A Lesser Evil?
By Patricia Cori

Against my better judgment, I switched on to CNN to catch a glimpse of the Republican Convention now in progress in New York and abruptly remembered why I am so set upon avoiding television in general and the news in particular.

There is such an extraordinary serving of tripe being dished up as truth these days that I find I have to keep resisting the urge to stick my rhetorical finger down my throat – but the need to stay focused on the bigger picture and a sense of commitment help calm the gag reflex and allow me get on with the work at hand: celebrating the voice of resistance, assisting others as best I can to see clearly, keeping my mind directed to positive action from right thought and clear vision.

So let us take stock of what we have here. From the opening speeches of the die-hard rich Republicans, filled with patriotic fervor and hackneyed slogans, to the relentless campaign of the Demo/aristocrat Kerry; from the massive balloon blankets, confetti and flag waving of the Democratic Convention to the massive balloon blankets, confetti and flag waving of the Republican Convention, nowhere does the diligent voter find any substance from which to base an educated and responsible decision in the ballot box on November 5th.

It seems all we, the people, are entitled to is more of the same blind determination and empty promises of two absolutely unimpressive candidates – sitting President G.W. Bush and hoping-to-be-seated John Kerry. Then again, we accept this – we embrace it. So, in a very real sense, we create it.

You have your G.W. Bush on the one side of some ambiguous terror-fighting political spectrum, you have your John Kerry on the other side – supposedly the people’s choice candidates, but are they? Are they? Both are funded by the same big corporate interests: the oil companies; the logging industry; the pharmaceutical industry and these are intent upon the destruction of our natural habitats, the leveling of the forests and the creation of un-wellness in the population – FOR PROFIT. We hear the words and platitudes from these characters but we KNOW they have to repay the corporate sponsors with legislation that pushes through their global agendas and we know that means trouble for the environment, for our health, for our schools – for the future. We know, if only we look about us, that the best interests of the citizens of America and of the world, a world so desperately in need of peace and healing, are not being served.

You ask yourself: “are these two are the best the United States has to offer?” and your blood runs cold. You ask again: “Would a system that is dictated by the interests of the multinational giants allow for an independent thinker, a determined leader free of agendas?” and your blood boils.

So this is it?

Anaesthetized or mesmerized by the regurgitation of the same basic political rhetoric, the majority become strangely indifferent to the entire process, settling for either not voting at all (total defeatism) or for voting in the candidate they feel is the LEAST BAD option (the death of hope and vision). Imagine? From the lofty intentions of our forefathers, creators of the Declaration of Independence, to the ‘least bad’ option in the 21st century.

Tommy Franks, the Former General in Command of the Armed Forces in Iraq, recently stated that “democracy has been an interesting exercise for 200 years.” Was he speaking of an exercise in futility?

Have we moved forever beyond that dream of greatness, of peaceful co-existence and the good life and the right to responsible, committed leadership to help guide us through the maze in which humanity, the minotaur, finds itself? Are these really our choices: a self-declared ‘Compassionate Conservative’ (the last time I considered the meaning of that word, compassion, it held within it a sense of ethos for all living beings – a sense of gentle acceptance, the embracing of the other, an inherent forgiveness, the Buddha) or a rich-guy war vet who has yet to offer much more than a beat up old horse of war memories and an absolutely garbled vision for a better world?

Do we stay the course with the known, prisoners of the illusive War on Terror, or do we take a leap of faith (if leap it can be called) and bring in the new face with no new solutions…no new visions…no new sponsors?

Someone I dearly love responded to these questions by saying “Democracy may not be a perfect system, but it is the best we’ve got.”
The Lesser Evil.
The wobbly skeleton of democracy marches on.
Now showing at a TV screen near you…