It’s less than a week until Election Day in the United States of America. I’ve sent my postal vote through: I voted for the candidate whose policies and values are closest to mine, the one I think will be best for the country. Is that how you’ll be choosing your candidate? Does that mean you and I will be voting for the same candidate? Not necessarily. What it does mean is that Americans have different views and priorities and therefore support different candidates. I think my views and priorities and candidate are the right ones; I’m guessing you do, too. So how do we know who is right and who is wrong? We don’t. We’re different. So there’s little use one side trying to prove the other is objectively wrong (or objectively the Anti-Christ).
So let’s stop being stupid about it.
Here’s what’s going to happen. Most Americans will vote for the candidate whose policies and values are closest to theirs, the one they think will be best for the country. This will mean that some will vote for Obama and some will vote for Romney. A few may even vote for Dr. Jill Stein or one of the other parties’ candidates (perhaps even Roseanne Barr?). The one who will get the most votes will win, bask in their glory, give a fancy speech in January, try to make a few changes, begin campaigning for the next election and then stay in Office past 2016 or not. That’s pretty much how it will work, regardless of who wins.
Why? Because the American political system is effed up proper. Unless the three branches of the government are dominated by a single party, not a lot gets done, because what seems to be the most important thing in American politics is beating the other side. Not doing what’s best, mind—just doing what will upset the others the most (or undoing what the other party has done). Don’t believe me? Are you calling me a liar or something? Rude!
Because a lot of Americans can see this tragedy, they won’t be voting at all. (I’m being generous, of course, because some won’t vote simply because they’re lazy.) Many will say, “It doesn’t matter so I shan’t participate in this facade. What’s the point of voting when the system is broken? Instead let’s bring this motherfucker down!”
Are they right?
Alas, probably, no. Unless, of course, they have a realistic, workable plan to actually bring this motherfucker down (which I’d be happy to hear the details of, though don’t post them through because you can get in real trouble for that), it will matter who wins this election. As I said above, the winner may be able to make a few changes and those changes may potentially make quite a big difference—to women’s choices about their bodies, to gay men and lesbians’ families, to many Americans’ health, welfare, and careers. This broken system will keep on keeping on even if you choose to opt out of voting: are you willing to risk the rights and freedoms that you have at the moment? Don’t you care about Sesame Street?
The other reason it matters who wins this election is because it will say something—to Americans and to the entire world—about what America stands for. We can take steps towards being a force of good or we can go back to being a symbol of greed.
Which is why I’m now thinking you’re probably now thinking it’d be wise to vote for the same candidate as I’m voting for. Or maybe you’re thinking of something else. I see that clever smile crossing your face, and I know it means you’ve just come up with a fabulous idea. I guess what I’m subtly trying to saying here is Yes, I’d be honoured to be your write-in candidate for the position of President of the United States. Honoured but not available, I’m afraid. But I’ll tell you what—go ahead and write my name in. If I win, that’ll be such a turn up for the books that I’d be willing to rearrange a few things to get the job done.
Let’s do it, America!