Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Making my voice heard--by griping in an obscure blog in a shadowy corner of the internet.

I yielded to the pressure and did vote this election, but I'm not proud of myself for performing my civic duty. I don't feel like I've protected my rights by exercising them. In fact, I feel rather dirty about the whole matter.

I didn't have a good solid reason for voting as I did--I made sure I had a fundamental grasp of the issues on the ballot, but as for choosing between candidates...well, I basically did what the Washington Post and one school board advocate outside the polling place told me to do. I am ashamed that my mostly uninformed decision could have an impact on the way my country is run.

I've never been enthusiastic about voting. Politicians are nothing to get excited over when every elected official is basically just a middleman standing between me and the issues I really care about.

Sometimes I wonder what our founding fathers were smoking when they decided a representative democracy was the way to go. Maybe relying on politicians to make decisions for us was a sensible option when half the population hadn't gone to school and news took months to travel the country, but in an era when information is everywhere and communication is no object, why are we still letting an elite handful run the show? Why is the popular vote still looked on with such suspicion? Why, when we want anything accomplished governmentally, must we have to jostle for the attention of an overworked legislator--when his decisions are influenced less by our heartfelt pleas than by which corporation financed his campaign? Why are we still allowing progress to be stopped cold by something as silly as filibusters? And whose idea was this ridiculous 2-party system, where every few years, the newly arisen majority party makes it its mission to undo everything the former majority party did for the last few years?

I would ask another rhetorical question, but I think that tactic is growing old. Instead, let me resort to exclamation: Let's come to our senses and learn to embrace initiative and referendum! It's time to dispense with the red tape and start making things happen!

Or am I oversimplifying things? Undoubtedly.

But still, there must be a better way. I'd propose one, but it would never make it through Senate.


Tariq said...

The reason we should never have a direct democracy is because then the majority would be able to curtail the rights of the minority. It would be a tyranny. A republic nicely preserves "majority rule, minority rights."