why none of my American friends are voting…
Watching the US presidential election from the outside, as most of the world does (99.5% of the world is not American), while the American political and economic system eats itself, is baffling, frightening, and anxiety inducing.
As the Empire continues to crumble into the history bin of time, (yet holding the largest weapons cache ever), the rest of us prepare as best we can for the violence and rage that will inevitably follow in its wake.
There will be a great pressure on American leaders to take out their frustrations on some other country or region (most likely Iran/Afghanistan/Pakistan – and their immediate neighbours), which will set the world back at least 300 years and drain the American economy of anything that has left. Like Rome, Byzantium, England, Russia, and a thousand other empires before them, America will then be nothing more than a dead carcass.
It doubly sucks for those Americans – like the many I know – who actually care about the future of America (and the world), and know that America continues to have such enormous potential to be one of the great nations in history. There is great progressive thought, science, literature, and technologies still residing in many pockets of America.
Sadly, the larger meta-narrative of our times is in the re-emergence of political/religious/economic fundamentalism in America – and the religious fundamentalists who support them. And in the even larger global narrative, the American collapse is happening as capitalism disintegrates in the western nations and grows in the last untapped market: Asia.
Inevitably, the political response to economic marginalization and social decline is the return of that great scourge of a two-headed beast known as Fascism and Totalitarianism, which is again on the rise, both in America, and around the world. It is that great prevailing notion (that goes all the way back to the Bible) that if we are just a little more Orthodox, we will solve our problems. Little wonder then that economic/political/religious fundamentalism is on the rise.
Most Americans are not going to vote in this presidential election (and this is not just a “youth” thing) – I expect this will be the worst voter turnout in American history – because there is not a viable option that offers a real vision that Americans can grasp onto. Everyone knows that Obama sold out to business and military interests, and Romney’s only argument is to suggest that Obama didn’t sell-out enough. Both candidates have no problem with torture, or spying on their own citizens, or the suspension of habeas corpus. They both agree that healthcare should be run by business interests and that Wall Street needs more freedom, not less. And now that 4 corporations own 90% of the American media, no one is left to challenge any of their assumptions.
Of course afterwards the media will pretend to scratch its head and wonder why Americans didn’t get out the vote. I can already hear the CBC radio talking heads having great discussions about “what’s wrong with the American voter?”
But no one will talk about the real problem: that the American voter has not much to choose from…