I’m screaming inside… I’ve followed the political race these past two years more closely than I ever have any other year of my life and I regret it. My interest in politics has pulled me in so many directions, taught me to peel back the curtain and see the other side. I’ve learned how the sausage is made in the political machine and I am so disgusted, so defeated. It made me see the ultimate punchline in politics; freedom, you can’t lose what you never had. I see now, I understand. I’m a perfectly rational human being, sound of mind, and a loving father and husband, and I completely understand how someone who is remotely unstable might be driven to take extremist measures. Most Americans have become sheep in the herd and we don’t even know it; or worse, we do and accept that we have just enough diluted freedom to not care to change it.
In the United States we follow a certain code of ethics. We trust nothing from the government unless they tell us it’s for our own good and the sake our “freedom”. The irony in all of this is in how little freedom we really have. Everything is an illusion of choice, a finely crafted script where the nation’s richest are the authors and we are all extra’s in their play. We have politicians who are put into power through a revolving door, where CEO’s of giant corporations are assigned to become the government regulators of those same corporations. We have laws that are written and bought by corporations, and propaganda smeared across the television screen by national broadcast networks that are kept afloat through advertising dollars from those same corporations trying to pass their own laws.
We have a nation where the people in the highest ranks of office will turn a blind eye if they are told to, or say nothing about a blatant degradation of human rights because it might hurt their chances for election or – God forbid – stop the campaign donations from flowing in from the companies involved in that atrocity. We have an entire Republican party willing to cast aside their own conservative beliefs for the slim chance that it will earn them another term in their office. We have an entire Democratic party who are so entrenched with corporations that they aren’t even shy about it anymore, they don’t even hide the fact that they are paid off. Corporations have taken so much control of the democratic process that they know they’ve won, and smile about it every time they get a slap on the hand in front of a camera. The lack of prosecution of political parties and their partners is proof that they were right to be smug.
I feel like there had to have been a time in our history where a vote meant something. There had to have been a time in history where, “one vote makes a difference” was true, or maybe I’m having a romantic memory of yet another piece of propaganda that was sold down the generations. When I look at political maps I see myself surrounded by unlike minds, people who follow and believe in the party system and believe in the lesser of two evils, and believe that the cycle of war we are in is some kind of macho show of strength and isn’t about buying cheap oil and selling guns. I am powerless, completely, and this election is proof of that.
In spite of everyone’s best efforts, Bernie Sanders; or anyone like him, is too principled to ever win. In the primary election, a friend introduced a video of a Bernie speech to me and it was impassioned and filled with genuine intent, and I instantly knew he was done. I turned on the news and saw nothing but unabashed jokes of skepticism and an endless barrage of shade thrown on his campaign. I later read about the DNC leaks and the continued stream of emails that connect Hillary to all the people who owe favors or are hoping to be in her graces WHEN she rises to power. In the end, even Bernie fell victim to the corruption himself, accepting campaign donations from rich donors to push his progressive movement after the election. He’s even fallen into the trap of asking Americans to vote for the lesser of two evils once again. Even Bernie knows that Hillary is lying to his face, and yet he holds out a naive belief that she will stick to her word. I personally trust Hillary as much as she trusted Americans when she hit the delete key on her archives.
We refuse to change our lives for the better of the planet, and cast aside scientific evidence that the planet is dying. We have given our rights away to the rich because we’ve allowed the court system to say that a vote is worth $1 and the more dollars you have the more your vote is worth. We have a justice system that treats corruption as an acceptable level of collateral damage in order to protect the foundations of our true government; banks and energy companies. We accept that our candidates can reach the highest levels of office by calling establishment cronyism to action, or digging up our deepest fears to earn a vote. We accept what the media tell us whenever the machine is turned against a whistle blower who exposed the underbelly of a corrupt government establishment.
I don’t know… …maybe it’s not that we accept all of these things, I certainly don’t accept them. I think we’ve lost the war on freedom, and are given a false sense of freedom as a consolation prize. We are given just enough freedom to prevent a nation wide riot, just enough freedom to give the illusion of choice through malleable electoral colleges, just enough freedom to become an effective cog in the consumerist machine that fills the pockets of those who would benefit from all of this.
I think about my kid growing up in this world and I hate myself for it. I feel so selfish for having to leave my kid with these kinds of issues someday. I’m brought to tears at the thought of leaving her with a nation that seems to only get worse. I want to cry at the thought of my grandchildren not having clean drinking water in the richest nation on this planet. Meanwhile, the news continues to paint a colorful facade onto this crumbling infrastructure. And we are all suppose to pretend that life is better now, better than a time when 1 income was enough, and housing was more affordable, and our nation wasn’t on the verge of financial collapse ever 6-10 years.. We are supposed to feel better that job numbers are increasing but average salaries are plummeting. We are supposed to feel better knowing that our children or children’s children will have to live in communal homes to afford to live because 2 incomes won’t be enough anymore.
I am defeated, I am worn thin, with no delusions that I’ll ever see a nation where these problems are gone. I’d like to think that this nation has a fighting chance to be better, but corruption has such a monumental lead on democracy that it’s embarrassing. Even if we pledge to take money out of politics there will always be another way, always. Corruption will lose ground in this fight when it has found greener, more profitable, pastures elsewhere, and not a moment sooner. I truly believe that.
I applaud the men and women of networks like The Young Turks. I honestly don’t know where they find it in their hearts to fight. I see the futility of raising a fist, only to have it cut off, and I am spent. I cast a vote, knowing that it might be omitted because my last name is cross checked as Hispanic, or knowing it doesn’t matter because I’m in a district, surrounded by voters who would rather see a blatant racist sex abuser in office or a corporate shill willing to sell our freedom to the highest bidder than vote with their heart. I don’t care for either option, but we live in a nation where social pressure begs for you to choose heads or tails of the same tainted coin.