Nope, not Eric day, although, that would be damned cool indeed.
It’s election day in the United States of America. It is a big day, but not for the reason most people assume. Sure, we “elect” our President today … or do we?
until they become conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious – george orwell
Well, for starters not to point out the obvious, but the President’s powers are enumerated in the Constitution of the US and they don’t include nearly as much as most people seem to be under the impression that they do. There are a great many of citizens who are oblivious to how civics work in this nation. Try reading Article Two of the United States Constitution once in a while and see how much the President’s branch, ney, the President himself is actually tasked with and then, think, for but a second how much of that ultimately effects your daily life considering the branch shares Federal Power three ways with the Legislative and Judicial Branches and how power is split between the Federal Branches and that of the individual States, each of which have their own structure that divides power between their three branches of government acting as individual entities. Beyond the State level, many States, like the Federal Government cede power down to a local level (counties, townships and cities, etc.) which each of those again divides it’s power structure in many cases between branches yet again. Thus, many of the regulations, laws and orders that affect your daily life come more directly from your local and State level authorities than the minimal powers the President is left with.
Oh, and while we’re at it, you don’t even elect the President’s limited powers by direct vote, there’ the Electoral College. It exists because of the impunity of the previously existing voting structures, that’s not a defense of it, to be honest, just a historical note, look it up, know your history. But really, the semi-popular vote (the vote of those who are deemed qualified and allowed to vote and then exercise that civil responsibility which is inherently a percentage of the available voting population. The national assumed average of those who manage to execute a vote in the biggest elections after the rest is taken into account is still barely over 50%, the lowest levels at secondary elections, particularly at the local and State level can hardly break 15%, remember this for later) only twice didn’t select the President in our Nation’s entire history, but the way the college is structured and the way that statisticians and journalists and sociologists have followed the college it becomes increasingly about single state’s electoral college votes than about the national vote. I don’t buy disbanding the college gives the power back to the people in a one-person one-vote equality knowing that the same statisticians and journalists and sociologists will just dissect patterns and come up with the same key coordinates to focus on, but that’s another story, once of which we put entirely tooooooooo much confidence in the power of the President and not nearly enough in ALL the other elected offices (probably combined)
The most important votes you can cast are for your local legislators and related local officials who have much more to do with your daily life and peace of mind but we’ve fooled ourselves as a nation to believe the President is some kind of National Leader the way a King or Queen reigned over their subjects and that was precisely the kind of system our Forefathers struggled most against. The disbursement of power and the enumeration of those powers in a tiered system was meant to mean no single individual or even group of people should be able to manipulate the course of the nation, be it 2 days or 200 years old.
And, yet, today, most people are voting solely because under the guise of exercising a “right” rather than their civic responsibility. The “right” to vote was not included in the Constitution, nor in the original 10 Amendments (although, the Freedom of Speech and the Freedom to Petition the Government were, making them both more important to the founding fathers than “voting”). The “right” to vote is somewhat secured in later amendments but many of the legislative Acts that actually exist to enforce elements of the right are renewalable and although they have been renewed it is never a guarantee they will be, particularly with the influx of local and State level legislation, State Constitutional Amendments, State Executive Orders and other attempts at voter suppression of ALL kinds from ALL sides, both by Government and by Private Entities, and both elicit and covert.
We leave things to the popular vote (like Civil Rights, Education) that we shouldn’t but suppress our own popular vote in other ways (the Electoral College), we act in direct opposite of our own best interests by allowing our personal needs in the moment superceed the greater good of the whole, particularly when the benefits served us in the past but no longer do or can serve us in the future and we may not have cashed in on. We live under the guise of the Individual while ignoring the inherent Social need. If it were really up to our Founding Fathers based on the current believe of every man for himself they would never have fostered a Revolution and created a national identity of their own as they were already educated, they were already successful in their lives and had little direct negative influence from the crown. The saw the GREATER GOOD of the whole of the colonies and acted in the best interest of all and then enlisted one another on a local level to enact it, setting up the prescient of disbursed power.
I get it being frustrated with your lot in life.
I get it being frustrated with what you percieve is the direction of the Nation as a whole.
I get being frustrating when those most important of representatives aren’t representative of anything even remotely close to what you believe.
I don’t devalue that. I implore you to then look beyond the finite boarders of the existing two-party system and explore the vast world of complimentary ideas to what is best for the Nation as a whole and not to be completely selfish and look out for just you in your vote.
If everyone acted solely in self-interest at all times than minorities of the past wouldn’t have become influential people of the present and as a Nation we wouldn’t have the wonderful European diversity of the Irish, Italians, Iberians, Eastern Europeans, Scandinavians all of whom suffered oppression, we wouldn’t have the early religious diversity the Catholics, the Jews, the Unitarians, the Agnostics all of whom did too… we wouldn’t have the after-effects of Franco-American culture merging with African-American culture in Creole a uniquely ‘American’ (not US, note) creation, nor the acceptance of African-American culture, early wave ‘Hispanic’ and Afro-Caribbean culture, etc… we wouldn’t have the Chinese (oh, did you forget they helped build the Railroads out west before they were outlawed and then re-allowed only to be stifled under Post-Leninist Communism, which isn’t the same as Socialism, another good civics lesson)… we wouldn’t have Pasta as we know it in the US today because of anti-Southern-Italian bigotry even though it’s the most popular staple in the shopping cart after the basics of eggs, milk and bread, or Salsa despite a highly anti-Hispanic rhetoric which recently surpassed Ketchup (a modern recipe which is a variant of a French recipe, another not highly loved ethnicity in bigot circles) as the national condiment, primary purchased by, you guested it, caucasons… I could go on with so, so, so many more historical examples, but I’m already suffering cranial explosion remembrering quotas that said Southern Europeans and Scandinavia were inherently stupid, and compared Irish to Monkeys, even outside of the blatant and outright bigotry we all well know regarding post-Slavery African-Americans and modern Hispanics (even though we at one time embraced Purto Ricans and even moreso Cubans before Castro, again, conveniently forgotten history)
Anyway, tangent aside, the thing is, if you really want to make a difference, the way that change occurs is from the local level. It takes a movement of people who exercise their most basic civil duties, voting for their local representatives, participating in the local courts when they are called for jury duty (imperative, because the judicial legal system is based on precedence so every decision can inherently have some underlying meaning) and petitioning their local representatives for that which is necessary (a right inherently granted in the Bill of Rights, unlike voting).
For all those who only exercise their “right” to vote every four years and then have the nerve to tell me, someone who never turned down jury duty and regularly addresses my representatives as is my Constitutional Right I say when you can pass the US Citizens exam with flying colors you can complain about how I exercise my freedom as not only a “natural born citizen” but one who actively exercises my Free Will to remain a Citizen (mostly of New Jersey, though recently of New York for lots of reasons) unlike the many who take for granted that privileged to the point of not actually knowing, understanding or being able to explain what it means and simple passively accept it as such because they indeed have no other choice but to remain static entities that even if necessity required it would not be able to do anything else but stay put and beg for the status quo.
And, I’ll never tell you IF I voted or not, or who I voted for (that’s actually illegal because of historical voter coercion, again, learn your history people!) but the truth is it doesn’t fucking matter, the fact of the matter is I CAN and I WILL say what I want, when I want, about what I want, essentially to whom I want and if it’s about politics so long as I retain my citizenship you can’t say shit about it and your being even MORE anti-American by damning me for it based on my voting (or lack thereof) so STFU and learn to pass the citizenship exam, because there are studies that show less than 30% of US Citizen born and educated here can …