Voting a Uniquely American Dilemma: A Dream Deffered & the Shadow Convention 2012

What happens to a dream deferred?

by Langston Hughes

Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore–
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over–
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?


George Carlin famously joked: “it’s called the american Dream because you have to be asleep to believe it.” Those words have stayed with me for a long time. Let me give you some percentages I came across a few days ago:

  1. 96 percent of Americans have not contributed to a political campaign.
  2. Nearly 90 percent of Americans favor treatment over incarceration for first-time drug offenders;
  3. 80 percent of Americans believe that Congress today is being run not for the benefit of the people but for the benefit of special interests;
  4. More than 40 percent of Americans are not planning to vote in November;
  5. More than 22 percent of our country’s children live below the poverty line.

I really like to look at democracy as a complex system of government, in the same way as a biologist or a doctor can look at the human body as the interplay of systems  which allow the organism to govern itself and interact with the world around it. With that said looking the five percentages above I would like to add a thought or two

If I had 40% organ total tissue or organ failure, i think I would be rushed to the ICU and maybe put on life support. While many politician have talked about campaign spending, and corruption in government no one has directly mentioned poverty in America. It’s obvious to me that in america we don’t think our children are the future otherwise we would invest in a better environment for them; 22%  is approximately one out of 5 children in this country. Finally, if there is a cancer in the body, every time i feed myself I feel it too. It has to be excised or isolated to be dealt with. I think if our democracy has problems we need to find a way to excise the problem or deal with it so that every time each of us does our civic duty we don’t make the cancer stronger and more virulent to extend the analogy.

It is my observation that people vote now for ease. What I mean is that each candidate will subject us to a certain reality that his campaign contributors have  fashioned and created for us. On a whole we each election decide which video game to plug into next. Since the 80’s it has been obvious that what we would like as a people are not represented by our  elected officials. I mean 80% of us believe that congress supports special interests over the interests of its own people.

With that said I give you Arianna’s Shadow Conventions.

Shadow Conventions 2012: What They Will Not Be Talking About
in Tampa and Charlotte

Tampa, Florida has more homeless people per capita than any city in America. Yet you won’t hear much — if any — talk from the podium [….] … about America’s poverty crisis. And this lack of attention won’t be exclusive to the GOP. You can expect more of the same (or is that actually less of the same?) when the Democrats descend on Charlotte next week — after all, President Obama hasn’t devoted even one speech to the subject of poverty since he moved into the White House.

This bipartisan back-turning is why we are reviving the Shadow Conventions — gatherings I helped organize in 2000 with the goal of sparking a national conversation on three issues that neither party was seriously addressing: the corrupting influence of money on our politics, the persistence of poverty in America, and the disastrous war on drugs. Twelve years later, both parties are still largely ignoring these issues. As a result, each of these problems has gotten worse.

Some Thoughts

Arianna Huffington …oh sorry that’s Eddie Izzard in Drag

I don’t know anything about this Arianna Huffington post lady, she could be an effeminate Greek man in a good wig for all I care. But this article is very timely. It means I’m not personally so crazy in thinking that politicians don’t care about me, and don’t have their interest in mind when they do whatever it is that they do. This is the core reason why I don’t vote, there are other reasons but this is the central one. I feel when I vote for a politician it is because his platform represent both me and my  vision for America. So if neither candidate represents me or my vision, why am I voting. If politicians don’t represent me and the system is corrupt am I acheiving anything from voting other than the reinforcement of the inept and corrupt leadership that will make no moves to represent me and or deciding which of two extremes is better?

At this point voting has become self-preservation, or making the worst of a bad situation. I have herd a lot of the arguments for example:

If  Obama is elected this will suck for me but not as much as it will suck if the other guy is elected.
If Romney is elected this will suck for me but not as much as it will suck if the other guy is elected.

Maybe I am an idealist but that isn’t voting to me.


As this is an ongoing discussion please feel free to leave a comment and or thoughts below

Check out the other posts in this Series

Voting a Uniquely American Dilemma for me at least. Maybe You can Help Me? (1)
What the Voting Dilemma Series is and isn’t

Enhanced by Zemanta

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s