Juan Ayala photograph

Presidential Musings

Novemeber 1, 2000

So here we sit, at the beginning of a new millennium, the beginning of a New World if you will.  The policies, procedures and laws enacted in the near future may shape how we live our lives for years to come.  With the Internet revolution in it's early stages, and biotechnology still in it's infancy it's easy to see how life will be changing for us soon.  We are at a place in history where the United States of America is the supreme superpower in the world today, and how we handle that will shape the future of war, democracy, and foreign policy as a whole.  Our economy has been nothing short of spectacular for the past ten years with the potential to keep growing for another twenty.  If we are not careful though it could easily collapse.  Without the event of any great war, or great challenge for the masses of new generations of young adults there is also a great malaise overtaking us.  We need new challenges and a leader who can motivate us past this current state.  To give our young people the vision to see that there is work still to be done.  We are on the verge of electing one of these new leaders, the first of the twenty-first century.  Therefore, who should it be you are probably asking yourself.  Well, unfortunately there are only two choices that have been given to us, chosen for us by the powers that be.  There are other choices, but they and their ideas are locked out of the debates and the mass media.

That's correct, right now we face more questions about our selves as a people than any other time in history.  You wouldn't know that by watching the debates, all we hear from the two candidates is education, social security, education, social security, education and so on and so on.  Not that these are not important issues, quite the contrary; they are very important issues, but are they really the only issues.  Well, unfortunately they have become because the only voters these days are adults with kids and grandkids, mostly the latter.  Old people if you will whom already have money, a home, and an education.  With all these questions facing us in this new era, we can only get less than 50% of our population to vote.  No the votes are not counted yet but I'm guessing somewhere around that number.  How pathetic is it that in the greatest nation in the world only a fifth of the voting population actually will vote.  There's valid reason for this too, it's all about choices.  You see we have no choices, only the ones the power brokers of our great nation tell us we should have.  Who are they to tell us what we should care about and who should be the one to lead us.  I mean, look at it this way, even if you do care about the issues they are talking about and prefer one candidate over the other you still have a 50/50 chance of your candidate winning even if you don't set foot in the voting booth.  What kind of motivation is that?

In countries around the world that allow open debate, and promote 5-6 candidates in an open election, voter turnout generally comes in at about 75-80%.  These smaller but more open countries blow away the voter turnout of the strongest nation in the world.  Don't get me wrong, the two party system has served us fairly well, but there are too many questions and challenges ahead to only have two ideologies to choose from, especially when those two ideologies are becoming narrower and narrower all the time.  It is time for a fundamental change in our political system, much the same way as when Abraham Lincoln won on a third party candidacy called the Republican Party.  It's already too late in this election, the die is cast.  We did not get to hear the questions and ideas of the third parties of Ralph Nader, and Pat Buchanan, but we should have.  Unfortunately neither of these candidates were strong enough anyway.  I personally would have been very afraid if either of these men roamed the sacred halls of the White House.  They would however have brought a diversity of issues to the table; issues that we should have been able to hear debated and talked about.  You see, as I said earlier, the issues that are being talked about are not the only issues facing this nation ( sorry to all you old people).  The need is now for new leaders to rise up, and new parties to form to bring us some choice, no not in this election, but in every election to come.  Then we will get the involvement of all the people.

The first step in this new process is campaign finance reform.  We cannot get valid third party candidates if the money is all given to the two with the best chance of winning.  Because, quite frankly, they wouldn't necessarily have the best chance of winning if the money was more spread out.  It's a vicious circle that needs to be broken.  I hope that Senator McCain will further this cause and get all the candidates on even ground so we can start to have some choices.

Secondly, the registration and voting process needs to be simplified.  I personally am very interested in politics, and I do have a clear, clear choice as to who I want to be our next president (out of our two choices of course).  George W. Bush unfortunately will not see my vote this year.  The simple reason being that the info on how and where to register is not readily available.  Could I find it? Absolutely I could, but the choice doesn't mean enough for me to pursue it.  As I said earlier, I still have a 50/50 chance of getting my candidate.  Now the powers in control and the older people will say, "Well, if they can't put forward a little effort then what right do they have to vote anyway".  The only thing I say to that is that's bullshit.  I and everyone else have every right to vote and to not have to do a bunch of legwork and searching to do it.  I have followed the candidates extensively and am prepared to make a very educated choice.  I would make a more educated choice than probably 98% of the people who will vote because I wouldn't be voting democrat or republican according to how I've voted my whole life or how my family has voted.  I would be voting with my heart according to which candidate I believe would be the strongest leader and who has the better agenda.  Unfortunately you can't just go to the voting booth and swipe your license and vote.  It really should be that simple, and needs to be, but it's not.  Unfortunately, it's not even easy to get the information.  I've never seen it on the front page of the local community paper.  I have talked to many older, voting locals of the town I live in and they don't know either.  Therefore, I won't be voting.  An educated, highly enthusiastic future politician will not be voting because of lack of information and lack of simplicity.

There needs to be a better way!

Lastly, there needs to be equal access to the debates and the media by more than just the two candidates.  I was appalled that neither of the main third party candidates were allowed to participate in the debates.  No I did not think they had a chance to win, but I wanted to hear what they had to say.  I wanted to hear them call out Vice President Gore for all the lies and unfinished business of this past administration.  George Bush was very hesitant to do that, and with good reason.  For years the mass media in the United States has been blatantly pro democrat.  Such as with the Clinton impeachment and everything else brought up by the republican's turns into a conspiracy by the black angels of the Republican Party trying to bring down the saviors of our nation.  I'm exaggerating of course, but you get the point.  I would say the main reason for this, lately at least, is how pro democrat Hollywood is these days.  You see the media and Hollywood reciprocate these feelings in each other.  The media looks down on Republicans, making it un-cool to be republican, and therefore cool to be democrat.  It nearly made me sick to hear that Alec Baldwin had said that if George W. Bush wins the election he would move out of country.   I say good riddance Alec; we don't want you anyway with that type of attitude.  I know I'm making this sound pro republican, but I am not.  I'm for the best candidate, and though I believe it to be Bush, to me they are very similar and hopefully neither will be our downfall.  To hate a candidate as Alec apparently does in this case is not because Gore in overwhelmingly good, but because he wants to prove that he is pro­democrat until the end.  This is the wrong attitude for us right now, in this day and age.  I don't have an agenda right now for stopping this pro-democrat media stance.  I do not suppose there is anything that can be done through government.  I hope that people will start voting with their hearts and not just bash a certain candidate because of a label they've put on themselves.  We need to start voting for the best candidate and we need choices to do that.

The fact remains that we are staring into a New World.  A world in which if we don't make some fundamental chances to our society and our political system we may not survive.  The need is now for choices, to get everyone involved and bring back that great American spirit.  The spirit not just for the almighty dollar, but for change and for the betterment of all our brothers and sisters.  To bring back some hope in our young sons and daughters that they don't just have to look forward to working for the green.  They have to be taught that they do have a responsibility to better this great nation, and to make sure the generations to come have the opportunities and the land and the food that has been bestowed upon us. 

The time is now to make a change!

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