‘A good rule’ for voting my values

“You and I are blessed to live in a country where we are born equal no matter what we look like on the outside, where we grow up, or who our parents are. A good rule is to treat others the way you hope they will treat you.”

That is a good rule. A golden rule, even. And the previous sentence may be more aspirational than strictly descriptive, but it’s a lovely expression of the American dream.

Those lines are from President Barack Obama’s letter replying to Sophia Bailey Klugh, age 10. Sophia had written to the president to invite him to dinner and to ask how she should deal with getting teased at school because of her parents.

I voted this morning to re-elect President Obama because of letters like this — because Obama was capable of writing such a letter, because he wanted to write such a letter, because the values expressed in that letter are reflected in the president’s words and deeds and life, and because it is clear from his policies and statements and priorities that those values are who he really is and who we can expect him to continue to be.

I’m proud of the vote I cast this morning. And I know that 20 years from now, when Sophia Bailey Klugh is 30, I’ll be able to still be proud of that vote.

* * * * * * * * *

Jon Chait: “Barack Obama Is a Great President. Yes, Great.”

Obama’s résumé of accomplishments is broad and deep, running the gamut from economic to social to foreign policy. The general thrust of his reforms, especially in economic policy, has been a combination of politically radical and ideologically moderate. The combination has confused liberals into thinking of Obamaism as a series of sad half-measures, and conservatives to deem it socialism, but the truth is neither. Obama’s agenda has generally hewed to the consensus of mainstream economists and policy experts. What makes the agenda radical is that, historically, vast realms of policy had been shaped by special interests for their own benefit. Plans to rationalize those things, to write laws that make sense, molder on think-tank shelves for years, even generations. They are often boring. But then Obama, in a frenetic burst of activity, made many of them happen all at once.

Bipartisan panels of economists had long urged Medicare to reform its payment methods to curb perverse incentives by hospitals and doctors to run up costs as high as possible; Obama overcame fierce resistance in Congress in order to craft, as part of Obamacare, a revolution in paying for quality rather than quantity. He eliminated billions of dollars in useless subsidies to banks funneling (at no risk) government loans to college students. By dangling federal public-education grants, Obama unleashed a wave of public-school reform, over the objections of the most recalcitrant elements of the teachers union movement. And he forced Wall Street to accept financial regulations that, while weaker than ideal, were far tougher than anybody considered possible to get through Congress.

It is noteworthy that four of the best decisions that Obama made during his presidency ran against the advice of much of his own administration. Numerous Democrats in Congress and the White House urged him to throw in the towel on health-care reform, but he was one of very few voices in his administration determined to see it through. Many of his own advisers, both economists steeped in free-market models and advisers anxious about a bailout-weary public, argued against his decision to extend credit to, and restructure, the auto industry. On Libya, Obama’s staff presented him with options either to posture ineffectually or do nothing; he alone forced them to draw up an option that would prevent a massacre. And Obama overruled some cautious advisers and decided to kill Osama bin Laden.

Michael Bloomberg: “A Vote for a President Who Will Lead on Climate Change

We need leadership from the White House – and over the past four years, President Barack Obama has taken major steps to reduce our carbon consumption, including setting higher fuel-efficiency standards for cars and trucks. His administration also has adopted tighter controls on mercury emissions, which will help to close the dirtiest coal power plants … which are estimated to kill 13,000 Americans a year.

Mitt Romney, too, has a history of tackling climate change. As governor of Massachusetts, he signed on to a regional cap-and-trade plan designed to reduce carbon emissions 10 percent below 1990 levels. “The benefits (of that plan) will be long-lasting and enormous – benefits to our health, our economy, our quality of life, our very landscape. These are actions we can and must take now, if we are to have `no regrets’ when we transfer our temporary stewardship of this Earth to the next generation,” he wrote at the time.

He couldn’t have been more right. But since then, he has reversed course, abandoning the very cap-and-trade program he once supported. This issue is too important. We need determined leadership at the national level to move the nation and the world forward.

  • rizzo

     Bipartisanship is great if both parties are bargaining in good faith.

  • LunaticFringe

    Considering that Wodehouse was so out of touch with reality that he didn’t think the Nazis were a big deal, he is probably not the best person to base your political ethics on. 

  • The_L1985

    I’m sorry, but it’s so very hard for me to read te sentence “Fuck your purity” and not giggle like a schoolchild.

  • OriginalExtraCrispy

    Yeah, damn people like me for taking the issue seriously enough to think about our voting choices instead of blindly taking one side or the other.

    FTR, I voted for Kerry in 2004, Obama in 2008, and Stein in 2012.

  • WalterC

    Hey, the people who voted for Bush are the ones who caused Bush to be elected. If you think that Jill Stein or Gary Johnson or even (ugh) Virgil Goode should be elected, then honestly I feel that you’re only responsible for that one vote, not for the vote of the millions of other people who voted for another candidate. 

  • OriginalExtraCrispy

    I realized my reply made it sound like anyone who votes for Obama is just voting blindly. I don’t think that. I believe a lot of people are voting for him out of a genuine belief that he’s the best person for the job. I just happen to not be one of them. 

    And although I would rather he win than Romney, I would rather Stein win than Obama.

  • Becca Stareyes

     Let’s say I lived in Iowa (not a bad state; my family lives in the next state over).  Iowa is one of the handful of states that allows me to marry a person of the gender I’m attracted to.  This is still a second-class marriage, since the federal government doesn’t recognize it: I don’t get plenty of social and economic benefits as a result.   And if I went to visit my family in Nebraska, well, I cross the border and I’m single again. 

    Obama and Stein both promise the repeal of DoMA, which would grant the federal benefits for same-sex couples and (I’m not a lawyer) at least make it a lot easier for a court case to say ‘states have to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other US states’  (or maybe that’s a given; I don’t know).  Suddenly my mobility would go up.

    Romney’s stated position is to support a constitutional amendment to ban same sex marriage.  I don’t know what that would do to the ones that already exist, but it’s not exactly friendly for me and people like me to keep the civil rights we have.

    (I think Johnson’s views are all right, especially since he’s said that he recognizes the odds of getting every instance of marriage changed to civil union under the law isn’t a good short term goal, so he supports marriage equality: it’s more pragmatic than the sorts who seem to use ‘get government out of the marriage business’ to sit on their asses, though I disagree with it.)

    Now, I live in New York, which means I feel safe that I could cast a vote for a third party and still have the New York electoral college votes go to Obama who is my preferred candidate of the Big Two.  If I lived in Iowa, I don’t think I’d feel safe doing so; not until both major parties have a basic agreement on ‘Becca Stareyes is a human who deserves full human rights, which include these things’.  Frankly I’d rather vote for Obama, who is not ideal, and know my vote pushes a close state towards a candidate who is Not Unfriendly to People Like Me, then vote for Stein and have to wonder if I could have changed things if we wake up tomorrow to a President-elect Romney (or in a too-close to call situation). 

    Maybe you think this is selfish of me, but they are my human rights, and I want to protect them the best I can.  Maybe if I was a straight cis-male version of myself, it would be easier to stand on my principles, and not vote tactically based on minimizing harm to myself.  (Maybe not, since I still have female and gay friends.)

    (Of course, I don’t just limit this to election day: I totally nag my congresspeople, senators and the president on policies, even when I did end up with a Republican state senator who probably didn’t want to know my feelings on same-sex marriage and abortion.  I totally think that political action isn’t just for pushing a button on election day.)

  • http://politicsproseotherthings.blogspot.com/ Nathaniel

     Yeah, you thought all right. Then decided to make the stupid choice.

    People who vote third party on the presidential level aren’t making a principled stand. They are engaging in the underpants gnomes theory of politics:

    1. Vote third party for president
    2.????
    3. Get the policies I want

    Just precisely how will voting for Jill Stein achieve your policy goals? Do you think the Democrats will care about the voices of people who are potentially throwing the election to the other side? Will Obama go, “Oh man, .3 percent of the country went for Jill, better dry dock all my drones,”?

    Hell, lets play pretend. Lets pretend that all the other candidates die, or are found with  the proverbial dead girl or live boy. So Jill becomes president. Why would anyone in Congress pay her any attention? They have no loyalty to her, either Democrat or Republican. And what incentive could Jill provide, given her total lack of ties to a political party? They can just twiddle their thumbs and she’ll be gone in four years.

    Do you think that Jill Stein would be able to just snap her fingers and stop the military industrial complex? Or halt the drug wars with an executive order? Just what planet do you live on? Furthermore, even if she could do those things, just what would stop the next president from erasing all her changes? Cause any third party president would be gone after one term. Or more likely, would start caucusing with one of the parties, and effectively become of that party.

    This is not a game. Its not a moment of personal expression of your special snowflakeness. You are voting for one person who will be president, or you are voting for the other. That’s how our system works as of now.

    You say otherwise? Please show me a single election where a third party candidate wasn’t either:

    A.) A spoiler
    B.) Irrelevant

    One. Single. Election. Good luck.

    And for emphasis, fuck your purity.

  • http://twitter.com/shutsumon Becka Sutton

     So you’re saying that you are happy living in a Dictatorship where you’re manipulated by terror into voting for th evil guy so the marginally more evil guy doesn’t get in.

    Because that’s what you’ve got. A One Party State masquerading as a two party system using hot button issues the corporate overlords don’t actually care about to terrorise people.

    Because the only thing worse than the US’s so called Health Care System (which even after ACA is fundamentally CRAP) is the fact you guys think you live a democracy. Hell, the UK’s joke of a political system is head and shoulders above your dictatorship.

    The world would be laughing at your delusions if your government weren’t so fucking scary.

    (Also when you care for your rights above someone else’s rights don’t be surprised when they don’t care about yours).

  • http://politicsproseotherthings.blogspot.com/ Nathaniel

     Only in a world where actions have no outside consequences.

  • Münchner Kindl

     This would all be interesting if Lisa Simpson ran for dictator.

    But in this election, Romney is 10 times worse. And several of these things the POTUS can’t accomplish because he doesn’t run the legislative alone. (If you had a different system where the population elects a majority party to the house, and the party then elects the chancellor and thus governs with the support of the parliament).

  • Robyrt

    I usually vote third party, but Gary Johnson’s economic platform is even more unrealistic than Romney’s and Obama’s, so I couldn’t do it this time. Fortunately, there is a reasonable independent in my district for the House, since the incumbent is a thoroughly unpleasant person (at least judging by his Twitter feed).

  • http://politicsproseotherthings.blogspot.com/ Nathaniel

     Just stop. You’re insulting every single person who actually does live in a dictatorship.

    And I care about people’s rights. I care about the right of gay people to have legal protection for themselves and their loved ones. I care about the right of people to form unions and protect themselves from their employers. I care about the right of women to have sovereignty over their own bodies.

    Both Jill Stein and Obama support those rights. But only one of those people will ever become president.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

     Four years ago, I was on disability after my stroke wondering if I would ever again be free to change jobs, or whether the “pre-existing condition” clause had just barred that option from me. Now I’m not.

    Four years ago I had a President whose stated position was that families like mine weren’t really families and would be second-class in all situations where they weren’t outright criminal. Now I don’t.

    I think that stuff matters enough to be worth caring about.
    I care enough about that stuff to consider the 2008 transition a valuable one.

    If other people don’t, including you, they’re welcome to their values.

    I won’t apologize for mine.

  • WalterC

    Obama and Stein both promise the repeal of DoMA, which would grant the federal benefits for same-sex couples and (I’m not a lawyer) at least make it a lot easier for a court case to say ‘states have to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other US states’  (or maybe that’s a given; I don’t know).  Suddenly my mobility would go up.

    You’re absolutely right. Contrary to what some people think, DOMA itself does not actually prohibit same-sex marriage. It is theoretically possible for all 50 states to allow same-sex marriage without repealing or amending DOMA. Basically, there are two critical issues with DOMA, and honestly I can’t say which one is more bothersome.

     Section 2 is the part that you referred to in your post; essentially, what it does is that it makes it so that one state or territory does not have to recognize a same-sex union performed in another state. The reason the anti-gay types wanted this is because of the full-faith and credit clause of the US Constitution; as you noted, that clause could theoretically require states to recognize same-sex marriages prformed in other US states. (There is one major stumbling block to this; the “public policy” exception which allows states to avoid recognizing judicial rulings and laws from other states that they consider contrary to their “public policy”, but that’s not an official written-down-in-a-book law and I guess they wanted more insurance on that). 

    The other main part, Section 3, is the one that officially defined “marriage” as a union between a man and a woman. If you’ve heard the horror stories of immigrants in (unrecognized) same-sex marriages  who have had issues with the USCIS, or same-sex spouses of government employees being unable to take advantage of the same benefits available to heterosexual couples, this is the provision that causes that.

    As you said, repealing DOMA will accomplish a lot by itself, especially Section 3. The public policy exemption will probably be the next battleground with regards to recognizing marriages in another state, so unfortunately I can’t say for sure that same-sex couples will be free to move around the country after repealing DOMA until/unless that debate is resolved. 

  • http://twitter.com/shutsumon Becka Sutton

    Any country where people vote for a horrible candidate out of fear of a worse one does not deserve to be called a democracy.

    Any country where people are so terrified of an election result that they hate on people who voted by their values rather than utilitarianism does not deserve to be called a democracy.

    Any country where someone can poll less votes than another candidate and still win is not a democracy.

    It may not be the worst dictatorship in the world but your country is not a democracy.

  • Mark Z.

    Shorter Nathaniel: “Since you’re not getting what you want anyway, you might as well vote for what I want.”

  • JustoneK

    Let’s say this is accurate (and I’m not saying it entirely isn’t).  What choices does that leave us, those of us who still live here and really don’t have a way to change that or anywhere else to go instead?

    Do we abstain from the fake vote entirely as protest?  Would that even get noticed?

  • GDwarf

    The problem with voting for someone outside of the big two in the US is that the way the US electoral system is set up you’re just throwing away your vote.

    If you feel that your vote is meaningless enough to do that, then by all means go ahead, but you also have to accept responsibility should the greater of two evils end up winning.

    And as to the “You wouldn’t vote for someone who wanted to bring back slavery!”, well, yes, I would, if my choice was between someone who would bring back slavery while killing 1/10th of all minorities vs. someone who’d bring back slavery but, I don’t know, build more hospitals vs. someone who wouldn’t bring back slavery but had no chance of winning.

    The FPtP system combined with there only being two viable parties means that every vote for that isn’t for one of the two is a vote against them. No amount of philosophy will change that.

    This blog often has discussion on intent vs. actual outcomes. Well, voting for a non-main party seems an ideal example of that: Good intent, but the outcome is far worse than the alternative.

  • WalterC

     Only in a world where actions have no outside consequences.

    Hey, I get what you’re saying. I voted for Obama, but I don’t think that he or anyone else is entitled to even a single vote, and to me the only people who are “responsible” for a candidate’s victories are the people who voted for, caucused for, knocked on doors for, donated to, etc. him or her. Y

    ou seem to be assuming that people who voted for a 3rd party would have voted for Obama if the 3rd party wasn’t available; that might be true in some cases but it’s not true in all cases. If someone is disatisfied with all available candidates, they still have the option of doing a write-in or just leaving that line blank. They’re not obligated to vote for anyone and (assuming that they give each candidate a fair shake) the only person who can be blamed for losing that vote are the candidates themselves. 

    If Obama wanted to horn in on Jill Stein’s target market, he could have adopted some of her policy positions. (A lot of them would be impossible given the climate, but there are still a bunch that he could have done, such as keeping his promise to be more lenient on legal medical marijuana dispensaries. He could also have toned down the drone strikes or vetoed the last NDAA; all of those things are positions that he could have implemented unilaterally — at least, in the sense that he wouldn’t need Congressional Republicans to help him.)

  • http://politicsproseotherthings.blogspot.com/ Nathaniel

     Shorter you: Gosh, that guy wrote a lot of words. Let me ignore that in favor of declaring he’s a hypocrite.

    It’d be nice if you’d actually respond to the arguments I write. Like I had the courtesy of doing for the poster I responded to.

  • vsm

    If you don’t live in a swing state, how are the consequences of voting for a third party worse than the alternative?

  • http://twitter.com/shutsumon Becka Sutton

     I don’t have a horse in this race (except in so far as what happens in the US effects the whole world)  – I’m in the UK.

    Your rights  are important but the right of innocent pakistanis not to be bombed are just as important. Non-Americans are just as important as Americans you know. The fact that Romney would stomp on more people does not mean Obama’s stomping shouldn’t be a dealbreaker.

    No one votes for third parties not because they don’t agree with them but because they don’t  stand a chance.

    They don’t stand a chance not because people don’t agre with them but because no one votes for them.

    Voila! Vicious Circle.

    How is this healthy?

  • Emcee, cubed

    No. Shorter Nathaniel is actually: “You aren’t going to get 100% of what you want anyway, so if you want 70% instead of 20% (or less), then you should do what you can to make sure the guy with 70% actually does win.”

    There are some issues with that, admittedly. Most of the people saying they are voting 3rd party are also saying they live in either deep blue or deep red states. In those cases, it doesn’t bother me as much, as they are unlikely to affect the outcome in any meaningful way (which may say something else entirely).

    Personally, I have never had that luxury. Having lived most of my life in PA, and now in NV, 3rd party voting could definitely swing things. So I don’t. (And I wouldn’t vote for Gary Johnson anyway. I’d prefer him to Romney because of social issues, but as someone else mentioned, his economic and corporate policies are terrible. And I don’t know enough about Stein to make a judgement – not sure she was even on the ballot here, but I could be wrong.)

  • http://politicsproseotherthings.blogspot.com/ Nathaniel

     This is an argument I can actually respect. But I still disagree. Especially with Nader, he got over 90,000 votes in Florida in 2000. The ending vote gap was 537. Can anyone seriously contend that if Nader hadn’t run none of those votes would have gone to Gore? Or not enough to swing the election?

    Thankfully, much of this is academic. The disaster Nader helped create has ensured that the Greens don’t get enough votes to matter anymore. Hopefully anyways. So that pretty much rids any incentive for Obama to adopt Green positions. Especially ones that could lose him votes from the mushy middle, like with drug war stuff.

    And as for drones, I don’t like them. But the majority of the public is fine with them, as have been shown with polls. So we need to make our case before we can expect our presidential candidates to oppose them.

  • http://twitter.com/shutsumon Becka Sutton

    Stop being afraid and try to persuade other people not to be afraid. Try and get the large chunk of people who don’t vote because they feel disenfranchised by the two parties there are out to vote.

    Protest! Protest! Protest!

  • JustoneK

    I’m sorry, I think you’re missing a big part of what I’ve been trying to articulate.  Fear isn’t something you just switch off when it’s become less convenient.  Fear is a survival response.

    Protesting is something I support, that needs doing, but by gum I don’t have the spine for it myself.  People are being hurt, and dying for it, and I am afraid of that also.

    In the same way, I have two vaguely effective choices in my vote – one that is distinctly for things I hate and one that is distinctly against some things I hate.  Outside of those choices, well, we just don’t have numbers.  We’re damn firmly entrenched in the two parties here.

    And it feels extra harsh on me to be yelled at for not using my only tiny token of personal power in the noble and just choice instead of what I deem the most effective.

  • Mark Z.

    Like I had the courtesy of doing for the poster I responded to.
    Oh, a tone argument. Never seen one of those before.

  • Gotchaye

     It’s not healthy, but that’s how a first past the post system works.

    One thing that often doesn’t come up much in discussions like this is that politics isn’t just about the general election.  A first past the post system means that voting for a third party is kind of silly if there’s a chance that your vote will help determine the winner.  But we have primaries where minority viewpoints can be much better represented, and where sufficiently motivated minorities can have a big impact on the positions eventually adopted by one of the two major party candidates.  Look at how successful minority interests on the right have been in swinging the GOP their way.  They did this by primarying a few Congresspeople and scaring the crap out of the rest, and by requiring their eventual presidential nominee to commit himself to all kinds of terrible ideas which Romney wouldn’t have dreamt of supporting four years ago.  Even Ron Paul fans had an out-sized impact on the Republican primary.

    Voting for third parties in a general election really only moves the median effective voter towards the other end of the spectrum and causes the two candidates with a chance of winning to move away from you in order to chase that median effective voter.  Pressuring potential nominees in the primary is how you fight back against their tendency to move as far towards the center as possible.

  • WalterC

    Can anyone seriously contend that if Nader hadn’t run none of those votes would have gone to Gore? Or not enough to swing the election?

    I don’t doubt that. Obviously, it would be hard to prove, but I don’t doubt that.

    My point was more along the lines of — part of the reason that 3rd party candidates are appealing (apart from the “fuck the establishment” reason which I personally don’t value but won’t deny is pretty appealing) is that they offer . When you have both major candidates essentially endorsing a doctrine of nearly endless war with dramatic civilian casualties and severe erosion in civil liberties, I just can’t bring myself to criticize anyone who doesn’t want to pick. I can understand the calculus that says that Obama will do X bad things and Romney will do X+7 — that’s something I personally considered too — but I can understand also the notion of a “dealbreaker”, the thing that you just can’t bring yourself to endorse.  

    So that pretty much rids any incentive for Obama to adopt Green positions. Especially ones that could lose him votes from the mushy middle, like with drug war stuff.

    That may be so, but you have to understand why that kind of logic doesn’t inspire a Stein supporter to settle for Obama. If he doesn’t value the same things as they do, why would they want to vote for him? If those are the issues are #1, #2, and #3 for you, then from that perspective, Romney = Obama. They might be different on other, far less important issues, but how many people honestly base their voting decisions on their #12 or their #38 issue?

    And as for drones, I don’t like them. But the majority of the public is fine with them, as have been shown with polls. So we need to make our case before we can expect our presidential candidates to oppose them.

    Yeah, I get that, but I hope we’ve reached the point where we don’t let opinion polls substitute for moral judgment. There are a lot of things that a majority of the public have been “fine” with in the past and that doesn’t make those things any less appalling.

  • WalterC

    I guess one of the things that I recommend to everyone is to get more involved in local and state politics if they are at all able to do so. 

    Romney, Obama, et al didn’t just materialize fully-formed from hyperspace; their beliefs and principles and attitudes towards politics were shaped by their experiences on the local and state level. Both directly, and indirectly (by the fact that they were surrounded by other people who were part of those local/state machines). If you like the Green Party, you can agitate for them on the local level and build grassroots support for their ideas among nearby Democrats.

    (I get the feeling that I’m preaching to the choir here, but I feel like it’s something that a few of us — outside this community — sometimes neglect; politics is local to a large extent and it’s a lot easier to get the attention and interest of a count alderman or a state legislator, and that low-level guy will more likely than not be a future Congressperson or Presidential candidate.)

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

    Admittedly, if I genuinely believed that Jill Stein could and would, were she President of the United States, govern this country in such a way that more people (American or otherwise) were better off in 2016 than if the better of (Romney, Obama) were President, I would much more seriously consider voting for her.

    But voting for her because the better of (Romney, Obama) does not adequately support the right of innocent Pakistanis not to be bombed, and she’s the most visible neither-Romney-nor-Obama candidate, I find less compelling.

  • http://politicsproseotherthings.blogspot.com/ Nathaniel

     Its not a tone argument. You can use however many curse words you want in your response. But have the decency to actually respond, rather than snipe.

  • http://twitter.com/shutsumon Becka Sutton

     Fine, but you shouldn’t yell at people who vote for third parties (yes I know that wasn’t you but shouting at people over voting in a way you don’t like triggers me like few other things).

    But I live in a FPTP country as well albeit one that’s not quite as skewed as the US (it doesn’t have an electoral college – do not get me started on the EC) and I’m a lifelong third party voter. The idea of voting for either Labour or the Tories makes my skin crawl. I don’t actually consider there to even be a lesser of two evils there to vote for – the Labour dealbreakers are different from the Tory ones but there are just as many but I still get yelled at for not voting Labour (in a safe labour seat no less).

    And no, I don’t consider the UK to be a democracy either.

  • http://twitter.com/shutsumon Becka Sutton

     Fine, but you shouldn’t yell at people who vote for third parties (yes I know that wasn’t you but shouting at people over voting in a way you don’t like triggers me like few other things).

    But I live in a FPTP country as well albeit one that’s not quite as skewed as the US (it doesn’t have an electoral college – do not get me started on the EC) and I’m a lifelong third party voter. The idea of voting for either Labour or the Tories makes my skin crawl. I don’t actually consider there to even be a lesser of two evils there to vote for – the Labour dealbreakers are different from the Tory ones but there are just as many but I still get yelled at for not voting Labour (in a safe labour seat no less).

    And no, I don’t consider the UK to be a democracy either.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

     > Fine, but you shouldn’t yell at people who vote for third parties
    (yes I know that wasn’t you but shouting at people over voting in a way
    you don’t like triggers me like few other things).

    Well, um… ok.

    I’m sorry you experienced whatever trauma is being triggered here, and hope your recovery from it goes smoothly.

    I agree that yelling at people over their voting choices isn’t a good idea. I’m glad you know I wasn’t doing that.

    Actually, I’m not generally a fan of yelling at people for other reasons either. I don’t enjoy it and I don’t endorse it. I don’t endorse insulting people, either.

    Voting for party C knowing that either party A or party B will be elected seems a lot more reasonable when I don’t see a moral difference between A and B, than when I do. As it happens, I do see a moral difference between the parties in this election.

  • http://twitter.com/shutsumon Becka Sutton

     Yeah, you’re quite right.

    I apologise for yelling. I don’t apologise for thinking that FPTP systems are not democratic and that people should realise that and work to change it rather than blaming people who feel disenfranchised by the system you’ve got.

  • http://twitter.com/shutsumon Becka Sutton

    I am eternally grateful that issues like Abortion and Capital Punishment are not political issues in the UK.

  • LunaticFringe

    People are more likely to listen to someone who is willing to do the same, and who makes their points with courtesy and calm instead of insults, especially when it’s about an issue where emotions run high. This is not a fallacy. 

  • EllieMurasaki

    You are saying things that sound sensible but simply are not true. If I speak my mind forthrightly, I get called a bitch who ought to be more polite. If I speak my mind politely, I get ignored.

  • WalterC

     Don’t worry. I’m sure that if you keep desperately chasing after our constant barrage of unrealistic and contradictory expectations, we’ll eventually start respecting you. Or you’ll collapse in exhaustion. Whatever.

  • Tricksterson

    So either you’re a masochist or under a curse?

  • http://profiles.google.com/marc.k.mielke Marc Mielke

    (waves hand) “I don’t need photo ID.”

    “You don’t need photo ID…”

  • P J Evans

     In California, that’s the only kind she’d see. It’s about as easy to fill out as it can get: ink stamps that fill the bubble, using guide holes so that you have to work hard to miss one. (You can mark your ballot as fast as you can move the stamper.)

  • Lori

     The polls open at 6 AM, so it’s not as bad as it sounds. I think they close too early, but it doesn’t seem to be a matter of controversy here.

  • Lori

     

    Shorter Nathaniel: “Since you’re not getting what you want anyway, you might as well vote for what I want.”   

    More like: “Since you’re not getting what you want anyway would it kill you to consider the needs of some of the most vulnerable of your fellow citizens as more important than patting yourself on the back?”

  • Lori

     

    Stop being afraid and try to persuade other people not to be afraid.
    Try and get the large chunk of people who don’t vote because they feel
    disenfranchised by the two parties there are out to vote.

    Protest! Protest! Protest!

     

    Considering that this doesn’t directly effect you it might be best for you to stop telling USians how to feel. Especially since it’s not as if lesser of the evils voting is unheard of in your country. The real world is rarely what we would most like it to be. We work with the reality that we have, while trying to make it better.

  • Münchner Kindl

    I feel reminded of that Simpson (Halloween?) epsidoe, where Kang and Kodos decide to take over the US (since the US= Earth) by election, so they abduct the two candidates, clone their bodies as disguise and run for POTUS. When it’s revealed that their both aliens who want to take over, they point out that under the 2-party system, people have to choose one of them. One guy in the crowd yells that he’ll vote 3rd party instead, and Kang derisivly says “Well if you want to throw your vote away…”

    Cut to the Simpsons and the rest working in chains while Kang and Kodos crack whips, and bickering that it’s not Homers fault because he voted for Kang, not Kodos.

    I wonder how that would play out in real life, given the 30% crazification factor of voters who will vote Republicans even if they were eating babies live on stage while praying to Satan because of tribalism.

    (This ep. also had the funny scene about pandering to the voters: one of the aliens is in disguise on the stage, and saying “Abortions for everybody!” Parts of the crowd boo. “Okay, Abortions for nobody!” Other parts of the crowd boo. “Well, then abortions for some, but not for others, miniature American flags for everybody!” Crowd cheers.)

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Lobbing in a comment from outside:

    You guys are all involved in activism to change to preferential voting, right?

  • J_

    Wodehouse wrote several satirical takes on the Nazis, particularly on their British affiliates, the BNS.


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