US Politics

The Grand Delusion

By Joel S. Hirschhorn
Published November 12, 2007

With an endless, futile and costly Iraq war, a stinking economy and most Americans seeing the country on the wrong track, the greatest national group delusion is that electing Democrats in 2008 is what the country needs.

Keith Olbermann was praised when he called the Bush presidency a criminal conspiracy, but that missed the larger truth: the whole two-party political system is a criminal conspiracy hiding behind illusion induced delusion.

Virtually everything that Bush correctly gets condemnation for could have been prevented or negated by Democrats, if they had had courage, conviction and commitment to maintaining the rule of law and obedience to the Constitution. Bush grabbed power from the feeble and corrupt hands of Democrats. Democrats have failed the vast majority of Americans.

So why would sensible people think that giving Democrats more power is a good idea? They certainly have done little to merit respect for their recent congressional actions, or inaction when it comes to impeachment of Bush and Cheney.

One of the core reasons the two-party stranglehold on the US political system persists is that whenever one party uses its power to an extreme degree it sets the conditions for the other party – its partner in the conspiracy – to take over. Then the other takes its turn in wielding excessive power.

Most Americans – at least those who vote – seem incapable of understanding that the Democrats and Republicans are two teams in the same league, serving the same cabal running the corporatist plutocracy. By keeping people focused on rooting for one team or the other, the behind-the-scenes rulers ensure their invisibility and power.

The genius of the plutocrats is to create the illusion of important differences between the two parties, and the illusion of political choice in elections. In truth, the partner parties compete superficially and dishonestly to entertain the electorate, to maintain the aura of a democracy.

Illusion creates the delusion of Americans that voting in elections will deliver political reforms, despite a long history of politicians lying in campaigns about reforms, new directions and bold new policies. The rulers need power shifting between the teams to maintain popular trust in the political system. Voting manifests that trust – as if changing people will fix the system. It doesn't.

So voters become co-conspirators in the grand political criminal conspiracy. Those who vote for Democrats or Republicans perpetuate the corrupt, dishonest and elitist plutocracy that preferentially serves the interests of the Upper Class and a multitude of special interests – some aligned with the Republicans and some with the Democrats. Voting only encourages worthless politicians and those that fund and corrupt them.

Public discontent leads to settling for less through lesser evil voting rather than bold thinking about how to reform the system to get genuine political competition and better candidates and government.

I understand why sane people would not want to vote for Republicans, based on the Bush presidency. But I cannot understand why politically engaged people think that putting Democrats in power will restore American democracy and put the welfare of non-wealthy Americans above the interests of the wealthy and the business sector. Bill Clinton's administration strongly advanced globalization and the loss of good jobs to foreign countries. Economic inequality kept rising. Trade agreements sold us out.

And in this primary season, talk about reforming the US health care system among Democrats never gets serious about providing universal health care independent of the insurance industry. And why should citizens be supportive of a party that favors illegal immigration – law breaking – that primarily serves business interests by keeping labor costs low?

Nor have Democrats stood up to challenge the official 9/11 story that no longer has any credibility to anyone that takes the time to seriously examine all its inconsistencies with what really happened and the laws of physics.

Whoever wins the Democratic presidential nomination will not be free of corruption and lies. He or she will owe paybacks to all the fat-cat campaign donors. Voters will be choosing the lesser-evil Democratic presidential candidate. Is that really the only choice? Is there no other action that can advance the national good?

There seem to be just two other choices. Vote for some third party presidential candidate, but the downside of that is twofold. No such candidate can win in the current rigged system. Worse, voting gives a stamp of credibility to the political system, as if it was fair, when it is not. Voting says that you still believe that the political system merits your support and involvement.

The second option is to boycott voting to show total rejection of the current political system and the plutocratic cabal using the two-party duopoly to carry out its wishes. When a democracy no longer is legitimate, no longer is honest, and no longer serves the interests of ordinary citizens, then what other than violent revolution can change it?

When the electoral system no longer can provide honest, corruption free candidates with any chance of winning, what can citizens do? Either stay home or just vote in local and state races and for ballot measures.

I say remove the credibility and legitimacy of the federal government by reducing voter turnout to extremely low levels. Show the world that the vast majority of Americans have seen the light and no longer are deluding themselves about their two-party democracy. A boycott on voting for candidates for federal office is a form of civil disobedience that has enormous power to force true political reforms from the political system.

This is the only way to make it crystal clear that the presidency and Congress no longer represent any significant fraction of the people. This is the only way to show that America's representative democracy is no longer representative and, therefore, is no longer a credible democracy. Just imagine a federal government trying to function in the usual ways when only 20 percent of the eligible voters actually voted.

It takes more courage to boycott voting than to vote for lesser evil Democrats and in the end this is the only way for people to feel proudly patriotic. This is the only way to not contribute to the ongoing bipartisan criminal conspiracy running the federal government.

The US has a broken government because the spirit of Americans that gave the US its revolution and nation's birth has been broken, in large measure by distractive and self-indulgent consumerism. It is better to recognize that those who vote suffer from delusion than to criticize those who do not vote as apathetic. Non-delusional nonvoters recognize the futility of voting.

Democrats will not restore US democracy. That is the painful truth that most people will not readily accept, but such is the power of group delusion. Voting produces never-ending cycles of voter dissatisfaction with those elected, both Democrats and Republicans. It is time for Americans to break this cycle of voter despair. Voters who moan about Congress and the White House have nobody to blame but themselves, no matter which party they voted for.

Joel S. Hirschhorn, Ph.D., is the author of Sprawl Kills - How Blandburbs Steal Your Time, Health, and Money. He can be reached through his website: Check out Joel's new book at


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By Kyleaxe (anonymous) | Posted November 12, 2007 at 15:20:51

Turtle island Canada merci.... Any vote for a mainstream party is a vote for Slavery inc. (mothergod have mercy on us all)
But why not a vote for the green party or a New democratic party? Probably useless.... THE PEOPLE HAVE TO STAND AND DEMAND REFORM. Show them the definition of silent protest and open defiance. Politics in Canada are different, talk of the Economic union and the abolishment of the senate. And they make it sound so common place, a total intergration of North america. Most people don't even know about the NAU or SPP. Get informed! Question everything! Not just 9/11, not just the two tier political system, WW2, WW1. Most of all question your SELF. World views gone askew. Love is the answer. Don't beleive the dogma or the hype! Dogma is anything that is a unquestioned and thouroughly accepted belief. don't fear the rapture!!!!! HA

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By Lukifer (anonymous) | Posted November 12, 2007 at 18:01:24

One little hole in the theory: If your vote is a throwaway vote anyway, why *not* vote for a third-party candidate? That registers as a far more significant protest in my book.

We've had third parties break in in this country before. The only difference in the past hundred years is the influence and power of media cartels. If you really want to undermine the Republcrats, cut yourself off from mainstream news sources and encourage everyone you know to do the same.

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By john mackay (anonymous) | Posted November 12, 2007 at 18:29:46

This is why we need a party that represents the working class - NO BIG BUSINESS PARTIES which basically is every party that we have a choice from, major and minor included. The unions as they currently stand are no answer as they have been inflitrated by big business interests.

There is however such a movement being formed and this revolutionary workers party is making significant progress. See and watch their progress in the current Australian election which has grown dramatically over the past few years, see There is a Canadian section also with members in Hamilton and Toronto. I advise all to study their program, there is no other way forward.

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By newlondon (anonymous) | Posted November 12, 2007 at 20:17:02


I'm gonna go hold up a sign now.

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By mr.smartypants (anonymous) | Posted November 12, 2007 at 21:33:07

In the seventh grade, I went to a math Summer camp. The course I took was mathematical modeling. The teacher was very smart. I learned what graph theory, fractals, scheduling, and other things all meant. Then he told us there were different ways to vote. Yes, and they produced different results. In the US, we use the plurality vote, which means if we vote for one candidate, we can't vote for another for the same office. There were ranking systems where you list the candidates in order of preference, too.

The best, I think, was the approval vote, where each candidate gets a thumbs up or a thumbs down. It is harder to count than plurality voting, but the voting is more sincere and less strategic. As an example, think of how about one quarter of Americans chose Bush and another quarter chose Kerry. In an approval vote, a moderate candidate would have counted more votes than either.

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By nugx (anonymous) | Posted November 13, 2007 at 00:26:39

You dont think that if the masses come out in droves and elect a President Paul that things might just change for the best? Ron Paul falls between party lines, isnt he essentially an electable 'third party' candidate due to his black sheep status within the Republican party, even though he -is- running as a Republican?

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By asdf (anonymous) | Posted November 13, 2007 at 03:47:09

Don't vote -- it only encourages them.

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By friend (anonymous) | Posted November 13, 2007 at 06:33:15

Why don't we make a Third party that is as Strong as the other two to give people more options? How about we bring back the Federalist Party or the Whig party? The Federalists were all about the Economy and military. Aren't those the two most important concerns right now? I'm sorry I don't know much about why they got rid of those parties (please educate me why and if a third party isn't practical).

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By friend (anonymous) | Posted November 13, 2007 at 06:38:02

There are too many stupid people in the US. The reason why a new third party 'usually' doesn't work is because everyone is so used to voting for the two main parties. In essence voting Green is a wasted vote. Every vote counts but anymore the ones with the most money are the ones that get the votes...more people voted for American Idol than voted in the Presidential Election

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By Student (anonymous) | Posted November 15, 2007 at 13:39:47

Really, it isn't entirely the fault of the parties, it is the fault of democracy. Democracy is a failing and flawed system. Unfortunately, it's all we've got right now, and it will continue to be all we've got as long as there are massive divides in the working class. There is are still issues of racism, classism, genderism, and other forms of bigotry within the working class. We are participants in our own oppression. The gov't uses this to keep us down.

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