Wednesday, September 26, 2012

To Boycott, Or Not ...

The search for the appropriate response to the travesty of the two CorpoRat wings of the Party of Property ostensibly contesting for  dominance continues to provoke thoughtful folks to seek alternatives to this damaged, seemingly useless electoral system that presents us with choices which make mockery of the concept of "choice."  

Many passionate folks are lined up to conduct a "voter boycott." I respect their views and, though I am not strongly in sympathy, I wish them luck, and bear them no animosity. But the intensity with folks hold and defend their positions has sometimes boiled with the intensity of a fraternal civil war among the political allies--but discursive adversaries--who, on the one hand, advocate boycott, and the others who have various other resistive strategies that involve voting. 

In 2008, in what was supposed to have been one of the most hotly contested races in a long time, only about 60% of eligible voters cast ballots in the presidential race--fewer than two thirds.

That means, of course, that for whatever reason, in an historically and rhetorically significant contest in 2008, around FORTY percent of the people "boycotted" it. Didn't vote. And they weren't missed. At least, not enough that serious efforts have been made to re-recruit the disaffected plurality.

I submit to you, they weren't missed by the parties or the candidates, who ALL want to preserve the electorate exactly as it was when they were elected. 

It's one of politics' dirty secrets: They HAVE to say they want everyone to vote, but it's not true. They only want those people to vote who will vote for them. 

So, though I fear I shall be remonstrated with for it, it seems to me that joining the Boycott, it seems to me you're just joining the already silent mass. You cannot march into the polling place and announce "I am not voting" and stomp out and expect to have an impact. 

(Of course, for ANY individual to have an "impact" without causing HAVOC is a moot point anymore, too, I know, but still...)

The point of boycotting is to express disenchantment and dissatisfaction with the present conditions by withholding your consent to be governed, as symbolized by the election of a new or renewed representative government.

Nothing is real, in Murka, unless it gets on MSM television, b'cast or cabloid. 

Do you REALLY think the CorpoRat/MSM/SCUM "press" is gonna devote a lot of time to people peacefully not voting? 

Already almost one whole THIRD of the eligible population already abstains from exercising the franchise (around 60 MILLION eligible voters). That was the number in '08 when more folks than ever turned out. 

How does someone think you're "decision" to boycott distinguishes you from the millions who don't vote from apathy or ennui?? 

The vote-counters don't know or care. Abstaining won't change the outcome--won't even be noticed

How do you make YOUR non-vote in principle distinct from the non-vote from apathy? 

When they count the ballots, aren't you--don't you become--OBJECTIVELY (independent of your private intention)--indistinguishable?

 It would be different if only a few folks abstained, normally, and your abstention would significantly INCREASE that number. But already there are SIXTY MILLION who don't vote. How is your act a "protest" and how does anyone "tell?"

There is an argument that by voting, by recognizing the system, that you are assenting to your own oppression by voting, and there is something to that. "VOTING IS AGREEMENT TO BE GOVERNED BY WHOEVER WINS" the claim goes.

Woody demurz: It usta mean that.

It doesn't anymore.

The Rightards broke the compact in 1992, et seq. The refused to recognize the legitimacy of Clenis Clinton. Maybe you don't remember, but generals and admirals were openly insubordinate to Clinton.

Now they've delegitimized by St. Barry, the Timid, too... 

The whole "Democratic republic" thing always was/is terribly fragile. "A republic, if you can keep it," mused Franklin, on the clondlusion of the convention in Philadelphia. It was and is nothing so much as "gentleman's agreement," and it is falling apart under the influence of thugs and gunsels who declare themselves not bound by the popular will. 

Because the Constitution doesn't actually have any provisions to help handle this situation. So the FIRST group--the first "Party"--to intentionally violate the "rulez" was gonna win. 

This is how the "Business Coup" finally played out--successfully!

And it's not going "back." Because you cannot unshit the bed. We cannot go back to that more naive time, when people played mostly fair. The GOPhux learned that.

It was ALWAYS BEEN possible to fuck it up. The Trusts tried it in the Gilded Age, but TR and the State fought 'em off. The GOPhux tried again in the late '30s, but Roosevelt had the sympathies of the press and turned it back.

So the owners made certain THAT wouldn't happen again, by buying up 95% of the critical capacity of the public media.

Coups ALWAYS take over the media, first thing. This coup started silently with EXTENSIVE, AGGRESSIVE, CONSUMPTIVE consolidation in the late 70s, and Clenis (again) ratified it all with the Communications Act of '96.

So, whatever was the case, ideally or in the mythology of the state, it no longer obtains.  But it's a matter of perspective, especially when neither voting nor not voting is not going to have ANY perceptible consequence.

I mean, that's right, innit? 1) Your vote doesn't "matter" individually. It's only essentially symbolic because NO ONE is actually bound by the tally. So 2) whether you vote or not is only a private gesture, an anecdote, if you will. And 3) as every 1st semester stats student knwos, anecdotes aren't data.

When you got that part figured out, come see me. Personally, I think the thing to do is to "waste" your vote. I'm impressed with Jill Stein. She cannot be elected, and if elected, she could not govern; that's given. But I like her passion, and her perspicacity. She's sharp.

Tell her I'll be at the beach, chers.

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