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   How To Waste Your Vote In 2012

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1/18/2012 12:00 am

Author

Bruce A. Dixon

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Commentary

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Entered 1/18/2012, Updated 1/18/2012

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A vote is a terrible thing to waste, they say. But exactly when are votes wasted? Are they thrown away when cast for the least of multiple evils. Are they squandered when cast for what people really need and want, even if that means a Democrat might not win? Are they lost when people with few or no good choices stay home? Or have voters already been robbed when the menu is limited to corporate-funded Republicans vs. corporate-funded Democrats? It's true enough. Your vote really is your voice, and in the modern era, every government on earth claims to rule with the consent of the people. This bestows upon the vote a unique kind of legal and symbolic power. The gap, however, between this legal, this symbolic power of the vote and any real ability to change things for the better is a vast one. The authorities rightly fear the people's voice, and so have contrived law and custom to ensure that we are seldom heard and almost never heeded. They would never dream of allowing us to vote on the price of gas, food, housing, credit or college tuition. But they don't mind at all letting us choose between corporate-funded Republicans and corporate-funded Democrats. The powers that rule our economy, our media and our politics won't let us vote on whether to bring the troops home from 140 countries and the seven seas, or whether to continue spending more on weapons of death and destruction than the other 95% of humanity combined. But they will let us choose between an ignorant, crazy or racist Republican who promises to give banksters, polluters and corporate criminals a free pass, and a sane, smart, level-headed free market liberal Democrat who does exactly the same thing, no matter what he promised.


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