This democracy stuff is good. I totally agree with your closing that it’s a horrible form of government although far superior to all the other lesser forms we’ve discovered up until now.
I’ll be the first to admit I come down with cases of high-on-myself-itis from time to time. My fatalism argument doesn’t make a whole lot of sense now that I read through it again. You’re right that voting is important because big blocs of people can get things done. But ay, there’s the rub. There is a contradiction between the emphasis western culture places on individualism and the amount of power an individual vote holds.
In 2000 Bush got 35% of the hispanic vote. In 2004 he got 45% of the hispanic vote. Why because of his weak stance on immigration. Single woman overwhelmingly vote Democrat. Why? Becuase Democrats are for killing the unborn and single women want to maintain that right.
Your vote, your one and only vote, only counts insofar as you are willing to sheepishly proxy it over to an abstract group that supposedly represents you. Furthermore, people like to talk about the “hispanic” vote and the “black” vote and the “woman” vote as if all these groups of people are conducting secret meetings and coming to a general consensus about how they feel on every issue. That’s not how it happens, but that’s how the analysts like to portray it.
A lot of individuals vote, and those votes have overlaps in definable groups. The question is, do the groups overlap because the groups told all the individuals within it to vote in such-and-such a way; or do they overlap because in retrospect we attached labels of voting bloc to things?
I know this argument doesn’t hold up to the conservative vs liberal ideology. People identify on a personal level as either conservative or liberal. Why? Who knows. I decided to take political affiliation out of my personal identity a while ago. There are many more important things to identify with, being a brother, being a student, being a writer, etc…
People, for the most part (citing that infamous poli 41 class again), are symbolically conservative yet functionally liberal. Nobody is for taking money away from schools or helping sick people or providing for retirement. But once you start calling those things medicare and social security, then those political biases come back into play–the labels themselves, the conservative/liberal, is part of the problem. Maybe the whole> problem.
Sorry this turned into a naive political essay by a 19-year-old know-nothing. As you can see, I’m disenfranchised with politics at the moment. People have been ruling the world for a long time in various forms, and from what I can tell, there’s always problems, and nobody’s ever as free as their government tells them they are.
PS: i’m deathly afraid of being enslaved to a car payment, mortgage on a house, etc.. and all those other things most of our parents so readily embraced as the “american dream.”