I am over the Democrats.
The Democrats were at best a default choice for me — I am not a racial or religious bigot, so Republicanism is out. I know that not every Republican is a bigot, but the party has a history of embracing them, and everyone who accepts the party name has made their peace with that, either by deciding that they agree, or deciding that the question is not important. Both of those positions are moral failures, so the GOP is out for me. That leaves me with the Democratic party, not because no third party stands a chance of getting elected, but because no third party exists that isn’t bat-shit crazy. Some of them have some good ideas some of the time, but from my college days I have noticed that the best definition of the fringe is that part of the garment that accumulates fluff. I wouldn’t want Ralph Nader or Ron Paul in charge of the military or the economy — they might make interesting conversation partners, but I don’t believe that either of them could get shit done.
However, the total intellectual and moral failure of the Obama team in aligning itself with Rick Warren has highlighted a tremendously uncomfortable fact for me — I can not make my peace with the Democrats either. Rick Warren is a fraud — I’ve read the man’s books — he is a traditional American huckster, straight out of the P.T. Barnum tent revival circuit — he is a smiling Amway salesman and he is selling you salvation. There are many Christians in this country who don’t go in for this kind of obvious transparent fraud, and there are many atheists who would sit googly eyed at a slot machine in Vegas and pour all their money into it while the B-girl flirts and the music plays. It has nothing to do with religion — it has to do with the con. It has to do with giving up on your intellectual integrity, because the good part of too-good-to-be-true is something you want so bad, and anyway thinking is so hard, that you will sign up to buy swamp land and snake oil, jewelry for $9.95 and you think every waitress really wants to be your friend.
I get it – but I don’t want it from my leaders. I don’t want a president who is selling that shit to himself, or to me. And in America that means I don’t want a president.
I signed on to the Barak Obama juggernaut because I wanted to believe. And that is a bad reason to believe anything. Ultimately, what is important to me is truth — and while I know that I can’t always get that, I also know that I don’t have to insult it. And if you are an ambitious enough person that you want to be president, then you are going to insult it.
Barak Obama has taken some important stances that are simply wrong — factually and morally wrong. I acceded to them because I had signed on because I wanted to believe. I am not saying that the Republicans have the right answer for any of these issues, and I’m not saying that the progressives have the answer, I’m saying that the current administration, the incoming administration, does not have the answer.
Issue 1: Gay marriage. The bottom line is that marriage in the United States is not defined by the Church, it is a legal contract that exists within the vast and complex structure of national and state law. Separation of Church and State insures that what the Bible has to say about it is irrelevant. It may have come from the Bible originally, but that is of no matter other than historical interest, even if it were true (which of course it isn’t — but I don’t want to diverge into a historical argument). Legally, the biblical opinion of homosexuality is irrelevant. Homosexuality is a biologically determined trait, like sex and race — and it is clear that under the spirit of equal protection under law, that homosexuals are to be allowed the same rights under law as heterosexuals. Ergo, the marriage contract that heterosexuals get at the courthouse is the same one that homosexuals need to get. We might have to change the wording on the contract, but the state needs to provide one contract, and it needs to be the same contract for everybody.
Issue 2: Global Warming. Is not our number one energy priority. We have been shanghaied into a national acceptance of a phenomenon which no two people can even agree to a name for. The science at the root of it is one thing, but the science that the public understands about it is mostly bad. The people at the center of the debate have made a decision as a group that it is more important to motivate action than to be honest about the complexity of the issues at hand. As a result they lie, and people repeat the lies. Weather it exists or not, no one understands it. I have read a lot about it (thousands of pages) over the last three years, there are some interesting conversations to be had, but they are not the conversations that are being had. The topic needs to be cleared up before we go spending money, it is pursued with a religious fervor right now, which means people want to act before they understand. That is always a bad idea. Global Warming is our national Lamarckism and in time if we even remember it and aren’t off on some other trip, we will have to pretend that we aren’t embarrassed to have been a part of it.
Issue 3: Energy. I despise John McCain, but he was right about Nuclear. Energy density demands that wind and Earth based solar will never be the principal energy sources for an industrial civilization. Wind is a massive sinkhole for cash, and 30 years from now the junkyards are going to be full of giant abstract sculptures which your tax money will pay for, because wind cannot pay for itself at this time. We need something to reduce our demand on foreign oil, for sure, but wind is not going to do it. Nuclear plants, electric cars, and smart exploitation of tar sands and shale are a good place to start.
Issue 4: UAW. It’s time is done. We don’t allow monopolies to distort the market for product, why should we allow it for labor? Like the Democrats, the UAW doesn’t care about the worker, they care about themselves.
Issue 5: Corporate taxes. Corporate taxes do not come out of corporations pockets — corporations don’t have pockets — they have resource flows. A corporation may be a legal person, but it is a mistake to personalize them. When you raise the cost of doing business, the shareholders don’t just choose to take money out of their bank accounts, they raise prices — and that comes out of your pocket. A tax on a corporation is a tax on you. For that reason, we need to switch, slowly and over time, to a single payer plan. The only reason to tax corporations partly, and individuals partly is to mask the actual cost of government. Right now, you are paying taxes three ways — you are taxed through manipulation of the dollars value, you are taxed by direct taxes, and you are taxed by indirect taxes (licencing fees, business taxes etc) that raise the cost of the products that you purchase. That means you are paying multiply compounded tax, because after you pay 20% tax to the tax man, you pay an inflated price for an orange (how much you do not know) — so every penny of inflated cost of the orange is a penny you have been taxed on twice or three times, or four times.
Your real tax rate right now is probably close to 50%, you can figure out exactly how much by comparing the GNP to the actual cost of government, but your real rate depends on how much money you spend and on what — so you can’t know for yourself, just for a fictitious average person. That ambiguity is why it is kept that way — you would not tolerate your real tax rate if you knew what it was, and you would demand greater efficiency and cut programs. I’m not saying this is a deliberate conspiracy, just a conspiracy of interest. It can be eliminated by having a single tax, and that tax should be progressive and on income, and the rules for reporting income need to be made more transparent.
Issue 6: Warrantless search and seizure. Obama was part of a major Democratic failure to protect your constitutional rights against illegal search and seizure. The Bush Administration asked the major telecommunications companies to spy on your communications illegally. Some of the companies refused, and some agreed. The companies that agreed should be penalized so that in the future, when the government asks companies to break the law, they have an incentive not to do so. “We were just following orders.” is not an acceptable excuse in America.
I have purged, but I am ashamed of my collusion. I am not a liberal, and I am certainly not a Democrat. And the Democrats do not care about me any more than the Republicans do. The party cares about winning, and the indivudals care about their own ambition. I had no business lying to myself or the world about it.
So who do I vote for? I don’t vote. Voting is a con to normalize dissidence. It is a trick to get you to invest in the debate as it is framed by the power-players at the time. Voting does not exist to give you a voice, it exists to make society stable. When a salesman comes to your door, sometimes they will give you a worthless trinket of some kind, a pamphlet or a flier. It doesn’t matter what. As an animal, by accepting the trinket, you make a subtle emotional investment in what the salesman is saying. That is all a vote is.
I don’t care so much what you as an individual think, but you need to start thinking. You need to stop following the party, whatever party. You need to learn how to evaluate claims of truth and value, how to reason, how to weigh evidence. This is hard work, but as long as you are following the bandwagon, you will never do it, because the B-girl is flirting with you and the music is playing and you are being sold something that is too good to be true: which is that you can have value without thought and effort. Resist.
Think for yourself.