It’s [still] the silly season – which seems like it’s been going on forever, even though it’s only been a little over a YEAR now – and the field of Republicans jockeying for the chance to run against Barack Obama in November is shrinking by the day.
Off the list are Tim Pawlenty, Gary Johnson, and Herman Cain, who all bailed before there was an actual voting opportunity. Michele Bachmann dropped out after coming in dead last in her home state’s caucuses, and Jon Huntsman drop-kicked himself today (Jan. 16, 2012) after a down-in-the-pack finish in Iowa and New Hampshire. Still in the hunt are Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich, and Rick Perry.
My question, driven by what seems to be a very short selection process:
Does voting still matter?
I worry that the answer has drifted no-ward, particularly since the Bloviating Herd (so effectively tagged by Calvin Trillin as the Sabbath Gasbags) shove endless streams of drivel at us 24/7 about projected winners in the days, weeks, and months leading up to a primary or election. The fact that they then, day-of, become so very Caesar’s Wife about not calling anything until all the polls close is … laughable.
The actual citizens I hear talking about voting and candidates often say they vote their wallet. That’s a human reaction. My human reaction is to vote my humanity, not my pocketbook.
I’m sure that puts me in the Crazy as a Shithouse Rat column for many people, but here’s my reasoning: I’d rather vote with an eye on human history – past, present, future, all of the above – instead of for someone who solely promises to put more money in my hands. Or at least take less out of them.
Because the sad truth is they’ll all cost us money in the end, particularly at the national-office level. Whatever they say to achieve office, and whatever they say once they’re in office, I’m not so naive as to think that they’re actually serving citizens. They’re more interested in the Citizens United gold-rush cash that drives the political action committees (PACs) who buy more ad time than the campaigns themselves.
Which brings us back to my vote-human rule. My philosophy certainly puts me in the Don Quixote – or the shithouse-rat-crazy – column, since there’s no way I can outspend GE, or the Koch Bros., or Walmart. I can only participate in groups like No Labels (sanity! who knew?), and march to the polls every time to register my human choice.
And then watch as Citizen Corporate runs off with whoever wins, leaving me jilted. As usual.
That’s my story, and I’m stickin’ to it …
Throw bricks in the comments. Ready … set … GO.