Dems are, in many ways, nearly as bad as their rivals. Democrats get most of their campaign contributions from obscenely rich people, just like the Republicans, and that is where their loyalties lie, italicized pun COMPLETELY INTENDED. Our last Democratic President's environmental policy was a joke, he created "Don't ask, don't tell", further limited a women's right to choose, and aligned himself with treaties that encourage companies to move to foreign countries such as NAFTA. None of these actions are on target with the true Liberal Ideals. Our current lesser of two evils Presidential hopeful, Kerry, voted to invade Iraq and is not completely appalled by the fact that the Constitution is being anally raped by the Patriot Act. Kerry does not support gay marriage and is not willing to find a way to impose across the board medical insurance to every single God Damn citizen of the United States of America. Don't get me wrong; even including all of that, he is still now here near as evil or dim-witted as Bush.

I also began thinking of the injustice of the Electoral College and began to accept the fact that, in some states, every vote is extremely important (cough cough Florida cough cough), but in my great Democratic State of New York, my vote doesn't count for shit. Everyone I know, including myself, could go vote for Bush and Kerry will still win my state and winning my state is the only aspect of a Presidential Election that I am supposed to have a say in. Why is that? I know the whole philosophy behind the Electoral College and how it was meant to give the smaller states more say than their population numbers could reflect. But why do we need that, shouldn't my vote count equally against the vote of someone from New Mexico? Aren't we each a single person with a single vote? Needless to say, this left me a little cynical and I was actually considering not voting at all, why should I?

I have foreshadowed enough; all of these factors led me to decide that I am going to either vote Nader or Green Party. Why you ask, a wasted vote you say? I disagree. Besides the obvious perk of being able to purchase a "Don't Blame me, I voted for Nader" bumper sticker, I get to cast a vote for a candidate that does not want to lull me into voting for him then spin me around and give me a nice butt fuck once the presidency is won, which surely is what Kerry will do. Additionally I don't vote for a guy that has already had his way with my anus six ways from Tuesday and is telling me that he is going to do it again. I can vote with a clear conscious. I know Nader or David Cobb (Green Party Nominee) aren't going to win the White House, I am not delusional, but whoever wins (or steals for that matter) the Presidency, will take a peek at the voting results and I want whoever that might be to notice that Nader or Green got more votes this time around than during the last election. When Hilary Clinton takes the White House in the future (which she will by the way) I want her to see yet another increase in the number of Americans that are saying, in one voice, that we need choices beyond that of Republican or Democrat (which are essentially the same anyway). Someday, possibly after I am dead, enough people would have reformed to the Green Party and the U.S. will elect a President that values the future of our planet more than money. It could happen, the Green Party is growing, we have many elected officials in lower areas of the government that are Green Party members; the hero that is Mayor West of New Paltz is Green. We are popping up as council members and mayors all over the country. We sit on Boards Of Education and Trustees, just bidding our time until the country realizes that we don't have a two party democracy, we have a single party dictatorship, and WHEN that happens, people are going to be very angry and they will demand a change. I want my vote to say "We're coming after you, we may not have the majority yet, but oh yes, we ARE coming". I also hope that other parties in addition to Green make their presence known; hell I even want the parties that I despise, such as Right to Life, to at least have a contender that has even a slight chance of competing in a country wide election, if that's what the people of this nation want. Our country has to come to the realization that we need to change from 2 parties representing only the rich to 10 parties that reflect more specific cross sections of American people, who are being horribly unrepresented and are actually the majority voters.

The catalyst needed to bring about this realization is education. We need to learn as a country to question what we are told, to look for the facts independently, in order to come to our own conclusions. We need to pressure the "free and independent" press to become free and independent. We need to boycott cable networks and let them know that until they air unbiased news, we will not subject ourselves to their propaganda. We need to vote for third parties and show that while democrats and republicans are still winning races, they are winning with a 40% majority instead of a 55% majority. We need to send a clear message to officials that they need to start incorporating Third Party ethics into their decisions if the wish to remain secure in their position. We need to take advantage of the rights that were given to us by the blood, sweat, and tears of those who came before us. We need to provide the checks and balances of our government because that concept was discarded long ago when nepotism and the scratch each other's back procedure took over Washington DC. We need to learn about the issues, check how our representatives voted and let these hired servants know how WE, their bosses, want them to vote next time. While money may fund campaigns and sway the government, we out number the rich. The rich are scared that someday enough of us will realize that and insist that we get more of a say in how we are governed than they do. We need to stop the top 10% of Americans from dictating our future, because, and trust me on this, they don't have our best interests at heart. We need to be heard!

DISCLAIMER

I beg those people who live in swing states to not vote for any third party, a vote for Green in one of these states could cause us to be punished with 4 more years of oppressive rule by a Totalitarian Dictatorship. Forget Nader and Cobb and flip that switch, punch that hole, or hit that button with Kerry's name on it. Kerry may not be the best choice but he is damn better that Shrub. Please, for the future of our country.



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Works by Thomm Quackenbush

Anthologies

Find What You Love and Let It Kill You by Thomm Quackenbush
Pagan Standard Times: Essays on the Craft by Thomm Quackenbush
A Creature Was Stirring: A Twisted Christmas Anthology by Thomm Quackenbush
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