On this election day, when you decide between an insane trust-fund baby and a candidate that has proven themselves most adept at trading their public service for personal wealth, let us remember St. George:
The politicians are put there to give you the idea that you have freedom of choice … you don’t. You have no choice. You have owners. They own you. They own everything. They own all the important land. They own, and control the corporations. They’ve long since bought, and paid for the Senate, the Congress, the state houses, the city halls, they got the judges in their back pockets and they own all the big media companies, so they control just about all of the news and information you get to hear. They got you by the balls.
If you need statistics to back up this intuition:
Power Pac Plus did a study showing that four years ago, the Democratic Party spent $514 million on consultants, and only 1.7%, or $8.4 million went to minority-owned firms or firms with at least one minority principle. How can the public be assured that either one of you or the Democratic Party can fix income inequality when the same party practices it?
And here (courtesy of Wikileaks) is our party’s Uncle Tom/Tia Tomasa making sure Hillary isn’t caught off-guard by these uncomfortable facts about the Democratic Party. Good thing the question was for Bernie… who wasn’t afforded the answers to the test.
This is from a party that gets 65% of the Hispanic vote and 85% of the Black vote. Doing a little math, along with the fact that underrepresented minorities are about 23% of the electorate, and we find that underrepresented minorities provide 35% of the votes for the Democratic party. And then get less than 1.7% of that political industry money (while mocking us for “speaking poor”). The Democrats are getting a 1 for 20 deal.
And if you’re White, feel free to use minority as a proxy for class since they are so heavily correlated. If you’re brown, black, or a middle or working class White person, there’s a big club and you ain’t in it!
If you think the Republicans are any better… they’re just pandering to you too.
This reminds me of the insight provided by Noam Chomsky in Manufacturing Consent. As consumers of media, we tend to think of ourselves as the customers of media companies. But we aren’t the customers of Fox News or MSNBC or Facebook or reddit, we don’t give them any money. We aren’t customers of those businesses. We are the product.
Similarly, we aren’t the customers of the Democratic Party. Super PACs and special interests give them the money. Those are the customers. That means we are the product; you and your vote.
Your next stop: The Twilight Zone
For votes that actually matter, i.e. local elections, things don’t get much better. We get to elect “the judges in their back-pocket”. This process sucks. There are too many judges and even in this age of cheap information, it’s really hard to get rid of bad ones. The best headline to summarize this:
Last month, an article in the Chicago Sun-Times predicted that Judge Brim would prevail, noting that only once in the past 22 years has a sitting circuit judge gotten bounced (a judge with significant ethical issues).
Here’s our best weapon against that insanity, a collection of bar associations took the time to review all of them [pdf]:
It’ll still take you 20 minutes to complete your ballot, but at least you can look at the pdf on your phone and be informed while you vote.
For those holding on to the incrementalism of the Democratic party, and that’s not for nothing, worry not. Mathematics, statistics, and game theory help. Hillary will win Illinois in a landslide. Obama won by 20 points in 2012. FiveThirtyeight.com has her at a 98.4% chance of winning. Additionally, Trump’s success in any one state is correlated with his success in others. In short, if Trump wins the election, it won’t be because he won Illinois. So don’t waste your vote. Vote your conscience.
There are two kinds of wasted votes that mathematically have no effect on the final election:
- Votes cast for candidates who did not win
- Excess votes cast for winning candidates
This is not to say that if you live in a swing state and happen to read my obscure blog you shouldn’t vote for Hillary. Trump is crazy and nuclear weapons exist.
To be fair though, I’d expect the deep state to revolt before the apocalypse comes. At least the federal government’s hiring is more diverse than the Democratic Party’s.
Today is a hard day to not be apathetic about democracy. But it’s still important that you get out there if you haven’t yet. Only 14% of the electorate voted (or 9% of the population) for Hillary or Donald before today. Here’s entire population, “The United States is home to 324 million people. Each square here represents 1 million people.”
You had your chance at a campaign funded by regular people with Bernie Sanders. And with Wikileaks you saw how the elite within the DNC responded to that.
There is a difference between the media’s drama from Hillary’s emails and the relative silence from the Podesta/DNC/Wikileaks emails (not to mention the confusion for the average voter differentiating between the two). Hillary’s emails show how she operates; like a politician. The Wikileaks emails show how the oligarchy works. Thomas Frank writes in the Guardian:
WikiLeaks' dump of messages to and from Clinton’s campaign chief offer an unprecedented view into the workings of the elite, and how it looks after itself.
There’s a big club and you ain’t in it. So use your incremental vote, use your protest vote. Make them work for it.