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    Thread: Voters in the US, Don't forget to vote tomorrow Tuesday 11/4/14!

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      Voters in the US, Don't forget to vote tomorrow Tuesday 11/4/14!

      I keep hearing that many people don't know that there is a mid-term election tomorrow for all kinds of elected officials and ballot proposals, but I doubt few on DV haven't heard...but perhaps the date has snuck up on many of us.

      Many of the races are close, making your vote valuable!

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      I'll probably end up writing "No Preference" for all of the candidate selections. I know little about most of the candidates in my state so I can't, in good conscience, vote for any of them. They're all Democrats or Republicans anyway.

      In other words, the only reason I'm voting is for the ballot questions. And they're not all that great either.
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      never registered to vote. i never even cared to.

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      Lol, voting..
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      Wow. The display of sheer apathy on this thread sort of illustrates in a nutshell why the U.S. political system is in a total shambles. The only people who care, and who vote, are the exact people we do not want to care, or vote. And the great majority of moderate, thoughtful people choose not to get involved, allowing the system -- and their governments -- to degrade even more.
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      I can't fault people for not caring about voting. They see very little change coming from doing so.
      The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended. - Frédéric Bastiat
      I try to deny myself any illusions or delusions, and I think that this perhaps entitles me to try and deny the same to others, at least as long as they refuse to keep their fantasies to themselves. - Christopher Hitchens
      Formerly known as BLUELINE976

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      Quote Originally Posted by BLUELINE976 View Post
      I can't fault people for not caring about voting. They see very little change coming from doing so.
      Well, half a century of not voting (U.S. voter rates have held below 50% for decades), of not caring, has indeed led to a government littered with least-common-denominator (50/50 nation)-elected politicians who will continue guaranteeing that nothing ever changes, since their lives are better that way. This is a slippery-slope personified: nobody cares, nobody votes, so nothing changes, and then the cycle continues as the government circles the drain, run by people elected by the few with agendas rather than the majority with real governing in mind.

      I just hope the folks who refuse to vote also refuse to complain about the embarrassing mess their complacency has wrought.

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      The chance that an individual vote will influence the election of one candidate over another or break a tie is incredibly small. Not exercising the right to vote does not lead to a forfeiture of the right to complain.

      Let's not forget that even if something like 80% of the U.S. population voted, the majority of those votes would go toward the two main parties which necessarily attract the uninformed and irrational voters anyway. And let's be honest, most voters are woefully uninformed and irrational when it comes to making decisions in the political sphere.
      The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended. - Frédéric Bastiat
      I try to deny myself any illusions or delusions, and I think that this perhaps entitles me to try and deny the same to others, at least as long as they refuse to keep their fantasies to themselves. - Christopher Hitchens
      Formerly known as BLUELINE976

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      ^^ Yes, an individual vote is generally meaningless, but tens of millions of individual votes working together might make a tremendous difference. And, yes, not contributing to that potential power-base does in my opinion indeed exclude a person from rationally expressing his disgust in his democracy. Almost by definition.

      I think that if, say, 80% of the population voted, then two very large things would happen. First, the type of people who are running for office will become actual representatives, rather than the pride-free self-serving buffoons who currently feed off the broken, narrow-constituency-oriented system. And second, if the wind of millions of voices begins to cry for more parties, more parties will emerge... which I think is what folks like Jefferson and Madison wanted in the first place, but never happened.

      Also, part of being woefully uninformed (the information is out there, after all) is the conscious act of woefully not giving a crap. If that 80% not only voted but opted to do five minutes of research before voting, decisions in the political sphere might be not only rational, but downright constructive.
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      Well, I guess my above point was made for me yesterday, as the U.S.'s near-term future (and longer-term future for many individual states) was defined by the wills of a very small minority of citizens, mostly people over 60 years old (as in over 60% of the meager totality of votes placed). The vast majority of voters who either forgot to vote, decided mid-term votes don't matter, or have decided that somehow voting no longer matters have handed the government over to a small group of people who really don't care much about them.

      I wish that the millions of people who chose not to vote, or even to bother learning anything about the people running for office, might take a moment and think about the changes they are allowing by their collective passivity to occur. And I do hope that they take a moment, maybe bite their tongues, next time they start complaining about a bad government whose existence they did nothing to stop.

      In the end, a democracy -- and its government -- is defined by its voters, and not by its politicians. To be disgusted by your government is to be disgusted by the collective actions of its voters -- one of whom is you.

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      I usually don't vote due to a lack of genuine candidates with integrity. But I voted this time because of some major corruption going on where I live, plus there was a fresh new candidate who isn't a "politician" just a normal citizen which I thought would be refreshing. Though there was a major movement to get the current guys out of office (the mayor even has a warrant out for his arrest) they somehow still won by double the votes....all of them. And all the changes they wanted made to protect themselves and their corrupt practices also passed. To me it doesn't add up. I personally don't trust the government. They use their money and power to get what they want at the expense of others. I don't blame the people who didn't vote because I think that if big business want certain politicians in office they will make it happen regardless of the poll counts. Falsifying votes has been occurring since Ancient Rome. It's terribly hard to prove votes when there are thousands among thousands voting for each party....electronically at that.

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      Okay. But remember that, in a democracy, like it or not there is no "The Government," regardless of what the pundits proclaim. The government is, ultimately us, but "Of the people, by the people, and for the people" only works if the people actually participates, rather than let a corrupt (or even well-meaning but stupid) people game a broken system in their own name rather than in ours.

      That said, we need more of you out there, Lunagoddess!
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      Quote Originally Posted by lunagoddess View Post
      Falsifying votes has been occurring since Ancient Rome. It's terribly hard to prove votes when there are thousands among thousands voting for each party....electronically at that.
      I am glad to hear that you participated. I honestly don't think there is any widespread rigging of votes in the United States. If someone had the ability to do that, then why spend so much money on political ads? Why give corporations more power over people in affecting our elections?(see Citizen's United decision) Why are certain parties working hard to keep people from voting through all of these insincere voter id laws despite it being proven over and over again that verified cases of voter fraud are virtually nil? All those things point to the idea that votes do matter and that those who are for the status quo will keep trying to convince you otherwise and will keep trying suppress the voice of those Americans who disagree with them. To me, one of the biggest problems is that money can buy some very deceptive and convincing political ads to sway the vote in the favor of those who have the money to spend. If all voters took the time to do a little research, as mentioned above, that would put the power back in the hands of the people.

      A lot of money was spent in this election by a small group of wealthy individuals hiding behind various guises. As mentioned somewhere else, it will be interesting to see how those spending that money line up at the hog troughs...looking for a return on their "investment." I just hope everyone starts paying attention.
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      And I do hope that they take a moment, maybe bite their tongues, next time they start complaining about a bad government whose existence they did nothing to stop.
      never once complained about bad government as i don't blame government for things going wrong with my life. nor has any system of government had any impact on my happiness so why complain?

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      ^^ That's fine; but to be clear I was referring to something that was discussed earlier by someone else, and not to something you said. Sorry for the confusion.

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      Quote Originally Posted by BLUELINE976
      I'll probably end up writing "No Preference" for all of the candidate selections. I know little about most of the candidates in my state so I can't, in good conscience, vote for any of them. They're all Democrats or Republicans anyway.
      One thing I've been wondering a lot lately is to what extent a responsible voter should care and/or take the time to really learn about all the nitty-gritty details of each of the candidates on the ballot. To my mind all of the character flaws or past embarassing gaffs that the people vying for office may or may not have are pretty weak variables in the equation that decides whether or not they deserve a vote. What I think really matters are the basic, high level issues at play, and while the two main parties certainly each have their flaws, it seems clear to me that the policies of one of them tend to be much less muddled in religious dogma and tradition motivated thinking than the other. I know that a lot of people will disagree with me on both points though, thinking that it's irresonsible to vote without having deep knowledge of the individual candidate (as opposed to the basic ideas advocated by the party they represent), and thinking that no matter which party is in control, it doesn't make a difference because nothing is going to change. I'm not saying that you're one of these people, Blueline, but your post seems to suggest that you may be leaning that way, and I'd be curious to hear your opinion on these matters.

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      Quote Originally Posted by fogelbise View Post
      I keep hearing that many people don't know that there is a mid-term election tomorrow for all kinds of elected officials and ballot proposals, but I doubt few on DV haven't heard...but perhaps the date has snuck up on many of us.

      Many of the races are close, making your vote valuable!
      I never encourage people to vote unless its for specific candidates or my party. I think there are too many people voting when they don't have much of a clue concerning who or what they are voting for. I don't want the clueless and apathetic to vote. I want them to have the right to vote if they are old enough, but I am not going to encourage them to vote. I discourage it. My message to people who might not vote is that until they have really researched the issues and the candidates, it would be good of them not to vote.

      I didn't vote on Tuesday. All of the options were big government Republocrats, and I refuse to support the growing government Republocratic political monopoly. Maybe I should have written in Mickey Mouse for every office just to make a point.
      Quote Originally Posted by really View Post
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      Quote Originally Posted by Sageous View Post
      Wow. The display of sheer apathy on this thread sort of illustrates in a nutshell why the U.S. political system is in a total shambles. The only people who care, and who vote, are the exact people we do not want to care, or vote. And the great majority of moderate, thoughtful people choose not to get involved, allowing the system -- and their governments -- to degrade even more.
      In my view, voting is immoral. It's a statement of support for the state, and it's an act of war against my fellow man.

      Furthermore, I have a philosophical disagreement with the way people are given the right to vote. It's based only on age, and an incredibly young age at that -- 18. 200 years ago, that might have defined adulthood, but today you're still an idiot child at that age. Why should I participate in a system that treats my vote equally with a stupid 18 year old, even though I'm older, wiser, more intelligent, more educated, and more civic minded (in the truest sense)? Are we all going to pretend that everyone's opinion is equal, when it clearly is not?
      Last edited by cmind; 11-07-2014 at 02:10 AM.
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      I don't vote and likely never will. If I do, it will just to be to change things up or because I'm playing a joke. The system has never placed the power in the hands of the individual and I do not care to and can not in good conscious support a system the not only deceives its constituents into believing they are a part of their future but that even one vote truly makes a difference in this farce of a democracy America or any other country in this current moment in time claims to uphold. Doing so perpetuates the myth and only serves to further take the power from the hands of those that need it most. Our current system is so disgusting it isn't even worthy of the title "joke" because it is so corrupt and deceptive. The only way to win this game is to stop playing, and to start playing another game altogether, where the people make the rules, not the fucking government.

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      ^^ You do understand that this has become a farce of a democracy because so many have refused to participate, right? And that a functioning democracy is literally one where the people make the rules, right? And that one single vote should never make all the difference in a democracy, right? And that, by having a system where so few people vote, entire presidencies (and the wars, economic disasters, and political messes that come with them) are made by just a few hundred votes?

      You seem to be making arguments for participation in an actual democracy, Snoop, while also astutely pointing out what is wrong with ours, but you overlook the one thing you seem to be pointing out: as less people vote, or even pay attention, our collapsing democracy only collapses further... but it isn't collapsing into a vacuum, it's collapsing into an oligarchy, ruled by a few rich people able to manipulate those few remaing voters, and the polititians who feed off them, with their money. This mess won't be replaced by some new revolutionary democracy, it will be replaced, or has already been replaced, by a system where one vote really does make a difference... just not yours.
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      Quote Originally Posted by Sageous
      ^^ Yes, an individual vote is generally meaningless, but tens of millions of individual votes working together might make a tremendous difference. And, yes, not contributing to that potential power-base does in my opinion indeed exclude a person from rationally expressing his disgust in his democracy. Almost by definition.
      It would only make a difference if all of those people are like-minded. Getting that many people to agree on one thing is easier said than done. We've only just recently made progress in moving homosexuals up from their second-class citizenship treatment with regard to marriage rights. As for whether one has a right to complain if they don't vote, you've yet to demonstrate that one actually has a duty to vote. More on this below.

      Quote Originally Posted by Sageous
      I think that if, say, 80% of the population voted, then two very large things would happen. First, the type of people who are running for office will become actual representatives, rather than the pride-free self-serving buffoons who currently feed off the broken, narrow-constituency-oriented system. And second, if the wind of millions of voices begins to cry for more parties, more parties will emerge... which I think is what folks like Jefferson and Madison wanted in the first place, but never happened.
      "The type of people [...] will become actual representatives" -- This would only be true if the majority of votes go toward candidates who the people feel actually represent them. Again, easier said than done. Many people often pick whoever's name sounds nicer, or they vote for the lesser of two evils (a disgusting cop out, if you ask me), or they merely vote along party lines (which is not an absolute guarantee of accurate representation).

      "More parties will emerge." -- I agree that this might be a consequence, but I'm not sure it would ameliorate voter ignorance. For all I know, we'd get more people voting for "Independents" like Scott Lively who ran for Governor here in MA. Lively is the type of guy who would probably hang gays from the gutters on his house if he could.

      Quote Originally Posted by Sageous
      Also, part of being woefully uninformed (the information is out there, after all) is the conscious act of woefully not giving a crap. If that 80% not only voted but opted to do five minutes of research before voting, decisions in the political sphere might be not only rational, but downright constructive.
      This isn't just a case of whether people are intentionally apathetic or not; voting abstinence is not always a sign of intentional ignorance or apathy. Yes, we have regular elections, but if you're somebody like me who votes in a very particular way, not every election will give you reasonable options. I make it a habit to not vote Democrat or Republican if I can, as generally one candidate is not much different from another. In addition, that you think a mere 5 minutes of research is sufficient for the average person to become informed enough on an issue for him/her to reasonably express his/her opinion shows you do not really understand the issue of voter ignorance and irrationally. 5 minutes of research tells you what, say, a ballot referendum is about at best, but not the likely consequences of its effects. I could do 5 minutes of research on some proposition, vote on it, have it pass, and only later realize that I've hurt myself economically or politically.

      Quote Originally Posted by PresentMoment
      I'm not saying that you're one of these people, Blueline, but your post seems to suggest that you may be leaning that way, and I'd be curious to hear your opinion on these matters.
      In short, I'm of the mind that if you're going to vote at all, you should vote well and attempt to have more than a superficial understanding of the issues/candidates being voted on. But for all of the time I've spent arguing that voter ignorance and their tendency to vote irrationally (i.e. vote in favor of things that actually harm them in the long run) are bad, such tendencies are expected. Not everybody has the time or even interest to aspire to be a polymath on voting issues. This is why I don't always fault people for not voting. But given that the uninformed do vote, so much the worse for democratic systems. They will continue to result in bad laws and bad candidates so long as people keep voting for them. As George Carlin said, "Garbage in, garbage out."

      Quote Originally Posted by cmind View Post
      In my view, voting is immoral. It's a statement of support for the state, and it's an act of war against my fellow man.
      Except in those cases where voting leads to either the establishment of laws that actually maximize freedom or conversely, the repeal of laws that harm freedom. I'm thinking of referendums such as gay marriage legalization or marijuana legalization.
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      Quote Originally Posted by Sageous View Post
      ^^ You do understand that this has become a farce of a democracy because so many have refused to participate, right? And that a functioning democracy is literally one where the people make the rules, right? And that one single vote should never make all the difference in a democracy, right? And that, by having a system where so few people vote, entire presidencies (and the wars, economic disasters, and political messes that come with them) are made by just a few hundred votes?

      You seem to be making arguments for participation in an actual democracy, Snoop, while also astutely pointing out what is wrong with ours, but you overlook the one thing you seem to be pointing out: as less people vote, or even pay attention, our collapsing democracy only collapses further... but it isn't collapsing into a vacuum, it's collapsing into an oligarchy, ruled by a few rich people able to manipulate those few remaing voters, and the polititians who feed off them, with their money. This mess won't be replaced by some new revolutionary democracy, it will be replaced, or has already been replaced, by a system where one vote really does make a difference... just not yours.
      It's a double-edged sword, Sageous. I believe your arguments prove my points, that people should indeed stop participating. You are mistaken in that democracy has become a farce because people refuse to participate. As many people participate that are ever going to, and honestly it really makes not one difference. The representative democracy, or rather much more the oligarchy that the US has been since the inception and emplacement of the Constitution has never allowed the common people to make changes. They were believed to be too stupid, uncultured, moronic, and simple--and for good reason. So, the way you could make a difference was either to force your representative to do what you want (short of threatening torture, death, or something else, how can one really achieve this?), or to become a representative one's self. Since many of us lack the personal connections, outright fortune, educational or societal resources to do so, the power has never lied with the people and was never intended to. So tell me why should people go out and vote in our current system about current topics for current reasons? Why not vote on a new system altogether? Why not cause change in some other, more effective, smarter way? Why should anyone participate in this highly deceptive function of society meant to make you feel like you have say when you really have none at all? Don't work harder, don't tell more people to get out and vote, work smarter. Find a better way to run things.
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      ^^Well said, guys. I feel like I've been caught with my idealism showing!

      And Snoop, for what it's worth, yours is almost exactly the (always excellent) argument my wife presents me whenever the subject comes up over martinis -- so I gotta respect it regardless...

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      Lol, I've always thought you've had great opinions and a healthy skepticism, it's always great to hear another side of things.
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      Quote Originally Posted by cmind View Post
      In my view, voting is immoral. It's a statement of support for the state, and it's an act of war against my fellow man.
      Refusing to vote isn't a rejection of the state, rather it further legitimizes the actions of the state by allowing the current system to retain power. Abstaining from voting is on par with voting irresponsibly - both amount to little more than political gesturing at best, and intellectual masturbation at worst.

      Democracy doesn't rely on the vote, but the ballot is a powerful tool regardless. One vote doesn't make a difference, because only fools vote as individuals. But when "Person A" informs their family and friends of political and legal matters, then encourages them to voice their support or dissent with the ballot, it's an entire social circle voting. If several more individuals within that social circle were to adopt the same method, then theoretically, it'd be a considerable number of ballots being cast. Of course, we shouldn't delude ourselves into thinking that democracy begins and ends with the vote, but we should acknowledge the fact that political parties pay a great deal of attention to them. Politicians, as a collective, only pay as much attention to issues as they have to - political parties took a stance on gay marriage only after it had become a voting issue.

      The votes are the carrot, and direct democracy/activism is the stick. Lead political parties by voting strategically, and put the ass to work by taking direct action on the local level.
      Sageous likes this.

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