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Re: “Accountable

Anony 27,

OK, got it. You're rightfully angry at me, because I think people who don't vote are responsible for their not voting. And I'm a bigot, just like Rob Arkley. But I should canvass Eureka, a city in which I don't live, on behalf of your issue. Oh, and it's irresponsible to write about the transparency project without mentioning your concern about low turnout. Got it. Thanks for letting me know your thoughts.

Posted by Mitch on 12/10/2013 at 8:09 PM

Re: “Accountable

Anony 27,

As far as I can tell, you are upset with me because I think people who don't vote are not fulfilling their responsibility as citizens. If that's it, that's at least accurate, because I really do think that. Or perhaps you are upset with me because I don't think this is primarily due to a concerted conspiratorial effort by the media to suppress voter turnout and hide America's problems. That's OK, too, because I don't think that's the cause of low voter turnout.

In the meantime, I continue to feel that Americans can accomplish far more by writing-in Pee Wee Herman than by not voting at all, but I also continue to feel that only people with remarkably privileged lives and/or an overwhelming determination to ignore the obvious can truly fail to see the difference in people's lives between an Obama presidency and a Romney presidency.

A Nader presidency or a LaDuke presidency would be very different than a typical presidency, though Congress and the court would have prevented such an administration from achieving many of its goals, just as Congress and the court have prevented the Obama administration from creating as much change as it might have hoped to create. But the 70% of people who don't vote didn't think it was worth it to vote for Nader/LaDuke, either. Unless there have been guns held to "those people"'s heads, or armed police preventing them from getting to the polling places, I think their decisions not to vote were irresponsible. "Victimhood" is just an excuse.

Posted by Mitch on 12/10/2013 at 7:34 AM

Re: “Accountable

Self-government is hard. I can understand those who go to the polls and write-in names like Pee Wee Herman to express their opinion of the system. I agree that our political system is heavily tilted by the effects of wealth and income inequality, that propagandists lose no opportunity to increase that tilt while denying its existence, and that, at the national level, respectable candidates who will not give the wealthiest what they want are usually filtered out long before they reach the ballot.

American elections are not about letting an informed electorate choose its leadership. In the TV age, they are competing propaganda campaigns. This is not hidden; political junkies watch the horse race and debate the wisdom of "putting an extra million into Ohio" to run more advertising in order to shift the outcome. This is all in plain sight, blessed by the same "supreme" court that shamed and delegitimized itself with its indefensible decision in Bush v Gore.

Despite that, my personal belief is that not voting is about as effective a driver of change as threatening to hold your breath until the spinach is removed from your plate. It's too easily confused with not caring. By all means, people should be doing far more than just voting. But that doesn't excuse not voting -- I firmly believe that an Obama administration is not identical in its effect on society as a Romney administration would have been.

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Posted by Mitch on 12/09/2013 at 7:53 AM

Re: “Accountable

Anyone who wants to can get the images and count the votes themselves -- that's the point.

For those who are concerned that both the elections office and the volunteers that provide this service are tricking them with altered scans, I can only suggest that they volunteer to participate in the scanning process. Come ready to work, not to discuss politics.

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Mitch on 12/08/2013 at 12:41 PM

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