I promised you. And here’s the party it turned into.
So sing the New Pornographers, and so sounds in my head, as I consider the third party option that dangled brightly for but a moment. I’m talking about the Justice Party and their candidate for president, Rocky Anderson.
Yes, the Justice Party was a bit of a hokey name to go with, providing mental images of superheroes in tights, but clearing that away, the word justice is pretty beautiful if ever realized. What I was able to glean from their talking points, the party and Anderson, that is, cover most of the issues so necessary to mention – the never-ending wars, the civil liberty shredding, the lack of decency and fairness….Even a political atheist like me started to become intrigued a bit. Anderson’s presentation at a Daughters of the American Revolution meeting even made me reconsider my thoughts on those old birds.
I had come to a point that I considered voting to be of absolutely no use, however. Our corporate state choices held only insult for me — the impression that your voice mattered — a psychological opting into the system, and I didn’t want any of that.
But…..here’s this individual saying such lovely things. I took the bait. Who doesn’t have a shred of wanting to believe left in them?
I contacted the group advancing this candidate, offering grassroots support in my area. Basically offering whatever they might need — someone to get signatures, bake brownies, hold informative campfire sessions with smores …. whatever. (Well, I lie a little. I toned down the crazy and just made a blanket offer that certainly had all the hallmarks of sanity. I did nothing to scare them away). Mind you, I offered this from a spot in the nation not known for swaying in any direction other than red in major elections. And this is a candidate that I am quite sure you could ask the first 100 people you come across about and they would not know of him. So I think offering up your services and your mind should count for something in such a small enterprise.
But in much the same way that the big campaigns work, all that I was met with was a blanket request for donations. Nice. That’s not been done before! I know this campaign pledges to refuse corporate money (although in honesty, I don’t think this would be an issue….it’s like a husband pledging to refuse any and all sexual advances from Angelina Jolie and Monica Belluci if they propositioned him at the same time — not gonna happen).
It’s still a bit of a put-off when you’ve offered up something real, but the cold cash is the request that you receive. Ah well, the perfect is the enemy of the good and all that, right? I continued to listen and consider because the only other option is completely sitting out. I thought I was comfortable with that, but a nagging childish desire to believe in someone still lurked, as jaded as I pretend to be.
But then there was this. The Justice Party actually quoted Thomas Friedman and Michael Mandelbaum in a recent blanket fund-raising email—shared quotes from the book “That Used to be Us”. Yes, the quotes were largely benign, indicating a third party could have an effect on national policy, but good grief, this from a book touted for sale everywhere as advancing “China’s educational successes, industrial might, and technological prowess remind us of the ways in which ‘that used to be us.’” Really? Because I don’t recall hearing that there were anti-suicide nets on our factories in your days of yore like at China’s infamous Foxconn. How far back is Friedman and friend yoring? To slavery days? Sending a request for funds and my vote along with a Friedman quote—are you completely batshit insane? I’m guessing those inclined to vote for such an entity might have the same visceral reaction. Are you even trying to achieve anything?
I’ll admit I have an especially strong allergy to Friedman. I once worked in an especially beautiful corner of the world, the White Mountain Apache Reservation. I had a position for a time at the local high school. The principle had evidently just completed reading “The World is Flat” by Friedman, and felt obliged to carry over that filth to the young Apaches. In a staff meeting he proclaimed that these kids needed to know that they would be competing with places like India and should be prepared for such. Now, I had an entirely different take on it. These kids lived in a beautiful spot, lush with plenty of rain, lots of fish and game, and also a few benefits like an okay to operate gambling institutions, pretty much a license to print money.
But they allowed charlatans like the principal to convince them that all needed to be done in the flat world model. Bring in experts, let them run your businesses (and make off with lots of the money) and then cry about the kids not fitting into the modern world. Is it any wonder suicide and meth use on the res was hideous? Trying to fit your beautiful world into the mechanistic squalor of Friedman’s ideology — that’s a recipe for disaster if not dementia. The days of cultural genocide continue unabated, I guess. And one could say I’m deluded, that, yes, the principal was correct about the competition, but that’s a race to the bottom in that flat world model.
But I stray; it’s just background for some of my venom towards the likes of Friedman — and what passes for an intellectual these days — a guy with a sugar momma heiress to give him entry to a world of obliging publishers and unquestioned media support and pitching misery to boot.
So, Justice Party….did you think that one through? Or is the campaign just like what many suspect several of the Republican campaigns to be? Something of an attempt at increasing name recognition for a further book deal? I’m actually pretty disgusted that you didn’t consider that your potential supporters like me wouldn’t care to see a Friedman and Mandelbaum (the guy Foreign Policy magazine calls good “for teaching America to be a hegemon on the cheap”) quote being given within your request for my money.
In summary, third party cruel tease….what the hell were you thinking?
If the perfect is the enemy of the good, surely the stupid is the enemy of the possible.
Back to reality, back to the realization that voting in this rigged circus will not solve the problem.