The 2008 presidential election is still a few hundred days away and already the field of contenders is teeming with enough clichťs and unintentional comedy to fill a Hollywood blockbuster. You have the inexperienced pretty boys (Obama & Edwards) rolling on mob appeal and feel-good rhetoric. If aesthetics arenít your cup of tea, may I suggest the shameless panderers (Clinton & McCain), the sort of people who would bend over for NAMBLA if there were enough votes in it. Rounding out this ship of fools is a Mormon (Mitt Romney, who is partial to ending stump speeches with Fidel Castroís signature phrase), a moron (Sam Brownback, whoís name is obviously some sort of homophobic slur) and an ineffectual elf (Dennis Kucinich, who must be filling in for Ralph Nader).
And thatís just the scum gathering on the surface. There is an army of potentials waiting for just the right moment to attack. Politicians are a lot like predatory animals; at the first sign of blood they pounce without remorse. McCain is wounded and bleeding profusely, thanks to his storied inability to cut the cord connecting him to Mayor McBush. Big Hilí has taken some shrapnel, thanks to her being a shrill, unlikable bore. No amount of image control or spin will ever rid her of that grating screech of metal she calls a voice. Joe Biden hit the ground fumbling with his use of the dreaded black-handed compliment (Youíre so clean and well spoken! Not like those other . . . uh-oh). Rudy Giuliani isnít necessarily wounded, but does seem to be in over his head. I wouldnít consider being in the right place at the right time a qualification for the presidency. However I do find the de facto accusation of cad a bit puzzling. What bearing does his love life have on his ability to run the country? Also, keep in mind that two of the nationís most popular presidents were unrepentant cads.
Where does that leave the voter? Well, I hope you have a strong stomach, as weíve got quite a way to go. Many of these candidates will have been rendered non-persons in a few months, so donít get too attached. The most wealthy will subsist, as political campaigns cost millions of dollars to run effectively. And yet again you, the voter, will be left with the illusion of choice. Even more laughable is that you are expected to drop to your knees and worship this contemptible joke, this pittance thrown to you like a dog scrambling for table scraps. I refuse to swallow the party line that I must participate in this farce to earn the right to complain about my government. I earned that right the night I was conceived on U.S. soil. Eternal optimism regarding the state of our representative democracy and the voting process is fundamentally naÔve.
Some votes are more equal than others, if you catch my Orwellian illusion. Many are attempting, through various means and methods, to mold the voting process to yield maximum results for a specific candidate or political party. It is inexcusable that the numerous instances of fraud and negligence exhibited during the last two presidential elections have not even been addressed, let alone rectified. This is America , dammit, home of hot and cold running everything! Yet we canít find the time or interest to ensure that the supposed vanguard of our freedom and way of life (i.e. free elections) remains intact? Allow me to call bullshit, loudly and clearly.
I donít believe that the solution to all of this is to sift through the garbage pile in attempts at finding the least soiled candidate of the lot. Iíve had my fill of patriotic slogans and empty gestures. I think itís time that people expect and demand more from their public servants, and these public servants desperately need reminding of their primary function. If people are fed up, they must express it. You will never advance by behaving yourself. You will never advance by keeping in line, or by arriving to work everyday with a fake smile plastered on your face. You will never advance your position in life by merely voting, and that goes double for the current crop of hacks up for grabs. No matter who wins, the status quo prevails.
A strange thought struck me the other day. The founders of this country had much more in common with people like myself than those comprising the government. They were the gadflies, the subversive dissenters demanding change. Not to romanticize the origins of our country, as it was a pretty bloody and unjust undertaking for those not invited to the party, but you cannot deny the unrelenting spirit of protest that has been passed on to generation after generation. I see the people waning on this notion and it couldnít happen at a worse time.
Stacie Adams is an unassuming and introverted young woman with plans to take over the world and make it tolerable. Her heroes are few, but precious: Bill Hicks, Nat Turner, Orson Welles, and Hunter S. Thompson. She detests useless celebrity, bureaucracy, and unfettered stupidity. "I am disgustingly provincial and Iíve never stepped foot outside the US, but it is my dream to travel the world. My favorite beer is Red Stripe, my favorite movie Irreversible. Iíve seen Evil Dead 2 over 100 times. I am an encyclopedia of trivial facts and figures." She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other Articles by Stacie Adams