03 November, 2004

The System

...Drifting with the tide/ Never quite knowing why/ Sometimes it makes no sense at all....

I walk to the polls with a sense of doom. This voting thing, how much difference does it make? They're all liars. Who remembers "no new taxes"? Or, "I did not have sex with That Woman"? Or, "the United States does not deal with terrorists"? I have no faith in anybody. I idolize former President Jimmy Carter…since he stopped 'leading' the country. The Democratic Party has been criticized for having more anti-Bush rhetoric than pro-Kerry rhetoric, with good reason. None of the Democratic candidates gave me the impression that they really truly have my best interests at heart. John Kerry is the most electable of a long-shot lot, and seems only somewhat less offensive than GWB. Is his agenda different? He says it is, but who knows?

With the appearance of no-backup Diebold machines, I become increasingly nervous. I know that computerized voting can, and will, be determined by he who has the most money for payoffs. Meanwhile, the ethics of the Bush Administration makes the Nixon Administration look like the Kennedy Administration. We have a Texan for President, and a Texan for Vice President (despite the fact that he owns a house in Wyoming or wherever) and it’s because of Texan Florida Governor Jeb Bush that these people are in office. And Diebold is Texas-based. Not to be bashing Texas, but these slippery men stick together more like Velcro than oil.

Really, though: how much difference does it make? My life under GWB is not significantly different than it was under Clinton, Regan, or even Carter. And the next four years of a lying republican versus the next four years of a lying democrat will not even be a smudge on the geologic record. Human history is short, and we spend the bulk of it lying to one another and ourselves.

It’s enough to darken even the most dedicated of Pollyanna Merry Sunshine hearts.

Then something happened. There, on my paper Provisional ballot, which I filled out with a reassuringly familiar Number Two pencil, appeared a name to give me hope. There on the ballot was a candidate who has dedicated his life to my safety, and the safety of my family. There was the name of a man who has never lied to me, even when it made him unpopular. There was a name of a man I could feel good about voting for.

A small voice rings in the wilderness, but my conscience is happy.

(Man In The Wilderness; Styx)

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