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Two Is the Loneliest Number: Election 2008, Rethinking the Two Party System

 article about US Elections
2008-10-30 13:12:40
There is no mistaking it; the results of the 2008 U.S. Election will create, I mean, history.

Are the two main contenders in this race to the White House truly the best America has to offer?
Regardless of who wins, it will mark the first time the highest post in the United States is represented by an African-American, or, the first time a female holds court as vice president. It's been quite an exciting political season, no matter what your party affiliation is or who you support.

But I wonder, will the best candidate really win? More importantly, are the two main contenders in this race to the White House truly the best America has to offer?
It doesn't matter who is in office, they're all a bunch of crooks anyway.

All too often it seems as though Americans feel that they are caught between a rock and a hard place when it comes to casting their vote on Election Day. For those who actually do vote, it becomes more of a choice between the "lesser of two evils" rather than gaining a sense of participating in a political system that functions effectively. Whoever does win on November 4th becomes the representative for all of us. My aunt used to say, "It doesn't matter who is in office, they're all a bunch of crooks anyway". But, we put the "crooks" there by participating in the process as it is. We accept what is put out before us and make a choice, though it hardly seems like a very conscious choice anymore. It's almost as if there continues to be a blind obedience toward an outdated two-party system and we've been doing it this way for so long that Americans cannot even fathom the thought that there might be another way.

How many of us really believe that this two-party system is genuinely representative for most American citizens?
It is ingrained in the minds of many Americans that the privilege of voting is a sacred thing. This is supposed to be a country created and governed "by the people, of the people, and for the people". We have the so-called right, no, wait-- liberty-- to choose who we vote for and yet do we find it even the slightest bit problematic that we are given only two choice? And how many of us really believe that this two-party system is genuinely representative for most American citizens?


This does not mean we should throw up our hands and opt out of voting altogether. Think about it: not voting only sends a message to those in power that you are thoughtlessly giving your power away. Perhaps, you've reached a point where you just don't care, but guess what? It's much, much easier to lead those into oblivion when they don't seem to care where they are led in the first place. Maybe you like one candidate and vote for him and maybe he won't win. Or maybe you, like many, fail to see the difference between the two parties and feel as though there's no point because either way, it will be more of the same no matter who is declared the winner. You can't rebuild Rome in a day. But you can send a message.

According to Averill, there are over 100 hundred million eligible voters who never show up on Election Day.* Can you just imagine for a minute, what kind of message would be sent if those 100 hundred million people did show up and vote for a third party Presidential candidate?

I myself will show up on November 4th, pull the curtain around me, and face that machine. I refuse to give up my vote just because I am not particularly thrilled with either candidate. I freely admit I am among the cynical. I don't think either candidate has anything more, better, or relevant to offer to this country at this time. Some third party system opposers will accuse me of throwing away my vote by my casting a ballot for someone other than Senators Obama or McCain. I say those 100 million people who decline to vote at all are the ones truly throwing it away. Be heard. Don't be afraid to be stand independently, or worse, do not blatantly refuse to participate in a system just because it is flawed.

Reference Cited:
*Elections USA: Do They Matter

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