Voting Feels Empty Now

I wrote a similar post prior to the 2020 election describing how disappointed I have become with American politics. I just finished my ballot for this year’s election, and filling it out left me feeling more disconnected than I felt from politics in 2020.

This time, I didn’t vote for a single candidate. I left all of the elections blank. In the one election where I could have voted for a third-party candidate, I didn’t because voting for no one felt like a better message. If someone told me in November of 2008 that a day would come when I wouldn’t cast a vote for a single candidate I would have thought they didn’t know me. Fourteen years later, I know the me that existed in November of 2008 was a political fool.

I believed the Democratic Party was worth supporting. I thought Barack Obama would take the country in a progressive direction. In short, I believed in hope and change. Fourteen years later in a country where the minimum wage is the same as it was then, where millions lack any health insurance and millions with it can’t afford to go to the doctor, America is still funding and supporting war around the globe, the planet is closer to burning up, nothing tangible has been done about student loans, the police have even more power, nothing has been done to help immigrants, women are losing their ability to decide whether they give birth, millions of children are going hungry, and more, I know Obama, Biden, Bernie Sanders, the so-called squad, and the entire Democratic Party are frauds. They all, to differing degrees, know their party is owned by corporations. They all know their party opposes progressive change. But all of them still work to con people into believing, in spite of decades of evidence to the contrary, that their party is the only protection we have.

With the obvious intent of the duopoly clearer than it was in November of 2008, it hurts me to see how many delusional people actually believe the answer to any of our problems is the Democratic Party. Sure, the Republican Party is terrible. In some ways, it’s worse than the Democratic Party. But the Democratic Party has proven so many times it is our enemy. It is an enemy of progress. Voting for the lesser of two evils still leaves you voting for evil.

I wish I was excited about the election. In some ways, I wish I was still foolish enough to think any of our votes could actually bring about meaningful change. I wish I had any hope for America someday being a country that is democratic and believes in equality and equity. But I’m no longer as politically foolish as I was in November of 2008.

Neither party cares whether we live or die. No matter which party wins on Tuesday, there is no chance much good will be accomplished. Sure, things could be worse if the Republicans control Congress, but there is no hope of any progressive improvement.

There are ballot questions here that are critical. Maybe if the voters change Portland’s form of government, ranked choice voting passes, and something is done to slow the spread of gun violence, things could improve locally. But there is, as I see it, no hope for America.

Until most Americans realize their enemy is the corporations, the wealthy, and the political parties they own, America will continue being a place where our lives are worth nothing more than producing for and enriching corporations and the wealthy.

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