This week I will walk into my local polling station and cast a vote for Barack Obama. Although I have great respect for friends and associates making a principled stand against the illusion of choice by casting their vote for Jill Stein or Rocky Anderson I view the symbolism of my vote as a front on a much larger battle.
This battle has little to do with policy distinctions or lack thereof. I accept as uncontroversial the fact that elections are public relation events with largely irrelevant candidates and pliable political parties. I am clear, big business controls both parties and their goal is to keep the overarching structure that supports their dominance in place. Most importantly, I understand that on the afternoon of January 20th America will still be run by corporate oligarchs regardless of who wins the election.
So it is within this context I make this statement, an Obama win matters.
The significance lies not in victory but in the rejection of a Republican marketing strategy that plays to the darkest well of human nature. It is the rejection of our own ugly prejudices mirrored back at us. What matters most in this election is the defeat of the enemy that lies within us all.
It is the enemy that hides behind a vial of “fairness”, “freedom”, “free markets” and “national security” or it may be covered by the blanket that is the “American Dream” but at its heart, it is the appeal to our own intolerance.
It is the enemy that suppresses reason and the seeks comfort in easy answers. It validates our individual positions in society while dredging the dim lit corners of our psyche that hold contempt for minorities, the poor, women, gays and foreigners.
It is the worst in us all and it is this enemy that is the hope of the Republican party.
One rarely runs into a self proclaimed racist or bigot but as the saying goes, when you enter a room piled high with horse @#$%, there’s got to be a pony in there somewhere.
The Republican pile of horse @#$% is a calculated advertising campaign that banks on a largely misinformed, opinionated and overly confident electorate that is less interested in truth as they are in validating their own belief system. It is an invitation to view the world from a perch of superiority.
It manipulates the fear of white, middle class working people coming to terms with the loss of an ideal we convinced ourselves actually existed at some point just before our time. At its foundation, the Republican platform is the packaging of individualism as a false weapon against the crushing weight of a dysfunctional capitalistic system and the realities seven billion people bring to a planet of mismanaged resources.
The significance of this election is what it says about us. It is not about policy, truth or reclaiming some illusion of what we used to be. It certainly isn’t about addressing any meaningful issues facing our society. That fight starts November 7th. The price of democracy is higher than the effort required to cast a ballot. It involves the overwhelming organization of people to fight the overwhelming effects of organized money. In an age of nuclear weapons, climate change and unprecedented poverty the stakes couldn’t be higher but we need to reject the enemy in the room before we set off on the long battle to reclaim our democracy.
** Philip Romero is and Independent Blogger and Activist, his opinions do not necessarily reflect those of Sharewell Newswire **