Discord & Dissension – Part IV(a) – Voting & Voters

Part four of mine and Jeff’s project, Discord & Dissension, is going to cover three posts.  These posts are a series I did back in April 2018, titled “On Voters Not Voting”, and with just a few updates, are as relevant today as they were then.  The second (b) and third (c) parts will be presented over the next three days.


In the 2016 elections, U.S. citizens stood to lose a lot.  As we now know, we stood to lose our voices.  And yet, with so much riding on a single day, with our very futures and those of our children on the line, a huge number of Americans could not be bothered to take an hour out of their day to go vote.  In fact, according to a Pew Research Center analysis,  U.S. voter turnout was very low compared to other nations’ recent elections.  In Belgium, 87.2% of eligible voters actually voted, and in Mexico, 66%.  The U.S.?  55.7%.  Just over half of all those who could have voted, actually did.  Where were the rest of the people who might have been able to save us from the chaos our nation has become?  Let us take a look at some of the excuses reasons that are offered:

  • Too busy/conflicting schedule  17.5 %
  • Illness or disability  14.9 %
  • Not interested 13.4 %
  • Did not like candidates or campaign issues  12.9 %
  • Other  11.3 %
  • Out of town  8.8 %
  • Don’t know  7 %
  • Registration problems  6 %
  • Inconvenient polling place  2.7 %
  • Transportation problems  2.66 %
  • Forgot  2.6 %
  • Bad weather  0.2 %

Too busy.  Not interested.  FORGOT??? With all the non-stop news on every media outlet, both legitimate and social, for fully 18 months before the election, how the Sam Heck could anybody, let alone some 2.3 million people, simply forget???  We must surely qualify for the nation with the poorest memories in the world!

Nearly 90 million people who were eligible to vote in 2016 did not.  What might our nation look like today if those 89.7 million people had gotten off their butts and done what is known as their civic duty?  I, for one, might not have bags the size of Oklahoma under my eyes!  We might actually have a functional government in Washington.  Perhaps there would be heads of agencies, such as the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Education, the Department of Justice, and the State Department who not only knew and understood their jobs, but were also willing to do them!  We might not be making threats to other nations that stir the angst of all and put the U.S. and its allies in danger.  We might be participating in working to establish peace, rather than to start a war.  And we might still have the respect, rather than the derision, of other nations. But no … people were too busy, didn’t want to get rained on, didn’t like the choices, or just weren’t interested.

There are, certainly, some who did have legitimate reasons for not voting.  If a person was in an auto accident, or had a sudden heart attack and found himself unexpectedly in the hospital on November 8th, that person is not to blame for the current mess.  I have a friend who lives with an oxygen tank and is confined to a wheelchair, yet she voted, so overall, I am not inclined to buy the excuse of ‘illness or disability’ except in certain circumstances.  Where there is a will, there is a way.  Especially given the fact that almost every state offers some combination of early voting, absentee voting, and mail-in ballots, so people who are too sick or otherwise incapacitated, were still able to cast a vote.

The 13.4% who said they were ‘not interested’ puzzle me.  How can one not be interested in who makes the decisions that affect all of our very lives?  Do these people pay taxes, get sick sometimes, send their children to school, have jobs?  Do they breathe???  I wonder how many of those who were not interested are even functional human beings?  I wonder if they will be interested when their son gets his draft notice to go serve in the Korean Peninsula?  Will they sit up and take notice when their kids are sent home from school because of a lack of funding?  Or when they suddenly cannot breathe the air?

Those who ‘did not like the candidates or the campaign issues’ (12.9%) are just as bad.  So what?  You do some research, you inform yourself of the issues, and you choose the one that is least obnoxious to you.  It’s called the ‘lesser of two evils’, and it has been the de-facto way of voting for decades, if not centuries.  No candidate will ever be perfect, and no candidate can appeal to everyone, for we are humans, not automatons.  But if you cannot even be bothered to give it some thought and make a choice, then you are simply too lazy.  That’s right … lazy!

The bottom line is this … with some exceptions that I will discuss in the next part, the 89.7 million people in this nation who were eligible to vote, but didn’t, must claim much of the responsibility for all the chaos and dangerous politics happening in our country today.  These people who did not vote are every bit as guilty as those who voted for Trump.  Those who voted for Trump made a mistake, but those who did not bother to even vote because they were too lazy or uncaring deserve the wrath and scorn of us all.Voting is a right, it is a privilege, and most importantly, it is a responsibility.  If you eschew this right, if you shirk your responsibility, we are all losers.  This nation will not remain a free nation if nobody cares enough to vote for the people who will keep it free.  It is my opinion that we are currently on the very brink of losing our status as a free nation, that our very Constitution is in danger of being shredded, and I lay the blame for that right at the feet of those who failed us all in November 2016.  Please, friends, let us not make the same mistake in 2020!

 

 

42 thoughts on “Discord & Dissension – Part IV(a) – Voting & Voters

  1. Pingback: Discord & Dissension — Table of Contents | Filosofa's Word

  2. Pingback: Discord & Dissension – Part IV (c) – Voting & Voters | Filosofa's Word

  3. Jill, you have opened this door, and I am going to walk through it again.
    1. I was born in a democracy, does that mean I have to vote? No! I am free to follow my conscience, and my conscience does not allow me to vote for evil. The lesser of two evils is still evil! I refuse! Putting up with the “lesser of two evils” is what got you into this rabbit hole in the first place. Had previous voters demanded someone worthy of their vote Trump and McConnell, etc., would neber have been elected in the beginning. You cannot blame non-voters for that, you MUST blame unprincipled voters.
    2. Democracy is a lie. You are only free to make choices between the given choices. If your choice is something not listed, you are shit-out-of-luck. It is like religion. If you want to be religious, there are hundreds of choices. But if you do not want to be religious, there is only one choice: atheism. There are many forms of government. I do not choose to be governed. I govern myself. I am an anarchist.
    3. By telling me I am a fool for not voting, you are telling me I am not free to be me.
    4. When you say that 91 million people are responsible for Trump being president today, you are ASSUMING some, most? of those people would have voted for Hilary. What if all of them had voted for Trump, how would that have changed America today? In my mind, Trump already owned the Electoral College before the election was even held. More voters would not have changed anything.
    5. Whether you believe in Social Contracts and all that shit, not everyone does. I signed nothing. What you want to believe is up to you. You cannot force your belief system on others.
    6. By saying what you do about non-voters, you are strengthening their convictions (if they have any), or trying to shame them into voting. If someone were to try to shame you into doing something, how would you feel/react. I would probably do the opposite of what shamers wanted me to do (if I could be shamed). Tell people they HAVE TO VOTE and you could be ensuring that they vote against you. Why take the chance? Let them be who they want to be. you are being who you want to be…

    There is so much more I want to say, but I hope I have said enough to at least make you uncomfortable about what you are doing. I know you are being you by what you are doing, by running this series of posts with Jeff, and probably you may have an affect on some people. Be happy with those. Be careful you do not convince non-voting Trumpers to get out and vote.

    Good luck.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Raw god, You do make some valid points.
      And voting aside, we know who really runs the show and has run it for years…big business, corporate interests…pharma, oil, banking, insurance companies, land investment firms etc. They buy votes, buy politicians, buy lawyers to defend those politicians and control our courts.

      But I vote anyway….just on the pure chance my vote will mean something and that it means something to me…the privilege and chance that it will count.

      And to not vote because you don’t like any candidate of any party or to not want to chose between the lesser of two evils is foolish. As then, your chance to perhaps to make some small difference, is lost for good and that chance also can become handing it to the most evil of the two and the most evil can turn out to be far more evil than you ever imagined.

      Like now.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I am not saying don’t vote if you want to, but I am saying every vote maintains the system you are taking part in. In my eyes that system does not work.
        For example, you had a fairly great leader in Barack Obama, but because your system allows for only an 8 year term under most conditions, he had to step down, and was replaced by his exact opposite, the real fool in all of this, Donald Trump. You should be blaming yourselves for forcing a great leader out of office, rather than blaming others for not electing an honourable replacement. By giving every person the vote, you have to be willing to take the bad with the good. That is the basis of democracy.
        I, for one, refuse to partake in it. I live with whoever those people who vote choose to elect. I already know I will not agree with their elected officials, and that those officials will not care what I think anyway. I live my life the way I choose. What more can I ask.

        Liked by 2 people

        • I’m just curious as just how would you set up a system in a large diverse and complex country to have the citizens have a meaningful say in the election of leaders or groups of leaders or any other form you have in mind?. And how would you make sure that the voices, concerns and possible advice of the general public were heard? What method would you use?

          You’re unhappy with democracy or the way it’s run (that part I agree), so what would you suggest? How would you make it fair, just and representative?

          Liked by 1 person

          • Unfortunately, Mary, I don’t think it is possible for any form of government to be fair, but I admit I have never studied the brand of Socialism used in Norway, Sweden, Denmark and some other such nations. I have read that the happiness factor in those countries is higher than any other form of government, but I do not “know” that so I must remain open-minded but in non-agreement for now.
            But, aside from Socialism, I can say with confidence that no form of government over the entire course of human history has ever been fair.
            As for being truly representative, the only way for that to happen is in a world where everyone has an equal say, where everyone is part leader, and part citizen. To the best of “my” knowledge this has never been tried, because there is always someone who thinks their way is best, and has the wealth, power, or audacity to try to rule.
            I am an idealist, I will not deny this, but never in our history have we humans tried to live with responsibility to govern ourselves: no one believes it can be done. But I believe it, I know it can be done. But it calls for a higher human consciousness than we have ever reached yet. We need to work on how to be responsible, not only to ourselves, and all members of our species, but to all living beings. This is something to be aimed for by everyone.
            Humans are the only species that has laws, money, and religion. And aside from species like ants, termites, bees, and such, no one else has government THAT WE KNOW OF. Why is that?
            And last but not least is justice. You want a society or nation to be just, but what does that entail? Punishment for being different? Punishment for being bad? Punishment for breaking the rules? There are no rules for life beyond what we construct in our heads, or more properly, the heads of those who rule. But who is good enough to be able to make rules that are fair for everyone? Nobody is, not even me. But yet I make my own rules for how I live, and I live to do no intentional harm to anyone.
            I cannot control unintentional, or accidental, harm, but as long as I have control of my actions, I can avoid intentionally harming others. And once we humans can all gain at least that level of consciousness, but preferably higher, we can learn to live so no one is worse off than anyone else. That might be called a just society–I would just call it sane one.

            Liked by 1 person

            • By the way rg, the political systems in Norway, Denmark and Sweden are just as corrupt as elsewhere (despite our rosy pictures of such places). I just watched a YouTube documentary of very big problem in Norway, with obvious corruption at the Government level. The video is called ‘Farmed Norwegian Salmon, the World’s most toxic food!’ It is a shocking expose on the fish industry and the Norwegian Government is highly instrumental in the Salmon export industry. I think anyone who watches this video might think twice about the fish they put in their mouths. That a government can actively exploit and put the general population in harms way is unthinkable, but it happens all the time.

              Liked by 1 person

              • Thanks, Colette. This does not surprise me, but it does sadden me. I had hope that somewhere in the world there exists a government that genuinely cares about its citizens, though I knew it was a precarious hope.
                But I still have some hope for humanity if we can survive people like Trump, and if climate disasters don’t wipe us from the surface of the planet. Maybe the whales, if they can survive the toxic oceans we have bequeathed them, can return to the land and take over from where we failed. Maybe not.
                If life has to start over, at least is will have a sense of which directions not to go in. Even if our physical bodies have wasted a few million years, our spiritual existences should have learned something. One can only hope.

                Liked by 2 people

                • Dear RG, to respond to your question, “I had hope that somewhere in the world there exists a government that genuinely cares about its citizens, though I knew it was a precarious hope.”
                  Surprise surprise, there is such a place on Earth… IT’S CALLED RUSSIA!
                  Sadly most of western society has been brainwashed into thinking the Russia is the big bad boogeyman plotting to destroy the world with Putin at the helm. Nothing can be further from the truth.
                  I visit Russia several times a year due to work, and it’s night and day compared to the West. Ppl are living very well, are very happy with the way the gov’t is working for them…. where have you ever heard that before? In all the major cities around Russia, infrastructure, housing, roads, high speed rail, etc have developed which rivals any major European city. People are delighted!
                  Putin reigned in all the corrupt exploitative oligarchs who were destroying the country in the early 2000s. In America, corporate oligarchy and billionaires are still exploiting the working man. And they will continue to do so unabated b/c both parties are actively against it’s own citizens! They play us for fools by giving us the illusion of choice (ironically thru voting)! Hence both parties have a strong vested interest in keeping their racket, their gravy train going. All they have to do is prevent a Progressive candidate from winning, someone who will upset their apple cart…. someone exactly like Bernie Sanders. To Repugs and Demoncrats, he’s party enemy #1 b/c Bernie will fight for the ppl at their expense!
                  Well guess what, President Putin fights for Russia, and keeps Western imperialism in check! For that the rest of the world is infinitely grateful! All you have to do is go to Russia and see for yourself, and don’t buy into Western propaganda! If only ppl open their eyes and see the truth, the world would certainly change for the better. *Sigh*

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            • Very well said, an enlightened viewpoint of governance. To reach that level of potential existence, we as a species must evolve into a Type 1 civilization (according to the Kardashev scale). When conditions exist where humans no longer want or need for lack of food, shelter or material goods, then collectively we can evolve consciously to higher aspirations. Nicola Tesla offered the world free clean energy in the 1920s, but was sabotaged by the Edison and the oil barons. Human greed ruled the day, and will continue until we break out of this mold of desire and suffering.

              Like

        • I agree that encouraging people to vote is not always encouraging to vote the way you believe (and this is a belief system). It can actually have the opposite effect. I do always vote rg, but I certainly do not have a lot of faith in any of our political systems. To me, politics is a form of control… I just want to pick the lesser of my perceived evils. Governments are generally predatory on much of the population for benefit of the other… And no side or party is exempt from scurrilous practices.
          PS rg… Gonna send you a good video to watch on Youtube (by email). It will become a topic for a series of posts that I want to do (been mulling it over for the past year). 😉

          Liked by 2 people

          • I’ll be watching for the video, Colette.
            I know I said this earlier, but I must repeat it. Choosing the lesser of two evils still sustains evil, and I will not be a party to evil. It is the way I am built.

            Like

            • While I definitely see your point, RG, and stance, until we have an enlightened populace and these lofty governing ideals beginning to happen, we are stuck in the now for now.

              And to be voting for ANYONE, other than trump is a must, unless of course, it’s someone just as bad or worse. But can there really be anyone worse in this current timeframe we are in?

              I can’t imagine any of the Democratic contenders being even considered “evil” and trump is.

              My vote may not mean a hill of beans and our system may suck and be corrupt, but I have to feel in my own head, I did the right thing, which is any measure to avoid 4 more years of trump and the destruction he will bring.

              Liked by 2 people

    • While I agree with RG that our system of governance is broken, has been hi-jacked by special money interest, lobbyists and corporations for a very long time. We should still vote if there’s a chance that someone worthy of our vote comes along, like Bernie Sanders, who could actually make a difference. Besides, don’t you want to see Trump ousted? We can’t do it without enough ppl turning out to vote! I know Trump supporters will be out in full force come Nov. 3, we need to do the same.

      While I admit in 2016 I did not vote along with million of my peers as a protest against the establishment machine, the lessor of 2 evils argument did not hold water. Evil begets evil, Trump is a disaster and Hillary is even worse.
      Here’s the reality behind choosing lesser of 2 evils: the American public are the real losers!

      Something to think about

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Discord & Dissension – Part IV (b) – Voting & Voters | Filosofa's Word

  5. Jill, a distubring statistic was reported by David Brooks on PBS Newshour last night. Trump exploited Bernie fans for victory in 2016 and is already starting to do the same now. Dividing people and selling off fear is what he is good at. The statistic is while followers of Biden, Warren, etc. in high percentages will support the Dem candidate, only 52% of Sanders’ supporters made such a comment. I understand them not liking Hillary as she is not perfect, but Bernie may not carry the banner. Trump will (and is) already driving that wedge – it is plain as day. It is a “divide and conquer mindset” that he has used for years.

    So, my message to all Democrats, independents and people who do not like how Trump has harmed our country, VOTE for his opponent regardless of who it is. With four more years, Trump will drive a stake in our democracy, pollute the environment more, and appoint more conservative judges. If these folks want someone to speak to climate change, guns, job training, healthcare, etc., they need to VOTE even if their top candidate does not get the nod.

    Keith

    Liked by 2 people

    • That is definitely disturbing, but not surprising, for you’re right — dividing people is what he’s good at. He started dividing when he made the announcement that he was throwing his hat in the ring, and hasn’t stopped a day since. Divide and conquer … United we stand, divided we fall. It is chilling. While this nation was suffering a great chasm in ideology before Trump came along, he saw that and exploited it, and look where we are today. Can this ‘great divide’ be repaired? For the first time, i honestly don’t know. And, there isn’t a doubt in my mind that he’s already doing everything possible to rig this election in his favour, including pitting Bernie’s supporters against any other candidates. You know I agree when you point out the dangers of another 4 years under Trump. I would go even further and say that another 4 years under Trump and there will be nothing left that resembles a democratic republic. That’s why Jeff and I decided to do this project together, to try to make our combined voices heard by some who might otherwise sit at home rather than head to the polls. To convince people just how important this upcoming election is.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Jill, what Trump does is straight out of Machiavelli. Divide your enemies and conquer. His one true skill is playing people and pitting them against each other. He uses that as an internal management style, which creates chaos, confusion, and backstabbing. It is a horrible governance model, but he has shown he can win with it. We must remember this guy won by fewer than 100,000 well placed votes in three states. Keiith

        Liked by 2 people

        • You are so right, my friend. He’s doing a damn fine job of “divide and conquer” already, for I am seeing quite a bit of criticism … by democrats … of Bernie Sanders. And, of course he is demonizing Joe Biden. And, democrats are falling for it! How I wish we had no electoral college, for if sheer numbers meant anything, we would be talking about President Clinton today. The republicans say we are trying to overturn the “will of the people” with the impeachment, but in truth, the ‘will of the people’ was overturned by the electoral college in 2016.

          Liked by 1 person

      • We have mostly recovered with residual effects. We haven’t left Thailand (not for another month) but have moved 600 km South by train, bus and ferry to Koh Samet. We have had Thai authorities intercept us along the way to check for temperature. They are separating anyone with a raised temperature for further checks. The authorities are taking nCOV very seriously.

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  6. The fact of the matter is more citizens would vote if they feel the system’s not rigged against them. ie Dems constantly rigging the primaries, changing vote counts & Repugs gerrymandering, voter id, closing election booths early in poorer districts etc.

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  7. So true and important too, Jill! Sorry, have to apologize again. Last week have been horrible in paperwork. Someone can not believe how vintage Germany is in eGovernment solutions. Faxing is the only fast way driving papers forward. God for sake, they do not want us to deliver stone plates. Lol
    Have a beautiful weekend! Michael

    Liked by 3 people

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