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Author Topic: Don't vote!  (Read 6913 times)

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Offline TaintedAndDelish

Re: Don't vote!
« Reply #125 on: April 14, 2014, 05:29:55 AM »

Inequality?

   Slavery has been made illegal.
   Laws and tax pressures have been put in place to encourage equality.
   Women's rights have been improving over the years and are still being addressed
   Gay marriage is being legalized throughout the country. ( This is at least going though a period of change )
   
Climate Change?

  We have the EPA ( Environmental Protection Agency )
  Companies that pollute are punished when caught.
  New laws and requirements are being made to encourage change. ( ie. emissions standards )

Corporations vs people:

This as I understand is still in serious need of overhaul. Like the issues above, these things change over longer periods of time. They do not just change over night or at the whims of some comedian.

When I was a teen, I used to like to play checkers with my father, but I could never beat him. He and I played the game quite differently. I made wild moves that looked at first glance like they would be good while he took his time and thought his moves through. I could only look ahead a move or two, while he could more easily evaluate the consequences of his choices six, seven, sometimes twenty or more moves ahead depending on the board. I made a lot of mistakes and tried to look for epic wins while he made few mistakes and was more concerned with his position and making smaller, more realistic gains. When I got frustrated and confused, I just made random moves that cost me the game.

Offline mia h

Re: Don't vote!
« Reply #126 on: April 14, 2014, 06:07:43 AM »
*cracks knuckles before starting typing*

Valthazar,
I think there are dangers when people look at that kind of data but don't put the numbers in context. The election in 1996 have very low turn out but Clintion won the election by over 10%, chances are that lots of people stayed home because the outcome was a foregone conclusion. Clintion had the election wrapped up before voting on the West coast closed, why vote if you've already won? Compare that with 2008 when Obama has the chance to make history by becoming the first black President, being part of that potentially outweights the inertia of voting in an election where the outcome has already been decided.
But the overall pattern is that 30-40% don't vote, despite the voting process being made easier with greater access to postal voting that 30+% hasn't changed much.[Personally I'm against postal voting expect for those people who genuinely can't get polling stations, it's all very well people going on about voting being a civic duty etc. but when they want that duty to have miminal effort I think that's a better indicator of how civic minded they are.] What's wrong with the system that 30+% of people don't see the point in taking part?
Look at the UK, 650 MP's in constituencies that a supposedly to be of roughly equal population. To get an outright majority a party needs 325 seats, to win a seat takes about 40% of the vote and turn out is around 60% of the electorate. So in theory it would be possible for a party of take power with only 15% of the population supporting them. While it is incredibly unlikely that it would happen can you really call a system that even allows for that possibility democratic?

Zakharra,
Changing the system from the inside is fine in theory, but when there's a moat, a minefield, razor wire, a 100 ft high wall, snipers and machine gun nests between you and the door then you are never going to get inside to change anything. And you're missing the point, the way that some election boundaries are drawn means that the party that is in the minority can never win, the outcome of the election has been decided before a single vote has been cast. So instead of endorsing a corrupt system by participating, do the opposite and actively don't participate. The only time you get people winning democratic elections with over 70% of the over is when the vote is rigged, by not voting you push the result closer to one that can only come about in a corrupt system.

See if this makes it any clearer http://thedailyshow.cc.com/videos/0adjfq/american-horrible-story---gerrymandering


Kythia,
Downs work isn't an oversimplification, he's correct that there is no rational reason for voting. There are two problems with the idea, firstly as I said you can only know if your effort was wasted in retrospect. Secondly it assumes people act rationally but it turns out people are nowhere as rational as they think they are, mass voting is really a form of mass self-delusion.
As for not voting, the message it gives out depends on the context. Low turn in Afghanistan would suggest that the Taliban had succeeded in intimidating voters. In the US there is no legitimacy threshold on voting but if someone wins with 100% of the vote but only a 5% turn out then it would impossible not to conclude that there is something fundamentally wrong with the system. And if you want to compare the US with Egypt or any of the other Arab Spring states, then Egypt had dozens of parties and candidates running all with different ideas and agendas. Compare that to the US where it's a two party system so it's a battle for the middle ground; 40% are going to vote Democrat regardless of the candidate is; another 40% are always going to vote Republican so politicians are chasing and appeasing the 20% so they become more and more alike, they whole system becomes a beauty contest instead of a policy debate.


Valerian,
It doesn't matter how many coats of paint you put on it, Management BS is still Management BS. Also I'm out of paint.

There is a problem with the "Don't bring me problems, bring me solutions" approach, if the solution isn't perfect than it can be dismissed without ever having to acknowledge that there is a problem. The first real step in fixing any problem is admitting the problem exists. Once you get people to see and admit the problem it becomes impossible for them to return to a postion where they can no longer see the problem.


MikeandIke,
Look at the Crimean referendum, those who weren't ethnically Russian didn't vote for three reasons; voter intimidation, a rigged election and an unwillingness to give the vote even a fig leaf of legitimacy. If all the non-ethic Russians had voted it would have been used by Putin & co as proof of a fair vote. If an election is rigged then the only rational action is not to vote, but like I said before people are rarely rational despite most elections in the US being rigged.

TaintedAndDelish,
Slavery might have been made illegal but the Voting Rights Act has been gutted, so free but with no voice that's real progress towards equality.

Offline Valerian

Re: Don't vote!
« Reply #127 on: April 14, 2014, 06:34:55 AM »
Valerian,
It doesn't matter how many coats of paint you put on it, Management BS is still Management BS. Also I'm out of paint.

There is a problem with the "Don't bring me problems, bring me solutions" approach, if the solution isn't perfect than it can be dismissed without ever having to acknowledge that there is a problem. The first real step in fixing any problem is admitting the problem exists. Once you get people to see and admit the problem it becomes impossible for them to return to a postion where they can no longer see the problem.
I'm still not 100% sure what you're trying to say here.  Basically everyone in this thread has acknowledged, in so many words, that there are problems with the current system.  We understand that.  We've already moved past what you call 'management BS', and it's time to start talking about solutions.  Others have suggested specific ideas and methods of improving the system, but you haven't.  This would seem to indicate that you don't have any suggestions... but please do correct me if I'm wrong and explain some of your ideas.  I'd like to hear them.

Offline mia h

Re: Don't vote!
« Reply #128 on: April 14, 2014, 07:37:44 AM »
I'm still not 100% sure what you're trying to say here.  Basically everyone in this thread has acknowledged, in so many words, that there are problems with the current system.  We understand that.  We've already moved past what you call 'management BS', and it's time to start talking about solutions.  Others have suggested specific ideas and methods of improving the system, but you haven't.  This would seem to indicate that you don't have any suggestions... but please do correct me if I'm wrong and explain some of your ideas.  I'd like to hear them.

The problem isn't solutions, there are lots of ideas out there some better, the problem is the problem. If the electoral system is broken asking the people who benefit from it being broken to fix it is an exercise in futility, but if you can make the problem so bad that it can't be ignored then you get the opportunity to change things. If most people have acknowledged that the system is broken their solutions have all been the same "keep doing the same thing", AA's definition of insanity: Repeatedly doing the same thing but expecting different results.
But if you want to change one thing, take the politics out of elections. A system where the people in power decide which individuals get to vote and who they get to vote is utter lunacy and ripe for corruption. The management of all elections should be done independently and centrally, your eligibility to vote shouldn't change because of a line on a map. In the US that wouldn't be an extension of the FEC, the committee that runs it has to consist of 3 Democrats and 3 Republican members, that's not independent it's a legalized duopoly.

Offline mj2002Topic starter

Re: Don't vote!
« Reply #129 on: April 14, 2014, 08:00:28 AM »
Inequality?

   Slavery has been made illegal.
   Laws and tax pressures have been put in place to encourage equality.
   Women's rights have been improving over the years and are still being addressed
   Gay marriage is being legalized throughout the country. ( This is at least going though a period of change )
I should have been more specific, it concerns income inequality. This has been an issue for decades, if not longer, yet it should be obvious to anyone with a connection to the outside world that hardly anything is done to reduce income inequality.

http://www.census.gov/prod/1/pop/p60-191.pdf

I've already pointed out earlier in this thread that the issue of social reform is one that's less of an issue for this movement. There is steady improvement in that area, mainly because older and more conservative people are simply dying out. It's the income inequality that's what is not being addressed.
   

Climate Change?

  We have the EPA ( Environmental Protection Agency )
  Companies that pollute are punished when caught.
  New laws and requirements are being made to encourage change. ( ie. emissions standards )
These changes are minor and meaningless. It has become abundantly clear that many countries (but particularly the USA and Canada) have no interest in making any real efforts to combat climate change. In fact, in the last 10 years the growth of skepticism towards climate change science has grown exponentially, influenced by many politicians who outright deny the fact that this phenomenon is even real. They're fueled by money from large corporations whose only goal is short term profit, screw all the consequences for the rest of the world.

Corporations vs people:

This as I understand is still in serious need of overhaul. Like the issues above, these things change over longer periods of time. They do not just change over night or at the whims of some comedian.
They don't change at the whim of a comedian, this is why more radical action is required. Over the last 30-40 years, money has had more influence in politics and there is no sign of any of that being changed in the near future. By now, they've simply taken control over the electoral processes (not in all countries) and it is rich people who get to decide who can be voted for, not ordinary people. This is not some kind of secret. From my perspective, simply continuing the current process of trying to vote in other candidates just plays into the hands of these people. The moment you vote someone in, they turn around, ignore you and listen to those who really matter, people/corporations with money.

I'm still not 100% sure what you're trying to say here.  Basically everyone in this thread has acknowledged, in so many words, that there are problems with the current system.  We understand that.  We've already moved past what you call 'management BS', and it's time to start talking about solutions.  Others have suggested specific ideas and methods of improving the system, but you haven't.  This would seem to indicate that you don't have any suggestions... but please do correct me if I'm wrong and explain some of your ideas.  I'd like to hear them.

Everyone has acknowledged that there are problems with the system, but the argument that we're making is that the system is broken to such an extent that voting will not allow you to repair it. This problem isn't new and it has only gotten worse over the last few decades.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2014, 08:02:09 AM by mj2002 »

Offline Oniya

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Re: Don't vote!
« Reply #130 on: April 14, 2014, 08:45:40 AM »
So, other than 'not voting', what 'radical action' are you proposing?

You say you want a revolution.  We'd all love to hear the plan.

Offline Zakharra

Re: Don't vote!
« Reply #131 on: April 14, 2014, 09:39:24 AM »
Zakharra,
Changing the system from the inside is fine in theory, but when there's a moat, a minefield, razor wire, a 100 ft high wall, snipers and machine gun nests between you and the door then you are never going to get inside to change anything. And you're missing the point, the way that some election boundaries are drawn means that the party that is in the minority can never win, the outcome of the election has been decided before a single vote has been cast. So instead of endorsing a corrupt system by participating, do the opposite and actively don't participate. The only time you get people winning democratic elections with over 70% of the over is when the vote is rigged, by not voting you push the result closer to one that can only come about in a corrupt system.

See if this makes it any clearer http://thedailyshow.cc.com/videos/0adjfq/american-horrible-story---gerrymandering

 There are problems with the current system, but you seem like you'd rather just stand outside of it and complain about how unfair it is rather than try to actually get in and fix it. Trying to do that from the outside will not work. If you want to help change the system, you can do it from the inside. Get. Involved.  The moat, a minefield, razor wire, a 100 ft high wall, snipers and machine gun nests between you and the door can be overcome. No one ever said it would be easy, but it can be overridden. Especially in local politics. The higher up you go in politics, the harder it can be, but even there, someone with a good message can make a difference.

 Just standing outside and complaining it's too hard to get in isn't going to change anything. What are your alternatives? How would you fix it from the inside? Or would you suggest bloody revolution (which is not guaranteed to win and definitely isn't guaranteed that the government you want will win. In a revolution, all sorts rise to the top, including power hungry people who will use a situation to their advantage. If a rebellion happened, it could very well mean a dictatorship is what emerges.  So I ask again, how would you fix it?

 
Quote
These changes are minor and meaningless. It has become abundantly clear that many countries (but particularly the USA and Canada) have no interest in making any real efforts to combat climate change. In fact, in the last 10 years the growth of skepticism towards climate change science has grown exponentially, influenced by many politicians who outright deny the fact that this phenomenon is even real. They're fueled by money from large corporations whose only goal is short term profit, screw all the consequences for the rest of the world

 If I remember right, some of the suggestions to combat climate change are rather unpalatable to many. How much of your current high tech life style are you willing to give up to combat it? There's a problem with saying there should be wide sweeping changes done when it impacts millions of people (and voters). Hardly any politicians are going to institute changes that will anger their constituents and get them voted out of office.

Offline Beguile's Mistress

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Re: Don't vote!
« Reply #132 on: April 14, 2014, 10:09:45 AM »
I would think working to convince more people to vote along with those in the minority would be beneficial in effecting change.  Majorities are built by gathering numbers to your side and convincing them to support your issues.  The bigger your voter base becomes the more people you can convince to join you and the more impact your group has.

Offline mia h

Re: Don't vote!
« Reply #133 on: April 14, 2014, 11:02:36 AM »
Zakharra, you really don't see it do you. Asking politicians to change a system that they benefit from is like asking Turkey's to vote for Christmas.

You're the on that thinks it can fixed from the inside, so what you do once you got inside? How would you get inside?

As for "bloody revolution" nobody has suggested that, so you are just being ridiculous.

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: Don't vote!
« Reply #134 on: April 14, 2014, 11:09:21 AM »
Zakharra, you really don't see it do you. Asking politicians to change a system that they benefit from is like asking Turkey's to vote for Christmas.

You're the on that thinks it can fixed from the inside, so what you do once you got inside? How would you get inside?

As for "bloody revolution" nobody has suggested that, so you are just being ridiculous.

The OP has mentioned it multiple times, so no, she's not. Check your facts before you call other people ridiculous.
Quote from: mj2002
The next step? Either someone steps up and dares to at least try to make major reforms to our political and economical system, this would be the preferred outcome. If not? Revolution.

Quote from: mj2002
I'll happily admit that certain things do change for the better, but that's mostly due to old people dying out. For the three points I mentioned though, I have yet to see any evidence that "just trying really hard to make a difference" actually works. From my point of view, that needs a revolution. The ever increasing distrust in government demonstrates this clearly.


(And isn't Turkey a Thanksgiving meal? My family always got a ham for Christmas dinner.)
« Last Edit: April 14, 2014, 11:11:21 AM by TheGlyphstone »

Offline Valerian

Re: Don't vote!
« Reply #135 on: April 14, 2014, 11:19:05 AM »
Again, everyone is free to disagree with anyone else, providing they do so within the rules of E in general and this area in particular.  This means being polite in one's disagreement, and also being able to back up one's statements where applicable.  The ability to post here is a privilege, not a right.

So, other than 'not voting', what 'radical action' are you proposing?

You say you want a revolution.  We'd all love to hear the plan.
Quoting since this seems to have been overlooked.  You mentioned taking the politics out of elections, for instance, and if I understand you correctly, I do agree with this in general terms.  But how, exactly, would reducing voter turnout accomplish this?

Offline Oniya

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Re: Don't vote!
« Reply #136 on: April 14, 2014, 11:31:41 AM »
At no time did I state that the revolution was to be 'bloody', either.  A revolution, by definition, is a a fundamental change in power or organizational structures that takes place in a relatively short period.  There were several bloodless revolutions in Europe around 1989, including the one that led to the removal of the Berlin Wall - a profound change in power structure.

Offline mia h

Re: Don't vote!
« Reply #137 on: April 14, 2014, 11:37:31 AM »
The OP has mentioned it multiple times, so no, she's not. Check your facts before you call other people ridiculous.

(And isn't Turkey a Thanksgiving meal? My family always got a ham for Christmas dinner.)

Not all revolutions are bloody, and only one person on this thread has suggested a "bloody revolution". My facts are just fine.

(Re Turkeys: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turkeys_voting_for_Christmas)

Offline mj2002Topic starter

Re: Don't vote!
« Reply #138 on: April 14, 2014, 11:43:06 AM »
Again, everyone is free to disagree with anyone else, providing they do so within the rules of E in general and this area in particular.  This means being polite in one's disagreement, and also being able to back up one's statements where applicable.  The ability to post here is a privilege, not a right.

Does this reminder also extend to people that insist on misrepresenting other people's opinions?

Offline mia h

Re: Don't vote!
« Reply #139 on: April 14, 2014, 12:06:18 PM »
You mentioned taking the politics out of elections, for instance, and if I understand you correctly, I do agree with this in general terms.  But how, exactly, would reducing voter turnout accomplish this?
It's simple really. If you want to fix a problem that's nobody is looking at; make the problem so large it becomes impossible to ignore.
In this case there are elections that appear on the surface to be free and fair but are rigged. Make it obvious that they are rigged. Anyone who wins a supposedly democratic election by 90+% is in a rigged election. Take Nancy Pelosi as an example, she routinely wins with 80% of the vote, the lowest percentage of the vote she ever received was 72%, the Republicans haven't made a serious effort to challenger her because they know they won't succeed. The GOP know they have no chance of winning so they don't waste money campaigning there. But what if instead of trying to oust Pelosi, which isn't going to happen, they do the opposite? What if all non-Democrats either stayed away or even voted for Pelosi? Voting against her isn't going to make any difference, but if she got 100% of the vote it's hard to sell that as a free and fair election.
And of the choice between 'not voting' and 'voting for the person who's going to win anyway', 'not voting' is the better option a high vote percentage with lower voter turnout just reeks of corruption.

Offline Beguile's Mistress

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Re: Don't vote!
« Reply #140 on: April 14, 2014, 12:22:12 PM »
I don't understand how that is corruption when the non-voters make a conscious choice to not vote.  They aren't frightened away and don't have their voting privileges stripped.  Their ability to get to the polls isn't infringed upon.  There is more than one name on the ballot along with the write-in option.  They actively choose to abstain from exercising their rights and absent themselves from the system.

Offline Zakharra

Re: Don't vote!
« Reply #141 on: April 14, 2014, 12:30:58 PM »
Zakharra, you really don't see it do you. Asking politicians to change a system that they benefit from is like asking Turkey's to vote for Christmas.

You're the on that thinks it can fixed from the inside, so what you do once you got inside? How would you get inside?

As for "bloody revolution" nobody has suggested that, so you are just being ridiculous.

 That's why you get people into the system who do want to change the system. Or do you think that the moment someone becomes a politician, they automatically support the system and don't want to change it? If you don't believe that, that's why I and others are saying get involved. Advocate, agitate, get involved in the system, run for office (Calia can attest that it won't be easy, but it is possible), try to convince the politicians that it's in their best interests and that of the country/state to make the changes. Trying to change it from the outside is almost doomed to failure. Correct me if I'm wrong but it sounds like you want to break the system from the outside and replace it with something else entirely. You need to take into consideration that if you want to remake how votes are counted and how politicians can do things would likely require amending the US Constitution and several State constitutions as that has been written into several of them.
 
 That's why I'd like to know how you'd like to go about that change. If you're not willing to do it from the inside, then what are you advocating?

At no time did I state that the revolution was to be 'bloody', either.  A revolution, by definition, is a a fundamental change in power or organizational structures that takes place in a relatively short period.  There were several bloodless revolutions in Europe around 1989, including the one that led to the removal of the Berlin Wall - a profound change in power structure.

 I was probably the one mentioning a bloody revolution. Mainly because it seems like mia h is wanting to change/cast down the current system from the outside rather than work with it from the inside.  There are problems with the current system, but I don't really see it being changed from the outside unless by force.  It's a democracy and it's possible to change it from the inside. She just doesn't seem to be willing to do that.

 
It's simple really. If you want to fix a problem that's nobody is looking at; make the problem so large it becomes impossible to ignore.
In this case there are elections that appear on the surface to be free and fair but are rigged. Make it obvious that they are rigged. Anyone who wins a supposedly democratic election by 90+% is in a rigged election. Take Nancy Pelosi as an example, she routinely wins with 80% of the vote, the lowest percentage of the vote she ever received was 72%, the Republicans haven't made a serious effort to challenger her because they know they won't succeed. The GOP know they have no chance of winning so they don't waste money campaigning there. But what if instead of trying to oust Pelosi, which isn't going to happen, they do the opposite? What if all non-Democrats either stayed away or even voted for Pelosi? Voting against her isn't going to make any difference, but if she got 100% of the vote it's hard to sell that as a free and fair election.
And of the choice between 'not voting' and 'voting for the person who's going to win anyway', 'not voting' is the better option a high vote percentage with lower voter turnout just reeks of corruption.

 Ok, that's something, a little odd, but something.  It wouldn't change anything though. What you're suggesting is not voting so the winner gets a near 100% ads a way to make the election look rigged? How is it rigged if no one votes in opposition? All it means is the winner has as close to a 100% share of the vote as possible. How would that make it rigged or disenfranchise the ones who didn't vote? Especially if, as you suggested, Republicans do vote for Pelosi? That's not a rigged vote. It seems like all you'd do is make yourself a laughing stock when you protested the election wasn't fair or free and was rigged.

Offline mia h

Re: Don't vote!
« Reply #142 on: April 14, 2014, 12:45:40 PM »
I don't understand how that is corruption when the non-voters make a conscious choice to not vote.  They aren't frightened away and don't have their voting privileges stripped.  Their ability to get to the polls isn't infringed upon.  There is more than one name on the ballot along with the write-in option.  They actively choose to abstain from exercising their rights and absent themselves from the system.
When the game is rigged against you, the only winning move you can make is not to play the game at all.

Offline Zakharra

Re: Don't vote!
« Reply #143 on: April 14, 2014, 12:57:49 PM »
When the game is rigged against you, the only winning move you can make is not to play the game at all.

 Then you have no reason to complain because you refuse to play the game. What you advocated doing with the Pelosi example would not make any election illegitimate or unfair. It was a fair election no matter how you count it.

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Re: Don't vote!
« Reply #144 on: April 14, 2014, 01:03:27 PM »
When the game is rigged against you, the only winning move you can make is not to play the game at all.

Yet the election would not be rigged unless the voluntary choice to not vote were removed and replaced with coercion to keep voters from the polls.  There is nothing keeping people from voting except their own decision to do so.  I don't see the validity in your position.

Offline Valthazar

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Re: Don't vote!
« Reply #145 on: April 14, 2014, 01:04:56 PM »
I've already pointed out earlier in this thread that the issue of social reform is one that's less of an issue for this movement. There is steady improvement in that area, mainly because older and more conservative people are simply dying out. It's the income inequality that's what is not being addressed.

How can you take it for granted that progress on social issues (which has come about through voting behavior changes) is a given because "older and more conservative people are simply dying out?"

Young people are not inherently progressive on social issues.  However, it is through their representation in voting, that their voices have transformed public perception.

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Re: Don't vote!
« Reply #146 on: April 14, 2014, 01:19:07 PM »
Another thing came to mind.  If you are actively discouraging people from voting for candidate B because B can't possibly win against candidate A you are supporting the majority candidate (A) and therefore allowing validation of their platform and everything they represent by giving them an overwhelming response.  Some people may see something odd about this but I have a feeling they are more than likely going to see you as a shill for the winner.

Offline mj2002Topic starter

Re: Don't vote!
« Reply #147 on: April 14, 2014, 01:21:39 PM »
That's why you get people into the system who do want to change the system. Or do you think that the moment someone becomes a politician, they automatically support the system and don't want to change it?
You're not far off. People who do get elected become part of the system, President Obama is a great example. However, another dimension of the problem is that the average voter simply doesn't get to choose who they can vote for. Candidates need money because campaigns are expensive, and this candidates are selected by special interest groups and money, plain and simple. People keep going on about participating and changing the system from the inside, but this assumes the system is fair and would allow that to happen. In my perspective, this is not the case. As such, whilst I wouldn't discourage people to try and participate and get themselves in an electable position, until there's a serious contender, voting will not make a difference in the grand scheme. It is in fact counter productive, because it supports those who are already in power.

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Re: Don't vote!
« Reply #148 on: April 14, 2014, 01:38:39 PM »
You're not far off. People who do get elected become part of the system, President Obama is a great example.

I genuinely feel sorry for people who believed that President Obama was ever really about hope and change (even during his 2008 campaign).  If you ever took a look at this donors, you'd know he was a shill for Wall Street all along.

Offline mj2002Topic starter

Re: Don't vote!
« Reply #149 on: April 14, 2014, 01:40:54 PM »
I genuinely feel sorry for people who believed that President Obama was ever really about hope and change (even during his 2008 campaign).  If you ever took a look at this donors, you'd know he was a shill for Wall Street all along.
So, who in the past 30-40 years hasn't been?