No Votes From Me
by Gino Fanelli | published Nov. 19th, 2014
<comment>The dust is still settling from last Tuesday's elections, in which Governor Andrew Cuomo solidified his position until the next election and another political clone is offered a chance at his spot. That wasn't my decision.
The system I refer to is the electoral process in this country and the ever-present bipartisanship that effectively destroys any chance for a third party candidate. If I were to vote in the 2014 Gubernatorial race, Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins would have surely gotten my vote, with his platform of labor reform and raising of the minimum wage to $15 an hour. However, that would be if Hawkins had a better chance of winning than myself,
Of course, I agree with Cuomo on some aspects of his platform, such as providing tax-free funding for businesses linked to state universities. In total, 81 percent of Cuomo's donations came from donors who donated over $10,000. Which begs the question: whose interests could these politicians possibly be serving if their funding comes from the rich and affluent, who are all but entirely alienated from the needs of the common man or woman? In this sense, the election is not a competition of policy. It is more akin to Girl Scouts selling cookies than to a true democratic system: whoever's multinational corporation parents buy the most Thin Mints wins. That is not even to mention the
So, back onto the "right to complain" argument. I believe we suffer from a disease of complacency in this country. Sure, we can point out the flaws of the system and we can see blatantly that the system has been broken by the leeching of special interest groups and corporations. If we want change, we can't feed into this system. We can't place our ballots into a regime which gives us the two options of the greater or lesser evil, and even then decides which evil will win ahead of time. My right to complain comes from someone who wants desperately to be a part of the system, but cannot bring myself to swallow my pride and support a system based more on affluence than policy, on powerful friends over open ears to the people's needs and on political slam campaigns making the opposite candidate out to be misogynists or child haters over legitimate aspirations and plans.
It is my argument that to truly love America, to be a true patriot, you cannot blindly follow the status quo. You cannot feed into a broken system. You have to stand up against it, you have to pick apart its flaws. It is not blind nationalism. It is idealism, it is wishing to see your country be what you dream it can be, what our forefathers dreamed it could be. I refuse to place my name in a system who has bastardized that dream into a feverish waking nightmare.