The Dartmouth Observer
Friday, July 02, 2004
Rock the Vote 2004, 2006, 2008, etc.
We have a responsibility to vote in this election, especially if we are residents of New Hampshire. When the political situation of the nation resembles a tie between competing blocs of ideolouges who no longer recognize the participation of the other, it is the moderates and swing voters in questioning states like New Hampshire who will determine the fate of the nation.
We not only should vote against President Bush and his contempt for the lives of homosexuals everywhere, his irresponsible tax cuts, trade war politicking, and questionable commitments to human rights but against every congressman who voted for the Patriot Act or this latest war without the dignity of a debate on behalf of the American public. Every Senator who was present in the chambers when Vice President Al Gore presided over certification of the election of 2000 who didn't' respond to the calls of their fellow colleagues in the House to dispute the election to verify who won (who won doesn't matter as much as the fact that the national debate didn't happen) should be resoundly voted against. In casting a vote against Bush and these spineless law-makers against the instrumentalization of religious fervor for political reasons, against antiquated debates surrounding issues of the 1980s---welfare, social security, immigration, etc.--- and for vigorous public debate over important issues, for dealing with the muck and bite of living in an international market society, for the advancement of civil rights from shameless discourses of shame, hate and bias (on the homosexual question and on the race question still) to inclusionary dynamics of equality and acceptance. We should not be voting to excise religion from the public sphere, as many want to do since the loudest voices are often the most intolerant, but to prevent a coopting of the sociological institutions of the church by party hacks.
When we vote we should have in mind foreign policy and not only how we wish to be regarded by other nations, but also how we wish to shape the law of nations which now governs persons, coperations, and states alike. Is international law merely going to remain wedded to the forces of marketization and secularization? Or shall we begin a process of examination to identify and mitigate, if not eradicate, the sources of terrorism?
Of course, we must ask ourselves how we arrived in a choice between a Kerry and a Bush? Our nation is overdue for the elite establishment to be less male, less well-off, and less white. Even a rich, white woman would be an unacceptable candidate given the current composition and ubiquity of the same, well-financed elite. The political parties must include the perspectives, the paticularities, and sometimes the narrowness of the views of classes and persons who don't sit at the head of large coporations (thus includes multi-billion dollar universities) and who don't live comfortable lives. These same parties ought to then place these paticularities into a generalizing dynamic which incoporates, but is limited by, these perspectives. Until this occurs, politics will simply be an exercise in farce. A choice between going over the cliff at 65 and 45 mph with a side debate over whether the engine of destruction will be environmentally friendly.