portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article commentary united states


Voters and nonvoters: let's make a deal

Anarchists and people who don't see a difference between Bush and elected leaders have an option: form an organization, choose a spokesperson
(at random, if you wish) and run a campaign, using the same money and energy you use to organize protests.
Since you obviously have the masses on your side, it will only be a matter of time until your spokesperson is the #1 anti-Bush candidate. Beating Howard Dean in fundraising will be easy - after all, his average donation is 70 bucks or so, not much different from the price of a gas mask.

Once your leading anti-Bush candidate is ready, rest assured that I've vote for her, tell my friends about herm donate every penny to her, and volunteer every free minute to her campaign. Lord knows, I've been waiting forever for an 18-year old Half-Black Half-Hispanic albino quadrupal-amputee lesbian atheist vegan organic pot farmer from Eugene Oregon to be president. I'll be especially happy to see a Transgender animal-rights rabbit from Haight-Ashbury as her Vice President. Her first and last act will be to abolish all property and governments, which will be cool by me because, after all, she's not George Bush.

But until then, the leading anti-Bush candidate is still Doctor Howard Dean, and, unless we like Bush, we'll have to convince every potential voter, donate every penny, and volunteer every free minute until Bush is defeated.

I know, there are the counter-arguments. "If voting worked they'd make it illegal" some say. As a matter of fact, for most of the world's population and the vast majority of the world's history, voting IS ILLEGAL! Perhaps you'd like to tell me about how the masses of people are better off in those countries and eras when nobody voted? And why do you think Bush is trying to set up election-rigging machinery right here if he loves elections so much?

So in short, I look forward to your anarchist candidate that you're all working so hard to elect. I'm sure you're all volunteering in this election - I mean, you wouldn't be arguing against voting out of laziness, would you?

homepage: homepage: http://www.democrats.com

shut the fuck up 31.Aug.2003 14:24


seriously, why doesn't everyone just shut the fuck up about this, the hardcore anarchists are bitching at voters for selling out to the system, and the voters are bitching at the anarchists for not doing anything productive. We're fighting amongst ourselves too much, and thats EXACTLY what they want. If we stopped fighting so much and rallied against our common enemies, we could get so much more done.

Example, anarchists burn flag at Bush protest, so much anger was directed at them for burning a piece of cloth, the media recorded it and turned it into showing how violent we were, not to mention detracting from the point, showing Dubya how we feel about him. They have every bit as much right to burn a flag as a hippie does to put flowers in their hair, and every bit as much right as a Democrat does to try to elect a lesser-of-the-two-evils candidate. Do we agree on everything? No. Are our methods different? Yes. Do we still have a common cause? Yes. We must unite under our common cause, hippies, anarchists, democrats, commies, and so fourth, and fight the real enemy.

peace, love, and revolution

on getting along with eachother 31.Aug.2003 22:20

Julie Maxfield juliegmaxfield@yahoo.com

I don't usually throw myself into the comment area, but it seems worth it here. "Annoyed" wants us to all work together and stop infighting-- and I'm all for that. Frankly, the reason I don't bother to post here too often is because you're almost gaurenteed to generate backlash from someone who wants to draw the line in an ever so slightly different place. But I think that "Heckraiser" was making nearly the same point-- namely, that most of us would be much happier if Bush were defeated, so let's not bicker about small details and figure out a way to accomplish our most general goal-- ousting this cowboy.

So what's the problem? Why couldn't "Annoyed" and "Heckraiser" see that they both want us to put aside differences for a common goal. But we can't seem to do that.

Is it so hard to stand out and think for yourself in this society that we've become addicted to defining ourselves AGAINST everything else? Are we so dedicated to our beliefs that we don't know how to talk to each other anymore? We expect our opponents (the governent, big business, republicans, racists, etc.) to listen to our point of view and take us seriously, but we can't even take eachother's opinions to heart. Why can' t we say-- OK, so I only agree with 80% of what they stand for, but I can get on board with that. I can support a friend, a co-protestor, a feminist, a fellow vegetarian, or even (gasp!) a presidential candidate because I choose to pay attention to what we have in common, instead of what seperates us.

I donated to Dean, but I might not vote for him. I'm not really sure who's right-- voters, non-voters, greens, democrats, anarchists, libertarians. All I know is that, to me, those groups ought to look more like allies in a campaign to defeat Bush.

Even if you don't believe...Please Vote Not for Bush 31.Aug.2003 23:19

Pix - not giving up...yet

As long as the electoral process can be influenced/financed by $$ were in shit...but WE ARE REALLY IN SHIT WITH BUSH..So Please. even if you don't like the electoral process. Even if you think it's corrupt, unfair, wrong, evil....

Please vote in the next presidential election..not for bush...PLEASE. Just do it so we can get a handle on all this corruption. We have got to get these maniacs out. You won't be contributing to anything bad if you vote..you'll be helping to try to get these assholes out of office before they get us all nuked. Maybe it'll be a compromise...you'd be participating in a screwed up system, that's still unfair...but if voting gets them out...you helped.

Just think about it...

RE: Julie's Posting 31.Aug.2003 23:46

Portland Ponderer

Julie - I thank you for an eloquent and timely response to this article. Your points are clearly made, and totally right on the money.

I too am unsure who I will vote for, and frankly find voting lesser of evil a sad compromise, but understand why people do.
It is truly the seeking of common ground, of unifying language and action that is what America needs to be infused with, and on so many levels, not just politics.

I would love to hear your vision of a utopian future, as would many others I suspect, so that we can have a few moments seeing what can be, and being inspired by it. The stories of positive futures need to be shared, so maybe the overriding pessimistic futures our media and public mind is so saturated with can be lightened and derailed before they become reality.

well 01.Sep.2003 00:21


I was having a bad morning, I know we were saying the same things, but I just had an issue with the way it was being presented, in a manner attacking and almost mocking, so it seemed. It seems kind of hypocritical to bitch at people for bitching (for lack of a better way to put it)

RE: Annoyed 01.Sep.2003 00:39

Portland Ponderer

No worries, annoyed. It is the potential backlash of free media, right? SOmetimes self publishing is scary, if we drop a line before realy bulletproofing what we have written. This is not my first alias here, because I made an ass out of myself with another before, for that very reason. ;)

Your point was made, and mostly agreed with. Too many on here do just attack others without bothering to delve into what was meant.

i agree - let's not go down together 01.Sep.2003 00:44

an anarchist (for want of a better word)

what i mean is, all y'all "defeat-bush-at-any-cost" folks can all go down together, but i have different plans. sure i don't like bush, but he is simply a reflection of a rotten system. replacing him with someone who's not-as-bad will leave the system intact. fuck that noise. bush is problematic but he's not the problem -- capitalism is. living our lives more and more outside the capitalist system is the way to fight this crap and to save the world. voting for dean is not going to solve anything. he's not going to stop the trees from getting cut, the children from being bombed, or the people of color from being harrased. only we, the people, can do that. it ain't gonna happen unless we Do It Ourselves. THAT'S the shit we need to get together on. saving ourselves and our planet instead of relying on some leader to do it for us. none of them ever will. only selfish greedy people end up being president.

defeat bush at any cost? no thanks. actually SAVE our asses through self-examination, better living, community work, and active direct resistance to the machine? there we go.

RE: Ousting Bush at any cost... 01.Sep.2003 00:50

Portland Ponderer

In RE: to why we should not focus on ousting Bush at any cost, I refer you to the posts on the main Portland Page about the class war. These eloquently state why I think attacking Bush and throwing "something less evil" in the White House (which we really do nto do anyway, the electoral college does that, remember Jr. High Civics class?) does not serve the common good.

In place of "Upper Middle" and "Working" classes just substitute "Republican" and "Democrat" as you read the article. Funny how those two words can fit so well into the text, huh?

Power is unity, not discord!

Ponderer: can you post a link? 01.Sep.2003 03:22


Can you go to the post or posts you're referring to a copy their URLs to a comment on this page? I can't find what discussion(s) about "class war" you mean.

And as for Pushing Dean and/or Ousting Bush, the more I read on this site about how we have to settle for Dean (now, a full 6 months before even the PRIMARY elections begin to take place) and how getting Bush out is Sooooo important (after which, apparently, we can then take a breather, at last), the more I am inclined to work and vote against Dean.

Is anyone concerned about optimising this opportunity to show people just how lopsided, superficial, and corrupt the systems (economic, political, and social) are??? Does anyone care about saving the planet for the next generation (not to mention the next 7 or so generations), or only about somehow getting through the next 4 years???????

I certainly think we need to oust the fascists currently in the White House. But what difference does it make if we just slow down the process of creeping corporate totalitarianism? If we can't take a progressive leap forward, or at least step back to our ominous situation we were in before Dubya took us to our current dire pace marching forward with the New World Order, what's the point of getting rid of Bush?

Why would anyone want to spend the next 6 months opposing meaningful political activity promoting significant issues, either for a presidential candidate who espouses what one actually believes in, or other means of raising issues and true information to our fellow citizens?

And it ain't the anarchists that are costing us electoral victories anymore than it's Greens. What would make the difference is if 10% of the apathetic were to vote. But that might require the bashers of the anarchists, greens, and Kucinichites to get off their keyboards and actually go talk to their neighbors about what needs to change, instead of their typing their comments to us about how we can't hope for anything better until after we sit around for a year and watch Dean replace Bush.

URL 01.Sep.2003 13:43

Portland Ponderer

Here's that URL for the article I referred to above...


reformists share the same goals as revolutionaries? 01.Sep.2003 15:57


I would like to see an effort to bring about localized control of the land and resources. I think the government would militantly oppose such efforts. Just as the government would militantly oppose efforts to abolish prisons, tear down the borders, or institute an anti-capitalist ecinomic system. If such efforts were taken up by reformists they would be shot. That reformists are not taking up such issues is a measure of thier political creditability and belief in this system. If you really felt that your campaigns were effective at creating democratic change you wouldn't be sitting here bitching at anarchists, radicals, lifestylists, or whatever you think we are. If you want dialoge on creating a REVOLUTIONARY movement for revolutionary change then I will sit down with you as an equal and dialoge. Otherwise I will give you exactly the amount of respect I'd give anyone that isn't morally indignant enough to call for the social and political revolution we need to produce revolutionary change.