The Next Election Draws Near

October 6, 2005

So the 2006 mid-term elections are creeping up on us. The initial jostling of potential candidates seems over, and the real battles are just beginning. Websites are coming online, and soon fundraising and hand shaking will be the order of the day.

It is at this point that those of us not running for office must decide if we want to work, volunteer or sit this one out. The candidates are in for the long haul, and this election cycle looks to be a bloody one.

But it is here, at this moment of decision, that I find myself the most torn. Do I merely sit back, bitch about everything, and be part of the problem? Or do I join in the orgy of the political landscape and help prop up a corrupt and pointless system?

I am not sure which is better; participate and hold up the system that I feel strangles our country, or sit it out and let others run our world. If there was a clear alternative to either, I would jump on the bandwagon in a heartbeat. But in this election cycle, this battle, there are only two distinct and viable choices; the Democrats or the Republicans.

Even though I lean heavier toward the Dems, I see them as equally complacent in the corrupt culture of Washington. And even though there are no doubt some good people running for just reasons, the idea of joining in the great circle jerk that is our political system leaves me feeling dirty and tainted.

If I believed that the Dems would be more open to Third Party participation, I would be more inclined to help them. But the Dems stand to lose power as much as the Repubs in such a senario, and therefore are not likely to see Third Parties as a good idea. Maybe if control of the FEC was wrestled from the parties in power we could have a truer representation of the political spectrum; or at least we might have real debates.

So again, what to do? The left likes to call the right Kool-Aid drinkers, but I think the same can be said in reverse. And having read through the vastness of the blogosphere, I can say that any Dem candidate that does not fit every single person’s preconceived notions will be attacked by the left. This will weaken the left’s chances of getting in power and give the right plenty of ammunition.

The Democratic leadership seems ready to lose. They will no doubt continue to make the same mistakes of the last election cycle; ignore the grassroots (except when taking their cash), refuse to call the right out on their bullshit, and simply work to ensure their own seats at the table.

The right, which may get wounded by the current scandles, will rap itself in the flag, 9/11, and the War on Terror. How this will fly with the general public remains to be seen, though there does appear to be signs of of the people getting tired of this symbolism. Another war is unlikely, but never rule one out.

And even if the Dems get control of the House or Senate, what will they do differently? The Supreme Court is fucked, the President isn’t running for re-election (no impeachment charges), and unless the Dems get both (highly unlikely), at most they will halt the Republican machine. An entrenched attitude will set in; in the stagnation nothing will move in Washington. And again, even if the Dems win both, what will they do with the chance? If the blogosphere is any indicator of the the policies of the Democratic Party, the Dems can’t even agree to disagree, much less create a platform with which to run elections, or a country, on.

What to do. I suppose I should resign myself to volunteering for a Dem, write about how much better the Dems will make the world and drink up. Because until the Two-Party lock on Washington is picked, the politics of “the lesser of two evils” will continue.


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