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  • OT - politics, democracy, decisions - what do you do

    The abortion threads lead to a political discussion. Igor accused me of
    being a propagandizer for the Democratic party. Heck no, not me. But you
    know, he is right. I have been so horrified by the things that the Bushies
    are doing that I have cut too much slack to the other side, as if the lesser
    of too evils is not also pretty hard to throw your support behind.

    So the question that leaves me with is, what is a person who values
    democracy, at least over any other known form of government, to do? People
    need to be involved for democracy to work. But on the other hand,
    involvement seems not to be able to make fundamental change. I want to
    reject the 2 party system. But what good does it do? Grassroots efforts
    don't seem to make a whit of difference on the national level. I threw my
    support behind Dean unequivocably. My support may have been misguided, I
    will never know. But it did not contain the hedging about lesser of two
    evils that my current decision seems to be about. I really genuinely thought
    he was the man for the job. He did not have an ice cube's chance in hell of
    actually winning, unfortunately. But in the primary, you have the luxury of
    considering that a little less heartily. Who knows, if enough people vote
    truely, maybe we do have a chance to turn this big boat around.

    But now, what is a person of conscience to do? Bow out? I don't believe in
    either candidate. Write my father's name in as I have done in the past when
    there was no candidate worth voting for? (The fact that he is dead does not
    seem to lessen his chances of winning. Dead he is still the right man for
    the job. I suppose I could write in my brother. He is a good man and would
    do a good job. But he lacks the humilty that my Dad had. And he would
    probably want the job, unlike my Dad. How can you trust someone who actually
    WANTS to be President?) But I truly beleive that though I do not like Kerry,
    he would be far less damaging than Bush. Get disgusted and cynical about the
    whole process and turn of the radio, leaving the folks with a vested
    interest in the outcome to decide?

    It is a conundrum. I take my responsibility to do my part seriously. I just
    do not know what my part should be.

    Phooey.

    S




  • #2
    OT - politics, democracy, decisions - what do you do

    In article <[email protected]>, glunk wrote:
    The abortion threads lead to a political discussion. Igor accused me of being a propagandizer for the Democratic party. Heck no, not me. But you know, he is right. I have been so horrified by the things that the Bushies are doing that I have cut too much slack to the other side, as if the lesser of too evils is not also pretty hard to throw your support behind.
    Just try to honestly speak about what you observe, it helps a lot with
    respect to clarity of your own perceptions.
    So the question that leaves me with is, what is a person who values democracy, at least over any other known form of government, to do? People need to be involved for democracy to work. But on the other hand, involvement seems not to be able to make fundamental change. I want to reject the 2 party system. But what good does it do? Grassroots efforts don't seem to make a whit of difference on the national level. I threw my support behind Dean unequivocably. My support may have been misguided, I will never know. But it did not contain the hedging about lesser of two evils that my current decision seems to be about. I really genuinely thought he was the man for the job. He did not have an ice cube's chance in hell of actually winning, unfortunately. But in the primary, you have the luxury of considering that a little less heartily. Who knows, if enough people vote truely, maybe we do have a chance to turn this big boat around.
    An idea that voting for a candidate that you like, as opposed to
    voting for a candidate that you think has a chance of winning,
    constitutes rejection of democracy or our political system, is false.
    But now, what is a person of conscience to do? Bow out? I don't believe in either candidate. Write my father's name in as I have done in the past when there was no candidate worth voting for? (The fact that he is dead does not seem to lessen his chances of winning. Dead he is still the right man for the job. I suppose I could write in my brother. He is a good man and would do a good job. But he lacks the humilty that my Dad had. And he would probably want the job, unlike my Dad. How can you trust someone who actually WANTS to be President?) But I truly beleive that though I do not like Kerry, he would be far less damaging than Bush. Get disgusted and cynical about the whole process and turn of the radio, leaving the folks with a vested interest in the outcome to decide? It is a conundrum. I take my responsibility to do my part seriously. I just do not know what my part should be.
    I would vote for one of the two candidates if I at least liked the
    person AND also approved of most of what they do politically.

    That's what I would personally use for decision making.

    I do not like neither Bush nor Kerry, and do not approve of their
    political view either. Thus, my personal choice is going to be to vote
    for someone else.

    i

    Comment


    • #3
      OT - politics, democracy, decisions - what do you do


      "Ignoramus15501" <[email protected]> wrote in message
      news:[email protected]
      In article <[email protected]>, glunk wrote:
      The abortion threads lead to a political discussion. Igor accused me of being a propagandizer for the Democratic party. Heck no, not me. But you know, he is right. I have been so horrified by the things that the
      Bushies
      are doing that I have cut too much slack to the other side, as if the
      lesser
      of too evils is not also pretty hard to throw your support behind. Just try to honestly speak about what you observe, it helps a lot with respect to clarity of your own perceptions.

      I did not know I wasn't. Now I do.
      So the question that leaves me with is, what is a person who values democracy, at least over any other known form of government, to do?
      People
      need to be involved for democracy to work. But on the other hand, involvement seems not to be able to make fundamental change. I want to reject the 2 party system. But what good does it do? Grassroots efforts don't seem to make a whit of difference on the national level. I threw
      my
      support behind Dean unequivocably. My support may have been misguided, I will never know. But it did not contain the hedging about lesser of two evils that my current decision seems to be about. I really genuinely
      thought
      he was the man for the job. He did not have an ice cube's chance in hell
      of
      actually winning, unfortunately. But in the primary, you have the luxury
      of
      considering that a little less heartily. Who knows, if enough people
      vote
      truely, maybe we do have a chance to turn this big boat around. An idea that voting for a candidate that you like, as opposed to voting for a candidate that you think has a chance of winning, constitutes rejection of democracy or our political system, is false.
      But it constitutes a willingness to accept the greater of two evils when I
      could have at least attempted to prevent that.
      But now, what is a person of conscience to do? Bow out? I don't believe
      in
      either candidate. Write my father's name in as I have done in the past
      when
      there was no candidate worth voting for? (The fact that he is dead does
      not
      seem to lessen his chances of winning. Dead he is still the right man
      for
      the job. I suppose I could write in my brother. He is a good man and
      would
      do a good job. But he lacks the humilty that my Dad had. And he would probably want the job, unlike my Dad. How can you trust someone who
      actually
      WANTS to be President?) But I truly beleive that though I do not like
      Kerry,
      he would be far less damaging than Bush. Get disgusted and cynical about
      the
      whole process and turn of the radio, leaving the folks with a vested interest in the outcome to decide? It is a conundrum. I take my responsibility to do my part seriously. I
      just
      do not know what my part should be. I would vote for one of the two candidates if I at least liked the person AND also approved of most of what they do politically. That's what I would personally use for decision making. I do not like neither Bush nor Kerry, and do not approve of their political view either. Thus, my personal choice is going to be to vote for someone else. i
      Yeah, that is what I have always done too. We'll see.


      Comment


      • #4
        OT - politics, democracy, decisions - what do you do

        "glunk" <[email protected]> writes:
        The abortion threads lead to a political discussion. Igor accused me of being a propagandizer for the Democratic party. Heck no, not me. But you know, he is right. I have been so horrified by the things that the Bushies are doing that I have cut too much slack to the other side, as if the lesser of too evils is not also pretty hard to throw your support behind. So the question that leaves me with is, what is a person who values democracy, at least over any other known form of government, to do? People need to be involved for democracy to work. But on the other hand, involvement seems not to be able to make fundamental change. I want to reject the 2 party system. But what good does it do? Grassroots efforts don't seem to make a whit of difference on the national level. I threw my support behind Dean unequivocably. My support may have been misguided, I will never know. But it did not contain the hedging about lesser of two evils that my current decision seems to be about. I really genuinely thought he was the man for the job. He did not have an ice cube's chance in hell of actually winning, unfortunately. But in the primary, you have the luxury of considering that a little less heartily. Who knows, if enough people vote truely, maybe we do have a chance to turn this big boat around. But now, what is a person of conscience to do? Bow out? I don't believe in either candidate. Write my father's name in as I have done in the past when there was no candidate worth voting for? (The fact that he is dead does not seem to lessen his chances of winning. Dead he is still the right man for the job. I suppose I could write in my brother. He is a good man and would do a good job. But he lacks the humilty that my Dad had. And he would probably want the job, unlike my Dad. How can you trust someone who actually WANTS to be President?) But I truly beleive that though I do not like Kerry, he would be far less damaging than Bush. Get disgusted and cynical about the whole process and turn of the radio, leaving the folks with a vested interest in the outcome to decide? It is a conundrum. I take my responsibility to do my part seriously. I just do not know what my part should be.
        And you from Vermont, Stephanie! Jim Jeffords has been one of the
        bigger flies in the ointment of the administration. He has made a
        difference, mostly for the good.

        The fact that a small state like Vermont has people like Jeffords is
        _some_ testament to grass-roots work, I think, though I don't reall
        know his story.

        Comment


        • #5
          OT - politics, democracy, decisions - what do you do

          "glunk" <[email protected]> wrote in message
          news:[email protected]
          It is a conundrum. I take my responsibility to do my part seriously. I
          just
          do not know what my part should be.
          I don't see it as a conundrum at all. There is a line about how the best
          way for evil to win is for good to do nothing. Casting your vote in a way
          that makes no difference whatsoever is doing nothing. Martyrdom only works
          if you are called to it and are visible. A vote that you know **** well
          doesn't matter is an electoral martyr. While I"m paraphrasing trite
          phrases, there is also the one about the best being the enemy of the good.
          Think about it.

          Ted


          Comment


          • #6
            OT - politics, democracy, decisions - what do you do


            "glunk" <[email protected]> wrote in message
            news:[email protected]
            It is a conundrum. I take my responsibility to do my part seriously. I
            just
            do not know what my part should be.
            Are there local candidates or political causes you feel you can throw your
            full weight behind in good conscious? The presidential race is an important
            part of the political process, but it's not the only part.


            Comment


            • #7
              OT - politics, democracy, decisions - what do you do

              glunk <[email protected]> wrote:
              But now, what is a person of conscience to do? Bow out? I don't believe in either candidate. Write my father's name in as I have done in the past when there was no candidate worth voting for?
              Erc Alterman says that voting is not therapy. It's not something you do
              to feel good about yourself. It's something you do to make the country
              better. To me that says voting for a candidate who can win.

              I think changing the system is something you do outside of voting.
              Write letters to the editor, talk to your friends, throw a few bucks to
              a primary candidate you like. But when it comes time to vote, vote for
              someone who can win, because it isn't about your feelings, but about
              your country.

              Just my opinion.

              Comment


              • #8
                OT - politics, democracy, decisions - what do you do

                In article <1gh9qm7.1mvil6r7okowlN%[email protected]>, Emma Anne wrote:
                glunk <[email protected]> wrote:
                But now, what is a person of conscience to do? Bow out? I don't believe in either candidate. Write my father's name in as I have done in the past when there was no candidate worth voting for?
                Erc Alterman says that voting is not therapy. It's not something you do to feel good about yourself. It's something you do to make the country better. To me that says voting for a candidate who can win.
                You are committing a logical fallacy by thinking that voting for
                someone who cannot win does not have any effect on the country. It
                does.

                The candidates who can win, adjust their policies to appeal to people
                who vote for unwinnable candidates.
                I think changing the system is something you do outside of voting. Write letters to the editor, talk to your friends, throw a few bucks to a primary candidate you like. But when it comes time to vote, vote for someone who can win, because it isn't about your feelings, but about your country. Just my opinion.
                A wrong opinion. You are very smart, and yet are not seeing that an
                action has an effect beyond its immediate context. A vote has an
                effect beyond getting a candidate into office.

                Example. Without Nader, a very leftwing electorate would have no voice
                at all, since Democrats would know that they are in their pocket for
                sure.

                i

                Comment


                • #9
                  OT - politics, democracy, decisions - what do you do

                  Some good thoughts from you glunk. Enjoyed reading your post.

                  A further thought is this: a voter does not really decide between two
                  given candidates. All you have is just one vote, not a deciding vote.
                  So, therefore, to base a decision on how to vote as though you were
                  the sole person deciding, is fallacious.

                  i

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    OT - politics, democracy, decisions - what do you do


                    "Ignoramus15501" <[email protected]> wrote in message
                    news:[email protected]
                    In article <1gh9qm7.1mvil6r7okowlN%[email protected]>, Emma Anne wrote:
                    glunk <[email protected]> wrote:
                    But now, what is a person of conscience to do? Bow out? I don't believe
                    in
                    either candidate. Write my father's name in as I have done in the past
                    when
                    there was no candidate worth voting for? Erc Alterman says that voting is not therapy. It's not something you do to feel good about yourself. It's something you do to make the country better. To me that says voting for a candidate who can win. You are committing a logical fallacy by thinking that voting for someone who cannot win does not have any effect on the country. It does. The candidates who can win, adjust their policies to appeal to people who vote for unwinnable candidates.
                    I think changing the system is something you do outside of voting. Write letters to the editor, talk to your friends, throw a few bucks to a primary candidate you like. But when it comes time to vote, vote for someone who can win, because it isn't about your feelings, but about your country. Just my opinion.
                    A wrong opinion. You are very smart, and yet are not seeing that an action has an effect beyond its immediate context. A vote has an effect beyond getting a candidate into office. Example. Without Nader, a very leftwing electorate would have no voice at all, since Democrats would know that they are in their pocket for sure. i
                    It's about taking the long view, then? Is there no issue set that is so
                    important that the short term needs to be examined?

                    S


                    Comment


                    • #11
                      OT - politics, democracy, decisions - what do you do

                      In article <[email protected]>, glunk wrote:
                      "Ignoramus15501" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]
                      In article <1gh9qm7.1mvil6r7okowlN%[email protected]>, Emma Anne wrote:
                      glunk <[email protected]> wrote:> But now, what is a person of conscience to do? Bow out? I don't believe
                      in
                      > either candidate. Write my father's name in as I have done in the past
                      when
                      > there was no candidate worth voting for? Erc Alterman says that voting is not therapy. It's not something you do to feel good about yourself. It's something you do to make the country better. To me that says voting for a candidate who can win. You are committing a logical fallacy by thinking that voting for someone who cannot win does not have any effect on the country. It does. The candidates who can win, adjust their policies to appeal to people who vote for unwinnable candidates.
                      I think changing the system is something you do outside of voting. Write letters to the editor, talk to your friends, throw a few bucks to a primary candidate you like. But when it comes time to vote, vote for someone who can win, because it isn't about your feelings, but about your country. Just my opinion.
                      A wrong opinion. You are very smart, and yet are not seeing that an action has an effect beyond its immediate context. A vote has an effect beyond getting a candidate into office. Example. Without Nader, a very leftwing electorate would have no voice at all, since Democrats would know that they are in their pocket for sure. i
                      It's about taking the long view, then?
                      Yes, a good summary.
                      Is there no issue set that is so important that the short term needs to be examined?
                      Well, I am sure that absolutes are rarely right, it would seem that
                      sometimes some issues are incredibly important and outweight long term
                      concerns. But, that would be an exceptional situation. I do not feel
                      that today's situation is exceptional.

                      i

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        OT - politics, democracy, decisions - what do you do

                        Ignoramus15501 <[email protected]> wrote:
                        In article <1gh9qm7.1mvil6r7okowlN%[email protected]>, Emma Anne wrote:
                        glunk <[email protected]> wrote:
                        But now, what is a person of conscience to do? Bow out? I don't believe in either candidate. Write my father's name in as I have done in the past when there was no candidate worth voting for?
                        Erc Alterman says that voting is not therapy. It's not something you do to feel good about yourself. It's something you do to make the country better. To me that says voting for a candidate who can win.
                        You are committing a logical fallacy by thinking that voting for someone who cannot win does not have any effect on the country. It does.
                        I disagree. I do not think that people voting for Ralph Nader, for
                        example, made the Democrats more progressive. Rather, it (among other
                        factors) allowed George W, Bush to win, which moved everything further
                        to the right.

                        In European countries, voting for minor parties does make a difference,
                        because they hold parliament seats proportionally. Here, it just splits
                        one side and allows the other side to win. If we want third parties to
                        matter, we have to change the constitution to allow for proportional
                        representation.
                        The candidates who can win, adjust their policies to appeal to people who vote for unwinnable candidates.
                        In practice, it nearly always works the other way around. The
                        unwinnible candidates hurt the side closest to their own. Sometimes
                        they can raise issues during the campaign - Ross perot with deficits,
                        for example - but the act of voting for them does not move the party
                        closes to them their way.

                        Also Ross Perot was unusual in that he was not on the fringe of either
                        party. He drew from both parties equally, so he didn't knock out the
                        candidate he most agreed with and let the candidate furthest from his
                        position win.

                        But look at Carter: Anderson probably cost him the election. Reagan
                        won. Did this move the Democrats Anderson's way? Heck no! Everything
                        moved to the right as the Republicans held the presidency for the next
                        twelve years.

                        Kennedy's primary challenge hurt Carter. And Buchanan hurt Bush.
                        I think changing the system is something you do outside of voting. Write letters to the editor, talk to your friends, throw a few bucks to a primary candidate you like. But when it comes time to vote, vote for someone who can win, because it isn't about your feelings, but about your country. Just my opinion.
                        A wrong opinion. You are very smart, and yet are not seeing that an action has an effect beyond its immediate context. A vote has an effect beyond getting a candidate into office.
                        It is not that I don't see your position, but that I disagree with it.
                        Tell me one way in which people voting for Ralph Nader last time helped
                        their own positions. I don't see any.

                        Voting is easy, so it is tempting to think that you can send messages
                        and change things in your party by doing it. Unfortunately for those of
                        us who are lazy, sending messages and changing parties is a lot of work,
                        and voting for a third party candidate is counter produtive t these
                        goals.
                        Example. Without Nader, a very leftwing electorate would have no voice at all, since Democrats would know that they are in their pocket for sure.
                        On the contrary. When people on the wings split off, the *last* thing
                        the party can do is go chasing after them. That just loses them the
                        middle. Wings get respect by selling their positions to the public, so
                        it is in the parties' interest to pay attention to them.

                        For example, look at the Republican party. It has been more and more
                        influenced by the neoconservatives and the religious right over the last
                        few decades. Is this because there have been religious or neocon
                        splinter candidates? No. It's because they have been doing the grass
                        roots work to get their positions respected. They fund institutes, and
                        do canvassing, and write letters to the editor, and generally move
                        discourse their way. They are too smart to cause their preferred party,
                        the Republicans, to lose. Instead, they changed the Republican party to
                        better serve theit interests.

                        Civil rights worked the same way. It was it's own movement, and it
                        moved the country. Puttng us a cicil rights candidate to cause the
                        Democrats to lose would *not* have served the purpose of the movement.

                        It's not that people should accept what they're offered and be passive.
                        Quite the contrary. They should get out there and change things. But
                        voting for third party candidates doesn't work.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          OT - politics, democracy, decisions - what do you do

                          "Ignoramus15501" <[email protected]> wrote in message
                          news:[email protected]
                          Well, I am sure that absolutes are rarely right, it would seem that sometimes some issues are incredibly important and outweight long term concerns. But, that would be an exceptional situation. I do not feel that today's situation is exceptional.
                          I dunno. There *will* be several supreme court positions open in the next
                          administration. And this whole business of even thinking of postponing the
                          election because of a terrorist event really scares me: suspending
                          elections "in the national interest" was one of the first things Hitler did.

                          Ted


                          Comment


                          • #14
                            OT - politics, democracy, decisions - what do you do

                            "Seeker" <[email protected]> writes:
                            "Ignoramus15501" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]
                            Well, I am sure that absolutes are rarely right, it would seem that sometimes some issues are incredibly important and outweight long term concerns. But, that would be an exceptional situation. I do not feel that today's situation is exceptional.
                            I dunno. There *will* be several supreme court positions open in the next administration. And this whole business of even thinking of postponing the election because of a terrorist event really scares me: suspending elections "in the national interest" was one of the first things Hitler did.
                            The bizarre thing is at the same time that Bush claims to have made us
                            _safer_, his administration talks about provisions for attacks during
                            the elections!

                            Safer from _what_ I wonder?

                            Comment

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