No Difference

I find the argument that there’s no difference between the R’s and D’s; that in a two party system you’re fucked no matter how you vote, to be one of the more particularly shallow and annoying positions.
One might wonder why I give a rat’s arse (being a Canadian living in Asia) but the vast influence of the USA – economic, military, culture/media – is sufficiently pervasive that everyone should care.
And the differences are significant:
One party supports alternative energy technologies, the other chants “Drill, baby, drill!”
One party extended health care to 30 million citizens, the other wants to end Medicare and replace it with a system of vouchers.
One supports gay marriage and gays serving openly in the military, the other is opposed to equal rights and eats at Chik-Fil-A en masse to prove it.
One party wants children to get a good education and seeks to continue such programs as Pell grants, the other wants creationism taught in the science class.
One party supports a woman’s right to control what happens to her own body, the other has brought literally dozens of bills and amendments seeking to limit or destroy that right.
One party seeks to extend unemployment benefits to the long-term jobless during the worst economic recession since the Great Depression, the other wants to cut FOOD STAMPS.
One party wants a progressive system of taxation, the other demands that massive tax cuts for the rich continue because they will trickle down…eventually…despite 30 goddamn years of concrete evidence that you have to have your head up your ass to have bought that shit sandwich in the first place.
One candidate in this presidential election saved GM (and all the jobs in all the factories that make shit that GM uses to make their cars – we’re talking about FAR more than just the people directly employed at General Motors), the other said it would be better to let Detroit go bankrupt.
One candidate in this election caught and killed the architect of 9/11…the other one calls the president a “Foreign policy failure” which, after his recent trip to London, Israel and Poland is just fucking ballsy.
I’m really sorry that the imaginary, completely unelectable, Magic Liberal you wish would take dictatorial control of the entire planet and do everything exactly as YOU think it should be done isn’t on the ticket…ANYWHERE. But cynically tossing off, “Both sides are just as bad,” is not only a pathetic cop out, it also happens to be demonstrably WRONG. Political change takes time and effort…and it comes in small steps if it comes at all, and it is often subject to being rolled back when assholes like GWB and Dick Cheney get hold of the reins. And letting that imbecilic, ignorant, plastic buffoon and all his Bush/Cheney cohorts back into the white house is EXACTLY how gays will get stuffed back in the closet, and woman will be told to buck up and just go ahead and have that rape baby.
So…no difference. None at all.


10 Responses

  1. (Loud applause and whistling) Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  2. The difference was perhaps best described in a speech by Arundhati Roy in San Francisco, …. Whether you buy Ivory Snow or Tide, they’re both owned by Proctor & Gamble:

    Or in other words; whether you vote D or R, they’re both owned by corporations. True i think that we can crawl forward rather than backward depending on D or R, But, too many people just want to stand up and Walk, Run, It’s what we are capable of doing. Real Change, not just advertised. the system evidently does NOT work Cousin Avii, But if you insist on inching forward on your belly, than Vote.

    • ‎”They’re both owned by corporations.”
      Where did you think Capitalism was gonna wind up? Sure, both parties…ALL political parties everywhere…in anything remotely resembling a capitalist economy…have tight connections / are arguably in the pocket of business.
      Can I get a, “DUH!”
      I’m not talking about shifting the economic paradigm of the western world. That’s another discussion.
      I’m talking about who is going to occupy the white house; who is going to appoint the next two Supreme Court Justices; the vast difference in their parties’ approach to priorities, policies, directions, means, methods, stated principles, track record, propensity for outright lying and batshit insanity.
      I’m talking about the difference these things make – from local school boards and curriculum to taxes taken out of the pockets of people trying to feed their kids; whether or not the infrastructure (power grids, ports, highways, water and sewer systems) built with taxpayer money and owned by the people shall be sold off to private interests for pennies on the dollar only to be leased back to those same taxpayers for profit; whether or not women will have access to abortion.
      But to hell with how this *illusion* of participatory democracy actually affects things like school lunch programs, special education classes, and whether or not there’s a fire department! Refuse to vote as means of protest! Voting only perpetuates an oppressive system, man!
      Like I said before: You can argue that both parties are the same. It’s demonstrably wrong, willfully blind, pathetically weak and, in the face of overwhelming evidence, just stubborn.
      “The system is broken! Tear it down!”
      Here’s hoping we can find a far less bloody way forward.

  3. To hear someone from another country who is living in yet another country speak so well to the realities of the political situation in this country is a strong statement about the obvious state of affairs here! That you can see so clearly what so many of my fellow country people can’t is wonderful! Thank you for writing it where anybody with1/2 a brain can see it! Now, if we could just get them to take the enormous blinkers off their eyes, and earplugs out of their ears, we might be able to move this country forward instead of back into the 18th or 19th century! Thank you!!!

    • The vast majority of Americans are too close to America to see it for what it really is. That’s what Canadians are for.

  4. 19th century was good for pemmican makers

  5. Agree entirely, cousinavi.
    With both your blog post and your response in the comments.
    The parties ‘may be the same’ but the results of their election sure as hell won’t.

  6. It’s absolutely true that, in general, both parties ain’t worth shit and aren’t really worth voting for. Most candidates are -or wind up being- bought and paid for by mega-douches with mega-dollars.

    However, that IN NO WAY means the 2 parties are ANYWHERE close to being equally bad. Yes, for the last 25-30 years, the Democrats have gotten worse. However, the Republicans have gone completely insane. Cousinavi makes a great face-to-face comparison here.

    The idea that voting only encourages a corrupt system and that not voting will somehow end this fatally flawed, corrupt, system may be well intentioned, but it’s completely wrong. The fundamental problem is that the system will chug along unaffected no matter how few votes are cast.

    For example, If Romney beats Obama 73 million votes to 69 million votes, or 73 votes to 69 votes, Romney still wins the full power of the Presidency. The only thing “principled non voting” does is take the opinion of the “principled non-voter” completely out of the equation and gives the unprincipled an easier route to power.

    It sucks. It’s a lessor of two evils. But it’s the only “choice” you got. But, on the upside, if you live in a close state, your vote may actually matter. If you don’t live in a place with a tight race, you can vote for a minor party that actually represents what you believe in.

    I’m such a “glass half full” kinda guy, aren’t I?

    • No…you’re the kinda guy who drains the half drink left in MY glass, complains because I drink rum, and then heaves the empty tumbler at the bartender’s head demanding another round on my tab.

    • Except for the “complaining about rum” part (I love rum)….guilty as charged!

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