High hopes were once formed of democracy; but democracy means simply the bludgeoning of the people by the people for the people.
– Oscar Wilde
There are thoughtful voters on all sides of the political aisle: Democrat, Republican, conservative, liberal, and independent. The problem is that those thoughtful folks are trapped between two (much louder) extremes:
On the one hand are the corporations. You know, those people. Money talks. Loudly. And, when money is up for grabs, your average politician’s its mouthpiece.
On the other hand are the clueless. Let me be clear: I ascribe this label to no particular ideological category. They stand both to the left and the right of center. These are the people whose vote is decided before candidates even begin their campaigns, before they even know who will be running. Who say things like “Voting for a ___ is unthinkable.”
This kind of cocksure attitude speaks at a dull roar. In my experience, anyone who says something is “unthinkable” really hasn’t thought about it at all. In this scenario, a vote isn’t a decision; it’s a reflex. And blind certainty is the birthplace of volume. Generally speaking, the more someone yells, the more he thinks he knows, and the more a person thinks he knows, the less he really does.
So, we’re stuck between dollars and nonsense, and like John Kasich and Martin O’Malley, we find it hard to get a word in. The deck of democracy is stacked against us.
It’s hard not to feel that, in the midst of so much sound and fury, we really do signify nothing…