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Forum Post: Vote or Don't Vote

Posted 11 years ago on Aug. 27, 2012, 8:27 a.m. EST by ogoj11 (263)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Let's face it. Right now this seems to be the issue most discussed here. Everyone seems agreed that Obama is "the lesser of 2 evils." But are there any rules to decide whether to vote for the lesser evil?

One position is: Vote for the lesser evil no matter how small the difference. Even if one less drone is dropped, one more person gets health care...

An opposite position is: No compromises with principles. No voting unless serious systemic change is coming.

Most people are in between. Here's my question. How bad does Obama have to be for you to say "No!"? So he called his cops out to throw us out of DC? So he bailed the banks and expanded the war? At what point do you say Obama is just too much of a sell out?

My position: Don't vote! Why? The primary purpose of elections is to legitimate the rulers. What really scares them, what really wins reforms, is widespread alienation from the endless blah blah blah of their talking games. We should concentrate on building solidarity, prepare for a lifetime of resistance, join hands with the immigrants, expose racism, expose the phony holiness of the sexists and the homophobes.

I'm just an average ogoj and I approve this message.

Please come to Occupy Raleigh's forum and contribute a comment. We need a little fresh air from outside. http://forum.occupyraleigh.net/



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[-] 5 points by PandoraK (1678) 11 years ago

...and while you are busy not voting, millions of others are...they are the ones setting up the next four years which will affect the next 10 years and beyond.

Funny thing about change, it rarely occurs from the outside, it's always an 'inside job'. So how to go about affecting change is obviously going to be a need to be INSIDE.

There are always those offering the option of a third party, we've plenty of political parties, the issue isn't whether or not there are other choices, the issue is exposure for those other choices, it's awfully hard to be heard over the voices of thousands when you only have tens yelling back.

The only way a 'no vote' would work in America is if ALL citizens opted out, much like it was in Japan, I believe it was around 20 years ago.

You see, the Japanese people believe their vote has value, and that the candidates offered for that vote should reflect that value.

Here in America our right to vote is taken for granted, we don't value it, and we should, it's one of the most important things we have, that we will ever have...

If there is that much interest in a third party option, then work on a third party option...but expect it to take years to accomplish enough that the third party will have a viable candidate and platform to compete for the highest political office in our land...meantime work to build that party, local elections, city, county, township, work to gain footholds in the House and Senate...

[-] 2 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 11 years ago

Demand elections be national and state holidays


Functioning democracy requires the people's thought out consent.

The right to vote should not be impeded.

People need time to consider their vote

and discuss that vote with confidants.

Daily worries should be set aside to focus on social issues.


I propose that

Elections be made State and National Holidays.

Conscious voting measures the people's desire.

The workweek routine must halt for people to consider their power.


If voting day is a holiday, everyone will know that it is voting day.

The routine of work must be suspended for people to consider their government.


"To a certain extent we shouldn't take an 'all or nothing' approach. I'm a proponent of gradualism, if for no other reason, it gets us moving in the right direction, resets our trajectory, and it can compliment bottom up societal change." -francismjenkins

If elections are national holidays, a greater number of people will take the time to vote.

When more people vote, more people care about the actions of their government.

"That government, of the people, for the people, and by the people, shall not perish from the earth" -Abraham Lincoln .

[-] 2 points by gsw (3406) from Woodbridge Township, NJ 11 years ago

Please sign a petition to allow the third party candidate, Rocky Anderson, to participate in the Presidential debates


[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 11 years ago

my internet signature is here

[-] 0 points by timirninja (263) 11 years ago

like someone said in the http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0243017/ "One puppet from the right, one puppet from the left..." isnt it obvious? at the end you gonna lose, and they gonna win, they gotta have their puppet. good luck to you. you are truly believer!

[-] 1 points by ogoj11 (263) 11 years ago

I think I understand what you feel Pandora. Please come to Occupy Raleigh and add your thoughts to our sagging Occupy. http://forum.occupyraleigh.net/

Rather than flame back at you in the predictable way I'm sure you're expecting (demicans and republicrats, etc.), let me tell you about a conversation I had with my sister. She lives in California and was visiting me in NC, and she was exercising her perceptive faculties noting all the differences between life in NC and life in the Bay area. All of her numerous subtle observations amounted to a celebration of American diversity, something almost self-evident to her. What she didn't see was how much diversity had been destroyed, how ethnicity is vanishing, how regionalism is endangered, the enormous forces pushing towards conformity. When we were really different from each other, we tried to be more alike. Now that we're all the same, we celebrate miniscule differences and call them 'cultural diversity'.

As my sister sees diversity, you see the enormous differences between Romney and Obama, but your very perceptiveness makes it harder for you to see the sameness.

[-] 3 points by PandoraK (1678) 11 years ago

I do wish my health and the health of my family, along with our financial situation would allow me to do lots of things, I'd love to be an active participant. However, I fear I'd be more a physical drain than an intellectual help.

I used to be a trucker...traveled all 48 continuous states and into Canada, I saw the diversity there was, from the New Yorkers to the Bronx to the Brooklynites and of course the Jersey folk...I met with 'boat people' newly arrived from Cuba, so grateful to have reached the shores of America, I met recently arrived Haitians, smiling, hiding their pain...I spent hours with the gangs while waiting my turn to back into the docks in the various cities, and accepted invites to pow wows that most whites never see.

I owned my own small transportation company and still traveled on a regular basis, traveled the roads, ate and showered in the truckstops speaking with an even wider range of people from a vast array of cultures.

Our children and my grandchildren are like people every where, they want to fit in...heck, we wanted to fit in...so we allowed our cultural heritiages to be subdued, many of us lost our 'language'...we Americanized ourselves...we all once did and continue to, fail to see our greatest strength is in our differences.

That's why I say vote, vote in EVERY election not just the major ones...we can't change anything unless we get into the ditches and start digging ourselves. Local elections can help us keep our diversity from dissolving, state elections can help us gain a bit more autonomy for our locals...

As I said before, change is an inside job, it means getting inside period.

If only I could still work, I'd climb into my cab, load a trailer and be where ever the 'action' was...as it is, I do good to walk out in my yard once or twice a day...

[-] 1 points by ogoj11 (263) 11 years ago

Wow. I feel like I just read a little Whitman. But Occupy Raleigh's forum isn't hard to reach. And we're suffering from a spell of discouragement, and we need some of your spirit.

[-] 2 points by PandoraK (1678) 11 years ago

Heck just send them to me online, I'll tell them a 'critter story' LOL

I used 'critter stories' to help recovering addicts through the 'tough times', the stories seemed pretty popular.

Part of the problem is the desire for immediate gratification...we take an action and we want to see results, it doesn't help that there are those who will and have say/said, 'you've been at it this long with no joy, what makes you think you'll have any effect this time?'...

We tend to forget that there were YEARS between the Declaration of Independence and the first shots of the revolution, we tend to forget that the war wasn't a few 'photo ops' (Washington Crossing the Delaware, 1700's style photo op) and a couple battles...men marched, and sometimes fought throughout the summer, AFTER planting the crops, making sure the wood pile was well stocked, and there was plenty of meat in the smoke house...those same men went HOME, harvested those crops, cut more wood did the hunting, butchered some livestock and made sure there would be a home to come back to...it took YEARS...It was YEARS before the first law was written and recorded, heck it was years before there was a standard form of money.

OWS needs to understand that this is a LONG HAUL program and that people will be coming in and leaving because there are still 'crops to be planted and harvested', still families to tend to, still a home to make sure will remain intact.

And OWS needs to learn that there does need to be a central message, a platform of sorts...something that all the OWS from all areas can get on board with...

Don't loose heart, imagine what it would have been like if the first Americans had...

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 11 years ago

Sing it loud! Sing it proud. Don't let the bastards drag you down!

Twinkle for you!

[-] 2 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 11 years ago

What about the third option, vote for someone outside of the duopoly and break it's grip on the throat of Democracy, whose speech is being silenced, and is close to passing out.

[-] 4 points by Madinusa (77) from Queens, NY 11 years ago

I think everyone should vote their conscience, and we should get back to running a revolution.

[-] 2 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 11 years ago

Hopefully their conscience will allow them more than two options.

[-] 1 points by Madinusa (77) from Queens, NY 11 years ago

I know mine will.

[-] 1 points by ogoj11 (263) 11 years ago

The 3rd party thing seems like the worst choice of all because a) it doesn't get the lesser evil into office where he can do less evil and b) it shows that you still believe in the legitimacy of an unjust and rigged system and are willing to passively play along.

[-] 2 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 11 years ago

Not voting is the worst possible choice, completely giving up your power to tyranny. As you throw down your weapon, the vote, the enemy will continue to walk right over you as it tramples Democracy.

"No voting unless serious systemic change is coming."

This is strategy is totally ineffective. It's like saying, "unless you change, I will do nothing". Those in power will remain and do something, and continue to take our rights one by one.

[-] 0 points by VQkag2 (16478) 11 years ago

What about republican voter suppression does that matter to you.?


[-] 1 points by ogoj11 (263) 11 years ago

I almost think you are bought and paid for by the dems. (but I'm not quite that paranoid)

Please come to Occupy Raleigh where we are considering our role at the DNC (nearby).

On voter suppression: Obviously a particularly nasty trick by the republicans who are willing to sabotage their own system for the short term gain of holding office. But, I actually think that voter suppression is so obviously disgusting, a blatant hypocritical violation of their own voting values, that it is designed to be a distraction from the even more destructive effects of corporate money in the campaign. All the dems scream at the slap in the face while with the other hand, the knife goes in the belly.

[-] 0 points by VQkag2 (16478) 11 years ago

Oh so it's not really a big deal because the Superpac billionaire money in politics problem is even bigger.

I agree we must get all money out of politics (support Move to Amend) (repeal CU).

I do not think we should minimize the suppression of one parties votes. You know people died for this right. I have relatives who were beaten for this right. And since it was repub appointed judges behind the court ruling that has allowed the explosion of uncontrolled money in politics seems it is probably more important than the money problem.

I mean the repubs are trying to steal the election. That's not ok.

[-] 3 points by ogoj11 (263) 11 years ago

In Raleigh, we are well aware of the Civil Rights Era. I have actually complained that we don't do near enough to build and connect to our most successful struggle. I have advocated that we adopt http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LIgcBBxjgwE as our theme song. The anarchist roots of Occupy cut us off from our past. I have developed a habit of taunting anti-immigrant rightists around here with how we will win this struggle just as we won in the 60s.

But here's where I disagree with you. Your relatives struggled for equality , not for the vote. The vote was a symbol, a means to an end. Now that same voting is blocking the view to the prize.

[-] -1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 11 years ago

Wow! That's amazing. You are actually telling me what my relatives were fighting/beaten for!! How could you possibly know this?

How offensive. I must respectfully disagree.

"blocking the view to the prize" Who? My relatives? Please explain.

[-] 1 points by ogoj11 (263) 11 years ago

Really, VQ, are you just looking for an excuse to flame out at someone who disagrees? Surely we can all agree that the Civil Rights Era was about creating a better society, a world with racial equality. Pulling a lever in a booth was not the goal.

[-] 0 points by VQkag2 (16478) 11 years ago

I'm gonna believe the people who I've spoken to, who were there. I can agree it was about broader freedoms, But I will not contradict the good soldiers who were there just to placate your offensive dictate that they did not struggle "for the vote".

If you support the voter suppression then say it. If you don't then say THAT!. I don't see the value in discussing whether these great soldiers sacrificed for the vote or not.

Let's remember none of us can even shine their shoes. A little respect is in order.

So who are you referring to when you say "the same voting block is blocking the view"? You avoided that question with this silly distraction that the civil rights marchers weren't struggling for the vote.

[-] 1 points by Justoneof99 (80) 11 years ago

"The primary purpose of elections is to legitimate the rulers."??? Rulers? Really? The American revolution took care of that misguided notion long ago. We elect REPRESENTATIVES and public servants & Obama hasn't served us well.

[-] 1 points by ogoj11 (263) 11 years ago

Surely my view is not unfamiliar? Governments need ideological justification. Force is not an effective means of government. Elections confer legitimacy. Are you a repub? Why?

[-] 1 points by Shule (2638) 11 years ago

I'm holding my vote for Obama for ransom. Before I release my vote to him, I want to see him throw us 99% a bone; like passing some progressive tax legislation, or an environmental law, or getting some bank and war criminals put in jail, and at least stop those proxy and drone wars in the Middle-East. Obama, give me a reason to get my butt over to a voting booth. Rather than him threatening us with the possibility of a Romney-Ryan administration so that we may give him five and ten bucks which we don't have, we should be threatening him to pass some legislation for the people. Obama better hurry 'cause election day is not too far off.

[-] 1 points by ericweiss (575) 11 years ago

The primary purpose of elections is to do what we are told by the masters
The Rs are suppressing voters who want to vote
david & charlie are paying us not to vote - don't forget to cash your check
support the 1% - don't vote

[-] 1 points by ogoj11 (263) 11 years ago

People don't understand that democracy is already gone. It once was a relatively successful technique (the Civil War was its big failure) for adjusting relations between sectors of the ruling class. Now the ruling class operates behind closed doors. You have to go to Wikileaks to catch glimpses of what's going on.

http://forum.occupyraleigh.net/ Please help revive our forum.