A couple years back Eugene Jarecki made a well-received documentary about why America fights its wars today (which happened to feature a clip of John McCain saying bad things about the military industrial complex). Jarecki was on Democracy Now this morning and he wrote a piece at HuffPo, as well, both hyping his new book "The American Way of War" and hyping what he thinks every American should do about our government.

Seems he thinks voting is great, but it's not enough.

Tell me about it! :P

I'm not very trusting of our election system or our balloting system to expect voting to be enough--but even if the way we elect our leaders was flawless, it still wouldn't be enough. In his interview with Democracy Now's Amy Goodman this morning (transcript here: http://www.democracynow.org/…erican_way ), goes into more detail: "But I dare say, no matter how busy people are, we all have two things that we can do that are very crucial. One is to figure out, honestly, candidly, that we all have a bunch of time we waste in life watching American Idol, surfing the internet, whatever we do that’s our version of wasting time. And we all have something, no matter how busy we are. It’s sort of human nature. You’ve got to take some of that time and figure out how to direct it toward social change, because if all you do is vote at election time and sort of wake up and go, “Oh, my god, something’s happening; I’ll throw my vote in,” it services your conscience, it services your feel—your desire to feel like you’re doing something, but the actual practical implications of that are that a single candidate, up against the incredibly tangled corruption of this system, is hopeless. And they’re made more hopeless by the fact that we are disengaged, because without a public mandate, somebody like Barack Obama will enter the White House, and, as you see, it’s already happened in the evolution of his policy paradigms, he’ll enter the White House without a mandate. And if he doesn’t have a mandate, those enormous forces of power will give him a mandate. They’ll give him a very clear mandate."

And which source of support will he support then?

What Jarecki is ultimately saying is that we've all got to do more than just "pay the minimum." You know how you've got that credit card bill and you just pay the minimum due every month yet the amount you owe never goes down? It's like that. You can't vote and expect change.

Voting, alone, pretty much guarantees that the system will NEVER change--it, in fact, promises that the system will stay exactly the same, it'll just be run by your guy. So, if you think there's something wrong with the way things are run, you have to do more than just vote.

I do more every day--I blog. I'm broke because I don't make any real amount of money off of this stuff. I do it because I am trying to change things. Part self-expression/part-picking up the mainstream media's slack, I'm trying to help make the world a better place by pointing out things you might have missed.

It's not leading a revolution or championing a law, but it's SOMEthing to help.

So, on November 4, 2008, when you go to vote, don't just pay the minimum. Take it further--start a blog, join a cause, do something to help the world be a better place.
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