Vote Your Heart

“Poverty is a weapon of mass destruction. Homelessness is a weapon of mass destruction. Joblessness is a weapon of mass destruction. And poor health care is a weapon of mass destruction. And when a government lies to its people, that is a weapon of mass destruction.” -Dennis Kucinich

I. They’re In The Same Fraternity
Skull and Bones at Yale is the most exclusive fraternity in the nation. Actually, I hesitate to call it a fraternity, when secret society is more apt. Skull and Bones has spawned generations of leaders among the intelligence services, government, and Wall Street. This November, American voters are presented with not one, but two Bonesmen for President. While they may differ in some key areas, my argument here is that Bush and Kerry are fundementally the same. That is, they represent big business first and people second.

John Kerry, Skull and Bones ’66
George W. Bush, Skull and Bones ’68

The “Anybody But Bush” movement now well underway is compelling on the surface, but it also promotes voting from a place of fear. I choose to vote from and with my heart. I want my vote to mean something, and that something is about more voices, more bravery, consistent eloquence and honorable statesmanship. And I want the pluralism that is America well represented in the media and in Washington. I want to dismantle the two party system for good. I want a revolution of consciousness.

This isn’t about stealing votes from Kerry. I recognize he’s a superior choice over the sitting President, but it’s by degrees. The right is right to point out that Kerry is the number one recipient of special interest money in the US Senate today. A fact that clarifies my central point here–that most Democrats and Republicans serving today represent the same people, the top ten percent in control of 90% of the nation’s wealth. One’s net worth must top $8,000,000 to make this select group. So, if you’re not worth “8 mil” you’re in good company, you’re one of the people.

It’s safe to say that the top ten percent votes to maintain their power and privilege. But 100,000,000 Americans do not vote. I want to motivate new voters to support radical Dems like Dennis Kucinich and third and fourth and fifth party candidates. So it becomes a story! We must also work hard to change things so we grant seats at the table for the parties capable of winning 5%, 10%, and 20% of the vote. And we need to look forward to running a serious Independent contender for 2008. I’d love it if Dennis became an Independent, and began preparing now for another run in four years.

II. Voting Is A Hard-Earned Privilege
Some may ask, “Is voting a right or a privilege?” Considering no women, blacks, Indians, nor poor whites had the vote when “All men were created equal” by the Declaration of Independence, I think it is safe to say voting is a privilege, and one earned by generations that have gone before, people who desperately wanted that privilege and we’re willing to fight for it. So please, do not take your vote lightly. “The People” paid huge prices, sometimes the greatest price, in order to have their voices, and yours, heard.

III. Plurality, Please.
Right now, in front of God, the press and everyone concerned, we have liberal Democrats trying to dissuade third part contender, Ralph Nader from a race for President this year. These misguided, frightened people want to quiet a voice, and that is simply not acceptable to me, and it ought to be an outrage to every person in this nation who loves free speech. The tone of this debate is getting nasty, and I fully expect it to worsen as November draws nearer, because Ralph will run. And when Ralph does run, I will support him as long as Kucinich is out of the race, which he will be.

Ralph is a noble citizen and one deserving of much respect and admiration. Now, as he faces this bitter torrent from The Left, I once again marvel at the choice he makes to act with bravery and honor for one’s country, a choice he’s made many times before. We need many more brave patriots cut from Nader’s cloth to mix it up with the bastards (from both major parties) who threaten to destroy all that is good.

IV. Running the Numbers
3,949,150 Americans voted for someone other than Bush and Gore in November of 2000. Almost four million people voted their heart. So, we will not be marginalized by corporate media. Four million is a big number and a number we can build on. It takes fifty million votes, more or less, to win the White House. We do not need defecting Democrats and Republicans to peacefully reform the nation. We need one of two Americans who do not currently exercise their voting privileges. That’s it. One of two who do not vote is fifty million. Add the four million who already vote third party and we’re in.

V. Vigorously Resist Indoctrination
Noam Chomsky champions an heroic vision for resistance against systems of indoctrination. The learned M.I.T. linguist and “one of the most important intellectuals in the world today” considers corporate media interests one such system of indoctrination that needs resisting. I watch the news. I enjoy it. But I watch it the way a media critic/English major/daily caretaker of language watches any programming, that is with a cynic’s knack for reading through the lines. Chomsky concedes there are often conflicting ideals at work in corporate media. A journalist’s sense of professional duty is often at odds with her publisher’s desires for “what works,” a formula that can be consistently reproduced, packaged, and sold to advertisers. Allowing alternate and often critical points of view on the airwaves is not part of that package. Thus, it is essential to dig for the real news. Read the foreign press. Listen to the Pacifica Radio network. Browse the World Wide Web. Then, and only then, will one be truly informed.

VI. Embrace Change
Politics is a common sense business. It changes as people change. Women, people of color, poor people, and indigenous people are now active within the circle, and their voices are capable of being heard. Not consistently. Not without attempts to marginalize. But heard, nonetheless. As we gain consciousness and open our hearts more fully, we do progress as a nation and as a species.

Then new inventions like the Web come along and anyone with a few dollars for hosting and the will to learn basic html scripting has the ability to make a well-argued, professional appeal. The making of pamphlets was an important part of leading men to fight for the American Revolution. With the Web as our most representative form of free press today, we fight against lies and institutional deceit. Dishonesty is the new tyranny.

©2004 David Burn Some rights reserved