From the Left
By Brendan LeRoy
As the writer of this column, it is imperative that the readers know I am not a liberal. In these columns I do not defend liberalism, although I sympathize with their cause. The closest description of my ideological viewpoint is leftist. While the visions of leftists and liberals occasionally overlap, the method of approaching the end result differs. While liberals staunchly defend democracy, leftists question it. Liberals wish to improve capitalism while leftists wish to replace it. While liberals demand social equality, leftists demand economic equality. The top selling points of the Democratic Party have become protecting women’s rights, reproductive rights, LGBT rights and free market driven health care reform. While the left wing appreciates these intentions, leftists are convinced the achievement of economic equality must be accomplished before social equality can fall within reach.
Despite my distaste for the current state of the American government and the democratic process, I become absurdly engrossed in the elections that lead to a new government. This enthusiasm has led me to the voting booth in every election since I became eligible. I knowingly reject the notion a vote has worth, yet nevertheless I have a suppressed desire to feel empowered at the ballot box. Either this or I plainly like coloring in the bubbles and sending my ballot into the paper-eater machine.
A bittersweet benefit to being so far removed from the platforms of the Democratic and Republican Parties is that all emotional attachment to the outcomes of elections has been lost. These elections have withered to the sole purpose of illuminating the minor differences between candidates whose largest ambitions are shared by both factions of the two party system. The status quo will inevitably be perpetuated as both parties lie to the electorate while becoming pawns to the people who fund their campaign to power. The steady and continuous deregulation of the free market has slowly collapsed the democratic republic to a corporatist oligarchy.
Regardless as to how you vote today, the terrible health care law that is designed to benefit for-profit insurance will not be replaced by a nationalized system congruent to every other Western system. The $1 trillion in college debt that is surpassed only by mortgages will expand unceasingly. The United States has Earth’s most expensive higher education and New Hampshire is the most expensive state in the most expensive nation. I would not advise holding your breath if you hope for change.
Immigration will not be solved. The minimum wage will not rise. Income inequality will expand. More productivity will be demanded for less pay. Wars will continue to be waged outside of our control. Mass media will continue to be rigged. Racism will still exist. Women will still be paid less than men. Climate change will not be addressed. The young will still fall behind the prosperity of their parents. Half of us will still hate the President, all of us will still hate Congress and we will still think that in 2016 we can fix everything we will fail to fix today.
I have rid myself of my anger to these dreadful inadequacies as I drifted into a peaceful state of total indifference. Despite my left-wing arguments, I refuse to be emotionally attached to these philosophies. I have chosen complacency over infuriation to the status quo and have accepted nothing I hope for will ever come to fruition. If I had optimism that government would choose the people first, then I would steam with anger. Instead, I have accepted politics as nothing more than a hobby and a source of disheartening entertainment.
I stopped supporting politicians based on ideological principles and became more interested in political power and persuasiveness, ability to change the direction of a political party and their likelihood of being a sociopath. A comical component is pleasant, too, I truly regret not being able to see a President Herman Cain or a Senator Christine O’Donnell. The benefit we gain from changing candidates or parties is minimal. The small benefits we receive from changing political factions will eventually occur so when the Democrats tremble in fear at the prospect of the coming Republican senate, ask yourself the question: What benefits have you received from Democrats in the last eight years? If you have no answer but health care, I can promise you this: If our pathetic health care reform did not succeed in 2009, it eventually would have. Expect that same efficiency from Republicans when they win both houses of Congress. I guarantee you the Republicans have no intention to send the National Guard to occupy women’s wombs. In fact, their only goal is lockstep with Democrats — deregulate the industries that put them in Congress.
If you have not already, take the time to fill in some circles at your voting precinct today. It does not matter which circles you fill in: fill in all the Democrats or Republicans; all of the women; all of the people with cool names; play eeny, meeny, miney moe or write-in lizard people. I promise you a euphoria of empowerment as if you actually contributed to the outcome of the election when [insert generic candidate here] wins tonight.
Brendan LeRoy is a junior majoring in linguistics.