Voting: Placebo Or Drug of Choice?

"Choosing the lesser of two evils is still choosing evil." ~ Jerry Garcia

So you have a choice, Americans. You can vote and hope your votes get counted, properly recorded by those electronic black boxes. You can vote and convince yourself you have performed your "patriotic duty." You can vote and pick some candidate you know very little about. You can vote and feel really, really, really good about yourself. Like a drug addict getting a powerful dose after a long time away.

Or you can stay home and wash the clothes, paint the house, compose a poem, shovel snow, ride your bike, play with the kids, or do a thousand other worthwhile things that count a whole lot more than voting.

Sure, my heart goes out to all those people who vote. And I would be the first person to man the barricades to protect anyone's right to vote. And if voting changed anything--anything at all--I'd probably rush right down and vote too. Especially if they voted to make ALL politics and political campaigns illegal.

Is voting a patriotic duty, placebo or drug of choice?

Oddly enough, some people think voting is a pesticide. You rid pests by voting, eradicate entrenched vermin, snuff out predacious insects (incumbents). All good definitions of a pesticide and of voting, as many Americans practice it.

But why allow the pests inside the House to begin with? What--or who--put so many vermin in Washington in the first place, that only a powerful pesticide would eradicate them all? From Frist to Pelosi, from Hastert to Emanuel, from Clinton to McCain, a whole lot of wishful American people went to the polls and dutifully put these human pests into positions of power.

And they failed.

The voters failed and those they voted for failed.

Huge national debt, baseless wars, unchecked military spending, few farsighted social programs, rampant corruption, bribery and outright theft. And this has been standard fare for the last, oh, 100-200 years.

Gee, voting changes a lot.

So, is voting some sort of rite-of-passage for idealist kids and sentimental adults? If voting changed anything for the better, I would embrace the idea of voting. But sadly, I see few examples of democracy-in-action. Not here, not overseas. Rather, democracy inaction.

I don't care to exercise my right to vote if I'm only offered two choices--between whores or pimps. I don't care to exercise my right to vote if candidates hardly represent me, or a single worthwhile or original belief. And no, the war on terror or unquestioning support of Israel, hardly qualifies. Rather, those who profess such beliefs should be immediately disqualified. No duel loyalties--not to Mexico, Israel or the Moon. Nor do I care to exercise my right to vote if the votes are stolen. Or even rumored to be stolen. Rigged elections are for drugged fools, who believe that to participate is a worthy, patriotic high.

If, on the other hand, a vote was held today, to destroy ALL electronic black boxes, I would attend post haste with sledge hammer in hand. I'd even pass out flyers and ring doorbells. Heck, I'd cast my votes as Paul Revere would have. Hack the black boxes. And dump the pieces in Boston Harbor.

No, I do not care to exercise my right to vote unless candidate removal is allowed and encouraged EVERY six months of the candidates full term. A six month trial period should be the number one rule of voting. Thirty days would be even better. You voted for a war? Better hope that war only lasts five months. Removal of mediocre candidates should be a Bill of Right, at any time. Removal and indictment, followed by imprisonment for voter betrayal. Voters would even get to vote on the length of imprisonment.

Then I MIGHT vote. But then again I might not.

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Douglas Herman's picture
Columns on STR: 149

Award winning artist, photographer and freelance journalist, Douglas Herman can be found wandering the back roads of America. Doug authored the political crime thriller, The Guns of Dallas  and wrote and directed the Independent feature film,Throwing Caution to the Windnaturally a "road movie," and credits STR for giving him the impetus to write well, both provocatively and entertainingly. A longtime gypsy, Doug completed a 10,000 mile circumnavigation of North America, by bicycle, at the age of 35, and still wanders between Bullhead City, Arizona and Kodiak, Alaska with forays frequently into the so-called civilized world of Greater LA. Write him at Roadmovie2 @