I posted this today to a mailing list I'm on. While it's not a complete set of thoughts and needs some serious rewrites, I decided to post it here as well.
For those of us that consider the Democrats and Republicans to be just two halves of the same centrist/capitalist party, and our national elections to be a charade masking the one party state we live in, there is a slogan we love to repeat.
If voting could change the system, it would be illegal.
That thought has often helped me explain my disdain of electoral politics to those that really think things can change if they vote for their favorite lesser of two weasels.
I've started to realize that I need to look twice at this long held opinion. With all of the attempts by the Republicans to limit voting; with all the effort being put into solving a non-existent problem by disenfranchising hundreds of thousands of people it has dawned on me -- they are so afraid of the electorate that they have finally started to try to make voting illegal.
This is leaving me in a very confused and conflicted state. I am still certain that neither of the major parties have the ability to actually bring about serious change. They are both owned by the same corporations and basic ideology (see the consensus that somehow Iran is "the greatest threat to our security" rhetoric for example).
Don't get me wrong, there are differences. That's part of the charade. But are those differences becoming more sharp? The center of the debate has moved very far to the right since Reagan, but it seems that the GOP is not happy having made so much progress, they are continuing to move further -- trying to drag the middle with them.
Could this be creating a situation where there is possible value in electoral politics? Hanging in the balance this year is a whole host of issues that could end up having real impact. The Supreme Court, the continued socialization of risk combined with a larger hording of privatized profit (aka corporate welfare), legislation being based on a narrow interpretation of someone's god's opinions.
Luckily I live in New York, and due to the insane system of the electoral college I am free to abstain from the election or throw my vote away on a minor party candidate without fear that I will hand victory to the proto-facsists.
With every attempt to restrict the vote, it seems to become more important to exercise that right in some way.
I'm not sure where I'm going with this, but I wanted to get this down in writing before I forgot.