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Only 18.2 million citizens of 122.8 eligible to vote actually cast a ballot in the 15 recent primary elections. Only 1.5 of every 10 citizens eligible to vote even bothered.

Nobody can hear you, if you don't speak up.

Originally posted to The Plumber's Throne on Mon Jul 21, 2014 at 10:49 PM PDT.

Also republished by Support the Dream Defenders.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (143+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Meteor Blades, Geenius at Wrok, ChicDemago, Dood Abides, jcrit, democracy inaction, sodalis, buddabelly, fou, blueoasis, Game Theory, Dave in Northridge, rmonroe, JaxDem, codairem, WakeUpNeo, ejoanna, marsanges, jakedog42, BenderRodriguez, DerAmi, nosleep4u, Pakalolo, FarWestGirl, Santa Susanna Kid, myrmecia gulosa, a2nite, jan4insight, Free Jazz at High Noon, jts327, GoGoGoEverton, nomandates, GwenM, Aunt Pat, BMScott, Mopshell, tampaedski, Mary Mike, No one gets out alive, John Crapper, 2thanks, radarlady, exlrrp, Habitat Vic, DRo, jamess, Sylv, GeorgeXVIII, deha, palantir, figbash, Mr Stagger Lee, Sandino, karmsy, mattc129, copymark, JoanMar, AoT, jnhobbs, pamelabrown, paulex, Cat Servant, Words In Action, LamontCranston, Kasoru, richardvjohnson, TheFern, zerelda, thenekkidtruth, BadKitties, Steveningen, just another vet, Thinking Fella, Naniboujou, AnnetteK, Pescadero Bill, sillycarrot, wader, melanctha, Laurel in CA, yoduuuh do or do not, Homer177, CJB, remembrance, CwV, jfromga, The Marti, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse, duhban, Ian Reifowitz, Carol in San Antonio, Catte Nappe, carolanne, Proteus7, cotterperson, MKinTN, eeff, ThatSinger, kimoconnor, shesaid, petulans, Carolyn in Oregon, maggiejean, jackdabastard, Matt Z, mconvente, dsb, Lost and Found, philipmerrill, dksbook, Fabienne, citisven, Miggles, SillyMama, Vetwife, aratinga, Calvino Partigiani, blueoregon, Eric Nelson, enhydra lutris, Ebby, Mr Robert, FoundingFatherDAR, LakeSuperior, groupw, dharmasyd, Azazello, SherrieLudwig, dalef77, wasatch, sciguy, Jon Sullivan, Teenygozer, JimB37, SirReal, bobcat41702, dewolf99, okpkpkp, Regina in a Sears Kit House, JerryNA, CelticOm, BlueJessamine, belinda ridgewood

    We are not broke, we are being robbed. ~Shop Kos Katalogue~

    by Glen The Plumber on Mon Jul 21, 2014 at 10:49:42 PM PDT

    •  One thing we need to KILL STONE DEAD: "b-b-but ... (73+ / 0-)

      One thing we need to KILL STONE DEAD:

      "b-b-but republicans and democrats are equally bad! So I'm not voting"


      This behavior is exactly what Republicans want you to believe.

      Look, as a black, young (24) male, I understand the Democrats don't necessarily take an interest in all my problems.

      No one gets that better than me. But I STILL fight under the Democratic banner. Why?

      Because, dammit, they're the best we've got. Republicans are evil, Libertarians are stupid, and being an indecisive centrist is like putting on a sheep-costume, holding your hands up, and going "Baa! Baa! I need people to make up my mind for me!"

    •  The Role of Gerrymandering (7+ / 0-)

      I think it is important to understand the role gerrymandering plays in modern American politics and how that effects voter turnout.

      Those holding public office have worked very hard to make their jobs vote-proof.  One way they do this is to limit voting.  Another way they do this is by drawing their voting districts in such a way as to ensure a that no actual contest can occur.

      And then there is the role of money: since 2000, over 95% of elections are won by the people with the most money.  Money is now a greater factor in elections than even votes.

      Small wonder then that voters give up: in a very real way, their votes are made meaningless.  

      I myself do not like the idea of "blaming the voters": "see, things turn out this way because someone didn't vote".  Things turned out this way because the wealthy and corporate interests now run the government and have worked hard to remove the influence of "we the people".

      "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

      by Hugh Jim Bissell on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 06:35:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Where does Gerrymandering come from? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Glen The Plumber, aratinga, JerryNA

        Because Democrats didn't vote in the 2010 elections.

        "states like VT and ID are not 'real america'" -icemilkcoffee

        by Utahrd on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 08:31:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Very true. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Glen The Plumber, aratinga, JerryNA

        And Rec'd.  But still...

        I live in Texas.  One of the more Republican places in Texas, actually.  And for a long time I didn't vote, because in Texas, like most places, the electrical college votes all-or nothin', and it was guaranteed that my local reps were all gonna be Republican.

        But as I've gotten older, it's occurred to me just how many poor brown people I see in my daily life.  And I started to wonder what it would be like if they all voted, too...

        Keeping my fingers crossed.

        I support a Biblical definition of marriage. When do I get my concubines and second wife?

        by jackdabastard on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 08:43:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The Real Problem with America (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Glen The Plumber

        First of all, Hugh, it's "affects," not "effects."

        Now as to giving up on voting because of gerrymandering or Citizens United: baloney!  If everyone who was eligible to vote actually voted, Democrats might have held the House in 2010 and Obama's presidency might not have deteriorated into the Executive Branch vs. the "Do-Nothingest" Right-Wing Congress in memory.

        No matter how much you may think our system doesn't work anymore, the best way to effect any kind of change still begins with your vote!  And if you really believe your ideas are better than the other side's, get out and hustle up the vote!  If you give up your right to vote, you have given up your right to complain.

      •  Playing the Blame Game (0+ / 0-)
        Those holding public office have worked very hard to make their jobs vote-proof.

        Very true.  Once they get into office, this is their number one priority.

        One way they do this is to limit voting.
        Very true.  And the way they do it is to make it difficult to vote for those who would back their opposition.
        Another way they do this is by drawing their voting districts in such a way as to ensure a that no actual contest can occur.
        Very true.  They maneuver the district lines in such a contorted way as to isolate those who would vote for the opposition.  They will give up one district to the opposition in order to gain four or five other districts for themselves and their party.
        Money is now a greater factor in elections than even votes.

        Very true.  Money buys exposure and provides the opportunity to indoctrinate voters with false and specious claims and distortions through misleading advertising.  Some political pundits are now making election predictions based largely on the amount of money each candidate has been able to raise.

        ... the wealthy and corporate interests now run the government and have worked hard to remove the influence of "we the people".

        Also very true. We no longer have a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. In its place, we have a government of the people, by a corrupt duopoly, for the big money interests.

        Small wonder then that voters give up: in a very real way, their votes are made meaningless.

        Obviously, if they don't vote, their votes are meaningless, because they are non-existent. If they do vote, and vote for existing members of a corrupt system, then their votes merely add to the problem. If they vote for somebody who has very little or no chance of winning, they feel their vote is also meaningless. To the defeatist voters, these are all bad choices.

        I myself do not like the idea of "blaming the voters": "see, things turn out this way because someone didn't vote".

        Here is where we part ways.  You see, in this case, I believe in the adage: "If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem. If people just withdraw and do nothing, they are indirectly aiding and abetting those who are now ruling us instead of representing us.  They are enabling them to rob us of our rights, our privacy our liberty, our equality, and our pursuit of happiness.  So, yes, I do blame the non-voters.  They are passive supporters of the status quo, and that is a major problem for any country that tries to justify calling itself a democracy.

        I also believe that faith, hope and action can conquer disillusionment, despair, and inaction.  Before people can make a change, they have to believe that they can.  And, when they are faced with changes of such great magnitude, they must hope for tremendous support from like-minded fellow citizens.  Then, then they are in a position to take the necessary action to effect change.

        Money is the politician's greatest weapon.  It helps buy them the votes they need to continue their rule over an entire country of disillusioned and disaffected citizens.

        But, we do have a weapon, and it is a powerful weapon. But we need to use it before it is so severely contained,  curtailed, and controlled to a point where it is rendered  useless.

        That is the power of the ballot box and the total sum of our individual votes. There is power in numbers and numbers do count.  Money talks and politicians listen. Votes count, and politicians count on them to further their interests first, not ours.

        As I have said in other messages and in my own blog, we need to exercise our right to vote while we still can. And we need to vote every self-serving incumbent in both major political parties out of office. It isn't sufficient just to vote out incumbents and put other party members their place.  They will soon become part of the same political machinery that corrupted their predecessors.

        Voting for anybody other than a Republican or a Democrat can send a powerful message that "We're mad as hell, and we're not going to take it anymore." We need to embarrass and threaten our incumbent politicians to the point where they will recognize and realize what they are doing to this country.  

        Perhaps they will turn around and start representing the people and not just the big money interests.  If not, we just continue our action until every last money-grubbing politician is voted out of office and replaced with true representatives of the people.

        Just believe: We have the clout to vote them out.  And then go out and do it.  Our founding fathers would be glad you did.  And those who come after you will be thankful.

    •  Get INVOLVED. OFA is gearing up here. (4+ / 0-)

      I've gotten three calls so far, from our old team leader, a young and enthusiastic new field organizer (our last one got a job in DC) and a team member.  

      I am planning a meeting at my house next week.

      I yam what I yam --Popeye

      by BadKitties on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 06:47:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  1970 - The Birth of New Conservatism and it (4+ / 0-)

      brought (and bought) with it the Dawn of New Propaganda.

      "We must make our choice. We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both." - Louis Brandeis

      by Pescadero Bill on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 07:01:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  VOTE BY MAIL! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Glen The Plumber

      (IF your state allows it.)

    •  Aaaaand after you vote, (6+ / 0-)

      when the Democrats finally get in, you have to hold their feet to the fire, because relaxing at that point gets you barely better than when the Republicans were in power--Democrats often have seem to have the attitude of "I don't have to do anything for you because who the heck else you gonna vote for?  Republicans?  I don't think so!"  I always like to remember that it was Jimmy Carter and his merry band who shrugged off the unionized air traffic controllers' concerns with that attitude, thus setting up the union nicely to be completely suckered by Reagan and administration, which started the downfall of unionism in general.  Democrats have to behave like Democrats, not like "somewhat centrist" Republicans in an attempt to garner a few "moderate" Republican votes.

      Sadly, the biggest problem with this voting thing is that it's like doing the dishes: you have to do it over and over and over again.  Religious fervor keeps the Republican party voting, all our side has is common sense, which isn't very stirring.

    •  There's hope yet... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Glen The Plumber, JimB37

      ". . . whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government; that, whenever things get so far wrong as to attract their notice, they may be relied on to set them right."


      "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be."
      -Thomas Jefferson

      If not us, who? If not now, when?

      by FamilyDocForDean on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 09:50:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Never give up! Never, never give up! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Glen The Plumber, JimB37
      “If you will not fight for right when you can easily win without blood shed;
      if you will not fight when your victory is sure and not too costly;
      you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival.
      There may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.”
      ― Winston Churchill

      If not us, who? If not now, when?

      by FamilyDocForDean on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 10:17:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  can we make this work to our advantage..??.. (6+ / 0-)

    fewer people we need to get to the polls..??

    hey...I trying to be positive here.

    We are not broke, we are being robbed. ~Shop Kos Katalogue~

    by Glen The Plumber on Mon Jul 21, 2014 at 11:14:56 PM PDT

  •  Voting matters. (13+ / 0-)

    I suspect that if more people took the effort to vote, we'd get a fairly socialist country overnight.

    I think the Republican party base suspects the same thing.

  •  My two cents (21+ / 0-)

    I think most people are so wrapped up in just trying to get by  from paycheck to paycheck that they don't have the time or energy to get involved. That ties in with the demise of the union movement in the US. At least if you are in a union the union will fight for your rights and urge you to get out and vote. Without unions it's everyone for themselves.

    •  Trouble is, then they lose that paycheck - thro... (12+ / 0-)

      Trouble is, then they lose that paycheck - through no fault of their own. A car crash paralyzes their legs. They fall ill with cancer. Or it can be as simple and un-melodramatic as just being laid off!

      Then the harsh political reality sets in. I read a lot of "How I Became Democrat" stories that go like that.

    •  The neocons & corporatists have been working us (11+ / 0-)

      back towards that feudal state for exactly that reason. Keep people pushed, worried and scared and they don't have time to think about the causes and take action to change things.

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

      by FarWestGirl on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 04:02:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's exactly those people (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Glen The Plumber, Sylv, jakedog42

      that the House Democrats are aiming to speak to with their new campaign agenda. We should all be promoting this but it really really worries me how few people seem to be aware of it, let alone read it.

      Please note that lamps in the Magic Lamp Emporium are on a genie time-share program so there may be a slight delay in wish fulfillment. (◕‿◕)

      by Mopshell on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 04:21:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I only partly buy that explanation (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Glen The Plumber

      Sure, there are people who either literally can't spare the time or money to vote, in places where it's hard to impossible to vote absentee, there's no early voting, the voting places have little parking or are hard to get to and the lines are long, etc. Or, they're so zonked out from working 70 hour weeks barely getting by, that voting is the last thing on their mind. And so on.

      But I doubt this accounts for most people who don't vote, who, I'm guessing, don't vote because they're either too lazy, too ignorant, or too cynical, to vote. To them, voting is part of some alternate reality they know little about, sort of like what Comic Con or knitting circles are to people who don't care for either.

      I think we basically have a massive section of the voting-eligible population who simply don't care to participate in the most minimal duties of citizenship, not because they can't, but because they give a rat's ass, or because they don't see the point. And yet, millions of people can be bothered to watch hours of mindless TV each night and play video games.

      So, I don't buy it. We have a stupid and lazy electorate. Period.

      "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

      by kovie on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 06:38:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That second chart is an interesting timeline. (5+ / 0-)

        "Partisan Primary Turnout"

        My father was a life-long union member, blue-collar, WWII vet, democrat. After the Vietnam war he stopped voting.

        He hated politics and politicians and the lying democrats that could so callously throw away American lives.

        So, who's at fault for the declining voter turnout; the democratic party that was 'corrupted' by the MIC, or the democratic party supporter no longer willing to be part of a failing-to-be-honest political process?

        I'd argue the party and not so much the voter, but I'd have to blame both. Yet, after more than 40 years of voting consistently myself, I'm beginning to feel what my father felt at this age.

        The democratic party is socially liberal, but fiscally corrupt. Whereas the republican party is socially conservative and fiscally corrupt.

        Those are our choices when it comes to voting these days. People can see it, can sense it. Hence the low voter turnout.

        It's not laziness, it's helplessness.

        "We must make our choice. We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both." - Louis Brandeis

        by Pescadero Bill on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 07:32:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That was a different time (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Glen The Plumber

          Your father was from an earlier generation, and his reasons for not voting are different from why most people don't vote today, I'm guessing. For every person who doesn't vote out of disgust or cynicism, there are probably five or ten who don't vote because they're just disengaged and lazy.

          The only major election I didn't vote in was the first presidential election I was eligible to vote in, 1984, when I lived in upstate NY while in college. The local and state-level Dems were a lock and didn't really need my vote, and Mondale, who I thought was an even weaker candidate than Carter 4 years prior, was obviously going to get destroyed by Reagan. So I didn't vote.

          Since then, I've voted in just about every election except a few primaries, and one that came soon after a horrible family tragedy, that I can recall, whether or not it made a difference. I was quite cynical about politics during much of that time, but I voted anyway, because I felt that it was my duty.

          I appear to be in the distinct minority on that.

          Vote or STFU, I strongly believe. Don't JUST vote, but also vote.

          "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

          by kovie on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 08:12:22 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  if folks are too busy to vote (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Glen The Plumber

      use voter guides!
      get an absentee ballot and vote from home

      and if still too busy
      then enjoy what it is that we're all going to get

      suicide by corporation

      Is that all there is?

      by Eral Felder on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 06:04:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  From 1962 to 1982 the top graph isn’t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dood Abides, Glen The Plumber

    entirely consistent with the lower two, even at the eyeball level of accuracy.  I’m sure that all three are at least in the right ballpark, but I am curious about the disparity.

    •  Possibly the effects of open primaries? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Glen The Plumber, BMScott

      Could also be that the data are derived from different sources and have an inherent discrepancy.

      Either way it seems clear that it is a lack of voting in the Democratic primaries that is driving the trend.  Is that because there is less overall participation, less primaries, or both?

  •  "Corporations are candidates, my friend...";) (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Glen The Plumber


    "Generosity, Ethics, Patience, Effort, Concentration, and Wisdom"

    by Dood Abides on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 03:24:56 AM PDT

  •  I imagine there are many reasons, for this, but... (9+ / 0-)

    it's my perception that people used to be more civically engaged.

    People voted more. People read newspapers and watched the nightly news.

    I remember seeing the movie "Quiz Show" years ago and being amazed at how much more difficult the questions on that show were compared to today's "Jeopardy!"

    I fear we used to be a smarter people, even though we undoubtedly "know" more stuff today.

    My grandparents' generation had a good number of immigrants in it. Those people were engaged, knowledgeable, and always, always voted.

    You can't change a damn thing if you don't get on the inside.

    I think about the OWS protestors, too. Obviously, those folks want to be engaged. But I wonder how many of them voted, and how many of them thought their votes wouldn't make a difference because, in their perception, the game is rigged.

    And, yes, it will be rigged if we reach a point when voters are comprised of only the wealthy because everyone else has thrown in the towel.

    Those folks who waited in line for hours in Ohio and Florida in 2012 to cast their votes? They get it.

    How about I believe in the unlucky ones?

    by BenderRodriguez on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 03:37:48 AM PDT

    •  Voting is rigged, esp at the national level, (0+ / 0-)

      for the 1%.  How many Goldman Sachs toadies are in Obama's administration?  How many Wall Street motherfuckers have gone in and out of the executive since he was in office?

      It's a given that Republicans are beholden 100% to big business, but the Democrats shouldn't be -- yet they are.

      Hillary does not have the benefit of a glib tongue.

      by The Dead Man on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 05:33:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That doesn't mean voting is rigged (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Glen The Plumber, Catte Nappe

        The persuasion industry is rigged.  Too many working class people are going out and voting against their own interests.  They're some of the most passionate voters, in fact.  

        When truth is only a matter of opinion, advantage goes to the liars.

        by Sun dog on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 07:42:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Despite the team flag, the candidates on offer (0+ / 0-)

          are rigged -- which is equivalent to rigging the vote.  There is a reason Hillary is going around assuaging Wall Street that being mean to them is counter productive -- she's letting them know that the Democrats are still willing to sell out their constituents for mad cash.  So how do you get a progressive populist onto not just the state and local rolls (which itself can be a task due to institutional political machinery that likes it's corruption) but onto the national stage without falling into the same money trap that brought us here in the first place?  Just getting the working class to vote (many times nominally) "D" isn't enough as long as big money has influence above and beyond any mere constituent's vote.

          Hillary does not have the benefit of a glib tongue.

          by The Dead Man on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 07:56:45 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  all candidates unopposed here (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Glen The Plumber, AoT, Kasoru, blackhand

    I voted but it cost me half a buck to mail it in.

    “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 Jul 22, 2014 at 05:15:13 AM PDT

    •  Voting is a function of governace (4+ / 0-)

      Why do we have to pay to mail ballots in??

    •  Yet another thing that has to be changed (4+ / 0-)

      Make it possible and easy to vote absentee in every election, including making the damn postage free. Hell, offer a free soda or energy drink or coupon for one to everyone who hands or mails their's in. If we have to bribe people to vote, it's worth it, so long as it's non-partisan.

      "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

      by kovie on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 06:41:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  we walked our ballots in this year... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kovie, remembrance

        saved us the postage...and they were offering a free loaf of bread...I was too proud to take it...even though we could have used it.

        so many factors have led to this...and I fear it is only going to get worse...I don't expect the politicians to work to change it...not to their advantage.

        We are not broke, we are being robbed. ~Shop Kos Katalogue~

        by Glen The Plumber on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 06:49:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I used to walk or bike mine in (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Glen The Plumber

          Now I walk to my local polling place to vote in person, because that's how it's mostly done here. But like most active members of this site, I'm not exactly representative of most Americans, on so many levels.

          The challenge is how to engage all those millions of people who are barely even aware that it's election day and that so much is at stake. I don't think that cynicism is the main problem, although it is a problem. I think that plain old apathy and detachment is the real problem.

          "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

          by kovie on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 06:59:44 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Some people think it only encourages the bastards (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Glen The Plumber

    They may have a point

    Happy just to be alive

    by exlrrp on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 05:16:38 AM PDT

    •  No they don't (0+ / 0-)

      Those cute cynical little jokes are actually part of the problem.  It's part of how people exempt themselves from their responsibility as citizens.  

      When truth is only a matter of opinion, advantage goes to the liars.

      by Sun dog on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 07:44:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Better options, more options (4+ / 0-)

    but it won't happen until money is removed from politics -- both parties will continue to play football with social issues and serve the 1% with disastrous economic policies until it is.

    Hillary does not have the benefit of a glib tongue.

    by The Dead Man on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 05:25:54 AM PDT

  •  Don't vote (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Glen The Plumber, Eric Nelson

    yeah, right . . .

    Boddhistattva, won't you take me by the hand. Can you show me the shine of your Japan, the sparkle of your China. Show me, and I'll be there, Boddhistattva, Boddhistattva

    by thenekkidtruth on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 06:18:00 AM PDT

  •  In my experience... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Glen The Plumber

    ...civics education, where it exists at all, hardly ever gets into the nuances of the nomination process.

  •  Blame the voters (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Glen The Plumber

    and accept 38% turnout this fall.

    Or take their cynicism/apathy at face value and try a different strategy.

    How about a truly compelling, signed, guaranteed Contract for Democracy comprised of 10-20 pieces of red meat legislation, Executive Orders and other actions?

    The R version 20 years ago did just that, flipped both chambers and installed the Starr administration.

    Just sayin'

    I've never left a blank space on a ballot... but I will not vote for someone [who vows] to spy on me. I will not do it. - dclawyer06

    Trust, but verify. - Reagan
    Vote, but Occupy. - commonmass

    by Words In Action on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 06:31:39 AM PDT

  •  People are not engaged. . . (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Glen The Plumber, blackhand

    . . .because they realize that they have little or no influence over the "democratic" process. Citizens United will only make the disengagement worse.  People can see the money pouring in and they know that it takes money to participate, so they become apathetic.  Republicans want leadership by the privileged and they are near victory.

    If we are going to elect Democrats, lets elect real ones!

    by waztec on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 06:33:30 AM PDT

  •  Don't be like Stuart Borden (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Glen The Plumber, marsanges

    Boddhistattva, won't you take me by the hand. Can you show me the shine of your Japan, the sparkle of your China. Show me, and I'll be there, Boddhistattva, Boddhistattva

    by thenekkidtruth on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 06:34:10 AM PDT

  •  To vote is to participate in the governing (3+ / 0-)

    of society beyond one's own immediate world, and most Americans these days don't seem to connect with or care about the broader society in which we live. It's just not a part of their everyday reality. They may be dimly aware of it, but it just doesn't register as something they should care or do anything about. Their focus is on their own lives, their jobs, their homes, their friends and relatives, their interests--which these days mostly involves lots of passive consumption of media and food--and the world beyond that might as well not exist to them. So they don't think about or participate in it.

    I think that a major reason most Americans don't vote is because voting, and government, is simply not part of their reality. They are detached from anything beyond their personal realities.

    "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

    by kovie on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 06:56:59 AM PDT

  •  And the good candidates can't be heard (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Glen The Plumber

    if the media shills for the right-wing 24/7.  Practically every good candidate will be attacked by the media from day 1 of their campaign.  Voter suppression is a right wing strategy and it is working through many mechanisms.  

    Don't argue with your basic point but there is a context to these dismal statistics.

    The Long War is not on Iraq, Afghanistan, or Iran. It is on the American people.

    by Geonomist on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 07:05:50 AM PDT

    •  I just wanted to get this out there... (0+ / 0-)

      start the discussion.

      you hit a key does the money in politics flow...

      the 1%'ers donate to the politicians...the pols spend it for ads...which the media profits from...why would the media want to upset would hurt their pocketbooks.

      We are not broke, we are being robbed. ~Shop Kos Katalogue~

      by Glen The Plumber on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 07:14:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's hard to cut through that (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Glen The Plumber, Eric Nelson

    Try canvassing for awhile - especially in poor neighborhoods - and you'll know what I mean.  It's not people don't care but there are many factors that suppress voting.  

    1) You have alot of people who are constantly moving.  I can tell you that for sure because the canvass lists are always way wrong.

    2) Alot of people work so many hours that they can not find the time when voting is limited to one day.

    3) Poor people sometimes lack enough information on special elections and the like or voter identification requirements.  They often are deliberately misled by the right wing.

    I think Reverend Barber has it right.  The only way we will change anything is a ground up movement that connects with people across a wide spectrum.  Getting it done at the polls is one component but its not enough.

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Riane Eisler

    by noofsh on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 08:33:42 AM PDT

  •  Totally agree (3+ / 0-)

    There is a popular meme especially among the right-wing that only suckers vote. That's stupid.
      The ruling elites don't want you to vote. They want you disconnected from politics.

     As for the people who don't vote because they don't like the two leading candidates, well, I understand.
      But there is no law saying that you have to vote for the two leading candidates.
     Voting 3rd party is better than not voting at all.

    "The oppressors most powerful weapon is the mind of the oppressed." - Stephen Biko

    by gjohnsit on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 08:44:55 AM PDT

  •  It seems that primaries took place earlier this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Glen The Plumber

    year than ever before which in turn probably depressed turn out even more.  In my own experience I remember previously in non-presidential years that the primaries in DC and MD happened in September.  I prefer the old way, as it makes for a more concentrated and less dragged out election season overall.  It is beyond me why the two parties think that having two stages of the election spaced out by 6-10 months is going to hold the interest of the average voter.

    If only we could do the same for presidential years: primaries in Sept, general in Nov, inauguration in Jan.

  •  How about (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Glen The Plumber, Eric Nelson

    compulsory voting? I know it's downright un-American to force someone to do things (like paying taxes or stopping at a red light or not drinking a beer on the sidewalk), but currently 22 countries, most notably Australia and Argentina where it's fully enforced, have compulsory voting. There are some pros and cons to that, but with a 15% turnout as your graphics describe, it's hard to call what's happening in this country democratic.

    Ecology is the new Economy => Kosonomy

    by citisven on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 09:10:47 AM PDT

  •  It's not as though the youth do not have 'skin' (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Glen The Plumber, Eric Nelson

    in the game. They have more then they know. I recall an argument with my father before he passed. He was espousing the Fox news mantra of the "global warming hoax". He gave up after awhile of being exposed to facts. Then he spoke his own very simple fact. "It's your problem, not mine." Truth be told, at 48, it is probably going to be more of an issue of the proceeding generations then mine. Global Warming and a whole lot more. I try to do my part, but youth are still going to need to step up like they never have.

    Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber. ~Plato

    by marko on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 09:32:03 AM PDT

  •  We need to teach civics in High School again, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Glen The Plumber, Eric Nelson

    make it a requirement to graduate. or get a GED.

  •  There's no excuse (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Glen The Plumber, Eric Nelson

    for people saying that their vote doesn't matter - just look what Sandra Day O'Conner's vote did in 2000.

    I especially don't like women to say they don't vote!  If they went back a 100 years or so they wouldn't have been able to vote , or inherit property, or decide where their children would live if their husband died, etc.

    So, when I hear this comment, I pick a couple of especially awful things the repugs have done to this country and ask them why they want the government telling them who they can marry, why they want to pay more taxes because companies like Walgreens are making their company a non-US company to avoid taxes, etc.  When they say they don't like those things, I tell them that their non-vote is helping those things happen - that they personally are responsible for all the things that government does that they don't like.

    I also don't let people get away with demonizing "the government".  This is OUR government, warts and all.  And while I definitely want improvements in social and economic justice on many fronts, this is our home and we can't just complain and let things deteriorate.  We all need to take responsibility to work toward continuous improvement.

    We can't take an all-or-nothing attitude or be so childish as to think that we should get everything we want right now!  We have to WORK to move forward step by step.  First step = take federal and state congressional power away from the repugs (or whatever party is not serving the greater good of this country and it's citizens) and reverse the partisan packing or our courts that is taking place.  Second step = watch democrats actions like a hawk.  Don't care what they say, only what they do.  Third step = get rid of democrats who don't walk the talk.  Fourth step = repeat steps 1-3 forever.

    Thumbunny "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Martin Luther King, Jr. "Silence is the voice of Complicity" - unknown

    by thumbunny on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 10:00:52 AM PDT

  •  Primaries are not elections (0+ / 0-)

    I know primaries are run by local election boards, but really, they're not elections. They're party intramural candidate-selection beauty contests. It really doesn't matter who votes in them (except for all the party jumping that goes on to manipulate the candidates for the general election).

  •  Must have Mandatory voting (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Glen The Plumber

    It is the civic responsibility of all citizens to participate in the administration of the Nations business, therefor we should amend the Constitution to provide for compulsory voting for all eligible citizens.

    Something not unlike what other countries have done. Providing for a fine of some sort just enough to make not voting more of a pain then voting. That is all you need.

    New Plan: Obamacare Old Plan: Nobodycares

    by groupw on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 11:52:55 AM PDT

  •  The lower the numbers the greater the polarization (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Glen The Plumber

    This explains our current state. The people disgusted with politics are the ones that need to vote most of all.

  •  Voting (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Glen The Plumber

    My kids would say I'm just getting a little crusty in my old age.  But a good definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and being disappointed when the results never change!  Trying to figure out ways to motivate the public to vote is insane!  A better idea would be to change the Constitution to require citizens to vote.  Make it mandatory.  Anyone who doesn't vote should pay extra taxes for the convenience.

    And repeal the 2nd Amendment!

  •  One person can make a difference (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Glen The Plumber

    or so I heard.
      I try to vote in every election, though there are some dinky ones every month or so just to give people something else to ignore (much like speed limits).
      I have heard all the excuses: It won't make any difference. Why should I vote?  Who is running? Why should I care,  they won't do anything for us.
      And then the excuse that governments are evil and have no hold on them. But they do believe "Render what is Caesar's unto Caesar." So by not voting, they aren't improving the government either.
       And so the ant carrying one grain of sand to the ant hill is not joined by the rest and they all drown in the next rain.

  •  The REAL problem is: The STUPID vote! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Glen The Plumber

    Just ask P T Barnum: there's a sucker born every minute, and no one ever lost a nickel underestimating Americans' intelligence.  OK, it's harsh and nasty to read/write/think/say, but unless we deal with that reality, Republicans will win elections.  I'm not saying all Republicans are stupid, but The Stupid tend to vote Republican.  After all, it takes monumental stupidity to be racist, sexist, elitist, xenophobic, etc., etc.

    You see, Republicans' ideas (I use the term loosely) are "from the gut", over-simplistic and simple-minded -- exactly the maximum that The Stupid can comprehend, and exactly the kind of "thinking" that can be so easily encapsulated onto bumper stickers, with extra credit if they rhyme and/or scan.  Democrats' ideas, which tend to be the kind of complex solutions that complex problems require, are way outside the attention and comprehension span of The Stupid: this is precisely why Michael Moore's movies are ineffective -- no Stupid can handle all those facts!

    So it may be harder for us, but then we're smarter than them: we have to communicate to The Stupid on their terms, because The Stupid are also The Masses, and one Stupid vote equals one Smart vote -- do the math!  WE have to make and post effective slogans and bumper stickers -- remember "The Moral Majority is neither" and "I'm from Massachusetts; don't blame me"?.  WE have to get emotional in arguments, which is what they crave.  And WE have to get MASSES of people OFF THEIR ASSES to PULL LEVERS.  Pulled levers are all that counts, and if The Stupid can do it -- meaning they can manage to register, find out where and when to vote, and find how to get there then! -- WE CAN TOO.

  •  voting in primaries is the problem? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Glen The Plumber

    I don't think so. At least where I live, the party bosses know the Democrats have a lock on incumbency--I don't think my part of Brooklyn has sent a Republican to DC since before WWII. And the party hates primaries, even primaries that are used to dislodge criminal incumbents.
    The problem is that I have no choice but to vote for the clownish incumbents (including a nepotism backed congresscreature who managed to embarrass themselves on Colbert Report). I think it's great when people vote in primaries. But they have to have a reason to do so.

  •  The Real Problem with America (0+ / 0-)


    Mr. Smith can no LONGER represent Americans because he can't raise enough money to get elected.

    Democrats may be the lesser of the two evils, but not by very much anymore.

    Corporations buy candidates long before they take their seat in office.

    Arrogant, sociopaths who feel entitled to hold public office and rule the world scare all the real human beings away.

    Very few Americans believe in the democratic process after we witnessed the Supreme Court give the Presidency to the candidate of THEIR choice.

    What is the point to electing officials when political shenanigans keep legislation that Americans want from the congressional floor and away from a democratic vote.

    What is the point to passing legislation when disgruntled elected officials file lawsuits to undo the laws or de-fund legislation that they do not like or have a hissy fit and shut down the government until they get their way.

    Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. So.... continuing to vote for the Bozo's currently running for office is a waste of time, and for those of us working five part-time jobs to pay the bills, it is time we can not afford to waste simply to stroke someone's ego. Let the corporations they work for vote for them. And why don't they also pay the salaries for their lackeys since they derive more benefit from our Congress than we do. Corporations certainly have more rights than We, the People have.

    In order to change the turnout, this country must change the candidates. The choices we have now SUCK! Our political system sucks. Saying we can't change things if we don't vote sounds is so clique when the fact is that we can't change things even IF we vote....unless we vote EVERYONE OUT and start from scratch. We need REAL Americans to represent America and until we find 500 human beings with a flesh and blood heart willing to stand up and fight the cyborgs in Washington, I understand why so many Americans don't even bother. A government of the people, for the people... what a crock!

  •   NERA - The National Employment Reconstruction Act (0+ / 0-)

    (Recently  the House Ways and Means Committee; WV congressmen McKinley, Manchin, Rockefeller; and the National Governor's Association and the Federal Reserve Board were notified about NERA)

    Politics and Solving the Nation's Problems - You are right, it IS all about money.  The wider scope solution is to Support the National Employment Recovery Act (NERA) and here is the solution.  


        1) Uncertainty in the long-term solvency of Social
            Security and
        2) Uncertainty in the long-term solvency of
            Medicare due to the "short-circuit" in FICA
        3) The increasing national deficit and
        4) The reduction in well-paying living wage middle
            class jobs;
        5) Stagnant or declining educational standards
            insufficient to properly equip the  next
            generation with the skill sets required to
            meet  future economic requirements, all of
            which are resulting in:  
        6) The "watering down" of the American Standard
            of Living to a global substandard as opposed
             to the elevation of the global standard to an
            American benchmark.

        That's why I created a petition to The United States House of Representatives, The United States Senate, and President Barack Obama:

        Another  such partition to please sign is on the Whitehouse site at:

        For additional information and commentary see my newsvine article at

        With a Facebook page at:

        Feel free to network this around.  I am an Independent by the way, which lets me talk to both sides :-)!


    Richard  Cox <= my professional profile
    Independent member, WV Senator Manchin's Project Weirton task group  ( )

  •  Dems need to get off their asses and vote (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Glen The Plumber

    If they don't, this country is doomed.  

  •  Some people think (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Glen The Plumber

    that sitting at home bitching and moaning about how awful everything has become think that they are actually participating in their democracy.  What the hell is wrong with people that they don't get off their sorry lazy asses and go to the voting booth?

  •  Or, the other real problem in America is (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Glen The Plumber

    that ignorant racist, hateful, hate filled, hate mongering, lying republican liars keep voting against their own best interests,
    by voting republican. Also Democrats do not come out and vote in the mid terms.  Republicans will always vote, they will never ever not vote, it is the fault of yoyo Democrats and Independents that have cause the gridlock in D.C. and around the country by not voting in the mid term elections. Not voting in the mid term is the same as a vote for the republicans. So vote, and lets cleanse the stench of the GOP from D.C. and around this country in 2014, Vote for the sake of this country, stomp and crush the GOP at the voting booth.

    Recommended by:
    Glen The Plumber

    ARGUMENTS ARE TO MUCH Guilt we live by And carry the world on your shoulders it feels like.
    I will not vote why? If you look at all of the problems we have they are taken care of if average citizens -  As an example if you or I do some of the absolute insane stuff that the Big? Powerful? People? did. We would either be in jail or in an asylum
    Well ? Here's your answer why.

    •  your comment is a bit confusing... (0+ / 0-)

      maybe it is me...but I do sense much frustration...which I...and many share.

      We are not broke, we are being robbed. ~Shop Kos Katalogue~

      by Glen The Plumber on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 06:20:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  wha? (0+ / 0-)

      pLeeZ lurn how to sPell an duh proper yooss uv caPitaliZation and punk-chew-a-shun....."!?3lkjdfg!!!!#&*9() Also, learn the difference between the words "to", "too" and "two". When you're having a rhetorical dialog with yourself, use language to accurately convey your inner dialog. After looking at it a few times, I finally figured out that your "I will not vote why?" meant, "I will not vote. Why?" Then, you answered your own rhetorical question to some extent.

      I've got to say, though, I am as frustrated as you seem to be. (I'm not sure because your prose is just short of incoherent.) May I suggest that you slow down, take a deep breath, and try to think of something that would help, and that you express it here on DailyKos? No matter how inconsequential one's contribution might seem, at the very least it will make you feel a little better. That's why I write stuff here. I read a lot here, too, because no matter how poorly someone may phrase it, most people have something interesting to say. Do you? Please give it a shot.

  •  Solution? Easy! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Glen The Plumber

    The diary lays out the problem: Americans are a bunch of lazy whiners who can't be bothered to vote because it cuts into their time allocated for bitching about those in office who got there because the whiners couldn't be bothered to support someone better. I scanned all the comments and most of what I saw was further enumeration of how stupid and lazy most people are. None of this solves the problem. How do we do that?


    This is what they do in Australia. In your annual tax return, your tax liability is reduced by a certain amount if you voted in the last election. Duh. If it costs someone money to not vote, they usually will.

    Once someone knows that they will be voting, it's a lot easier to get them to vote "correctly", that is, in their own best interest. Republicans would fight such legislation because it would be their death knell. They only win when hardly anyone votes. So, the problem and its solution are an ourobouros. To get the Republicans out, we have to increase voting; to increase voting, we have to get the Republicans out to pass laws to make voting compulsory. It will be tough sledding, but it can be done!

  •  This plays into Republican hands... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Glen The Plumber

    ...Republicans actually promote lower voter turn-out because large numbers of Republican voters (not all) tend to go to the polls like pre-programmed robots.

    These are the following solutions in order of priority:

    #1. In the short term, work GOTV (get out the vote) at your local party office for this coming election.  Mid-term elections are ENTIRELY about GOTV.  Low progressive turn-out is a notorious problem.

    #2. In the medium term, support "money out" candidates.  Lacking "money out" support "full disclosure" candidates.  (One would normally assume a "money out" candidate would also support "full disclosure.")  The overwhelming majority of money is spent to convince people to NOT vote for "the other guy".  By the time both candidates are done telling your NOT to vote for the other guy, people are left feeling like they might as well NOT vote at all.

    "Money" is the root of all evil in politics and government.  Not only does it corrupt the election process, it then corrupts the politicians once they've been elected.  The need to raise money means politicians have an incentive to make "the money" happy as their first priority, and their constituents happy as their second priority.  The politicians always know that with enough money, they can mislead their constituents.  So the second priority is less of a concern if you're successful at your first priority.

    Bigger Corporations = Smaller Individuals

    by Smeagel4T on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 08:19:20 PM PDT

  •  Also "nobody can hear you" if ... (0+ / 0-)

    ... what you're allowed to say is restricted to one of two things: "republican" or "democrat".

  •  The only way democracy works... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Glen The Plumber

    is if we all get involved, and we ALL VOTE.

    We are NOT all involved; therefore, it is not working.

    There is no excuse for not getting involved and not voting, unless you are OK with complete strangers telling you what your life is going to be like.

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