Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Moore predicts "President Romney" as I muse about a partyless system

I have not been a big fan of Michael Moore.

Sure, he's clever and possessed of a sharp sense of humor and I do miss his show from the early 90s, TV Nation.  His documentaries, however, seem heavy-handed to me.  They don't just present facts and allow you to form conclusions, they drag you by force to Moore's point of view which is at times questionable.  For this and admittedly ludicrous allegations of being "unpatriotic," Moore has earned shovel-loads of rage, often spoken through cacology, from the conservative right.  It's one of his more recent allegations, however, that has me thinking.

On The Huffington Post, Moore made a hesitant prediction that Mitt Rmoney will win the November election.  In the video interview featured at the link, he explains rather lucidly as to why he has made this stunning assertion.  There is of course the age old, "money and politics" conundrum.  The Republicans are sitting on massive amounts of cash to go towards ads and...perhaps more importantly as Moore points the machinery dedicated to getting enough voter turnout on Election Day.  Hatred of President Obama will also drive conservatives to the polls, perhaps in record numbers.  Moore says that if we voted for presidents the way we vote for American Idol contestants from our couches, Obama would stand a better chance.  That's not the way it works, however.

Indeed, we as Americans do tend to be drunk on apathy more often than not.  That's not relegated solely to political matters but that's what I'm talking about at this time.  The aforementioned hate that Tea Partiers have is a strong motivator, perhaps strong enough to counter the lukewarm support that Obama is currently getting from his base.  Sometimes, party dogma and rigid ideology can be the strongest forces known.  Even a small band of such motivated voters can overcome a larger force that is on the whole rather apathetic.

Which got me thinking.  What if there were no political parties?  What if there were no party lines to toe?  What if anyone running for office had to come up with his or her own platform and ideas?  There would probably be a few overlapping similarities between candidates, but just a few of the ideas might be unique.  Imagine both candidate and voter having to...gasp!...think critically.  Imagine voting solely for the candidate and their proposals, not simply for which mascot they've embraced as political shorthand. 

Because many times, that affiliation is all that it takes for a voter to make their decision.  As I adjust to life again in Indiana, I am reminded that there are certain geographies within the United States where if the GOP nominated a pickle on the ballot against a Democratic candidate who was a Rhodes Scholar, the pickle would have a lock on the vote.  The same could be said of other locations and a reverse of the example.  No thought required.

The system is sick.  Do Americans know that?

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  1. Oh, we know it's sick. We just don't care enough to do anything about it. In a government constructed the way this one is, there's no other option than to pick the lesser of two incompetents. And as long as there are no reforms to the voting and election process where a third party (at the minimum) has a realistic chance at anything better than "stealing" the election for one of his opponents, every election cycle will provide as they have. Multi stage elections with run offs and guaranteed campaign budgets (federally funded and paid for with taxpayer funds, with fixed spending limits), and a standardized federal election procedure with the same candidates on all ballots, and finally, get rid of the electoral college. That's my plan.

  2. That makes too much sense to ignore, Mike.
    Sadly, most will.
    I'm definitely with you in getting rid of the Electoral College. Technology has advanced to a point where it's utterly unnecessary. Then again, the powers that be within the two main parties don't want anything to change. That would just mean losing power and our nation thereby becoming really democratic.