Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Obligation as a citizen.

I hit the Early Voting booth in between court today.

By-the-by, note that the title of this bit of prose involves the use of the word 'obligation'. I purposely did not use the word 'right', 'privilege' or 'Minor Irritation That Disturbs My Ennui'.

Voting is an obligation. It is a duty that should be borne by every American.

One day, when I have completed my Quest To Take Over The World, anyone who doesn't vote in an election will be dragged from his house by my legions of flying monkeys, horsewhipped to the polls, and there given a choice between the voting booth or the firing squad.

My reign as Monarch Of All He Surveys is probably going to be the shortest tenure in history, but -- by God! -- things will be run right.

Anyhoo, where was I?

Oh.

I followed what has become my usual practice at the polls the last two election cycles: I voted Libertarian in every race that had a Lib in it, and in those races that had no Lib candidate, I voted for which ever candidate was the most classically conservative.

In races where the only choice was a liberal candidate, I left the spot blank.

It's not that I think the Libertarians are a good choice -- in some cases they are the absolute worst choice (open borders, anyone?) -- but something simply has to be done about the status quo in Congress.

Did I throw my vote away? There are people who will argue -- some vociferously -- that I have.

Be that as it may, things aren't getting any better in Washington DC, and they haven't for a while. Things aren't going to get any better until the conservatives in DC experience a radical shake-up.

I figure if the Libertarians become a viable party -- and until they can reliably pull 10 to 15 per cent of the popular vote, they're going to be a fringe party -- then the conservatives are going to have to start courting the Lib voters.

The only way the conservatives can attract those Libertarian voters is by pulling their heads out of their fundaments and start embracing some Libertarian values.

So, I hold my nose and vote Libertarian, hoping to raise their pull of the popular votes enough to make Congress sit up and take notice.

I may just be tilting at windmills, but at least I bothered to vote.

LawDog

32 comments:

Anonymous said...

I guess you will have to change your "Nome d'Blog" to Don Quixote, LD. While I can understand your frustrations with the Donks and the GOP, I can't for the life of me vote for a party that doesn't have that much pull yet. While I think the GOP needs to shaken to its very core, I don't want to give the likes of Nancy Pelosi the keys to the speaker's office. And yes, LD, I will fulfill my obligation as a citizen when I report to the polls next Tuesday and cast my vote.

Sarge, Out

HollyB said...

'Dog, I laud anyone who votes. It IS an obligation. Just as jusry duty is an obligation.
If every person who carps about the politicians would put a scintilla of the time they spend complaining on researching the candidates positions and then vote for the one they can disagree with the least, we might begin to see a few changes in our state houses and Washington.
Change begins with each one of us.

Anonymous said...

IMO, the Libertarian party has, indeed, become a windmill. From what I've seen, I cannot agree with their open borders policy and, while I agree somewhat on their drug policy, icicles stand a greater chance of festooning the devil's beard than drugs do of being taken out of the federal agencies' purview.

The drugs policy of the Libertarians, while kinda silly at this point (even if correct in principle) has and will continue to relegate them to "fringe status." Not enough people are educated enough to discern between "taking drugs out of the federal arena and letting states decide" from "legalizing drugs." This hurts them.

On the matter of not building a wall, and labelling those who favor a wall "zenophobes," they are flat wrong.
I have grown up in a border town - El Paso, Texas - which lets me see firsthand a lot of the corruption an open border fosters. Drugs, illegal aliens, sex slavery, etc. - all occur along the border, and as long as the border is left open and un-walled, will continue to not only exist, but spread into the interior of the country.
Just last year, several nude bars were busted, shut down, and their owners imprisoned, for having underage girls forced to dance and perform "favors" to the clientele. And that's just here.

I don't agree with the Republican party on a great many things, too - Rockefelleran Republican and McCainites drive me batty with frustration - but they're where the clout and the hope are. By supporting more conservative candidates within the Republican party, you stand a far greater chance of your voice being heard in Washington.

LawDog, while I certainly share your frustration at the RINOS, I remember Ross Perot, and the eight years of Bill Clinton that resulted. Noble in principle, but it achieved nothing.

Rather than go looking for an appropriate third party, I opine that we should instead focus on two things - educating people (and not the silly public schools, but real education), and turning the Republican Party into a true Conservative powerhouse. The resources are already there; a great number of Conservatives are already there. Why fight two giants when you can "take over" one?


But that's just my opinion. ;-P

Tennessee Budd said...

I generally vote Libertarian whenever possible, but I had to at least try to keep Harold Felon--I mean Ford--out of the Senate.

Flintlock Tom said...

All due respect, Sarge, but are you really saying "I agree with them but I'm not going to vote for them because no-one else is"?
I think LD is right on track: if enough people vote Libertarian than maybe the Stupid party will start to take a look at the Libertarian platform to see what all the fuss is about.
And, who knows, maybe the Evil party will take notice, too.

Tim Covington said...

Do you really want people who don't care enough to vote to be forced to vote. If they are forced to vote, that means that they probably have no knowledge of who the candidates are or what their records are. This means, at best, they would be making choices at random. At the worst, they could be voting for whoever promises them the biggest welfare checks.
I personally would like to see a test (that asks a few questions about the Constitution and history) before people would be allowed to vote.

Hammer said...

I'm voting for Kinky. Screw the rest of those stuffed shirts.

reno said...

^Hammer

Have you taken a close look at Kinky? I have seen his quotes involving anti-hunting/guns/women/blacks and baptists in about 3 minutes worth of researching him.

Check my (Bigreno) thread on THR.
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=123834&page=2

Anonymous said...

'Dog, I gotta disagree with you on one point. Requiring people to vote, when they don't care enough to educate themselves on the issues at hand, is like asking blind men to choose between Van Gogh and Cassatt, and then basing the future of the world on it.

I've always found the MTV "Rock the Vote" and other campaigns to be much like getting drunk and visiting a tattoo parlor: A Huge Mistake.

Anonymous said...

I prefer to go with a "protest vote" and leave the portion of the ballot that deals with the governor/senator/congressman/president blank. That way there is no doubt as to my meaning since I can't be counted amongst the "fringe" third party members.

As for everyone voting, I'd rather they not. There needs to be some sort of fitness test before people are allowed to cast a ballot. Doesn't have to be very long...in fact a) 'Do we live in a democracy?' and b) 'Recite the Bill of Rights' would do just fine.

Anonymous said...

Ah, yes, voting. Choosing the least disagreeable candidate can be like trying to choose which bucket of piss to wash in.

Maybe they should have a "None of the Above" choice in a few cases...I could have used that option more than a few times filling out my absentee ballot.

- ISU Tinkerer

Anonymous said...

No 3rd party ever will have much pull if people don't vote for them "until they have much pull".

I vote for whoever best represents my views on a case by case basis, regardless of party (mind you, this means I have yet to ever vote for a Democrat, I mean that I don't restrict myself to major parties). What I tend to find is that I vote Constitution Party a lot. Quite frankly, I would vote Libertarian but they are just too big on "free trade" (read: no tariffs) and "open borders" for me to go along with them. The Constitution party is as big if not bigger, and they are hard-core conservatives... so I vote with them instead.

I also don't like the Libertarian take on drugs... don't get me wrong, I don't believe that the government has the right to tell anyone what they can or can't put in their bodies, and I don't believe that users should be jailed... but dealers are another matter entirely. The government can control commerce, and so I am all for executing anyone that sells or provides drugs to another individual outside of their household. You start killing dealers and you will find much of the problem will fix itself just fine. Heck, pay a reward to anyone that turns one in and they'll be all over themselves turning each other in...

And then the users... smart ones will make their own and figure it out. Dumb ones will make a bad batch and kill themselves. Problem solved on that front too.

Finally, for people who say that a 3rd party can't become a major party I ask: "Still voting Whig?" The Republicans were a third party too.

Art Eatman said...

See all those people on TV at national conventions? They were selected at statewide conventions. Who elected them? The delegates from county conventions who in turn came from precinct conventions.

Wanna change the system? Take friends to precinct conventions, and get other friends in other precincts to do the same.

Precinct Chairman is an elected position, in Texas. Ever been on the ballot? Know the guy who is?

Grassroots is what it's called.

And then there's envelope stuffing 101, phonebank 102 and taxicabbing on election day 103.

Money helps, too, for the signs and placards and TV time.

Grassroots.

Never hurts to have like-minded friends, of course. On election day, it's numbers that matter.

Sailorcurt said...

They do have a "None of the Above", it's called leaving that selection blank.

'Course if the election's close, the dems will try to devine your "intent" (read, anyone who didn't mark a race OBVIOUSLY intended to vote Democrat)

Changing gears: I'm with the people who wouldn't require (or even strongly suggest) voting as an obligation for everyone.

You know the ones I'm talking about...the "citizens" who can name every contestant in the latest "reality" show but can't tell you who their incumbent Representative or Senators are let alone who's running against them or what their positions are on major issues.

Those people do us all a favor by staying home on election day.

Hammer said...

Thanks for the heads up Reno.

Looks like I may have been previously misinformed.

Anonymous said...

In any race where the difference between the R and the D is whisker thin, I will be voting against the incumbent. Not much of a message, but if our Representatives won't legislate term limits, and if candidates that run on a platform of their own term limit and then violate that contract by running beyond their self imposed limit, I think the only way we will enact change is to create our own term limits at the grass roots level.

Congress? Three terms and out, less if you screw up and sell out to the lobbyists rather than doing what is right for country rather than what is right for getting reelected.

Senate? 1 term and out, period.

Max, twelve years at the public trough, then get back to the real world and back outside the beltway.

This won't work, of course, the vast majority of the voting population will continue to elect the pork barrell champions and we will continue to be served by the likes of the Kennedy's and the Foley's, the Kerry's and the Cunningham's, the Delay's and the Byrd's, and the country will continue to suffer for it.

My other suggestion or the rule if I were given power for 10 minutes, No monument, structure, park, public space, dog house, drinking fountain, or sewage station can be named after any person until that person is at least 5 years dead. After spending time in West Virginia and Texas, recently, I'm amazed that there is anything in either state that isn't named after a Byrd or a Bush.

Mog

Anonymous said...

The LAST thing we need is a bunch of uninformed, easily influenced idiots voting. In fact this lunacy of universal suffrage is causing the destruction of the country. People will vote for anything as long as the politician will give them more slop from the trough or looks good on TV. Liberty and the Constitution be damned I want a check. Among people who should not be allowed to vote:

Those on public assistance or welfare of any type.
Those who receive any sort of government subsidy.
Government employees.
Those who cannot read or understand the ballot which is only printed in English.
Any high government official or elected official for a certain period after leaving office.
Those who cannot verify they are residents of their county or precinct.

As for Libertarians, I vote Libertarian myself. While I do not agree with Libertarians on all issues, Abortion and open borders being two, I find myself disagreeing with the republican party on almost every other issue nowadays since they have completely abandoned any pretense of constitutional limits government. The democrats are simply batshit crazy and I can't see myself voting for them in any circumstances.

There is a reason for this you know, and it does indeed go back to voting and one group of individuals being given the right to vote. The destruction of Liberty and that particular demographic's predilection and need to be "taken care of" and their aversion to things scary and risk in general. There is a direct correlation to their being given the vote and the erosion of Liberty and Freedom in this country. Along with Alcohol and Drug prohibition and the ever expanding federal government and Nanny State. Hint. Think 1920.

Anonymous said...

So no problems while voting then? I've heard there's been a lot of problems for democrat voters in that when they pick a democrat, on the confirmation page it's a republican. So I guess the GOP has been at it AGAIN with the tampering. But then the programming for the machines was written by convicted fellons on behalf of a GOP-related company...

JR said...

Do you want true conservatives in the general elections? Do you want the RINO's voted out of office and replaced by folks that have read and understand the constitution?

If the answer is yes to either one of those questions, then get active in the primaries. It is in the primaries that we can change things. It is in the primaries where we can send a "message" to the GOP.

Trying to send a message during the general elections is just shooting yourself in the foot.

Term limits would solve a lot of these problems also.

Anonymous said...

This is the first time I've disagreed with you LD. I don't vote & I won't. That would require picking a candate to vote for. That requires choosing between politicians which are all thieves & liars.

The only person I'd vote for would be my dad. He's too honest, too hard-working & good natured.

However I spoke to him this morning & he ain't running.

David said...

To Anonymous #6:

If you legalize drugs the money to be made goes away, if the money goes away the dealer goes away.

As long as there is money to be made in the drug trade you will have the attendant crime and violence.

Oh and is it really all that hard to click 'other' and put a name on your post?

Matt G said...

Anonomous who posted at 12:46 sure does cut with a wide swath the numbers that he would disallow from voting. LawDog, Big Reno, and I, for example, would all be disallowed from voting due to our government employment. So, too, woiuld be my good friend John Shirley ( http://www.johnrshirley.com/ ), currently activated by the Army and serving in Kabul, Afghanistan. (John volunteered after 9/11 at the age of 29, was released early after 2 years, leapt headlong into his degree in military history, barely managed to get a cum laude BS before being reactivated instead of going on to his PhD as he had planned.)

I would also be denied voting because I'm going to grad school at a state university. I took out a loan from a private institution, but its rate is federally set at a low rate, so that too would probably deny me from voting.

Anonymous said...

David,
A simpler (and IMHO fairer) system would be closer to the way the founders intended.
To vote, you should be a citizen and a net tax payer.
By net tax payer I mean the amount you pay in taxes must exceed what you get from the government (welfare, medicaid, subsities, etc.) I would not include wages and pensions.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful...sure, teach those dumb republicans a lesson...in wartime...

...put the cowardly appeasers in control by voting for folks who have lots of good ideas but will never have a chance. Punish the folks who try, but sometimes fail, ...by putting into office and control those who try very hard to make this country fail.
Doug in Colorado

Anonymous said...

As was once said-those who vote don't count; those who COUNT the votes count!

Heard on a news program that the only verification of qualification to vote is the little checkbox on the application that says that you are a citizen and entitled to vote, under penalty of perjury. So, if you check the box, vote in Prez/Queen Hillary and later get caught, they MIGHT get mad at you. Vote still stands.

I wold hope there will be some plan to verify who is able to vote first before we try to get out the vote.

grim said...

reno-
The quotes you cite are all taken out of context. That’s something that just shouldn’t be done period, but most especially with satire.
Also in the years since Kinky penned that particular piece for Texas Monthly, his stance on hunting has taken a 180 degree turn.
To get the true skiffy on Kinky go to, www.kinkyfriedman.com
In the archives find, open & read an article entitled “We Beg to Differ”.
Prepare to be amazed. Common Sense in a politician. Who’da thunk it.
BTW, Jesse Ventura used talking action figures in his Successful bid for governor of Minnesota. And what’s wrong with not wanting to go to war with Oklahoma?

Anonymous said...

Um...How about an underground kind of movement? If enough people wrote in "No Confidence" on (for example) my senior and junior senators here in Mass, would the media pick it up? Would it impact the incumbents?

Just askin'

Peet.

Brian said...

This isn't related to your voting post, but nonetheless I thought you would find it a quick and interesting read.
http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/11/01/jelly.belly.ap/index.html
Since when did cops become so sensitive? Is there a last bastion of machismo anywhere?

Justin said...

LD,

I have to totally disagree with you on the issue of forced voting, although I realize that you are probably being facetious, but I know of a recent ruler like that. His name was Sadam Hussein. Did you ever stop to ponder why he had 100% voter turnout, and was constantly being "re-elected" by 100% of the voters?

Forced voting will do nothing to solve the problem of disinterested "citizens"

Phoenix Ravenflame said...

"The only person I'd vote for would be my dad. He's too honest, too hard-working & good natured."

I remember you! You made that same comment on a post here once before. I didn't agree with you then, either.

As far as y'all talking about open borders and the Libertarian Party goes, that does bother me. I don't think we'd have many social leeches showing up if we weren't handing out welfare checks like grocery store coupons, but I don't like the idea of people who want to hurt us waltzing right in.

Anonymous said...

Remember the South Park episode "Vote or Die!"?

Here's an idea. The year before elections, everyone pays an extra $100 in taxes and the money is put into a pot. To vote, you have to pass a test, showing understanding of things like constitution, foreign policy, domestic policy etc. Every person who votes, gets an equal cut of the money in the pot, which will most likely be $2-300. Now people have an incentive to educate themselves and to vote.

Next, I'm going to come up with a solution to the cheating polititicians..... I'm expecting the solution will be equally inspired!!!

Anonymous said...

The point of keeping the borders open is so that undesirables can get out after we fix the welfare system.