Non-voters are the key

They released a new study of non-voters, and it showed that without question the strategy of establishment Democrats won't work.

nonvoter.jpg

In a nationwide survey of 800 infrequent or unregistered voters, 56% of poll respondents said they felt the country was on the wrong track and nearly 55% rated Trump unfavorably. Yet 83% of those polled said they are “not very likely” or “not at all likely” to vote in 2018.

So non-voters don't like Trump.
Thus the Dems strategy of screaming "ScaryTrump" 24/7 should work? No.

Fifteen percent of unregistered voters said their vote “doesn’t count” or “won’t make a difference.” Nine percent of registered voters said the same.
Nearly 63% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed with the statement: “I don’t pay much attention to politics because nothing ever gets done – it’s a bunch of empty promises.”
While 12% said they will vote or probably try to vote in the 2018 elections, 11.5% said that only “different/better candidates” would motivate them to vote.

FT_nonvoters.png
So simply running against Trump/GOP won't get these people to the polls.
You have to give these people a reason to vote for someone/something.

When asked for the first word or phrase that came to mind when they heard the name Donald Trump, one in four respondents gave positive answers, including "favorable/like him" (9%) and “doing a good job/trying his best” (5%), while others were critical, calling him “idiot/jerk/ass” (11%) or “ignorant/moron/stupid/dumb” (6%).

At least 17% of them are pretty smart.
Then we have the most misleading part of the study.

Most respondents identified themselves as moderate (36%), followed by conservative (21%) and liberal (11%).

This implies the establishment Dems are right, and running more "likeable" centrists are the way to go. But is that correct?
What do non-voters actually believe?
For that we have an older study.

Four questions from the American National Elections Studies (ANES) data show a stark divide on issues related to economic inequality. Nonvoters tend to support increasing government services and spending, guaranteeing jobs, and reducing inequality—all policies that voters, on the whole, oppose. Both groups support spending on the poor, but the margin among nonvoters is far larger.

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So when you hear "non-voters are largely moderate or conservative" consider that the terms "moderate and conservative" mean different things to different people.
Non-voters are probably more conservative on social issues than mainstream Democrats, and thus explain why they self-identify that way. So running on Identity Politics would be a turn-off to these people.
When you look at economic policies, non-voters are without a doubt more progressive, and that is because they tend to be poorer. Thus, Bernie is/was right.

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dervish's picture

because no one can get rich by running progressives.

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21 users have voted.

"Obama promised transparency, but Assange is the one who brought it."

@dervish
Bernie TV is more popular than CNN

Sanders hosts an interview show (“The Bernie Sanders Show”) that he started streaming over Facebook Live on a semi-regular basis after his staff got the idea in February of 2017 to film the senator chatting with the activist Rev. Dr. William Barber. After they posted that simple clip and it earned hundreds of thousands of views with no promotion, they experimented with more seriously producing Sanders’s conversation days later with Bill Nye.

The chat with the Science Guy ended up with 4.5 million views. Sensing an opportunity, the next day Sanders’s aides turned down multiple network TV requests and took his response to Trump’s first address to Congress directly to his Facebook page.

Things escalated. Audio recordings of his conversations, repackaged as a podcast, have since occasionally reached near the top of iTunes’ list of popular programs. Sanders’s press staff — three aides, including Armand Aviram, a former producer at NowThis News, and three paid interns — published 550 original short, policy-focused videos on Facebook and Twitter in 2017 alone. And, this year, he has begun experimenting with streaming town-hall-style programs on Facebook. Each of those live events has outdrawn CNN on the night it aired.

“The idea that we can do a town meeting which would get a significantly larger viewing audience than CNN at that time is something I would not have dreamed of in a million years, a few years ago,” Sanders says.

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25 users have voted.

@gjohnsit . . . the Democratic Party, with the Democrats in the Senate, and with the whole Democratic machine, I refuse to believe it.

Bernie, by capitulating to the DNC/Hillary in the general election and by SAYING NOTHING about the way the DNC/Hillary screwed him out of the nomination, or about the DNC fraud lawsuit, BETRAYED his supporters. (And remember: These supporters that backed him contributed millions of their hard-earned dollars (which for many, they could barely afford), in order to fuel the Sanders campaign.

He betrayed me. He betrayed millions of voters and contributors. Therefore, he is NOT to be trusted.

"Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me."

So, you can look to Bernie for some kind of hope all you want. In my book, people like you are sadly and desperately promoting an illusion of a "false hope" named "Bernie."

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zoebear's picture

@SoylentGreenisPeople

An email from Podesta to Mook, telling him they had leverage over Bernie. We saw what ensued thereafter.

Hence my sig line...

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6 users have voted.

Soldier: What? Ridden on a horse?
King Arthur: Yes!
Soldier: You're using coconuts!
King Arthur: What?
Soldier: You've got two empty halves of a coconut and you're bangin' 'em together.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@zoebear This is why I don't understand the recurrence of this argument. Unless people simply need to work through their pain over that situation.

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2 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt-out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

MsGrin's picture

@SoylentGreenisPeople I still think he played the long game. Given how tightly the duopoly has wrapped up access to ballots in the 50+ states, it's really not possible to get someone unaffiliated elected, imho. Changing laws everyplace will take more than a decade. Easier to coopt a party already on the books. My estimation remains that he did not think he had a real shot in 2016 and was surprised that he got as far as he got at all given how tightly money controls everything. The only way he was ever going to win given the (utterly corrupt) political framework we have in place is if voters demand that he represent them. He does not claim to be either a god or a magician. See the comment about Bernie TV - he's finding ways to get his message directly to people since MSM won't do that job sufficiently. Just keep watching. It may be going slowly, but I believe he may be outsmarting them in real time. Look at what he already did by creating a small dollar funding mechanism which completely circumvents big money. That alone is revolutionary. Clinton's still whining enough for all of us combined. Don't whine, mobilize.

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5 users have voted.

'What we are left with is an agency mandated to ensure transparency and disclosure that is actually working to keep the public in the dark' - Ann M. Ravel, former FEC member

zoebear's picture

@MsGrin

Don't whine, mobilize.

Questioning the merits of contributing to the malfeasance of our political parties seems less like a tonal complaint and more like a reasoned justification for not doing so.

As for the mobilizing aspect, I think it would be helpful if an explanation was offered by candidates of how they will address an electoral system that rigged the 2016 primary before they ask us to support their campaign with our time, our hearts, and our money.

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6 users have voted.

Soldier: What? Ridden on a horse?
King Arthur: Yes!
Soldier: You're using coconuts!
King Arthur: What?
Soldier: You've got two empty halves of a coconut and you're bangin' 'em together.

@MsGrin

Why does that sound to me like the latest iteration of "11 dimensional chess" to me, a rationalization for betrayal that I've seen loyal and faithful disciples of BOTH Obama and Trump use in the face of these politicians' (and ostensible "change agents") obvious betrayals of their campaign rhetoric?

Alas, so many humans have such a deep seated, existential need to believe in their chosen political leaders/saviors, even when those leaders demonstrate behavior that contradicts their public rhetoric.

Gotta keep that faith, don't we??

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4 users have voted.

@dervish @dervish
when i think of how much money they could have paid me to simply explain this to them back in 2004, it makes me very very sad. instead, a bunch of useless dumbfucks made more money than i and all my descendants will ever see, to give loser advice that has, in the end, brought our society to its knees.

and those same dumbfucks still think they're smart, because after all, didn't they make a lot of money?

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2 users have voted.

Sigh

dkmich's picture

The other difference is that other records the nature of my no vote.

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"Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

*donate to c99 *like us on Facebook *follow us on Twitter

EdMass's picture

But this

So simply running against Trump/GOP won't get these people to the polls.
You have to give these people a reason to vote for someone/something.

You got that damn straight.

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21 users have voted.

"I'd love to change the world
But I don't know what to do
So I'll leave it up to you"

Alvin Lee - Ten Years After

Stop the War!

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@EdMass @EdMass Too much lying. Why should anybody listen to them?

Because they're so desperate that they need to continue to believe in the illusion, I guess.

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6 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt-out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

zoebear's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

Even when all the evidence points the other way...

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3 users have voted.

Soldier: What? Ridden on a horse?
King Arthur: Yes!
Soldier: You're using coconuts!
King Arthur: What?
Soldier: You've got two empty halves of a coconut and you're bangin' 'em together.

The Aspie Corner's picture

The Pig Democrats will get elected and the moment they take office, they will turn their backs on everything they claimed they were running on. No single payer. No living wage. They will finish the job with privatizing medicare and medicaid. Then they will come for social security. And the wars? They will continue there against brown Shia Muslims, and here against anything remotely left-ring. At all.

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11 users have voted.

Modern education is little more than toeing the line for the capitalist pigs.

@The Aspie Corner
The progressive grassroots still have something to say about that.

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dervish's picture

@The Aspie Corner no matter how big a majority they have.

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12 users have voted.

"Obama promised transparency, but Assange is the one who brought it."

I really wonder how many people consider themselves moderate or conservative because that's what they've been told they are. Maybe they got hooked by some commentator on radio or TV and found themselves nodding along. Or it's a social/class identification thing. But when you approach the issues with out the buzzwords, they're probably more progressive than they'd ever think.

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15 users have voted.
gulfgal98's picture

@Dr. John Carpenter When voters are polled on issues such as war, Medicare, Social Security, education,and spending for infrastructure improvements, most voters support the more liberal positions of anti-war, protecting Medicare and Social Security, and spending for public education and infrastructure improvements.

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"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~Dr. Cornel West

"There is no instance of a nation benefitting from prolonged warfare." Sun Tzu

@gulfgal98

more liberal positions of anti-war, protecting Medicare and Social Security, and spending for public education and infrastructure improvements

Its quite possible for someone to be progressive on all that stuff (plus opposing free trade), and still be part of a church that opposes abortion and immigration.

Just sayin'

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gulfgal98's picture

@gjohnsit We have become so conditioned to describing our political views based upon the only issues that the duopoly allows us to discuss...social issues. But, as I have posted here many times, we have far more in common than we have differences on the vast majority of issues that really affect our lives on a daily basis. The duopoly has been exploiting our differences so that we won't unite on the ones that cost them donor money...war and economic issues.

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18 users have voted.

"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~Dr. Cornel West

"There is no instance of a nation benefitting from prolonged warfare." Sun Tzu

@gjohnsit

. . . elite string puller, I'd certainly use issues like abortion and immigration to distract people from the common interests they share, in a "divide and conquer" strategy.

And that's what the ruling elites have successfully done, at least since the late 1970s.

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gulfgal98's picture

and I did not see my vote as either a waste or a protest vote. I voted my conscience and I will never allow myself to be brow beaten or threatened into voting for the lesser of two evils again. I also see myself in the group that will not vote in 2018 unless there is an obvious choice that I can support. I no longer will ever vote for a candidate just because they have a D by their name. The Democratic party is still as corrupt as ever and they have lost this voter for good.

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22 users have voted.

"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~Dr. Cornel West

"There is no instance of a nation benefitting from prolonged warfare." Sun Tzu

thanatokephaloides's picture

@gulfgal98

I was in that 2.2% other and I did not see my vote as either a waste or a protest vote.

Waste, no. Protest, certainly; and among the more effective protests one can mount these days, so all the more reason to do it.

I voted my conscience and I will never allow myself to be brow beaten or threatened into voting for the lesser of two evils again. I also see myself in the group that will not vote in 2018 unless there is an obvious choice that I can support. I no longer will ever vote for a candidate just because they have a D by their name. The Democratic party is still as corrupt as ever and they have lost this voter for good.

Te audio. (I hear you.)

I, too, am dealing with friends, dear indeed to me, who castigate me for not knuckling under and voting for Madame Trump-In-A-Girl-Suit. These are good people, progressives, who still beLIEve that Hillary Clinton is a fellow progressive and stands for what we do. These people haven't faced the fact that she's really still a Goldwater Girl and she's dragged the entire Democratic Party (and the national Overton Window with it) in that unfortunate direction. These people actually tell me that Hillary Clinton would have preserved women's reproductive rights, the civil rights gains made by LGBTQ people, etc. As for me, I've yet to see any evidence that Hillary Clinton would stick to any position on a "no matter what" basis. And I've seen plenty of evidence that she never met a war she didn't like, especially if she could get America entangled in it!

We who want peace, and a successful and robust public sector, etc., are being subjected to taxation without representation right now. We don't even get candidates who represent our stands on issues on most election ballots; yet our society expects us to vote for the swill it presents us, and pay our taxes thereafter to support them in our non-representation of us.

Gak.

Bad

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15 users have voted.

"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

@thanatokephaloides

"These people actually tell me that Hillary Clinton would have preserved women's reproductive rights, the civil rights gains made by LGBTQ people, etc."

Wow, oh wow!!!

Pardon me while I put my finger down my throat . . . .

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6 users have voted.
thanatokephaloides's picture

@SoylentGreenisPeople

These are what passes for "progressives" nowadays?

These people -- at least the ones in my life -- are progressives. They want the wars to end and our military to come home and stay there. They want the privatizations to end. They want full rights for LGBTQ people (and many are LGBTQ themselves). They want the kind of public sector we had in the 1960's and 1970's. They want full reproductive choices to be available to women. They want a clean environment, and they want sufficient public lands open to the public to assure all of us access to it. They want actual full employment (i.e., zero unemployment or underemployment). They want to move our Nation onto renewable energy. They want an economic systm whereunder kids don't need to take on decades of debt bondage slavery for the minutest chance at a semi-reasonable paycheck. And so on.

Where they're going off-piste is that most of them beLIEve the Democratic Party's leadership and mainstream still wants what they want. Most of us here on c99p, on the other hand, know better. In the terminology of The Matrix, we've taken the Red Pill; most of our political fellows are still Blue Pilled.

That's no reason to barf your cookies; but, as the Essay implies, it's reason to work on the Blue pilled ones among our fellow travellers while actively seeking fellow Red Pillers among the non-voters.

Wink

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9 users have voted.

"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

@thanatokephaloides

. . . that you've mentioned, then why haven't they been paying close enough attention these past several years (decades?) to realize that the Democrats are just as much on board with the GOP on these other issues? If they really care about these issues so much, then why is it up to you to educate them and "red pill" them as to the true nature of the Democratic Party?

I mean, the information is out there. It has been, on numerous independent and non-mainstream sites on the internet, for quite some time now. The information has been out there for quite a long time now.

I would think that people that really profess to care about so much about such issues would have caught on by now (assuming they "cared enough" to read and investigate for themselves), after all these years of supposed 'betrayals" by the Democrats, that the Democrats are pretty much on the same page with the Republicans.

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thanatokephaloides's picture

@SoylentGreenisPeople

Well, if they care about all those other "progressive" issues that you've mentioned, then why haven't they been paying close enough attention these past several years (decades?) to realize that the Democrats are just as much on board with the GOP on these other issues? If they really care about these issues so much, then why is it up to you to educate them and "red pill" them as to the true nature of the Democratic Party?

Because the truth really isn't "out there". A considerable, well-financed effort exists to suppress it.

Consider the case of the Internet non-user for a moment. Or an Internet user who gets most of his news from Facebook and cable TV.

Also consider the non-coverage of Bernie Sanders' entire campaign by the mainstream media (MSM).

Why, then, is it "up to us"? Precisely because the MSM are so bound and determined to prevent progressives from finding out how hard they've been screwed. This tendency, backed by serious money, needs to be resisted in every possible way.

And red-pilling progressives is one such way.

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6 users have voted.

"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

@thanatokephaloides

The truth IS out there. Granted, it is not easy to see and it takes some WORK to apprehend--work beyond merely being a consumer/swallower of the corporate media/MSM propaganda.

But right now I could give you at least fifteen different alternative news/aggregator websites and/or easily accessed writers, thinkers, journalists, pundits on the internet (including Jimmy Dore, Noam Chomsky, Chris Hedges, Thomas Frank, Kyle Kulinski, Glenn Greenwald, Norman Finkelstein, Paul Craig Roberts, just to name a few), that if your "progressive" friends checked in with on a regular basis for at least the next two weeks, would lead them to see the reality of the scam that is the Democratic Party pretty damned clearly and quickly.

The point is, as you yourself have implicitly admitted, so long as they are content to buy into the corporate media "Matrix," and not do any work that takes looking outside of it, then "the truth" will evade them.

But here's my point: If they really cared about those progressive issues, they'd be doing the WORK (and it does take WORK, as even Noam Chomsky has said) to get beyond the corporate media propaganda bubble. So long as they are content to remain inside that bubble, then I truly question how truly committed to "progressive" issues they are.

Maybe they should just stick with and remain happy with NPR, the NYT, and MSNBC, while fancying themselves well informed liberals for doing so.

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thanatokephaloides's picture

@SoylentGreenisPeople

But here's my point: If they really cared about those progressive issues, they'd be doing the WORK (and it does take WORK, as even Noam Chomsky has said) to get beyond the corporate media propaganda bubble. So long as they are content to remain inside that bubble, then I truly question how truly committed to "progressive" issues they are.

Maybe they should just stick with and remain happy with NPR, the NYT, and MSNBC, while fancying themselves well informed liberals for doing so.

So you're willing to give up on ever actually getting anything we want, because the vast majority of those who want what we do aren't political wonks like us, spending hours and hours dredging and digging for scraps of alternative information. Like it or not, we need those people. We need their support, we need their votes, we need their voices along with ours if we are ever to see any of these changes we want. Throwing them away is not an option.

It has been repeatedly (and correctly) stated around here that "there is no American Left". What I see in the folks we're talking about is the raw materials to create an American Left. Whether one maintains that a viable third party is the way forward, or a major reformation of the Dems themselves, we'll need every American who wants what we do. And that means making them see that the likes of Hillary "Trump-in-a-girl-suit" Clinton are not the way to get where progressives think our Nation should go.

Besides which, once I made it clear that I would not vote for Her Heinous or Der Drumpenfuhrer, I found myself "in play" anyway; might as well do what I can! Wink

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3 users have voted.

"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

@thanatokephaloides

"So you're willing to give up on ever actually getting anything we want, because the vast majority of those who want what we do aren't political wonks like us, spending hours and hours dredging and digging for scraps of alternative information. Like it or not, we need those people. We need their support, we need their votes, we need their voices along with ours if we are ever to see any of these changes we want. Throwing them away is not an option."

How touching. You still think that by gaining some kind of promised piece of political power through elections "progressives" are going to be able to enact such changes, and that we "need" the idiots such as the ones we have been discussing as allies in order to do this. Sounds like "more and better Democrats" to me. Where have I heard that before?

I'm sorry, but I find your continued belief in the system quaint and naive.

What was it Emma Goldman once said? "If voting really ever changed anything, it would be illegal." Or do you think she was being hyperbolic?

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Big Al's picture

@SoylentGreenisPeople Mark Twain and countless others going back to the founding about this duopoly political system being "two sides of the same coin". It seems the Bernie Bros still think it's possible to reform the democratic war and wall street party by somehow electing "progressives", (which IS more and better democrats) all of whom support or voice no opposition to U.S. imperialism or any of the radical measures we really need in this country, like abolishing the fed reserve and creating a nationalized public banking system.
They're asking other to join them and vote for democratic party "progressive" politicians while some of us are asking them to join us in a real fucking revolution against this corrupt and undemocratic duopoly/oligarchy controlled political system.
Funny.

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thanatokephaloides's picture

@SoylentGreenisPeople

I'm sorry, but I find your continued belief in the system quaint and naive.

Respectfully, I must then ask: Then just what do you propose we do? How do you propose we get the things we want?

I refuse to entertain any proposal of violence. That, in essence, only leaves electoral politics. Unless, of course, you have another idea?

What was it Emma Goldman once said? "If voting really ever changed anything, it would be illegal." Or do you think she was being hyperbolic?

She was being hyperbolic, in the well-established tradition of "demand ten miles when you need ten inches". And her net impact on American society, apart from radicals and political wonks (like the inhabitants of c99p), is quite small.

What we need to do, in my own humble opinion at least, is to set the matter of our elections aright, so we can effect change when we need to. John F. Kennedy was correct when he said that those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable. Peaceful revolution means via the vote.

Again, if you have better affirmative ideas, let's hear them.

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4 users have voted.

"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

Big Al's picture

@thanatokephaloides That depends on what "we" want. What I want might be different from what you want and what you want might be in opposition of what I want and vice versa.

You can't possibly believe the only avenue we have to get what we want is through electing politicians? At the very least, electoral politics should be approached like Howard Zinn advocated, spend enough time on it to vote or not and that's it.

But it depends on the goal, what "we" want. I want to overturn an undemocratic system and the oligarchy that controls it and both major political parties. Both major political parties are part of my opposition in that regard.

If all you want to do is continue the eternal struggle for alms for the poor from those that rule us, then the corrupt and illegitimate national political system might seem like the rational choice. I think we're beyond rational and need radical measure stop those ruling over us. Trying to elect progressive politicians to the democratic party in hopes they can slowly turn a right wing war and wall street party completely controlled by the oligarchy is not radical. In fact, it's downright useless.

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@thanatokephaloides

. . . is that the only way to change things involves OTHER avenues than voting alone--as all REAL change throughout American political history has involved avenues OTHER THAN voting alone. Voting by itself, is a dead end, especially when the electoral system is rigged in so many different ways.

So, I'll just put some hints out there . . .

On an individual level, I believe that the answer(s) involves some form of spirituality. On a collective level, I believe it means some form of spirituality coupled with the types of collective action(s) Howard Zinn or Chris Hedges have talked/written about extensively in their books and public talks.

In fact, in Ancient Rome, the historian Livy documented the use by "the people" of these types of tactics at least twice during the formation of the first centuries of the Roman Republic, tactics that resulted in the formation of the offices of the tribunes of the people and which gave "the little people" some type of real representation in the government.

That's about as specific as I am going to be right now in terms of ideas.

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thanatokephaloides's picture

@SoylentGreenisPeople

All I'm going to say, in answer to your question, is that the only way to change things involves OTHER avenues than voting alone--as all REAL change throughout American political history has involved avenues OTHER THAN voting alone. Voting by itself, is a dead end, especially when the electoral system is rigged in so many different ways.

So, I'll just put some hints out there . . .

On an individual level, I believe that the answer(s) involves some form of spirituality. On a collective level, I believe it means some form of spirituality coupled with the types of collective action(s) Howard Zinn or Chris Hedges have talked/written about extensively in their books and public talks.

In fact, in Ancient Rome, the historian Livy documented the use by "the people" of these types of tactics at least twice during the formation of the first centuries of the Roman Republic, tactics that resulted in the formation of the offices of the tribunes of the people and which gave "the little people" some type of real representation in the government.

That's about as specific as I am going to be right now in terms of ideas.

Please allow me to supply some specifics. Having read Livy, both in the original and in English translation, you're basically telling us that large-scale civil disobedience is required in order to "get the attention" of the Republic's powers, which was the exact situation used to establish the Tribunate in Republican Rome. (Specifically, the Secession of the Plebs to the Mons Sacer.)

While I certainly can see where this might have its uses today and in the US, we're in a sort of "Catch-22" situation now that there is flatly nothing the 0.1% need from us in order to continue growing richer and more powerful. (An economy whose first basis is F.I.R.E. really sucks unless you're really rich.) The tale told by Agrippa Menenius Lanatus about the parts of the body doesn't really apply to us.

So I can certainly accord with you insofar as the need for spirituality to be involved as well. For this to work at all, we 99% are going to need all the help we can get!

And you're not the only one who disbelieves in American elections. From the Wikipedia article on Eugene Debs:

Although he received some success as a third-party candidate, Debs was largely dismissive of the electoral process; he distrusted the political bargains that Victor Berger and other "Sewer Socialists" had made in winning local offices. He put much more value on organizing workers into unions, favoring unions that brought together all workers in a given industry over those organized by the craft skills workers practiced.

Also, please do not ascribe too much faith in the system to me. Although I was speaking to gjohnsit's original Essay's point -- that, given a reasonably honest electoral system, the involvement of the quarter of American adults who do not now vote could very well work radical changes -- the fact that we can't assume the electoral system to be reasonably honest is indeed a major sticking point, and it should be.

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"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

@thanatokephaloides

Then please deal with the fact that "the system" (in the persons of Woodrow Wilson and A.G. Mitchell Palmer) ended up deporting her to Russia, where she spent the last years of her life. Apparently, the people in power took her words and approaches seriously enough that they had to get rid of her.

What was it about her that scared them so, if she was just being hyperbolic?

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thanatokephaloides's picture

@SoylentGreenisPeople

Then please deal with the fact that "the system" (in the persons of Woodrow Wilson and A.G. Mitchell Palmer) ended up deporting her to Russia, where she spent the last years of her life. Apparently, the people in power took her words and approaches seriously enough that they had to get rid of her.

What was it about her that scared them so, if she was just being hyperbolic?

I don't think fear was involved. Then, as now, deportation of those whose citizenship status didn't permit their males to hold the Presidency is the most convenient option for the powers that be. (Women didn't have the vote, and could not run for office, during Ms. Goldman's time in the US.) In that respect, Emma Goldman was no different than many others both before and since; when in doubt, throw them out.

Do please also remember that Woodrow Wilson was "President Ku Klux Klan" in every respect save one (he wasn't known to actually hold KKK membership). He wholeheartedly supported Klan and Klan-friendly policies and made public statements advocating treatment of the bigoted polemic film Birth of a Nation as a factual documentary. Therefore, it's no surprise that Emma Goldman was deported during his watch. She needed do nothing else but breathe to bring that fate onto herself. The fate of nonconforming poors and workers whose males could run for President was no better and in some ways far worse under Wilson; deprived of the deportation option, other atrocities (prison and World War I) were used instead, as Eugene V . Debs could tell you well.

In many ways Woodrow Wilson was the worst President we've ever had. From handing Big Finance total control over the creation of our money via the creation of the privately-owned Federal Reserve System, to entangling us in two world wars so England and France would keep paying their debts to our 0.01%, his pro-active malfeasance in office far outstrips the passive non-Presidencies of a Buchanan.

Eight years from now, the above paragraph will no longer apply to Wilson, as Donald Trump will have clearly wrested that dubious distinction from him. Smile

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2 users have voted.

"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

@gulfgal98

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8 users have voted.
OzoneTom's picture

Following the 2016 election a map was designed showing how few electoral votes would be awarded by states if "did not vote" was included as a category:
If “Did Not Vote” Had Been A Candidate In The 2016 US Presidential Election, It Would Have Won By a Landslide

It is "a feature" for the status quo.

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16 users have voted.

@OzoneTom I knew turn out of Americans is low, but holy molly.

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5 users have voted.
thanatokephaloides's picture

Fifteen percent of unregistered voters said their vote “doesn’t count” or “won’t make a difference.” Nine percent of registered voters said the same.
Nearly 63% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed with the statement: “I don’t pay much attention to politics because nothing ever gets done – it’s a bunch of empty promises.”

All facts. There's your money lines right there.

Bad

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13 users have voted.

"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

@thanatokephaloides

When asked for the first word or phrase that came to mind when they heard the name Donald Trump... while others were critical, calling him “idiot/jerk/ass” (11%) or “ignorant/moron/stupid/dumb” (6%).

I'm curious about the groupings.
Shouldn't "idiot" be grouped with “ignorant/moron/stupid/dumb”?
And what about those who answer that question with "racist fuck", "shithead", "stain on humanity" or "narcissistic manchild"? Where are they represented?

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12 users have voted.
thanatokephaloides's picture

@gjohnsit

When asked for the first word or phrase that came to mind when they heard the name Donald Trump... while others were critical, calling him “idiot/jerk/ass” (11%) or “ignorant/moron/stupid/dumb” (6%).

I'm curious about the groupings.
Shouldn't "idiot" be grouped with “ignorant/moron/stupid/dumb”?
And what about those who answer that question with "racist fuck", "shithead", "stain on humanity" or "narcissistic manchild"? Where are they represented?

gjohnsit, you should know that this is an inherent weakness with "the first word or phrase that came to mind" testing. Smile

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4 users have voted.

"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

. . . the main goal for the Democratic Party. If they do happen to win, so much the better. However, once again, that is not their primary goal (in spite of what they say and what everybody believes about them.)

The main goal of the Democratic Party is to PREVENT any real progressives or challengers to the status quo from getting into the general elections. Think of them as a party of status quo "place holders," who, so long as they occupy the places on the ballots, ensure that NO OTHER CHALLENGERS can get near the seats of power. Thus, they crowd out real progressives and challengers by making sure that such people will never have shots at running in the general elections.

The function of the Democratic Party and its politicians is to maintain the status quo, and to PREVENT anyone that might present a threat to that status quo from getting anywhere close to place where that threat might become real.

Thus, so long as the DNC prevents real progressives, lefties, anarchists, socialists, etc., from getting into the general elections/run offs, they've fulfilled their main purpose.

Once again: "Winning" is not their primary goal. They just pretend that it is. If it were not this way, then the DNC would be quite disturbed that Democrats have lost HUNDREDS of elected offices since 2008, and would have done something substantive about it to change things. Obviously, they aren't that concerned. So long as they get their corporate pay offs, they are content to be "losers" . . . just so long as they keep real progressives away from even getting the change of gaining power.

This is what they are PAID OFF to do.

BTW, what I've just stated is entirely consistent with the famous observation: "Democrats would rather lose to the Republicans than win with real progressives." It's TRUE. Because this is what they are PAID to do--this IS their real function--while at the same time giving Americans the ILLUSION of democratic (small 'd') choice.

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19 users have voted.

@SoylentGreenisPeople @SoylentGreenisPeople Glenn was in Columbus OH a few years back and he said something that I had not heard before, but now see all over the place.

He said that both parties agree on the big issues and then fight over little stuff.

That looks similar to your comment - namely, the goal is to keep the big issues off the table and spend time on the horse race or other trivial stuff as a distraction.

Related to that is the goal to keep the money flowing and to keep their power, in other words, to agree that their goal is to keep change from happening

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14 users have voted.

@DonMidwest

. . . . for the ruling elites that really control things and have the huge fortunes at their disposals.

They run for offices in order to be the elites' well compensated (money, prestige, position, bribes, titles) front men and women.

REAL representatives of "the people" and what they want are not allowed. The Democratic Party (among other entities and interests) will play its part in making sure of this.

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11 users have voted.
Big Al's picture

@SoylentGreenisPeople keep trying to elect more and better democratic politicians. Try to get those despicable non-voters, who don't understand the system, to vote for progressive democratic party politicians. That's how we beat Trump and the republicans, give them something to vote for, Progressives! Not voting is a cop out, man. Trump voters are better than non-voters.

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4 users have voted.

@Big Al

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3 users have voted.
Big Al's picture

@SoylentGreenisPeople C99 has converted me. I used to be an atheist, a radical one at that.

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3 users have voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@SoylentGreenisPeople Just like the real goal of unions--at least union leadership--is to make sure the working class doesn't get up to any real dissident mischief.

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9 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt-out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

thanatokephaloides's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

Just like the real goal of unions--at least union leadership--is to make sure the working class doesn't get up to any real dissident mischief.

At least such unions as are allowed to thrive in today's American society.

What we need to do is replace the AFL-CIO with the IWW and its ilk. Or at least UE!

Smile

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7 users have voted.

"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

@SoylentGreenisPeople that was the election the Democrats needed to never stop fighting and never let out of their mind, or whatever Perez was droning on about. Not that I cared much about Gore (I voted Nader with no regrets) but seeing how quickly the Dems took that off the table, kept their power dry and all the other catchphrases that mean they’re rolling over was eye opening. Hell, Gore was on the floor of the senate shooting down members of his own party trying to bring up serious issues of voter fraud.

So yeah winning? No way. If the Dems win that’s just a side benefit, something to fluff up the resume so when they go private sector they can cash in. Winning or losing really doesn’t change their day either way because the status quo is still kept and progressives are kept out.

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6 users have voted.

@Dr. John Carpenter

Clinton, during his first year in office, out of all his policy initiatives, went out on a limb for and pushed the hardest for . . . . . (wait for it) . . . . NAFTA!!! . . . . even though that is not what got him elected in '92. I mean, he went so far as having his VP, on PRIME TIME television, debate Ross Perot (who was absolutely correct in his position, BTW), for God's sake!!!

It was just then that I stopped calling myself a "Democrat."

Need I say more?

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5 users have voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

It's like asking someone if they think they are a reasonable person. Of course most will say yes. It takes freaks like me who know how they intend to interpret the word "moderate" on the news to tell them to screw off.

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9 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt-out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

that I'm sure has occurred to many.
Dems are running on the anti-Trump 'resistance' schtick to prevent having to run on progressive issues that would likely piss off their big donors.
As I continue to repeat (a bad habit of mine), winning is not the real objective. They're playing to big donors who really don't care which party wins as long as they (i.e. big donors) remain in control, the real objective being to disenfranchise the left (and it's 'bipartisan').

Now that I think about it, it's more of an explanation than a theory.

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5 users have voted.

Mike Taylor

Pluto's Republic's picture

@Mike Taylor

Except by global standards, there is no Left on the US political spectrum. Which leads us to the correct conclusion:

The real objective is to disenfranchise all the people; reduce them to serfs and servants, who live on scraps and charity.

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5 users have voted.

If it is a monopoly, then it IS your government.