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.