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a very brief statement about all these calls to go vote

To vote...
is simply to change the face attached to the hand around your throat. Those in power will remain in power regardless of whether they are represented by a donkey or an elephant. voting is a farce designed to give us as citizens the impression that we have the ability to effect politics in this country. did you know that women were finally given the right to vote to appease them because the patriarchal government was afraid that if they didn't, then the womens movement would actually become a real threat? if you feel it is worthwhile to vote, do it, but please recognize that we need to be working on deconstructing the system of oppression and exploitation and building real communities in the face of this impersonal and homogenizing culture. it is not enough to drop your ballot, indeed, relative to the desperation of the global situation, it is nothing.
(a)
voting but more 04.Nov.2002 17:15

The One True b!X

While it's unquestionable that people need to learn to do more than just vote (not that most people bother to do even that), it's ludicrous to not vote until and unless someone has a better idea for democratic selection of representatives. The system is of course woefully busted in so many ways. But if a citizen's beef is with the people running, then vote for someone else -- write oyurself in for all I care. But without actually registering such a vote-of-dissatisfaction, one's REASONS for not voting are lost to the wind, because none of us get to officially declare those reasons -- and so the pundits, politicians, and the press get to ASSIGN the reasons to us. In which case everyone loses because they steal our voice.

So unless one believes that the very idea of a democratic vote is bankrupt and not the way society should be structured, there's no valid excuse for not putting SOMETHING (ANYTHING) down on an official ballot.

From a Phone-Banker 04.Nov.2002 19:18

Robin dancerdolphin@excite.com

I have been one of those "annoying phone bank callers that just called to remind you to vote"; short messages, no negative campaigning, mostly in support of candidates that have true pro-environmental stands, like Charlie Ringo for Or. Senate, past Or. chair of Sierra Club. I thought I'd put my 2-cents worth into this post with something that I recieved from MoveOn.org. It is funny, sarcastic, but also very near the truth. Psy Ops in a foreign country could have not put on a better campaign to get some folks that would not support the right-wing choices to stay home and not vote......... Don't you get it, a lot of people have been lead down the path to not vote.....

"From: The Executive Committee Against Uppity Citizens
Sent: Monday November 04 7:37 AM
To: MoveOn.org
Subject: Please don't vote.

Dear friend,

On behalf of Shell, Mobil, and Exxon; Boeing, Lockheed-Martin, and GE; all the Enrons,
Halliburtons, and Harkens; President Bush, Vice President Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and
the other CEOs of the Cabinet; and thousands of us who are working for a better life for the
wealthiest Americans, we have one simple request: Could you please just stay home
tomorrow?

See, we have things to do. Nations to invade. Wetlands to destroy. Oil to drill. Courts to
pack. Corporate taxes to cut.

What's frustrating for us is that we're coming up against some pretty stiff resistance. We've
spent hundreds of millions of dollars to secure the Senate, but it looks like we just may lose it.
Heck, we may even lose the House. We don't quite get what it is about our agenda that you
people don't like, but it's clear that this time, you may be upset enough to actually do
something about it.

That's why we're writing this message to you today. Please don't vote. Ask your friends not
to vote. What could the harm be in sitting this round out? If you could just stay home on
Election Day, we can get back to the important business of running the nation for you, and
we won't have to bother you again.

Thank you,
The Executive Committee Against Uppity Citizens "

fuck the vote 05.Nov.2002 05:32

mediaelite mediaelite@hotmail.com

I used to work in a town controlled by Republicans. I moved to Portland because I thought a place where Democrats rule would be different. It's not. The two most impressive buildings in town still belong to banks. The mayor still prostitutes herself to the business community. Workers still wear out their bodies to support the grossly opulent lifestyles of a few people who inherited their positions (or were installed by people who inherited their positions). Economic growth is still seen as the solution to social problems. Humans who pollute the world with their offspring still get favored treatment. Cars are still the favored mode of transportation to support a hurried lifestyle that prohibits contemplative living. Capitalism is still held up as the model despite its inefficiencies. Religion, and other bright, shiny things such as local carnivals and celebrations, art and music, are still used to pacify workers so they won't stop producing. Marketing is still used to modify natural behaviors and force people to do they things they wouldn't do on their own.

Until some of these things change, voting as an average citizen doesn't mean anything. There are better ways to 'vote' under such extreme conditions: with destruction.

Here are the conditions, under which, I will start to cast a ballot again: When the Wells Fargo Building and the U.S. Bank building either are torn down or turned into cultural symbols that show our first goal is not the pursuit of money. The mayor begins a campaign to get rid of corporate headquarters in Portland and encourages local people to provide for ourselves. Workers get the 20 hour work week they have earned with their increased productivity and bosses are turned into workers. Economic growth is considered a bad thing and simple planning is implemented to map out and achieve community goals. Population begins to decline to a sustainable level. Roads are replaced with compact, easy-to-care for housing located near places of employement and storage places for food and supplies. The average citizen begins to see that religion is designed to manipulate other people by introducing an unknown into her or his life. Marketing follows communism to the grave and media are used to entertain without manipulation.

Until then, fuck the vote. I'll be working on destruction (and being creative about it).

uhh 05.Nov.2002 07:14

definitely not in the elite

I'm going to hold on to the idea that women got the right to vote because they wanted the right to vote.

Same for African-Americans, isn't it?

I mean, that was quite the fight.

How much power are you assigning to the conservatives?

Stop Making Sense 05.Nov.2002 08:08

Brian

by Paul Krugman (Bush's public enemy #10), NY Times, link to full article, free registration required

 http://www.nytimes.com/2002/11/05/opinion/05KRUG.html

Key excerpt:

It's Election Day, and it's your duty as a citizen to be irrational.

Let me explain. Political scientists will tell you that voting suffers from a severe "free rider" problem. Even if it's very important to you that Mr. A beat Mr. B, your individual vote is very unlikely to decide the outcome. So the sensible thing is not to bother voting. Yet if everyone acts on that logic, Mr. B the candidate backed by corrupt special interests, which pay for his get-out-the-vote operation sweeps into office.

In other words, even if the candidates in an election offer radically different programs, and you have a strong preference for one over the other, a narrow calculation of self-interest says that it's not worth taking the trouble to go to the polling booth. Yet democracy depends on your ability to rise above that calculation. If citizens want good government, they must do what they want others with the same concerns to do namely, vote...

For if we've learned one thing these past two years, it's the importance of Senate control. In his first few months in office Mr. Bush wasn't particularly popular, but Dick Cheney's vote was decisive in a 50-50 Senate and the radical agenda rolled forward. After Sept. 11 Mr. Bush was, for a while, extremely popular, and gleeful right-wing pundits believed that he could get anything he wanted. But the Democrats had a one-vote edge in the Senate, and all of his pet domestic projects permanent tax cuts for corporations, accelerated tax cuts for upper brackets, drilling in ANWR, hard-line judicial appointments stalled.

This election will determine if Mr. Bush can resume the radical policy course he followed in those first few months. It will also determine the character of the nation's courts for decades; and it may greatly enlarge the Republican Party's already huge fund-raising advantage.

One question (well, maybe two) 05.Nov.2002 08:11

me

It seems like it must be important to vote because of the de facto proof of Bush flying around, trying so hard to get the little people's support.

An aside, doesn't this guy have a day job? Isn't it on our dime that he gets to fly around, talking up a storm? That stuff is really expensive too.

Not to vote 05.Nov.2002 08:25

Kateshvara

Not to vote
is to let
someone else
decide

Women fought and won 05.Nov.2002 08:31

aaa

I'm not sure what your point is with this line
"did you know that women were finally given the right to vote to appease them because the patriarchal government was afraid that if they didn't, then the womens movement would actually become a real threat"

That's because the women were fighting for the right to vote. They knew they could only get some representation in government, that laws would only BEGIN to reflect their needs, if they could vote. They won. That's an incredible thing. It changed so much for women. MAYBE the men at the time thought giving them the right to vote would finally shut them up, but I highly doubt that. Voting does not shut people up.

THE SYSTEM EXISTS and until we get in office and work to change it, we need to elect people who will implement changes that are progressive within the system.

TO SIT BACK AND PRETEND THE SYSTEM IS GOING TO GO AWAY if you don't vote, get real. You can protest or demonstrate all you want, but until you really get to the core and fight for change, you're never going to get through to mainstream america and you're never going to make a difference.

MAINSTREAM AMERICA IS A TOUGH NUT TO CRACK and it takes a shit load to get through to them in their SUV-lovin comfy lives.

GET UP! WE'VE GOT A LOT OF WORK TO DO.

Have fun with it too.

For those who think elections don't matter 05.Nov.2002 08:53

common sense voter

Hop on a plane right now to Dade County, Palm Beach County, Seminole County, or any other county in Florida where people of color outnumber whites.

Go there and see the occupied zones crawling with observers, peace keepoers and reporters from all over the world waiting to see the shenanigans the GOPricks will pull to eek out a victory. If elections are just an illusion of democracu, why are the Repugnicans spending so much money and going through so much trouble to affect the outcome?

BS! At LEAST vote on the Ballot Measures 05.Nov.2002 14:00

0rganism

This "don't vote" crap is a TOOL of right wing whores to maintain their control. Guess what happens when normal non-wealthy people who make up 90% of the population vote...

Oooh yeah, we CHANGE THINGS.

Not just the elected officials, but the structure of our society. If you didn't vote in this Oregon election, you missed your opportunity to have your opinion counted on

* the availability of libraries in Multnomah county
* raising the minimum wage
* single-payer healthcare for all Oregonians
* retail labeling of genetically-altered foods

If NONE OF THIS matters to you, if none of this makes a difference just because you imagine a cartoon donkey or elephant behind it all, if you can't bring yourself to spend as much time to vote as you did to write an article at Indymedia, then you damnwell deserve that hand around your throat.

Because as long as only rightwinger elites and their dupes get out the vote, the people who nominally represent you will do whatever they can to get *those* people to vote for them, instead of you. You don't matter to them because you CHOOSE not to matter. 'Nuff said.

Vote for change, vote with a bullet. 05.Nov.2002 15:35

Anon

...sooner or later you're going to figure out who is screwing you, then act.

Take another bonghit loser 05.Nov.2002 16:07

hazehead@yahoo.com hazehead@yahoo.com

Don't vote for an elephant or a donkey then. Vote Green or Reform or Libertarian or if you feeling really crazy, Constitution.

You can create change by boosting the percentage of votes that are garnered by 3rd party voters. You can create change by putting progressive people in positions of power or just by eating away at the cushion of the incumbent.

As a progressive, putting your head in the sand hurts your cause and allows the powers that be to write you off.

 vthcdrumr@yahoo.com, you are part of the problem not the solution.

ah, Brian :() 05.Nov.2002 19:29

blacks0l

i do vote on ballot "measures" (where don't vote for people, you vote for ACTION). i care that the river gets cleaned up so, in Cleveland, i voted for an initiative that said that if i voted a certain way the Cuyahoga River would get cleaned up. i don't know if the river is clean but i do know that the city is getting dirtier (and the runoff goes where?...).

yeah, some of us "people haters" do cast "good" votes. during the same election (1996), i voted DJ Eric B for US president (write in). i was trying to be funny a bit, but i was also making a point. look who became president? what did *HE* do--nothing. what does it look like Bush will end up doing?...you decide, since you've got a brain of your own :)

i care about people, so i (maybe foolishly) vote for direct action stuff like initiatives and referendums. i do this cuz i care. i care not who runs shit.

don't try and "ridicule" me into voting; the debate is fine with me. do what you have to do and feel the conviction..if you feel it. i know what i feel (at least i think i do :D)