The Election Thread To Talk About The Election

Politics and other such topical creams.
eumaas
User avatar
Klezmer Shogun
Posts: 22600
Joined: 15 Jun 2008, 8:10pm
Location: Carrboro/Alamut

Re: The Election Thread To Talk About The Election

Post by eumaas » 06 Nov 2014, 9:27am

Dr. Medulla wrote:There is plenty of evidence, anecdotal and statistical, that suggests 20-somethings aren't all that apathetic—far less so than Xers were/are—which would indicate that they've given up on formal electoral politics (at least at the state and federal level) as meaningful participation. Rather than fret or grumble about Millennials, why isn't the conversation about the legitimacy about American government when such a small percentage of the population wants to validate that system thru election rituals?
I'm certainly not at all apathetic about politics, but I don't want to engage the electoral system--at least on the state or federal level. Local has possibilities.
"The only thing that really occurs to me that I can say on this is to point out how fascinating it is that the Hassan-i-Sabbah archetype keeps turning up over and over again ... He disappears up into the mountains and is never seen again. Believe me, he'll never be seen again. He'll live forever because of that."

eumaas
User avatar
Klezmer Shogun
Posts: 22600
Joined: 15 Jun 2008, 8:10pm
Location: Carrboro/Alamut

Re: The Election Thread To Talk About The Election

Post by eumaas » 06 Nov 2014, 9:31am

Electoral democracy is a horseshit ideology, anyway. It's better than various outright tyrannies (so if say China were to become a parliamentary democracy, I'd be quite pleased), but that it's thrust upon us as obviously the best system ever is not unproblematic.
"The only thing that really occurs to me that I can say on this is to point out how fascinating it is that the Hassan-i-Sabbah archetype keeps turning up over and over again ... He disappears up into the mountains and is never seen again. Believe me, he'll never be seen again. He'll live forever because of that."

eumaas
User avatar
Klezmer Shogun
Posts: 22600
Joined: 15 Jun 2008, 8:10pm
Location: Carrboro/Alamut

Re: The Election Thread To Talk About The Election

Post by eumaas » 06 Nov 2014, 9:35am

Also, if you're so fucking pissed off about Republicans winning, be mad at the people who voted Republican, not at me for fuck's sake.
"The only thing that really occurs to me that I can say on this is to point out how fascinating it is that the Hassan-i-Sabbah archetype keeps turning up over and over again ... He disappears up into the mountains and is never seen again. Believe me, he'll never be seen again. He'll live forever because of that."

Spiff
User avatar
Mostly Nekkid
Posts: 3720
Joined: 16 Jun 2008, 11:23am
Location: In the Spiff Bunker

Re: The Election Thread To Talk About The Election

Post by Spiff » 06 Nov 2014, 9:42am

Rat Patrol wrote:
Silent Majority wrote:
Spiff wrote:
Silent Majority wrote:
Spiff wrote:Oh ... and FUCK YOU, young people!
http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/e ... torate-old
How much had the Democrats really offered the youth or anyone at all over the last six years?
Oh, plenty. Health care reform, a growing economy, minimum wage increases, student loan reforms, to name a few.

But then the spineless Dems couldn't find it within themselves to actually tout these accomplishments because they were afraid that by doing so they would turn off the moderate voters they were courting.

And so I also say FUCK YOU to at all the Dems who ran away from President Obama and did nothing to motivate their base, which, as anyone with two brain cells knows IS CRITICAL TO WINNING MID-TERM ELECTIONS!
Which is more likely, that this is finally the generation where democracy falters because of... malaise? The crappiness of people? Or that Americans in general, with the young in particular, are completely disengaged from the process because of a flaw in the process itself?
It's the disengagement stage of whatever seven-step process we're in the middle of at realizing how fucked it is. It's tempting to just write it off as FUBAR, but the country went through this in the Gilded Age too and the pendulum swung back. This is the same thing...multiple decades of stagnation and cannibalizing the middle-class until people just wouldn't put up with that shit anymore. I don't buy this "end of Empire" thing. Empire sucks. Empire is murder. What was the standard of living for the working place at the absolute tippy-top of the British Empire? Not very good, eh, Vince and Morrissey? So why does anyone lament the loss of empire? It's a bug not a feature.

This is just history repeating itself cyclically. There'll be a lost generation or two, and that blows because everyone within +/- 10 years of me is in that swath of loss. But we're not special in that regard because The Jungle got written about the last generations that got lost by the 1% destroying it all, and millions of others got lost in the wars they started.

It's whatever stage people get pissed enough to snap where it starts getting "interesting", for lack of a better word. Ferguson, MO this summer. Just because that was racially motivated against the most dumped-upon minority in the country doesn't mean human nature isn't universal. Everyone has their limits. History has shown that. To the degree people are voting against their interests now and voting wrongheaded conviction over well-meaning (sorta) squishiness is just the early--and very confused--signs of fever breaking out. That fever always stokes the right wing id first. It trickles up the chain to the ego, then the superego. And eventually the left is going to start acting out. Then the middle. Nonlinear, messy, ugly, filled with a lot of signal-to-noise, thoroughly perverted for nefarious means...and not at all aligned with what you'd consider "rational" political ID. But act out nonetheless because people have limits, and act out in a way that haltingly points in the general direction of the problem. The last Gilded Age got rolled back. This one will too. And there'll be a next one because the corrupt class always has the resources to regroup.

But shit's gonna get broken, people gonna get real mad and destructive, and there will be casualties...real and figurative. Just like there was in the last Gilded Age. This isn't the beginning or the end...it's a natural cycle.
I'm gonna boil down your excellent analysis into short phrases ... not for bumper stickers, but for a song that I will pitch for my band.

Would you be okay with that? You'll get joint songwriting credit, for sure.

I mean, your final three sentences -- reworked just a bit -- would make an excellent chorus, don't you think?
Let fury have the hour, anger can be power
D'you know that you can use it?

eumaas
User avatar
Klezmer Shogun
Posts: 22600
Joined: 15 Jun 2008, 8:10pm
Location: Carrboro/Alamut

Re: The Election Thread To Talk About The Election

Post by eumaas » 06 Nov 2014, 9:44am

How I just put it on FB:
If you're mad about the Republicans winning the election, be mad at the people who voted for Republicans.

Don't attack the anarchists. Trust me, we are a very tiny minority in American politics, and even if we had all banded together and voted Democrat (and actually, plenty of anarchists do vote, and those often vote Dem), it's highly unlikely it would've made any difference in the results.

I really doubt that there are enough anarchists in NC to have swung the election.

And I don't blame anybody for voting or for abstaining from voting as I see merit to both sides. I'm not a purist.
"The only thing that really occurs to me that I can say on this is to point out how fascinating it is that the Hassan-i-Sabbah archetype keeps turning up over and over again ... He disappears up into the mountains and is never seen again. Believe me, he'll never be seen again. He'll live forever because of that."

Dr. Medulla
User avatar
Atheistic Epileptic
Posts: 71164
Joined: 15 Jun 2008, 2:00pm
Location: Nerdo Crombezia
Contact:

Re: The Election Thread To Talk About The Election

Post by Dr. Medulla » 06 Nov 2014, 9:53am

Sorry to bring Canadia into this, but I recently got into a minor argument with one of my sisters, who is in full outrage mode about a new book about Stephen Harper. She's urging everyone to read it so that we can see how bad he is and how it's so important to stop him. I said that, yes, of course Harper is awful and we'd all be better off without him, but it's just feeding into the same rotten process to think that he's an aberration. Harper's authoritarian style isn't the system gone wrong, but rather working the way it's evolved to be. Getting rid of Harper doesn't mean that the next guy, whatever the party, is suddenly going to refuse the power that's been accumulated into the executive, embrace a more open legislative process, and work for the common good. Thinking of politics in terms of personality or even in terms of party tragically ignores that the machinery of government and electoral politics is built to perpetuate a coercive and ever more authoritarian system of rule. So when my family says that I have to vote to stop Harper and the Conservatives, they are baffled when I respond that I can't validate a system that demands that I choose one parliamentary dictator over another. That is, if I actually care about process and principle rather than which party's special interests I best fit under. Frankly, my decision to stop voting in provincial and federal elections is more principled and a deliberate decision than when I did vote.
Walrus birth doesn't make good breakfast conversation!

Wolter
User avatar
Half Foghorn Leghorn, Half Woody Allen
Posts: 49239
Joined: 15 Jun 2008, 7:59pm
Location: ¡HOLIDAY RO-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-OAD!
Contact:

Re: The Election Thread To Talk About The Election

Post by Wolter » 06 Nov 2014, 10:06am

eumaas wrote:Also, if you're so fucking pissed off about Republicans winning, be mad at the people who voted Republican, not at me for fuck's sake.

Thank you. I remember all the Democrats being pissed at Nader voters in 2000, and all I could think is: why aren't you angrier that the Democratic Party was so inept that they fumbled that whole thing to the point where a third party could "spoil" it.

That and being annoyed that they actually believed every Nader voter would have been a democrat otherwise.
"There's something more honest, he believed, about traditional methods of mass starvation, labour camps, and machine gunning millions to death. Stalin was a vinyl guy who sneered at Truman converting everything to compact disc." - Thomas Jefferson

"But the gorilla thinks otherwise!"

Spiff
User avatar
Mostly Nekkid
Posts: 3720
Joined: 16 Jun 2008, 11:23am
Location: In the Spiff Bunker

Re: The Election Thread To Talk About The Election

Post by Spiff » 06 Nov 2014, 10:07am

Dr. Medulla wrote:Sorry to bring Canadia into this, but I recently got into a minor argument with one of my sisters, who is in full outrage mode about a new book about Stephen Harper. She's urging everyone to read it so that we can see how bad he is and how it's so important to stop him. I said that, yes, of course Harper is awful and we'd all be better off without him, but it's just feeding into the same rotten process to think that he's an aberration. Harper's authoritarian style isn't the system gone wrong, but rather working the way it's evolved to be. Getting rid of Harper doesn't mean that the next guy, whatever the party, is suddenly going to refuse the power that's been accumulated into the executive, embrace a more open legislative process, and work for the common good. Thinking of politics in terms of personality or even in terms of party tragically ignores that the machinery of government and electoral politics is built to perpetuate a coercive and ever more authoritarian system of rule. So when my family says that I have to vote to stop Harper and the Conservatives, they are baffled when I respond that I can't validate a system that demands that I choose one parliamentary dictator over another. That is, if I actually care about process and principle rather than which party's special interests I best fit under. Frankly, my decision to stop voting in provincial and federal elections is more principled and a deliberate decision than when I did vote.
But we can still hate the young 'uns, right?
Let fury have the hour, anger can be power
D'you know that you can use it?

eumaas
User avatar
Klezmer Shogun
Posts: 22600
Joined: 15 Jun 2008, 8:10pm
Location: Carrboro/Alamut

Re: The Election Thread To Talk About The Election

Post by eumaas » 06 Nov 2014, 10:07am

Dr. Medulla wrote:Sorry to bring Canadia into this, but I recently got into a minor argument with one of my sisters, who is in full outrage mode about a new book about Stephen Harper. She's urging everyone to read it so that we can see how bad he is and how it's so important to stop him. I said that, yes, of course Harper is awful and we'd all be better off without him, but it's just feeding into the same rotten process to think that he's an aberration. Harper's authoritarian style isn't the system gone wrong, but rather working the way it's evolved to be. Getting rid of Harper doesn't mean that the next guy, whatever the party, is suddenly going to refuse the power that's been accumulated into the executive, embrace a more open legislative process, and work for the common good. Thinking of politics in terms of personality or even in terms of party tragically ignores that the machinery of government and electoral politics is built to perpetuate a coercive and ever more authoritarian system of rule. So when my family says that I have to vote to stop Harper and the Conservatives, they are baffled when I respond that I can't validate a system that demands that I choose one parliamentary dictator over another. That is, if I actually care about process and principle rather than which party's special interests I best fit under. Frankly, my decision to stop voting in provincial and federal elections is more principled and a deliberate decision than when I did vote.
In the American context, they pretty much give away the game every time they attack people for voting third party. It's either wasting your vote or voting against the greater good, which would have been served by voting for D or R, whatever the case may be.

To me, that sort of argument has always belied the claims made by the get out the vote crowd about participation, democracy, making your voice heard, etc. No, you don't want people to make their voice heard. You want them to vote Demcrat/Republican so your party can stay in power.

That's why I say electoral democracy is ideologically horseshit. Nobody actually believes in it as the instrument of the people's will--that's why you get people talking about right-wingers voting against their own interests.
"The only thing that really occurs to me that I can say on this is to point out how fascinating it is that the Hassan-i-Sabbah archetype keeps turning up over and over again ... He disappears up into the mountains and is never seen again. Believe me, he'll never be seen again. He'll live forever because of that."

Wolter
User avatar
Half Foghorn Leghorn, Half Woody Allen
Posts: 49239
Joined: 15 Jun 2008, 7:59pm
Location: ¡HOLIDAY RO-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-OAD!
Contact:

Re: The Election Thread To Talk About The Election

Post by Wolter » 06 Nov 2014, 10:12am

I tell you the one way the Dems are totally gonna win next time: keep called people stupid for voting against their own interests. That always works.
"There's something more honest, he believed, about traditional methods of mass starvation, labour camps, and machine gunning millions to death. Stalin was a vinyl guy who sneered at Truman converting everything to compact disc." - Thomas Jefferson

"But the gorilla thinks otherwise!"

eumaas
User avatar
Klezmer Shogun
Posts: 22600
Joined: 15 Jun 2008, 8:10pm
Location: Carrboro/Alamut

Re: The Election Thread To Talk About The Election

Post by eumaas » 06 Nov 2014, 10:20am

If people really believed in electoral democracy, they wouldn't get so damned upset every time some fringer voted for a third party.

For that matter, they wouldn't get so upset when the other side won.

It seems like every goddamn election these days is presented as the Apocalypse of the Republic.
"The only thing that really occurs to me that I can say on this is to point out how fascinating it is that the Hassan-i-Sabbah archetype keeps turning up over and over again ... He disappears up into the mountains and is never seen again. Believe me, he'll never be seen again. He'll live forever because of that."

Dr. Medulla
User avatar
Atheistic Epileptic
Posts: 71164
Joined: 15 Jun 2008, 2:00pm
Location: Nerdo Crombezia
Contact:

Re: The Election Thread To Talk About The Election

Post by Dr. Medulla » 06 Nov 2014, 10:21am

eumaas wrote:In the American context, they pretty much give away the game every time they attack people for voting third party. It's either wasting your vote or voting against the greater good, which would have been served by voting for D or R, whatever the case may be.

To me, that sort of argument has always belied the claims made by the get out the vote crowd about participation, democracy, making your voice heard, etc. No, you don't want people to make their voice heard. You want them to vote Demcrat/Republican so your party can stay in power.

That's why I say electoral democracy is ideologically horseshit. Nobody actually believes in it as the instrument of the people's will--that's why you get people talking about right-wingers voting against their own interests.
All of which demonstrates that that view sees politics and elections as about winning and seizing power, full stop, rather than participation and representation. Ends, rather than means. If the means is fundamentally anti-democratic, I fail to see the alchemy where it produces an authentically democratic form of governance. It's wafer and and wine transubstantiating every Sunday in mass.
Walrus birth doesn't make good breakfast conversation!

Dr. Medulla
User avatar
Atheistic Epileptic
Posts: 71164
Joined: 15 Jun 2008, 2:00pm
Location: Nerdo Crombezia
Contact:

Re: The Election Thread To Talk About The Election

Post by Dr. Medulla » 06 Nov 2014, 10:23am

Wolter wrote:I tell you the one way the Dems are totally gonna win next time: keep called people stupid for voting against their own interests. That always works.
But they're rescued by the fact that Republican supporters are just as contemptuous of those who don't put an X beside the GOP candidate. The mutual contempt somehow keeps both boats from not sinking to the bottom.
Walrus birth doesn't make good breakfast conversation!

eumaas
User avatar
Klezmer Shogun
Posts: 22600
Joined: 15 Jun 2008, 8:10pm
Location: Carrboro/Alamut

Re: The Election Thread To Talk About The Election

Post by eumaas » 06 Nov 2014, 10:27am

Would any fervent believer be really that upset if we had the one party dictatorship of their choice?
"The only thing that really occurs to me that I can say on this is to point out how fascinating it is that the Hassan-i-Sabbah archetype keeps turning up over and over again ... He disappears up into the mountains and is never seen again. Believe me, he'll never be seen again. He'll live forever because of that."

Dr. Medulla
User avatar
Atheistic Epileptic
Posts: 71164
Joined: 15 Jun 2008, 2:00pm
Location: Nerdo Crombezia
Contact:

Re: The Election Thread To Talk About The Election

Post by Dr. Medulla » 06 Nov 2014, 10:30am

eumaas wrote:Would any fervent believer be really that upset if we had the one party dictatorship of their choice?
My family of social democrats, who roll their eyes at Alberta, which has had solid Tory rule since '72 or so (fun fact: in Alberta's 100+ years, the governing party has lost an election either four or five times), wouldn't blink at the thought of a permanent NDP government. Because that would show how smart the voters are.
Walrus birth doesn't make good breakfast conversation!

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests