Economics

Voting Is for Sissies

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When I say that I'm not going to vote in presidential or congressional elections, everyone jumps down my throat. They are concerned, it seems, that I will single-handedly destroy democracy. Next time, I'm going to bring out the big guns in my defense: McCain, Obama, and Biden have decided they're probably not going to bother to be back in Washington for the bailout vote. If they don't vote on this, why should I vote on them?

Sen. John McCain (R- Ariz.) has no plans to return to Washington this week, even though on Monday he expressed discomfort with Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson's trillion-dollar bailout plan and has offered his own rescue proposal….

Senior Obama strategist Robert Gibbs said the campaign would be monitoring the process as it unfolds this week, but as of Monday, the campaign would not commit to Obama making the trip back to Washington – even though the bailout proposal has taken a central role in Obama's stump speeches….

Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.), Obama's vice presidential running mate, is also "monitoring" the bailout situation, said spokesman David Wade.

Obama's habit of voting "present" has been controversial, but surely that's better than "absent"?

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  1. When I say that I’m not going to vote in presidential or congressional elections, everyone jumps down my throat.

    I find the actions of those doing that to you to be quite insensitive and juvenile.

    BTW, I encourage all voters under the age of 30 to join you.

  2. Aha! Problem solved! I’m voting “present” for president.

  3. Obama’s habit of voting “present” is has been controversial, but surely that’s better than “absent”?

    Why? “Present” means you were actually there, had no scheduling conflicts, no reason whatsoever not to vote, except that you didn’t care to discharge your responsibilities as a legislator.

    “Absent” may mean much the same thing, but its surely no worse.

  4. All this means is that they don’t expect the vote to be close, and they’re almost certainly right. If anything passes the Senate, it’s going to do so with at least 70 votes, because this is one of those issues where Congress wants to pass something bipartisan.

    That’s how the Senate, unlike the House, works.

  5. “Sen. John McCain (R- Ariz.) has no plans to return to Washington this week, even though on Monday he expressed discomfort with Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson’s trillion-dollar bailout plan and has offered his own rescue proposal….”

    At least McCain has a counter proposal. And given that, why would he vote for the original bail out bill?

  6. “When I say that I’m not going to vote in presidential or congressional elections, everyone jumps down my throat.”

    EOM

  7. O.K., that’s three down. Now how do we stop the rest of them from voting?

  8. I live in Los Angeles. I severely dislike both candidates, yet respect the prospect of the “Well, ____ is better than ____ vote.” I also understand electoral politics and that certain states are in the hole for certain candidates, i.e., there are certain states where, depending on your vote, it may not count.

    California is definitely going to Obama. I don’t feel that my not voting is going to affect that outcome either way. Still, I know people (Obama supporters incidentally) who start quaking and speaking in tongues that the end is nigh if I don’t vote – because after all, this is the most important election in the history of the planet – even though half of these people didn’t vote in ’88 either.

    Thoughts?

  9. See, the whole thing is unimportant. If McCain, Obama, and biden* don’t thinks it’s important enough to weigh in on a (bare minimum) trillion dollar ($1,000,000,000,000.00) package** why are we even discussing this?

    These are the @#%*&%$#s that want us (read youth) to do more “public service”, and they can’t even show the fuck up for work.

    * Does not deserve capitalization. I will attempt to lower case him thru Nov 4th.

    ** A not so bold prediction, the final bill will exceed a trillion in taxpayer obligations. Anybody wanna bet me?

  10. Actually, I think there’s a good rationale for voting “present.” Not that McBama follows it, but anyway…

    One of our local representatives sponsored a bill encouraging everyone in WA to celebrate children. Now I would not vote for such nonsense, because I think that our lawmakers have better things to do. But if you vote against it you can imagine the attack ads that would follow. Thus, the “present” vote is whipped out.

  11. SAGE HATES CHILDREN, REFUSES TO CELEBRATE THEM

    “Hey, loook. He sayss he won’t wear the Reeebon.”

  12. There are usually a half dozen other things on the ballot outside of the president. Maybe I’ll just write in present for the president and vote what I believe in on the other ballot measures.

    But to just do nothing on that day is the height of immaturity and selfishness regardless of the asses who are running for president.

    /MN has over an 77% voter turnout last time around – shooting for over 80% this year… its actually one of the few times a year i ever deal with my neighbors

    @cool cal

    Get off your ass, go down to the polls, and vote against Prop 8. You don’t have to do anything else…

  13. Voting is overrated. It’s a prerogative, not a duty. One may have far more influence in current affairs by engaging others in intelligent discourse and debate, some of which actually takes place here, if you don’t count the name-calling and “celebrity” trolling.

  14. Voting is merely participating in the tyranny of the majority. It also requires me to go to a government building and stand in a line. Since I refuse to do either the former or the latter, I do not vote. Simple!

  15. When I say that I’m not going to vote in presidential or congressional elections, everyone jumps down my throat.

    I find the actions of those doing that to you to be quite insensitive and juvenile.

    BTW, I encourage all voters under the age of 30 to join you.

    That must be a pretty deep throat.

  16. One of our local representatives sponsored a bill encouraging everyone in WA to celebrate children.

    ZOMG that is creepy!

  17. Of course McCain can’t attend. He is too busy reading Naomi Wolf’s mail.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/naomi-wolf/the-battle-plan-ii-sarah_b_128393.html

  18. One of our local representatives sponsored a bill encouraging everyone in WA to celebrate children.

    One more thing I really, really wish I didn’t know. Can anyone suggest a less vomit-inducing state for me to move to?

  19. Idefinitely encourage everyone under 30 or anyone who does not hold a paying job to join Mangu-Ward in not voting. Actually, the test for voting shouldn’t be holding a job but paying taxes. Anyone who doesn’t pay at least some amount of taxes over and above FICA and medicare/aide should be disenfranchised.

  20. Does WA have a Megan’s Law? If so, doesn’t Child Celebration Day send a mixed message?

  21. Maybe I’ll just write in present for the president…

    Brilliant! I’m going to steal your idea!

  22. Does Child Celebration Day become less creepy if I call it 12-year old Celebration Day?

  23. Anyone who doesn’t pay at least some amount of taxes over and above FICA and medicare/aide should be disenfranchised.

    How about “male landowners”. That worked for awhile. Or you could always institute a “poll tax” on the indigent. I think they had that somewhere for a while.

  24. You would think that someone would invent a way for them to vote over the internet so they could do their job.

    I really can not think of another job in the world where you get to just stop showing up to work and still get paid just because you are trying to get a better job.

    I need to try that with my boss. I am not coming in this week I am trying to get another job.

  25. Why not a literacy test, too, John?

  26. Can anyone suggest a less vomit-inducing state for me to move to?

    They’re all pretty bad. The better ones are usually sparsely populated and have no totally awesome cities. I’m eyeballing Vegas and Miami, myself, especially because they scored so high on reason’s freedom list.

  27. “I really can not think of another job in the world where you get to just stop showing up to work and still get paid just because you are trying to get a better job.”

    You wouldn’t understand, Alch. It’s a black thing.

  28. This time I think I will not vote (even though I’m over 30 now), but tell everyone that I did. That way it has exactly the same effect as if I did vote, but I don’t have to go wait in line.

    It is funny how much people overrate the importance of their votes. I wish people would have more of a sense of humor about it.

  29. “. . .I’m not going to vote in presidential or congressional elections” -KMW

    Yay!

  30. I am not voting either. I don’t see the point. If Barr were Competative, sure, i’d vote. But it is 100% certain that one of the two front runners are going to when. Since neither of these douchebags is going to do anything to increase freedom, I am not voting.
    I fact I think I will have the moral high ground after the elections because no matter which douchebag wins, it is going to be bad for freedom. And I will be able to say that I had not part of it.
    I think voting is something that the douchebags let little people do to make them think that what they do actually makes a difference.

    And I agree with Epi, six-string, j sub, ed, and Zeb

  31. I never understood how people who are generally sympathetic with the idea of ‘wisdom of the crowd’ are so down with voting.

    I’m up with both.

  32. 2 reasons I don’t vote.

    1. They pull the jury duty pool from the voting records down here.

    2. May need a government job someday and don’t want a paper trail that may anger my potential benefactor.

  33. “Voting is merely participating in the tyranny of the majority. It also requires me to go to a government building and stand in a line.”

    Bullshit. Do what I do; vote by absentee ballot (no lines at government buildings) and write in for turd sandwich.

    What I want to see is a ban on voting for any government employee. Afterall, they have an interest in voting for any party which promises more and bigger government.

  34. I don’t know what’s wrong with you sissy whiny fuckers.

    I’m voting local, state, and national come November.

    If you can’t find, out of the thirty-bajillion people that are on most ballots someone worth your vote, then run yourself.

    Or fuck off.

  35. Besides saving you time, how does this protest no vote work? All I read post election day is that people who don’t vote are content with the political situation in the country. Aren’t you’re being co-opted into the establishment with your implied consent?

  36. Guy in the back row,

    Shutup and get out of my head. Sheesh!

    Elemenope,

    Relax. Also, no running for office for me. Convicted felon.

  37. Back in the ’90s I read an article by a US Representative who lamented that his vote in the House was worthless. It was at that point that I realized if HIS vote is worthless, then my vote to elect him to office to represent me must be worse than worthless.

  38. “Relax. Also, no running for office for me. Convicted felon.”

    That’s a barrier to holding public office? No way.

  39. As a peaceful anarchist, I don’t like groups large or small, but a vote within a relatively small group like Congress is more important, as Katherine notes, than me voting in general elections.
    Votes within Congress are so important they should be by secret ballot, just as mine would be, if I voted.

    Voting in large numbers is nothing more than a scheme for pacification. It’s an insult to anyone with a lick of sense!

    Ruthless

  40. But if you vote against it you can imagine the attack ads that would follow.

    I would be laying in wait for the attack ads, with counter-ads saying that (a) I think my constituents are perfectly capable of celebrating children with direction from the state and (b) my constituents deserve a serious representative who does not think the legislature should be wasting their time on crap like this when it has real work to do. I would invite my opponent to disagree.

    1. They pull the jury duty pool from the voting records down here.

    OK, sure, if you want to shirk that duty also.

    May need a government job someday and don’t want a paper trail that may anger my potential benefactor.

    There’s no paper trail showing who you voted for.

    Convicted felon.

    This completely negates your two reasons to not vote. You’ll never be seated on a jury (although you might give the prosecutor a stroke during voir dire), and anyone with a felony conviction on their record has a paper trail that utterly dwarfs whatever the local voting rolls might reveal.

  41. Hmmmm . . . my dry sense of humor is wasted here today. I’ll come back another time.

  42. “This completely negates your two reasons to not vote”

    Felons can’t (legally) possess firearms or vote.

  43. By simply saying you don’t vote, you’re passing up a teaching opportunity. You could say, “I’m writing in Ron Paul” and explain why (even if you really not going to), or you could say, “I’m voting for gridlock” and explain why (ditto). Your interlocutors might (might) learn something.

  44. All this means is that they don’t expect the vote to be close, and they’re almost certainly right. If anything passes the Senate, it’s going to do so with at least 70 votes, because this is one of those issues where Congress wants to pass something bipartisan.

    That’s how the Senate, unlike the House, works.

    Come on man, you can’t think we’re so stupid to eat some pathetic spin like that. Actually voting for or against the bill is important symbolically even if it will pass or not as it indicates they took some stand on the issue.

    Both of them seem to be waffling pathetically. Everyone is trying desperately to avoid some controversial position which will be subject to endless media scrutiny.

    They aren’t voting because they are scared of the fallout. End of Story.

  45. J sub D- you are wrong, and I will happily put my money where my mouth is. I bet the total cost will be at least $2 trillion, maybe 3.

  46. DEMOCRATS should read all the stories circulating today about how former Fed Chief Alan Greenspan warned congress back in April that legislation was needed to prevent the melt down we’re now experiencing … but, the democrats blocked it. These are the same democrats who want us to elect them in November.

  47. Re voting: I am writing someone in for President, and for everyone else, I’m voting against the incumbent.

  48. Uh, I’m pretty sure Naga was imitating Bender from Futurama, folks.

  49. I have no problem whatsoever with poll taxes, as long as you don’t “grandfather clause” your way out. However, not counting FICA and Medicare taxes for enfranchisement could easily contribute to the tyranny of old fogies who do nothing for two years and then go to the polls.

  50. Besides saving you time, how does this protest no vote work? All I read post election day is that people who don’t vote are content with the political situation in the country. Aren’t you’re being co-opted into the establishment with your implied consent?

    Fail to vote and imply your consent or vote and give actual consent?

    I know which one I’ll be doing.

    I really want to start wearing an “I forgot to vote” sticker on election day.

  51. By simply saying you don’t vote, you’re passing up a teaching opportunity.

    Yer wrong!

    It’s the opposite. Tell anyone who asks that you are a principled non-voter. It’s a hell of “teaching moment,” if that’s what you’re looking for.

  52. I always vote for Cthulhu. He understands the true nature of fiat money:
    He has no particular interest in pieces of green paper backed solely by religious dogma;

    Also, it’s a day I can show up late for work without getting chewed out by five different bosses.

  53. With Cthulhu, only one boss chews you out, but he really chews you out.

  54. “Still, I know people (Obama supporters incidentally) who start quaking and speaking in tongues that the end is nigh if I don’t vote – because after all, this is the most important election in the history of the planet – even though half of these people didn’t vote in ’88 either.”

    It’s hard to vote when you’re in the womb.

  55. DEMOCRATS should read all the stories circulating today about how former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan warned congress back in April that legislation was needed to prevent the melt down we’re now experiencing … but, the democrats blocked it. These are the same democrats who want us to elect them in November.

  56. I’m writing in “fish head” for president. Think of the many benefits:

    1.) By voting for an inanimate object and part of a non-human animal, you’d be breaking new historical barriers that Barack Obama and Sarah Palin’s historical nature mostly irrelevant. (Thus the good feeling one gets is preferable to voting “present” or not voting.)

    2.) Would cut spending due to inability to sign appropriations legislation.

    3.) Would cut taxes due to the shutdown of the federal government due to the lack of appropriations.

    4.) Would put the world’s top polluter out of business, thus doing much more for the environment than even the environmental movement ever could.

    5.) Would be physically unable to declare war.

    6.) Would not be able to hinder a free market.

    7.) Would be completely ethical and unable to be influenced by lobbyists.

    8.) No boring speeches filled with empty promises.

    The list of benefits goes on and on…I hope you join me in writing in “fish head” and his running mate “lame duck.” We’ve even got a campaign song.

  57. “I am not voting either. I don’t see the point. If Barr were Competative, sure, i’d vote.”

    That is just the problem isn’t it? You don’t vote for someone because he can win, you vote for him because he is right! Don’t let the mob determine your vote.

  58. Uh, I’m pretty sure Naga was imitating Bender from Futurama, folks.

    [tips hat]

  59. My fault really. I was pressed for time and couldn’t find the quotes I was looking for from Futurama so I played it by ear to my regret.

  60. Come on Howard, at least the Democratic hacks around here pretend to care what the rest of us think enough to engage in conversation. Give a little reach around first before you try to sell it.

  61. John | September 23, 2008, 4:31pm | #
    I definitely encourage everyone under 30 or anyone who does not hold a paying job to join Mangu-Ward in not voting. Actually, the test for voting shouldn’t be holding a job but paying taxes. Anyone who doesn’t pay at least some amount of taxes over and above FICA and medicare/aide should be disenfranchised.

    If you have read some of Thomas Sowell’s works from the 80’s, you are probably aware that he takes the quintile based concept of class stratification to task by pointing out that they do not represent a fixed population but instead they show the movement of individuals over time with surprisingly high percentages of people at the top rung going down to the bottom rung and vice versa.

    In this reorganization of the franchise that you propose, how many people, including yourself, would passively give it up after years of voting because of either a downturn of fortune or any other cause of change in their income tax status? Personally, I have made as little as ten thousand to close to six figures in consecutive years, and I tend to make risky decisions, entrepreneurial decisions, that would scare the living shit out of most people. Should the franchise be rewarded to non risk takers for their social stability and punish entrepreneurs? It sounds like something out of Galbraith.

    A better way would not to be to limit the franchise but limit how the ballot can negatively effect our freedom and our property. Under your proposal, the swines of Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers, Bears Stern, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae* would still have the franchise and have a great deal of political capital, and their brand of socialism is so much more costly to us than the brand that gives us public soup kitchens and free school lunches that it is a joke to compare the two on the Federal level.

    * including these two, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, because there would still be an assentive in the limited franchise for politicians to seem ‘charitable’ (with other people’s money.

  62. O.K., that’s three down. Now how do we stop the rest of them from voting?

    Easy, convince every Senator to run for President. Wouldn’t that be a hoot

  63. I’m with you. I am not voting, again.

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