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Voting for Kerry or not update

And other election year news, in the news
Election day, 2000. After a day spent working in a little town called Stevenson, WA, I returned to Vancouver (WA) and then walked from my apartment up to Hough Elementary school to cast my vote. There was still some time left to vote, (it was about 7 pm) and I hadn't yet seen the news so I had yet to be influenced one way or the other about the election. I had begun work that day at about 6 or 7 am, so there was no chance of voting before I got back to Vancouver, unless I had made some kind of previous arrangements well in advance of election day.

It was the first time I'd voted, after five years of eligibility. My grasp of any of the issues was not great, but of course there was the main issue which could not be ignored. And that was the fact that George Bush was a candidate for president at all. THAT was a major issue in the last presidential election. I had the feeling at the time "Is that the best that they [the Republicans] can come up with?"

I remember a local election in Clark County--a guy named Tim Moyer was running for either a Senate or House seat, I can't remember which. He was a multi-millionaire, from the fortunes of a theater-complex business. This was in '96 if I remember, and I saw these t.v. ads that this guy had, and they were just so insulting to anyone with a brain, so watered down and childish, addressing no issues, and even casting the candidate in this cowboy image, in an outdoor ranch-like setting, if I'm not mistaken (sound familiar?). Well, the guy didn't win fortunately, but four years later we weren't so lucky in national elections, when a middle-aged upstart from Texas "became" president. Unlike Bush, I don't think Moyer even got close to winning. That campaign was a good lesson though, esp. in media manipulation.

I must admit that Bush's campaign image was a big motivator for me in the last election. I voted for Nader, just out of a gut feeling, though even then I could have perhaps articulated a few good issue-related reasons for my decision. They were more philosophical than fleeting, and too a certain extent that's true now also in this election this year.

Call me selfish, but this election year I see another Bush presidency as a REAL and serious menace. In a country so huge, the average citizen never suspects that the government's day-to-day operations will have much of an impact on them. But then here we are. Everybody is a little bit stricken by the Bush admin., and some moreso than others. So what to do? Let's just say that if Kerry DOES get elected, he will have a limited mandate (we hope) which will involve undoing the damage from the last 4 years. The country doesn't need a creative new plan to disturb Iran's leadership, or Syria's, Cuba's, etc... That would be a worsening of what has gone on thus far. Kerry will carry the specter of Bush's legacy with him, and must strive to do the opposite of what Bush would do, as in a parliamentary government, the majority does NOT strive to adopt the minority position.

In conclusion, Kerry might have been my 4th or 5th choice among the original 9 democratic candidates for president, and Nader is always the most appealing candidate, ever since I was a kid, but this year Kerry gets my vote hands down.

And in conclusion--If you're a Clark County, WA resident don't forget to vote in favor of Proposition 1 which is a ballot measure designed to drum up funds for C-Tran, Vancouver and Clark County's one and only transit service. C-Tran has been struggling for awhile due to cutbacks, and this ballot measure, which is somewhat explained in the very back of the WA voters guide (English edition is the one I looked at). Although the wording and language of things in the voter's guide may be often confusing, this ballot measure will ensure that C-Tran can continue to operate, thereby hopefully reducing the need for the dreaded car or truck, and possible increasing chances that a light rail system of some sort would be able to come to Clark County, connecting with Portland's light rail system.
I'll be following your lead 26.Oct.2004 16:25

Crucified Ego

While Kerry definetly isn't my first choice, the fact remains, another 4 years of George Bush WILL cause irreparable damage to the environment, our alliances, and our government as a whole. Yadda yadda yadda skull and bones/nader, yadda yadda. The fact is that a vote for anyone but kerry, in THIS election, is a vote for bush. It may be tempting as I agree with Nader's policies and Ideas, but, a vote in his direction is a vote that's taken away from Kerry. Vote for nader in '08... vote for him every election from then on, just don't fuck us over this time.

-J

Nader in 04 26.Oct.2004 18:29

Sheepdog

If either of these bastards win another 9-11 event will put this country into martial law with all the attendant force of the internal security forces ( think Waco) brought in to quell insurrection under the wraps of a dead internet (for us ) and a scripted 'media' doing its historic job for the ruling class. The system is collapsing and the enemy needs to crush us in order to maintain control. Also they apparently have decided to go forward with their total agenda. Their window of control is closing due to the blatant excesses of theft from the treasury and commons. And the ever more apparent path we are heading into ecological catastrophe.

. . . 26.Oct.2004 19:06

. . .

> If either of these bastards win

Dunno what planet you're livin' on, but of all the possible reasons to vote for Nader, that he might win is not one of them. The "chance" that either Bush or Kerry will be President next year is 100.0%. Sorry. Deal with it.

The chance of some disastrous new catastrophe abruptly plunging America even further into fascism than it already is doesn't seem to be zero -- 2001 certainly proved that -- but it's hardly guaranteed. I agree Bush is likely to go back to "War Is Fun!" mode when he's no longer under pressure to keep things "normal" for an election year. On the other hand, most of the adherents of Portland's local apocalypse cult seem more motivated by their hatred of business-as-usual than by any real analysis of external events.

Hey JR 26.Oct.2004 19:56

SR

I detect some apologetic tone in your post. I hope some day you don't feel the need to apologize for a decision you make that is well considered, realistic, and wise.

We all have our fantasy worlds, and they have their good purposes, but when it comes to important decisions, we have to take our heads out of the clouds because parts of our worlds can never escape reality.

Kerry was not my first choice either, but he is my choice now. I don't owe anyone my vote so I feel no need to be apologetic. We have a lot of really big problems created by that moron who's been in office for the last four years. We need someone really tough, really smart, and realistic to tackle these problems. Short of any miracle worker (I am a dreamer sometimes) Kerry is the best combination of toughness, intelligence and experience we could have chosen. He won't be able to fix all the problems we have, some created by Bush, but some just a natural consequence of this country's evolution, but I think he is the best person to try.

Since we are in Iraq, we have to deal with it. Someone who knows the brutal reality of war is a better person to have in the lead than someone... well... don't let me talk about Bush... As a former soldier, Kerry won't be callous with the lives of our troops... as an anti-war protester he won't be callous with the lives of those in Iraq or other countries. Although his Senate record has been used against him by that moron, it will help him as president. He needs the cooperation of Congress to get things done. He knows how they work, he knows how to work with them.

I won't go on and on, but like I said he was not my first choice, but I now think he is the best choice. I'll be voting with you, with confidence and no apologies.

Kerry and the war 26.Oct.2004 20:58

George Bender

I think most of us have already voted, so this discussion is probably moot, but oh well....

"Someone who knows the brutal reality of war is a better person to have in the lead than someone... well... don't let me talk about Bush... As a former soldier, Kerry won't be callous with the lives of our troops... as an anti-war protester he won't be callous with the lives of those in Iraq or other countries."

You are projecting a lot of stuff on Kerry which probably isn't true. Forget what happened in the 70s, Kerry said in the debates that he is going to "win" in Iraq, and that he's going to "kill" the "terrorists". There probably is no way to win in Iraq. It would require completely pacifying the country, which means killing anyone who is willing to fight to kick us out.

By his own admission, Kerry will continue the war in Iraq, killing thousands of American soldiers and tens of thousands of Iraqi noncombatants (13908 to 16033 so far, according it Iraq Body Count,  http://www.iraqbodycount.net/). If you vote for Kerry you are morally responsible for those deaths. Ralph Nader is the only serious peace candidate for president. Tough choice I know, but yours to make.


still... 26.Oct.2004 23:20

citizen unbound

"By his own admission, Kerry will continue the war in Iraq, killing thousands of American soldiers and tens of thousands of Iraqi noncombatants (13908 to 16033 so far, according it Iraq Body Count,  http://www.iraqbodycount.net/). If you vote for Kerry you are morally responsible for those deaths. Ralph Nader is the only serious peace candidate for president. Tough choice I know, but yours to make."

But with no chance to win, it is trully a vote for Bush. Why not choose the lesser evil?

Before voting for Nader can be practical, first we have to set the stage (run-off voting, etc..)

It will be easier with Kerry in office to create an environment where Nader would have a chance.

My thoughts anyways...

Please, 26.Oct.2004 23:30

think of the children...

Anybody but Ashcroft for 2004!!

fighting the density 27.Oct.2004 00:51

reader

"But with no chance to win, it is trully a vote for Bush. Why not choose the lesser evil? "

Because, some of us don't want to support the wars, the destruction of our democracy, and the corruption of our system. Or in other words, we don't want to vote for evil.

And, as should be clear and obvious, in a democracy no one is entitled to the votes of anyone. Therefore if someone is not going to vote for Kerry it does not harm to Kerry or help to Bush for that person to note vote for Kerry or Bush. But perhaps it's too much to expect people in this country to actually understand the principles of democracy let alone fight to preserve them.

"Before voting for Nader can be practical, first we have to set the stage (run-off voting, etc..)"

Yes, let's just wait. I'm sure the dems and repubs will implement IRV any day now, along with campaign finance reform, universal health care, etc, etc...

"It will be easier with Kerry in office to create an environment where Nader would have a chance."

Given the actions of the democratic party in this election I'd say it will be more difficult for any third party under a Kerry administration.

The democrats attack Nader and support Bush. Doesn't that tell you something...

I keep hearing the rational.... 27.Oct.2004 05:53

Sheepdog

.... that 'Gore wouldn't have given us the Patriot act or Gulf slaughter II' and I call bull sh*t on this. Remember the OK bombing and Waco? The Dems can drop their pretense of civility in a heart beat. The repression will be incremental and increasing under either party. Either party, indeed. I see the Nader vote, even ineffective as it may admitably be to elect this man who would be assassinated anyway, would be a clarion call to the enemy that a growing mobilization is occurring despite the Psyops of fear. Mobilize under the truth or get led into the cattle shoot. Fear is good unless it paralyzes or stampedes you. No guts, no glory.

Nader 04

I'm beginning to wonder if ALL the support for Nader... 27.Oct.2004 08:38

wct

comes from people with good consciences and bad tempers. George Bender and others are expected to hold out until the bitter end and my hat off to them, but some of the more recent posts and reactions are making me wonder if bushdevils are not interfering in this most significant of all discussions for this election. By the way, Nader himself has given an excellent alternative to either/or thinking by alluding to votepair.com Check it out, you can have your cake and eat it too in swing states and its legal.

Washington 27.Oct.2004 09:47

Catalina Eddie

Washington is considered a "safe state", which, I guess, means that the plutocracy has decided that its electoral votes will go to Kerry. Gollee, that meant I could joyfully cast my vote for Ralph. If somebody renegs and the state gets given to Bush, oh well; I didn't vote for him, and feel no more willing to cooperate with him than Kerry. Viva la Revolucion!

Vancouver

If Kerry does win 27.Oct.2004 10:19

Bear

If Kerry does win, we should put relentless pressure on him to bring the troops home from Iraq. Show up with anti-war signs wherever he goes. Make sure he's greeted with a large protest anytime he's in town. The possibility exists that (unlike) Bush he might pay attention to public opinion.

George 27.Oct.2004 15:43

SR

You are projecting a lot of stuff on Kerry which probably isn't true. Forget what happened in the 70s, Kerry said in the debates that he is going to "win" in Iraq, and that he's going to "kill" the "terrorists". There probably is no way to win in Iraq. It would require completely pacifying the country, which means killing anyone who is willing to fight to kick us out.

I won't forget what happened in the 70's, and I won't forget how he got to that point. I think peoples' experience and actions are better indicators of who they are than mere words spoken in a campaign.

And yes, I don't like everything he says. But I think his combination of toughness and intelligence is hard to find, and something we need right now.