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Third party voting: Throwing your vote away or the only Path to Progress?


Off-Topic Discussions

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Shadow Lodge

Thiago Cardozo wrote:
Yeah, you're probably as equally worried of being killed by terrorists as those guys with killer robots flying over their heads day and night...

I don't think the numbers work out to being too worried about the possibility on either side.

Quote:
Besides, everything is pointing to the direction that these strikes are actually helping terrorist recruitment by creating victims looking for revenge.

But less organized terrorists. If you DON"T park your ginormous army in their country they can't just hop a plane train or donkeycart to shoot americans: they need a vast network of support to raise the cash and expertise to cross half the planet

Quote:
And the idea that it is legal for the US to attack unilaterally citizens from any country that they are not at war with simply by declaring that there is a terrorist among them is, frankly, ridiculous.

Legal in terms of US law or legal in terms of international law?


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Imagine if all those Gore voters had voted for Nader. Fu@$&ng Gore voters are responsible for 8 years of Bush.

Man, this is easy.


See, heres the thing: we all know that we arent a democracy and one of the reasons why we arent is that democracies make no provision for minority thought. Gore ignored the progressive wing (the minority)of his own party and lost because of it. Romney is ignoring the libertarian wing of his own party and will lose because of it. Both are examples of the system working as intended.

As an aside to BNW (and please dont take this as an attack, I like you as a poster), why do you think that Gore wouldnt have went to war in Iraq? Do you think he would have continued the Clinton administration's "500,000 dead Iraqi children is totally worth it" policy? Do you think he would have enacted the Joe Biden-based Patriot Act?


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BigNorseWolf wrote:
Thiago Cardozo wrote:
Yeah, you're probably as equally worried of being killed by terrorists as those guys with killer robots flying over their heads day and night...
I don't think the numbers work out to being too worried about the possibility on either side.

Maybe you didn't read the report

life under drones

Is this anything like life in US? I am not an american, but I hardly think so.

Quote:


Quote:
Besides, everything is pointing to the direction that these strikes are actually helping terrorist recruitment by creating victims looking for revenge.
But less organized terrorists. If you DON"T park your ginormous army in their country they can't just hop a plane train or donkeycart to shoot americans: they need a vast network of support to raise the cash and expertise to cross half the planet

If you don't bomb families to pieces, then bomb people who try to rescue them AND don't ocuppy their countries, maybe there will be less people inclined to go through all those lenghts to do such things.

If the moral perspective on the issue cannot convince you, maybe the economics of it might: there are many life risks for human beings. Does the direct and indirect cost of gaining a modicum of safety against terrorist attacks is reasonable given that other much more present risks can be mitigated with a fraction of the money spent on purchasing weapons?

And for that modicum of extra safety you are ok to enable a surveillance state in your country? I remember someone in US having some words about trading liberty for safety...

And even that modicum of safety cannot be taken for granted after all this, because there is no available concrete evidence (except from speeches of government heads) that this is actually helping or not.

Quote:
Quote:
And the idea that it is legal for the US to attack unilaterally citizens from any country that they are not at war with simply by declaring that there is a terrorist among them is, frankly, ridiculous.
Legal in terms of US law or legal in terms of international law?

In terms of international law it sure seems illegal. Unless the US is some rogue state which can ignore such concerns or has declared itself Empire of the World I think it is pretty important. Specially if it wants to keep using international law to chastise other countries...

Shadow Lodge

TheWhiteknife wrote:


As an aside to BNW (and please dont take this as an attack, I like you as a poster), why do you think that Gore wouldnt have went to war in Iraq?

Because it was a neocon plan and gore isn't a neocon?

Quote:
Do you think he would have continued the Clinton administration's "500,000 dead Iraqi children is totally worth it" policy? Do you think he would have enacted the Joe Biden-based Patriot Act?

Probably.


Scott Betts wrote:
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
Al Gore was such a loser that he drove away 200,000 registered Democratic Floridian voters who turned to Bush. But it was the Naderites who are "one of the primary parties responsible for Bush's election."

You understand the concept that more than one individual or group can bear responsibility for the outcome of a collective act of decision-making, yes? And that each of those individuals or groups can be blamed for any negative outcomes from that act, just as they can be lauded for positive ones, yes?

What I see you doing here is trying everything rhetorically possible to dismiss the idea that voting for a third-party candidate can contribute to a disastrous outcome, and has been shown to have done exactly that in the recent past.

Trying everything rhetorically?

All I keep doing is posting the same thing over and over again.

#1) Al Gore is a loser
#2) The Republicans stole the election
#3) Al Gore conceded the election without a fight

What I see you doing is apologizing for every shiznitty thing that Obama has ever done and then attempting to demonize everybody who refuses to vote for the Democrats, the Other Party of Racism, War and Plutocracy.


Respectfully, I'm not so sure.

TL;DR version- "His own vice president would have been Joe Lieberman, perhaps the most hawkish Democrat in Washington on Middle East issues. Marty Peretz, his old friend and confidante, would have had Gore’s ear and filled it with arguments for going into Iraq. Loud, influential, non-conservative media voices — like Tom Friedman and Peter Beinart — would have amplified these calls on the outside. Republicans would have been screaming for an invasion, and the public would have been on their side."


pres man wrote:
meatrace wrote:
Or, ya know, the supreme court...

He had already lost before the Supreme Court got involved. They just upheld the decision.

He was just crying out each time someone decided against him with, "It's not fair!" and trying to get someone else to change the outcome.

Well, no defense for Gore from me, but it kinda wasn't fair the way they stole voting rights from 90,000 people whom they listed as felons who weren't.


TheWhiteknife wrote:
See, heres the thing: we all know that we arent a democracy

That is false. This is yet another fashionably cynical viewpoint held by those with little or no knowledge of actual political thought. The United States is a representative democracy.


Sissyl wrote:
Heh. Gore and Kerry are the ones you want to take a look at when discussing who to blame for Bush.

No, actually, I want to take a look at everyone responsible.

Quote:
Kerry who, from what I got from way over here in Sweden, had all the charisma of a crash test dummy. Gore, whose environmental shenanigans were so apallingly bad that they even gave him the Nobel peace prize. Hint: If they ever offer that prize to you, it's seriously time to rethink your life...

Take a minute, if you will, and please look over this list. I want you to then try, again, to repeat - with any degree of sincerity you can manage! - the idea that Nobel Peace Prize winners should rethink their lives.

What is it with all these nonsensically cynical opinions? America isn't a democracy? Nobel Peace Prize winners are failures? I get that you think it's cool to be cynical, but this is just ridiculous. Inject a little grounded reality into your thinking, please.


Scott Betts wrote:
TheWhiteknife wrote:
See, heres the thing: we all know that we arent a democracy
That is false. This is yet another fashionably cynical viewpoint held by those with little or no knowledge of actual political thought. The United States is a representative democracy.

Citation please.

Because I believe that it is you who are wrong.

Edit- Also, kudos on zeroing on something meaningless in my post and ignoring the main idea of it.

Doule secret edit- Before I forget, Thanks for answering my questions, BNW.


Scott Betts wrote:
What is it with all these nonsensically cynical opinions? America isn't a democracy? Nobel Peace Prize winners are failures? I get that you think it's cool to be cynical, but this is just ridiculous. Inject a little grounded reality into your thinking, please.

I don't have a dog in this discussion, but just by reading along, they probably have as much right to continue to be cynical in their remarks as you are as rhetorical in yours.

Six of one, half a dozen of the other.

Lantern Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Thiago Cardozo wrote:
In terms of international law it sure seems illegal. Unless the US is some rogue state which can ignore such concerns or has declared itself Empire of the World I think it is pretty important. Specially if it wants to keep using international law to chastise other countries...

It's been the United State's position under more than one President that it does not consider itself bound by the International Court as the official position Washington has expressed is that the Court is stacked against American interests.


The USA is pretty funny sometimes.

Not too long after NAFTA was passed, some Canadian companies (I think) sued against the Helms-Burton (? anti-Cuba stuff) laws as being restrictive of their right to free trade with Cuba. No, no, no, America replied that's not what free trade means, it just means we can buy parts of Mexico's telephone system. What are you, stupid?

In other words, yes, Thiago, like all Empires, we are above the law. Even the ones we make.

Shadow Lodge

Comrade Anklebiter wrote:

The USA is pretty funny sometimes.

Not too long after NAFTA was passed, some Canadian companies (I think) sued against the Helms-Burton (? anti-Cuba stuff) laws as being restrictive of their right to free trade with Cuba. No, no, no, America replied that's not what free trade means, it just means we can buy parts of Mexico's telephone system. What are you, stupid?

In other words, yes, Thiago, like all Empires, we are above the law. Even the ones we make.

Its good to be the king!


We know what to do with kings in Isarn!

Vive le Galt!!


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It's not going to go away as long as people keep talking about American Exceptionalism either.

Also, I don't think we would have gone to war with Iraq. Lieberman would not have been as influential as Cheney. Gore would never have leaned on his VP near as much as Bush.

There's also the distinct possibility that without the Bush-Rumsfeld duo, Afghanistan would have been handled better (or Iraq if it had happened too). Rumsfeld's leadership pretty much trashed the working parts of strategy in both places, and because of the dynamic between the president and secdef, he was given free reign to do as he saw fit.

In the early stages of Afghanistan, the CIA was being extremely effective, but Rumsfeld doesn't like the CIA. So he hung them out to dry and implemented his own strategy. Not saying the CIA is this great organisation, but they had started to build up contacts and allegiances with people inside Afghanistan and all of that got thrown away.

The same thing happened in Iraq. They had initially sent in a team of diplomats to advise the military, those guys had actually set up a meeting with high level Iraqi army officers to have them call in their troops and basically hand over authority of the Iraqi army. It was so close to happening that within a few days of Paul Bremer's arrival, there was an Iraqi officer waiting outside his office with a list of officers and enlisted personnel, which could be used to muster, organize and employ them on the side of the Americans. He was sent home without having ever met Bremmer and the Iraqi army was dissolved.

I don't know if Romney is hawkish himself or just paying lip service to hawks in his party. I don't really want to find out though.

Obama has done things wrong in a lot of ways. I think he handled our involvement with Libya pretty well though. He avoided getting us involved too deeply in a military struggle while still helping overthrow a dictator overtly. Our intentions weren't muddled behind a veil of secrecy.

I think the drone strikes are a problem and should stop immediately, but I don't think they'll decrease if Romney were to win.

I could never vote for Ron Paul, because someone who would vote against the Civil Rights Act of 1965 will never have my vote.


LazarX wrote:
Thiago Cardozo wrote:
In terms of international law it sure seems illegal. Unless the US is some rogue state which can ignore such concerns or has declared itself Empire of the World I think it is pretty important. Specially if it wants to keep using international law to chastise other countries...
It's been the United State's position under more than one President that it does not consider itself bound by the International Court as the official position Washington has expressed is that the Court is stacked against American interests.

Then it should not try to use the court to go after other countries.


Irontruth wrote:
Obama has done things wrong in a lot of ways. I think he handled our involvement with Libya pretty well though. He avoided getting us involved too deeply in a military struggle while still helping overthrow a dictator overtly. Our intentions weren't muddled behind a veil of secrecy.

It's a bit old, but link.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:

The USA is pretty funny sometimes.

Not too long after NAFTA was passed, some Canadian companies (I think) sued against the Helms-Burton (? anti-Cuba stuff) laws as being restrictive of their right to free trade with Cuba. No, no, no, America replied that's not what free trade means, it just means we can buy parts of Mexico's telephone system. What are you, stupid?

In other words, yes, Thiago, like all Empires, we are above the law. Even the ones we make.

Its good to be the king!

If all the veneer of morality is stripped from US discourse, I can clearly understand the reasoning for US government actions. Even though it is expedient and strategically sound, trumpeting about democracy and respect for international law while doing the opposite, this kind of shameful doublespeak, can be grating.

And though this is good for those in power I, frankly, cannot see how can the good people from your country support this state of total war that cannot be good for you guys in the long run. It has been seen time and again that fear is used to convince people to accept absurd things. And yet everyone continues to fall for it. Do people think that "1984" was some manual describing how things should be?

The thing that makes me sad is that I think the ideas which support your constitution to be awesome and an example to be followed. But it appears to me that, for a long time now, US government has been turning from its Chaotic Good ideals into a Lawful Evil, realpolitik state.


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Well, Thiago, as the link in my above post hopefully indicates, the American people are lied to quite a bit and, imho, don't have any idea what's really going on.


Yeah... none of those 'myths' are really playing into my analysis of the situation. I think a couple of them are too focused on specific instances/phrases instead of the overall picture of how he ran that country. Some of them, like the Viagra and "the Left" I had never even heard until now.

Looking at a couple of quotes in the article, it seems like they really like to cherry pick.

I don't doubt that some claims were made that were false or over-hyped to gain support. But I think our involvement and footprint in Libya is by several orders of magnitude better than what happened in Iraq.


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Anyway, near as I can make it out:

CIA stooges and Islamic fundamentalists take advantage of "Arab Spring" and start a revolt above the fifth largest oil reserves in the world.

Western imperialism, mostly the French, think this is a great chance for "humanitarian intervention" (never mind the new scramble for Africa, never mind Qadaffi's opposition to Africom, never mind the petrocorporations salivating to get their hands on LNOC oilfields).

They tell a bunch of lies. Get the UN to declare a no-fly zone. Rebels still can't win. They tell more lies. Imperialists run something like 20,000 bombing sorties over the next seven months and bomb the shiznit out of Libya. (We all know that when they claim there are few to no civilian casualties, they're lying their asses off. I can't remember if you and I have already yelled at each other over Majer or not.)

Finally, the rebels track down Qaddafi and sodomize him with a knife. The rebels win and, like the bandits and thieves they are, fall out among themselves and start assassinating each other.

Doesn't really sound all that much better than Iraq to me.


Comrade Anklebiter wrote:

Yeah, but by what metric?

It only took seven months and American soldiers didn't die are the only ones that I can think of.

So...we helped to topple a dicatorial regime (good) without getting overly entangled in local politics (good) and without losing American lives (good).

What exactly is the negative? Other than the overall philosophy that the US should be isolationist. That nothing we do can be good, and if it seems good you're just not looking hard enough. That, upon inauguration, Obama should have hammered all our swords into ploughshares and anything short of this is incontrovertible proof that he's just as much of a warmongering plutocrat as he who shall not be named, if not, in fact, worse than the dictators he wishes to topple?

Let me tell you something. If, in 2001 (or 2003, whenever you believe the invasion of Iraq was planned), Bush had come on and said "Ok, look, Saddam Hussein is a really really bad guy and we're going to go kick his butt" I'd have been behind him. Cuz he was. But he was dishonest, and manufactured evidence, and trotted Colon Powell out in front of the UN like a cheap hooker to sell his narrative. And that s~~& sticks in my craw.

I don't like being lied to. I do like toppling dictators.


Wow, that's weird, I just hit submit on that post and now it says it was posted 14 minutes ago.

EDIT: Oh, woops. The post quoted in Citizen Meatrace's post got turned into that post when it was supposed to be a different one.


meatrace wrote:
Let me tell you something. If, in 2001 (or 2003, whenever you believe the invasion of Iraq was planned), Bush had come on and said "Ok, look, Saddam Hussein is a really really bad guy and we're going to go kick his butt" I'd have been behind him.

I don't even know where to start.

Andoran

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Gentlemen here are the facts, and they are not in dispute.

One of two men will be the next president of the United States.

One is Mitt Romney and the other is Barack Obama.

If you vote for someone to the left of Barack Obama rather than Barack Obama, you functionally vote for Mitt Romney by removing your potential vote for Barack Obama from the debate.

If you vote for someone to the Right of Mitt Romney rather than Mitt Romney, you functionally vote for Barack Obama by removing your potential vote for Barack Obama from the debate.

I would love to be president, because I think I know what is best for America.

I will not be president. Write ins or not, it ain't happening.

So since someone will be president, and it is going to be one of these two people, and one of them is clearly better for my interests and beliefs than the other...I'm not throwing away my vote.

Also, as an aside Nader is a self important ideologue who in his arrogance handed Bush the presidency, and Ron Paul is fundamentally wrong in his understanding of economics, but I am grateful he will keep Barack Obama president.


Who am I functionally voting for if I don't vote for anybody?


Either Gore or a top aide of his stated that he would have waged war on Iraq and Afghanistan just like Baby Bush.
The only difference is that they supposedly would have done so more 'competently'...
Which is something you want only if you agree with those aims.
Although Obama/Dems seem to be drinking their own Kool-Aid just as much as neo-cons, so even that's in doubt.

I love the idea that because racists want to lump all muslims together into one bucket, that justifies war and mass murder... In the eyes of those ignorant people, and no others.
If the US didnt' like AQ camps in Afghanistan, they could have carpet bombed those camps with impunity, sent in Spec Forces, etc, because Aghanistan didn't have any airforce or air defence network, etc... Overthrowing the Afghan regime was entirely irrelevant to attacking AQ there. AQ was in Aghanistan because the US and it's corrupt repressive Saudia/GCC allies wanted them there to stage terrorist attacks and run an insurgency against the Soviet-aligned government there in the '80s.
Besides the US' long love affair with AQ and Bin Laden, they continue to love 'em: In Lebanon, the 'pro Western' Hariri NowLebanon coalition the US loves includes AQ and Salafists. AQ terrorists doing terrorist stuff and attacking US forces in Iraq returned home to Lebanon, but the US is happy for them to skip jail because they support the sectarian forces of hate that happen to hate the Shias of Lebanon whose eminent party/militia, Hizbollah, is the most effective resistance force to Israel. The latest stooge/leader of the Western backed Somali regime was classed as a wanted AQ-affiliated 'terrorist' until the very day he was installed as leader with Western backing.


Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
Who am I functionally voting for if I don't vote for anybody?

Them.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

This was just too funny not to share. Stick with it, the punchline hurts so good.

Shadow Lodge

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Thiago Cardozo wrote:


If all the veneer of morality is stripped from US discourse, I can clearly understand the reasoning for US government actions.

99 times out of a hundred thats the best (if depressing) way of understanding foreign policy. People that aren't "on your team" or "in your tribe" really don't merit any sacrifice on anothers part. If 100 of them need to die to save someone you know... oh well. A democracy is especially prone to this, because even if the rare individual will jeopardize their own life or well being for another, there's no way that most people will.

Quote:
Even though it is expedient and strategically sound, trumpeting about democracy and respect for international law while doing the opposite, this kind of shameful doublespeak, can be grating.

Its not like hypocrisy is a new idea in either politics or the US. The founding fathers were touting freedom and decrying mostly reasonable taxes as slavery while at the same time keeping actual slaves in bondage.

Quote:
And though this is good for those in power I, frankly, cannot see how can the good people from your country support this state of total war that cannot be good for you guys in the long run.

It has a very good PR campaign backed by a LOT of cash from the people on the industrial side of the military industrial complex who are profiting immensely off of the US tax dollar. If a politician steps up to cut military spending someone that manufactures military equipment is going to throw a bucket of cash at his opposition. In a primary race 100k can be the difference beween "John who?" and a landslide victory.

In short while its not good for the american people it IS good for the people who make the decisions about what our government does.

The narrative kids get in school is the wonderful freedom loving united states using a ragtag bunch of militia to break away from the evil empire. (Washington, I AM YOUR FATHER) and then bravely expanding west to cut out peaceful farmland from the untamed wilderness followed by GI JOEEEEE bravely saving the world from the nazi menace and then saving the world from evil comunists.

Once you establish, in the us citizens mind, that the US IS the good guy, its foreign policies are then taken in that light. If an action can possibly be construed as being the act of the good guy it will be because the US has always been the good guy (that they've seen...)

Quote:
It has been seen time and again that fear is used to convince people to accept absurd things. And yet everyone continues to fall for it. Do people think that "1984" was some manual describing how things should be?

It was a manual describing what works to control people. People haven't changed, so what worked then works now.

Quote:
The thing that makes me sad is that I think the ideas which support your constitution to be awesome and an example to be followed. But it appears to me that, for a long time now, US government has been turning from its Chaotic Good ideals into a Lawful Evil, realpolitik state.

When exactly did we live up to those ideals? When we had slaves? When the founders imposed the same taxes that they had decried under the king? When we slaughtered native americans for land? When we forcibly occupied the Philippines? When we started wars for United fruit? Toppled democratically elected officials to instal dictators?

There's no ideals to go "back" to. If we want to hit them it has to be by going forward. Democrats aren't moving things there fast but they're at least going in that direction.


TheWhiteknife wrote:

Citation please.

Because I believe that it is you who are wrong.

There you go. And before you shout, "Wikipedia isn't a valid source!" first, don't bother, and second, you were the one who linked to LMGTFY of all things.


Urizen wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:
What is it with all these nonsensically cynical opinions? America isn't a democracy? Nobel Peace Prize winners are failures? I get that you think it's cool to be cynical, but this is just ridiculous. Inject a little grounded reality into your thinking, please.

I don't have a dog in this discussion, but just by reading along, they probably have as much right to continue to be cynical in their remarks as you are as rhetorical in yours.

Six of one, half a dozen of the other.

Point to a post of mine that should have replaced rhetoric with factual support, and I will gladly provide it if at all possible. Rhetoric should always follow factual support, not the other way around.


Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
Who am I functionally voting for if I don't vote for anybody?

The winner.


Scott Betts wrote:
TheWhiteknife wrote:

Citation please.

Because I believe that it is you who are wrong.
There you go. And before you shout, "Wikipedia isn't a valid source!" first, don't bother, and second, you were the one who linked to LMGTFY of all things.

OK, so I say its a constitutional republic and you say its a representive democracy. Your link says its both. Whatever, it doesnt matter. It really doesnt. You took one half of one sentence in my post and focused on it and continue to ignore the main point of my post, in that our system is meant to punish candidates for ignoring the minority view of their own base. Nader didnt cause Gore to lose, Gore did for ignoring the Nader followers of his own party. Paul and Johnson will not cause Romney to lose, Romney will.


meatrace wrote:
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:

Yeah, but by what metric?

It only took seven months and American soldiers didn't die are the only ones that I can think of.

So...we helped to topple a dicatorial regime (good) without getting overly entangled in local politics (good) and without losing American lives (good).

What exactly is the negative?

Well there is that whole bypassing Congress thing. Nothing says "Constitutional Republic/Represenative Democracy" quite like one single man deciding whether or not the nation goes to war. No way that could ever backfire.


Which minority is he ignoring? The libertarians that you like? Or the fundies? Remember, Paul never came close in the primaries. Santorum did.

If anything, Romney lost votes by catering to the crazies in the Republican base, which he had to do to win the primaries, but they don't trust him enough to let him swing to the center for the general. He's a lousy candidate, only winning the primaries because the others were worse and he could swamp them with cash.


thejeff wrote:

Which minority is he ignoring? The libertarians that you like? Or the fundies? Remember, Paul never came close in the primaries. Santorum did.

If anything, Romney lost votes by catering to the crazies in the Republican base, which he had to do to win the primaries, but they don't trust him enough to let him swing to the center for the general. He's a lousy candidate, only winning the primaries because the others were worse and he could swamp them with cash.

Im not sure what your point is here. You ask me if Romney is ignoring the liberty wing (minority) or the fundamentalists (pretty much not the minority). Then your next paragraph you tell me how he catered too much to the fundamentalists and will lose- which would imply that he ignored the minority view of his party and will lose.

You know, just like I said.


Scott Betts wrote:
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
Who am I functionally voting for if I don't vote for anybody?
The winner.

Well I guess that is the only way to make sure you vote for the winner then. Otherwise you have a 50% (or less if it is a primary) of your vote totally being meaningless because you cast it for the loser. (If you ain't winning, you are losing.)

But really, why should anyone vote? Because your vote actually matters to decide who the next presid... LOL... Sorry, I couldn't hold it together.

Yeah, if you live in a swing state, your vote for the president might make a minute difference.

But most likely you live in one of the other 42-44 states where your presidential vote makes no difference because the state is going to swing blue or red with or without it. In that case, you might as well vote turd sandwich for all the meaning it makes. On the other hand, more local issues are always important, so at the very least you should be voting to decide local and state decisions.

But let's not fool ourselves that individual votes by most people mean much when it comes to the presidential election.


pres man wrote:
Well I guess that is the only way to make sure you vote for the winner then.

Thank you, Citizen Man. I wanted to say that, but couldn't bring myself to do so.


TheWhiteknife wrote:
thejeff wrote:

Which minority is he ignoring? The libertarians that you like? Or the fundies? Remember, Paul never came close in the primaries. Santorum did.

If anything, Romney lost votes by catering to the crazies in the Republican base, which he had to do to win the primaries, but they don't trust him enough to let him swing to the center for the general. He's a lousy candidate, only winning the primaries because the others were worse and he could swamp them with cash.

Im not sure what your point is here. You ask me if Romney is ignoring the liberty wing (minority) or the fundamentalists (pretty much not the minority). Then your next paragraph you tell me how he catered too much to the fundamentalists and will lose- which would imply that he ignored the minority view of his party and will lose.

You know, just like I said.

Maybe I'm not sure what you mean by minority then. I assumed you meant the extremists. I thought that was implied by the comparison to Democrats and Nader voters. There are plenty of minorities, even in the Republican party: racial minorities, Log Cabin Republicans, a handful of liberals and moderates, etc, etc. Why pick yours?

The thing about the current Republican party is that it has two extreme wings that aren't quite compatible: the social conservatives and the libertarians.
Romney's catered to both and both are killing his chances in the general. I didn't mean just catering to the fundies. Ryan, with his love for Ayn Rand and his plans to gut Medicare, is a blatant sop for the extreme libertarian wing.


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Scott Betts wrote:
The point isn't that the deck is stacked in the major parties' favor, and thus your vote won't matter. It's that you effectively are stripping a vote from one of the two candidates that stands a chance of being elected, making the actual outcome of the election worse for yourself than if you had just voted for a major party in the first place.

I have never in my life supported a Democrat or Republican for president of the United States. So how could my vote possibly strip away a vote for one of them? And which one entitled to my vote?

Scott Betts wrote:
That's not the entire point of voting. The entire point of voting is to exercise the political muscle allotted you by the U.S. and state constitutions in order to produce the most desirable outcome possible. You absolutely should be using game theory when casting your vote, because this is a democracy and a democracy is not about you trying to get exactly what you want; it's about compromise with everyone else. If you try to get exactly what you want, but go about it blindly, you will end up worse off than if you had compromised.

What happens when neither option would produce a more desirable outcome? All of the things that I care about are opposed by both major parties.

Scott Betts wrote:
I know Orthos here is probably beyond help at this point, since he won't be reading anything else, but for anyone else under the mistaken impression that both parties are the same, please please please take a look at this side-by-side comparison of the two party platforms, in their own words. It makes it very clear that there are major differences between the two parties in terms of proposed action and political philosophy.

I still don't see much of a difference there. And anyone who pays attention knows that 90% of that is nothing but political rhetoric.

Quote:
Quote:
Every person who voted in the 2000 and 2004 elections are collectively responsible for the country electing George W. Bush.
Well, no, not every person. The ones who voted for Gore (or Kerry) aren't.

You really believe that Gore wouldn't have gone to war after 9/11? Clinton had already been bombing Iraq and Afghanistan for years and they are just going to back out after the WTCs fell? Maybe we should have just listened to Ron Paul.


Scott Betts wrote:

That's sort of a weird position to take, though - honestly believing that the two candidates are interchangeable. Do you believe that reflects a well-researched view of reality?

Sure, if you've looked at both candidates and decided:

  • that support or opposition to abortion rights doesn't matter to you
  • that support or opposition to campaign finance reform doesn't matter to you
  • that the minimum wage doesn't matter to you
  • that the way government taxes small businesses doesn't matter to you
  • that how we approach strong economic rivals like China doesn't matter to you
  • that support or opposition to union rights doesn't matter to you
  • that support or opposition to women's workplace rights doesn't matter to you
  • that how the country deals with criminals doesn't matter to you
  • that support or opposition to curtailing defense spending doesn't matter to you
  • etc.

Then sure, it doesn't matter if you vote for someone else. I think that, if you're being honest with yourself, however, you will accept that one or more of the issues outlined is important to you, and that it makes more sense for you to support one candidate than the other. The above is just a small sampling of topics that the two candidates have major disagreements on. Unless you truly feel like it's all a wash (a viewpoint that I consider both unnecessarily cynical and without any grounding in reality), you may be working at cross purposes with yourself if you choose to vote for a third-party candidate.

These are all non-issues that both parties use to try to drum up support. Abortion isn't going to become illegal even if the Republicans win the election. If it were, why is it still legal? Neither party is going to give up the ungodly amounts of money that they can now raise. Minimum wage doesn't matter because raising it just raises prices once the market corrects. Not one of the things you mentioned is going to change in any significant way no matter who gets elected.

meatrace wrote:
Um. The 16 year old you speak of wasn't the target. But don't let me stop you from lying.

This is better how, exactly?

Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:


The afghan government was harboring al queda, who repeatedly staged attacks against the us Culminating in 3,000 deaths on september 11th. No government, anywhere, is going to tolerate that much loss of life without a response.

See, I don't get this reasoning.

1 million Iraqis starve to death and no one gives a f&&!, but 3,000 Americans die and all of a sudden America's got a casus belli?

The hypocrisy of imperialism is pretty mind-boggling.

^^ This ^^

Another reason why I can't possibly support either candidate. Doubt you'll hear anything about the negative effects of sanctioning during the staged debates coming up.


Scott Betts wrote:
TheWhiteknife wrote:
See, heres the thing: we all know that we arent a democracy
That is false. This is yet another fashionably cynical viewpoint held by those with little or no knowledge of actual political thought. The United States is a representative democracy.

Technically yes but we all do know that the system is rigged.

Irontruth wrote:
I could never vote for Ron Paul, because someone who would vote against the Civil Rights Act of 1965 will never have my vote.

He would vote against it because libertarians believe in equality. You can't have equality if you give out special favors to one group at the expense of other. This is, by definition, inequality.

ciretose wrote:

If you vote for someone to the left of Barack Obama rather than Barack Obama, you functionally vote for Mitt Romney by removing your potential vote for Barack Obama from the debate.

If you vote for someone to the Right of Mitt Romney rather than Mitt Romney, you functionally vote for Barack Obama by removing your potential vote for Barack Obama from the debate.

I'm voting for Gary Johnson. He's left of Obama on civil liberties and right of Romney on fiscal responsibility. So again, which one of these guys is entitled to my vote?

ciretose wrote:

So since someone will be president, and it is going to be one of these two people, and one of them is clearly better for my interests and beliefs than the other...I'm not throwing away my vote.

See in my opinion, you are throwing your vote away. Anyone who supports our fake democracy run by the [essentially] one-party system we have in place today and actually believes things will improve under it is just fooling themselves, IMO.


Frogboy wrote:


Irontruth wrote:
I could never vote for Ron Paul, because someone who would vote against the Civil Rights Act of 1965 will never have my vote.

He would vote against it because libertarians believe in equality. You can't have equality if you give out special favors to one group at the expense of other. This is, by definition, inequality.

Wait wait...so libertarians are SO pro-equality that they'd repeal a law that actual makes men and women, whites and blacks equal in the eyes of the law?

*head asplode*

Shadow Lodge

meatrace wrote:


Wait wait...so libertarians are SO pro-equality that they'd repeal a law that actual makes men and women, whites and blacks equal in the eyes of the law?

*head asplode*

Yes, because it empowers the federal government to regulate private decision practices that libertarians feel should be left to the individual or business.

For most people against the act thats probably a spurious argument acting as a cover for racism. Ron Paul is actually crazy enough to mean it.


TheWhiteknife wrote:
OK, so I say its a constitutional republic and you say its a representive democracy.

You said, and I quote:

TheWhiteknife wrote:
See, heres the thing: we all know that we arent a democracy
Quote:
Your link says its both.

That's because it is both.

Quote:
Whatever, it doesnt matter. It really doesnt.

It doesn't matter if you just go around telling people that the United States isn't a democracy? You know that idea came from somewhere, right? It doesn't spread on its own. It spreads when people who are both cynical and ignorant enough to believe it decide it's time to be fashionably political.

Quote:
You took one half of one sentence in my post and focused on it and continue to ignore the main point of my post, in that our system is meant to punish candidates for ignoring the minority view of their own base.

The system rewards candidates who appeal to a plurality of American voters (it's a little more nuanced than that, but that's the core of it). If we had a system that rewarded candidates for appealing to lunatic fringe groups, we'd be in a much sorrier state.

Quote:
Nader didnt cause Gore to lose,

Nader was a primary determining factor in Bush's election. Had Nader not run, or had any significant number of Nader voters decided to back a candidate with a chance at winning, Bush would not have been elected. That change, by itself, would have dramatically altered the course of 8+ years of American history.

Quote:
Gore did for ignoring the Nader followers of his own party.

You cannot appeal to every segment of the American people. It's not possible. That said, Gore's campaign strategy is certainly a factor in his loss.

Quote:
Paul and Johnson will not cause Romney to lose, Romney will.

Surprisingly, here you're actually right. By all reliable accounts, Romney is expected to lose the election by a non-trivial amount - multiple percentage points in the popular vote. The difference between support for Obama and support for Romney will likely be large enough that Paul and Johnson combined could not be considered a spoiler. They will, potentially, contribute to his loss, but other factors would need to be changed in addition in order for the outcome of the election to change.


pres man wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
Who am I functionally voting for if I don't vote for anybody?
The winner.

Well I guess that is the only way to make sure you vote for the winner then. Otherwise you have a 50% (or less if it is a primary) of your vote totally being meaningless because you cast it for the loser. (If you ain't winning, you are losing.)

But really, why should anyone vote? Because your vote actually matters to decide who the next presid... LOL... Sorry, I couldn't hold it together.

Yeah, if you live in a swing state, your vote for the president might make a minute difference.

But most likely you live in one of the other 42-44 states where your presidential vote makes no difference because the state is going to swing blue or red with or without it. In that case, you might as well vote turd sandwich for all the meaning it makes. On the other hand, more local issues are always important, so at the very least you should be voting to decide local and state decisions.

But let's not fool ourselves that individual votes by most people mean much when it comes to the presidential election.

I don't think anyone is under the impression that individual votes are likely to be determining factors. In some cases it stands a remote chance, but it's so small as to be not worth considering. That said, voting is a collective decision. If every citizen in the country except one followed your suggestion and did not vote, that one remaining citizen would singlehandedly decide the election.

For help visualizing this, imagine a scenario where the planet Earth is being held hostage by aliens. The aliens demand ten thousand toenail clippings, or they will blow the Earth up. A campaign is organized for citizens of Earth to send in their toenail clippings to save humanity, but news reports occasionally mention the fact that ten thousand toenail clippings is a tiny fraction of the toenail clippings discarded on a daily basis, and that Earth's people should have no problem whatsoever coming up with that amount. Everyone sees these reports, and the idea spreads rapidly. "Ten thousand toenail clippings is nothing!" the typical citizen says, and figures there's no point to sending any of his own in since he already knows Earth can easily pony up ten thousand. You can see where I'm going with this, I'm sure: the aliens end up with no toenail clippings due to collective complacency coupled with the bystander effect, and Earth is destroyed.

In other words: Vote.


Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
pres man wrote:
Well I guess that is the only way to make sure you vote for the winner then.

Thank you, Citizen Man. I wanted to say that, but couldn't bring myself to do so.

If what you're interested in is helping the eventual winner along to his victory, regardless of who that winner is, go ahead and stay home on election day. You will have accomplished your goal.

On the other hand, if you'd like to have a hand in deciding who the winner will be: Vote.

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