"Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard."--H.L. Mencken
With the presidential election a little over a week away, partisan bickering is reaching a fever pitch over two candidates who seem utterly opposed to one another and yet agree in almost all respects on foreign policy while having enacted virtually identical laws reforming the most socially controversial and fiscally nettlesome issue of our day, health care. The key difference between them today is that one claims he will undo what the other one did, now that he sees it as a danger to the other forty-nine states which he did not save by enacting it in the first place. Or something like that.
One says he would fire the head of the Federal Reserve (the man with the real power in the country) and the head of the Fed obligingly takes that issue off the table by claiming he will retire just after the election. Meanwhile few people (other than those willing to be dismissed as conspiracy theorists) even care about the Fed, and hardly anyone realizes that the President's choice of Fed Chairman is entirely trammeled: he gets to pick from a shortlist given to him by the Fed itself, and all that remains is a Senate confirmation.
For Democrats, the Federal Reserve represents a colossal (and ignored) irony: the very founder of their party, Andrew Jackson, fought a death match against a central bank. It is hardly the only irony: Jackson supported a small and limited government, championed the ethnic cleansing that saw Native Americans forcibly relocated so that whites could take their places, and he was in favor of slavery. The bank in question was headed by Nicholas Biddle, and under him it had sent a great deal of gold and silver to European creditors, creating many of the same hardships for American businesses and farms that had prompted the American Revolution in the first place. When Jackson beat the bank by denying it a renewal of its twenty year charter, he soon faced an assassination attempt, but luckily both pistols plunged into his abdomen misfired.
Eighty years later, another Democratic President, Woodrow Wilson would be the one to cement its successor permanently into place. Ever since then during its near hundred year history, no personally ambitious Democrat or Republican has dared breathe a word against it. In fact, both Democrats and Republicans sing from hymnals having striking similarities to each other, and both have significant differences from the founding documents of this nation. Many of those ditties seem to have been penned by Edward Mandell House, the Warren Buffett of his era. The pseudonymous author of a bizarre novel in which a dictator saved America before vanishing (paging Ayn Rand!), House was one of the men who met at Jekyll Island to hatch the Federal Reserve, and he backed Wilson as well as founding the Council on Foreign Relations, the unofficial finishing school for Washington politicians and apparatchiks regardless of party affiliation. And under his Federal Reserve, American "free banking" ended and the money flow to Europe was finally restored.
On one hand, the "behind the scenes" cooperation of ostensible partisans seems to give posthumous comfort to founding father John Adams, who said "There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties" (a sentiment largely shared by George Washington); but what those men really feared was the kaleidoscope of national opinion being reduced to only two monoliths, much less a pair who only pretended opposition, and only then on largely inconsequential points puffed up to prominence by a press enthralled by the same monied interests.
And what those giants of democracy feared came true: America's first two major parties were the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists, succeeded by the Democrats and Whigs, and later the Republican Party succeeded the Whigs. The United States simply never developed the kind of multi-party system seen on much of the Continent, with parties being born and dying on a regular basis, governing in ad-hoc coalitions and generally keeping anyone from gaining a permanent grip on the levers of power. Instead, when the CFR decides we should go to war, off our boys go. When the CFR decides that its Wall Street masters can make more money on free trade, off (to China) the jobs go. There is no countervening "Council on American [Sovereignty, Dignity, Prosperity or any other happy noun the Founding Fathers would recognize]," only a large body of Americans who can feel in their gut that something isn't right, but whose aspirations are thrown into chaos by a press that parrots the CFR line, even at the cost of millions of disenchanted readers who stop subscribing or change the channel in disgust.
Based on the disappointment they feel when their newly elected savior instead toes the CFR line, some people conclude that their vote doesn't matter. Others claim that a vote not cast for one of the two factions whose antics seem almost scripted by professional wrestling (hey, didn't Vince McMahon's wife run for office?) is a vote thrown away.
If I could dispel any notion, it would be that a vote not cast for a Democrat or Republican is a wasted vote. Anytime you suggest that you might vote for a Gary Johnson or a Roseanne Barr, someone will always tell you that you are really voting for the mainstream candidate that you absolutely despise. But that kind of positively Orwellian thinking is what keeps everyone trapped in the same boxes.
The fact is, a vote is a vote. If a large number of people begin to vote third party, the people who really run the show will get a wake up call. If the third party voting gets stronger, the CFR crowd will have to recognize the new populism. If they can't hang on, their academics, businesspeople and politicians will need to go somewhere else with their elitist ambitions. It has happened before: the Trotskyites fled Stalin to Mexico, where many of them ... came to the U.S. and eventually donned the mantle of neoconservatism. They like to get us into wars, and for a couple of decades they've been very good at it.
So while it's crucial that you vote, it's even more important that you vote for the candidate whose thinking aligns with yours, regardless of party. As closely aligned as they really are on the issues that matter--the ones hardly mentioned and over which you are repeatedly and condescendingly told you have no influence, at least one of the two major parties is obsolete, and it's time we sent the small-brained dinosaurs a chilling message.