My Gradual Disillusionment with the American Two-Party Political System - With Thoughts on the 2016 Election

The shimmering beaches of St. Lucia promise donkeys and elephants alike a splendid place to bask on the beach while squirreling away money at the hard-working middle class taxpayer's expense.
The shimmering beaches of St. Lucia promise donkeys and elephants alike a splendid place to bask on the beach while squirreling away money at the hard-working middle class taxpayer's expense. | Source

Beating a Dead Horse?

Just days ago I composed a lengthy harangue on the relatively successful campaigns of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, the purpose of which was to ask the question of whether the widespread appeal of these "non-mainstream" candidates signifies the beginning of the end of the American two-party system.

I had a lot of hope for Bernie Sanders, I must admit. I saw photos of his rallies showing stadiums packed with up to 60,000 people. My son went to a Bernie event locally and couldn't get in - the house was packed and he had to stand outside. On the other hand, I recently saw a snapshot of a Hilary Clinton affair that had about a dozen people, and two of them were waving Bernie signs.

Surely this must be evidence that Sanders is kicking Clinton's butt, right?

Boy was I wrong. How naive of me to believe that this overwhelming flood of pro-Bernie good feeling on the Internet and riding irrepressibly high on our college campuses must equate to success at the polls.

It hasn't happened. I concede defeat. It looks like Hilary Clinton really does have a massive appeal to the majority of Democratic voters, and I just missed it. Alleged election malfeasance on the part of her powerful friends in the Democratic National committee and in the California political machine - in other words cheating, is not by itself enough to explain her ultimate victory. Therefore, I reluctantly admit that, based on the current set of rules, Hilary's victory was fair and square.

Since Ms. Clinton did her twerking victory dance on Tuesday, June 8, the Bernie supporters who used to proudly flood my Facebook feed seem to have meekly crawled back under their rocks, where they take refuge while molting into their pro-Hilary skins. Meanwhile, the devoutly pro-Hilary minions who used to flutter about like nervous gnats, sneaking a bite here and there but mostly staying out of the way, have brazenly emerged in blinding, choking swarms. Since Hilary's coronation became inevitable, her devoted, emboldened minions have called me a Nazi for supporting Bernie (who is Jewish, by the way), and have informed me that although I am otherwise an intelligent person, voting for anybody besides her is effectively casting a vote for Donald Trump. Just to be sure there is no confusion, I have also been flat out called f***ing stupid for not supporting the Democratic Diva extraordinaire. So much for freedom of speech.

Although I have finally acknowledged that Hilary is more popular than Bernie and Democracy has triumphed, and although I have taken note of the kind admonishments generously apportioned by the pro-Hilary camp about where my vote should go - I make the pronouncement here that I will never vote for a mainstream candidate of either of the two major parties, Democrat or Republican, ever again. Well, perhaps it would be wise to obey the old adage of never say never. Perhaps a major party candidate of Kennedy-esque proportions will eventually come along and blow me away with his or her sagacity, sincerity, and charisma. I doubt it, but it's possible. Therefore, I will rephrase that statement, and solemnly swear that I will probably never vote for a mainstream candidate of the two major parties, Democrat or Republican, ever again. How's that for unshakeable conviction?

This resolution wasn't something I decided on overnight - it took a lot of thought and soul searching. Perhaps soul purging would be a better term. I believe that we Americans are brainwashed from an early age to believe that the two-party system is what is best for our country, and a powerful enema indeed is needed to flush out this ideological blockage. Once we reach voting age this persistent idea is already tenaciously clinging to the walls of our political souls, and we wrinkle our brows uneasily when some third party wacko tries to challenge it - the same way we do when someone questions our religious beliefs.

What follows, then, is my personal odyssey of how I changed from a steadfast supporter of American politics as usual into a passionate, wild-eyed, fire breathing Independent. It's a bumpy ride, and I'm beating this dead horse up to a lather (It's just a metaphor, PETA people), so fasten your seat belts.

The beautiful blue waters of the Seychelles offer bank secrecy laws in abundance for wandering one-percenters in Republican and Democratic parties alike.
The beautiful blue waters of the Seychelles offer bank secrecy laws in abundance for wandering one-percenters in Republican and Democratic parties alike. | Source

Are We Really Free? - My Flip-flopping Political Odyssey

I grew up with Patrick Henry bellowing "Give me liberty or give me death" from the pages of my textbooks. I proudly believed American was the freest country on Earth, and I think I still do. But this belief is now a relativistic one. Are we really free in terms of freedom of expression? I would say the answer to this is a resounding yes, especially since the Internet has provided a soapbox for people, like myself, who have an opinion and no way to get it across in the politically slanted organs of the mainstream media. There are no government agents pounding on my door (not yet, anyway) because I have dared to question the two-party norm.

But are Americans truly free in regard to who we pick on election day? On this point I am not so certain. Our voting roster consists of the top Democrat dog and the Alpha Republican, along with a host of obscure candidates who cause us to scratch our heads because they are not covered by the media, and we don't know who the hell they are. Is this any better than Communist China Hong Kong "Democracy," where voters are given a list of pre-approved Party candidates to choose from?

From childhood I was gradually indoctrinated into believing the two-party system was the best. It promotes stability, the American Government teacher told us, it keeps us from falling into the chaos those godless commie Europeans find themselves in. We had mock elections in class to drive the beauty of two-party democracy home, and none of these contests featured a third party candidate.Therefore, I could only conclude that the American system was superior, the best yet conceived in the three centuries or so since government by the people gradually supplanted the divine right of Kings.

As I approached voting age, my flip-flopping political odyssey became more serious. A friend of mine dragged me along to a Republican rally in Arizona where his high school band was performing. Barry Goldwater was there. I was young and impressionable, and became hypnotized by the words of that Republican elder statesmen. For many, many years afterward I was a die hard conservative.

Reasonable people change their minds when contrary evidence does not completely explain their world view. Attending college after the navy, I was forced to read "liberal" literature assigned by decidedly "liberal" college professors. I was not so young and impressionable then, but a lot of this liberalism seeped in through the cracks of my conservative bulkhead. I eventually switched to Democrat, and was on board voting for Bill Clinton's reelection in 1996.

Then the raging, free speech suppressing political correctness of the liberal side of the spectrum caused me to change sides again. I did not appreciate the nanny attitude coming across from Democratic brain trust; the smug, maternal mindset that says: We're smarter, better, more enlightened than you, so do what we say.

For a time I went Republican again. Then I started writing.

Looking for a hard to reach spot where you can stash away your hard-earned stolen bipartisan riches?  How about Samoa?
Looking for a hard to reach spot where you can stash away your hard-earned stolen bipartisan riches? How about Samoa? | Source

My Political Damascus Road

One day, in a revelation analogous to what happened to Saint Paul on his way to Damascus to stone infidels, the scales fell from my eyes and I saw the light.

This enlightenment actually didn't take place in a single blinding instant. My political Damascus Road occurred over a period of time, beginning when I started to write online, then culminating when a quote from a book revealed to me I was flip-flopping because I believed I had to be bound to an ideology, and none of the available ideologies were sufficiently satisfying. That was when the last scale fell from my eyes and I could see. Perhaps the strong Puritanical religious system in the United States indoctrinates Americans, consciously or not, that we have to pick a side, that we have to choose between good and evil then stick to it faithfully. When I finally realized nothing obligated me to be faithful to any ideology, the two-party monkey jumped off of my back and I was free. What a relief it was; I can only compare it to the blissful deliverance I felt when I passed a kidney stone.

Researching articles for Hub Pages, in particular, has opened my eyes to the fact that there are a lot of dark deeds being perpetrated behind our backs, a multitude of nefarious, insidious activities that we don't learn about in the thirty second soundbite mainstream media.

Here is a summary of these eye-opening revelations.

My online blogging career has a decidedly Postal Service slant to it, hence my pen name. While writing about the efforts to eliminate Saturday mail delivery in July of 2013, I first realized that there are politicians on both sides of the aisle engaged in the dismantling of the Post Office. Senator Diane Feinstein, Democrat from California, is one of these. Her husband's company profits from the fire sale of postal facilities across the country, yet she pretends to be an ally of working people who depend upon this economical, constitutionally guaranteed system of communication.

In February of 2014, I first learned about the existence of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a sinister think tank that writes anti-worker, pro-corporation legislation to be passed into law by the elected puppets that are beholden to the group.

In August of 2014, while researching an article on the flood of Central American immigration then pounding against the southern border, I realized that American support for corrupt regimes in Latin America is a principal reason behind the political destabilization and economic collapse that causes this unstoppable surge of desperate refugees. We helped wreck the Latin American ship, then look upon in puzzled wonderment when the floundering lifeboats are overwhelmed.

Close to Thanksgiving of 2014 I wrote a little ditty called the 2015 California Voter Apathy Guide. This hub was barely read, and long ago unfeatured. I guess it was one of those ugly, misunderstood children that only its parent can love. Within the highly satirical paragraphs of that carefully cloistered, ornery child of mine, I concluded that California is now a one party state and has effectively degenerated into Hong-Kong style democracy, where voters select from a pre-approved list of candidates.

Later that same year, in December 2015, my "Top Four Postal Villains not Named Darrell Issa" featured a truly aisle crossing, bipartisan mix of Democrats and Republicans alike who are engaged in the crime of destroying America's Postal Service.

My July 2015 writing about Doug Hughes, the rebel aviator mailman who landed on the Capitol Lawn to deliver an impassioned plea to our lawmakers for campaign finance reform, reinforced the fact that all of our legislators, Donkey and Republican alike, are equally bought and paid for.

The enlightenment has since continued. There is no need to go through the entire litany of the political crimes that my research has uncovered. The ultimate conclusion I have arrived at, however, is that there is that Democrats and Republicans are equally to blame for the erosion of democracy in this country. Democrats are perhaps more to blame, in my view, because they pretend to be the friend of the working man.

It was also in late 2015 that I read the liberating phrase that finally freed me forever from flip-flopping fever. It came from an appendix from a book called "The Illuminatus Trilogy," which I don't recommend you read unless you are really into weird, difficult fiction. I loved it, but I am admittedly both weird and difficult. Anyhow, the life-changing quote by authors Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson goes like this:

Every ideology is a mental murder, a reduction of dynamic living processes to static classifications, and every classification is a Damnation, just as every inclusion is an exclusion. In a busy, buzzing universe where no two snowflakes are identical, and no two trees are identical, and no two people are identical - and, indeed, the smallest sub-atomic particle, we are assured, is not even identical with itself from one microsecond to the next - every card index system is a self-delusion...

— Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson - The Illuminatus Trilogy
Wanna get away from that pesky two-party taxman who is unfairly pestering you to pay your fair share?  Try Vanuatu.
Wanna get away from that pesky two-party taxman who is unfairly pestering you to pay your fair share? Try Vanuatu. | Source

Cast Your Non-Placebo Vote on the Two-Party System

Is the American Two-Party System Real Democracy?

  • Yes - my vote counts, my opinions matter, and my party of choice, elephant or donkey, serves me well.
  • No, this is placebo democracy, a pretty little sugar pill that does nothing.
  • I don't know, I'm still trying to digest it.
See results without voting

The Doctrine of the Wasted Vote or: Pinch it off already

Ideology is mental murder, and every political ideology shoved down our throats by the two-party system is a mental straight jacket designed to make us weigh issues based upon our ideological affiliations, instead of upon the merits of those ideas.

On June 8th Hilary Clinton officially became the "presumptive candidate," a shadowy, self-contradictory term very popular in this election cycle. Since that time, her ideologically straight-jacketed supporters have come out in droves to remind us that we better vote for the party-approved candidate or face the consequences. I will, therefore, end this rant on the sour note of the mentally-murdering doctrine of the Wasted Vote.

In Democratic voting circles, the doctrine of the wasted vote has become especially popular since the 2000 election. In that heavily battled campaign that ultimately went to the Supreme Court, Ralph Nader supposedly cost Al Gore the presidency by pulling away 3% of votes that Democrat faithful believe would have assuredly gone to him instead of his rival, George W. Bush. Whenever any wavering "progressive" is tempted into committing voter blasphemy by supporting a third party or Independent candidate, we are bluntly reminded to hearken back to 2000, to remember that a vote for the fringe candidate, no matter how much his or her views agree with your own, is effectively a vote for the BAD PEOPLE - meaning Republicans. Not only are you wasting your vote, but you are essentially blacking in the box beside the bad person with that magic marker that barely squeaks out any ink, this because the ballot distributor at the polls saw NPP by your name, so they gave you the bad pen on purpose.

Of course, long term memory suffering Democratic backers may forget that the same thing was said about Ross Perot in 1992, when Republicans bemoaned Bush Sr.'s downfall to Bill Clinton. If it wasn't for that darn Ross drawing away 18% of the Republican vote, they cried, we never would have put Slick Willie's naked, sweating butt on that Oval Office chair.

To me it's a wash. Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. Smart people like Nader come along who aren't impressed by the behavior of any of the two major parties, and believe the American people should have an alternative. Is it a sin, or a crime, to desist from voting for who you really believe in just because someone who holds himself up as being more intelligent than you proclaims you're wasting your vote by doing so? I say It's my no-party and I'll cry if I want to, and it's my vote and I'll waste it if I want to.

The doctrine of the wasted vote, furthermore, has been a key weapon in the two-party arsenal, used with extreme effectiveness to intimidate timid voters away from whom they believe is the best choice. It is a principal reason why a third party or Independent candidate with fresh ideas can never prosper. It is already being used in 2016, to great effect, by Hilary supporters.

So what it boils down to in the United States is a political system where we are only allowed to pick from the less toxic of two types of poison. It is liked being asked to pick between lead and asbestos. Pick the poison with the yummy Tootsie Roll center so it at least tastes good while it is eroding your innards.

That two-party sugar-coated poison pill eating out your innards, by the way, does not truly consist of two parties at all, but is effectively a one-party illusion. Both parties receive financial support from the same sordid, sleazy sources and ultimately serve the interests of the same handful of wealthy individuals. The ideological differences between the two are only window dressing, designed to hypnotize us into thinking that we have a choice. The Democrats might try to pretend they are attacking the rich by raising taxes on them - but the truly wealthy hide their riches overseas and never pay these taxes anyway.

I think it's about time to pinch this off because I've been on the two-party commode way too long already, but I've left the seat warm so you can sit down and think it through. Will we the American people continue to straight-jacket our minds by picking between two brands of poison in colorful wrappers, or will we finally wean ourselves from the savory bottle of two-party dependence? It's been a long, frustrating, often painful flip-flopping journey to get there for me, but I have chosen to abandon placebo democracy and vote for people who will serve us, not themselves.

Maybe you sunburn easily.  Perhaps the dizzying heights of the Swiss alps are more to your reaching across the aisle, tax evasion liking.
Maybe you sunburn easily. Perhaps the dizzying heights of the Swiss alps are more to your reaching across the aisle, tax evasion liking. | Source

More Ralph Nader to ruffle your Donkey Feathers - Old but still relevant

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Comments 38 comments

Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 4 months ago from Rural Arizona

Mel you nailed it again with this one. Your right in that the current two party system often forces us to choose the lesser of the evils.

It also appears that the candidate with the most money wins. Millions and Millions of dollars are wasted on every campaign. This is money that could be better spent on cancer research or some other worthwhile problem.

I would like it better if each candidate was given exactly the same amount of taxpayer money with instructions to spend it wisely, and to accurately report the spending after the election. Any unspent funds would be returned to the taxpayers.

The huge amounts of money they spend on their campaigns merely causes us a year or more of suffering while watching their smear campaigns on TV.

Perhaps rather than an election we should just have a Texas Holdem playoff where the game winner was awarded the job. Poker players have many of the qualifications needed to be a really good politician.

When it comes to Politicians, I dislike them all. Some more than others but none of them are worth what we pay them.

Mel Carriere profile image

Mel Carriere 4 months ago from San Diego California Author

I agree Mike. Let them all speak from the same stump and we'll judge them on the merits of their ideas and character, rather than from a flurry of attack ads and misinformation.

I hope you have the AC cranked up. I was out in AZ last weekend and it was a scorcher! Thanks for reading.

NateB11 profile image

NateB11 4 months ago from California, United States of America

Pretty much how I feel about the political system. The candidates that are bought are the ones that will get elected and also promoted by the media which is owned by the same class that owns the politicians. It's a sham. I guess everybody pretty much knows that but it's interesting it keeps going on and on the way that it does anyway.

Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 4 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

Lest I forget to mention it, I like your bowel movement comparison. I am heartened by the fact that a great many Republicans hate Trump. I hope it is because he has not drank from the cool-aid, at least yet.

Both of our choices have clear negatives. In their own way both are disgusting. Should I really figure out the lessor of two evils? Perhaps I put qualifications aside and just vote for the candidate that is most likely to at least make some headway in the area of dismantling the status quo. As history has shown, once in office the differences pretty much disappear as the POTUS is swallowed up into the machine.

In my life I have pretty much surrendered to the idea of taking responsibility for my action. But I like the respite of Politics where I can blame everyone else for my problems.

billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 months ago from Olympia, WA

I'm done with the election process. I'm now left to vote for some third party candidate who doesn't have a prayer of winning simply to make a statement that will have no effect on the process. That hardly seems like a win for me.

Larry Rankin profile image

Larry Rankin 4 months ago from Oklahoma

Mel, I'm a coward. If my vote mattered I'd vote for the less "toxic" of the candidates, i.e., Hillary. But since Oklahoma's points will just go Republican no matter what I do, I'll probably just stay home Election Day.

RIP Bernie, you had some truly beautiful ideas.

Mel Carriere profile image

Mel Carriere 4 months ago from San Diego California Author

Nate, I had always thought the corporate controlled media was a myth, until I saw it with my own eyes, or really heard it with my own ears, this election cycle. Even non profit NPR, which I used to respect, has proven to be Hilary's propaganda machine. Thanks for reading!

Mel Carriere profile image

Mel Carriere 4 months ago from San Diego California Author

The bowel movement analogy just occurred to me naturally Eric, without any conscions effort to create a metaphor for American politics in 2016.

As for Trump, he's been awful quiet of late, and he may be sipping the Kool Aid even as we speak.

Go ahead and feel free to blame politics for the condition of the Sprung Valley, 2016. You have earned the right. Thanks for reading.

Mel Carriere profile image

Mel Carriere 4 months ago from San Diego California Author

In the long haul, Bill, it may be a win, because it will open the eyes of evil people who assume we are stupid. If Bernie doesn't run independent or third party, which I pray he will, that's what I will do.

Mel Carriere profile image

Mel Carriere 4 months ago from San Diego California Author

Larry, I will never vote for that toxic b***h Hilary, because I don't assume, as some do, that she is less toxic. She is a wolf in sheep's clothing, which is worse than an actual wolf because a full blown wolf you can smell it coming.

Don't count out the Bern just yet. He's been awful quiet of late, and he may have something up his sleeve. If he's going around giving pro-Clinton speeches, as instructed, I haven't heard any. Thanks for reading!

AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 4 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

The idea of having to vote for the less toxic candidate in the US election has been with me for a long time, even though I live in a different country. Thanks for sharing the information, Mel. I know the Canadian political system isn't perfect, but I have to say that the more I learn about the current US election the more disgusted I become. I hope the Bern does have something up his sleeve, as you say in your last comment!

Mel Carriere profile image

Mel Carriere 4 months ago from San Diego California Author

I don't think the Been could ever be happy just being Hilary's yes man, Linda. But perhaps the sleazy operatives of the Democratic party have found something to make him think twice. Who knows? Thanks for reading!

kalinin1158 profile image

kalinin1158 4 months ago from California

Bravo Mel! Another brilliant hub. I especially liked how you admitted being "both weird and difficult." :-)

Well, you know I'm with you all the way. Except the part where you say that Hillary Clinton won the nomination fair and square. Not to be a bitter conspiracy nut but...too many Bernie supporters were forced to vote provisional, including myself. And like you said, how many fervent Hillary supporters do I know personally? Zero. It just doesn't make sense. But it's OK, it's OK, I've accepted it. And like you, there's NO WAY I'm voting for Hillary, or Trump for that matter. #BernieOrBust

Larry Rankin profile image

Larry Rankin 4 months ago from Oklahoma

Mel, you know I respect your opinion and I really am a fan of your lively writing style, and I don't feel like you're the sort of person would unfriend me for something like a disagreement, and I disagree with you here.

Let me put it this way: if you stick with Bernie and he somehow wins this thing, I will be forever in your awe for having the foresight to see that was a possibility. I love Bernie Sanders!

But I'm also a fan of math. Math tells me that if Trump runs and Hillary runs, Sanders only steals votes from Hillary.

I am not excited about Hillary for president, but I disagree with you and think she'll be alright compared to Trump and she's certainly better than Crews and folks like that.

Now if the GOP refuses Trump, somebody else is given the nomination, ( which there is talk of) and essentially we have Hillary, Trump, Bernie, and whoever running, then maybe, just maybe Sanders gots a shot.

That said, no matter what my vote won't count because the points from Oklahoma can only go for Trump or another Republican in the current climate here.

Mills P 4 months ago from East Chicago, Indiana

I won't say that my vote doesn't count, but plenty of elections below the presidential level can't get both a Democrat and a Republican on the ballot. Those that do often have big buck support, PAC or otherwise. Even when the voters do speak, as in the case of Mr. Trump, some leading Republicans hold their noses, and not without reason. Americans have two unpopular presumptive nominees. Only one of them seems to imply that my city is a part of Mexico simply because that candidate believes the Hispanic judge assigned to hear a lawsuit about the dubious practices of a failed business might not deliver an unbiased verdict. I supported Sanders, but I certainly won't support someone who feeds on anger while talking tough and singing his own praises. Neither leading presumptive candidate is that appealing, but at least one of them is an actual politician, for what that's worth.

Mel Carriere profile image

Mel Carriere 4 months ago from San Diego California Author

Svetlana I wrote fair and square before learning about the placebo ballots and before learning that the voting machines had Bernie 2 to 1. Amazing how that election fraud has been largely ignored or suppressed. Hilary's National Public Radio propaganda machine has been eerily quiet on this score. But I left the fair and square in trying to sound snarky about it.

Sorry about your placebo ballot. They tried to give me a Republican ballot. Big tall white guy, I guess they assumed I must be Republican. Thanks for reading!

Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 4 months ago from Rural Arizona

I was registered as an Independent which I am. I believe in voting for the best candidate rather than to follow party lines.

But to vote in the primary I had to re-register as either a Republican or a Democrat to be allowed to vote.

Is this really fair?

Mel Carriere profile image

Mel Carriere 4 months ago from San Diego California Author

I never suppress dissent on my pages Larry. I've had @nicomp running around here unchained, so go ahead and speak your peace.

In suggesting Bernie might have something up his sleeve, it might be an exercise in wishful thinking. Whatever he does, I can never vote for Hilary because a vote for her is a vote for the dirty machine that backs her. I fully intend to waste my vote this year, and do it proudly. Thanks for reading!

Mel Carriere profile image

Mel Carriere 4 months ago from San Diego California Author

Being a politician is certainly not a mark in the plus column for me, Mills. To me that's like saying she's been in the mob.

On the subject of getting a Dem and Rep on the ballot, here in Cal the system is rigged so two Democrats can be on the same ticket, so it is effectively one party rule.

I presume to label both presumptives as complete megalomaniac wackos, so I won't be voting for either. Thanks for reading!

Mel Carriere profile image

Mel Carriere 4 months ago from San Diego California Author

It is not fair Mike. Here in Cal an Independent can vote for a Democrat or Republican, but then they try to throw out your vote by pushing a provisional ballot on you. Either way it's rigged.

Dana Tate profile image

Dana Tate 4 months ago from LOS ANGELES

This comment is pretty much going to sound like a parrot of what I wrote on your last hub. I have lost faith in the political candidates along time ago. I see them all as self-seeking, greedy, manipulative liars. Now I know that I am ranting in ignorance in assuming they are not doing whatever they can to make the Country right again but honestly I do not care.

I am blinded by the fact that I pay taxes in a Country who keeps promising to bring back jobs and don't deliver. I'ts not that I don't understand that there may be things involved that I don't understand of why this isn't possible, its just that they should not make promises on things they cannot deliver just to get a vote. We, the people vote them in office based on what they say they our going to do for our Country and when they don't deliver it reminds us how powerless we really are.

I find it very hard to believe that they do not realize that in order to have money circulating people must pay taxes and people who don't work cannot pay taxes. So now they take money out of everyone's pay check who has even a little piece of a job to help take care of "our poor" because at the end of the day we are our brother's keeper.

We have money to send young men to fight wars that are senseless, money to give out welfare at the working people's expense, and money to send people out in space when there is clearly nothing out there, yet, we can't provide so much as minimum wage jobs so every person can work, affordable housing so people don't have to become homeless or take care of the elderly or house Vet's who fought for this so called "American Dream" that is a bunch of crap .

I once worked for a man who said to me- "If you think America is so bad you should see how the other Countries treat their people, then you will appreciate America more" What I say to that is- Its not that I don't recognize that other places are worse and as bad as it is here I would rather be here than anyplace else. That does not take away from the fact that as an American citizen and a person who is forced to pay taxes whether I want to or not, that I have to be grateful when people vote politicians in office hoping for someone ethical and find out that ethics and morals has no place in politics because the whole government is corrupt. Sorry for the rant I'll have to save some of it for your next article.

Mel Carriere profile image

Mel Carriere 4 months ago from San Diego California Author

Don't apologize for your rant Dana. Consider this your soapbox for anything you have to say. Sometimes I wonder myself if all the bad things they say about living in other countries is true, or if it is just something they want us to believe and manage to make us believe through the manipulation of the media. Like you, sometimes I wish I lived in a country that made no bones about having a corrupt government. Here we like to pretend we don't have corruption, when in truth the only difference is that we hide it better. Bribery takes other forms, the money is not channeled directly into a politician's pocket, but into a "foundation," like the Hilary foundation, which has dozens of sleazy donors, including backers of 9/11 terrorists. She gets all that money, and as a bonus it doesn't get taxed because it's a so-called charity. It's a really cool system, if you are devious enough to get in on the ground floor with the fat cats who inhabit that particular world.

I look forward to your next rant. Drop by and rant anytime.

Dana Tate profile image

Dana Tate 4 months ago from LOS ANGELES

Mel, I also wished we were honest about how "unfair" our country is. The fact that we are in denial keeps us from seeing that we have the power to make change. Its more of us than it is of them. This saying comes to mind- People only treat you the way you allow them to- so in other words, it takes more than one or a few to rant and rave, it takes the whole world to form unity and rant and rave together. NO JUSTICE NO PEACE.

Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 4 months ago from Rural Arizona

And your last comment pretty well sums up why the elite are so afraid an outsider will make it into the big chair. The establishment has corruption figured out better than the Mafia ever did, and make more money too.

Mel Carriere profile image

Mel Carriere 4 months ago from San Diego California Author

Dana, I agree that it is only with our complicity that they continue to do this to us. The scales finally fell from my own eyes, if you will pardon the Biblical analogy, but most of us are quite content being blind.

Mel Carriere profile image

Mel Carriere 4 months ago from San Diego California Author

Mike, I think it would be better just to put the mob in charge. At least they would be honest about their corruption. I have heard from Vegas residents that when the Mafia ran the city at least they would give you a bus ticket home when you lost your shirt. Now that corporations run the town, if you lose all your money at the tables you're on your own. What does that say about the people running our government, if anything?

Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 4 months ago from Rural Arizona

Mel, I could tell you some great stories about the good old days when several Mafioso kingpins had homes and families here in Tucson.

But this is not the time or the place for that.

Mel Carriere profile image

Mel Carriere 4 months ago from San Diego California Author

You should write a hub about it Mike. Sounds entertaining. What has society come to when we are looking to Mafia bosses for examples of leadership?

DDE profile image

DDE 4 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

Your insight here is interesting and gets me thinking of how people are affected by different rulers.

Mel Carriere profile image

Mel Carriere 4 months ago from San Diego California Author

I think no matter where you go, Devika, the bad rulers are pretty much cut from the same bad cloth. Thanks for reading!

Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 4 months ago from Rural Arizona

Most rulers are quickly corrupted once they are put into the job. It is like they are standing in front of an open bank vault with a "help yourself" sign of the door. But that applies to most every Politician.

Mel Carriere profile image

Mel Carriere 4 months ago from San Diego California Author

Power corrupts even on small levels, Mike. When I was supervising I began to feel the "help yourself" mentality creeping into my consciousness. You come to believe that the people you are supposed to be serving are really there to serve you. In some organizations there is a good old boy network that actively promotes this idea. The only way to fight it is to create a system where it is impossible to create a good old boy network, and although I have some ideas on that, I don't think any of them are feasible, so I keep them to myself. Thanks again.

Deb Hirt 3 months ago

Just because we are given two candidates, certainly doesn't mean that either of them has any merit. I have always ben a third wheel and will continue to be one. If I liked politics, I would run, but I despise kissing anyone's south end.

Mel Carriere profile image

Mel Carriere 3 months ago from San Diego California Author

Deb we need to put a third wheel on this old clunky political machine, to see if we can wreck it. You get my vote. Thanks for reading!

Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 3 months ago

Mel, my dear friend

Where do I begin

I too liked Bernie, but he is not and never was a Democrat

But, he stood a better chance to run as a Democrat then independently

Because he preferred the Democrats to Republicans

He knew if he ran as independent it would split the democratic vote

And, we would likely see our world go up in the dark and billowing smoke

Name a crime that Hillary has committed

She did not desert her man the way the GOP wanted her to

When the GOP set him up to bring him down with Monica Lewinski, Ken Starr and crew

It was the GOP who was in charge and who refused to grant the dues

To issue better security for the Benghazi Ambassador to use

And if you do not vote for Trump, you are voting for Hillary

And if you do not vote for Hillary, you are voting for Trump

I would not fault you either way, but at least I had my say


Blessings and hugs dear friend either way

Mel Carriere profile image

Mel Carriere 3 months ago from San Diego California Author

Shyron, my friend, blessings and hugs back your way.

I understand your sentiments, but I don't share them. I think the Clintons are more Machivellian than Machiavelli. But I'll leave it at that.

Have a very happy 4th! Thanks for reading and for being agreeable in your disagreement.

Lawrence Hebb 3 months ago


Here in NZ we have two main parties, but it's not a two party system!

Britain has the same but it's not a two party system either, and both of them work.

Let me explain. We have a a 120 seat house of Parliament, that means to control the house you need 60 of the seats, sounds easy right? Dream on!

We've also got at least five 'minor parties' that look after 'special' interests' from the ultra right wing 'ACT' party (catering to the ultra rich and not hiding it!) to the left wing 'Greens' and Maori party.

If one party gets more than the 60 seats they can govern alone but if not they've got to deal with the others and put a government together.

But at least even the 'Little guy' has some form of voice


Mel Carriere profile image

Mel Carriere 3 months ago from San Diego California Author

Some form of voice is better than none, Lawrence. Here, we have this electoral college system, where the voters do not vote for the candidates, but for that candidate's electors. 538 electors total, and to win the Presidency the candidate must get a majority.

This system alone, I believe, has created our two party system. With three or more parties in the race, it would be next to impossible to win a majority in the electoral college. In the absence of a majority, I believe the vote then goes to the House of Representatives, which means the Presidency will go to whoever the majority party is in that body.

The more I think about it, the more I realize it is impossible to have a viable third party with this electoral college. This means, as you say, that the little guy has no voice.

Thanks for reading, and for your explanation of the parliamentary system in NZ and elsewhere.

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