A few months back, I wrote a “Say No to Clinton Democrats” piece, vowing to essentially boycott the 2016 election. If you haven’t, read it before you continue here, because I’m sticking to it and building on it. I simply will not vote for any presidential candidate on the ballot. This is why I’m writing in for president.
There are a few things that factor into this decision, starting with some final words about the Donald Trump sideshow. Then we turn to our next president herself. From there, we transition to the state of our elections. Finally, we bring it all together, which leads us to a discussion about noncompliance. As a post script, I tell you why I choose Leonardo DiCaprio as my write-in candidate.
Final Words on the Donald Trump Sideshow
Donald Trump was never going to win. You could say that Secretary Clinton won this election more than a decade ago, or the day President Obama bested Senator McCain, or the day Trump won the 2016 Republican nomination, or the day the Secretary defeated Senator Sanders for the Democratic one, and you would be at least a little right on all accounts. Indeed, I question whether Trump truly even wanted or expected to win, in his heart of hearts or otherwise. Whether you agree with these assertions or not, it’s inescapably clear that he has no chance now. And that’s all we need to say about that.
The President Select
Hillary Clinton (and Co.) is the system incarnate. To triumph over men in the game that is American politics—devised by us and for us—she had to be ten times better than us. And she is, without a doubt, one of the game’s top four living players, the other three being President Obama, President Clinton, and Vice President Cheney. This is not a good thing.
Let’s define “good thing,” for an important reason. “Good” is a combination of many factors and a relative term. Good and ill are both part of the same web, and certain of its strands can be used towards either end. Now apply this to the system.
President Obama won the 2008 nomination because, compared to then-Senator Clinton, he was a clean slate. Even though she is a woman, there is no way she could have pulled off a “Hope and Change” campaign—nor is that the campaign she is running right now—because she is the consummate insider, the system incarnate.
And a doubling down on that system is what President Clinton II is going to give you. Yeah, she’ll toss out some bones like paid family leave. That’s important to people, and costs her and her pals nothing. But is she willing to bite the hands that have been feeding her all these years, or is she going to be a loyal friend? And let’s say it, so we’re all on the same page: many of these same hands belong to people responsible for innumerable ills both here and abroad.
Worse, the American republic has been in grave danger for some time, our democracy steadily subverted to corporate interests, or war-mongering ones, or oligarchic, you name it—not that these categories are mutually exclusive. This has been the trend since the aftermath of the Civil War and President Lincoln’s assassination. Some smart people at Princeton even argue that American democracy is already dead. Eight years of President Clinton II can very well be the final nail in its coffin.
You know, if you ask people whether politicians truly represent them, a strong majority answers “no.” If you ask them whether the government is corrupt, a strong majority says “yes.” If you ask them whether they think their voices matter, a strong majority says “no.” The American people aren’t stupid, and we see what’s happening.
Yet, if you ask people these questions about Hillary Clinton, the percentages shrink and the strong majority is no more. This is the case even though the Secretary is the living embodiment of the system behind America’s steady decline. When you move from the abstract concept to a specific one by putting a person at the center of the question, tribal loyalties and individual idiosyncrasies muddy the waters. This is cognitive dissonance; humans are prone to it in all contexts, and it is easy to overcome.
You see what we’ve done in this section? We walked through a lot of reasons why I’m writing in that are directly related to Secretary Clinton, and we didn’t even get to her skeletons yet. Indeed, it’s hard to call some of them skeletons, so fresh are they that they can only be called corpses. I won’t harp on them here; I’ll only point people in the right directions, including some of the newest ones.
If you’re not paying attention to Wikileaks and at least some alternative news outlets—yet are nonetheless still reading this—then you need to be. Yes, when we’re talking “alt-news,” there’s a lot of nonsense out there, either co-opted, crazy, or incredible. There is truth there nonetheless. Find it yourself; I’m not going to link any here.
Here are Secretary Clinton’s greatest, freshest sins, in no particular order: (1) as Secretary of State, doing most of the work on the Trans Pacific Partnership (conveniently, she resigned the post with time enough before the final stages, allowing her to equivocate on her support for the atrocious deal during her presidential campaign); (2) everything she’s ever touched in Syria or Libya (it’s clear now that she actively fomented war in the former and has questions to answer about connections to ISIS through the Clinton Foundation); (3) really, the Clinton Foundation’s entire operation, at every single level (e.g. using the State Department to line the pockets of the foundation’s donors, friends of Bill and Hillary all); (4) her flagrant disregard for the rule of law during her e-mail scandal (not just the use of the private server itself, but also how she responded to, dismissed, and used inquiries and investigations, e.g. deleting so many e-mails); (5) the simple fact that so much of the corporate media is clearly in her pocket (the revelations about Donna Brazile at CNN are only the tip of the iceberg—how much of that stuff goes unrevealed?); (6) her handling of the refugee crisis, particularly in relation to the response of other nations in the region (nice for the bosses how, all of a sudden, there’s this new, cheap supply of labor in Europe); and (7) the leaked portions of her Wall Street speeches, in which she says flat out that her public position is not her private one, and that she operates off of the latter (she’s telling you not to trust what comes out of her mouth; do we really want to pull a Ned Stark, with Clinton playing the part of Littlefinger?). I could go on, but that’s enough.
To re-orient, we’re talking about why I’m writing in for president this election. First, we went through how Trump factors into the equation. Then we talked a lot about how our next president does, part of it more abstract and part of it focused on her corpses. Now, we’re going to turn to the next factor: the sorry state of our elections.
The Sorry State of Our Elections
Let’s break this down two ways. First, a few words about the most recent Democratic primary. Then a wider lens. In the background, Citizens United.
Every election, primary or otherwise, there are reports of electoral fraud. In Chicago, it’s easy to see how people today can get away with little stuff that doesn’t really make much of a difference. Serious instances are uncommon. Yet, the 2016 Democratic Primary saw so much nonsense that it truly set a new low for election integrity.
The media’s anointment and leniency, to say nothing of the FBI’s. The DNC’s favoritism. The many, many reports of and lawsuits about direct fraud. The Donald Trump sideshow dominating news cycle after news cycle.
And let’s talk about primary elections in general. The first thing to know is that, as primary elections are the product of political parties, the Constitution treats them differently, with the end result being weaker protection across the board. Not to mention the fact that judges really do dislike being dragged into political squabbles. All in, though the Constitution clearly calls for elections, the same cannot be said of political parties and their works, primary elections among them.
This lends considerable power to the people putting on the elections. And the results of its exercise reveal the wielder’s intentions.
Only nine percent of America voted for Trump or Clinton during the primary elections. And our current electoral system tells us that this is normal—that having only these two options for president is the best we can do. Nothing to see here, folks. Carry on.
And then there’s the games. Primaries are scattered across a season, so there’s no real anchor—like the general elections have November—thus driving down turnout. Getting on the ballot can be a trial for party establishment outsiders. Dates and polling locations are political toys. On both the front and back ends, there’s all sorts of little rules in place and conditions on your vote, diluting the results and further discouraging turnout. The primary season is home to the most partisan talk, infecting our national discourse like a virus and driving still more people away. Then there’s all the questionable stuff that happens at the polling places themselves. The list goes on.
As for the general elections, I’ve lived my entire life in a solidly blue state. The current system tells me that my vote for president really doesn’t matter, and it tells me, once again, that this is normal. The best we can do. Nothing to see.
The Path to Victory
The new revolution must be a spiritual one. For those who are new to the idea, it’s not as wishy-washy as it sounds, and I’ve written about it here before, once directly and others indirectly. In this piece, I’ll dive into one specific aspect: the relationship with government and politics.
Non-compliance is the key. The amount of power exercised over us plummets the moment we decide we want less power exercised over us.
Yeah, you still have to pay your taxes. But you don’t have to swallow the corporate media’s excrement, that drivel calling itself news and existing only to manipulate, brainwash, and divide. Just remove it from your world, and sit back while your mental health improves and you suddenly find yourself with a lot more time. Remove it from your attentions, and put other, happier things in its place.
Yeah, you can still be punished for crimes, no matter how inane or unjust the circumstances. But, if a particular election is an insult to your intelligence, you don’t have to subject yourself to it. That’s the only way the insult can perpetuate—if you subject yourself to it, if people subject themselves to it. Like standing up to a bully.
Yeah, racism is still a problem. But instead of trying to make a racist system less racist, work towards building a new system free from racism. Some things are busted beyond repair, and—among other things—this means that we truly gain only from focusing on the good, with our knowledge of the ill cautionary tales and nothing more. This revolution is grass-roots, and we’re starting basically from scratch, in the middle of a hostile environment, carving out one slice and then the next.
Yeah, you’re still represented by sociopaths both at home and abroad. But there are people everywhere who understand that the will of a people and the will of their government are not one and the same. The majority want peace, all over the world. Ignore the propaganda and act accordingly.
Yeah, the banks are still the banks. But you don’t need all the stuff that our consumerist culture says you need. The less money we spend, the less credit we take out, the less excess we seek: all of it weakens the power of financial institutions and the almighty dollar, leaving room for new economies. Feed the fire less.
Even recently, I was part of the “must vote” crowd. No more.
Non-compliance is the new civil disobedience. To the system that tells us we are near powerless within it, we respond by withdrawing as much as possible, thus refusing to let it dominate our lives, all the while building towards new systems from the ground up. This is the blue print, and it is straightforward. The spiritual revolution complies as little as possible with that which seeks to suppress potential.
So now you know why I’m writing in for president. Here’s why I choose to write in Leonardo DiCaprio.
First of all, he’s a badass both on and off the screen. He’s taken up a number of good, important causes, and he’s effective. Further, all the great actors and actresses are intelligent people; they have to be, to be so great at acting and the other things they do. As he’s part of Hollywood, he has enough old world for a transition period, yet he does not appear to have sold his soul, and he has enough new world without a doubt, as evidenced by deeds. Leo would make a great president—especially for right now—and I’m dead serious about that.
And how not? With respect to governing, what is the president’s job? Setting the course, making decisions, and talking to people. I’d trust Leo to do all that, and to surround himself with real people. And, with his fame, he might even be able to win in the current electoral systems, which may be the most important point of all.
More than anything, though, the difference between writing in and simply not voting is the degree of non-compliance. There’s something to be said for walking into the voting booth and writing down a name that isn’t there. “To hell with your false choice; here is my pick.” This is why I’m writing in for president.
Featured photo by Justin Grimes via Flickr.