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Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012 11:09 am

Better choices than Obama vs. Romney

There are countless news stories and discussions about the idiosyncrasies that differentiate President Obama and Gov. Romney. Maybe it’s just the UIS Radical Student Union that’s confused by this, but when we look at the present election we see two right-of-center, corporatist parties posturing as opposites. Sure, there are some important differences between the parties, but there are far more dangerous similarities. No matter which of the two main candidates you vote for, you will get more exploitative capitalism, more militarism, more imperialism and a more oppressive police state.

No matter which of them you choose you will get more interventionist policies and drone attacks. We have two presidential candidates who argue over who will kill more people around the world with drones. There is no discussion of the morality of such actions or the collateral damage caused by such attacks. Instead we see the only two candidates given the time of day by the mainstream media constantly ratcheting up the stakes for the next generation of U.S. militarism.

No matter which of them you choose, you will get continued bowing to Israel’s pressure to maintain a modern apartheid against the people of Palestine. You will get the continued praise of Israeli democracy while overlooking their rampant human rights violations. And you will get the stark possibility of the U.S. blindly following Israel into yet another war in the Middle East.

No matter which of them you choose, you will get more outsourced jobs and corporate welfare. Romney made his fortunes buying up companies and outsourcing the work. Ask the Sensata workers in Freeport about it. Obama has expanded free trade agreements allowing jobs to be shipped to an expanding list of labor pools and allowing American corporations to exploit new global labor markets.

No matter which of them you choose, you will get massive environmental destruction at the hands of money hungry multinational corporations. Hello Keystone XL. Hello increased dirty fuel production for the benefit of energy conglomerates.

No matter which of them you choose, you will get a continuation of our failed War on Drugs. You will see countless more citizens imprisoned rather than given treatment. You will see more communities destroyed by drugs, selective enforcement and violence.

No matter which of them you choose, you will get a leader bought and paid for by corporate and special interests. This election will be the most expensive in history. While working Americans struggle and new graduates search hopelessly for work, hundreds of millions of dollars will be passed between the pockets of America’s aristocratic wealthy populations and the corporate media to guarantee that their propaganda reaches the eyes and ears of the voting public.

You do not have to choose between President Obama or Gov. Romney. You should watch the Third-Party Debate on RT.com. There the top four third-party candidates had a real discussion of the issues, not the scripted joke that the Republicans and Democrats call debates. Real options exist; one must simply exert a little more effort and overcome decades of social conditioning by advocates of our two-party system.

Most of us grew up with “lesser of two evils” defining how we learned about and thought about politics. Such a system only survives because we are complicit, even in silence, in its operation. So this Nov. 6, go out and vote. Education yourself and vote for who you think will honestly better this country out of all of the candidates. But most importantly, remember that democracy isn’t just voting every four years. It lives in our homes, our classrooms and in the streets every second of every day. For those of us who truly want a better future, it will be made there, standing shoulder to shoulder in solidarity with one another.

The Radical Student Union was asked to write a column for the UIS Journal about the election. Because the RSU is not only a student group but open to community members as well, it sent the statement to other media outlets, including Illinois Times. More information about the UIS Radical Student Union can be found at www.uisrsu.org or www.facebook.com/groups/uisrsu and the group can be reached at RSU.UIS@gmail.com.
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