Once upon a time in storybook land there was a population ruled by leaders of two political parties. The people of this fictional society were slaves, but they rarely sensed they were slaves because the leaders of the two political parties were chosen by election. Occasionally someone felt like a slave, but was immediately told, "You can't be a slave because a slave doesn't have an opportunity to choose his master. So just be a good citizen and vote."
Once accustomed to voting, most "good citizens" accepted the master-slave atmosphere and used their voting in the hopes of being masters rather than slaves.
Beneath all the hyped surface justifications about good citizenship people sensed only two bottom-line reasons for voting: they either wanted to use majority rule to impose their values and schemes on others, or they hoped a majority of voters would side with them in defending themselves against those who would force on them values and schemes they would not have chosen for themselves. In reality, both motives were present at the same time in most voters. Most wanted to be dictators in some ways, and in other ways they wanted to defend themselves from the dictatorship of other voters.
A few saw the system as simply an insane electoral battle for power and made the choice to forgo voting altogether so they could feel the ego-satisfaction of moral smugness and the partial temporary peace of not being a combat participant. Another few saw voting as solely for self-defense, not wishing to dictate to others in any way, and made the choice to support the least dictatorial of the two ruling parties, seeing their choice as the greatest good between the only two logical alternative outcomes, the greatest good realistically available. These non-voters and totally defensive voters still found it very hard to experience deep and long-lasting peace, because they were very acutely aware that all around them was a would-be dictators' war zone, a battlefield of competing slave masters.
In this society at election time the focus of most voting men and women was pulled away from their natural inclination to live and let live, away from their natural feeling of brotherhood, replacing natural good will with the temptation to believe it's alright to rule over others through elected representatives. The practice of voting in elections was considered justification for being blind to the reality of dictatorship and slavery behind the disguise.
During election season, brothers often found themselves pitted against brothers, mothers against daughters, husbands against wives, neighbors against neighbors. This rarely broke out into a bloody shooting war, because people were told to be "civil," but a civil war it was. Very few recognized consciously that a war by any other name, such as "election," was still a war. Some relished the battle, but even these (along with everyone else) could not escape feeling on a deeper level the ugly climate of war.
Elections often had the effect of bringing out the worse in people. It was not uncommon for men and women to lie, cheat, steal and destroy the property of others at election time. Human beings became monsters.
In this society at election time very few people stayed totally at peace, totally in love, and totally in joy. People who couldn't care less about elections found it hard to not be frustrated with all the mailings, phone calls, billboards, television commercials and other forms of electioneering pushed into their lives. Some people who valued facts and logic even became outright furious at all the demagoguery. Election winners experienced merely short-lived surface joy, always in their honest moments too well aware that their victory was only for a while and quite fragile.
Another strange feature of this society: all this misery which was the result of elections was never reported by their media.
Good thing this was only a storybook society, wouldn't you say?
The device which even more deeply prepares freedom lovers for success, A Course in Miracles , talks about our ultimate need to free ourselves from every kind of slavery:
You have been told to bring the darkness to the light, and guilt to holiness. And you have also been told that error must be corrected at its source. Therefore, it is the tiny part of your self, the little thought that seems split off and separate, that the Holy Spirit needs. The rest is fully in God's keeping, and needs no guide. But this wild and delusional thought needs help, because, in its delusions, it thinks it is the Son of God, whole and omnipotent, sole ruler of the kingdom it set apart to tyrannize by madness into obedience and slavery.
Also available free of charge online:
Course in Relationship Miracles