Monday, February 27, 2006

Patches & Pavlog's Dogs - My View Of The American Political System

I gave up on the American political system shortly before the 2004 Presidential Elections. While I will always still vote, I will never again vote for a candidate running for President. I will just write in a name on the ballot as I did in November 2004.

For over 200 years, Americans continue to fall for the same trick every four years by believing the promises of politicians who tell them that they are now going to institute real change and revolutionize the way Washington does business. The vast majority of Americans, however, do not realize that by voting for a candidate they are merely perpetuating a flawed system. When they are voting for the "lesser of two evils", they are still voting to ensure that one "evil" is in power.

Like NASCAR drivers, politicians should be made to wear suits that have sponsorship patches indicating the companies and special interests who gave them money. This would allow the American public to understand that these politicians are not exposing their own ideas or representing them, rather they are just puppets for their wealthy donors.

The only real difference between Democrats and Republicans is the spelling of the name of their party. It is thus despicable when a Jew believes the political propaganda and pledges his allegiance to a party; believing that only his party's policies are consistent with halacha.

Politics and religion simply don't mix. One cannot mix non-kosher food with kosher food without contaminating the old whole vessel. Just as one should stay away from bribery and dishonest business dealings, a Jew should stay far away from politics.

12 Comments:

At February 27, 2006 at 9:24:00 AM EST, Anonymous Bob Miller said...

There is an agreement, a "social compact" between the politicians and the people. The politicians agree to lie and the people agree to be lied to. That having been said, there are practical reasons for voting in any given election, as a method of damage control.
In 1968, I was working a summer job at the US Customs Lab on Varick St. in Manhattan, analyzing imported ore samples, etc., by X-ray diffraction. A Jewish chemist I worked with said he was a Democrat who would be voting for Nixon against Humphrey. I was shocked, so he explained as follows. The longer any party stays in power the more public money falls into its hands. The job of the voter is to keep the money from accumulating in this fashion by putting the "out party" into office. As a naive college student I thought this to be really cynical, but I have come to see the point. There are limits, though. Any party led by absolute raving loonies (we now have at least one!)does not get my vote in any event. And if such a party has a shot at winning, I vote for the other guys. Wouldn't you? If not, why not?

 
At February 27, 2006 at 9:48:00 AM EST, Blogger Akiva said...

It's a reasonable position, and I was going to start by discussing the practicalities of using community influence to make sure the community is getting enough 'attention' from the politicians.

Then I look at Israel and see the influence leading to direct involvement and ending with the mud getting smeared back on the community itself (speaking of the Israeli 'religious' political parties).

As I wrote recently (here), it's a dirty world. Yet can we afford, and/or is it appropriate for us to withdraw from it?

We are not monks, yet it's a good question whether this is an area that good can be extracted or is purely negative.

 
At February 27, 2006 at 10:17:00 AM EST, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Bob Miller: Those are certainly valid points, however, I think I am going to keep voting for my son.

Akiva: You raise some interesting points as well. I was inspired to write my posting after reading your posting here

 
At February 27, 2006 at 11:14:00 AM EST, Anonymous Bob Miller said...

Does that turn your son into a...politician?

 
At February 27, 2006 at 11:19:00 AM EST, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Bob: If he became one, I wouldn't vote for him ;)

 
At February 27, 2006 at 12:28:00 PM EST, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Bob: I also forgot to mention that my father subscribes to your ideas. He prides himself on never having voted for a winning President.

 
At February 27, 2006 at 3:44:00 PM EST, Anonymous Bob Miller said...

There was a time when I often voted in reactive mode, that is, reacting against administrations that seemed to be mistreating Israel. But the replacements never treated Israel any better!

 
At February 27, 2006 at 6:39:00 PM EST, Anonymous chabakuk elisha said...

My good friend ASJ,

I am not saying that you are wrong in your assessment of the political system and politicians in general, but I do think it is important to vote for the best candidate.

We are given a special power by G-d - the ability to influence the country's future - and I think that we have a responsibility to do out part. If we don't, we seem to be ungrateful for this gift.

Sure, the candidates leave much to be desired, but I don't think G-d wants us to disrespect the process. There are so many good things that can be - and are - done by politicians, and so much damage that can be done as well. I honestly believe that it is our obligation to do our best to vote for the candidate that will best further the ideals and goals that we have - even though out hopes and dreams may not be fulfilled as we'd like.

You sound terribly let down and cynical about it, which is to be understood, but I must respectfully disagree with the decision you've made. Reb Nachman of Breslov once noted when a certain chossid of his was in a state of hisbodedus that in Heaven they are asking him to decide which prince should take over the throne with the Czar's passing - I cant imagine that G-d wanted him to say, "Neither, they are both terrible." Surely he made his selection as the better of two evils, and this was what G-d wanted from him...

 
At February 27, 2006 at 7:03:00 PM EST, Blogger FrumGirl said...

First of all there is a separation between church and state so of course politics and religion do not mix... but that doesn't mean we should stay away from the democratic process... there are local jewish politicians that is very important for dealing with our local issues. As for politics as a whole... it is still better than a totalitarian gov't or a dictatorship.

 
At February 28, 2006 at 5:03:00 AM EST, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Bob Miller: True

Chabakuk Elisha: As always, indeed you make some good points, however seeing a system where "everyone is equal, but some are more equal than others" makes it easier to feel the way I do.

Frum Girl: Of course our government is better than a totalitarian government. I would not even argue that.

I am not advocating that we stay away from the democratic process....just politicians.

 
At March 1, 2006 at 1:16:00 AM EST, Blogger MC Aryeh said...

Agree with you, ASJ. I am registered as an Independent, and stay as far away from politics as I can without being ignorant of what is happening in the world. I like the idea of voting for your son. I may do that next time...

 
At March 1, 2006 at 6:43:00 AM EST, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Well, at least someone agrees with me. Thanks MCAryeh!

 

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