Monday, January 21, 2008

in response to brother komrade...

dude commented on my previous post and mentioned that he'd love to see someone talk about this whole presidential race from a more revolutionary perspective. now i'm not going to claim that i've got the revolution planned out or anything like that, but reading through the lines of his comment (and maybe i'm wrong, but this is what i read) maybe he just meant he wishes someone would talk about how fucked up politics is in this country instead of talking about who said what to whom and whether barack or hillary is better. which is a valid point. because i agree, they are both awful. and i've gotten sort of caught up thinking about this whole presidential race because i think the media portrayal of the way race and gender are playing into this is FASCINATING. but that being said, i think its time i made an important distinction: i'm fascinated by the race. i am very, very underwhelmed by all the possible outcomes.

so here is the real question i'm struggling with right now. it's not barack or hillary, it's to vote or not to vote. let me explain:

voting: could be considered a good thing. you're "participating" in democracy and all that great shit. when you talk to a stranger about politics, they can't accuse you of being a hypocrite for criticizing politicians and then not even 'doing anything' about it. when you register to vote, you also usually get jury duty. sometimes that can be fun. you can fuck with the judges and tell them you hate white people, and see whether they keep you on the jury or not. i mean the possibilities are pretty much endless. voting is fun! also a lot of people like to yell "vote or die." and i'm not really ready to die, so maybe i should vote.


not voting: i'm just not really sold. i'm sure i'm not the only one who "suspects" that our electoral system is not completely democratic, and that maaaaybe not everyone's votes are actually getting counted. i'm sure i'm also not the only one who is underwhelmed by the current presidential hopefuls, although maybe i'm in a minority on that. but suffice it to say i AM underwhelmed, and i don't especially want any of them as my president. so that being said, what would i be doing by voting? doing it just so i could say i could? making myself feel like my opinion matters even though its quite likely it doesn't? putting in my vote for the candidate i know won't win just so i can count as one person who supported kucinich? i guess when it comes down to it, i'm just reluctant to do something that sort of feels fundamentally like lying to myself. you know? and as a side note, the whole 'vote or die' campaign really freaks me out. it feels like brainwashing a whole generation into thinking that voting is the only way to make any kind of difference you might want to make. when the reality is voting is not really a way to do much except jury duty. although as i mentioned before, that could be fun.

so that's my story. its not 'revolutionary' or anything like that, but it is how i REALLY feel about this whole nonsense, so in the spirit of honesty, fuck barack obama and fuck hillary clinton. they are both terrible.


kidbonita said...

i'm pretty sure they now will call you for jury duty whether you're a registered voter or not.
as for voting, you have to decide what to do. i agree that the system isn't working and i agree that voting probably won't make a difference in the outcome. have you checked out "Endgame" or "American Blackout" or any movie of that type? pretty much just reinforces that we are not making a choice, just acting out a role and being a pawn in this game.
maybe i'm pessimistic, but i don't think that voting is going to change a damn thing.
good luck with making your own decision.
(you can also register to vote and not vote if you think it will increase your potential call to jury duty.)

wannatakethisoutside said...

PLEASE don't avoid jury duty. PLEASE. I've worked in enough criminal trials and for god sakes give the guy one good juror if he is lucky enough to even get to have a jury trial. OK, sorry, that was unrelated but it's just a thing of mine where radicals avoid jury - somewhere where you can potentially have a huge impact if someone is innocent - after all, one out of six or twelve jurors voting innocent is enough to keep someone out of prison and prison is horrible.

OK, back to the vote question. The reason that I vote is because I am cynical and I know that the folks who are running and/or fund others to run look at opinion polls of "likely voters" before they decide what is "feasible." I just hope that if more people like us vote, then perhaps someone will tweak their platform just a little bit more to aim to cater for our vote. Also, voting takes 10 minutes where I live (where there is not some huge conspiracy to stop my vote from happening) so it's not like it stops me from plotting and working for bigger changes.

I know that not all the votes are counted, and I used to think it didn't matter who won because they all were so scuzzy but the last eight years have taught me that it can be much worse than even a conservative like Bill Clinton. And maybe not all the votes are counted but if enough people turn out that the election goes 75% one way eg according to polls and the votes are counted the other way, well, we might get our revolution a little faster.

Nothing novel to say, just my plea to try to get jury duty.

Brittany said...


icarus said...

i vote, because i'm from a tiny state, and at least on a local level, my vote can actually matter. i also vote for the Democratic candidate in the election, because my state splits electoral votes and it can be pretty close (a few thousand votes or less, at times).

it's also good to show that people from our generation do vote, so it's not quite as easy for people to write us off. if everyone in America actually did vote, our political system would be wildly different, so you never know...

Brittany said...

^True. And if everybody in America COULD vote, I'm sure it'd be radically different.