Below is an excerpt from episode
2.09-Politicked Off: Lessons from the Election Cycle.
Click here to listen to the whole episode.
I’m reminded of episode 2.06: Adopt an Agrarian I did with Bruce Marron local activist, scientist and urban agrarian and what he said to me in regards to our conversation about growing food and bio-diversity. He said something like corporations and power and boiled down and concentrated, boiled down and re-concentrated until you finally only have two choices; Coke or Pepsi. “well, I prefer apple juice. That’s not an option. Diversity begets diversity, the more you have growing, the more you have living there, diversity is the meaning of freedom.” So consolidation puts us into narrow boxes and margins. It reduces us to this way or that way. It doesn’t take into account our actual feelings on issues, instead it says if you belong to this ticket, you must think and vote this way. Nah, nah, I refuse to accept that.
This election season, I was reminded of how much the political process both frighten and gets me so fired up that I can hardly stand it. I further learned this in example as I attempted to protest the heated Portland debate of forced fluoridated water without a public vote. This year, I took my fear, my anger, my conviction and my questioning and looked around. I decided to spend some time understanding the Green Party. A party I’ve always been interested in because it’s the only political party between our mainstream choices that actually has an environmental platform. They also include minority rights, support banking reform, single-payer healthcare, a focus on education and arts education and support alternatives to incarceration and the list goes on and on...While I agree with the party in general, I’m not comfortable voting for the lesser of two evils; between Mitt Romney or Barack Obama. Obama’s done some wacky shit for this country and Romney will not doubt and probably do even wackier shit if elected but I can’t make a vote out of fear. I don’t want to be afraid anymore. It’s time for change. Our political system is currently built like a college football game, the red team and the blue team and to many people, it’s all about the win. You become a piece in a game. A pawn perhaps? It’s not about the issues, it’s not about the performance of the president and it needs to be all these things and more. Bush shouldn’t have had a second term and I’m not to excited about Obama having a second term. We need another option. Every progressive movement in history has started this way, think of founding fathers who wanted to make a new home in the New World. It started as a dream, a movement and then a reality.
Oraia Helene at Between the Earth and Stars podcast brought up a great point in her most recent podcast episode #48 titled “Skipping Through a Minefield”. She talks about the possibility of “throwing her vote away”. It’s interesting because when I voiced my support for Green Party candidate Dr. Jill Stein on Facebook, I got a response similar to Oraia’s response of “don’t throw your vote away,” or “Romney may win!”. I LOVE what Oraia had to say in response in that throwing your vote away has absolutely nothing to do with who you vote for. As a citizen she is entitled to a vote, that’s her right and who she votes for is not throwing her vote away because she explains, that she has carefully examined the candidates and made a decision that is most in line with her values and I couldn’t agree with her more. The only way I see you throwing away your vote is if you don’t vote. Oraia makes another great point. If the two major political parties knew that we were voting for other parities, they would work harder to earn our vote and do their best to actually represent us when in office. This is a democracy.
Before I close, I want to clarify that I’m not saying that I think you should personally vote Republican or Democrat or Third Party. I am also not trying to make a point of Obama accomplishment and sour moments or try to give creditable reasons as to why the Green Party is appealing to me because that’s not the actual purpose of this episode. It’s not to showcase knowledge of current events or political parties doing what to whom. It is also not my intent to get you to vote for a particular person. The purpose of this episode was to point out that parties are a distraction. If we had a diverse party system we could better serve the interests of the American public and work to create unity, instead of teams fighting against each other and not having our needs meet. As John Adams once said “There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution.” George Washington agreed saying “ It serves always to distract the Public Councils, and enfeeble the Public Administration. It agitates the Community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms; kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which find a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passions.”