Since everyone else is chattering about the opportunity to “vote” today, I’ll toss this out there:

Your opportunity to “vote” in a party primary is very, very similar to your opportunity to “vote” someone off the island by sending a text message to a television channel. First off, you may or may not actually influence the direction of the show. That depends on whether the votes are really counted. Secondly, even if your vote counts, you remain locked into the structure of the show itself. You’ll never get to cast a vote for anyone who wasn’t pre-selected and vetted by a very small group of people.

You will never meet these people. They do not give a rat’s ass about you, your job, your safety, or your happiness. They care that the show, or the election, make a lot of money in advertising. The corporate sponsors decide the ground rules of the show. You, the voter, get a small say, very late in the game.

The parties are in 100% agreement on one thing: The next President will be either a Democrat or a Republican. That next president will be someone so beholden to their party and its fund-raising apparatus that you might as just vote that fund raising apparatus into power directly. This is what we’ve done for many a year, and until we take back the reins of government … it will continue.

If you already know you’re voting “Democrat” in November, then please accept that you’re going to root and cheer for whatever pablum The Party hands you at that point. The field has already narrowed to the point that everyone who got me even a little bit excited about a “new direction” is no longer an option.

This illusion of choice (Obama? Hillary?) is being used to generate marketing excitement that will lead to increased advertising revenue. You’re voting for “more of the same,” “whatever the party bosses want,” and “a more expensive campaign.” Close races are very, very profitable for everyone except the nation.

If you want to influence the direction of the party, go start working for the party. Do it now, and you might have some real pull in 20 years or so. Work your way through the hierarchy. Maybe some of you are already doing that. Good for you. My objection here is to people who think that coming to a (late) primary to pick between tweedle-dumb and tweedle-dumber has any influence whatsoever on the “direction of the nation.” Please. You’ve already decided that you’re going to have either a Republican or a Democratic corporate whore at the helm. You’re voting on a logo.

If you want “change,” then work for the following, in this order, at a local and state level:

* Preference order voting, also known as instant runoff. You make a list of the people you want, in the order you want them. No primaries needed, since you can vote for any or none of the people from any of the parties.

* No party affiliation listing on the ballots. Names. Alphabetically. If you’re too stupid to remember who your party masters said to vote for, I don’t care about your opinion.

* Minimal standards to be allowed on the final, real ballot. Say, 1,000 signatures (per state) on a petition.

* Massive punishments (revocation of corporate charter and forfeiture of corporate bank accounts) for corporate involvement in any political campaign. Free speech for individual human beings, “yes.” Free speech for near-immortal corporate plutocrats, “no.”

* An absolute ban on paid political advertising on the broadcast systems controlled by the FCC. A centralized broadcasting monopoly is too powerful a propaganda tool to allow it to be simply bought.

Show me the candidate who supports even one of those ideas, and I’ll show you someone that I won’t be allowed to vote for in November.

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