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  • Voter Apathy

    I hear many people say they don't vote because the candidates are both bad, don't represent them or something along those lines.

    I know I used to think that way. But one day, right before the 2000 election, I realized a few things.

    1. What is the actual chance that any candidate would ever be remotely close to being my "ideal" candidate? I would guess that maybe 5% of the population would even come remotely close. And of those how many have the personality to actually pursue the presidents office? Almost nill.

    2. Would I actually want my "ideal" candidate elected? I have this feeling that if God came down and put my choice into office 98% of the population would be really disappointed. Angry even. I also don't think that my candidate would be able to accomplish much.

    3. What I would want in a candidate is unrealistic. I would want hundreds of billions put into the infrastructure. Mandatory service to the country in either the military, peace corps or something like Americorps. Massive investment in education and basic research. Severe punishment for some of the white collar crimes and a dogged pursuit of those committing the crimes. Completely getting the government out of the morality business.

    I don't think I am all that different from other people even though my ideas for what a "good" President is.

    My question is, for those that are apathetic:

    1. Do you ever really think you will have a candidate that will meet your expectations? If not then doesn't that make democracy a failed system for you?

    2. Do you ever wonder if your expectations are a bit unrealistic? Have you ever thought about modifying your expectations? (I don't think this would require you to modify your core values. Just be a bit more accepting of the reality of what a democracy incorporating 300 million people means.)
    Iím not racists, I have republican friends. Radio show host.
    - "The essence of tyranny is the denial of complexity". -Jacob Burkhardt
    - "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" - Emerson
    - "People should not be afraid of it's government, government should be afraid of it's People." - Line from V for Vendetta
    - If software were as unreliable as economic theory, there wouldn't be a plane made of anything other than paper that could get off the ground. Jim Fawcette
    - "Let me now state what seems to me the decisive objection to any conservatism which deserves to be called such. It is that by its very nature it cannot offer an alternative to the direction in which we are moving." -Friedrich Hayek
    - "Don't waist your time on me your already the voice inside my head." Blink 182 to my wife

  • #2
    Re: Voter Apathy

    I don't vote for several reasons.

    1. Your vote does NOT count. The 2002 elections is the perfect example of this.
    2. The electoral college is seriously flawed. I am not a farmer from the 1800's.
    3. Presidential candidates are politicians...politicians lie. They all have their own hidden agendas.
    4. It is my way of sticking it to the MAN! I have my reasons...

    I realize that many people will disagree with me, but it is the way I feel and nothing will change it, other than changing it to a popular election.
    "Dirtboy is super awesome, and chicks dig him too!"- Everyone



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    • #3
      Re: Voter Apathy

      Originally posted by Dirtboy View Post
      I don't vote for several reasons.

      1. Your vote does NOT count. The 2002 elections is the perfect example of this.
      2. The electoral college is seriously flawed. I am not a farmer from the 1800's.
      3. Presidential candidates are politicians...politicians lie. They all have their own hidden agendas.
      4. It is my way of sticking it to the MAN! I have my reasons...

      I realize that many people will disagree with me, but it is the way I feel and nothing will change it, other than changing it to a popular election.
      I don't disagree.

      The electoral college is flawed. True. But that is a state decision. Not all state have a winner takes all. This could be changed.

      Your vote doesn't count for much. That is a hard one to overcome because it is true.

      But those two do not address the questions I asked.

      Your third point does. But all people lie. You expect to vote for somebody that doesn't lie? Really? That seems like a cop out. And it seems to me that as long as the "Base" determines the vote the amount of lying we see today will continue. Because the base, even the conservative base, doesn't care about lying as long as their person gets elected.
      Iím not racists, I have republican friends. Radio show host.
      - "The essence of tyranny is the denial of complexity". -Jacob Burkhardt
      - "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" - Emerson
      - "People should not be afraid of it's government, government should be afraid of it's People." - Line from V for Vendetta
      - If software were as unreliable as economic theory, there wouldn't be a plane made of anything other than paper that could get off the ground. Jim Fawcette
      - "Let me now state what seems to me the decisive objection to any conservatism which deserves to be called such. It is that by its very nature it cannot offer an alternative to the direction in which we are moving." -Friedrich Hayek
      - "Don't waist your time on me your already the voice inside my head." Blink 182 to my wife

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Voter Apathy

        Originally posted by Dirtboy View Post
        I don't vote for several reasons.

        1. Your vote does NOT count. The 2002 elections is the perfect example of this.
        2. The electoral college is seriously flawed. I am not a farmer from the 1800's.
        3. Presidential candidates are politicians...politicians lie. They all have their own hidden agendas.
        4. It is my way of sticking it to the MAN! I have my reasons...

        I realize that many people will disagree with me, but it is the way I feel and nothing will change it, other than changing it to a popular election.
        In contrast to Gringo, I'm going to leave your first three alone and just respond to the fourth one.

        Not voting doesn't stick it to anybody except yourself. All that does is give more power to the people who DO vote, especially the uneducated ones, as well as making the job of the fraudsters easier when they try and steal votes because they don't need to steal as many.

        If you really want to stick it to the man, vote 3rd party. The man hates it when you do that. And best of all you don't even have to worry about your choice accidentally winning, so it doesn't matter what he stands for! ;)

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        • #5
          Re: Voter Apathy

          Originally posted by El_Gringo_Grande View Post
          Mandatory service to the country in either the military, peace corps or something like Americorps.
          I've always endorsed the idea behind this, but the simple fact is that the US is just too god damn big. This works for smaller countries like Denmark that have populations less than some states. The second problem is money.

          It costs about $15,000 to get me through basic training. My tech school costs don't have data, but I'm going to chart it at around $100,000. My security clearance is roughly another $10,000 on top of that.

          $125,000 invested into me to start doing my job. And you want to do this to the entire US populace? :D

          Edit: Dirtboy... you work for 'The Man'!

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Voter Apathy

            Originally posted by Dirtboy
            4. It is my way of sticking it to the MAN!
            Originally posted by Uranium - 235
            Dirtboy... you work for 'The Man'!
            More reason for him to stick it to him! Wouldn't that be like someone stealing stationary non-stop from their job because they feel "entitled" to at least some "revenge"? It's funny because everyone's done it, even if stationary must act as a metaphor.

            I've been largely apathetic much of my life (and still now since this will be the first presidential election I'll be able to participate in), despite the feeling that everyone who does vote is an uninformed, biased hobo. In another forum on here someone linked to the site of an organization who's pushing to get a "None of the above" option on ballots, which doesn't seem realistic, but would be nice nonetheless.

            Originally posted by OP
            1. Do you ever really think you will have a candidate that will meet your expectations?
            This is so very true. What's hard is choosing between a candidate who seems to be more aligned with my family's ideals (Indiana has voted Democrat only once since 1938), and the candidate that seems way more... "with it". Also his VP is better prepared.

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            • #7
              Re: Voter Apathy

              Originally posted by Capt Splendid View Post
              More reason for him to stick it to him! Wouldn't that be like someone stealing stationary non-stop from their job because they feel "entitled" to at least some "revenge"? It's funny because everyone's done it, even if stationary must act as a metaphor.

              I've been largely apathetic much of my life (and still now since this will be the first presidential election I'll be able to participate in), despite the feeling that everyone who does vote is an uninformed, biased hobo. In another forum on here someone linked to the site of an organization who's pushing to get a "None of the above" option on ballots, which doesn't seem realistic, but would be nice nonetheless.


              This is so very true. What's hard is choosing between a candidate who seems to be more aligned with my family's ideals (Indiana has voted Democrat only once since 1938), and the candidate that seems way more... "with it". Also his VP is better prepared.
              I think the best ballot would be one that asks you a slew of questions on issues, and then votes for whichever candidate most matches your choice based on the answers...

              Versus people like my grandma who vote for whoever the Republican is because that's just what she's always done since 1805. (Luckily she lives in California, so her vote won't count anyway :p)

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Voter Apathy

                If you ever expect to get anything close to what you want out of our government then you vote party not candidate. That's the way a Republic works,especially concerning the election for our President. Wishing we were a democracy is idealistic, but nobody here would accuse anybody of that.

                You have plenty of power in your local elections and ballot issues which filters up all the way to the Presidency. I'd rather have a life and some leisure than try to change the world.
                New to TG?

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                • #9
                  Re: Voter Apathy

                  If your in the recent swing states, your vote might actually be counted and worth it, or if you were in the close Florida elections in 2000... I'm in NJ and in my lifetime usually NJ goes Dem as much as the NE States, last time I think was Bush 88


                  But if you want to really be counted, its usually your state Govt and Mayor and Senate elections that are important for counting

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                  • #10
                    Re: Voter Apathy

                    tl;dr, and who cares?
                    ~~ Veritas simplex oratio est ~~
                    No matter how far a wizard goes, he will always come back for his hat. --T. Pratchett

                    <---- You know you're getting old when you rely on your forum meta-data to remind you how old you are.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Voter Apathy

                      Originally posted by VegaBond View Post
                      If your in the recent swing states, your vote might actually be counted and worth it, or if you were in the close Florida elections in 2000... I'm in NJ and in my lifetime usually NJ goes Dem as much as the NE States, last time I think was Bush 88
                      And in this case, voting for a 3rd party whose principles you solidly agree with is still good: When a 3rd party "spoils" an election, the next election will see the old parties scramble to co-opt its platform to keep it from happening again.
                      Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

                      snooggums' density principal: "The more dense a population, the more dense a population."

                      Iliana: "You're a great friend but if we're ever chased by zombies I'm tripping you."

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                      • #12
                        Re: Voter Apathy

                        Mostly, at this point...

                        I'd like someone in the presidency... I don't really know. I'd settle for putting some money into national infrastructure and dicking around with import tariffs and such to encourage more domestic manufacturing and industry, but at this point I don't know if it's practical to ask for much of anything.

                        America is more like a gigantic animal than anything else. The president is just one small part of that animal, and while he might change, the animal as a whole is just going to keep on doing what it was doing. He might be able to change it's course a little bit, but he's not going to turn it into a whole different sort of animal.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Voter Apathy

                          This will be the first election I won't be participating in, during my adult life. I voted for Bush twice, and still stand by voting record. However, this time I will be out of the country on election day. I could do early voting, but I'm working out of town and will miss that too, if I haven't already. I guess there's absentee voting, but I honestly just don't care about this election enough to go out of my way or sacrifice a days pay to be a part of the democratic process.

                          Why do I feel this way? I personally respect McCain very much as a person with his remarkable and honorable military past and heritage, BUT I feel he's betrayed the Republican party and Conservative values more times than I can take. He is FOR progressive taxes, he is FOR giving college money to everyone, he is FOR the bailout of Wall Street, he is FOR bailing out homeowners. Even during the debates, he just mirrored Senator Obamas liberal (and I'm not saying liberal in a derogatory manner) policies. Every time Obama has a plan, McCain is like, "Uhh, yeah, as President I'm gonna make sure everyone's entitled to that too. Yeah."

                          On the flip side of things, I'm also not falling for all the scare tactics of the Right either. If Senator Obama gets elected, I'm sure the nation will fair just fine. If he comes up with policies that are too wacky, that's what the house and the senate are for. And if things DO get really screwed up, then we can always vote for different people next time. Either way, I'm just not excited or worked up about this election at all. I think I'd feel different if Ron Paul, Mike Huckabee, or Mit Romney was the candidate. But John McCain? God bless him, but he just doesn't share my values on politics. Heck, I don't understand why he's even on the Republican ticket aside from the military issues.

                          I guess if I don't vote, though, I can't complain about the outcome, eh? Oh well.
                          "Common sense is not so common." -Voltaire

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