Election Season Angst

I, as I’m sure many people do, get very tense around election time. Particularly, when there is so much “at stake”. Now I put that in parenthesis because to someone like me, who’s primary goal in anything political is the pursuit and protection of individual freedom, the “at stake” part is not the routing of the failures in Congress or the shift of power from left to right or vice versa. It is that, when one group of people, in this year’s case the Republicans, win a large “victory” over the other. This sweeping sentiment of improvement and hope runs awash through the voting population. They believe that with the great upheaval in the political world will come an improvement in all the things they deem wrong, even if a little. I look at these people with pity, for I know full well that nothing in the grand scheme of things will improve. The continuing trend of statism is simply painted a different color. Again.

Now, if I were to bring this up with say, a mainstream republican (Or Democrat), they would say “I just voted for the lesser of two evils.” Admitting in some small way that they know their vote wasn’t really a “good” choice, just the “better” one. This mindset drives me up a wall, and then through it. Because I know that right after Mr Mainstream GOP just admitted that to me, he will join the rest of his comrades in triumphant celebration. If only these people, both left and right, would take a look at the long term and the long run. After how many years of swapping power from mule to elephant and back have things truly improved? When things seem to improve, they only last a few years, and the party “in charge” during the “improvement” will boast as to how well they handles things and use this fake success as a campaigning tool for years to come. When a candidate of strong moral caliber and with an educated principled way to handle things will come up to the spotlight, they never get the support needed to get themselves in the office. Ron Paul is an example, and he is in the Republican party. The great independent candidate has an even harder time.

In my Congressional district, PA-15, an Independent by the name of Jake Towne ran for Congress. His campaign was well run, he made it a personal mission to not only talk about the issues but have information out there about them as well. His position was based on Libertarianism and individual liberty, and he approached most political topics in this manner, but did so with a high amount of understanding and knowledge. His opponents, incumbent (R) Charlie Dent, and challenger (D) John Callahan, spent their entire campaign season with little more than smear tactics and low level propaganda, as is the norm with the 2 party system we have. I attended one of the debates that the three men had (Of which, Towne was blocked from two, Dent and Callahan did not show to four and cancelled the last four). Just like the commercials and flyers, Dent and Callahan talked about their voting record and why it worked, and why the other guy’s didn’t, Mr. Towne talked about the how and the why, and captured the audience, earning him the loudest applause of the night. The booths outside the theater for Mr Dent and Callahan had some stickers, signs, and more fliers. Mr Towne’s table had, from corner to corner, pamphlets of information on almost every political topic imaginable. The local paper that sponsored the debate, The Express Times, even endorsed Mr Towne based on his knowledge, personality, and humble approach to politics.

Now I am sure that this is the norm for most of the nation. Constant mudslinging, boasting of accomplishes that either don’t exist or that aren’t really accomplishments in the first place, and a lack of talking about the how and why things are done by government. Why do people accept this? Why do we accept these jokes that we give OUR power to? (A vote is a transfer of power after all) No matter how it is called out, we always end up with more government and less freedom. It doesn’t matter what the flavor, color, or smell of the party leaving or going. Their victory becomes our eventual loss.

So here I am, looking on as some bloggers, news anchors, writers, teachers, students, families, and average Joes and Janes claim victory, and others cry defeat. Knowing full well that the liberty of the individual has won little if anything. We are a long way from where we need to be, a society that respects the rights and property of others, and these election circuses are getting us no closer. Now pass the Nyquil, I need to rest.

About Shawn Kelly

Shawn is a student and father who first took to the ideas of liberty during Ron Paul's first presidential campaign. He now is pursuing a career in economics, the understanding of which he believes is paramount for those who seek a free society.
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