Letter to the Editor

Patrick Wills,
CSUEB Student

The idea of voting, or rather the idea of the democratic process, is one of the greatest human inventions. The notion that we can gather together as a group and dynamically decide how we self-govern ourselves through a process of perpetual forward progression has, in my mind, the semblance of utopia. It is a system fundamentally based on the idea that nothing is perfect and we know that, so we can change it as we go — by, simply, voting. The idea that we have a right to body, mind and culture without persecution. And, the idea of championing the duality of the individual and the collective in a simultaneous act.

The problem is in the discrepancy between the idea of America and the reality of things. What’s the value of my vote if the winning candidate will always be the candidate with the most campaign funding? Or, if the winning proposition is always the one with the most corporate sponsorship? If we are going to champion the idea of democracy by taking part in the democratic gesture of voting, then why don’t we champion the ideas themselves? The best candidate is the one with the best ideas to promote the greater good, not the one who curbs their values to appease and acquiesce to any willing and well-funded lobbyist.

Blindly hoping that a congressional seat here and a senate seat there will grossly change the tides of Washington is just naive. Obama campaigned on the maxim: Change We Can Believe In— and, what has changed? The people who gambled with the livelihood of the working-class have profited from their downfall and, get this, they are all still in charge— NOTHING HAS CHANGED! Think about how much money you were making back in 2011. How does is it compare to today– any better? The next time you sit in traffic think about what you’d do with 25 percent more wealth— the Job Creators who destroyed our economy have increased their wealth by 26 percent since 2011. Has your pay gone up? Do you feel the trickle down?

You may think I am jaded or have lost hope, but that’s the furthest from the truth. I, as a Patriot and an American, respectfully honor the ideas and principles that our country was founded upon, but if the contents of this idea have become corrupt, superficial and automatic — then, what is the point?

To be clear, this is my point: I am optimistic that one day enough of us will stop and realize that the system is unjust, unequal and unfair and we will become awakened to the fact that we live in a fucking Plutocracy. And after this realization, I hope the empty and shallow gesture of voting will be seen for what it really is— an illusion. A new model for democracy will never appear on a ballot, but—we can build it.

We are only free insofar that we effectively strive to free ourselves.