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I Accidentally Voted In A Triad Election, WHOOPS

November 6th, 2012 by | Tags:

Today’s the big voting day, because apparently it is an election year? Who knew.

Anyway, go out and vote if you feel led to do so. If you’re in California, here’s a guide to the state propositions. Some of them are tricky. I mean, obviously you want to vote against human trafficking, but apparently that prop is slanted to unfairly malign sex workers and makes colored folks even more vulnerable to arrest? Read up before you go out! Politics is an ugly, lie-infested, dissembling business, so don’t get caught out there. Here’s another guide, if you want to compare/contrast or check for biases in whatever direction. I haven’t looked at the latter one yet, but my main man Shumphries just put it on twitter and I figure having two sites to look at is better than just one.

Don’t be a dick to non-voters today, either. Not voting is in no way, shape, or form a vote for “the other guy” (whichever other guy it is you hate). It’s choosing the third option, the “you’re both terrible” option. Mitt Romney hates women, Barack Obama has been killing brown faces overseas. Pros and cons, cons and pros. Neither of these dudes are perfect, and both of them are beholden to corporations who are not Us. If you feel strongly about something, don’t let people peer pressure you into compromising your values. Vote with your heart and your mind, and if it doesn’t feel right to you, you don’t have to do it. Voting and not voting are both valid political choices.

Pundits are saying 40% of eligible Americans aren’t going to vote today. This isn’t a sign that they are lazy or stupid or hateful. That opinion is as dumb as the old “Oh, high schools are just meant to turn out unthinking moronic robots” nonsense. If almost half of eligible people aren’t voting, then that’s a sign that something is deeply wrong with our process. If they don’t care, what made them not care? If they don’t feel like their vote counts, that needs to be addressed.

“Vote for the lesser of two evils!” is a thing I’ve heard over and over this election, but somehow voting for an evil is more acceptable than rejecting evil outright. We don’t have to compromise if we don’t want to.

Vote or don’t. All I ask is that you think real hard before you do either, because doing either one of them just because doesn’t help anyone. I, personally, know what I’m doing. I’ve put a lot of thought into it. Rev up your mind, crank up your conscience, and make the decision that feels right to you.

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34 comments to “I Accidentally Voted In A Triad Election, WHOOPS”

  1. Re: ““Vote for the lesser of two evils!” is a thing I’ve heard over and over this election, but somehow voting for an evil is more acceptable than rejecting evil outright. We don’t have to compromise if we don’t want to.”

    Choosing neither of the major options or the less popular ones means that everyone else chooses FOR you. But you and those you love, hate, and don’t even know will live with those consequences.

    With that in-mind, everyone has a stake in what everyone else chooses – especially if they choose not to be bothered.

    Life is and always will be about trying to combine imperfect options with imperfect information to form a more perfect union.

    Opting out of that is like opting out of life or, more specifically, opting out of the pursuit of that more perfect union. That’s not laudable, in my opinion.


  2. @West: Why is not voting seen as giving up your right and not wanting to be bothered instead of “Neither choice is acceptable to me?”


  3. @david brothers: Because one of the very few demands our democracy puts on its citizens is to vote.

    And yeah, you can spot similarities between the candidates, but the differences are even more glaring if you don’t make a point of avoiding them: LGBT rights, women’s rights, VOTING RIGHTS, the value of FEMA and other “big government” agencies, revising the tax code, health care, jobs, whether to wind down wars rather than start new ones, and basic competence vs. overall incompetence.

    The “lesser of two evils” happens to come with an awful lot of good; the only thing it really lacks is enough numbers in Congress to overcome gridlock. All the more reason to vote.


  4. @david brothers: Because a vote for any party beyond the ‘big two’, which is in fact an option, is an valuable step towards moving the country away from our broken system (and the binary thinking that comes with it), slow as that process may be.


  5. *a valuable


  6. I have different views about this as the son of immigrants who came from a country where voting was an insane sham.

    I think there are several ways on a voting ballot to exercise you dislike of several options without having to vote for a candidate. I’ve used the write-in option when my state senator ran un-opposed. I get that people may not have the energy to wait in line to vote to just put up a small protest vote, but there is more going on than the presidential election in many parts of the country that people should heavily consider all those races before not voting.

    That’s why i just don’t think not voting is “choosing the third option, the “you’re both terrible” option”, the third option is everything else but not voting.

    Not voting no matter whether or not the person intended says “I don’t care.”


  7. Not voting is a valid option. I’m in total agreement. BUT:

    There is no separate column for “no vote.” There is no outcome in which SOMEONE is not elected, and there’s a 99.99% chance it’s going to be Obama or Romney. If enough people refuse to vote, all that happens is a smaller group of people get to decide who runs our country. I understand that there are issues with both candidates that might make them both unappealing on a moral level, but on a practical level, one has to be better than the other. Minimizing bad is not moral compromise, its a very valid practical concern.

    Feel free to not vote. It’s fine, you’re a free human being who can make their own decisions, I’m not going to try to browbeat you into it. But you’re not taking a moral stand, you’re surrendering your portion of control over the future of the country (as small as it might be). And if you don’t want it, you don’t have to have it. Just be honest.


  8. @Kaare B-P: I could get into the Green Party, but first I would need to know they have an actual plan. I know what they want to do when Jill Stein, or whoever, gets into the White House; but I’d like to know they actually have a plan to get there, without taking corporate money or courting special interests or doing any of the other things our system requires of a candidate. Then I wonder how they’re going to get Congress to get on board, because of course it’s Congress that actually writes and passes laws, so I guess we’d also need a heck of a lot of Greens in both chambers.

    Does the Green Party actually have a plan on how to do this?

    If they don’t, I’m left thinking that we stand a better chance of reforming the Democrats. Sure, it would be a lot of work, but it would almost certainly be far less work than getting all those Greens into power (by means left unspecified).


  9. I re-registered to vote this year thanks to Romney. Oregon has some law where if you don’t vote every two years your registration is eventually cancelled. I was content for my un-vote but I feel like Romney is just too dangerous to let in there. He’s doing a wink-wink frat boy play of pretending to be whatever will get him elected so he can just prop up more tax breaks and loopholes for his own wealth and that of his cronies.

    I don’t like Obama much (see “killing brown faces overseas”) but the things he’s doing aren’t going to stop with Romney. If anything they would multiply since corporate interests would take an even FRONTER seat in our country’s actions.

    It all makes me feel like this, though… :negativeman:


  10. @david brothers: Every analogy seems to fall short of respecting your intelligence.

    People make choices between unacceptable options all the time because they’re too important not to make. I feel this is one.

    Sorry I can’t do better but at east others chimed in, too. Maybe I’ll post my less-than responses after I finish canvassing for the President’s campaign.


  11. By the way, I meant that every analogy *I* try to think of, falls short of respecting your intelligence.


  12. Think Brewster’s Millions and where is our “None Of The Above” option??? =)


  13. So, the good guys won. Wish you’d helped out, but we managed to pull it off without you. You’re welcome!


  14. The good guys won! Rejoice, children about to be bombed by robots!

    I actually agree that Romney needed to be kept out, but smugging on people who chose to abstain is unnecessary.


  15. @James W: I’m not so sure.

    There has been something of a movement, if it’s even worthy of the term, to encourage shaming or just challenging those who conscientiously abstain or fail to give a fuck. Whichever.

    Again, because it’s THAT important. Obama barely won four years, ago. I’ve been bitching about that for four years. The margin was a FRACTION of that, this time. Hell, Romney may as well be honorary vice-president or something.

    War isn’t just war. There are degrees. Bad economies are not all equal. People’s suffering does matter but, no matter how trite it may sound, bad is better than worse. We aren’t doing anyone anywhere any favors by waging we care so much about their plight that we are not going to use even our limited power to make things better for them and thee rest of us.


  16. @West: But, so: the good guys won? The land is free? Good job us now let’s go back to sleep? You said it: there are degrees.

    I was trying to be diplomatic by saying “smugging is unnecessary”; I suppose what I really meant is “you’ve got to be fucking kidding me, ‘the good guys won’”.


  17. I still don’t understand why it’s not okay to give Republicans shit for being literal evil monsters but it’s totally okay to give nonvoters shit for choosing to not take part in a corrupt process.


  18. @LtKenFrankenstein:
    Who said the former was a no-no?

    It may be bad form in certain settings or it may be a waste of time with certain voters or it may not be the best way to express it…

    But I maintain that bad ideas, particularly those with the most potential for harm, need to be challenged. That’s not necessarily the same thing as just fighting with someone or harassing a family member at Thanksgiving dinner.


  19. @James W: It sure seems, to me, that the good guys won. So, I’ve got no problem with that one.

    Go back to sleep? Who advocated that? Although I am a little drowsy.


  20. I’m just saying I respect people who don’t vote at all WAY more than I respect people that vote for dumb shit.


  21. @James W: About those robots … I’ve asked this in many other places, and I have yet to receive a coherent answer. Perhaps you will turn the tide.

    We know there are active terrorists out there. How do we deal with them? As I see it, here are our options:

    A) Do nothing; hope they find another line of work.

    B) Trust other governments to take care of them for us.

    C) Sanctions.

    D) Full-scale invasion.

    E) Carpet bombing.

    F) Missile strikes.

    G) Drone strikes.

    Of those options, I say G is option most likely to get the job done while minimizing the needless loss of life. It is still highly imperfect, but I say it is the best option actually available. Please tell me which of the other options you think is preferable, or if you have an option H, present it.

    You and I have the luxury of waiting for a perfect solution, because you and I are not charged with protecting the country from known threats. The President, on the other hand, has to select from available options, and drone strikes appear to be the best available option. That doesn’t justify the unnecessary civilian deaths, but it’s the route that leads to the lowest body count.


  22. @LtKenFrankenstein: Let’s consider the 2010 election, where a lot of people thought exactly like you did (i.e. that a person simply shouldn’t vote if they’re not thrilled with either candidate), and let a wave of Teabaggers into office. Any prospects of jobs programs immediately went out the window, and were replaced by endless attempts to repeal ObamaCare, shut down Planned Parenthood, and make LGBTs and Mexicans feel as unwelcome as possible.

    On a scale from 9 to 10, how thrilled are you with what the Teabagger wave brought us? I’m not even offering 1 through 8 as options because you are clearly elated with where not-voting gets us, and I just want to know exactly how elated you are.


  23. @LtKenFrankenstein: I’m of two minds about this.

    My initial reaction was semi-rage because I think that someone who makes a call (hoping a rational one) and acts is preferable to one who fails to act.

    I might be able to see the other side, though: A dumb move gets in the way of the good moves, perhaps negating them, so maybe it would have been better if that person had not acted, at all.

    Ultimately, I guess my actions tell the tale. I encourage people to vote, without knowing their political views. What I’m really doing is encouraging them to give a damn. I realize that, by doing that, I’m running the risk of sending more of the opposition’s supporters out there but I think we’re better served by more people giving an active damn than the alternative.

    For what it’s worth, I prefer to direct that blanket encouragement at people that I don’t KNOW are supporters of the opposition. Once I know, my ignorance bliss turns to piss.


  24. Like David said, a non-vote is not automatically a vote for whichever side you dislike most. It is, in fact, not a vote at all. And I do vote, actually. I got the sticker to prove it and everything. I just sympathize with those that do not.


  25. @RegularSyzedMike: I agree with the :negativeman: . The debates were hugely demoralizing, pure political theater and the type of thing that destroys the faith you have in politics. The system sucks, and the fact that those dudes spent 6 billion dollars is horrible. Being informed basically equals being horrified all of the time these days.

    @West: Nah, man, don’t worry about it. I know you, and I’m honestly curious. Don’t worry about disrespect. I’m curious as to your position. I think I understand it in general, but you know, clarification always helps.

    @Chunky Style: Well, the good guys didn’t win anything. There aren’t any good guys here, just guys who are less likely to throw me in prison over nonsense, make my mom the equivalent of a half-citizen, deport her husband because he’s arab, and call my littlest brother an anchor baby. But the good guys who just won are still going to bow down to harmful corporate interests, punish me more than my white friends if we ever get caught ~doing drugs~, and look at me and both my brothers like we’re a threat. Both sides have evil aspects, and I would hesitate before calling either side the good guy just because they may agree with me on one or two subjects.

    Why does “Don’t be a dick to non-voters” equal “I didn’t vote, eat a dick, America~”?

    Also don’t be a dick to non-voters on my site.

    Also also, drones are the best option from a particularly nationalist point of view. Drones are at least partially about keeping our military safe, which basically boils down to “We do not want to spend American lives to do this.” Which is fine. Well, not fine, but I understand it. I grew up on an air base, I dig it. But that’s poisonous, mentally and culturally. All lives are equally important, and I think if our best option keeps killing people who weren’t intended to be killed, then what we gain in saving our own lives we lose in taking those of innocents.

    Do I have a better solution? No, I don’t. But we’re the biggest, baddest, bestest country in the whole world and we can’t figure out how to kill one douchebag without also taking his family with him? That’s not good enough.

    Killing efficiency isn’t the end-all, be-all of this kind of thing. It can’t be.


  26. You justify your not voting because Obama didn’t implement a solution you acknowledge you cannot even envision. Am I being a dick if I observe that’s not even close to reasonable?

    And you’re right, it’s not the end-all, be-all of this. Then end-all, be-all is rooted in better foreign policy in general; there are plenty of historical reasons why America pisses off Middle Eastern terrorists in ways that, say, Canada does not. Obama and the Democrats are doing something about that by working towards better relations, even as Republicans have been beating the drum for a war with Iran. But in the meantime, there is the reality that there are terrorists out there — not many, but a few — who present a legitimate threat.


  27. @Chunky Style: And again, where did I say I’m not voting? You’re arguing against a position that I do not hold.


  28. Non-voting is an option, a very demonized option, because every vote add legitimacy to the whole system, every vote is an agreement to military actions in foreign lands like mine, short-term economic gain against the environment of the whole world and unlimited support for corporations that pollute the air I breath and poison the water I drink drilling for oil, gold and ores. Every red and blue president of the US have made the same, and every one will legitimate their actions on the millions of voters that give their consent in the ballot.

    Actually, you know what? if you know why you don’t vote, not only don’t vote, also protest, you’ll be demonized and called lazy anyway, but it won’t be because of the ambiguity of your opinion


  29. @david brothers: Sorry! Sorry little Akmed that your dad was a terrorist and now your dead and your house is gone. Fuck them. That blood is on their hands


  30. @Dylan: Try not to be a moron your whole life, man. Try hard.


  31. @david brothers: Moron? That’s the funniest thing in the world coming from you. You’ve already said the only point that matters, in that drones keep American lives safe. Right right right all lives are important, that argument becomes invalid once an enemy is declared against American lives and hides among his family/civilians, corridates attacks from home and (minor point)refuses to wear a uniform. They have then brought that danger among their family and neighbors who’s blood would be on their hands. Not everyone is equal and there are sides.

    Until we can send Seal Team 6 in every time or have precision lasers shoot down from space, choose which side you want the casualties on


  32. Precision space lasers can’t even kill a Japanese delinquent. On the other hand, drone strikes and Seal teams never filled an entire house with delicious popcorn.

    Is there a right answer? I don’t know. Popcorn > death?


  33. @Dylan: Fuck off.


  34. @Nawid: I can police my own site. I don’t need your help.