Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Election Day-revisiting this post

You may have noticed that for a couple of hours I had a post entitled "Election Day- My refusal". I wrote it this morning and I was grumpy and while it reflects some of my opinions it was not a clear post and was full of hyperbole.

I was talking with people this evening and had seen various reports of irregularities at polling places. Each of them also either had personal stories of how they were nearly prevented from casting their vote or of friends who were kept from voting. Then there were stories of various problems with the electronic voting machines. Of course these iregularities were being seen by some as something to ensure Republican control of congress, by now it appears that if so it was a failed tactic but I don't really think these iregularities really ahve anything to do with Republicans or Democrats, or rather I think both parties can and do benefit from failures in in the process of voting.

I did not vote havent in the last few elections. By now it appears that Democrats have gained control in the House, we will see if that really makes any difference. I doubt it. I still maintain that those who put their hope in either party are mistaken in having such hope.

Which brings me to what I had hoped to articulate this morning but did poorly: I have come to think that what we see as so wrong with our Government or what we think is wrong with either party really goes to the root of this countries idealogy, that can be articulated as "a City on set on a Hill" or "Manifest Destiny". In a sense what bothers me and has finally lead me to stand in protest and to do this by not voting is that the American sense that not only is this a decent country to live in with freedom (though how much longer is certainly in question, though it is not just because of the Republicans though it is a Republican administration that is doing much in its power to bring us dangerously to the brink), but those freedoms have often come to us as much for economic reasons as any true valueing of the idea of freedom. But we so rarely admit that our democracy has always been (not much of a democracy, or always a limited one) a mixed bag, we have constantly been threatend by the loss of freedom and certainly the American Government and politicians have been willing to justify the violation of others liberty for expediency. But in our process and our rhetoric and our civil religion these things are always ignored by Democrats or Republicans by Liberals or Conservatives. Or more objectionable it is always the others if you are a liberal it is the conservatives, or if you are conservative it is the liberals who are most guilty and are thus in a sense blamed for that aspect of Amercian life and politics that fails to fit with our American mythology.

Then what really continued to keep me away is all the political adds. the New York times had a collection of them from several races, from Republicans and Democrats, all depend on some distortion some exageration, some to be frank falsehood. I don't see a value of truth in our process, and frankly I don't know that much political rehtoric around elections has ever had the value of truth in our nations history.