Don’t be an American Idiot

With our economy in the toilet, millions of people are trying to decide who they will vote for. I am shocked at the decision people expect me to make in November. Explaining my frustration is pretty tough, because I am watching our country melt down like a nuclear factory. The housing market is crashing, oil prices are up, so the price of everything else is going up, inflation is on the rise, but the American worker paycheck stays the same no matter what. We are facing the highest prices since the Great Depression, but all we seem to focus on is the candidates’ promises on taxes.

I have not missed voting in a presidential election since I turned eighteen. I am not afraid to tell you that I voted for Bush twice (okay, maybe I’m a little afraid).

Things have definitely changed, however, and as I look at the two choices whose faces overrun every channel on TV everyday, I feel completely disgusted. The smear campaign of each candidate doesn’t affect my decision either way. What I see are two equally corrupt and incompetent men standing before us who do not have a clue how to fix the economy.

McCain says we will stay in Iraq, which will bankrupt us. Obama will take us out of Iraq, leaving Iraq open to civil war and, most likely, genocide. McCain says he will lower taxes, but at the same time, his plan will increase government spending. Obama will raise taxes, which will wipe out small businesses because of his tax bracket ($250,000 and higher) and also increase government spending. So what? Why is this important?

Both men have a plan which will turn our deep recession into a depression. The reason is no one will focus on the true issue – government spending. Eighty percent of our presidential candidates’ time is spent on taxes. “This is what I will do to destroy the economy” versus “This is what I will do to destroy the economy.” No matter what the tax burden is to the American citizen, the government spends way more money than they make from taxes. The honest truth, which you will never hear from the politician, is the instant decline in debt when government spending drops – no matter what they take from you in taxes.

When Hurricane Katrina wiped out New Orleans, where was the money to fix the problem? The government didn’t have it. When we decided that we needed to undergo radical changes in our environmental policies, where was the money? The government didn’t have it. When we needed to find a way to wipe out world hunger, where was the money? The government didn’t have it. We need to find an alternative energy source right now. What’s the problem? The government doesn’t have the money.

I can keep writing about what the government doesn’t have the money for, but you will be reading until you graduate from college. I must focus on the heart of the matter – the government’s decision to grant a seven hundred billion dollar loan to these fraudulent companies, which provide an adjustable loan to the buyer (who should never buy a home in the first place), then turn around and sell the loan to a bank for a tidy profit, or decide to foreclose themselves. The end result is a repossession of the home, and a resale to make a profit. Our government is paying to bail out these companies, but has no problem forgetting about the people involved. Bail out the company, but forget about the people losing their homes. What ever happened to true capitalism? If you can’t beat the competition, your business goes under.

Should we, as American citizens, be forced to choose between two candidates who are not fit to wash our feet, or should we finally unite as a country of individuals, and say “this is not good enough.” We demand a government that does not drive us into debt, and then require more money from us. We demand a government who will not pass laws to insure that the candidate from the little party will never be included on the ballot. We demand a government which will focus on the needs of a stable economy (which means a better way of life in America) first, then focus on their own beliefs (personal, spiritual, or religious), and finally on their thoughts of homeland security and wars.

Whether in time of war or peace, the government (who, in the end, are the employees of every American citizen) has no right to spend more money than they make. I care about equal rights, homosexual marriage, abortion, stem cell research, etc., but are these rights possible if we become a third world country? The media has no right to set the government’s agenda. What is the point of my rant? Do not focus on which of the two candidates you must vote for. Focus on the candidates who best fit your own views and write them in. It doesn’t matter who you write in – Ron Paul or O.J Simpson. Imagine the effect on our nation when ten percent of our voting population (approximately 1.2 million voters – less than half of a percent of the American population) votes for a candidate who is not running.

We do not expect them to win, but we expect the number to be significant enough to make our politicians sweat. It is time we show our government we demand real change, not change promised by our current candidates. If you agree with Obama or McCain more than anyone else alive, vote for them. If you see a candidate, a person, or even an animal which represents more of what you believe, vote for them. There is no such thing as a wasted vote. The importance is the impact. Don’t be an American idiot.

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