On The Fence With Spartacus

My wife keeps calling today to inquire whether I have voted. "No," I answer. I don't think I am going to this year. All of the candidates look like a bunch of phonies. I can't figure out what they are talking about most of the time.

"You need to consider the lesser of two evils," she counsels. She urges me to vote in the Senate race, if nowhere else. "Remember, the Senate passes on federal judges."

She is right in a way I hate to admit. I want to sit this election out as a form of protest. But what if you protest and no one listens? I may have but one vote, but surely that is worth something.

But both major parties weary me. Too much hatred, vitriole and downright silliness. Besides, all the candidates really aeem to care about is getting elected by any means possible. I've heard enough trash talking this season to fill a landfill the size of Texas. I keep wishing for a fiery brand of Roman populism, some protest from the folks at the bottom of the pecking order. I suspect I will wait in vain. Even Obama looks spent after two short years.

How much more interesting this season would have been if voters organized and decided to boyvott the polls and boycott paying their mortages. Let the parties bicker about the bailout and how much to help bankers. The rest of us ought simply to heave a collective "no" at the racketeers in suits on Wall Street and government. We are slaves in search of a Spartacus. How about a protest movement? Call it Spartacus Speaks.

The last time I voted, I could not bring myself to pull the lever for either candidate in my district's Congressional District. It is not that I have anything against Rosa DeLauro, the incumbent Democrat. But I don't warm to her either. I can't even name her opponent. She is driving a machine that virtually guarantees her seat for as long as she wants it, Tea Party of not. I don't care to grease her wheels.

So last election, I wrote in the name Clarence Darrow for Congress. The next day, when DeLauro was announced winner yet again, I scanned the local papers to see if my write-in candidate would be reported. It wasn't. I threw away my vote, yet I feel richer for the chance to vote for someone who is something more than a silhouette.

I don't know yet if I will make it to the polls this year.  Odds are if I do, I will write in the names of my dogs for a spot or two. Keep your eyes peeled for a groundswell for Odysseus and Penelope. I can vouch for their honesty. And they are beholden to no special interest. What's more, they have as many instincts about what the world needs as the hacks circulating through office. They are border collies. so they work hard.

I still like the idea of a moratorium on mortgages. I wonder if others will sign on. I wonder if enough people did so whether the courts, banks and lawmakers would be forced to listen to the needs of ordinary people. I have my doubts. The rich rarely lost in Rome; they rarely lose here. Spartacus got killed.

Related topics: Spartacus Speaks
Comments (1)
Posted on November 4, 2010 at 12:07 am by Jim
Lesser evils
The lesser evil strategy is easy for politicians to game. They have no need or incentive to do anything good. All they have to do is be marginally less evil than their opponent. And taking into account the moral character of people who are attracted to power, not to mention the moral character of people who can effectively lobby them, the strategy loses its defensive, conservative aspects very quickly. It's a race to the bottom.

I wish I'd known Odysseus and Penelope were running ;)
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About Norm Pattis

Norm Pattis is a Connecticut based trial lawyer focused on high stakes criminal cases and civil right violations. He is a veteran of more than 100 jury trials, many resulting in acquittals for people charged with serious crimes, multi-million dollar civil rights and discrimination verdicts, and scores of cases favorably settled.

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I believe that the state is a necessary fiction and that failing to combat it is the first step toward tyranny.
– Norm Pattis


Nothing in this blog should be considered legal advice about your case. You need a lawyer who understands the context of your life and situation. What are offered here are merely suggested lines of inquiry you may explore with your lawyer.

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