Monday, November 3
Ok, so I'm going to say it: if you are an American citizen, I think you
would be doing both your own country and pretty much the entire rest of the
world a good turn by voting for Barack Obama, if you haven't already.
Look, I'm not buying in. I have friends who are convinced beyond the shadow
of a doubt that the whole game is rigged. Corrupt, corrupt, from the bottom
to the top. A lot of days I can't help agreeing with them, and more often
than not our only really disagreement is about the competence and unity of the
machinery. I am not operating under an assumption that American democracy is
anything but a disaster-in-progress, or that an outcome favorable to the
slightly less reprehensible political party is going to resolve our big fat
structural problems or most of the cultural ones. I don't have any illusions
about the ability of any person in this thing to remain uncompromised. I see
little reason to think that electoral outcomes in this country are not
subject to considerable manipulation.
But here is a fact: There are a whole hell of a lot of people dead who would
still be alive if George W. Bush had never taken office. They are not dead
because of regrettable necessity. They are not dead because of a stroke of bad
luck. They are dead because of arrogance and ignorance and cruelty and greed and
corruption and indifference. They are dead because the wrong people were in
And if you think it doesn't matter, you're wrong.
You know what I want? I want a world without states, without borders, and
without armies. I want locality and individual freedom and community and a
civilization that takes care of people and treats the world as a place to live
instead of a bottomless fuel tank, that treats people as persons and
not so much fuel. Maybe all of this is a bullshit hippie pipe dream. I suspect
that it doesn't really matter to this argument if my ideals are anarchic,
libertarian socialist, or just kind of inclined towards everybody getting
healthcare and having more vacation days and better beer. (I can admit it: This
isn't even an argument in any meaningful sense.) What matters is, more
or less, whether I'm willing to accept either or both of it has to get
worse before it can get better and it doesn't make any
I'm not, really.
We are not going to have a world revolution tomorrow, or the day after that,
or just as likely any time this decade or the next. There's precious little
evidence that if we did, we'd know what to do with it. What we will have
tomorrow is an opportunity to tip the scales in the direction of sanity and
decency. It's not much, but it's one small thing. And at this scale, small
While I'm at it, if you're in Colorado and you don't touch a single other
box on the ballot, please go out and vote no on 48.