September 22nd, 2004

For those of you who aren’t followers of what categories posts go to, this is falling under the rant category. You may not recognize it, or me, because it’s been a very, very long time since I ranted about anything (a quick check shows me the last thing in this category was written in March of this year, six months ago). It’s been kind of hard for me to get good and angry lately, since I’ve been grieving Simone, but I think I’m ready to get some things off my chest. This is a rant I’ve been pondering for a long time now (in fact, I reference it as the next rant in the last paragraph of my previous rant, so you can’t say I don’t follow through). At any rate, here are the rules and disclaimers for rants : everything ranted about is my opinion and I’m venting here so while I will usually start at the point of facts I will likely end completely in emotional territory. If you don’t agree, power to you, but I don’t really care. Here we go, hang on while we tread the controversial grounds of politics and I foam at the mouth.

Although I don’t often write things that are directly political, it’s probably become pretty obvious to most readers that I’m somewhat left leaning in my political views. I would probably be most at home living in a social democracy of the type that can be found in Scandinavian countries, the main problem with that being that I’m not really all about the snow, if you know what I mean. My political ideas are considered and I’ve always taken politics somewhat seriously. Nothing like growing up in a military dictatorship to emphasize the importance of voting. That said, the last time I voted for a major party candidate in a presidential election was in 1988. Yes, I voted for Dukakis (not that it’s anybody’s business who I voted for and will vote for). I voted for, to my mind, the lesser of two evils. My voting choices were much more immature then, and I voted for Dukakis because I very firmly believe that no one who has been director of any of the branches of the secret service should become President. This seems like an obvious conflict of interest. Back to the point though, discounting local politics, where I often have no choice but to vote for major party candidates, I generally vote outside the major parties. This is because the two major parties suck.

Just in case you didn’t hear me: the two major parties suck.

I’m not one of those people who believes that there’s no difference between Republicans and Democrats, though I’ll often say as much because I like to see both sides sputter and magnify differences that seem fairly minute to me. I’m not a one-issue voter (I’m a three-to-four-issue voter and if I thought anyone but me cared I would go into a lengthy explanation about which issues and why) but on all the issues that are most important to me Democrats and Republicans usually fall into the same boat. For example, civil liberties are extremely important to me. Again, see the military dictatorship of my childhood and draw your own conclusions as to why. Ok, let’s look at civil liberties and then look at both major party candidates. Most people would agree that the latest ballyhoo over civil liberties is the Patriot Act. Bush signed it, Kerry voted for it. Is there a difference there? None that I can see. In fact, the Patriot Act was passed with overwhelming support from both parties. Pot, kettle, black. I could go on like this, ticking off all the things that are really important to me and showing that the differences are either negligible or non-existent between the two parties. I will readily admit that this is not the case for most people, as for most people there are issues that are very important in which the two parties differ on standpoint, approach and policy. It just happens not to work out that way, nine times out of ten, for me. Frankly, if the two party system works for you, you’re riding high, because that happens to be the kind of system we have. You get to stay within the confines of the party that exactly speaks to what’s most important to you and vote with the vast majority of the rest of the people. That doesn’t work for me and so part of my striving against the two majors is the hope that in a lifelong pattern of independent voting I can strengthen some of the smaller parties so that there will one day be more true choices for people like me.

And now, finally, we arrive at why I’m truly angry. Last week I got a letter from the Democratic Party that included a glossy 8×10 of their candidates (suitable for framing) and thanking me for all my great support. I don’t know if it’s because of my gender or what (my husband got no such letter) but excuse me, exactly where do you get off sending me this waste of trees? I am not now, nor was I ever, a member of your party. I have not now, nor likely will I ever, give your party money. I try not to give your party votes, but sometimes that can’t be helped. In case you haven’t noticed, I think your party sucks. This fawning letter was really the straw that broke the camel’s back for me, because for months I’ve been reading about how all us leftish independent voters are betraying the country and giving George Bush the election because we won’t vote Democratic. I’ve been told I’m stupid, that what I do when I vote a third party is pointless, and that I’m a traitor. Strangely, these insults and threats coming my way from Democratic pundits, bloggers and friends are not so different, from where I’m standing, to Cheney’s threats that we’ll have another attack if we vote against Bush, though I’m sure the people uttering those statements are themselves sure it’s a completely different thing.

Let’s get this straight Democrats : I’m not your pawn and I am not in your pocket. You don’t own me. I owe you nothing. I’m sick and tired of your patronizing attitude. If you wanted me to vote for your party, then you should have nominated someone I could stomach. There was someone, by the way, that I would have crossed over to the major parties and voted for with a skip in my step. He wasn’t good enough for your party leadership and now whether your candidate gets elected or not is a whole lot of not my problem. I vote my conscience, and my conscience sure doesn’t point to Kerry. If Bush gets re-elected, it is not my fault, and your saying that it is my fault won’t make it so, any more than Powell pointing at satellite pictures and saying there were WMDs in Iraq made it so. You can’t cajole me or bully me into voting for someone as a vote against someone else. I vote for candidates, not against them.

I’m sorry that your party is in such a disarray that you feel you have to use these offensive tactics against me to try and draw me in. It reeks of desperation on your part. I’m just letting you know that they’re not convincing me, just making me angry.

My next two long-brewing rants will be taxes and religious ambushes in the workplace.

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22 Sep 2004, by

The Realtor

More dream. It will be obvious to most where this is coming from, as it requires less analysis than usual.

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