People keep asking me to weigh in on the US presidential race and its candidates, which is what always happens whenever there’s a US presidential race on because media saturation makes it so central in the minds of Americans it’s often the main issue they want to talk about, even if they’re fairly aware.
I really don’t have anything to say about who Americans should vote for, other to repeat what I’ve said already about the fact that you can’t vote your way out of a mess you never voted yourself into in the first place.
But what I can do instead is offer my American friends some questions to ask that would probably be much more helpful to them and their nation than the question “Which presidential candidate should we vote for?”
Here are 15 such questions:
1. Why does nothing change no matter who we vote for?
2. Why does US foreign policy always continue along the same trajectory regardless of the president’s party or platform?
3. What keeps our voting population split right down the middle into two political factions of equal size, with neither side ever gaining enough of a majority to democratically change society in any meaningful way?
4. Why does the stalemate described in #3 always seem to benefit the rich, the powerful, and the war-horny?
5. Why is it that the most consequential US government policies like plutocratic influence, privatization, globalization, ecocidal capitalism and nuclear brinkmanship are never on the ballot? Why do these things keep happening, against our interests, without our ever voting for them or electing anyone who campaigned on the pledge to enact them?
6. If our federal government’s behavior never changes no matter who we elect, could it be that there are other bodies involved in government policy-setting whom we did not elect, and who remain in positions of influence regardless of the comings and goings of our official elected government?
7. If the above is the case, then who is it? Who’s really calling the shots in this country?
8. Could it be that everything we’ve been told about our country, our government, our political processes and our world is untrue?
9. If so, what are the implications of the fact that our schools and our media have been feeding us lies since we were small?
10. What forces would be responsible for keeping all these lies flowing throughout our society? What might keep an ostensibly free press spinning more or less the same lies throughout the western world day after day, year after year, generation after generation?
11. Is it possible that our entire electoral system is a sham designed to give the public the illusion of control so that they’ll let oligarchs and empire managers run the country undisturbed?
12. If the electoral system is a sham, then how do we enact the changes we so desperately need?
13. Is it possible that there are other ways to effect change in the United States which don’t involve casting a pretend vote in a fake election?
14. Could it be that those other means of forcing change are precisely what the charade of casting pretend votes in fake elections is meant to divert us from?
15. Should we perhaps spend less energy bickering about who should get sworn into the White House a year and a half from now, and more energy examining other possible avenues toward advancing meaningful change?
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Articles, poems, stories and thoughts by Caitlin Johnstone. Everything published here will always remain free to read.