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Old 10-10-2017, 07:01 AM   #7421 (permalink)
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All the morality in the world didn't end slavery in the U.S. It was only largely criticized and abolished after wealthy northerners figured out that doing so would destroy the south's economy, thus stripping them of their political power.
That presupposes a pure top-down model of social change. One that's simply not born out by the facts. Abolitionists existed in every social class. The Emancipation Proclamation had a political component sure, but so does buying one stamp over another.

I'm a cynical guy too, but this kind of cynicism isn't helpful. It also doesn't appear to be true. This kind of cynicism removes agency. It tells people, 'don't try, because the result are predetermined'. Truman defeated Dewey. Bush defeated Gore. Abortion rights were granted and preserved. The Civil Rights Act was passed. Clean Air, Clean Water, the Renewable Fuel Standard, the Environmental Protection Agency, NAFTA, NATO, etc etc etc. All of these things have made us safer, wealthier, and healthier. Has it been a straight line? No. Has the broad trend of history resulted in a better society? Yes. Has representative democracy been largely responsible for these gains? Also yes. Why? AGENCY.

I think part of this the media distortion about Washington D.C.'s importance. Hardly any governing worth doing emanates from Washington, and I say this as a liberal. It's about getting a speed bump in your home town, or keeping the local library open on Saturday. Hell, it's increasing the funding for your local library. I've volunteered on local and state election campaigns and have seen first hand the value of participating in the system, especially when it's local. Anecdotal to be sure, but everyone here is making sweeping statements about how voting is for fools. I feel obligated to point out the benefits of actually giving a damn.


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Oh, and please don't reduce yourself to resorting to the "If you can't do it better, or find a better alternative, then shut up" argument. Reminds me of the guy that always gets butthurt when you don't like his favorite movie, and he tells you to try making a better one, as if people can't have opinions unless they jump through all the proper arbitrary hoops.
If you're advocating for the rejection of representative democracy, it's incumbent on you to propose an alternative. Unless you're simply advocating for no government, in which case I'll stop replying to you.
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Old 10-10-2017, 07:12 AM   #7422 (permalink)
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I didn't say that changes don't happen. I said that changes only happen when the wealthy find a way to make a profit out of progress. How far did abolitionists get before wealthy northerners hopped on board to stick it to the south?

I also didn't say that democracy should be abolished. Just our bipartisan dynamic, which could easily be curbed by limiting the amount of money that can legally be stuffed into politician's pockets. Yet despite all the changes you mentioned, and how far we've come, isn't it funny that gigantic "political donations" are still legal, and that almost no candidates are against them?

I really want to believe you, and be as optimistic as you, but maybe my personal experiences have just made me too jaded.

Also, thanks for mentioning Bush v. Gore, when the winner of the popular vote lost. Edit: And also when ballot tampering became hilariously apparent.
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Old 10-10-2017, 07:18 AM   #7423 (permalink)
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Also, thanks for mentioning Bush v. Gore, when the winner of the popular vote lost. Edit: And also when ballot tampering became hilariously apparent.
I have to run to a meeting so I'll look at the rest of it after, but I knew this would get called out. It was part of my 'results aren't predetermined' bit.

I am in favor of repealing Citizens United by the way. Best way for this to happen is constant, unyielding political pressure from the common people, like you and I.

Thanks for engaging, always happy to have a friendly argument.
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Old 10-10-2017, 07:20 AM   #7424 (permalink)
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Ciao mate. Btw, I didn't say that people shouldn't try. By all means, fight for what you believe in. I just think that in the end, in our current political climate, the act of voting is less important than the art we create to affect others, and the way we treat others.
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Old 10-10-2017, 07:39 AM   #7425 (permalink)
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No you didn't; you just ignored my question by changing it to suit your view of things. Nice one, Hawk.
My answer is (the point of what I did) is that even though the things you fear about anarchism if it should materialize might be justified concerns (it wouldn't be a utopia) but from my vantage point what's already in place is many times more horrific. Most people don't agree or haven't really thought about it. There's an infinity of ain't gonna happens but nonetheless something will happen. Perhaps the continuation of the status quo. The destruction of the environment, nuclear war, or some other disaster. I have a less likely but more pleasant scenerio in my head where writers like Thoreau and Tolstoy became a standard moral compass an we make it through. Idealistic? Sure. But we got a gun to our head. I know this is a failure. I think the path we're on is so destructive that this whole way of living needs to be scraped.
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Old 10-10-2017, 07:42 AM   #7426 (permalink)
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Uh, DJ, the whole point of elections in the U.S. is to pick someone to make important decisions for you while you "drift through life". And if the masses pick the 'wrong' candidate, the politicans just go ahead and use either electoral college bullshit, a loophole, or good old fashion tampering to null our decision. We live in a system where the rich and powerful use all of their resources to keep us polarized and neutered. No matter what we do, whether someone votes first or third party, or doesn't vote at all, we're all "lemmings". So yeah, it's not surprising that so many people don't feel the need to vote between one old rich guy and another.

And of course everyone has the right to an opinion and to complain, whether they vote or not. They're still apart of this country. For all you know, they may be affecting others and supporting their ideals in ways vastly more effective and far reaching than voting.
This whole attitude is for the birds. People want to not vote and then sit back and be like "told you so nothing changes." The whole idea that the masses picked the wrong candidate isn't even accurate. The masses/majority are the the ones that don't even bother to participate. Yes, voting is only a small part of the process but it is still important when it comes to policy especially on the local level. You see changes much more on the local state level that will affect you much sooner than on national things.

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Also, @DJ, shaming people for not voting accomplishes nothing. Most of them care about the world, they are simply disillusioned with the entirety of the current politcal system, i.e. why bother voting for one rich old guy over another when despite their differences all the candidates benefit tremendously from maintaining the current system far more than if they enacted real change in the power structure?

Insulting them is like making fun of someone for being fat; 90% of the time, it doesn't persuade them to try to fit your standards, it just makes them hate the world and become less likely to participate in it. You're just one more voice screaming at them to care about a system that doesn't care about them.
I don't care about the fact that it seems like I am shaming them for not voting. They don't care about world like you claim they do. They are already so far gone in their apathy that it doesn't matter what I say. I understand feeling disenfranchised but doing nothing and complaining about changes happening to them when they could have at least tried pisses me off. The whole uprising of protest votes by not voting and voting third party is why we are stuck with Trump.
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Old 10-10-2017, 07:49 AM   #7427 (permalink)
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Thanks so much for voting dj.
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Old 10-10-2017, 07:56 AM   #7428 (permalink)
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Money and politics go hand in hand. Whichever of the candidates that the establishment deems appropriate for us to choose from wins, the businesses backing those candidates are the real winners. If you think money isn't more important than the support of the people, then so be it, but I disagree.

All the morality in the world didn't end slavery in the U.S. It was only largely criticized and abolished after wealthy northerners figured out that doing so would destroy the south's economy, thus stripping them of their political power.

Yes, every now and then the people get something nice to keep us from rebelling. But in the end, real change only happens when the top figures out how to make a profit from progress.
Careful. Truth like that is frowned upon around here.
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Old 10-10-2017, 07:56 AM   #7429 (permalink)
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This whole attitude is for the birds. People want to not vote and then sit back and be like "told you so nothing changes." The whole idea that the masses picked the wrong candidate isn't even accurate. The masses/majority are the the ones that don't even bother to participate. Yes, voting is only a small part of the process but it is still important when it comes to policy especially on the local level. You see changes much more on the local state level that will affect you much sooner than on national things.



I don't care about the fact that it seems like I am shaming them for not voting. They don't care about world like you claim they do. They are already so far gone in their apathy that it doesn't matter what I say. I understand feeling disenfranchised but doing nothing and complaining about changes happening to them when they could have at least tried pisses me off. The whole uprising of protest votes by not voting and voting third party is why we are stuck with Trump.
I just feel like there are certain actions that affect people and enact change more than participating in politics, such as creating art, or helping people. And shaming them for not voting hurts your cause more than it helps.

To be fair, when I became old enough, I did try to vote. Obama v.s. Romney. I was turned away at the polling station for not being "properly registered". In the last election, I was considering voting for Sanders, but after he got pushed out I didn't feel like picking between a pile of crap and a pile of vomit. Maybe third time will be the charm.
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Old 10-10-2017, 09:27 AM   #7430 (permalink)
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For centuries, Ireland was ruled from England. We had basically no rights and were subjects of the English monarch. The Famine came about largely because English landowners held all the power and could evict Irish workers if they couldn't pay rent, making them essentially slaves. If we hadn't gained our independence and obtained the right to govern ourselves we would probably still be under English rule.

As for the voting process, here it's not the same as your electoral college. Here, every single vote is counted, and it's infinitely possible to vote in some independent or local candidate into the government. Yes, we only have the three main parties, but the government is made up of the main party/parties and a coalition of independents, meaning that issues more important to the local candidates can be discussed. If nobody voted for these people, they would not be sitting in the Dail and power would rest entirely with the three main parties, which would not be good for anyone, other than them. Having independent candidates means that certain decisions can be blocked, certain issues forced through that otherwise would be ignored, or voted down.
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