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Forums > Social Discussion > Supermini Rant about not Voting in the US.

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NYC


NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA

Total posts: 9232
Posted:This is NOT going to be a well thought out post but it's just been buzzing in my head lately.

It's just been becoming very apparent to me how DIFFERENT America would be right now if someone else was president.

I don't want to get into Bush bashing which is so common here on this site (and also so easy.) But I do want to take just a second to reflect on how DIFFERENT America would be if Bush had been defeated.

Back during the last presidental elections I heard a lot of "I'm not going to vote because it doens't make a difference" or "I'm not going to vote because the special interest groups already control everything and elections are just a big sham anyway"

I couldn't disagree more.

I'm gonna try not to use the words 'better' or 'worse' because we'll never REALLY know, but there are very few issues in the US news right now that Bush's specific politics and policies aren't directly affecting.

How would the Katrina relief effort have been different if Bush hadn't appointed one of his incompetent buddies to head FEMA?

How would the situation in Iraq be different if Bush's specific adjenda and interests weren't directly being carried out?

How far could gay rights have come in the last 3 years?

How would the radical restructuring of Educational philosopy been different without the initiative of "No Child Left Behind."

How would the international community see and react to the United States under a different leader?

Unemployment, crime, the economy, global warming, the outcome of the G8 convention, the Middle East, North Korea, heck... relations with every country in the planet, gas prices, you name it... and Mr. Bush has had a profound effect on it.

I think I could actually be more likely to agree with someone who said that 'Bush is doing a better job than Kerry would have done' then 'It makes no difference who the president is'/'Elections are a sham'/'The president is just a puppet for the special interests'... etc.

I just can't buy that every issue in the headlines right now wouldn't be radically different if Bush wasn't our president.

I'll save 'better' and 'worse' for a different thread. But I just can't swallow 'the same'.

Maybe next time more people will vote. Then again, I guess it's just easier to stay home and whine about it on the internet. frown


Well, shall we go?
Yes, let's go.
[They do not move.]

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JauntyJames
SILVER Member since Dec 2004

JauntyJames

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Hampshire College, MA, USA

Total posts: 3533
Posted:In the latest elections, I don't think that voter apathy was a problem. Bush is a much better Republican than Kerry is a Democrat. Democrats didn't have much to work with, so if they didn't like either candidate, there wasn't much point in voting.

What bothers me is when people say that voting third party is just as bad as not voting at all. You should vote for the person you think should be in office. If enough people vote third party, maybe that will put pressure on the powers that be to rethink the electoral college scheme, so that we might be able to have a real choice for a change.


-James

"How do you know if you're happy or sad without a mask? Or angry? Or ready for dessert?"

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Julie2022


Julie2022

member
Location: Little Rock, AR

Total posts: 145
Posted:You mean if more people voted democratic then things would have been different.

"I'm your Huckleberry."

The muse spake her thought and then there was silence. Thy spiked tongue had melted, only a bitter heart remained.

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Sethis
BRONZE Member since May 2005

Sethis

Pooh-Bah
Location: York University, United Kingdo...

Total posts: 1762
Posted:Written by: sparkey!

What bothers me is when people say that voting third party is just as bad as not voting at all. You should vote for the person you think should be in office. If enough people vote third party, maybe that will put pressure on the powers that be to rethink the electoral college scheme, so that we might be able to have a real choice for a change.



We got a third party MP in our constituency, because people didn't like either Blair or Howard. Now we're a Liberal Democrat area, and looks set to stay that way. Maybe in another 4 years they'll finally get some real power biggrin


After much consideration, I find that the view is worth the asphyxiation.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I may disagree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

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NYC


NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA

Total posts: 9232
Posted:Not so sure about that third party arguement.

I think that's a separate case. It's quite certain that if folks had voted for Gore rather than a third party, Bush wouldn't have been president.

Don't you always want a lesser evil? wink

The 'lesser evil' arguement is that of "Baby steps" vs. "All or Nothing". I'm a big fan of baby steps.

I mean, let's just pick one issue, just for kicks: Gay Rights.

(I know, this is an oversimplification but lets play along)
In 2000, there were... let's say... three choices.

A) One was harshly against gay rights. [Let's call him Bush]
B) One moderately supported some reforms and freedoms for gay couples. [Lets call him Gore]
C) And one supported full equality for gay couples. [Let's call that the 'third party candidate']

Now my personal belief is that of C. But I do think we have a right and a responsibility to look at the bigger picture. C wasn't ever going to happen. He wasn't even on the ballot in every state.

So we have a choice.

Either vote C and let A win the election.
Vote B and let B win the election.

Enough people voted C. And now we're stuck with what a majority of the country feels is the worst choice. And, any hope of gay rights have been destroyed.

It was interesting to talk and philosphise about it then. But NOW that it's happened, and people's lives have been so affected by who was elected president, it seems more relivant.

It just seems that the radical right falling into this trap and that's why the whole country is taking baby steps in that direction.

If half of the left believes in baby steps towards the left, and the other half of the left believes in 'all or nothing' to the left... while the entire right believes in baby steps, the left is screwed and the country will move in baby steps to the right. Which is what I feel that has been happening.


Well, shall we go?
Yes, let's go.
[They do not move.]

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Kyrian


Dreamer
Location: York, England

Total posts: 4308
Posted:baby steps to the right?

baby steps?

Having said that, sometimes I have voted third party... but admittedly I voted for Kerry, altho i was depressed the whole time i did it.....


Keep your dream alive
Dreamin is still how the strong survive

Shalom VeAhavah

New Hampshire has a point....

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Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Total posts: 2830
Posted:Quick post.

I dont blame Bush, and I doubt voting would have made any difference. I'm certainly confused by a lack American patriotism when it is seems needed most.

Unfortunately, because I dont think Australia is that far behind, I think the lack of community we witnessed after Katrina is really a sign of a country in decline. In that, America is now inhabited by selfish, lazy, candy arse people who cant even b bothered to vote or help their fellow buddies.


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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Kyrian


Dreamer
Location: York, England

Total posts: 4308
Posted:Ah. er. um.

erm...

er...

perhaps the news is just even worse over there than it is here?

I... I.

Could you at least, er, support your statement maybe, if you're going to say that?


Keep your dream alive
Dreamin is still how the strong survive

Shalom VeAhavah

New Hampshire has a point....

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Birgit
BRONZE Member since Jan 2005

Birgit

had her carpal tunnel surgery already thanks v much
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland (UK)

Total posts: 4145
Posted:I'm in the vote-for-the-lesser-evil situation right now with German general elections on Sunday. I was quite tempted to note vote for the first time in my life, especially given the crap choice of people I had (the most surprising being the guy for the green party who is 20, looks like a wannabe male model, is a big fan of the Pope and has him as a screensaver and thinks abortion rights are far too liberal, even though it was the green party that helped giving women more choice in the first place). Still sent off the letter with my vote, feeling quite crap about it, but I think it was the lesser evil...

At least as long as you vote you've tried to do something, and have a right to complain if your representatives fxck up... Not voting just means "I don't care" in my opinion.


"vices are like genitals - most are ugly to behold, and yet we find that our own are dear to us."
(G.W. Dahlquist)

Owner of Dragosani's left half

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Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Total posts: 2830
Posted:
Sure Kyrian, I'm a bit shocked that a cops are complaining about running out of ammo on TV, like its a war zone, when one would expect they should be helping people swept up in a hurricane?

The way I see it is that America, a super power, perhaps the wealthiest country on earth is failing the people. Given there are recent examples where very poor countries financially, that have a strong sense of domestic and global community, have handled natural disasters much more efficiently. NYCs suggestion of apathy in voting reminded me of an old saying that goes along the lines of people get the Government they deserve and gave me the opportunity to rant on a bit.


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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Kyrian


Dreamer
Location: York, England

Total posts: 4308
Posted:But more of the failures are at the government level than at the civilian. Once basic needs are even parshially met there's been strong community action, even in travelling, if you read some of the survivor accounts, people did try.

Its not even clear what the government has been doing (germany reports we've been refusing to let aid thru, for example) but i'm not thinking the people are that hopeless!

Two things I will agree with:
(1)There seems to be a lot of buck passing, not just at the federal level but among soldiers, police officers, and others, altho i imagine a lot of its overwhelming and they're prolly not being given the orders they want to hear. But its hard to go against the machine.
(2)The people in the south did vote for bush, altho probably not specifically all of the ones hurt by this, many may have as well... perhaps in that sense, the people getting the government they deserve is quite true, altho i think it stems from a hang-up on unimportant issues (abortion) or poor education of whats going on (hard to do here tho!) rather than a total breakdown of community.

Not that community isn't weaker here on the whole, but within the realm of the disaster its been strong where its not been actively broken up.

People brought up something about the south being punished for voting for bush at one point... if i were religious, maybe...

And I'm sure voter apathy has something to do with the electoral college as well nyc, lets face it, as a democrat in texas you really don't accomplish anything by voting for any president.....


Keep your dream alive
Dreamin is still how the strong survive

Shalom VeAhavah

New Hampshire has a point....

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Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 13920
Posted:Written by: NYC

If half of the left believes in baby steps towards the left, and the other half of the left believes in 'all or nothing' to the left... while the entire right believes in baby steps, the left is screwed and the country will move in baby steps to the right. Which is what I feel that has been happening.



DINGDINGDINGDING!!! Folks, we've got a winner! biggrin


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:I'm way too inclined to agree with NYC as well.
It is a huge issue.
And I know so many people who did not vote who are currently complaining...and that is what makes me snap.

My best friend is one of them, and I told him point blank he has no right to bitch. He gave up that right when he decided that voting for a lesser evil wasn't important, because people like him are part of the reason we are in the situation we are in now...and it pisses me off to no end.
And then I get shrugged off and that pushes me over the edge.

I dunno. I educate myself and vote, and only vote 3rd party in local elections. I try to encourage others to vote. I take my son into the polls with me, and while I am there I have him flip the switches and if he asks me why, I tell him. Secret, schmecret...I don't give a rip, I'm prepping our future.
In the end, that is the best we can do isn't it?


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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Eera
BRONZE Member since May 2003

old hand
Location: In a test pit, Mackay, Austral...

Total posts: 1107
Posted:Here in Australia voting is compulsory and yet look at the amount of people who apparently hate the guy who won.

Incidentally, if you don't vote you can get out of the fine by providing a "good" excuse for not turning up. Amoung this year's gems were : "I had my head stuck to the refrigerator all day." and "My dog made me take him fishing."


There is a slight possibility that I am not actually right all of the time.

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dream
SILVER Member since Jul 2003

dream

currently mending
Location: Bristol, New Zealand

Total posts: 493
Posted:NYC...

I totally agree in principle... but not entirely in practice. If you live in a US swing state or UK marginal seat there's every incentive to vote lesser evil.

Unfortunately a lot of people don't have that power, a safe state/seat means there's little incentive to tactically, ie for someone you dont believe in, but feel will be less bad than the other potential candidate. In which case I can totally understand people feeling totally disenfranchised and not wanting to participate in elections.

Sethis... same thing... I live in a three way marginal and voted Lid Dem (lesser lesser evil, but still far from ideal), and their candidate got in. If it was a safe seat I'd probably have voted Green (if there was a candidate).


He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.

Nietzsche

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NYC


NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA

Total posts: 9232
Posted:Good point Dream. The fact that I DON'T live in a swing state means my vote doens't really count much anyway. frown

At least it swings the same direction that I vote.


Well, shall we go?
Yes, let's go.
[They do not move.]

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MurfdaSmurf


MurfdaSmurf

member
Location: Eugene, Oregon

Total posts: 59
Posted:One of the coolest bumper sticker I ever saw was " I am an Anarchist and I VOTE!" I totally think if more people who want change tried to do something about it, like voting, then we would get there. I think thaqt bumper sticker inspired a lot of people to vote. People who didn't want an anarchists voice to count. People who realized that if enough anrchists voted things might change. And people who were inspired by it to make their voice be heard. I am an anarchist and I vote. (anarchist in the meaning of trying to build a peaceful society where we don't need government to tell us how to get along with each other. The golden rule basicly.) I am not nieve I don't think it will happen in my life. I disagree with violence and feel there is a better way. I see Government as very violent and so disagree with them. Hopefully we will learn and grow up and not need them one day. Untill then vote and make your voice be heard.

I do have to say I believe in third party voting. Hell with baby steps to one direction or the other, vote for the person you want is my belief. I have talked to little old ladies and found them telling me after 15 minute that they feel that they are also anarchists. They just didn't know that their belief was put into that lable. If more people really stopped voting for lesser evils the US would not be so evil as it is. The Dems and Reps have been banking on that idea for awhile now. They know the US votes that way. Thats why the parties have become so close to each other in their stance. That and the same money backers. Which is why Nader started up as a third party. One of the interesting parts of the Nader issue is he actually stole more Rep votes than Dem. Did you know that? He has it well documented in his book. At this point I will always vote third party, Just becuase I think we need to break this two party monopily. I don't see this country getting better utill the Dems and Reps have to work for their votes not just expect them becuase their canidate is the lesser of evils.

I love the idea of manditory voting. I doubt the US would like it though. "We have the right to be apathetic." some would say. I heard another interesting thing that I will share. "Since his creation. Micky Mouse has won the popular vote every year running. With Bugs Bunny a close second." I am not sure if this is true but I have heard of a lot of people admitting to voting for those two, so who knows maybe it is.


I thought I waz just dreammin'?!!??!!??!! Dis place can't really be real.

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MurfdaSmurf


MurfdaSmurf

member
Location: Eugene, Oregon

Total posts: 59
Posted:Oh I forgot to mention. I reelly think we should do away with the electoral voting. It was started to have people who knew and understood the issues and canidates be the voters. Back then it was just too hard to get the message out to the people. No TV, slow transportation, a lot of people couldn't read, etc...

I think things have changed by now. I think we could vote our selves and not have someone else do it for us.


I thought I waz just dreammin'?!!??!!??!! Dis place can't really be real.

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