Dissent is the mother of ascent
"If you're not turned on to politics, politics will turn on you." - Ralph Nader
There's a certain benefit to being an idiot in this country, in that, you may not have any idea of what's going on in the world, but you know what? There's still way more of you than there are of smart people. I'm always reminded of this when I'm watching the coverage of this year's presidential election and I see people espousing views I held years ago, way before they were all trendy.
For example, one of the biggest of last night's Democratic primaries was in Ohio, where, as the media keeps reminding us, NAFTA is a big issue. Mad people are out of a job and now mofos are convinced it's because of free trade. If only they could have arrived at this point of view a long time ago, when literally probably all of them were voting for candidates who were in favor of that shit. (Like the Iraq War, NAFTA was one of those issues that didn't even seem like a good idea in the first place.)
I think part of it though is that NAFTA provides cover for a race issue that the media is trying to cover up for whatever reason. Is it political correctness, or is the media just that oblivious? Either way, I think it's obvious that the reason Hillary Clinton did as well as she did last night in Ohio and Texas is the same reason she did so well in California: the sheer abundance of poor people and hispanics in those two states, i.e. Hillary's base at this point.
And I think it's obvious that the reason these two groups are so strong in their support for Hillary, since there's no real political case for them to support her as opposed to Barack Obama (which is not to say that there's much of a case for him either - I'm just saying), is because she's white, and Obama's black - and as some cracka-ass cracka put it on 60 Minutes the other day, possibly a Muslim.
Of course the mainstream media isn't even gonna have the sheer balls to raise that as a possibility, but I think it's obvious when you look at the two candidates' respective constituencies. The more educated and hence less racist a person is (it's true, look it up), the more likely they are to support Barack Obama. Hillary Clinton wouldn't even still be in the race at this point if it wasn't for the sheer demographic strength of hillbillies in this country.
And apparently they came out for her in force last night - the irony of course being that Hillary is married to the mofo who signed NAFTA in the first place. She claims that just because she was married to him doesn't necessarily mean that she was for it, but I'm at a loss for any instance in which she actually said she was against it until just now.
Her horseshit defense on this issue, in fact, reminds me of Barack Obama's stance on the Iraq War. She wasn't in any position to have a say one way or another back when the shit began, but since she's been in the Senate, what has she accomplished to that end? Nothing. And in that sense, why should we expect her to do the right thing if she's elected president? The answer, of course, is that we shouldn't.
It's important to note, however, that neither of the Democratic candidates left in the race at this point is actually in favor of pulling out of NAFTA. Barack Obama may have worked in some anti-NAFTA rhetoric into his stump in Ohio, but he's not actually against it. He was just doing his usual pandering. The only Democratic candidate who was, was Dennis Kucinich, and now he's off in... erm, Ohio somewhere trying desperately to hold onto his seat in Congress.
And then of course there's Ralph Nader, but we can't vote for him, right? He can't win!
So basically what we have here is a group of people who couldn't be any more down and out (though these next several years could prove otherwise), and yet they're gonna vote against their own interest. On the hand, the tendency is to want to say, fuck these people. If they're that stupid (not to mention probably racist), they deserve to fester and die in some squalid, post-industrial shithole.
But on the other hand, you can't help but feel a certain duty to try to talk some sense into these people - if not because you believe life is sacred and God and the Bible, and I don't, then because it's in my own interest to try to affect some sort of real - not just rhetorical - change in this country. And self-preservation is, after all, the first law of nature.
Also, call me crazy, but I'm not convinced that there couldn't be a legit third party movement in this country, which is what I'm convinced it's gonna take if there's ever gonna be anything other than the same shit we've always had. If ignorant-ass white people can be convinced that free trade that's not actually free trade is the reason they live in a trailer, maybe we can even convince them to vote against it.
Shit, maybe we can even talk some sense into some black people. Or is that too much wishful thinking, especially in a year in which we've got the first black candidate light skinted enough to be taken seriously? Maybe Hillary Clinton can still manage to pull this one out, and so there'll be some nasty, race-based resentment. We can capitalize on that!
In his latest bid for the presidency, Ralph Nader is being dismissed as a nutjob, way out on the fringe of political beliefs. But as Ted Rall points out in a recent column (one of the better stories I've read on Nader so far - I also enjoyed this one), today's fringe belief is tomorrow's conventional wisdom. After 9/11 less than 10% of this country realized what an awful president Sieg Howdy is. Now, pretty much everyone does. And all of this country's greatest political achievements, from emancipation, to the 40-hour work week, to women's suffrage (though the greatness of that one is debatable) started out as fringe beliefs.
As Rall also points out, Nader's beliefs can hardly be characterized as "fringe," in that they're often more in line with a majority of the American people than the views espoused by the leading candidates. For example, Nader, as well as a majority of the American people, believes Sieg Howdy deserves to be impeached. Obama and Clinton refuse to consider it one way or another. Most people are in favor of single-payer health care, as is Ralph Nader. But Obama and Clinton are in favor of corporate health care. (I wonder why that is...) Obama's plan wouldn't even make sure everyone is covered.
On Ralph Nader's campaign website, VoteNader.org, there's a whole litany of issues in which Ralph Nader has taken the stance that's in the best interest of the majority of the people in this country, and on which Barack and Hillary, quite frankly, fucking suck balls. I would challenge anyone reading this to take a look at that list and try to explain to me how voting for Barack Or Hillary is supposed to be a good idea.
The only case I could even see is that so many other people are planning to vote for them that Nader doesn't stand a chance. But since when has the fact that everyone else is doing it ever been a good idea to do anything? Throwing away your vote on a candidate who can't win might seem insane, but isn't the definition of insanity continuing to do the same thing and expecting different results?
That's what continuing to vote for the same people we always vote for (even if they're kinda black this time) would be. Insane.