Monday, November 07, 2016

I am non partisan

I see the headlines. I see the news. Day in day out, scandal, war and intrigue. It doesn't really matter to me if Trump or Hillary wins. The FBI doesn't really care anymore with their latest announcement. Apparently we live in a nation of men, not laws.

I voted for Jill Stein because. Just because. Screw the Democrats. Screw the Republicans. (I have more appropriate adjectives for them, but we're in polite company here.) Neither of the major political parties truly understand the people because they can only think about the money. As the emails from John Podesta have shown us, to them, money is the best arbiter of the law.

The people? Who are they? Do they vote or something? Who cares? John Podesta and his pals are running the country.

In my opinion, money is not the best arbiter of the merits of a law. I sit here, on the eve of the election, probably one of the most awful elections in recent memory, realizing that I've been non partisan for a long, long time. I used to care about Democrats and Republicans when I was a young man. I used to think Red and Blue. But as I grew older and began to study the political system from outside the box that was intended for most of us, I grew away from politics.

Now I'm involved, far more involved than I used to be. What changed? Living in a house where all I could get was a shitty DSL line from Qwest (Now Centurylink). Now I'm in another house with a better DSL line from Centurylink, but there is no landline competition for internet access. Zip. And that's the way Centurylink likes it.

This situation doesn't involved Republicans and Democrats because I live in a Red State that has Republican supermajorities in both houses. There are Republicans up and down the state government. You'd think they'd want to open the market to competition. Not if that would interrupt their flow of cash from Centurylink and Comcast they don't.

This is one more reason I voted Green for president. Where Democrats and Republicans would be happy to build another stadium to get a football team here, they're not thinking about the monopolies that have grown up around us. They talk about competition in the market, but only to the extent that their cash cows are not gored.

I voted Green not because I'm a member of the Green Party. I'm an independent voter. I haven't been registered to a political party for a long, long time. I voted for them based on their policies. I read their platform and I liked it. I read parts of the Republican Party platform. I liked that, too. But they won't deliver. I read parts of the Democratic Party platform and I liked that, too, but they won't deliver, not if that would mean raising wages or improving the lot of the middle class. The Green Party is the only party that has convinced me that they are willing to deliver for the middle class.

Sure, you could say that the Green Party won't win and they won't be able to deliver. But you can bet those sorry apparatchiks in the Demopublican Party that if the Green Party nets 5% or more of the vote tomorrow night, that someone else will be joining the debate stage in 2020.

I spent a year blogging about Bernie Sanders, I voted for him in the open primary we have in Utah for president (all other offices are closed primaries). Then I was treated to the spectacle of the Democrats throwing him in the trash. They didn't need him and they sure as hell don't need my vote. Once I saw how Bernie was made to endorse Hillary Clinton with no heart and soul in it at the convention, I knew that it was over. Seeing Bernie "abandon" Hillary in the last week of the campaign only confirmed my suspicions.

I voted Green for president more than a week ago. I scoured my ballot for every Green Party candidate I could find (none). I scoured the ballot for every Berniecrat I could find (I found a few) and voted for them. I researched what I could find with the judges on the ballot. Seriously, there is nothing on the internet about the judges. All I could find there was surveys by other attorneys (all judges are former attorneys) where they just kissed the judges ass. Oh, there were a few who didn't make the cut. So I went with my gut.

I don't really like Republican appointed judges, but in this state, that's all I got. So I looked for judges appointed or nominated by a certain governor in the past. If they were on the bench too long, I voted no. If they were appointed by John Hunstman, the most moderate of Republicans running for president the last time around, that gave me pause. I voted yes in that case. I'd like to have a better way to research them, but the gut was the way this time.

I was able to research the ballot measures and constitutional amendments. In Utah, only the Legislature has the power to put measures on the ballot. God forbid that the yes men in the statehouse should ever be bypassed by the people.

The point is this: I'm non partisan because I care more about policy choices than the party. I'm reading an interesting book called "Rigged: How Globalization and the Rules of the Modern Economy Were Structured to Make the Rich Richer", by economist Dean Baker. You can buy it on Amazon or whatever, or you can download the PDF and put it on Google Books. Google has built a very nice book reader that works with PDFs, e-Books and most other book formats. Rigged is well worth the read and I'm only a few chapters into it.

Here's what I really like about Rigged, so far: inequality is a choice. The runaway inequality we're seeing now in America is a result of policy choices. As long as big money is allowed in elections, it won't matter which party is in power, because money is in power. And as long as money is in power, the people who have money will always think they can use government to corner the rest of us so that they can make more money. This is what public policy has become to people like John Podesta and Mitt Romney. I know, I can't believe I can put those names together, but I did it.

If you take nothing else from this blog, remember that it's the policy that matters. The party? That's a way to get you to identify with the party while distracting you from the policies that the people in power implement. Think about that for a minute. If you're a liberal and you watched the Clinton administration in action in the 90s, you witness their "we'll take what we can get from the Republicans" leadership. If Hillary wins, we're only going to get more of that. I'm pretty sure she's going to win because she's got a reputation for being unable to win an election fair and square. Her friend John Podesta is going to great lengths to help her with that. You know, for a comfy, below radar position of power in her administration.

If you have already voted, good for you. I voted by mail a week ago. I won't use machines anymore. They can't flip my vote on a paper ballot unless the machine they use to count the votes is programmed incorrectly (for the rest of us). If you have not voted, consider asking for a paper ballot so that there is a record of your vote on something other than electronic media.

I voted Green Party for president because a vote for someone I do not want in office is a wasted vote. I voted for Bernie Sanders because a vote for someone I do not want in office is a wasted vote. Neither vote was a protest vote. Voting for Trump or Clinton is a vote of surrender to the surreal two-party system that never fails to throw the middle class under the bus. I voted for the policies I wanted from the people who are willing to make them a reality. Not the candidate, not the party. I voted for the policies. I am, non partisan.
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