Big Al Wonders, How Should I Vote for President?

Let's see, I've only got 4 weeks and I haven't settled how I'm going to vote for President of the United States of Amerika. The Empire. Rama lama ding dong.

I could vote for Trump to try to stop Clinton from becoming my "leader", the one we all look up to and praise Jesus that we live in a land where one person makes decisions for the rest of the 330 million. How lucky are we eh? I mean, I've got enough shit to do without having to think about war and health care systems and Social Security. Let the rich people decide those things, we can all sit back and relax, look at our Iphones and drink stuff.

Ya, Clinton needs to be stopped but it looks like the only one to do that is Trump. That sucks.

Amerika the Beautiful. Man.

Well, I could vote for Clinton to try to stop Trump from becoming President. Lord knows he should be stopped. Clinton appears to be, through her loyally deluded serfs, the only one capable of stopping him. Because you know, if she wins, he doesn't.

That sucks too.

I could vote for Jill Stein or Gary Johnson or some of the other third party presidential candidates on the ballot. That'll show em. The powers that be will look at the numbers and they'll know they're in big trouble man. Big trouble. And my conscience would be clear because I didn't vote for Trump or Clinton. That's supposed to be a good thing, I think. Fuck if I know, my conscience is pretty clear as it is. But hey, it's an option.

Or I could not vote. Whhhaattt? Not vote? I don't know man. That would make me a pariah in some circles. There are people who know people who know people who fought for our right to vote. Voting is like saying please, it's something everyone has to do or society will fail eventually. When people stop saying please, that's it, game over. It's already started here. People are not saying please anymore. And they're not voting. God help us because he's supposed to bless America. It says so in the song.

I could boycott the presidential election. I could not only not vote, I could tell them to shove this farce where the sun don't shine. I'm not sure how that would be conveyed by not voting, but it would make me feel good. And my conscience. That keeps coming up, the conscience thing. Maybe there's something to it.

Many in the left quadrant of liberal sanity are going to vote for Stein. Help get her to the mystical and magical 5% mark so in four years, after another Bernie, Hillary and Donald show, she can have a Magical Mystery Tour and perhaps join in on the debate. That will then have an impact on something, maybe fours years later. Or sometime later.

OK, so let's review my options.

-Vote for Trump. No
-Vote for Clinton. No
-Vote for Stein: Maybe
-Vote for Johnson: No
-Vote for other Third party candidate: No
-Don't vote: Maybe
-Boycott the Presidential election: Maybe
-Move to another country: No
-Vote your conscience - Yes

All righty, three maybe's, five no's and one Yes.

That's what everybody's been talking about, vote my conscience! See how I got there?

Now, what does that mean, voting my conscience?

Conscience: An awareness of morality in regard to one's behavior; a sense of right and wrong that urges one to act morally,

What I know is that I believe this political system at the national level must be replaced before we can attempt to reach any semblance of democracy and justice. I believe we're being ruled by a collection of rich and powerful people who are committing grand criminal activities that must be stopped. They are literally killing innocent people, impoverishing entire nations of people, causing genocides, and grabbing all the wealth and power for themselves. They are driving the planet toward doomsday. They control this political system and I don't believe any amount of third party renaissance will change that. I believe thinking 537 mostly rich politicians controlled by "special interests" can ever represent 330 million people is a colossal pipedream. I believe the aim should be to remove them from power by rejecting the political system they use to remain in power and implementing one that really is for the People.

Most of all, I believe We the Serfs should be protesting this political system that has given us a choice between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump for President in 2016. We've got Trump vs. Clinton man, do you think it's going to get any better?

My conscience tells me to not participate in this morally corrupt political system. I will not give my consent to be governed by either Trump or Clinton by legitimizing this election by participating in it.

So that's how I'm going to vote in the Presidential election. I'm not. I'm boycotting. I was just kidding in the title, I've had this settled all along. This isn't new for me and I've thought long and hard about it. I've never been a fan of this political system and the last ten years have convinced me that it's useless to try to make the changes we need in it and that it actually prevents us making the changes we need. And we NEED those changes, SOON. I think the same problem infests nearly every country. Representative government is a failure for democracy and a boon for elite control. It can be seen everywhere.

That's my decision and I can more than live with it. It doesn't really matter whether it's "counted" or not, I'm following my conscience. That's all we can ask right? To really, really follow your conscience.

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Pricknick's picture

your right to do as you chose.
That's one right nobody can ever take away.

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Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.

Big Al's picture

or, one right nobody should take away.

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I was hoping after the primary that a big move would be made to write in Bernie, and I'm betting that had that happened, he could win. I know a ton of Republicans who would write him in if they thought he had a chance.

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snoopydawg's picture

He says he isn't for regime change, but how many times has he voted for continuing to fund the wars in progress?
He has said that he agrees with Obama's use of drones. And thinks that Saudi Arabia and other countries should take up more of the action in the Middle East wars of aggression.
Bernie has a great agenda for our country, but what will he do for other countries?
If he was really against everything Hillary stands for then he should have been more concerned about her damn emails.
And he should have gone after her foreign policy actions while she was SOS.
If he really wanted to win the election then he would have spoken out about how many people weren't allowed to vote for all the shenanigans that the DNC pulled during the election.
And especially when it came out that the DNC and DWS basically stole the election not only from him but the millions of people who voted for him.
He was asked if Hillary won the election fair and square and he said yes.
We know otherwise.

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It is not until the tide goes out that you discover who has been swimming naked.

are the reasons I have decided not to write in Bernie Sanders. I had thought that his domestic policies in and of themselves would change our foreign policy by removing the power of the banks, but when he endorsed Hillary, I realized he underestimates how corrupt she is and how powerful the Saudi energy interests are in destroying democracy wherever it begins to emerge. He appears to be blind to the legacy of fascism in the oil industry and in our government.

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Also, write in votes don't get reported anywhere.

The people who started Bernie or Bust way back apologized.

That said, if it's your heart's desire, go for it. I am for trying to drive a wedge into the duopoly by helping Stein get 5%, not for her, not for the Greens, but against the duopoly. If her vote increases appreciably over 2012, every has to recognize it as supporters of Sanders making the difference.

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I was just commenting that it was kind of sad that the option didn't even occur to the author.

As for me, I may remain undecided until I enter the voting booth. Both major party candidates just keep looking worse and worse.

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Big Al's picture

I was never a Berne supporter however, from the start when he enlisted with the Dems. I knew what he was up to and how it was going to end up.
But ya, I should have included that as an option particularly since that is an option many here are considering.
I wonder if it's legal to edit this late?

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However, anyone who does want to or is contemplating it should check state law first.

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terriertribe's picture

He's not on the ballot anywhere, and the write-in states almost all require registration of the write-in candidate up front, which Bernie has done nowhere, in order to be counted. So by the Clinton logic, a write-in for Bernie is actually a vote for Hillary since it takes a vote away from Jill. There's a rumor going around that the push to write in Bernie is due to Her campaign's growing panic over Jill.

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Now interviewing signature candidates. Apply within.

Cora Regina's picture

It would throw off the electoral vote balance based on current projections, and it would prove that Bernie would have ground Trump into the dust. He's got enough support in VT that he could conceivably do it, if enough people got on the bandwagon, and those votes would count in VT.

In other states, I agree that Jill is the way to go. I'll be voting for her myself, and have had difficulty impressing on my mother that even if I were in a swing state I would STILL vote for Jill, because I have to vote my conscience and I also want to see the Greens hit 5%.

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Economic: -9.13, Social: -8.56

Alphalop's picture

juncture is if it looks like Clinton could win Florida.

If that's the case, and this is something I am still on the fence about but only barely, I may become a hypocrite and break my pledge to not vote for the lessor evil in order to cast my vote for Trump.

I cannot stand the man, but there is little doubt that in both the long and the short run a Trump presidency would be less damaging to the cause of progressives, and the nation, than a Clinton victory.

I hate the DNC more than ever now for putting me into a position where I actually not only have to consider voting for a republican for the first time since I abandoned them, but voting for one of such loathsome character.

Add me to the basket if deplorable's in that case, because I would rather be considered deplorable than be even a small part of getting Clinton elected.

I am firmly convinced that while Trump may be a misogynistic, egotistical blowhard with a 4th grade emotional quotient and a fucked up carrot with a bad toupee I honestly don't think he is Evil.

Clinton on the other hand? Well lets say we have AMPLE proof of the form her evil takes, and it is pretty far from being banal...

If Clinton wins I fully anticipate more war, less freedoms (particularly of the internet, she can't have those pesky peons working against her in 2020 like they did in 2016), more wars, more suffering and more death.

I will NOT vote for that shit.

Would Trump do the same? Honestly we don't know because we have little evidence to indicate exactly how he would legislate.

We have far to much evidence of how Clinton will, and that scares me WAY more than any, "Trump is the boogey man!" commercials we are inundated with down here in Florida. (It should be noted that while both politicians slam their opponent in their ads, Trumps actually seem to contain a bit of "This is what I will do." whereas Clinton's all seem to consist of, "Trump is a terrible person, and if you vote for him you are a terrible person too." judgmental tones.

Will these asshats ever learn that insulting people and belittling their intelligence is the worst way to gain supporters?

I for one hope they don't....

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"I used to vote Republican & Democrat, I also used to shit my pants. Eventually I got smart enough to stop doing both things." -Me

it. She's said and done everything of which she has accused Trump and his supporters and then some. She used the old trick of attacking your opponent about your own weaknesses. As when deserter Bush's supporters attacked Kerry on his military service.

Besides, you are far from deplorable.

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ThoughtfulVoter's picture

Alpha, That is the same dilemna that I face. Jill vs. Trump to stop Clinton.

I would love to have an authenic survey done by the Green Party or some other reliable group, so that we could have a true picture of the percentage. I trust nothing that Trump or Clinton touch.

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Writing in Bernie takes votes away from Jill

We need Jill to reach 5%, vote for Jill

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ThoughtfulVoter's picture

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Not Henry Kissinger's picture

(Just as long as he doesn't vote for Hillary.)

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The current working assumption appears to be that our Shroedinger's Cat system is still alive. But what if we all suspect it's not, and the real problem is we just can't bring ourselves to open the box?

Steven D's picture

is a vote for Trump, so I'm guessing he already has the election in the bag. How he got Gary Johnson and Jill Stein to agree to turn over their votes to him I'm a little unclear about, but I'm sure someone working for Correct The Record can explain it to you.

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"You can't just leave those who created the problem in charge of the solution."---Tyree Scott

are really Hillary voters and hurt Hillary. I guess she really really IS republican eh?

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glitterscale

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CS in AZ's picture

I'm still thinking about it myself, but lately I feel myself falling into the "fuck it" category. The system is a farce, and I often feel like this whole election and voting show that we do every so often is at the core of it, because it allows people to imagine we have some little bit of power. But we don't. It's an illusion. I admit to feeling extra cynical lately. I wish I could even believe that "boycotting" would say something. But honestly, I don't think TPTB care if we vote or don't vote, or why we don't vote. They just carry on.

And so must we... keep fighting until we can't. For me right now, that has little to do with politics.

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Big Al's picture

Outside the election circus, we really need a movement to try to end the war in Syria. It's getting far too serious and the people of Syria are being played as pawns. Hell ya we need to keep fighting.

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against our Department of Defense for arming Al Qaeda?

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Big Al's picture

Some feel the way the way to go is thru the courts.

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ChemBob's picture

that we citizens have no standing.

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Dhyerwolf's picture

sit out of Presidential voting completely, but I will say that in my mind voting for Stein (or Johnson) is essentially the closest vote I can cast that might effectively tear this system down (that I think Jill Stein has a great worldview and platform is a bonus) since it's the only way I can use my vote to build infrastructure that could have an impact. Not voting doesn't do much unless we are simultaneously building something that has a hope of fighting the oligarchical model our government runs on.

Whether they count my vote is another issue, but I'll certainly try!

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ThoughtfulVoter's picture

Not voting isn't going to differentiate me from the apathetic or the uninvolved. And this is an election I care deeply about.

I can't support corruption, so I'm a NeverHillary. I stopped getting e-mail surveys from the get out the vote group when I wrote "NeverHillary" in one of the blank lines of it.

I would even consider voting Trump just to stop Clinton. Not voting would cost HRC 1 vote. Voting for Trump, would equal 2 votes against her.

I wish we had more accurate polls, so that those of us undecided could make an informed decision. Clearly muddying the water there is part of the HRC propaganda strategy. I'd like to know how Jill or Gary are really doing. (I should add, in my state a write-in for Bernie would not be counted so that option is off the table.)

The other question I have relates to the corruption of Hillary. Would she be more apt to be brought to justice if a) there was a Republican president or if b) she herself was in office and thus impeachable?

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Good morning. Who said Nixon in a pantsuit?

Because "when the President does it, that means that it is not illegal."

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Anybody But Clintons

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if she is somehow elected, within her first 30 days in office, mark my words, she will send American troops into Russia

The mainstream media that works for her is already spinning yarns about Russia. CNN ran stories about "the start of a new Cold War". If she is president, it won't just be a Cold War, she will send the troops in. She will sell arms and nuclear weapons
She will send troops into Syria, and finally, she will then send troops into North Korea

Congress will approve it because she has bought and paid for many of them

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Shahryar's picture

anyway....it's messed up, man. Nobody wants either of these people and anyone else who's running has no chance.

Can it stay October forever?

and we should do dinner.

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I don't know that I am a fan or the Greens, but I am a fan of any wedge that I can drive into the duopoly. For me, that is the best use of my vote this time.

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Big Al's picture

Probably weekend works best for me. If you've got any fav's near your place, let me know and we can set up a time.

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well, nobody really knows what's coming up around the bend. Could be just about anything. At least Jill seems like a pretty nice girl, if not much like a winner. It won't cost me a thing to vote for her, and she'll probably appreciate the gesture. As for the Main Attraction, I believe I'll just leave that for others to decide as they see fit.

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native

Not Henry Kissinger's picture

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The current working assumption appears to be that our Shroedinger's Cat system is still alive. But what if we all suspect it's not, and the real problem is we just can't bring ourselves to open the box?

snoopydawg's picture

To do so means that I am giving her my consent to continue killing innocent people in countries that have in no way threatened me or my country.
It means giving her my consent to continue to read headlines like this one.

U.S.-armed Saudi coalition bombed Yemen funeral, massacring 140, wounding 525 in “lake of blood”

Saudi-led coalition airstrikes killed and wounded hundreds of Yemenis at a crowded funeral on Saturday.
More than 140 Yemenis were killed and at least 525 were injured, the U.N. said, citing health officials. The casualty figures are likely to increase.
CNN reported at least 155 Yemenis were killed, citing two health ministry officials.
The U.N. Office of the Humanitarian Coordination for Yemen released a statement saying the “humanitarian community in Yemen is shocked and outraged” by the attack. The humanitarian coordinator, Jamie McGoldrick, “unequivocally condemn[ed] the horrific attack” and called for an immediate investigation.
The Associated Press described the ghastly scene: “In the aftermath of the strike, hundreds of body parts were found strewn in and outside the hall. Rescuers collected them in sacks.”
A rescuer told the Associated Press that the bombing turned the funeral into a “lake of blood.”

After the people at the funeral was bombed, the people who came to help them were also bombed by what's called a double tap.
There is no way in hell that I think this is acceptable!
And I don't understand how anyone who knows (but refuses to accept it)that Hillary is a f'cking warmonger could vote for her either!
Is Donald a disgusting person? Sure he is, but that doesn't mean that Hillary isn't too. As is her husband who did some the same things that people are upset that Donald said he did.
Many people are upset because Donald said that he would bomb the terrorists and their families, but isn't that exactly what the United States under every damned president has done?
Maybe they didn't call them terrorists when they illegally invaded countries, overthrew elected governments and installed brutal puppet dictators and as long as they did the US's bidding were allowed to commit heinous human rights violations.
Or they gave permission for countries to send their military to the School of the Americas who then were allowed to torture, murder and inprison millions of people.
I am not sure which country has killed over 6 million people while the world looked the other way because that country has minerals that are needed to build computers and other items. It may be the Congo, but it's not just that country. There are many others where these things are happening.
Boko Harem was created because of the actions our country took during Obama's term and while Hillary was secretary of state. I don't remember the details, but why aren't we invading Niger to help protect the people whose lives are being threatened by Boko Harem like Obama, Hillary, Kerry and others said that we had to do in order to protect the people in Libya from Gaddafi? Or to protect the people in Syria from Assad who they said used sarin gas on them? Interesting isn't how many people are killed or their country destroyed after the US says that they need protection.
Or stop selling weapons to Saudi Arabia and helping them bomb Yemen and refueling their jets?
Or the people in Haiti where over 6 million of them were still living in tents when Mathew slammed into their country and killed close to a thousand people even though the Clinton foundation has raised billions of dollars to help them after the earthquake over 6 years ago?
So hell no I am not going to vote for Hillary or Donald and giving them my consent to continue this madness.
I'm voting for Jill because I know that she would try to stop the insanity of the military industrial complex even though I don't think even she can because there are people in our government who don't think that they have to obey the president's orders.
At least my conscious will be clear.

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It is not until the tide goes out that you discover who has been swimming naked.

snoopydawg's picture

I agree with everything you wrote about how the government doesn't represent us and never has and needs to be replaced somehow with what we need.
I had a rant I needed to get off my chest. Smile

Best book ending I've read was Clancy's Executive Order when while the new VP was waiting in the tunnel to be sworn in, a Japanese pilot flew his plane into the capital building while everyone in congress, the Supreme Court, the JCOS and other important people were there.
The now president had people elected who had no political connections and rewrote the tax code and made it one page and fair to everyone. No loopholes, no more subsidies and tax breaks for the corporations.
Great ending.

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It is not until the tide goes out that you discover who has been swimming naked.

Big Al's picture

We all have to do what we think is right. We have criminals in charge killing people. I don't know how to say that to people any other way. They're killing children.
They don't fucking care.
We have to find a way to take them down and I know trying to get a third party to be able to compete against the duopoly is not going to do it. I respect people who will vote for Stein because I know they're doing it for good reasons.
All options should be on our table.

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ThoughtfulVoter's picture

This just on Inquistr:

WikiLeaks is slowly releasing emails from Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta.

If we feel like we as voters have been manipulated, its because we have!

The email from April 2015 shows exactly how calculated the Clinton campaign was from the very beginning. In fact, Clinton’s campaign strategy was so accurate that a full year before the GOP field would be narrowed to Ted Cruz and Donald Trump, the Clinton campaign had detailed their plans to “elevate” the two candidates, along with Ben Carson, in a bid to split the Republican Party and force the more established candidates to become “more conservative” in speech and discredit themselves with communities of color, women, and millennials.

Read more at http://www.inquisitr.com/3572960/wikileaks-emails-reveal-hillary-clinton...

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snoopydawg's picture

It's against the rules for a presidential candidate to get paid for anything while running for president.
While she was giving speeches to the banks, her campaign was working on getting those 34 delegates on her side before she announced that she was running for president.
How many people do you think are aware of this but won't say anything?
Besides, IMO the election is invalid because of how it was stolen.
The DNC has ever admitted that it was in the lawsuit filed by Bernie supporters who want their money back.
The dnc's defense is that these people were aware of what the DNC was doing yet gave money to his campaign anyway.

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It is not until the tide goes out that you discover who has been swimming naked.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-10-08/latest-wikileaks-revelations

https://wikileaks.org/podesta-emails/emailid/927

Podesta, of course, used to be Chief of Staff for Billy Clinton in White House Smile

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Keep talking about the leaks no matter who gets appointed head of the republic is what I say, for now. Forget figureheads, find truth.

Antonyms for Subjugate:
discharge, emancipate, enfranchise, free, liberate, manumit, release, spring, unbind, uncage, unchain, unfetter

Peace

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Deja's picture

She's untouchable. I'd be more likely to give birth to immaculately conceived sextuplets, and I no longer have a uterus.

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Steven D's picture

by a simple majority in the House of Representatives, if the Republicans wish to do so.

But she cannot be removed from office without a 2/3 majority vote in the Senate. No party will have anything close to a 2/3 majority on the Senate anytime soon.

And who would replace her?

Tim "TPP" Kaine

So, could she be impeached? Yes

Will she be? Unlikely

If impeached, would she be removed from office? Chances are 77 billion to one (by my estimation).

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"You can't just leave those who created the problem in charge of the solution."---Tyree Scott

Past and Future Clinton:

Clinton was acquitted, becoming the second third sitting United States President to be formally charged with a crime (impeached) and subsequently declared not guilty (acquitted).

Embarrassing it will be.

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So far I'm voting only for Tammy Duckworth in appreciation for what she has already down for postal workers and her stated opposition to TPP, which is not a reversal. She never said she was for it before being against it. I'm voting Green in every office they are running for EXCEPT Senator. For control of the Illinois State House, I'm trapped between the corrupt Democrats and the religio-fascist Republicans that want to strip state workers of all rights and pensions. My Democratic Congressional candidate is DNC sponsored and approved, another instance of DWS intervening in local primaries. I can't vote for him. The Republican is a nitwit who thinks you can stimulate the economy by cutting spending and probably has his head up a uterus like the rest of them. I may skip the race. No third candidate there.

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I've seen lots of changes. What doesn't change is people. Same old hairless apes.

Especially because Thing 2 is really Thing 1. 2.

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Big Al's picture

but no way will I ever vote Democratic party again. I will participate in the direct democracy system we have here in Washington State.

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Alphalop's picture

and since the only way I can return the favor is to blacklist the party entirely.

If Progressives want to get elected and want MY vote they really need to find a non-corporatist party to run under, because the Demopublicans will NEVER see my vote again.

Sure, I don't WANT to punish real progressives that are trying to run via the Democratic Party, but since I am firmly convinced that the Democratic Party will prevent them from winning and even if they do they will hinder and marginalize them at every possible moment and therefore voting for them would be counter productive because not only would they not be able to actuate any progressive changes they will be diluting the effort to destroy the Duopoly, which Sanders amply proved CAN NOT be done from within.

Sometimes the only way to save a house is to realize that everything, including the foundation, is rotted and needs to be replaced, not repaired.

You can't repair a cancer riddled organ from a body, your only real option is to remove it and hope that the rest of the body survives.

That's where we are at today, we can take a risk on a surgery and try to save the body, or we can go all Steve Jobs and just use "Hopey Changey" thoughts to fix the problem.

I think I would have to get behind option A in such an event as wishful thinking has never really worked out well for me in the past...

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"I used to vote Republican & Democrat, I also used to shit my pants. Eventually I got smart enough to stop doing both things." -Me

lotlizard's picture

Sometimes the only way to save a house is to realize that everything, including the foundation, is rotted and needs to be replaced, not repaired.

The eight years of the Obama administration culminating in the 2016 Democratic primary have provided the “crunch! — foot through the floorboards” moment for a lot of people.

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In a Reddit Ask Historians AMA:

While it is true that Soviet elections were "elections without choice," the Soviet regime lavished an inordinate degree of attention on Soviet elections. The Stalin Constitution of 1937 nominally provided for a secret ballot and a degree of candidates and the state used high electoral turnout to legitimize the grand Soviet experiment. High turnout was also a means of social control by the state as elections verified that the voter was a legal resident of a particular area. Therefore, local officials were often under intense pressure to guarantee a high political turnout. This was one of the reasons why voter turnout typically averaged in the eightieth percentile from 1937 onwards.

While many local CP officials fudged the numbers of turnout, this was a dangerous stratagem if caught. Like political bosses in the West, these local officials would employ various inducements to get voters to the polls. From the Second World War onwards, Soviet elections increasingly assumed a holiday-like atmosphere to attract voters. Similarly, mobile voting booths were often used to make sure that infirm voters could cast their ballots. The intense pressure from the center on these local officials to deliver the numbers gave the Soviet voter leverage in which abstaining from voting gave the voter a degree of power. The various meetings in the run-up for Soviet elections were often a time when the public could petition the officials for local improvements, repair of infrastructure, and airing other grievances. There was also a pronounced uptick in petitions and other requests to the electoral officials and newspapers during election season and some of these entreaties included the threat that if they were not met by election day, these individuals would boycott the election. By the same token, some Soviet voters would sometimes write petitions on the ballots to the authorities. Some of these preserved ballots have patriotic slogans, but others contained personal requests or denunciations of local officials.

Although Soviet elections were not democratic in any formal meaning of the word, they were a channel for political communication between the state and its citizens. Even without any real electoral choice, many Soviet citizens recognized that there was some degree of power in the act of voting and bargained with local officials accordingly.

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Big Al's picture

ruling class. That's what I've been saying all along, we can use that. It will be noticed.

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Lowering voter turnout has been a major tactic of Republicans and some Democrats for decades. The US already has the lowest voter turnout of any democratic country in the industrialized world. Do you see a movement with any force for making election day a legal holiday or moving elections to a weekend when it would be easier for most working people to vote? Do you detect a sense of shame in the people who are causing the low turnout? If they were going to be embarrassed, low turnout should have caused the embarrassment already.

The number of people who don't vote whether because they're so satisfied with the way things are going that it isn't worth the effort (a common explanation of the powers that be), they're apathetic, or they are already so disgusted that they won't participate, is so large that a few additional people declining to participate will be lost in the crowd.

Absolutely, follow your conscience. There is a strong case to be made that the act of voting for any candidate lends a measure of legitimacy to the process and that denying your consent to the process is the most moral choice. But don't use some imagined impact as a rationalization.

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Big Al's picture

from politicians here and abroad concerned about low voter turnout. It's not just a problem here. The U.S. has this false reputation as a great "democracy". We hear it every day, it's pounded into our heads in school and on the TV. The U.S. government uses that reputation to justify it's Empire, the indispensable nation, the global force for good, the one nation that does things right where it's citizens are free and democracy reigns. I think we could take that and turn it on it's head, make this system a world laughingstock by refusing to participate. Of course, that would take a large, organized movement but it's possible. Get the voter turnout down in the 30's and it's going to be noticed, talked about, and calls for changes to be made.
It could be useful if used in the right way along with other actions.

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turn out.

Shortly after the 2008 election, I asked the Census Bureau:

1. How many Americans who were eligible to vote had registered to vote

2. Of the total of Americans who are registered voters, how many had registered to vote?

They replied that they don't collect that information.

Heck, as a registered voter, my city requires me to report periodically how many dogs live in my home, but the Census Bureau doesn't collect info about voting?

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If you are in need of some humor in this dark hour, read his idea. And remember, if someone asks how you voted, respond with "by secret ballot."

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Azazello's picture

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We wanted decent healthcare, a living wage and free college.
The Democrats gave us Biden and war instead.

The Orlov spiel is interesting, but I am afraid ir strikes me as more of Dmitri showing off how clever he is.

My family has been here in North America since the 17th and 18th centuries. I don't have a mother country I can go home to.

What about local elections? How is creating chaos going to help there? Will it really stop FatCat developer from cutting down the last forest for 200 miles around and putting up ticky tacky shacks to be sold for $100,000 apiece? Will it stop the Health Department from coming and razing someone's garden--this has happened in some places? Or stop City Council from selling your town's water supply to a consortium of financial interests who immediately raise rates and close every pay station within 100 miles?

Orlov is clever but disingenuous. Let us not forget he has his own agenda also.

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Nastarana

His random voting idea had me laughing out loud at work a few months ago when he published it. It seemed appropriate for Big Al's essay. That being I said, I tend to read his stuff because he actually gets me thinking most of the time.

And certainly one should vote seriously in local elections. Despite the airtime federal elections get, local elections can effect each of us the most. We would be better off paying more attention to them.

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lotlizard's picture

The kind of high-quality brainstorming the Whole Earth Review / CoEvolution Quarterly was good for.

Troll yourself and the Powers That Be, before they troll you, as they will inevitably do.

I also like the proposed writing system for English called “Unspell” that Orlov links to. If people (particularly techies) would help it catch on enough, they could get the Unspell alphabet added to Unicode. (The Shavian alphabet, for example, has been a part of the Unicode standard since version 4.0.)

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MsDidi's picture

I think that not voting has less of an impact than voting 3rd party. If a large enough segment votes for Jill, it will draw the attention of others (after the election when the MSM will need something to talk about other than scaring us about Donald Trump). Randy old Howard Dean actually has an interesting editorial in the NYT about the need to move beyond the 2-party system and implementing rank order voting. That could gain momentum if 3rd party votes actually make a dent in the electoral process. I'd be delighted if the 3rd party vote were enough to send the election to the Electoral College. We'd still end up with Hillary or Trump, but the point would not be lost that the 2 parties are in deep trouble. So I would vote for Stein even if she didn't represent the Greater Good. Until we break through the 2-party system it will be very difficult for candidates like Bernie (or better) to succeed. There's no reason for voters to consistently be pushed back into this choice of the lesser of 2 evils -- but the DNC counts on us accepting this push to the dark side as inevitable -- which is what it will be until we unite to change it. Maybe our slogan, instead of Bernie-or-Bust, should be "Bernie-or-Better."

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k9disc's picture

perfect election to push this idea.

We've done nothing on this front. It makes the sponsorship of candidates a moot point -- too many variables to game effectively.

We should be pushing this hard, at this time.

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“Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” ~ Sun Tzu

Hawkfish's picture

No duopoly legislature will pass it, but I bet a good grassroots campaign could get it done. Maine has one on the ballot this fall but it may have to go through the lege anyway. I'm seriously considering seeing if we can do this here in WA.

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We can’t save the world by playing by the rules, because the rules have to be changed.
- Greta Thunberg

Big Al's picture

the duopoly only got stronger. The only attention it will get is the duopoly will change tactics to insure their power. I don't believe this political system, and the media, will allow a third party to challenge to the duopoly. I look at other countries with multiple political parties like Britain and Canada and their Serfs are caught in the same vice grip of power that we are. I think these representation systems perpetuate ruling class power. It's time to take their power away by changing the way we're governed.

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Thaumlord-Exelbirth's picture

Not voting/"boycotting" isn't really a useful option, because while it may make you feel good to not support the broken system, the PTB don't care about how you feel, and not voting just lets them ignore you and keep doing what they're doing already.

If voting for Stein makes you feel good, you may as well do that. It's a more effective form of "boycotting," because while it may involve participating in the broken system, it has a more tangible message that the PTB can't ignore as easily.

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sojourns's picture

Not voting is just so much mental masturbation. Not voting, considering the options available, is to say, "I won't vote until the world offers me the perfect candidate under perfect conditions." Puerile. If there were no other option other than Clinton or Trump, I could understand.

Voting third party* is the better choice. They will grow, though slowly, voting for them draws attention eventually gaining more recognition. It has taken decades for new third parties in Europe to gain any traction and if you look what happened in Germany this year, it is well worth the patience.

*excludes the Libertarian Party.

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"I can't understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I'm frightened of the old ones."
John Cage

Big Al's picture

it's morally corrupt and I demand a new political system.
There is zero evidence that I can see that third parties can challenge the duopoly. There has only been seven national third party politicians elected since WWII.
And as I said above, other countries with third party systems like Britain, Canada, and Germany are still ruled by the same powers that rule the U.S. I don't think we have time to wait 50 years to see if a third party can have an impact in the halls of Congress.

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sojourns's picture

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"I can't understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I'm frightened of the old ones."
John Cage

Big Al's picture

Isn't that the thing, vote our conscience? Refusing to participate in a morally corrupt process is following my conscience.
Besides, what if I said I was voting for Trump? Then I would be voting but is that better than not voting? Voting is only effective is we vote for the "right" politician. There just aren't many of those around and never will be.

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sojourns's picture

to some extent, you contradict yourself when you say that your conscience is pretty clear anyway but you'd be alright with voting for third party. Sounds to me you are voting with your anger, which we all have concerning this fucked up situation; not your conscience. Not voting is not the moral high ground.

What do you think would happen if enough people refused to vote? Do you think the establishment would suddenly become repentant and change their wicked ways? Believe it or not, established politicians love it when voter turnout is poor. It makes it much easier to maintain their incumbency.

Yeah, it's your conscience. You sound like the kid who owns the football and wants to quit the game and take the football home when he doesn't get their way.

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"I can't understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I'm frightened of the old ones."
John Cage

Big Al's picture

That make you feel better? Or Clinton? How about that? Ya, you're right, maybe I should vote. I'll vote for one of them, then I'm not some kid taking my football home (except with me, it was a basketball).

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Thaumlord-Exelbirth's picture

than not vote at all. At least with Trump, it is highly unlikely that republicans will come to control virtually every level of government in 2018, as the US voting meta tends dictate that whichever party controls the white house drives up opposing voters for the senate and down ballot races for midterms.

We may complain the food before us to be meager fair, being dried bread served on the bark of a tree, while the people at the head of the table feast on boar and wine and cheeses. Refusing the food before us does not change the food, nor does it change the hearts of the people who gladly mistreat us in the hope that we don't return next time.

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Big Al's picture

vote their "conscience", and you think I should vote for Trump? That voting for Trump is better than not voting at all?
If I voted for Trump, someone might as well shoot me because my conscience would be dead.

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Thaumlord-Exelbirth's picture

I didn't tell you that you should vote for Trump. I said I'd rather you do that than not vote at all.

If you're going to just lash out at people for giving the opinions that you asked for, why ask for the opinions in the first place?

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Big Al's picture

Wasn't trying to lash out. I apologize it came out that way.

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ggersh's picture

to bring down a sand castle, it may only take one vote to bring down a
two party monopoly.

#Jillneverhill

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“Those who choose the lesser evil forget very quickly that they chose evil.”
— Hannah Arendt

Alphalop's picture

why would anyone lay down and just allow them to achieve one of their goals voluntarily?

I want it on the record that I was not apathetic, I was opposed...

Voting for third party somewhat succeeds in that. Not voting is purely and simply surrendering unless you are willing to engage in active revolution in it's stead, and by active I don't mean picketing, boycotting, protesting or writing letters, because that hasn't worked for decades and I see no signs on the horizon that such activities will be met with anything other than a complete media blackout and a violent police/military response.

Voting third party may not change a damn thing, but its a far cry better choice than not voting and I am not ready to engage in a violent insurrection.

Yet...

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"I used to vote Republican & Democrat, I also used to shit my pants. Eventually I got smart enough to stop doing both things." -Me

Thaumlord-Exelbirth's picture

I'm hesitant to engage in violent revolution not only because I find violence distasteful, but also because of how they have armed and brainwashed the police force to act as a form of military against the people.

I would hope that instead of violent revolution, we can attack the one thing the care about the most: money.

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Hillbilly Dem's picture

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"Just call me Hillbilly Dem(exit)."
-H/T to Wavey Davey

Even if you don't vote for president, the remainder of the ballot remains important. Our government is NOT just the occupant of the Oval Office.

Here in CA, I have to vote under a badly-written "open" primary law. As is the case this year, the US Senate candidates tend to be odious and unsupportable. I can't vote for any of the Republican options, because they are awful party hacks who did bad things while in local offices. I also couldn't vote for DINO Dianne Feinstein, who needs to keep a framed photo of George Moscone and Harvey Milk draped in black on her bedroom wall for making it possible to enrich her husband with Pentagon contracts with their assassinations. I ended up leaving the Senate vote blank more than once.

But for every other office and proposition, I voted. This year is no exception. I will vote for CA AG Kamala Harris to keep the odious Loretta Sanchez out of the Senate, but I haven't forgotten her role in the deal to let Wall St. banks off the hook over their mortgage fraud. Otherwise, the "open" primary law didn't deliver a suitable candidate, and the law allows no write-ins for State offices. I could easily have chosen to leave the Senate vote blank with different candidates.

I will, however, vote on all of the other options on the ballot. Far too much at stake.

Please consider doing the same, even though I understand your position on the candidates for the presidency.

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Vowing To Oppose Everything Trump Attempts.

Big Al's picture

I won't vote for the duopoly. I might consider third party or indies if it meant ousting someone like Patty Murray or Maria Cantwell.
But overall my goal is to reject this political system and demand a new one. I think participating in it kind of gets in the way of that goal.

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My roads are affected by what's on the ballot. My water costs are about to rise because what's on the ballot. My sons' medical care is affected by what's on the ballot. My grandkids' education options are affected by what's on the ballot.

Some things just can't be ignored just because it's part of a larger scam process which does need to change. Life is going to go on, and without my 2 cents' worth put in about it, it is just as likely as not to work against me. I aim to try to steer it into being beneficial to me and mine.

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Vowing To Oppose Everything Trump Attempts.

Big Al's picture

on roads, water costs, medical care and education is what we should keep on doing? When I referred to direct democracy in my earlier comment I was referring to voting for state, county and city initiatives and referendums to fund new schools, repair roads, improve medical care access and educational needs. Here in Washington state we raise and lower our taxes thru voting, we legalized marijuana and gay marriage and many other things. That's the kind of thing we should be at the national level also. I can vote for that.

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Seventeen of them, as a matter of fact. Two affect the funding of my grandchildren's schools, and one determines whether they can attend bilingual schools. One affects which part of the state will have sufficient water and which part won't. Funding for the Medicaid under which my sons and one daughter are enrolled for their pitiful healthcare coverage. One will require that the text of all laws be posted on the Internet and in print so that the voters can see what is being legislated in their names. We are also poised to pass the repeal of state laws regarding the criminalization of marijuana. Whether the voters of CA want Citizens United overturned. And so much more - ALL without a single politician's office being involved directly.

We elect judges and school board officials and County Supervisors, all officials which affect local life directly. For now, that is where we voters have real influence. We need to secure those gains before we can worry about the national level, no matter how desirable that gain is.

One thing I want to see is that every elected official must annually appeal to the voters to continue in office while between elections. A No vote is a recall. They should also ask the voters if they deserved to be paid if they aren't recalled.

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Vowing To Oppose Everything Trump Attempts.

Hetrose's picture

If only Yoda was on the ballot. Sigh!

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Shahryar's picture

I'm assuming Hillary is going to win....unless Trump has her "done in".

If voting for Stein is a wasted vote because "she can't win" then voting for Trump is a wasted vote too. Only votes for Hillary are unwasted! Smile

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Big Al's picture

politician. If you vote for one that loses, that's not very effective. If you vote for a loser that wins, that's not very effective either.
Lots of wasted votes.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

If it had occurred to people to think this way before, America would not have ever had even one passable politician.

OK, populace: look at everybody running. Who looks richest & most powerful? Well, they're the most likely to win. So everybody cast your votes for them, otherwise you're likely to be voting for a loser, and then your vote will be wasted. Sort of like when you gamble at the racetrack and your horse doesn't win, your money is wasted. Yeah, that's democratic. Let's use the language of the horse race, and its happy companion, the language of gambling, capitalism's sleazy mafia cousin that nobody acknowledges but who is real useful when certain favors are needed, to run our politics, and thus our lives. Yippee!

Of course, now that it's quite possible our votes won't be counted, the language of gambling is the only language left to describe our politics.

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"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

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