So we had an election in the US yesterday. My state (Wisconsin) is now officially a red (republican) state and I am pretty....shocked? Disgusted? Angry? Yeah...all those things.
So when I was around eleven or twelve, my older cousin recommended the book 1984 by George Orwell to me. If you haven't read it, it is about a guy who is living in a dysutopian future where everything is controlled by a war hungry government.
When I read that book, I really got into it. After that I started looking for other books with the same plot-line which led me to Brave New World by Aldous Huxley and then Anthem by Ayn Rand...which led me to Ayn Rand in general which eventually made me pick up the communist manifesto. (I know Ayn Rand has become the figurehead of the teabaggers but she is a good writer, she made up some evil philosophies but she's still a good storyteller).
Anyway, sounds a little convoluted but that is, in a nutshell, how I got started thinking about societal inequality and what kind of governmental system I think is the most moral. In other words, that is basically how I became a socialist.
So back to my point...the election. I've been a socialist since around eighth grade, I am pretty aware of the fact that most people in the US equate socialism to devil worship. Joe McCarthy wasn't all that long ago and the red scare is something that people still remember so it never shocks me that there aren't socialist candidates on the ballots. I mean, sure I would love to see them there, but I know basically you have a choice between democrats and republicans. Sure you can vote for an independent (and I have) but when you do that you kind of know that your candidate isn't going to end up in office.
Now I have some friends who are socialists who don't vote at all out of principal. Their belief is that the lesser of two evils is still evil and that a democrat or a republican is just going to help the rich no matter what promises they make in their campaign. And they are usually right.
However, this my analogy for why I vote democrat. Ok, say you are starving to death and even though you are entitled to a full meal, even though you have worked very hard for it and totally deserve it, you are told that you can only have either a slice of bread or a few bread crumbs...what are you going to pick? The slice of bread right? Is it as good as the meal? Obviously no...but isn't it better than the bread crumbs?
My point is, I don't think that the democratic party will end up giving the American public what it deserves. Its just that I think the Republican party will give us even less. And it isn't just theory. I have a good friend whose family will now be without insurance because Scott Walker(R) was elected Governor instead of Tom Barrett (D). I mean, that’s a tangible thing. She will no longer have access to healthcare based on this election.
I know that my vote will never change the system. I don't really think that capitalism will bite the dust until more people wake up to the fact that the American dream isn't reality, but I still can't not vote. Not when things like my friends healthcare or my sister's disability funding or abortion rights hang in the balance.
So OK, now that I justified why I am arguing for democrats, let me get back (again) to the election. The only politician that I really every trusted, Russ Feingold (who isn't a socialist but is brilliant) has just been voted out of office. The REPUBLICANS won. They won the congress seat, they won the governorship and they won the senate race.
And the only thing I can think to say about it is WTF?! Seriously?? Good god, we chose the bread crumbs.
My sister also had a baby last week, she is gorgeous and pretty much the most amazing baby ever so things aren't all bad.