Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A Case For Registering, But Not Voting

[Originally posted as a response to Samuel over at Sub Species Aeternitatis]

I’m certain of a handful of things, and one of them is that Republicans haven’t put up a decent presidential candidate since Eisenhower. State and local officials may be different, but not in my experience. They’ve pretty much all become religiously zealous war-mongers or switched to being a Democrat.

I don’t register Democrat, either, because saying what I want to hear and then doing none of it doesn’t impress me much.

I’m reminded of my middle school days watching MTV in the late 90’s. Every day I would rush home from school to see what the top video was on TRL, and every day I would hope it wasn’t the Backstreet Boys, N’Sync or 98 degrees. It got so bad, I started thinking I actually liked the bands who sometimes beat them. I found myself buying CDs by Korn and Limp Bizkit. *shiver*

It turns out... they all sucked. It was all just a scheme to get me to buy into one of the two genres being marketed. Neither one was actually worth listening to, but I really hated the polished teeny-bopper bands, so I managed to convince myself I liked something I didn’t, all in the name of “winning” a competition.

In the end, I just turned the channel. It’s a shame we can’t do that with politics (since they’ll just keep on ruining our country whether we pay attention or not).

I register as independent, even though I don’t vote, because I think it is important that people register and do so accurately. I’m not a Democrat, nor have I ever voted for one, so why would I lie just so I could participate in primaries and select a Democrat I wouldn’t even end up voting for in the election?

More importantly, registering as independent is a signal. It says, “I don’t buy what you’re selling.” If everyone just chose D or R, it would seem like the two parties appealed to people, that they were fulfilling the needs of voters. The fact is, they aren’t.

More people are selecting “independent” or “unaffiliated” than they have in generations. Why? The parties we have are not adequate. What does this mean? We are due for a new party - or two.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you go to register and they asked you, “Socialist or Libertarian?” Wouldn’t that more accurately describe the political beliefs of Americans?


  1. Wouldn’t it be nice if you go to register and they asked you, “Socialist or Libertarian?”

    Um, no? Almost no Americans are either.

  2. Really? Because I have never once met a Republican, and only a couple Democrats. Every person I ever met who voted for Republicans self-identified as Libertarian, and people who vote Democrat want Socialists but get do-nothing pussies who kowtow to opposition.

    So the real question is... where are these "Democrats" and "Republicans" politicians are supposedly representing?

  3. I posted a reply on my blog, but I wanted to say this.

    I only voted for 2 people in spite of their being many offices up for election. But I felt superintendent of education was worth researching and too important not to vote in, especially now that my progeny will someday be in the Oklahoma public school system.

    One candidate espoused teaching "all three theories in biology" meaning creation, ID, and evolution. Needless to say, I almost vomited in my mouth - and I crossed him off my list. But to think that guy could have been pushing curriculum frightens me. He doesn't even know what a scientific theory is, or 8th grade level biology.

    The other one I voted for was my congressional district. I tried to vote the incumbent out, and lo and behold, the incumbent stayed in.

  4. As for Socialist and libertarian.... I agree. We can accommodate 4 parties. Britain manages with 3, and we're supposed to be way better at democracy than them.

    I want a Bernie Sanders vs. Ron Paul election for President. Now that would be something different - where the candidates are actually different.

    Because I really don't think Obama has done anything different from what McCain would have done. The media makes them out to be so different - but in reality they seem to be the exact same.

  5. I agree that many Republicans call themselves libertarians, although it does not strike me as generally an accurate label for them save for a few secular Randian types, who you and I may know a lot of but who don't represent a very large proportion of Republicans overall.

    On the left, very very very few Democrats self-identify as Socalists. Like almost none. Most of us believe more or less in a system like the one we have -- that of capitalism combined with regulations and social spending to try to split the difference between the bloody, ruthless "pure" capitalism and the impractical, economically-suicidal "pure" socialism. Most Republicans believe in this too, although they oppose social spending and regulation which helps people other than them.

  6. Just because "socialist" is a dirty word in post-Cold War America (since anyone of any significant age got a healthy helping of anti-Red propaganda) doesn't mean what Democrats are voting for isn't socialist.

    And in point of fact, socialism doesn't require a complete change in the system, nor the death of capitalism. Most European countries have a socialist party, and they all have socialized programs (most notably healthcare). America has Democrats, who talk about socialism during campaigns and then do nothing about it when elected (largely because of their donors).

    I believe very strongly that the Republican party will disintegrate in my lifetime, and that at the very least Libertarianism will become the dominant right-leaning ideology. Democrats could just do what they talk about and they would be socialists, but they don't, so I would prefer it if they too would just go away once the yuppies finally get too old for our bloated medical system. They're essentially doing us all a favor by lowering their life expectancy by voting for people who continue to keep America at the bottom of the world heap in health care and eating complete food filled with garbage.

    Here's to your death, people over 35. *sip*

  7. I am a registered Independent. But at heart I am a Socialist.
    The day will come when the Socialist party has a say in our government.
    As of today, and many decades past we have existed under a party of one.
    The Corporate party. As long as this charade exists we will never be free.
    Corporations are not on bed with our government, they are our government.
    When the Corps. the Military, The MSM, and the government work hand in hand that is called Fascism. The word democracy was put in there to entertain, and amuse us. To make us feel important. It was put in there to keep the infighting between the 2 parties alive. It is all a facade for their real agenda.
    CONTROL ! !

  8. RealityZone comes closest to the truth in these comments. What we have now in America is nearer to Fascism than anything else.

    As a libertarian socialist myself, I fall into both categorizes (if only everyone agreed with me, what a world we'd have).

    And in point of fact, socialism doesn't require a complete change in the system, nor the death of capitalism

    WTF? Capitalism is the enemy of true socialism. You're talking about some half-assed social democracy with a cradle to grave welfare state, not socialism. Socialism is worker control of the workplace and common ownership (with individual rights to land, etc, based on possession, occupancy and use) of natural resources.

    As to the European "socialist" parties, they are all capitalist and statist to their core, and no current European nation is in any sense socialist. They have restrained or modified capitalism, and, like the U.S., resemble fascism more than anything.

  9. You make many valid points here, especially about how nice it would be to have more than two political parties. This has been something I've wanted since I turned 18 and realized that neither party was going to do most of what I wanted.

  10. I want a Bernie Sanders vs. Ron Paul election for President. Now that would be something different - where the candidates are actually different.

    If that happens, I am screwed, because I've voted for both of them before.

  11. Ugh, Ron Paul... yeah, he wants to end the wars (in the Middle East and on drugs), but the guy is stuck in the 19th century. I'm also always suspicious of a person who works in an industry they think is wrong. Would you go to a doctor who thinks medicine is just a scam, or an accountant who thinks math is for nerds? Why elect someone to an elected office who hates the government and only has faith in private industry?

  12. Well, I voted Ron Paul in the Republican primaries primarily to steal votes away from McCain. I guess me and only 5 other people in my town had the same idea.

  13. Oh come on, primaries don't count. That's like pre-season.


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