Using Your Vote In Our "Destroyed Democracy"
by C. A. Matthews
Readers might have noticed that TRC has spent very little blog space on the US midterms this time around. There are a couple of reasons for this. First off, since we’re open to guest bloggers expressing whatever is on their mind at the moment, we let our readers/bloggers set the pace in regards to posts about elections. We haven’t had anyone really interested in writing about the 2022 midterms, so there’s that.
Secondly—and perhaps most importantly—is this reason: Why bother?Really, what difference will it make to ordinary working class Americans which of the establishment factions has the majority in the US House or Senate? What difference will our votes make one way or the other when study after study (starting with the infamous Princeton Study) demonstrate that our elected officials completely ignore the bottom 90% of American voters and only listen to those with the most money?
Just get a load of these figures:
According to a report released Thursday by Americans for Tax Fairness (ATF), just 465 American billionaires had donated an unprecedented $881 million by the end of September — even before last-minute campaign pushes in the last five weeks before Election Day. This is already more than the amount that billionaires spent in the entirety of the 2018 midterm election.Further, the vast majority of this spending — $643 million, or 73 percent — comes from just 20 billionaire households, including prominent figures like the Koch family, Peter Thiel, George Soros, Michael and Susan Bloomberg and Jeffrey Yass. --465 Billionaires Have Pumped An Eye-Popping $881 Million Into the Midterms
In past elections, reading an article like the one above showing how many millions—excuse me, billions—are being spent by the oligarchs/billionaires to influence US governmental policy, our planet’s health, and our general welfare would have made me extremely irate. I might have suggested that you make a plan to go to the polls and vote for an independent or third party candidate to send the duopolists a strong message that we’re on to them and their corporate puppet masters. I might have led everyone in a chant of, "We’re mad as hell, and we’re not going to take it anymore!"
Nowadays, I’m more resigned to our fate. Those with the money will get their agenda passed with no problems, and there’s nothing we the poor and struggling workers can do about it. It's not like we can come up with over one billion dollars every election to bribe the candidates and take the reins away from our true masters and rulers, the billionaires, can we?
Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges puts it very well:
The bipartisan project of dismantling our democracy, which took place over the last few decades on behalf of corporations and the rich, has left only the outward shell of democracy. The courts, legislative bodies, the executive branch and the media, including public broadcasting, are captive to corporate power. There is no institution left that can be considered authentically democratic. The corporate coup d’état is over. They won. We lost.
The wreckage of this neoliberal project is appalling: endless and futile wars to enrich a military-industrial-complex that bleeds the U.S. Treasury of half of all discretionary spending; deindustrialization that has turned U.S. cities into decayed ruins; the slashing and privatization of social programs, including education, utility services and health care – which saw over one million Americans account for one-fifth of global deaths from Covid, although we are 4 percent of the world’s population; draconian forms of social control embodied in militarized police, functioning as lethal armies of occupation in poor urban areas; the largest prison system in the world; a virtual tax boycott by the richest individuals and corporations; money-saturated elections that perpetuate our system of legalized bribery; and the most intrusive state surveillance of the citizenry in our history.
In “The United States of Amnesia,” to quote Gore Vidal, the corporate press and the ruling class create fictional feel-good personas for candidates, treat all political campaigns as if it is a day at the races and gloss over the fact that on every major issue, from trade deals to war, there is very little difference between Democrats and Republicans. The Democratic Party and Joe Biden are not the lesser evil, but rather, as Glen Ford pointed out, “the more effective evil.” --The Politicians Who Destroyed Our Democracy Want Us to Vote for Them to Save it
All this is not to say that I’m not voting this time out and that you shouldn’t vote, either. It's just that, with what I know now, I’m not wasting my time voting for either the Republican or Democratic Parties’ candidates. Both establishment factions accept plenty of money from the billionaires, so their loyalty will always be pledged to the top 1% and not to bottom 99% of Americans.
I’m willing to vote for any and all independent and third party candidates who don't take corporate cash, and I will voice my opinion on all local and state issues. In my case, that’s about one page out of several of the printed ballot. I will make my opinion known on these ballot issues since they are important to my community and directly affect our lives together.
there’s no electronic diddling with
the vote count, then at
form of democracy will occur in regards to those ballot issues. I see that as a “win” for the ordinary people. We might
still have to put up a while longer with a corrupt system that blithely calls
itself a “representative democracy” (watch this video for more
about how easily corrupted that is), but at least we’re not running away
our tails between our legs. We are buying ourselves time to figure out how to rebuild our destroyed democracy.
We ordinary American voters should stand proud. We’re interested in our local communities' well-being. We don’t have to explain ourselves to anyone about why we didn’t waste time rubber-stamping a vote for a bunch of corporate candidates to make their billionaire bosses happy. There's no need for us to feel shame about not supporting the status quo with our votes. We proudly can leave these corporate sell-outs twisting in the wind, desperate to come up with a good excuse to explain why no decent hardworking American wanted to vote for them.
I think the biggest joke this midterm election is
on the billionaires. They think
they’ve successfully bought
off American “democracy.” Ha! We all know it
doesn’t exist, and we're not keeping silent. We've got the perseverance to keep working toward building a government that doesn't include the likes of them.
Of course, the billionaires will be laughing all the way to the bank in the short term as their politician-puppets gift them billions of our tax dollars to produce weapons, weapons to pass on to another corrupt government under the guise of a proxy war. These Daddy Warbucks will then sell their leftover weapon stockpiles directly to the US war machine. The US war machine will bomb even more countries in our collective good name until these decimated countries are overflowing with “freedom and democracy” and a whole lot less of their natural resources and citizens.
It's why the billionaires bought out the US government in the first place. How else are they supposed to make so much money? Work for it with their own hands like we peons do?
I hope you can see now that voting alone isn’t going to get us out of this mess. Voting isn’t going to stop the endless wars for oil and liquefied natural gas at the expense of innocent human beings’ lives. Voting red and blue and red and blue will do nothing because of you-know-who! Billionaires and their bought off cronies have a lock on our corrupt system of government. The only way We the People can take back power is by refusing to play along with their abusive games.
It’s like that well-worn adage that the Dems seem to enjoy shouting every couple of years: “This is the most important election of our lives!” These midterms are the most important elections of our lives but only because now we understand that we no longer need waste our time putting check marks in front of the red or blue candidates on the ballot. We know now how much a real democracy is worth and that it can’t be bought by anyone. It's priceless, and it's worth fighting for until we get it.
So, whatever you decide to do this midterm election or in elections to come, feel proud. You're mad as hell, and you're smart enough not to fall for the duopolists' propaganda. That makes you a "winner" in my book. Don't let a bunch of soulless billionaires' puppets tell you otherwise.
UPDATE: Total Cost of 2022 State and Federal Elections Projected to Exceed $16.7 Billion https://www.opensecrets.org/news/2022/11/total-cost-of-2022-state-and-federal-elections-projected-to-exceed-16-7-billion
Congress Literally Doesn't Care What You Think https://act.represent.us/sign/problempoll-fba/
465 Billionaires Have Pumped An Eye-Popping $881 Million Into the Midterms https://truthout.org/articles/465-billionaires-have-pumped-an-eye-popping-881-million-into-the-midterms/
Chris Hedges: The Politicians Who Destroyed Our Democracy Want Us to Vote for Them to Save it https://chrishedges.substack.com/p/the-politicians-who-destroyed-our
AIPAC Had a Banner Year in Election Meddling and We Should All Be Concerned https://truthout.org/articles/aipac-had-a-banner-year-in-election-meddling-and-we-should-all-be-concerned/
US Again Isolated on UN Vote Against Its Cuba Blockade https://popularresistance.org/us-again-isolated-on-un-vote-against-its-cuba-blockade/
Why the US is Not a Democracy (video) https://youtu.be/srfeHpQNEAI
Chris Hedges: Betrayed by Liberals (video) https://youtu.be/a-aVr6H0c3U
The Racism of the Supreme Court Supermajority Was on Full Display This Week https://scheerpost.com/2022/11/05/the-racism-of-the-supreme-courts-supermajority-was-on-full-display-this-week/
Seen on Twitter:
Democrats were never on our side for decades. We're all on our own. So not voting for either party won't do us any more damage than voting for them.— Jaybefaunt🏳️🌈 (@Jaybefaunt) November 5, 2022
Didn't we vote Blue in 2020 to "save America" or is my brain misremembering that?— 🛠T.M.Poe MSc 🆘️ (@Tyler_M_Poe) November 5, 2022
Where do I go to vote out the USA military industrial complex?— REVOLUTION IS THE ONLY SOLUTION (@jorymicah) November 6, 2022
You are lucky if you live in a nation that has little natural resources. Your people didn’t get bombed, sanctioned or displaced because the US Govt just didn’t see any value in destroying your country. Congratulations.— Kim Dotcom (@KimDotcom) November 5, 2022
If Democrats gave a sh*t about Democracy they wouldn’t be trying their damned best to stop Greens and independents from running.— nuno marqs ☭ (@marqsism) November 5, 2022
Weapons manufacturers run US foreign policy for both parties and they cannot be voted out.— Blue Check Beth! (@torstrick) November 5, 2022
You don’t have to comply and vote for more corruption. In fact, the best way to vote in a duopoly that’s controlled by two corrupt parties who serve Wall Street and the War Machine is to open your ballot and vote for any candidate who does not have a D or an R next to their name.— Ryan Knight ☭🕊 (@ProudSocialist) November 6, 2022