Skip to main content

View Diary: "We stopped voting for some folks." (533 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  So do you recommend abstaining from voting (21+ / 0-)

    altogether, or voting third party?

    The Stars and Bars and the red swastika banner are both offerings to the same barbaric god.

    by amyzex on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 09:19:40 AM PDT

    •  Vote selectively. (44+ / 0-)

      If only 5% of the candidates share your basic values, then vote for only those 5% of the candidates. Don't vote for people who don't share your values and who support policies you deeply morally oppose, even if they have a "D" after their name on the ballot.

      It might mean that in some races there's nobody to vote for. So abstain in those races. Vote only for the good candidates when they are available. There are a few serving in Congress right now. Emphasis on "few." JMHO.

      The most serious problem in American politics today is that people with wrong ideas are uncompromising, and people with good ideas are submissive and unwilling to fight. Change that, and we might have a real democracy again.

      by Eric Stetson on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 09:22:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  We call that 'purity' around here (42+ / 0-)

        And I don't think there are many of us around here who are completely immune to the attractions of purity. But it's a dead end. People who don't vote have no voice.

        The right wingers have a voice because they're consistent voters. They have purity concerns on their side, and they are often disappointed in their elected officials. But over the course of the last few decades they have remolded the Republican Party in their image.

        We need to emulate them. Our party is full of disappointments at all levels. But we also have some very good people in high places. It's long, hard, frustrating work. Hence our motto:

        More Democrats and Better Democrats
        Quantity is important too, even when the quality is inferior. We don't need all Democrats to be top-quality Democrats in order to advance our agenda. We just need a critical mass.

        "The smartest man in the room is not always right." -Richard Holbrooke

        by Demi Moaned on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 09:35:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Seriously, the problem with your suggestion is (28+ / 0-)

        that if "we", the Democratic voters, "only vote for those 5% of the candidates" who "share (y)our basic values" - then who the hell do you think is going to be sitting in those elected seats, come January 1st, 2015?

        A shitload of Tea Party candidates, that's who.

        Tell me, how do you think that will improve things?

        It won't.

        We don't avoid voting or just give up on our Party when we get disappointed or angry at the actions (or lack thereof) by our elected officials.

        What we do is elect who seems best and if they don't perform the way they said they would, we do what our Constitution suggests:

        peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
        Public outcry is what stopped the Vietnam War.

        It drove Richard Nixon out of office.

        We don't need more apathy in Voters. We need more energy.

        So if you don't want someone in office - get loud, get active, do something about it.

        Maybe run for office yourself and see if you can help achieve the sort of nation you desire.

        "I like paying taxes...with them, I buy Civilization"

        by Angie in WA State on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 10:16:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It was the plan in Iran (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Angie in WA State

          The hard left supported the religious expecting them to make a trash of things and picking up the pieces after.
          With a 2/3-3/4 level of tea party congress, we'd be in the same hell in no time, and how soon would they disenfranchise their way to eternal power?

          •  A Dumb Plan (0+ / 0-)

            Ralph Nader had the same idea.  Really- listen to him in 2000 and 2004.

            The notion that "things get so bad, that everyone hates the nuts in power and turns to us" is wrong in SO many ways, it's hard not to laugh and cry at the same time.

            Never, NEVER assume or anticipate that the populace will "suffer" and come to the same conclusion that you're at.  NEVER.  

            The only thing you can be assured of is a lot of bad laws, a lot of bad policies, a lot of people suffering, and a lot of work just to get back to where we are now.

            In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man may be king.

            by Bring the Lions on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 01:31:48 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I think your last paragraph pretty well (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              dharmafarmer, dfarrah, k9disc, orestes1963

              describes the current conditions of the United States. So, continuing to vote in the same pattern (i.e. vote for every candidate, no matter how weak, corrupt, bought-and-paid for by corporations or banks and with a D after his/her name) will bring about better conditions? Not very realistic is it?

              Partisans who don't acknowledge the problems with the Democratic party are its worst enemies. If you don't acknowledge problems, you'll never fix them. ~ Dallasdoc

              by 3goldens on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 01:55:13 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  That's The Current Condition (0+ / 0-)

                But you mistake "doing the same thing" is the cause of the current condition.  

                One thing is for sure....to abdicate from the system as a progressive does NOT make the system one iota MORE progressive.

                The other part is that you and I are not talking about the same thing.  I see this giant pool of potential voters disengaged from the system NOW and not voting NOW.  You must see them too.

                The "same thing" is letting them sit there, not voting.  THAT only helps the very things you and I don't like .  However, if we get even just 15% of them to vote, and yes, vote for every Democrat, no matter how weak....that changes things.

                Oh wait....did I say it changes EVERYTHING?  No.  Did I say it's the singular mechanism that brings about change?  No.

                But instead of Republicans running the House, we could have the Democrats.  Instead of Darrell Issa eating up oxygen with his dog-and-pony show, maybe, MAYBE something constructive could happen.  Instead of John Boehner flailing away with the lunatics he supposedly oversees maybe, MAYBE, we could pass something helpful.

                I'm not seeing any improvement on those areas with a bunch of people not voting, because the GOP base sure is.

                In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man may be king.

                by Bring the Lions on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 05:44:13 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Maybe this is the problem in a nutshell: (0+ / 0-)

              We [my side and your side] aren't even on the same planet.

              You say it will take a lot of work just to get back to where we are now.

              To me, now already has "a lot of bad laws, a lot of bad policies, a lot of people suffering."

              I've observed the deterioration over the years enabled by the dems over the years; I cannot continue to support this trajectory.

              The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

              by dfarrah on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 03:40:29 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  And I Point To 2010 (0+ / 0-)

                Don't want to hear it?  Too bad.  This is being reality-based.

                A bunch of people were miffed in 2010 on what they felt was an underwhelming performance from the Democrats.  So they didn't vote for them.

                Look what we got.  Oh, look at 1994 too.

                Fact one- a lot of those bad laws and policies came from Republicans who were in charge of either the House or some of the states they took over.  That's what not voting gets you.

                Fact two- the converse isn't true.  That is, need I say, that voting FOR Democrats brings about what you may want.  

                You live in America in 2014, and you're liberal/progressive?  Guess what?  You're out-numbered.  Oh, the Republicans will heed their base and actually accomplish passing the right wing policies they babble about.  The Democrats will stumble around and never be as liberal as the Republicans are conservative.

                That's because the conservatives have the power and the money.  That's because they have convinced more of your fellow citizens- some of whom are decent people, some of whom are sociopaths- that conservative policies will help them and liberal ones only underwrite sloth.  That's because the inclinations of a few rich guys can control the political system, but the desires of un-rich millions can go unheeded.

                If the house of America is on fire, then the GOP is coming with a new fuel truck and ready to pour it on.  The Democrats have a water truck they can't seem to use.  For liberals, yes, the current configuration of Democrats is mostly a defensive maneuver to NOT make things worse, because letting the Republicans run things most assuredly does that.

                In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man may be king.

                by Bring the Lions on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 05:55:36 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  2010 (0+ / 0-)

                  was entirely BO's fault.  He rolled for the repubs so quickly that people were furious.  Even the blacks in my district were furious at BO.

                  Bottom line - dems are turning away from the party because those we elect simply don't support dem policies.

                  Nader was right.  The only way people will become active is if conditions become so bad that they can't stand it.  The mini-resurgence of the dem party in 2003-2006 was solely the result of GWB and entirely creditable to him.  The elected dems at the time were happy going along with repub policies.  The party structure only capitalized on the resurgence by demanding more money and getting more conservadems elected.  The dem elite didn't [and doesn't] support the policies that the rank and file support [and what the population generally supports].  The mini-resurgence was effectively squashed by BO and the party elite who support repub policies.

                  So, any deterioration of the 'dem' party lies at the feet of the conservadems; and most of the dem elite is fine with the deterioration.

                  The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

                  by dfarrah on Wed Aug 06, 2014 at 01:03:21 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Wrong (0+ / 0-)

                    You're so demonstrability wrong here it's hard to know where to begin.

                    I don't believe in politicians as saviors, so I never believed that Obama was going to singularly lead us to a more progressive place.  Nor does the blame for 2010 fall primarily on his shoulders, let alone "entirely" him.

                    2010 happened for a lot of reasons.  But let's debunk that "BO rolled for the GOP" line right off the bat.

                    Never mind what you and I had in mind for BO once he was elected....he campaigned on being bipartisan.  A large chunk of the electorate wanted "both sides to work together."  And wanted BO to TRY and work with them.  And that was a large part of his campaign- to not be partisan, to be "reasonable", to find common ground, etc.

                    The part of America that voted for that "bipartisanship" is far larger than the readership of Daily Kos.  You and I could each write an essay on how the GOP is not to be trusted and acted in bad faith, and those people in your district would chime in as well.  Our essays would not be that different. And if we could get the attention of all of those middle-of-the-road voters, swell.  

                    But we can't, and while it might be credible to argue that BO should have been wary of the GOP from the first minute, he had to at least TRY to play ball.  More people voted for that, I daresay, than to hit the GOP with a flamethrower from the word go.

                    Now that doesn't mean be a sucker, and quite a few people feel that BO became one for too long while pursuing that "bipartisan" ideal.  But you don't even acknowledge the reality there.

                    Nader is and was wrong.  Totally wrong, as are you.  I'm fortunate enough to be able to weather the storm the conservatives rain upon us.  But I'd never- NEVER- take the tact of "Well, if you don't agree with me, then things will have to get terrible for you.  And then you will!"

                    That's the same sort of upside-down thinking that imagines 2010 is all the fault of Obama, and the resurgence of 2003-2006 for the Dems was all due to Bush.  

                    I'll allow this much- the Republican cronyism and corruption for the oligarchs had reached such a stinking level that many independents and moderates couldn't deny the stench come 2005-2006.  And the collapse of 2008 had a bunch of politically apathetic types scared and angry, and ready to take it out on somebody at the ballot box.

                    But that simply gave Democrats victories for being non-Republicans, as opposed to a vindication of progressive policies (I'd like to think everyone got more liberal thanks to Bush, but the reality is base anger moved a fair share of those voters).  The Tea Party is proof that a bunch of people will look at the exact same things we do- Wall Street and corporate corruption- and NOT come to the same conclusions.  Thanks to the billionaires underwriting them, we have a bunch of middle class folks that were ripped off by the banks thinking that the answer is to have FEWER regulations and taxes on the rich.  

                    In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man may be king.

                    by Bring the Lions on Wed Aug 06, 2014 at 02:44:39 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

        •  Angie, you need to look at what public outcry (8+ / 0-)

          means. Public outcry doesn't mean jack to politicians unless the message they receive is that their current course may jeopardize their reelection.

          EVERY significant positive course correction in our nation's political history has come about as a function of politicians becoming aware that, if they don't do the right thing, they'll get thrown out of office.

          The reason our Democratic pols continue to serve their corporate masters, and ignore the will and needs of the people, is that we Democratic voters are too frightened to demand accountability.

          I stand by my sig...

          Just HOW do we get our representatives to move in a populist direction without threatening electoral consequences for their willful failure to do so? (This is the issue routinely avoided by party loyalists at the GOS.)

          by WisePiper on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 12:54:36 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  'Selectively.' Whatever. (11+ / 0-)

        The GOP says thanks a bunch.

        A non-Democratic vote is a vote for the GOP, and I don't care how loud you scream and take the oh-so-gutsy stand that torture is bad, and the word 'folks' is offensive, Republicans are 100 times worse than Democrats on every single issue under the sun.

        And since Gandhi or Jesus Christ aren't on the U.S. political scene, those are the choices.  Us or them.

        •  I wish this idiocy would die (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          k9disc

          One would hope the purveyors of this nonsense would develop a sense of shame at their sophistry.  By your own infantile reasoning, a non-repub vote is a vote for the Democrats.  So, it's ultimately a wash.  

      •  So, those votes for Nader (5+ / 0-)

        Got people a lot of leverage in exchange for the damage shrub did?
        Seems to me, bringing in Gore would have made a world of difference....and multiple degrees of warming of the world.

      •  So, what, don't vote in elections where (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sethtriggs

        So, what, don't vote in elections where you don't have your perfect candidate? In other words--allow the constituents of the worst candidates to have free rein? They get to make all the choices for the rest of us because you weren't able to make your personal issues line up with the candidate who was on offer?  Lets say you are in a congressional district and you have a choice between Michelle Bachmann and a pretty good but imperfect Democrat. You shouldn't vote at all because you didn't get that great democrat from another district, who you would totally have supported? So the Democrat who is actually running in your district loses your vote (because imperfect!) and Michelle Bachmann's voters manage to cobble together a win because none of them stay home sitting on their hands. Then you get represented by Michelle Bachmann.

        Wait, can you explain this strategy for me again? Because I'm not seeing it as much of a teachable moment for the Democrats. They have no way of knowing that you sat home because your preferred color/style/size democrat was not available. So they probably can't dragoon the righter person from some other place next time around.

      •  or withhold your vote... (5+ / 0-)

        i wrote about that in Obama's second go-round.

        my reasoning? from now on, i refuse to participate in or give credibility to the corrupted American political system, most especially at the national level.

        i say GO LOCAL, regionalize economies, and implement trickle UP politics.

        it's time to realize that speaking truth to power is a waste of time whether in the voting booth or in an email or petition.

        it's time to go local and change the game where we can still manage to mitigate this mess.

        LOVE THE TITLE OF YOUR ESSAY btw...

        “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” Buckminster Fuller

        by pfiore8 on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 12:37:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I'm hoping there will be a whole lot of Primary (4+ / 0-)

        challenges in the next election (2016), starting at the presidential level and going to state-level and local-level offices.

        "We the People of the United States...." -U.S. Constitution

        by elwior on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 01:00:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  President Obama was far from casual (0+ / 0-)

        he said with pain that we did do that, and to folks like us, fellow humans like us, not monsters, other folks not Others.  

        I now can see that Obama can't win, he's so misunderstood, and by all sides.  He was nearly crying.  And he admitted it.  And this is your reaction?  omg

        plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

        by anna shane on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 02:59:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  So what is he doing about it? (0+ / 0-)

          If the fact that we tortured people affects him so deeply, and he considers it so shameful, then why has he decided to give a pass to the people who committed torture and broke the law?

          When some random dude who smokes a joint breaks the law against pot smoking, he goes to prison for years. And President Obama does nothing about it. And when some people representing the U.S. government torture people, Obama also does nothing about it except says that what happened was wrong. Yes, it was wrong, but when things are wrong, people have to be held accountable. We sure hold the pot smokers accountable for their "wrongdoing" in this society, so how about the torturers? Guess not. So that shows which crime President Obama considers to be more serious and deserving of the firm hand of justice.

          The most serious problem in American politics today is that people with wrong ideas are uncompromising, and people with good ideas are submissive and unwilling to fight. Change that, and we might have a real democracy again.

          by Eric Stetson on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 03:13:33 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  as if? (0+ / 0-)

            you think condemnation is nothing?  You think any fruitless gesture to keep our hands cleaner of blood would help? The entire congress backs the killings.  He first needs to get others to get it.

            plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

            by anna shane on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 04:49:28 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  A more effective strategy might be to contact (0+ / 0-)

        those who don't share your 'values' and tell them why you won't vote for them.

        And then break down and vote for the lesser of two evils.

        Silent abstention is very a low impact form of quality control. A postcard to the incumbent with a list of reasons why you may choose not to vote for, or to vote against, is much more likely to have the effect you want.

        just sayin'

        Information is abundant, wisdom is scarce. ~The Druid.
        ~Ideals aren't goals, they're navigation aids.~

        by FarWestGirl on Wed Aug 06, 2014 at 03:47:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Everyone ignoring the next step. (0+ / 0-)

          Everyone ignoring the next step.

        •  Well, I never said abstention has to be silent. (0+ / 0-)

          In fact, I think if a person is going to choose to abstain from voting for a particular Democrat, they should explain why, both to the candidate and even maybe on a public website with a list of everyone who wants to make such an explanation, so that both the candidate and the media can see how many votes they're losing from the left.

          The most serious problem in American politics today is that people with wrong ideas are uncompromising, and people with good ideas are submissive and unwilling to fight. Change that, and we might have a real democracy again.

          by Eric Stetson on Wed Aug 06, 2014 at 09:52:06 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Diary updated with further explanation (9+ / 0-)

      about strategy of voting more selectively. Apparently I needed to clarify that I'm not saying we should boycott elections completely.

      The most serious problem in American politics today is that people with wrong ideas are uncompromising, and people with good ideas are submissive and unwilling to fight. Change that, and we might have a real democracy again.

      by Eric Stetson on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 10:54:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Just mostly don't vote eh? How much should we (9+ / 0-)

        not vote? 99% of the time? 10%? I walk my precinct knocking on doors and you keep on posting anti Dem voting diaries.

        “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

        by ban nock on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 11:03:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The beauty of democracy is that YOU get to decide. (14+ / 0-)

          Each one of us, individually, has the right to choose which politicians we believe have earned our vote. When we vote automatically for anyone who is nominally affiliated with a party, regardless of the policies they support, then we have forfeited the power of the vote. "Some folks" with a "D" by their name maybe don't deserve your vote or mine. All of us should be thinking about which ones those are, whether it's 90% of them, or 50% or 20% or whatever. Vote selectively; gain leverage over who runs in the future as a Democrat and which ones become elected officials.

          The most serious problem in American politics today is that people with wrong ideas are uncompromising, and people with good ideas are submissive and unwilling to fight. Change that, and we might have a real democracy again.

          by Eric Stetson on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 11:09:07 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  No, YOU don't. Pragmatic Centrists here have (9+ / 0-)

            decided what you have to do: stop with your purity and GOTV.

            Now isn't the time for morals and integrity...

            "If you're in a coalition and you're comfortable, you know it's not a broad enough coalition /= GTFO" Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon + JVolvo

            by JVolvo on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 11:21:20 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Apparently, you and others think that (13+ / 0-)

              anyone who disagrees with your take lacks morals and integrity.

              Good luck trumpeting that position, you're going to need it.

              Nothing human is alien to me.

              by WB Reeves on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 11:54:43 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  If you aren't door knocking and GOTV (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Silencio, sethtriggs, ban nock

              If you aren't door knocking and getting out the vote your purity doesn't add up to a bucket of warm spit. If you don't vote you are not a citizen.  No one wants your vote and no one will appeal to you. And since you aren't out doing anything political like engaging with the public and trying to actually elect people you are politically null. Your purity and your morals are entirely private affairs. So, no. No one cares about you or what you want.  

              Private morality and beliefs influence everyone's life choices. Some of us are moved to put our goals and morality into practice by pursuing social change through politics. Some of us choose to sit and hum and contemplate our blissful purity. But only the first set are political actors. The rest---pure or not--are null and, from a political point of view, useless.

              •  And what do you have to say about (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                dfarrah, k9disc, SouthernLiberalinMD

                politicians who use us for our votes, then as soon as they're sworn in, forget who cast votes for them? Because that IS happening. You need to give people a reason other than what you've been saying for showing up to vote for Democrats. If you can't or won't see that there is a pattern in this country that's been going on for at least the last 20+ years where politicians tell us one thing and then do the opposite once they get into office, then you've not been paying attention. And the reason this pattern continues is because of Democrats who are so beholden to special interests. Dick Durbin wasn't lying when he said on the floor of the Senate "The banks own this place!". And so do the big corporations along with the 1%. Our government is so blocked partly because of insane Republicans BUT ALSO partly because of Democrats who are playing us like well-oiled machines. See, here's the difference for some of us, aimai: I know when I'm being fleeced by a politician and I will NOT allow myself to continue to be the "mark" for somebody who does that. We have a cadre of politicians today who don't even have us (VOTERS) on their radar, except at election time when they send us endless e-mails and robo-calls asking for our money and our vote. But when they get back to the Capitol, they go right back to pandering to lobbyists and IGNORING us. I've had enough of that. If you and others are willing to play along with this folks, go right ahead but don't EVER tell the rest of us that we HAVE to play this stupid, immoral "game". Because we do NOT.

                Partisans who don't acknowledge the problems with the Democratic party are its worst enemies. If you don't acknowledge problems, you'll never fix them. ~ Dallasdoc

                by 3goldens on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 02:09:20 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  If you don't vote you're not a citizen? That wi... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                3goldens

                If you don't vote you're not a citizen? That will surprise a lot of people who pay taxes!

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site