Elections ’84

I Refuse


Fifth Estate # Daily Barbarian Number 3

Fifth Estate Home > Issue 319, Winter, 1985 >

Not another election!

Not another four years!

Once again it’s election time and as with every fourth year, we’re told that on this day and only this day, that we get to choose between two presidential candidates that have already been chosen for us some choice. In many ways it’s the same old story…well almost. It’s the same two parties, Democrat and Republican (there are other minor contenders, but they are of even less concern, if you can believe that), talking about the same old rhetorical mishmash: freedom, peace, jobs and equality. But where the difference comes in, is in the alarming amount of people, considering themselves radicals, who are going to vote this November for the first time. Who actually believe that there is a choice to be made between Tweedledee and Tweedledum. In fact, what is so amazing about this upcoming election is how the status quo, during a period where peoples distrust in government is running high, have been able to recruit those opposed to the state into the voting process. Into, whether they want to believe it or not, the affirmation of the governments right to rule.

The major rationale that many friends have given me for their entering the arena of mainstream politics, is that another four years of Reagan will probably lead the country into war—possibly a nuclear war—and that Ronald Reagan is into union busting. Let me say right off that I don’t have any disagreement with this view of “our leader,” but I don’t agree with the schtick that voting will make a difference this time. That’s too simple and far too dangerous.

First off, I am afraid that Reagan’s got war plans up his sleeve and with all of the nuclear weapons in the world, it doesn’t make for a pleasant scenario. But war is not a new idea for Reagan or the U.S.A. War has been called the health of the state and I have yet to see a leader that can be trusted, especially when it comes to military toys. And this goes just as well for aspiring leaders, like Walter Mondale.

Mondale, who is a member of the Trilateral Commission and the European based Bilderberg Group (consisting of ruling class figures and heads of state from Europe and North America, the Bilderbergers share many of the same aspirations as the Trilateralists but place more emphasis on military and strategic solutions, rather than economic ones), recently spoke up in defense of the U.S. invasion of Grenada; suggested that Nicaragua might need to be internationally quarantined—this also includes logistical support for any “friendly” Central American country that might want to invade Nicaragua; supports the use of military reprisals against “terrorists” who attack U.S. forces/representatives in places where the U.S. doesn’t belong, and most recently, Mondale has come out in support of nearly every advanced nuclear weapon system that is being deployed or designed.

So as far as foreign policy goes, Mondale doesn’t differ much from Reagan and his plans for arms control (Mondale supports a nuclear freeze, give me a break), consists of dousing those weapons that have been proven obsolete or are too far off in the future to consider at the moment: MX, B-1 and the so-called “Star Wars” technology. But you can safely bet that Mondale would carry on some space-war tests if he becomes the head block in the Oval Office.

As for union busting…sure, Reagan is the top dog. But we must not forget the role played by the union leaders themselves. When the squeeze came down and company bosses started talking austerity, these union leaders didn’t just buckle under, they willingly held the razor to the workers throats. Not once did the unions make any serious attempt to fight the austerity measures being put into effect. Their role is no longer to defend the working class (in my view it never was, but that’s another article), but to protect capitalism. The union leaders set the ground work for this administration’s pro union busting attitudes and victories. Those years that Doug Fraser and friends spent in undermining any radical workers movement, finally paid off.

But for some reason, those ranters that usually wouldn’t give the time of day to a government official, are being drawn into this trick card game: voting. Drawn in as if history no longer exists.

Drawn in as if there is a marked difference between Walter Reagan and Ronnie Mondale.

It seems that it must be said once more, that to vote, regardless of ones choice, is not only to affirm the legitimacy of the state to exist and rule, but we also sacrifice the right to determine the course and existence of our own lives. Regardless who is president for the next four years, if we vote we give a nod of approval to the state with its huge pile of deadly weapons that instead of protecting life on earth, threatens the very existence of the planet itself. To vote for any reason is to breathe life into a nuclear-state that is either at war or preparing for a war in which its duration and brutality will expand directly in accordance to the increasing size and power of the state.

When faced with a figure like Ronald Reagan, ones response shouldn’t be that we need leaders of better caliber, for they don’t exist. Our response should be that we don’t need leaders and we won’t be followers.

Once again comes the call to vote. It’s another election, another four years…I REFUSE.