Starting the hurricane
By Dave Duffy
Issue #109 • January/February, 2008
My predictions for 2008:
(1) A Democrat or Republican will be elected President.
(2) Overwhelmingly Democrats and Republicans will be elected to Congress, state legislatures, and city halls.
(3) Government at all levels, staffed by loyal Democrats and Republicans, will grow bigger while our individual freedoms will grow smaller.
(4) Other serious American problems, such as a loss of good paying jobs, porous borders, growing debt, a declining dollar, dependence on foreign oil, and unaffordable housing will get worse.
Are you laughing or crying? They’re easy predictions to make. Most Americans who think about such things would make them. You could make the same predictions for 2009 and 2010. It’s like predicting the sun will set at sundown.
But I’m not going to be among the people who help these predictions come true. I’m swearing off the stuff that’s been making America sick. I’m going to take that first step in recovery by not voting for Democrats or Republicans.
I’ll still vote; I think that’s my duty as an American citizen. But I’m not sure for whom. Most likely the Libertarian candidate, even though he or she doesn’t have a chance of winning. Maybe another third party candidate who can’t win. Even Green Party candidate Ralph Nader, who I don’t agree with on most things, is a possibility because a vote for someone other than a Democrat or Republican is a step away from the disastrous lock on power the Demopublicans have had in my lifetime.
Even if it means spitting into the wind, it’s a start. If the slightest breeze can have an impact on a major storm sometime in the distant future, perhaps my vote for change in the face of overwhelming odds will have an effect on politics some day.
All the pundits, you know, those Democrats who give their opinions as TV newscasters, and those Republicans who give their opinions as talk radio hosts, say I’m wrong. They claim that people who vote for third party candidates throw away their vote because it takes away support from the Democrat or Republican candidate who comes closest to their views. But most TV newscasters and talk show hosts are shills for the Democrat and Republican Parties. They mislead us for the sake of their political parties.
Many of us, even I, had been suckered in by the apparent logic that third party voting was a mistake. I voted for the current President because I feared that if I didn’t, the big spending, big government Democratic candidate, John Kerry, might get elected and spend the country into oblivion and trample my freedoms. Gee, guess what happened? Bush spent the country’s treasury like a drunken politician and passed all sorts of laws that trampled my freedoms. He did the same thing that every Democrat and Republican President in my lifetime has done: He grew government and shrunk my freedoms.
Almost half of eligible voters no longer vote in most elections, and surveys show that seven or more out of every ten Americans disapprove of the way both the President and Congress run the country. Yet most people who do vote continue to vote Democrat or Republican.
It’s time to stop! Bush’s performance should have demonstrated that clearly to conservative/Libertarian types like me. From my perspective, voting for a Democrat means a quick growth of government and a quick abdication of individual freedoms, while voting for a Republican means a slightly slower process, sort of a frog-in-the-slowly-heated-pot method. But the result is the same.
I am a limited government man, I admit. I feel government has only a few legitimate functions, mainly providing protection against criminals and foreign enemies, and keeping the roads repaired so citizens can move about. Otherwise, I think citizens can handle things pretty well themselves. History demonstrates rather conclusively that when governments get too big, its citizens suffer abuses. The number one abuse is the growth in the prison population. Right now, America’s prison population is the highest in the world, and the highest in our history. That should tell you something.
America needs some sort of reform. The Democrat and Republican Parties have been marching us down the road to bankruptcy and tyranny for decades. It’s time to stop our part of the parade. We may get trampled on for now, and the pundits on TV and radio will no doubt continue to laugh at us, telling us we’re wasting our vote. But maybe our refusal to participate will have a ripple effect, causing a slight disruption that will get magnified later. I think that’s a start. Later we can take credit for starting the hurricane.