Tuesday, September 07, 2010

A Call to Arms (sort of)

I called the office of my local voter registrar this morning.

I wanted to be sure I get my absentee ballot, since I don't travel well these days. I figure cripples will be the next denied the right to vote...we can't even walk straight, y'know, so who's going to vouch for our thinking?

It is eight weeks to the day—56 of ‘em, to be exact—until we get our last chance to rescue America on 2 November. Time flies when you’re having fun, doing stuff like preparing appeals for the death panels cutting health care benefits left and right.

Back in the ‘90s, owing to numerous traffic convictions and some DUIs, I lost my right to vote for a while. I was always conscientious about going to the polls, and the day a bureaucrat told me that my repeat-offender-scofflaw behavior had cost me the right to vote for a while, I was devastated.

I love to complain about the government, despite my intimate associations with it. All of my adult life, I have scolded the apathetic and inconvenienced: “If you don’t vote, don’t bitch about it later. You get the government you deserve.”

To suddenly be told that I had been convicted of a crime of “moral turpitude”, and thus had my small voice removed from the public forum, was a demoralizing blow.

I behaved myself, kept the pedal from the metal with the huge, fast sports car, got sober, and my voting rights were restored some years ago. Since then, I have cherished them like a refugee from Eastern Europe. I’m still a scofflaw and troublemaker, but I stay off the radar these days, and my geezerdom precludes street fighting and other forms of ill-advised behavior.

The point here is short and sweet: your vote counts. America is at a tipping point of no return. This may well be our last chance to rescue this country from oblivion. My knowledge of the past says I’m being melodramatic, but my perceptions of the present suggest I’m too on-target for my own good.

I recently outlined a tentative blog post about ethnic and cultural breeding patterns in the world, but thanks partly to input from Constant Readers, I abandoned the idea. The considered article was based on an e-mail, and in a subsequent letter, I told a friend that it isn’t my place in this world to save France—or Germany, or Spain, who are also doomed to cultural extinction as Europe becomes Eurabia via Muslim immigration and influence—but to address the issues of the moment God has placed me in. I can’t save anyone. I’m practicing the old precept that it’s better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness. I’ve long since abandoned the alcoholic’s grandiose, messianic notion that I’m afflicted with terminal uniqueness, and have it in my power to save anything or anyone from their destiny. Trying to remain true to my Libertarian principles, I have to concede that people are going to do whatever the hell they want to do, and no amount of legislation or counseling is going to stop them.

On the other hand, I’m still free to disapprove, and not participate in self-destructive madness. I think I’m still free to speak my mind on any given issue, although I have to choose my words carefully these days. I have no delicacy or tact in dealing with racial or cultural politics, so I must by default leave these issues unaddressed.

The freedom to sit out irrational behavior—sometimes saying “let’s not do it, but say we did”—comes from being a citizen of America, and a beneficiary of the remainders of the Founding Fathers’ principles. Freedom to live by my own spiritual lights and moral compass has been constantly eroded since before I was born, usually in the name of some vaguely-defined collective “security.” Nevertheless, my right to vote freely and privately—often swallowing my tongue, holding my nose, and mumbling “the lesser of two evils is still evil”—is one of the few as-yet untrammeled rights I have left.

The old Soviet Union had elections, and a national constitution. The electoral candidates were approved in advance by the ruling party, and their constitution—modeled on our own—was largely ignored. You could draw a curtain on the voting booth, but the polls were guarded by thugs in leather jackets carrying truncheons and “suggesting” who you should vote for once you were inside the polling place.

Sound familiar?

It’s just my humble opinion, but I consider us, as a nation, to be at the make-or-break point. Off-year elections are notoriously low in voter turn-out, but 2010 is a referendum on our leadership, and the course they’ve chosen for the ship of state. Our ideologically-driven Fearless Leader promised “fundamental change” when he campaigned as a moderate Manchurian Candidate; he has certainly delivered that change. According to even the most liberal of spin-question polls, a majority of the American people are not happy with the projected outcome of this “change.”

So, those with an iota of political consciousness, and the politically apathetic who are being strangled by the delusional political maneuverings of Those People, are turning out in unprecedented numbers to protest peacefully and make their voices heard. A lot of the disaffected, politically unaffiliated folks belong to the vaguely-defined “Tea Party.” Like Marlon Brando in “The Wild One,” when asked what they’re rebelling against, they ask “What’ve you got?”

They are rewarded for their participation in the democratic process by being called “racists” and “potential terrorists.” A sovereign state—Arizona—is being sued for enacting a local law that mirrors federal immigration legislation already on the books for years, but ignored by the Ministry of Justice in its selective enforcement of national law. Veterans of the armed forces are being labeled by the Minister of Homeland Security as potential terrorists because this country trained them to be the best soldiers in the world. Now, those who are serving abroad are being denied the right to vote by absentee ballot in some states, due to a loophole in the federal law that says they should be receiving their ballots within 45 days of the next election.

Yeah, you read that last part correctly.

The kids with their belt buckles in the mud—a full generation removed from my peers in our little “police action” in the Garden Spot of Southeast Asia—are being screwed out of their right to vote by the careerist power-mongers who sent them into harm’s way. Excuses like “Our [primary] run-off date is too close to the deadline for mailing ballots, so we can’t list the candidates yet” are rife, and exemptions to federal law abound.

Those People are notorious for stealing elections with endless recounts to the point of exhaustion, disallowance of absentee ballots, and most recently in the Minnesota senatorial race of ’08, finding a sack of absentee votes hanging in a tree in St. Paul, or some such nonsense.

People in the military traditionally vote as a majority for conservative values. This makes them a liability for the elitist ruling party, who consider people in uniform to be nothing but automatons at best, and as John Kerry remarked, “…terrorists who come by night to kill civilians in their homes” at worst. If their votes can be disallowed for any reason, no matter how nebulous, then Those People gain a slight advantage at the polls, and the coming election is going to be razor-thin.

Neal Boortz—a great American, hard-core Libertarian, semi-national-celebrity, and my sometimes mentor—offers a caveat whenever someone asks him about the content of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged:

“If you think everything is hunky-dory, and you’re satisfied with the way things are going today, don’t read this book. It will change everything you think you know.”

I now offer the same caveat about the election coming up in eight weeks. If you think everything is hunky-dory, and this country is going in what you consider the right direction, then don’t vote. Stay home, or go to Mickey D’s for a cheeseburger on your lunch break November 2nd. Tell yourself the Big Lie: my vote doesn’t count anyhow. Let yourself be lulled and brainwashed by the false promises of “security” in return for freedom.

I think the best of most people, until they prove otherwise. Most people have consciences; vote yours.

I have a rule of thumb—love that phrase; has to do with wife-beating and how thick the stick can be—when it comes to elections. If I’m undecided about a candidate, I always vote against the incumbent. There is simple, illogical reasoning behind this: every pig needs a turn at the teat.

I see a political bloodbath in the offing come November. Stick a fork in the incumbents; they’re done!

My partisanship lies in the goodness of traditional human values and the natural desire of people to do right by their fellow men, not in the mythology of political parties. No matter what your ideological persuasion, when the day comes this fall, get out and VOTE!

I’ll close with lyrics by my favorite singer, Roy Harper. I hear them this time as having relevance to the coming election and this call to arms:

“But it makes no difference where I am, I’m in the game first hand.
There are no certain answers, and no time to understand;
The rules are set to paradox, coercion, and blind faith.
The goal’s a changing paradise a moment out of date;
The dream is righteous grandeur fit to flood the universe.
The fact is more than meets the eye; but less than runs the earth.”