We hear a lot these days from our “liberal” or “progressive” friends about the electoral system. How we should support this candidate, or that incumbent, or oppose one party by favoring another. If you haven’t realized it by now, such pleas to engage in the electoral system are ridiculous. Aside from—perhaps—local elections, voting will never change anything of significance in the United States. It simply is not how the American system is set up.
This was true since the first days of the American Change in Management (formerly the American Revolution™), when one group of wealthy, white, slave-and-land-owning men established a society to free people exactly like them from the oppression of other men exactly like them but with slightly different accents. No nation built on the backs of slaves (black people and white women and “indentured servants” ie. the working class), that didn't enfranchise those same groups for hundreds of years, that continues to oppress them by legal and extralegal means, could ever be called “free” or “democratic.” Certainly no nation guilty of sustained genocide on its indigenous population would ever merit such labels.
No, friends, this government is not yours and it never was. But again and again even the most well-meaning activists, protesters, and politically aware/passionate people will engage themselves in our quadrennial circus, clinging desperately to the bankrupt notion that their ballots matter in the least to the outcome of the election. Ignoring the obvious fact that electronic voting machines exist only to facilitate easier falsification of election results, at most the vote may determine which flavor of cryptofascist narcissists butcher children abroad and throw our friends and family members into cages for offenses against the King’s Laws. The electronic machines do not, under any circumstances, determine which policies will be followed. We are a society bathed in blood and tears and misery and your votes do not matter.
But discuss it they shall. Tens of millions of people will continue to debate the finer details of our national stage production of Natural Born Killers while the criminals continue to stomp on the desiccating corpse of our humanity. The cognitive dissonance to maintain this fiction is at once fascinating and terrifying. The number of fictions we must not only absorb, but internalize, reinforce in others and create for ourselves is truly staggering.
Even I fall victim to this trap, with invective after invective cascading from my finger tips on blogs and facebook and in loudly, trenchantly vocalized thoughts about this unreality and how it poisons every aspect of our lives. Perhaps the best strategy is to simply ignore all of it. But with hundreds of millions of people still bought into that system no evolution seems possible.
The “outcome,” theoretically at least, is not who wins and who loses, but what laws and policies those persons produce. But as anyone can plainly see (if they aren’t lying to themselves), those outcomes are never actually discussed because they never change.
That festering, rotted, dark heart on the Potomac is not now, and has never been anything other than your jailer. It wraps you in endless restrictions and regulations, appropriates your labor, and reserves the right to murder you and everyone you’ve ever met should the mood strike it. Voting doesn’t matter. It never mattered. It never will matter so long as our collective consciousness remains shackled to this dreaming state of nightmare unreality.
If we have any hope for survival we have to shake things up, and that cannot be done within the confines of “acceptable” or “legal” political action. Georgia is about to make picketing a felony punishable by a $10000 fine and a year in jail, while at least Tennessee and Arizona have similar legislation in the works. If anything marginally effective is illegal and the legal means are ridiculous scams, what are we left with? It is not a question I ask rhetorically, with a ready answer in my pocket. Rather I ask because it is a question which I myself am struggling with every day. My only advice is to have an answer for yourself before the question is moot.