Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All

Monday, May 04, 2015

By The Way

Those who think voting for a better bad over a worse bad candidate actually on offer in elections putting people in offices who will act in your name whether you participate or not implies a complete endorsement of everything that candidate proceeds to do and makes one culpable for all the crimes of politicians past present and future, and who think somehow not voting removes these complicities and bloodstains -- I am afraid that by your logic (though certainly not my own) you are already complicit in and celebratory of all the war-crimes and genocidal expansions yourself because you have not renounced your citizenship in a nation-state beholden in them. Eschewing the compromised scrum of the political for an ascent into pure logic, ethical universality, or aesthetic sublimity is actually not something you can really manage. You are caught up in history like a gnat in amber, like it or not. You can struggle with heartbreaking compromises to make things better here on the ground by your lights, or you can become an acquiescent consumer feasting on suffering, or you can delude yourself into the belief that pontificating at an abstract level keeps your hands clean. None of the options are good, but only the first is the least bit worthy. All this discussion began because some people think they are too good to vote and that makes them responsible while I think it makes them irresponsible. I've said all I can think to say on the subject for now. It's all very odd. Voting isn't really that hard to do unless you happen to have been a target of GOP disenfranchisement schemes, and here in America, in this debased moment of the white-racist misogynist gay-bashing war-mongering gun-loving forced-pregnancy anti-science christianist-talibanist economic cruelty-caucus of the Republican Party it isn't really that hard to figure out who to vote for, even when the Democrats put forth timorous corporate-cozy assholes up for election (which indeed they do, but it is wrong to pretend that this is all they do). Just fucking vote. Do more than vote, certainly, but vote. If you think it's hard, you're lazy, if you think it makes no difference, you're stupid. Stop your whining and your self-righteous pretenses that not helping out makes you some kind of superhero. Bored, now.


diphead said...

how about do more than vote, certainly, but don't vote? same dif, right? (at least for me, since i live in one of the reddest of the red states. so when i vote, i only vote no on all judges and leave everything else blank.)

and i agree that i am guilty too because i still pay taxes and haven't burned down the SFAI or any banks (yet).

but seriously, how can one be a christianist-talibanist? why not go describe creeping religious rule in america using a reference to the handmaiden's tale? it makes more sense and has the added bonus of making one look cooler.

Dale Carrico said...

Voting while also doing more than voting is not the same thing as not voting, no. Texas is a red but purpling state, and there are plenty of places where voting there actually can make a difference, while in other places voting but also educating, agitating, and organizing both inside the Democratic party and more generally is needed. SFAI is a beautiful place and it would be terrible to burn it down -- better to organize, like we are. There are already Democrats who argue that banks too big to fail are too big to exist and that Glass-Steagall needs to be re-instated and that post offices should be able to provide secure banking services at low cost. So, probably burning down the banks isn't exactly your only option there either. Hell, just get more, and better, Democrats in the executive and legislative branch and we can make the tax system more progressive, diminishing the bankster treasure piles that lead to so much mischief. I think taxes are a good thing, you know. Sorry you don't like the moniker "christianist-talibanist" to describe the authoritarian religious right. I didn't come up with it, but it seems a reasonably good label to me. I'm a fan of The Handmaid's Tale too so if you call them Gileadists instead, I'll get your point. I think the value of seeming cool is quixotic and in any case overrated.

Esebian said...

Voting for the "lesser evil" has never led to a more leftist political climate, nosirree.

Don't let those historian fellas fool you with their talk about civil and workers' rights legislation.

Dale Carrico said...

Right on.