Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Disingenuous Pieces Of Shit

(Please pardon the scatology in the headline, but the only better words I could have used were worse. Some people will read the headline, see the picture, and assume I'm against the Democrats, and for the Republicans, and a whole bunch of other assumptions made without a complete reading of what follows. Fuck those people. They're idiots. You, on the other hand, are OK.)

Big blaring headlines, across the country, from the Democratic convention in Denver:

Clinton Calls For Unity

Clinton Calls For Unity

Clinton Calls For Unity

Clinton Calls For Unity

Clinton Calls For Unity

Ad Nauseum.

Every political season, it's the same old shit. Two (or more) candidates rip each other new ones trying to gain their party's nomination. Then, when the convention rolls around, the losing candidate says, in effect, "Please forget everything I said about my opponent. He/She is a swell person. I was only kidding when I said he/she didn't have enough experience/too much time in Washington/the brainpower of a retarded woodchuck."

Before you get on your Democratic high horse and start calling me a tool for the Republicans, let me tell you that they suck, too. Exactly the same game will be played out when they convene.

I get the feeling that the whole American political system is being run by Vince McMahon. Just as in professional wrestling, the worst of enemies - those painted as hideous blackguards who have no moral compass, and who will cheat at every possible turn to gain what they desire - are, six months later, presented as the closest of best friends and professional colleagues, united in a fight to keep the foul scourge of (fill-in-the-blank political party) from plunging the country into A) a depression, B) a recession, or C) an untenable war and/or peace.

I'm sometimes amazed that anybody in this country votes. When you pull the lever for some of the assholes with which you're presented a choice, you can't help but feel like you've been duped.

On the other hand, I'm amazed that anybody in this country DOESN'T vote. Every election, we're presented with the clearest of clear cut choices. Vote for one of the dickheads or twats that the major parties handpick, or make a statement that you're not satisfied with the choices presented and you expect better next time.

No secret - I'm a Libertarian. Am I asking you to vote for one? Only if the candidate appears to be the best choice by your reckoning. That's all we need as a country, you know. If everybody voted for the candidate they really, truly thought was the best one available - and that includes the Dem or the Rep, if that's what you truly believe - then these horrendous games of political three-card-monte couldn't be played every four years.

Do I really have to say what follows here? Probably not for most of you, but perhaps some of you need to be reminded of it. There are always more than two choices, even if only two choices appear on the ballot in your jurisdiction. There are Libertarian candidates, Green candidates, Populist candidates, Religious candidates, Atheistic candidates, Prohibitionist candidates, Communist candidates, and every stripe in-between. If there isn't a name listed that your conscience can live with having voted for, then you can employ that tremendous American tradition of the write-in vote. If you can't find anyone else worthy of your vote, vote for yourself, for goodness' sakes. If YOU aren't worthy of your own vote, then who is?

"Oh, I don't want to waste my vote!"

I say this with all kindness, but I still have to say it: Quit being an idiot. The only wasted vote is one for a candidate you don't believe in. Anyway, with the way the American political process is set up, your individual vote in a presidential election has about as much chance of deciding the outcome as a muskrat has of being the next Queen of England. YOU DON'T ELECT THE PRESIDENT. The Electoral College meets in December and casts the official vote. It's possible you don't understand how it works. If you don't, here's some good information.

The condensed version: You vote for electors. You do not vote for McCain, Obama, Barr, Lipschitz, Quackenbush, or whoever else. All electors from each state are more-or-less committed to ONE candidate following the popular election. If you voted for any other candidate, your vote is basically tossed down a sewer prior to the electors meeting in December.

What this boils down to is that if you live in a state where the popular vote outcome is a foregone conclusion - Massachusetts, for example, where Obama will win handily - then a vote for McCain will not make a damn bit of difference, other than, perhaps, to your conscience. There is only one vote NOT for Obama that will register with the powers that be. And that is a vote for someone other than McCain. In a state where the opposite is true (a state which McCain can't possibly lose) there is only one vote NOT for McCain that will register with the powers that be. And that is a vote for someone other than Obama.

Confusing? Not really. If a large enough bloc of voters cast ballots for third-party or write-in candidates - ANY third-party or write-in candidates - then that number will be seen and noted. A vote for a losing major party candidate is consigned to the dustbin. A vote for a non-major-party candidate has a possibility of making a statement.

Well, I've gone off on a tangent from my original purpose, my original purpose here having been to spout off a vicious rant concerning the hideous phonies, like Hillary Clinton (and, come September, probably Mitt Romney) who think that you and I are total morons. Hey, if we buy into their crap, and vote for them, then we are.

Soon, with less vitriolic stuff.

P.S. No doubt, some of you are here because I wrote nice little pieces about cats, or because I previously made you laugh. I apologize if I've offended you in any way. Rest assured, that's more than you'll get from the politicians. Anyway, it all builds up inside of me every six or seven months and I have to let it out. If I didn't, I'd be an axe murderer, or perhaps a Lyndon LaRouche supporter. Either way, society as a whole is better off if I vent every once in a while, and I thank you for your indulgence.


lime said...

it's an accurate vent. i shudder at the thought of you being a larouchie. if the vent helps to prevent that then go for it! lol

i take a less educational tack today but for the same reason. it's preventing me from tearing my hair out.

Michelle H. said...

Vent, my brother man. Vent! I agree completely with this post.

Pat - Arkansas said...

I enjoyed reading about Aunt Dorothy and the cats. I enjoyed your posts about baseball.

I REALLY ENJOYED this post! Vent away, Bro. Suldog!

Pam said...

i do not talk about politics and will not agree or disagree w your rant...i just wanted to comment about the voters who think they are the deciding factor in who becomes president EVEN if they know the electoral college pretty much is control of that. those people will debate until they're blue in the face.

anyways, we all know that politics in genera is just a bunch of bullshit..say what you wanna hear, then follow their own agenda when elected.

Anonymous said...

Hating on the electoral college is the new black. Do you have a better system worked out so that politicians have some incentive to visit states other than California/Florida/Texas?

I'm not saying the EC is ideal, but it's too simplistic to write it off completely.

Suldog said...

Lime says - "it's preventing me from tearing my hair out."

Luckily, I'm hardly bothered by that problem anymore. There's not enough left to get a grip on.

MLH says - "I agree completely with this post."

Thus proving, once again, your innate intelligence.

Pat says - "I enjoyed your posts about baseball."

I knew there had to be ONE of you out there. Glad to know who it was!

Ciara says - "i do not talk about politics and will not agree or disagree w your rant"

This is a tremendously sound position to take. I salute you for your level-headedness!

SandraRee said...

I defend your every right to vent.

No apology needed.



David Sullivan said...

Right on Cuz! Its funny that the Dems can't sew up this thing immediately, because with all the blunders over the last eight years you would think that the Repubs would lose big, but the Dems have to much common interest with the Repubs that they don't want to burn bridges that they may need to cross when the Repubs gain power in four years. Thats the problem when people try to protect their interest instead of doing whats right. If the Dems got back to exploiting the fact the they are on the side of religion by enhancing social programs, helping those without health care and protecting human rights and gave up on the right to life issue and showed the "sheep" on the religious right that the Dems are moral and religious, then all of those religious zelots would flock back to the Dems.

Suldog said... said - a whole bunch of stuff, not unreasonably. Let me see if I can respond in a like manner.

The biggest problem with The Electoral College, for me, is that it makes campaigning in states - like Massachusetts, this time around - already fairly locked up in one candidate's pocket, not worthwhile for any other candidate. Since McCain (or whomever) knows that Obama will win all of Massachusetts' electoral votes, then why should he or his campaign waste resources trying to convince individual voters in Massachusetts to cast a vote for him? Thus, the EC tends to discourage active campaigning in many states, and works to suppress overall vote totals. Why vote at all when you know that your vote will not matter?

(Insofar as politicians visiting any one state, actually visiting a certain state is no longer a necessity. Before TV, before radio, before whatever other means of communication became widespread and commonplace, actually seeing and hearing a candidate live was the best way to truly judge a man. We now have an aural, visual, and written record of almost everything said, at least by the two anointed major candidates. Little new is likely to be learned by seeing one of them in your backyard. It is now done to impress the largest MEDIA centers, not the greatest amount of voters.)

Be those things as they may, there are other concerns. Direct popular vote does not carry the possibility of electors deciding, on their own, to switch allegiances, ignoring the will of the voters from their states and casting a ballot for whomever they damn well please. This has happened only sporadically in the past, but is certainly always a possibility to happen in a more organized fashion.

The Electoral College is a holdover from a time when it made a bit more sense. It is now mostly an anachronism which enables a possibility of chicanery that is far less likely when the vote is broken down into the many more popular pieces.

Just my opinions, of course. But they're the right ones :-) said...

Yeah, that's it...the cat stories keep drawing me back!

tshsmom said...

Absolutely correct!
I wrote a post similar to this one on July 4th.
The only way we'll ever see change is if enough of us vote "outside the box".

Buck said...

Nice rant, Jim. I've heard your argument many, many times before, but never so eloquently and passionately expressed. And you've almost convinced me to vote Libertarian... again. Key word: almost.

There's a LOT wrong with our politics, but to paraphrase Churchill, (our system) is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried. I'm thinking specifically of Italy, with its hundreds of parties and numerous failed coalition gub'mints, but France, Germany, and numerous other countries, including the UK, come to mind, as well.

Perhaps I'm naive, and there's a better than even chance that I'm an idiot, but in the absence of anything better, I like our system, cynical comments about it being "broken" from those who frickin' broke it, aside. And while it may be fashionable to diss the electoral college, I believe the Founders were remarkably prescient when they established it. And that goes for those who modified it, too.

YMMV... and it most certainly does. But ain't that part of what makes us great?

Suldog said...

Buck - Indeed, that IS what makes this a great country, all my blathering aside.

I feel I should point out that I'm not advocating splitting our system into 16 different factions (although that could be the result of what I am advocating.) I just feel that, in the absence of a strong enough third party to affect change by itself, sending multiple messages to the two strongest parties may have some effect upon them, "forcing" them to move in directions that more accurately reflect the true feelings and preferences of the American populace. And putting an end to these dog-and-pony shows every four years!

Anonymous said...

The Democrats are about (again) to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory!

Shammickite said...

I don't even care about Repiblicans or democrats as I don't live in your country... however I do object to those ads on TV that insult and denigrate the opposing candidates. I have seen some that I am literally ashamed to watch. I know canada has the same type of ads that put down the opposition too, but they don't seem to be quite so downright rude as the american ones.

Jeni said...

I agree completely with the message in your post -completely. However, as to a "wasted vote" -in my opinion the only vote that is truly wasted is the one not cast at all. Whether or not we like any of the choices given us on the ballot or not, if we don't at least show up and make some kind of selection, even if in our mind it is a crap shoot, picking the lesser of the evils, whatever, then we have conceded all control over all our rights based on whatever reason we give for not voting in any given election. Over more than two centuries, so many lives have been given so we can have the right, the privilege of voting and so many just toss it aside like another piece of scrap paper or some bit of garbage. Now that is truly wasting to me.

Elaine Denning said...

I don't do politics, but VENT! It's good for the soul :)

SoSock said...

(got a conficting edits message, apologies if this is a double post)

I have believed along the same lines for quite a while, but this year I feel differently.
In '04 I didn't think you could shove a toothpick between the 2 candidates when it came to backgrounds and basic philosophies.
I voted for Kerry only because I hoped he would not turn out to be quite as embarrassing. A 3rd party vote probably would have been a good choice, and I often chatise myself for not doing so. Especially since I'm in a VERY red state which no dem has a chance of winning.
But I heard Obama's speech at the convention back then and have followed him fairly closely since. I think there's at least a chance he's the real deal. Oh, I know he'll get to DC and capitulate to a large extent, because the system there demands it. But I think (hope?) there might be some subtle movement in the right direction if he's elected.
Maybe not as much as if Kucinich were elected :), but hey, maybe it's a start.

Suldog said...

Thanks for all the thoughtful comments, folks. I'm calming down now, and will be back with something not quite so obscene any moment now.

Janet said...

Here I am a day (or two) late again. I was VERY relieved when Obama did not choose Hillary as his running mate for the very reasons you mentioned. You can't throw crap at each other for six months and suddenly be best buddies and work together. (I'm not the least bit happy about Biden, but I just try to ignore it and move on.)
And as I live in a state so red it's practically bloody, I REALLY like the idea of voting for Kicinich or whoever, since Obama has no chance in this racist "feed the rich" state.
But I still stand by my post today. I've NEVER bothered to watch convention speeches, because they all spout the same rhetoric. I sat through the entire 42 minutes watching the feed on our tiny little computer screen. That man is brilliant.

CSD Faux Finishing said...

This is pretty much the exact reason that I never vote. I would rather not voice my opinion than do something I feel will have less of an impact anyway.

Unknown said...

Janet pointed me toward this post and I'm so very glad I read it. Don't know how I missed it the first time around but thank you, thank you for writing it.