You can be skeptical and friendly at the same time.
Follow Patheos Atheist:
If not, fix that now.
And then vote for the Democrats.
Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.
Are we less of an atheist if we don’t vote democrat?
Vote for any party or candidate that you like.
Came here to say this.
Including the Theocratic Republicans.
Republicans aren’t theocrats, nor is it a party platform.
… Or against any party or candidate you dislike.
Maybe atheism is kind of like the Mormon multi-level afterlife, and the best atheist level is reserved for those who vote Democrat.
Considering my votes have been about 70-80% Republican, I’m doomed to level 1 (nOOb) atheism.
Nope. But I’ll glare at you,
We’ll glare back for you presuming to tell us who to vote for.
Why is it so important when you live in a state that’s a sure thing for Obama? Other than serving his ego, what do another million votes do? They won’t change anything in Ohio or another swing state. Whereas by supporting a third party, you can help them to qualify for federal funding and bring a place at the debates. That can help things change at the local level.
I don’t know about you, but living in a corrupt Democratic city like Chicago, I relish the chance to build a third party. My Democratic representative wins by 66% of the vote. If half her votes went to the Greens, the Republican candidate would still lose. So why not support what I believe in?
Fine. If you’re in Illinois, just vote for Democrats for everything but President.
I’m in Louisiana, which is definitely going for Romney. I’ll be voting Gary Johnson, too. Even in my U.S. House district the race is between a Republican incumbent who is certain to win, a virtually unknown Democrat, and a virtually unknown Libertarian. I’ll be voting for the Libertarian in that race, too.
And the sure things like Jan Schakowsky. After all, “taking her votes away” still wouldn’t get the Republican in office. If half of “her” votes went Green, the Green would simply win.
Really, there’s no reason to vote Democrat in Chicago. Republicans get less of the vote than Greens half the time. And it’s not as if anti-union, corrupt corporate tool Rahm is any less right wing than any Republican.
Here’s a hypothetical I like to ask people:
Do you think we’d be better off if your party won every single race? President? Congress? All the Governors? State Assemblies?
Even the greatest political ideas are best implemented with restraint and compromise, usually best provided by a decently strong opposition. This is because most of the structures we depend upon in turn depend upon the structure and policy of government to be fairly stable and change slowly and predictably.
Yep, I’d want the Democratic party to win everything right now. I mean, that just means that in the next election, the Republicans would be gone – and it’s likely that the current Democratic party would split in two, and then we’d be back to a two-party system except with both parties more sane than the current Republican party. For example, I’d hope the conversation would move from “is universal health care a good idea” to “How do we best implement universal health care?”, presumably with arguments and different stances about it. Obamacare is a good start but I bet there’s a lot of things to fix with it, and right now nobody can really do anything with it because half the government just wants it gone and has no interest in making it better.
But Illinois is a hellhole of democrat cronyism. Surely one would want to vote in a way to break that up.
No. But Christian Democrats aren’t as likely as Christian Republicans to make the tenets of their faith the law of the land.
Yes, well if you vote to get romney in, we will just think a lot less of you.
Yes if you vote for mittens.
That depends. Is a self-hating atheist considered less of an atheist?
Voting against a guy who belonged to a racist church for decades makes me a self hating atheist? Pardon me if the economy ( and all those harmed by a bad one) is more important to me than narrow issues concerning atheism.
So all the atheists in the USSR and North Korea are self hating for opposing the clear atheist choice presented?
The USSR is America’s #1 enemy!
You mean the USSR was the people of the USSR’s number one enemy?
Or vote for whoever more closely matches your most precious beliefs… but we hope that’s the Democrats.
Just a suggestion, but if you live in a non-swing state, you would probably be better off voting for a third party. Obama is pretty much guaranteed to win this one, so your best bet for changing the country for the better is to make some non-major parties more mainstream.
While I like the thought, really the only possible way of that happening in the US now is either some sort of MAJOR upheaval or a reform to the democratic system that doesn’t favour the two-party setup. The latter is more likely (albeit still not very likely at all), a system like single transferable vote or what have you.
Yes, yes, a thousand times yes. We’re one party away from the Soviet Union. Our greatest enemy isn’t the GOP- it’s a sham of an electoral system that’s sold to us as ‘Democracy’.
Our greatest problem is that one of our two major parties is certifiably insane. And it ain’t the Democrats.
Your greatest problem is legalised corruption. The party you allude to wouldn’t be courting the crazies if there wasn’t money in it.
Actually, the Soviet Union could be considered an improvement in some respects. As a certain person (whom I will not name, but who is in a position to know these things) pointed out to me once, if there’s only one party, you tend to vote for the individual rather than the party.
Gary Johnson 2012 – Less religious than Romney *and* Obama. A Christian, but a non-church-goer and not ashamed of it.
Registered, and for the first time ever I registered as a Democrat. I’ve been registering as an Independent for years, and before that Republican. Sorry, GOP, you’ve gone over the edge.
Democrat? They’re just a different arm of the same beast. My vote if going for…
Governor Johnson is not only less religious than Obamney, but way more friendly to the LGBT community. Democrats? Whateva!
I live in New York. My vote couldn’t matter less to Obama, so I also will be voting for Johnson. I was surprised to find a Republican candidate I agreed so much with . . . I was less surprised when they basically shut him out of the primaries. I guess he wasn’t crazy enough.
Most Americans are completely disenfranchised by the Electoral College. The only upside to knowing that your vote will have no impact on the horse race is that you are not compelled to choose from the lesser of two evils. In that case, support a third party that supports what you believe in. At the very least you might get a big enough percentage for the party to qualify for matching funds, participate in debates and bring another point of view to media attention.
Besides, if you’re going to vote for evil, why bother with the lesser. Cthulhu 2012. He’s better on LGBT rights than Obama too.
But Hemant, I took a quiz and it told me I agree more with Jill Stein than with Obama.
Okay that and I’m from a different country, but that doesn’t matter now!
Me too (agreeing with Stein.) I’m voting for Obama, though.
Same here, I really like Stein and find the Green platform is much closer to what I want from the political class. That said, we know the Republicans are using not-congruent with law practices to skew the election. As such, even in ‘safe’ States, Obama gets my vote.
I agree with Jill Stein and I’m voting for her. I don’t live in a swing state – Illinois is a gimmie for Obama. So why give him a vanity margin of victory. It won’t change Ohio.
But voting for what I believe in can bring funds to a third party and it can bring other views to the debates. That’s something I can support.
It’s a bit of a problem in America right now, for people with conservative economic views, but who are not also complete bigots. You either vote for the party whose economic views you disagree with — one of the most major issues in government — or you vote for a party which is actively seeking to strip the rights away from women, LGBT, and pretty much anyone else that their flavour of Christian extremism can oppose.
I’m not a fan of conservative economics to begin with, but I’d hate to be in those shoes, where I felt like I had to vote left-wing when I’m normally right, only because the guys running with the right-wing nomination are assholes.
The right-wingers are always assholes. By default, they represent the interests of the rich and try to screw the poor. The fact that they are religious fanatics or play at being ones is just a bonus. An almost ubiquitous one since most religions when they are dominant ina culture are part of and support those with power.
You just described the democrats too.
The religiously fanatical and thus anti-LGBT and anti-women Democrats, no doubt.
Possibly. I am not from the US, so I am hesitant to comment on yours politics. From what I understand, yes, both paries are quite in the right of what I would consider a reasonable compromise of competing interests.
You just got done commenting on our politics so I don’t know why you claim to be hesitant. Democrats represent the interests of the rich and screw over the poor all the time. It is a simple fact of politics that producers (special interests) are concentrated and consumers are dispersed. Thus special interests always capture legislation. Democrats are not immune to these incentives. Look up Jon Corzine as just one example.
My first comment wasn’t taking a position in regards to US politics. It was a comment regarding politics in general. My understanding is that right-wingers are characterized by their opposition to social change. As a result, the previlleged remain so. My knowledge of US politics is limited so then I gave a tentative opinion on the matter. So yes, I am hesitant. Did you imply I lied or was that my impression?
OK, well the term right wing is completely different in the US and Europe. So in responding to a US thread it sounded like you were talking about US right wingers. Now your claims make no sense whatsoever, because you are lumping together opposite sides of the political spectrum, and right wingers have along history of pushing for social change. It was the Republican party that abolished slavery.
Plus some social change is bad. The social change imposed by the Nazis, a socialist party (and therefore left wing from a US perspective) made lots of bad social changes, as did Mussolini. Both were socialists and don’t bother claiming they were fake socialists because they fought with communists, set up state based unions, or let capitalist keep nominal control over their companies. Communists did the first two and social democrats do the last. So if Nazis aren’t socialist on those criteria then the communists and Social Democrats aren’t either.
That was 150 or more years ago. I doubt the modern day republicans have anything in common with thoses guys. Mentioning them is simply irrelevant.
No, fascism is not socialism and neither is nazism. You should really educate yourself. Where did you get the definition for what socialism is?
Sure change isn’t always good. Progress is a better word although I doubt we would agree on what constitutes progress.
By rightwingers I mean those who wish to mantain the status quo and keep those who are in a lower economic and social class there. Mind you if there was an egalitarian society these definitions would be meaningless.
This is bigoted baloney.
The same exact philosophy (and it was a Christian influnce) that motivated Republicans to be anti-slavery is in play today. They are the same Republicans in spirit. Abolishonism was never about setting up a socialist utopia where blacks were given preferential treatment via affirmative action.
You are clueless about American values. We value social mobility, and right-wingers are far more generous to the poor than left-wingers here in the US. For example, Dick Cheney, gave away 75% of his earnings in one year to charity. Outclassing all democrats. There is no desire on the part of right wingers to keep down the poor, that’s left wing drivel.
You are clueless about a lot of things. Charity is not the way to solve poverty. Do you understand anything about sociology or economics? You don’t show it.
“Abolishonism was never about setting up a socialist utopia where blacks
were given preferential treatment via affirmative action.”
Not understanding anything about racism, also.
I won’t discuss this with you anymore. You are not worth my time.
Nazis were not socialist in any way, and they are considered right-wing in America as well as Europe. Hitler put the word in the title to get votes. He later threw out the few Nazis entertaining socialist ideas.
The commentor wasn’t confusing right and left, at all. Right wing is the same thing in Europe. The terms Left and Right come from France, and (this bit’s according to wikipedia) Left is “the party of movement and Right is the party of order. Right refers to Nazis, fascists, conservatives, theocrats, nationalists, etc. Also included is the modern American Republican Party.
And while the Republican Party formed around Lincoln was very much progressive, the Republican Party today is conservative, the opposite. They are not the same party.
Absolute nonsense. They were National Socialist. Socialist is left wing in the US not right wing. Any look at Hitlers documents, what he professed before and after gaining power, what he implimented will show that they are completely consistent with what other socialists groups were about at the time, and continue to be consistent with socialist groups in the present. Here’s a news article from the period: http://www.oldmagazinearticles.com/pdf/Nazi_Labor_Unions.pdf
“Virtually every plant, factory, shop, or establishment is run by the workers who appoint ther own spokesmen to meet with the owners or their representative and discuss operation, hygiene, safety, welfare, and complaints”
Socialism is state control of the economy. That is what he implemented. The many different socialist sects have different ways of accomplishing state control but they are all for state control, and “for the workers”. That it is all a big con is always the case, so you can’t use that against Hitler unless you use it to claim all the other socialists were likewise faking. That is totally unreasonable.
Stalin and Hitlers solutions were remarkablely similar.
Guys like Mussolini, Stalin, Lenin, Hitler, etc. had considerable socialist street cred even though they were all authoritarians. That Trotski gets and pickax in his head by another socialist doesn’t prove he or Stalin were right wing, and nether do any other sectarian disputes between other socialists. Facism is merely authoritarian nationalist socialism. That Lenin wrote an article “Left-wing Communism, an infantile disorder” does not mean he was on the “Right” in terms of American definitions. He was a right wing communist, not a right wing American. One can certainly use communist terms and call Lenin right wing but to import that into an American discussion is an equivocation.
Who wrote this:
“True, it is a fixed idea with the French that the Rhine is their property, but to this arrogant demand the only reply worthy of the German nation is Arndt’s: “Give back Alsace and Lorraine”. For I am of the opinion, perhaps in contrast to many whose standpoint I share in other respects, that the reconquest of the German-speaking left bank of the Rhine is a matter of national honour, and that the Germanisation of a disloyal Holland and of Belgium is a political necessity for us. Shall we let the German nationality be completely suppressed in these countries, while the Slavs are rising ever more powerfully in the East?”Sounds like Hitler, right? Well it was Lenin.
The other commenter, niemzo, is totally confused as are you. When Americans refer to Hitler as being right wing they are talking in terms of European political classifications not American. Right wing Americans are the polar opposites of Nazis. No right wing american would tear down the cross to put up a political symbol. No right wing american would turn the economy over to the government. No right wing american would be for gun control, or state labor parties. Believe in private charity instead of government run charity. So on and so forth.
Niemzo’s definition of right wing is, “By rightwingers I mean those who wish to mantain the status quo and keep those who are in a lower economic and social class there”. This has no correlation to right wing politics in the US at all. It’s a bigoted stereotype. Right wingers give more to charity to left wingers, and want a system of free enterprise, which means freedom to move between social classes.
Plus many of the left wing groups at the time of Hitler and for decades before were the ones talking about ethnically cleansing the Jews, and/or the upper classes. They are also the ones that when they got into power started the great ethnic cleansings of the modern era. Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Hitler, etc. This was even in America, where Eugenics was all the rage with left wing groups and leaders.
Sure the left has made great strides in there revisionist history. They for instance invented the philosophy “Social Darwinism” that never existed and then claimed various prior thinkers were members of the group, like Herbert Spencer. This is a total and utter fabrication. No such movement existed, and Herbert Spencer was NOT the founder of Social Darwinism. In fact he was Feminist, pro-labor union, and often wrote in scolding terms about certain rich peoples attitudes about the poor.
Hitler was a national socialist, and there are plenty of other nationalistic socialist countries to show this is not an unusual phenomenon. North Korea and Communist China are virulently racist.
That was an Fredrick Engels quote, another Marxist, not Lenin. Engles was a pal and close political associate of Marx. Another quote from Engles:
”This is our calling, that we shall become the templars of this Grail, gird the sword round our loins for its sake and stake our lives joyfully in the last, holy war which will be followed by the thousand-year reign of freedom.”
I see you’re unable o detach yourself from your emotions enough to have a reasonable discussion without taking offense and ranting, so I’ll not bother continuing to follow this conversation.
For your own sake (since it matters not to me), read into it, though on a calmer day. It is established fact that National Socialism (Nazism) was a right-wing ideology (that is to say, conservative) while communism,socialism, etc. were, and are, left-wing. There’s no need for a conservativeperson today to be offended by it, just as there’s no reason for a progressive such as myself to be by the association with communists. Your flaw is easy to see. It’s your definition of socialism.Socialism is not government controlled economy (there have been those throughout history in all stripes of gov’t), it’s classless society. The Nazis were extremely class conscious (think untermenschen), while the Soviets coveted their myth of universal equality (comrade, etc.).
Antisemitism was rampant in various socialist groups also. Just like today. Here is but one example of socialist writing from the time and it is NOT Hitler:
“Let us consider the actual, worldly Jew — not the Sabbath Jew, as Bauer does, but the everyday Jew. Let us not look for the secret of the Jew in his religion, but let us look for the secret of his religion in the real Jew. What is the secular basis of Judaism? Practical need, self-interest. What is the worldly religion of the Jew? Huckstering. What is his worldly God? Money. Very well then! Emancipation from huckstering and money, consequently from practical, real Jewry, would be the self-emancipation of our time…. We recognize in Jewry, therefore, a general present-time-oriented anti-social element, an element which through historical development — to which in this harmful respect the Jews have zealously contributed — has been brought to its present high level, at which it must necessarily dissolve itself. In the final analysis, the emancipation of the Jews is the emancipation of mankind from Jewry”. Sam Harris goes into the antisemitism of Germany (it didn’t start with Hitler) and many of those writers quoted working for a final solution were socialists. There is a myth that the common German was unaware of what was going on, and unaware of the intent of Hitler with regards to the Jews. That is nonsense. They new damn well they were to turn them in and that they were disappearing, and that these groups had been advocating ethnic cleansing for many decades prior to even knowing about Hitler.
Isn’t it bigoted to call Republicans complete bigots?
I would, but you have these weird rules about not letting non-citizens vote…
It’s very easy for non-citizens to vote thanks to the Democrats. Just go down to the voting booth and claim to be Eric Holder.
Yes, of course that is true, if-and-only-if you ignore all the evidence showing that there is no wide spread voter fraud.
How does one determine whether there is voter fraud if one doesn’t check for identification? There are plenty of cases of known voter fraud by illegal immigrants but they were caught inadvertently. Just do a google search. I doesn’t need to be widespread for it to be easy. One can prove it easy just by going down to vote as Eric Holder and not coming up against any obstacle. That has been done. look it up.
I was making an effort to take you seriously until you threw out this long-disproven conspiracy theory. Gonna complain about Obama’s birth certificate next? Maybe Kerry’s war record? Ooohhh, how about how Al Gore only talks about climate change because of all the money he makes from investing in green technology, even though he’d have made ten times as much by investing in oil or coal?
Why should anyone care who you take seriously when your comment makes is clear you don’t take yourself seriously enough to be intellectually honest?
The question is always, what’s the cost? We know that Obama is an American citizen, with the amount of scrutiny over his birth certificate and place of birth. I don’t know that there’s a single other person so well vetted, and if we’re concerned about letting non-citizens vote, I don’t see how we can forgo that vetting.
The Republican plans disenfranchise citizens of the United States, just like above plan does. Republicans have failed, consistently, to provide a cost-benefit analysis showing that excluding a certain number of citizens from voting is worth stopping a certain number of non-citizens. In fact, most analysis conclude the real goals behind these laws is to exclude citizens from voting, because that by and large will be their effect, to exclude people from voting, people who would mostly vote Democratic.
Well vetted? Are you kidding. We still don’t have his transcripts, and every time the press gets hold of some damning video they suppress it.
Are you saying Democrat voters are too stupid or lazy to know how to prove they are citizens, or show up with some form of ID?
Why vote for Democrats if you live in a swing state like Illinois? An extra million votes for Obama aren’t going to change the election. They won’t change what happens in the swing states.
By voting for Obama you don’t change what happens in the election, if you don’t live in a swing state. You simply miss the opportunity to support a third party. If 5% of the voters vote for a third party, then they can participate in debates and open the discussion to more issues. That’s reason enough to stop being providing a blank check for Democrats to continue to move further to the right.
Maybe because the Democrats are more effective and more credible than any of the crackpot third parties.
Marketing execs and publicists have wet dreams about people like you.
More effective at destroying the country through bad economic policy.
Trying to force your believes in what is politically better on others? I am republican atheist and proud of it. There are many like me.
And yet your party is infested by the batshit insane. Maybe you ought to see to that.
Pot meet kettle.
Not for anyone who’s paying attention.
I take it you’re an honest small government advocate, rather than an anti-freedom religious right loon. If that’s so, good on you. Why don’t you consider voting Libertarian, or Reform instead?
And yes, the same goes to those who self-identify as Democrat. Why not vote Green, or Justice Party?
As I hinted at below, I can understand why you wouldn’t do this if you’re in a swing state. If you’re not, there’s nothing to lose and everything to gain.
The most popular Libertarian candidate, Ron Paul, is a religious right loon.
Ron Paul is a Republican, the Libertarian candidate is Gary Johnson, a different reich-wing loon. The Libertarian party seems to be the place where has been Republicans flock to, maybe Ron Paul will be joining them soon.
I am aware that Gary Johnson is the official Libertarian candidate. What I meant, though, is that when most people think Libertarian they think Ron Paul. I was mainly replying to the person above that stated
I take it you’re an honest small government advocate, rather than an anti-freedom religious right loon. If that’s so, good on you. Why don’t you consider voting Libertarian, or Reform instead?
Mainly people that claim to have a libertarian view of the country are extremely religiously conservative. They are tea party libertarians or just republicans in general.
Then why did you call Ron Paul the libertarian candidate?
Paul claims to be a libertarian but runs under the republican banner, i would assume, because third party candidates rarely get elected in the united states. What I meant was in general when you say Libertarian people think Ron Paul. The majority of people would not know who Gary Johnson is.
The Reform party is just a bunch of right wing Republicans and the Libertarians are some utopian deluded kooks who live in a fantasy land. Why would I want to vote for some deluded freaks especially knowing that every vote for them is a vote for Romney since there is no chance in heck they can will the Electoral College.
Yes, he definitely tried to force you to do something. Writing a blog post is most definitely “forcing”. Fucking idiot.
Well democrats do force their beliefs on others. You could form the Democrat party medical insurance program and all it. Instead you create Obamacare based on your religious beliefs (and they are as faith based as any religions) then force Republicans and us independents to participate.
You mean it wasn’t a bill that was approved by a house of representatives and a senate, all elected democratically.
No, because that is not something one can properly deduce from what I said. Plus, I guess you never heard of the draft.
Nice try of changing the subject.
Not really. Hemant is instructing people to vote for a party that is in power which does force us to do things. So although his article cannot force us to believe he is taking an action that indirectly forces us to do thing against our beliefs, and with no good rationale. Same goes for the Republican party. I’m just trying to interpret his comment a little more politely than “fucking idiot”. There has been a lot of A+ atheist demagoguery so maybe he was a bit sensitive to being told what to do. You have to admit the article was worded as a command.
Can we have Democrat party marriage, and Democrat party birth control and Democrat party abortion?
I’d also ask for a Democrat party defense budget, but sadly it’s nearly as bad as the Republican party defense budget.
Sure if you want. I don’t care. Hemant didn’t take a stand on an issue. He instructed us to register and vote Democrat. Had he instructed us to vote republican and someone bitched about him forcing others to do things I would have pointed put one of the ways republicans force us to do things.
Judging by her name, Yelyna may be a Russian immigrant. A LOT of them are confirmed Republicans. It’s a reaction to having grown up under what passed for Communism (but was in reality totalitarianism), and having been sold the bill of goods by the Repubs that Democrat = Socialist.
It’s partly that and also simply that the center of their Overton window is pretty far to the right to begin with; it has a tendency to be a fairly conservative culture socially, which makes the GOP a more natural fit for their value intuitions than the Dems.
Yeah, forcing someone to do something by making a blog post. That’s so unlike Republicans who want women to be forced to have a rapist’s baby or being force to pray in school.
The republicans are theocratic. It’s a question then of what is most important to you, atheism or something else.
I don’t think you understand what the word theocratic actually means.
Why would you be proud of being an atheist that supports a Christian-supremacist party?
That you feel the need to claim that this is “forcing one’s beliefs on others” is not an argument that will convince anyone that you’re an atheist. That’s the same nonsense that religionists speak when pretending to be martyrs whose rights are being infringed upon because someone disagrees with them.
Care to reply to some of these comments. Why on earth did you interpret Hemant’s comment to be forcing his beliefs on you? I can understand if he were writing like Richard Carrier in the past. I know he’s written approvingly of A+ atheism, but not with Carriers attitudes. Were you expecting shunning and vitrolic attacks like they do over at P Z myers blog? Hemant isn’t like that, apparently.
Love your column, Hemant, but the D’s will never get my vote. Neither will the R’s. Libertarian for me.
Vermin Supreme 2012! A pony for every American!
I wish the Libertards would just believe in God, so I didn’t have to share any characteristic with them. If there’s one group I dislike more than religious fundamentalists, it’s the Paultards and Randians.
I thought they just voted to include Yahweh on their party platform?
I thought it was Randroids.
Yep, ortcut is terribly misinformed. Libertarians don’t care about religious affiliation. Funny thing is that if Ron Paul had been elected as president, along with a bunch of his clones to congress then we wouldn’t be in this current mess. Who is the retard?
How do you feel about the commutards?
Obama, Gary Johnson, as long as it’s not Romney I’m happy
For a strategic voter, the incumbent is the obvious choice.
Third parties don’t really do anything except take votes away from the candidate they are most like. Our first-passed-the-post voting system suffers from the spoiler effect.
Claiming that Obama and Romney are “the same” is absurd. If you cannot tell the difference between them, then I would have to agree with you – I’m not sure your vote matters aside from adding some chaos to the numbers.
In states that aren’t swing states, your vote has no impact anyway. May as well vote for the party you agree with and have a shot at getting them matching funds and a place in the debates. At least another point of view would be presented.
Obama is clearly the worst candidate from an economic standpoint, as are many democrat officeholders, however many Republicans are no better. Nixon gave us wage and price controls (central planning) and took us off gold completely. Thus contributing to economic problems under Carter. Presidents reputations often do not match economic reality. If I recall correctly it was Carter who brought in Volker who actually killed that inflation. Romney did Romneycare and has not identified the sources of our economic problems fully in his speeches but he is doing better than Obama. Only marginally however so I see little difference. We need someone who gets an A in economics and can sway congress because they control the purse strings, and legislative interventions in the economy.. That isn’t in the cards so both candidates are pretty much the same from a practical viewpoint. I doubt Romney would fire Bernarke.
I think I’ll vote for Jill Stein and the Green Party – a party that embraces secularism on its platform as opposed to pandering to the religious masses as seen by the Democratic Party’s own platform – instead.
I gave up on the Greens after their (and Nader’s) absolutely abominable behavior during the Gore/Bush campaign and after the election. They were at least partly responsible for getting Bush elected (insofar as he was elected, which he really wasn’t). They wouldn’t even acknowledge their culpability afterward.
I’ve had no use for them since.
Entirely correct. Nader’s actions pretty much sealed the deal for me, too. The last possibly viable third party we almost had was when that hilarious troll Perot ran. I had hopes for Ron Paul, but he dashed the crap out of those.
Since I’m in Fla, I’ll be voting Obama to counter my in-laws who won’t vote for him since he’s a godless communist Muslim socialist…oh, and he’s black, too. So, you know, ooooooh, scary!
Gore couldn’t even win his home state. And if you’re going to say that Bush stole the election in Florida, then blaming him makes no sense. It’s either one or the other.
The responsibility of Bush getting elected falls entirely on the people who voted for Bush. I’m not sure how people who voted for someone else are responsible for Bush getting elected, unless you for some reason think Gore was entitled to all the votes of people who didn’t vote for Bush.
You may be too young to have been aware of it, so I’ll give a brief summary.
The Greens split the Democratic Party. The Democrats pleaded with Nader to drop out weeks before the election, promising to give liberal Dems more of a voice in the party; he refused. Afterward, as I say, the Greens refused to accept responsibility. I remember one interview with a thoroughly obnoxious young woman who said, defiantly, “We have nothing to apologize for! We aren’t liberal Democrats; we’re Greens!” Meanwhile, their figurehead went all over the country for months prior to the election telling everyone he was running because liberal Democrats had lost their voice in Washington. They shot themselves in the foot, and were too goddamn arrogant to acknowledge it.
In addition, Florida’s electoral votes, which swung the election, went to Bush because the ballots were printed in such a way that they confused elderly people in the Boca Raton area. Most of them were elderly Jews who thought they were voting for Gore (Jews, particularly of that generation, vote largely for Democrats), but punched the holes for Buchanan instead. It was such a blatant error that even Buchanan joked about it and acknowledged it was obviously a collective mistake. Gore challenged it in court, and the Florida Supreme Court ordered a recount, but the US Supreme Court behaved in a thoroughly partisan manner and put a stop to it.
I’m not too young to have been aware of it, although I do appreciate your condescension.
Nothing you say responds in any way whatsoever to what I said: Gore was not entitled to the votes of people who identified as Greens. To say that people who didn’t vote for Bush are somehow responsible for Bush’s victory arrogantly assumes that everyone who didn’t vote for your preferred candidate was supposed to. Gore had to earn those votes: he didn’t, and shouldn’t, automatically get them simply by virtue of being from the largest “liberal” (and I use that term very loosely) party.
I voted for Gore, and wish he had won. But I blame Bush’s victory on people who voted for Bush. I’m not arrogant enough to claim that everyone who didn’t like Bush was obligated to vote against the same non-Bush candidate that I did.
1. I wasn’t trying to be condescending.
2. You obviously don’t understand what it is I’m saying, so let’s drop it.
That he doesn’t agree doesn’t mean he doesn’t understand what you’re saying. It just means he disagrees.
Rich, he isn’t speaking to what I’m saying, and is claiming the same of me, even though I AM speaking to what he’s saying – and frankly, I don’t care for his tone.
Look, I simply don’t want to talk about this any longer. In the twelve years since that debacle occurred, this is the first time anyone on this side of the fence has disagreed with me – and there really is nothing to disagree with. Nader DID split the Democratic party; that’s simply indisputable, and it’s virtually indisputable that a bunch of old Jews got snookered into voting for Buchanan (and, as you rightly pointed out, quite a few Floridians of ethnic background got screwed out of voting as well).
1. I wasn’t trying to be condescending. 2. You obviously don’t understand what it is I’m saying, so let’s drop it.
If you’re not actually trying to be condescending, then you’re doing a remarkably good impression!
Obviously, it is not indisputable. Why can it not be that the Democrats disenfranchised a section of their voting block? Or maybe there is blame to go around to BOTH groups. On that, Peter DID address what you were saying when he said, “Gore was not entitled to the votes of people who identified as Greens.” You are arguing from the position that those people would have voted for Gore if Nader had not been in the race. But have you considered how many would have not voted at all?
Fucking imbeciles, the pair of you.
Actually they were correct, and you are also wrong about your condescending attitude. So you were bettered by those you deride condescendingly as imbeciles.
That’s class, right there.
It’s like in the big game, where one player makes an amazing catch/save/throw/shot and is credited with singlehandedly winning the game. Or one player makes a stupid drop/fumble/miss and is blamed for singlehandedly losing the game.
It’s normal for our brains to focus on what we see as significant, and gloss over everything else that happened. IF Nader had just dropped out like a good little boy. IF Buchanan had gotten a few more of Bush’s votes. IF Gore hadn’t been such a robot. IF Bush hand’t been so charismatic and folksy. IF we actually picked the person who got the most votes. IF FL had not scrubbed a large number of disproportionately likely Democratic voters from their registered voter list.
IF Gore hadn’t been such a robot.
Yeah, I must say his lack of charisma certainly didn’t help matters.
IF FL had not scrubbed a large number of disproportionately likely Democratic voters from their registered voter list.
Which may be happening again, for the same reasons. This was really the lead that was buried in the whole debacle — disenfranchising voters wholesale. This should have been the bigger story, IMO.
I see both sides of the above debate, and I do not call it Nader acting “like a good little boy” as much as “not being a pompous dick”. At no time was he within spitting distance of the oval office, but he does have impassioned followers (see the book Ralph Nader, Will You Marry Me?), and they did have the effect of splintering off some otherwise Democratic votes. (Oh, and cipher: ”bunch of old Jews”?? Really? Come on, dude, how about bunch of voters, or bunch of older voters….)
IF the 200,000+ registered Democrats who voted for Bush had voted for Gore… (reminder: Gore ‘lost’ by 537 votes.)
I haven’t paid attention to the nitty gritty in a long time, but wouldn’t you also have to factor any registered Republicans who voted for Gore? And look at it in a state by state basis? I’m assuming that 200K number is not from FL alone.
Come to think of it, my mother voted for Bush, and she was probably a registered Democrat. She voted for Bush because he’s a Christian.
No, I didn’t bother. It wasn’t worth it.
If the supreme court ruling was partisan that required partisan behavior on the part of the dissenters on the court. Claiming that something was partisan isn’t all that damning in many situations. Studies done show that if the recount had been done as Gore requested then Bush still would have won. The chad issue is a nonstarter in claiming that Bush “stole” the election because it was the democrats that were in control of the voting systems in these disputed areas. Either they were too stupid to set it up in a clear manner or their voters too stupid to figure it out. Either way Bush wasn’t responsible for stealing votes. There are lots of other facts one would have to misinterpret to conclude Bush stole the election. Not sure how you could claim Bush stole the election even if the Supreme court decided to throw the rule of law out the window to make its decision. Bush has no control over that. Worst you could say was the court handed him the election. Turns out they did have reasonable issues with the recount if you were paying attention at the time.
There are lots of other facts one would have to misinterpret to
conclude Bush stole the election. Not sure how you could claim Bush
stole the election even if the Supreme court decided to throw the rule
of law out the window to make its decision.
Oh, Jesus Christ! Can you even fucking read? I didn’t say Bush “stole” the election. I was describing the various factors that caused it essentially to be handed to him.
Goddamn it, Hemant, Richard – this is the reason I walked three years ago. It’s bad enough having to deal with the idiot evangelicals; I refuse to deal with idiot atheists as well.
I won’t respond to any more comments in this thread.
You claimed Bush wasn’t elected, and you were quoting all the nonsense used by those who claim he stole it. Pardon me those were meant to be scare quotes. You original claim is still false. Fact is that Bush was elected. He was elected by the first count, and would have been by the requested recount. Calling peopl idiots when they disagree with your false statements makes it very unpleasant to carry on a conversation with you.
Handed is a very imprecise word. Was the election “handed” to Bill Clinton because of Ross Perot? I don’t see you complaining about that. Clinton is the guy who failed to fire Greenspan when it was quite obvious he was blowing a giant economic bubble with loose monetary policy. No it was not “deregulation” that caused the bubble. Everyone who identified it at the time knew it was due to easy money, the Greenspan put, Fannie and Freddy, and allowing various other private institutions to essentially lower reserves. Most of the the bad paper was being generated by institutions that always had the power to do so, which wasn’t effected by any deregulation. Private institutions had found new ways to play the same old game of adding to the money supply via taking short maturity instruments and converting them to long.
Your comments are full of error and misinterpretation of events. I guess that makes everyone who is in the know and idiot.
A classic example of the blindness that results from single-issue advocacy (and if your pimping for Obama is more than about religion, why the hell are you hauling it out on a forum about atheism/religion?).
There are several third parties who not only are not part of the suffocating corporate duopoly, but who have more enlightened attitudes towards atheism than either Republicans or Democrats do.
A classic example of the blindness that results from single-issue advocacy
Where separation of church and state, women’s reproductive freedom, sane foreign policy, fair economic policy, civil liberties including gay rights, and respect for science are considered a single issue.
Nice. Do you like it when people start discussions with you calling you a Romneybot, liberated, android, or whatever?
Does Hemant get those short of comments when he blogs about math? You may disagree with him and good for you. But don’t try to dictate what he can and can’t write about on his own blog. Is there a blogger who doesn’t get such complaints? Ah, sorry. You thought this was a forum. You need to look up what a blog is.
Registered! Will vote!
I hate the electoral college system though – it make me feel that unless I’m in a sing state (I’m not), my vote doesn’t matter at all. But I guess there are always local officials to vote for.
You should come up to Canada where there are so many ways to vote against insane anti-science theocrats that the insane anti-science theocrats have been winning recently rather solidly.
The conservative right-wing fundamentalist Christian dominionists know who their party is – they vote for it in droves. Meanwhile the progressives up here often “know” who their partIES are and may as well be throwing their votes out the window, they split so magnificently. Like herding cats, I tell you.
Looks like you guys may be getting a little of that down there, eh?
Proportional representation. The Europeans do it, and apparently it works for them. We won’t do it here because, you know, it makes sense.
Logic? That’s un-American!
Does it work? What do you mean by work? Seems like they suffer from the same issues of political failure we do.
No system is perfect really. Even with a perfect system you still would get the same kind of politicians, I guess. The problem is people suck. Who thought democracy was a good idea? Yes, I guess it’s better than the alternatives.
What does everyone think about the electoral college? Is there any reason to keep it around? I think more people would vote if we got rid of it.
I definitely agree with you, julie. The electoral college system makes a lot of people like their vote doesn’t matter at all. I, for one, think that it was a mistaken idea from the start.
However, the unfortunate reality is that we’re unlikely to see a change in the near future. Both of the major parties in the US of A are afraid of any changes to the election process, because they are both far too afraid that it will impact them negatively. As well they should be.
I think that the electoral college system for presidential elections should be replaced with a two-round, run-off plurality system. I think that absentee ballots should count as real votes rather than being held in reserve for special circumstances. I think that wide-scale online voting should be seriously considered. Most importantly, I think that election day should not be on a work day! How is it not a national holiday? So many hard-working people have a very difficult time making it to the polls because of their busy work day.
Getting rid of the Electoral College would lead directly to a national popular vote. Which would mean from then on, only large cities would matter, and they are the only ones whose interests will be campaigned on and pandered to. As cumbersome as the EC is, it does force presidential candidates to address parts of the country they would otherwise ignore; since they are running to represent the whole thing, I’d say that’s a good thing.
So don’t now people who are not in big cities unfairly given more of a voice? Actually, wikipedia says that they are analogous to the population of each state. So does it really make a differnce?
I think limits on government is far more important than what voting system we use. Voting is inherently an unfair system, and especially when rights are not respected. Voters don’t have to actually provide anything in trade for the things they demand politically, and the many choices they are asked to make are collectivized down in to two or a few choices. We should refrain as much as possible from using politics to make decisions.
Not sure why anyone would think that getting as close as possible to a popular vote is important, nor in why getting as wide a voter pool. I only think voters should have a say where they have skin in the game. If there is no draft and you are an able bodied person who lives completely on the government dole and never paid taxes (sales, income, or otherwise) then why should you get to vote on something you didn’t contribute to, and not because you were unable? At least when you buy health insurance privately you had to contribute to get something in return. With the vote you get without giving.
The founders were aware of this problem and the collapse of prior democracies into political scrambles to the bankruptcy as the nmasses to vote others out of their property. I’m not suremthat isn’t where we are headed despite their efforts.
You suggest people who don’t pay taxes shouldn’t vote?
Neither the democrats nor republicans are running anyone qualified, nor motivated to fix the serious issues both parties have caused via governmental intervention in the economy. Expect economic disaster in the future because both parties will allow things like this: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2012-09-22/fed-now-owns-27-all-duration-rising-over-10-year
The debt snowball caused by Fed policy in all sectors of the economy and government countinues to roll because as before the Fed continues to push it. Be frightened because it is already rolling on it’s own.
Based on my understanding it is the Democrats who are in the majority responsible for this mess. So I’m not motivated to vote for them in the least.
Governmental intervention in the economy has kept and is keeping us alive. Pure Capitalism always results in slavery and starvation. It’s as nonsensical and essentially religious as pure Communism.
You believe that because you are economically and historically illiterate.
He is right though. So, I guess you are economically and historically illiterate. This is fun. No need to explain why you are wrong.
to fix the serious issues both parties have caused via governmental intervention in the economy
If you think the debt is the major economic issue of the day, rather than unemployment, I will not look to you for a deep understanding of economic issues.
And if you think government intervention in the economy is necessarily a bad thing, and look back fondly on a golden pre-New Deal era, then I will not look to you for accurate knowledge of our economic history.
Financial Panics of the 19th Century
Well you should look to me because you don’t even seem to understand what an economic intervention by the government is. Interventions would include but not be limited to things like government guaranteed loans, price controls, central banking, legal tender laws, legalization of fraudulent transactions, and the like. Those all happened during the 19th century in the US and are also associated with past bubbles and panics. Going back to tulip mania there has been a high correlation between central banks and bubbles. Not that bubbles can’t happen with the fraudulent practice of fractional reserve banking alone, but it is just hard for private banks to coordinate their fractions reserve inflations of currency without a central bank.
You seem not to be aware of our current situation. We are piling on debt and it has not resulted in a reduction in unemployment. Not surprising because it has never worked, and there is no economic reason it should work.
Other government interventions in the economy: regulations which keep 6 year olds from working in coal mines. Safety regulations to protect the health of workers. Safety regulations to protect the health of customers.
The last president to have a balanced budget was a Democrat. The next president, a Republican, cut taxes and started two wars, all on credit. The stimulus worked very well to prevent catastrophic job losses. I know people who would have been laid off if not for the stimulus. Keynesian economists recommended a stimulus approximately twice the size of what was passed. Then the Tea Party Republicans took over the House and threatened to drive the world economy off a cliff if they didn’t get their way, and Republicans, after piling up debt for 8 years, suddenly decided that debt was the big issue. Sheep like you followed them.
Does a child have the competence required to participate in the free market. Funny you think a child slaving in a mine is an example of an economic activity. Are you one of those people who thinks that slavery is an example of a free market transaction. Safety regulations are not an economic intervention. It is only natural to hold employers responsible for the work conditions they set in motion.
Presidents don’t control the purse strings of government and I’ve always found it humorous when people try to correlate deficits to the party of the president. Congress does control the budget and the correlation there is that when republicans are in control the spending tends to go down while the reverse happens with democrats. If you recall Clinton had a Republican congress when spending was going down.
Keynesians recommend a lot of stupid things. Keynes himself recommended burying bottles full of money to employ people. Krugman recently recommended we prepare for an alien invasion.
You haven’t explained how the stimulus prevented job losses. You’ve merely made an unsupported assertion. Unemployment is way above the projections made by Obama’s economists when they assumed no stimulus, and no where near where they said they would be. Given the drop in labor participation the unemployment numbers are even worse than that. Claiming that the policies have been working but things would have been even worse than projected is laughable ad hoc nonsense.
We have historical examples of what happens when you don’t do a stimulus, and let banks fail. An example being the crash of 1920. It was over in 18 months. Hoover, the Great Engineer, on the other hand decided he was going to intervene with public works programs, government spending programs and other government interventions. It didn’t work out so good. Roosevelt ran against Hoover claiming he was spending too much, but then when in office became Hoover on steroids. The result was the Great Depression.
Government debt can’t “create jobs” but can only shift them. The government must either borrow private funds which means that they are not available for private industry to create jobs (whether that borrowing is domestic or foreign), or must print new money. Printing money doesn’t create any actual capital, since money is merely a medium of exchange the newly printed money is again used to divert resources away from private industry to government, a shifting of jobs.
Keynesianism as laid out by Keynes was falsified with stagnation. That’s if formulated as a falsifiable theory. Unfortunately true believers will never be swayed and they always come up with some excuse like your excuse about not spending enough. Nonsense. There have been unprecedented levels of spending. Keynesians even claim that the kind of spending doesn’t matter. That’s why they make the ridiculous claim that WWII got us out of the Great Depression. If war is supposed to act as a stimulus then Bush was an economic genius and we should never have fallen into a slump.
Keynes’s theories were falsified before he even made them by many prior depressions. If he was right they should not have been as short as they were. During many government spending was cut and yet the ended quickly with little unemployment compared to those where government spending was attempted.
Not only that but his theories are self contradicting and generate ridiculous paradoxes, that lead him to claim that dropping bombs, shipping men overseas to die in trenches, and burying bottles are productive economic activities. They are not.
This is one Missouri vote that’s going to Obama.
I find it off-putting that you are trying to sway free thinkers to join a bandwagon. We’re not sheep. We’ll vote for who we feel is most qualified to represent our personal values, but remember that atheists aren’t “one-size-fits-all.”
What’s wrong with trying to persuade people? I’m pretty conservative (Obama is the first Dem I’ve voted for in a long time, and do not intend to do the same in ’12), but someone telling me they’d rather I voted for Democrats doesn’t offend me. Why should it?
We’ll vote for who…
I will vote for good grammar, and you are not my candidate.
I just took the “and then vote for the Democrats[!]” thing as a joke. Not to mention, he says that he’ll just “glare at you” if you vote differently. Plus, his overall demeanor for most of his posts means he’s not somebody likely to beat up on you for not thinking the way he does. He’s not serious, y’all. Jeez.
For the record, I’m a black atheist female. Even though I’m in Georgia, where my vote almost doesn’t count on at least TWO levels: my county is majority-minority black and our politicians are a joke: we’ve just re-elected a crackpot Sheriff who has 37 pending felony charges against him, which ought to havecounts of
dunno about Victorian, but your use of punctuation makes for an enjoyable read, even thought the content makes me want to nod, smile, and throw the computer out of the window.
Wow, this comment thread is scarier than many neo-con threads I’ve waded into. If enough people think their state is “in the bag” for Obama and vote for an alternative, then guess what we get? A Romney presidency. If that doesn’t make you shudder, than you haven’t been paying attention.
Obama may not be your ideal candidate for many reasons, but to risk electing someone who is worse with religious issues, women’s issues, social issues, economic issues, and has the international diplomatic skills of a 6th grade boy is being very short-sighted.
I don’t think Romney is competent on economic issues but only because I think he is too much like a democrat. He might get a C from me. Obama gets an F. Not that presidents have much control over the economy in the first place. Not sure why you think Romney is so bad at diplomacy. When you look at Obama’s record pissing off our allies, throwing free speech under the bus, intervening militarily without so much as a nod to congress or the UN, etc. then Romney looks brilliant by comparison.
I get it. You don’t like Obama and you think Romney is better. But if that is the case, my comment wasn’t addressed to you.
A comment to those claiming that there is no difference between the candidates or the parties:
Just before the 2000 election between Gore and Bush, I was talking with a neighbor at a block party. He is a staunch conservative, Bush-supporter and a Christian fundamentalist to boot. He made the interesting comment that, while he was voting for Bush, if you come right down to it, there probably wouldn’t be much difference regardless of who was elected as president. “I mean, how much damage could either of them do?” was his closing comment. In the interest of neighborly peace, I nodded my agreement.
Well, we all know the results of an 8-year Bush presidency. Do any of you really think a Gore presidency (or a Kerry presidency for that matter) would have had the same disastrous end result? I will never again make the mistake to agree that there is no difference between the two parties.
And if that doesn’t make you think a little deeper into this matter, then how would you like a Supreme Court weighted 7-2 with conservatives? How about a couple more Scalias and Thomases in the mix for the next 10-20 years? It could make Citizens United look like a liberal-leaning decision in comparison.
Yes, I do. I doubt Gore would have fired Greenspan. Clinton didn’t. Much of the financial rules that caused trouble under Bush where already passed under Clinton. Bush was actually trying to rein in Fannie and Freddy against Democrat opposition. So the major causes of our economic troubles would have remained in place. The Democrats are only anti-war when they are out of power, so it is likely Gore would have invaded Afghanistan, and Iraq too. Don’t forget they got us into both WWII and Vietnam. Democrats had been rattling swords about Saddam long before Bush was in power. They voted overwhelmingly for military action in Afghanistan. Obama got us involved with Libya without even bothering with congress or the UN. That stuff apparently is only an issue for democrats when republicans are in power. People forget that Congress holds the purse strings and does the majority of legislating, and that bad law can take decades and even lifetimes to have their final effects. Soviet Union didn’t collapse in a day, a year, or even a decade.
”People forget that Congress holds the purse strings and does the
majority of legislating, and that bad law can take decades and even
lifetimes to have their final effects.”
Correct. A lot of our current problems, particularly with regard to deregulation, can be traced back to the Reagan administration. With regard to the rest, it is clear who you aren’t voting for, and that is fine. If you don’t like Obama, then don’t vote for him. But I can’t agree with the premise that the parties and the candidates are no different.
It’s clear who I am NOT voting for.
Yeah, that’s what all of my conservative friends are saying this year…
I’d like to suggest that if you Can vote absentee, please do so. There are possibly a lot of seniors out there like my Dad, who won’t accept that he has to have new ID to vote, and is going to cause a ruckus at the polls. Disruptions caused by the new ID laws have the potential to slow down voting significantly.
Go ahead and glare. I know how to do that, too. :) I’ve been registered since I turned 18 and I decide my own votes.
Fiscally conservative atheist here, main tenet, “Let people do what they want as long as they aren’t hurting anyone else.” Which puts me closest to Libertarian. So long as we get one that supports a secular government.
That would be the problem with an atheist party for me. They would most likely lean too far left on the fiscal scale for my taste.
Honestly, i could not stomach voting for either Obama or Romney. Both are pro-war, both pro-religion, both pro state growth, pro drug war, anti gat marriage, etc. I’m voting for Gary Johnson.
For everyone talking about voting for third parties because your state is a ‘sure thing’;
DON’T DO IT.
We’ve tried that in Canada for a decade now nearly, all we did was hamstring ALL of our left-wing parties and give our one monolithic right-wing party two minority governments and now finally a majority.
It’s cost us everything we loved about being Canada; our evironmental standards, respect for human rights, and our economy (we had a surplus with the left-wing LIberals in power, two years BEFORE the recession the Conservatives turned it into a deficit).
Voting for an alternative party only works if there other side also has an alt party to split their vote, otherwise you’re just handing the Republicans a victory.
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