Disenfranchised Voters

Across American word on the street is that there are no credible candidates for the 2004 presidential election.

After speaking with Democrats and Republicans from all walks of life, I’ve discovered there is very little to get worked up about this election year. Republicans are certainly not clamoring to support George W. Bush, if they aren’t fed up over the war efforts, they are disgruntled over freedom issues and let’s not forget the floundering job market. Lack of immigration reforms certainly hasn’t helped his credibility.

Mistrust runs deep for Democratic challenger Kerry. Voters I spoke with will likely vote for him only because anything is better than four more years of George W. Bush, certainly not because he elicits any kind of clear support for his proposed policies.

This would be the perfect year for a strong third-party candidate to come forward and offer America some real solutions and credible leadership. We have some serious issues in this country, which require strong leadership, independent thinking and integrity to tackle.

Activists have sprouted up in recent years, like never before. We have groups fighting gay marriage, the loss of jobs to India and violence on television. When once the biggest activist were environmentalist, battling to save owls and gun advocates attempting to save their freedom to own them, today we are seeing thousands fighting to reclaim their children from the clutches of the state.

Washington has turned a deaf ear to ordinary concerned citizens like you and I. Unless a group has thousands of dollars to buy an ear on Capitol Hill, citizens voices go unheard. Washington has been bought and paid for by corporate cronies willing to shell out big money to be heard.

Voter Issues

American voters in general are seeking a strong leader, one who respects individual freedom as the constitution requires.

American voters are seeking a strong leader, one who respects individual freedom as the constitution requires.

Each party does seem to focus on different issues. Democrats as a whole seem to value more government programs. Those I’ve spoke with are concerned over health care issues and government services for the poor. Just how these issues came to be part of the democratic ticket is anyone’s guess. Perhaps the Democratic party which strongly worked for the various trade unions in recent years past, has grown used to having money deducted from their paychecks, in the form of union dues, so one more deduction doesn’t really bother them.

The Republican party on the other hand has really lost touch with reality. From a President who has no respect for the personal freedoms on which this nation was founded, his policies have moved us back to the days of slavery but instead of one master we now have many.

Republican War on Drugs

Our so-called "War on Drugs" has gleaned us nothing but more prisons and more corruption. Our government has confiscated untold billions of dollars, of merchandize ranging from cars, houses and green-backs to jewelry, drugs and stereo equipment all in the name of fighting this war. Where does it all go? To be sure many are profiting from the spoils of "war". It’s common knowledge that the police have the best drugs and there is little wonder why.

Trying to reduce heroin addiction by preventing marijuana use, is like trying to reduce motorcycle fatalities by cracking down on bicycle riding.

We hear little of this from our esteemed media, unless law enforcement officials are campaigning for more funding. Then they want us to stand behind them and support their efforts with our hard earned dollars.

Republicans seem to think that smoking marijuana is some great evil they must rid from the face of the earth. How hypocritical of them. They think nothing of stopping off for an afternoon nip at the local pub, just take a look sometime at all the red noses in Washington. Well drinking is legal, isn’t it? I can’t help but wonder why. Drinking has killed more members of my own family than I care to recall, yet smoking a little dubbage can land you in jail, even if you are only going to bed afterwards.

Politicians think nothing of locking up little old ladies, who’s bodies are riddled with cancer, all for the sin of growing and smoking a little herb. Heaven forbid! Our major pharmaceutical companies might have a little competition. I’m sure a pot smoking grandma deprives them of hundreds of dollars by her self-medication efforts, when she should be buying Vicodin, Demerol and Ambien. All drugs which are highly addictive, expensive (over-priced) and which can only be obtained by visiting your local doctor to obtain a prescription, who also charges dearly for his service. Not to mention the fact that they can leave you hung over, like you’ve been on a ten-day drunk.

Pharmaceutical Companies Stand to Gain

Despite what media conglomerates and pharmaceutical companies would have us to believe, marijuana is not addictive. As a medical alternative, marijuana is highly effective as a pain reliever.

Those of us who struggle with chronic pain are treated like common criminals when it is the pharmaceutical companies who should be under fire for making a killing off cancer victims and those who suffer with leukemia, fibromyalgia, AIDS or other illnesses and are merely seeking relief from the symptoms of their afflictions. Nevermind the fact that many of these drugs have harmful side-effects and may contain ingredients which have no earthly business being consumed.

Time for Change

These are just the tip of the iceberg. There are serious problems in this nation, which need to be addressed by individuals equally serious about reform.

Voting for Bush or Kerry will simply give us more of the same. Neither candidate has any original ideas, both are giving voters the same old party line, the same business as usual, tax and spend philosophies.

Just when I was ready to give up and stay home from the polls in November, I found a candidate who I can stand behind. Michael Badnarik is the Libertarian candidate for President. He has some ideas that actually make sense, eliminating wasteful government agencies that are diametrically opposed to our constitution; returning control to the people and state governments as our founders had intended.

Before you give up hope on the November election take a good look at Badnarik.

I know what you are thinking, "Why would I want to waste my vote on a third party candidate that doesn’t stand a chance of winning?"

To that I can only answer that someone had better start because the Democrats and Republicans have done a fantastic job…of running this country into the ground. I am tired of being ashamed to call myself an American. I’m tired of having to go to sleep afraid every night. Afraid that the USA Patriot Act will be used against me or a family member, afraid to turn on the news because of what I might hear next. And what about all those families who have loved ones being held overseas without trial, without access to an attorney or even knowing where they have disappeared to. They are simply gone.

When asked, Michael Badnarik had this to say, "I talk to people all the time. They say, ‘Michael, you’re a great guy. You’re a wonderful candidate. We love your message, but I can’t vote for you because you’re only going to get 2 or 3 percent of the vote.’

If you’re on the Titanic, do you want to be the last person in the lifeboat? Do you want to wait until everyone else gets in and tests it first, or do you want to be the first person in the lifeboat? Why do you want to be the last person to vote for liberty? You want to let everybody else do all the hard work and then after the Libertarians have already won then raise your hands and say, ‘Yeah, me too.’

If you really are upset at the way government works, then be the first person on your block to vote Libertarian. Tell your friends and neighbors that you are sick to death of the status quo, and I’m doing something different. If you tell your friends that you are going to vote, then they are more likely to vote."

That my friend is exactly what I am doing today. I am standing up and staying enough is enough. This registered republican is switching parties, I’ll be voting Libertarian and I’m asking you to join me. Let’s work together to make this country one that we can all be proud of.

Vote for Michael Badnarik for President in November