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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • I really really hate advice along these lines. Yes, the system is completely corrupt, and no one of true integrity can get far enough to be voted for. So what should we do?

    Simply saying "don't vote for Obama" is spectacularly useless. The question is not what we shouldn't do, but rather what we can do to change things.

    My take on this is that this year, if you care about improving the world a little, you might as well vote for Obama. He sucks, but sucks a little less than McCain, and there's no other viable

    • He sucks, but sucks a little less than McCain, and there's no other viable choices.

      That attitude is why there are no other viable choices.

      I can't, in good conscience, vote for either McCain or Obama, because I believe they both:

      • Deliberately misunderstand the purpose of the presidency (why should the chief executive have a legislative agenda?)
      • Have spent the past two years ignoring their elected responsibilities to run for president (who's represented the people of Arizona and Illinois since January 2007?)
      • Have massive volunteer organizations dedicated to... getting some guy elected, with the implicit belief that that is the most important project they could work on (With a paid staff of 2500 and half a million volunteers, how many houses we could build? How many senior citizens and orphans could we visit? How many animal shelters could we help? How many soup kitchens and senior centers and food banks could we staff?)
      • Have raised and spent over $2 billion for campaigning (I can eat very well on $50 a week -- given the half a million volunteers, you could feed almost 385,000 hungry people for two years, half a million if you shopped more frugally, and a million if you concentrated on staple foods).

      I could go on (the entirely corrupt Commission for Presidential Debates), but neither major party candidate has earned my vote. They're barely worth my contempt, and I try never to vote while holding my nose. Why throw my vote away like that?

      • I like your point, even its just a part of the issue, but shure can't adress eversthing here.
      • I'm not disagreeing. Not voting is a perfectly acceptable choice. Hopefully you do more than _not voting_ to further your social agenda, though.

        Again, instead of saying "don't vote", you could say "don't vote, there are many more important things you could do instead, here's a few of them you can start doing right now ..."

        • Not voting is a perfectly acceptable choice.

          I'm not voting for McCain or Obama. That leaves plenty of other candidates for whom I could vote.

          Hopefully you do more than _not voting_ to further your social agenda, though.

          Indeed I do, but I don't want credit for it, and I try not to call attention to it. Perhaps that leaves me open to charges of grandstanding or hypocrisy, but answer me this: why spend so much time and money and worry hoping that "change" will happen after you elect a guy who has, at bes

          • I don't disagree with anything you said.

            My original point was that telling people "don't vote for Obama", absent any other advice, is a terrible thing to do, and it pisses me of.

            How about saying something with more substance ...

            Voting for Obama or not isn't that important. There are lot of things you can do which will have a much greater impact on the world right now. They're a little harder than voting, but they also have a much greater impact. If you care about social change, you can help make it happen,

            • How about saying something with more substance ...

              I agree completely. I would consider more seriously any candidate who said that and whose campaign actually demonstrated that attitude with actions.

        • Not voting is a perfectly acceptable choice.

          This is a fiction. Not voting says you don't care. It's not making a statement that none of the parties are good enough for your vote. It's not telling the politicians that you're sick of their rubbish. It's saying you don't care enough to vote. That you're happy with whoever the people who do vote pick.

          There is no way to distinguish between people who are too lazy to vote and people who think they're making a statement, thus everyone who doesn't vote m


          • Not voting is a perfectly acceptable choice.

            This is a fiction. Not voting says you don't care. It's not making a statement that none of the parties are good enough for your vote. It's not telling the politicians that you're sick of their rubbish. It's saying you don't care enough to vote. That you're happy with whoever the people who do vote pick.

            Or it could just be that you've reached the not unreasonable conclusion that voting is not an effective way of changing the world.

            I didn't say it was a statement. I agree, it's not a statement, because very few people will ever know why you didn't vote. But it is a reasonable choice given the choices voting allows.

            Again, if all you do is not vote, you're not doing anything useful. If you're involved in real activism and you also choose not to vote, that's fine. As I've said several times in this thread, voting is not activism, and if that's your sole contribution to changing society, it's near useless.

            Nonetheless, I will be voting tomorrow. I'm not very motivated by the presidential race, but we do have a few good local candidates, including a Green Party candidate for state legislature who could possibly win. I live in a ridiculously left area (one of the leftiest parts of a very lefty city (Minneapolis)).