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Fight the Ravenous Beast of Socialism

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Change is not something that is accomplished through using political elections "to send a philosophical message".

I am not sure about everyone else that plans to abstain, but I am certainly not thinking or claiming that abstaining will force some sort of philosophical change. What I have observed, first hand, is that the simple act of switching from Republican to Unaffiliated on my voter's registration prompted a tidal wave of phone calls and mailings trying to get my vote, so the parties and the candidates are very much after voters who are not devoted to one side or the other. I think if enough Americans abstain, the parties will try to get those votes next time. They will have to make changes to get my vote.

In addition, voting (or abstaining) is not the only thing I'm doing to try and effect change. I am writing letters to editors, speaking out in public places and private conversations. I am sending emails to those I know that will listen. I am reading and trying to educate myself so that I may pass that information on to others. There are many branches to this fight and I do not intend to utilize only one.

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Given that neither is planning to move away from socialism, I'd rather Democrats' socialism take the ideological backlash for messing things up rather than watch McCain scapegoat free-market economics for four years.

I fear that said ideological backlash will come tethered to some real-world programs from which we will be hard-pressed to extricate ourselves. We will have won the ideological battle, while losing the concrete war. Sounds kinda hollow to me.

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I fear that said ideological backlash will come tethered to some real-world programs from which we will be hard-pressed to extricate ourselves. We will have won the ideological battle, while losing the concrete war. Sounds kinda hollow to me.

Sounds like sacrificing the present in hopes that it might eventually result in a better future.

Unfortunately, I live in the United States, right here, right now, not in an idealogical future that may never happen.

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What I have observed, first hand, is that the simple act of switching from Republican to Unaffiliated on my voter's registration prompted a tidal wave of phone calls and mailings trying to get my vote, so the parties and the candidates are very much after voters who are not devoted to one side or the other.

Independent voter who WILL vote is very significant especially if the race is tight. A person who is not voting is not.

I think if enough Americans abstain, the parties will try to get those votes next time. They will have to make changes to get my vote.

Parties don't spend any considerable amount of resources to improve election's turn out (trying to get those extra votes). They only need the majority of those who do vote. They do not care about the views of non voters.

Saying: I am an independent and I will vote - gets their attention fast.

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I also think that you won't make a party which went bad shape up (for example trying the one in the middle to go more right) by voting for the even worse of the two (party more on the left). Voting for the worse will make the middle guy go more left (toward where the majority was). The goal of a political party is to gain (and keep) power and they need the majority vote for that. They will go where the majority vote seems to be shifting. This is also the reason why I think that if anyone is spending their resources (of time or money) to influence/change Republican party "from within" (to make them go back to their roots...) instead of intellectual activism is wasting their time.

The only way to influence the guy in the middle to shift right (or be more principled) is to change the view's of the majority of the population. Politicians will follow.

Edited by ~Sophia~
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Given that neither is planning to move away from socialism, I'd rather Democrats' socialism take the ideological backlash for messing things up rather than watch McCain scapegoat free-market economics for four years.

It won't work that way. When the socialist policies fail, as they will, you will simply see them blame the failure on whatever remnant of capitalism is in the system. And since they own almost all of the media, that blame game will be all most people see. Remember Wesley Mouch blaming those doggone capitalists and constantly demanding "broader powers" to fix the problems his tinkering caused.

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Independent voter who WILL vote is very significant especially if the race is tight. A person who is not voting is not...

Parties don't spend any considerable amount of resources to improve election's turn out (trying to get those extra votes). They only need the majority of those who do vote. They do not care about the views of non voters.

Saying: I am an independent and I will vote - gets their attention fast.

This has NOT been my experience. They are calling me multiple times each day...recorded messages, live people asking for my vote and survey takers. I am also receiving mail from everyone. I got maybe one phone call last election when I was a registered Republican.

I also think that you won't make a party which went bad shape up ...

Then why vote at all?

The only way to influence the guy in the middle to shift right (or be more principled) is to change the view's of the majority of the population. Politicians will follow.

Sure, I agree. That is why I focus my efforts on activism rather than campaigning for evil-doers.

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Sophia, almost without a exception, the issues you raise above are Legislative controlled. Obama can't do those things. Only Congress can.

I am not dismissing what you said, Kendall. I took note of it. However, re-reading Diana's post regarding Dr. Lewis lecture I found this significant piece of information:

Finally, Dr. Lewis responded to a question concerning the Constitution and the very disturbing and ever-growing power of the emerging "fourth" branch of government: those rule-making regulatory agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Department of Health and Human Services. These are composed of unelected civil employees who have been delegated the power to write detailed rules and regulations impacting rights of property, contract, privacy, and more. Operating behind the scenes, they have enormous power to control our businesses and lives.

Obama already took notice of it.

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Then why vote at all?

Voting is a way for you to influence who from among the choices you are given will lead your country and even if both choices are bad - one of them will. Because one of them will - it is a chance for you to pick the path of least damage to your life (given current political/social trends). (I am not saying it is easy to know which side that is).

Also, although you won't make the bad guy to improve by voting for the even worse one - you can influence the one on the left to go more toward the center by voting for the one more on the right. If a party on the left looses consistently they will move where the vote is.

Edited by ~Sophia~
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This has NOT been my experience. They are calling me multiple times each day...recorded messages, live people asking for my vote and survey takers. I am also receiving mail from everyone. I got maybe one phone call last election when I was a registered Republican.

You voted in the past so it is reasonable to expect that you may/will vote again and you are independent. Both candidates need to reach out to independent voters, especially in your state.

Edited by ~Sophia~
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You voted in the past so it is reasonable to expect that you may/will vote again and you are independent. Both candidates need to reach out to independent voters, especially in your state.

Okay, and I'm planning to abstain, so now we're back to square one. If enough people do this, you seriously don't think anyone will take note?

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Okay, and I'm planning to abstain, so now we're back to square one. If enough people do this, you seriously don't think anyone will take note?

Low turn out will be mentioned with short commentary (which may mention apathy). In terms of shifting things politically for the better - it will do nothing.

I don't think you have to vote. The choice is yours. It is your life. I just don't want people to ascribe to voting a meaning it does not have.

Edited by ~Sophia~
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I have not heard any reports of low turnout (for early voting anyway.) And I could care less if the press picks it up. These politicians want as many votes as possible in the close elections this country has experienced during the past several elections. Someone in their camp will notice all the voters who feel they have no choice and go after them. It wouldn't make any sense not to.

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Low turn out will be mentioned with short commentary (which may mention apathy). In terms of shifting things politically for the better - it will do nothing.

This is why I maintain that if you abstain from the presidential race, you should go to the polling place anyway, to vote on other things. It's a lot harder to ascribe to apathy when you actually bothered to drag your mind-body dichotomy ( :dough: ) off to the polls and simply refused to choose one of the losers running for president. "Here is someone involved enough to vote, but he refused to pick either candidate for this very prominent race...."

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These politicians want as many votes as possible in the close elections this country has experienced during the past several elections. Someone in their camp will notice all the voters who feel they have no choice and go after them. It wouldn't make any sense not to.

They only need (and thus want) more votes than the other guy. There is no minimum number for the win to be valid.

This is wishful thinking and making a big assumption in terms of the message. A person may abstain when they do not feel adequately informed about the issue at hand or they may have simply forgotten to mark that box even if they marked others or some other reason.

If this would be an organized protest - large group of a voting population (significant in the election) doing this combined with speaking out why - it could work. But then you could call your shots before the election and change things that way if you had that kind of influence.

Edited by ~Sophia~
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Both candidates need to reach out to independent voters, especially in your state.

This is wishful thinking and making a big assumption in terms of the message. A person may abstain when they do not feel adequately informed about the issue at hand or they may have simply forgotten to mark that box even if they marked others or some other reason.

These are really contradictory statements. Campaigns need to reach out to independent voters, and no one will notice if they fail at this mission. Voting statistics are kept in excruciating detail. By party affiliation, and also by previous voting records. They can tell for instance how many people who voted for Bush in last election voted for McCain or Obama in this. It is how campaigns target advertising and campaign efforts in future campaigns. It is in a campaigns extreme interest to be successful at this, and it can be done in numerous ways from trying to energize a base to flipping moderate voters. And yet you think a strong abstain from moderates, or party voters won't get noticed? I think this is faulty thinking. Campaign strategists at all levels will pour over that sort of data to understand who voted, who didn't, so they won't make the same excruciating embarrasing errors next time. True, you can't tell ideology of voters, but the fact is that the "Libertarian" wing of the Republican party has been defecting for some time now. We are not alone in this.

I fail to see how voting for a particularly bad candidate without saying why, is somehow different than abstaining without saying why?

Your comment about 4th branch is noted and it is true, and while there is a fair amount of flexibility in how they interpret policy, something such as cap and trade I do not think could be enacted without legislative support.

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They can tell for instance how many people who voted for Bush in last election voted for McCain or Obama in this.

How would they know that? They may know, for instance, that I am a registered republican and that I voted in the last election, but that is all they know. They have no way of knowing who I voted for or whether or not I abstained from voting for president in the last election. For all they know, I voted for Kerry. If you want to get noticed by the major parties, if you want to make a statement, then I suggest people vote for a third party candidate. Look at 2000 and Ralph Nader. What was the message of Nader? That, basically, Gore and the democrats werent liberal enough. (Imagine that!!) Well, the dems got the message. A larger than usual vote for the libertarian party in this election would send a message to republicans that they might want to inject a little more free market, small government type thinking into their platform.

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How would they know that? They may know, for instance, that I am a registered republican and that I voted in the last election, but that is all they know. They have no way of knowing who I voted for or whether or not I abstained from voting for president in the last election. For all they know, I voted for Kerry. If you want to get noticed by the major parties, if you want to make a statement, then I suggest people vote for a third party candidate. Look at 2000 and Ralph Nader. What was the message of Nader? That, basically, Gore and the democrats werent liberal enough. (Imagine that!!) Well, the dems got the message. A larger than usual vote for the libertarian party in this election would send a message to republicans that they might want to inject a little more free market, small government type thinking into their platform.

Excuse me. You're right. That particular piece of info would not be available in the records. They poll to get that data.

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The whole idea of "registering for a party" is absolutely foreign to me. What is the purpose? Does it facilitate the political process?
Not sure of the history, but one thing it implies is that you can vote in the primaries, to select a candidate for your party. However, here too, that's the system "on paper" only. Many (perhaps most) states let you go to the polling place and decide right there whether you want to vote in the Republican primary or in the Democrat primary.
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Not sure of the history, but one thing it implies is that you can vote in the primaries, to select a candidate for your party. However, here too, that's the system "on paper" only. Many (perhaps most) states let you go to the polling place and decide right there whether you want to vote in the Republican primary or in the Democrat primary.

So does registering make you a card carrying member of the party?

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So does registering make you a card carrying member of the party?

You can change parties every election if you'd like. The parties do get access to the lists of voters who declared themselves to be Rep or Dem and then you end up with lots of mail and phone solicitations asking for money.

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Many (perhaps most) states let you go to the polling place and decide right there whether you want to vote in the Republican primary or in the Democrat primary.

That's the way it is done in Tennessee. We do not have to register with a party, just vote in one primary or the other. I'm voting against my Senator and Congressman because they both supported the bailout.

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Sounds like sacrificing the present in hopes that it might eventually result in a better future.

No matter who gets elected, the present is going to suck, so it's not a choice to sacrifice the present. Maybe if Obama gets elected, the economic failures will just get blamed on whatever capitalism is left, but if McCain gets elected, there is an even greater likely hood of that happening.

It won't work that way. When the socialist policies fail, as they will, you will simply see them blame the failure on whatever remnant of capitalism is in the system.

Maybe I'm being overly optimistic, but I don't think that the majority of Americans have so completely abandoned the free market. When Carter's economic policies failed, Reagan was elected. The political situation now is totally different, but I'm still somewhat hopeful. After all, there were a lot of people against the bailout, though mostly for the wrong reasons.

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