Discussion on Choices & Votes


Based on the op-ed piece I just posted, I would like to present the following two discussion points and have your thoughts.

The Lesser of Two Evils

On the issue of casting votes, one of the points I keep hearing, over and over, is that ‘I knew it even back then, but I had to choose and vote for the lesser of two evils.’

Don’t you consider this, at least to a degree, to be acceptance of ‘no hope for real change’ when it matters the most, during elections? First, to readily accept that we are limited to only choices that have been declared as ‘viable’ by the same MSM and establishment we seek to change.
Second, to helplessly adopt a mindset that says ‘evilness’ is an inevitable prerequisite for ‘viable’ candidates.

When it comes to ‘evilness,’ there is no reliable standard of measurement. Let’s say, for example, that the pre-selected options are: Senator Obama, Senator Clinton, and Senator McCain. How do you measure their degree of ‘evilness?’ For arguments sake, let’s say there is a standard of “evilness” measurement, and when applied to these candidates you get the following data: on a scale of ‘0 to 100’ on the evilness measurement index (‘100’ being absolute evil, ‘0’ being no evil qualities), McCain ranks 98, Clinton 96, and Obama 94. Based on this do people feel justified in voting for the lesser of the ‘given’ three, even though that candidate still ranks extremely high in ‘evilness’? I’m just asking. I really want to get your take on this.

Wasting one’s Vote

The second issue I want to bring up has to do with the notion shared by many: I didn’t want to ‘Waste’ my vote, as in:

I know there are other candidates who are ‘much less evil’ and have much better track records. However, as you see, they don’t have a chance. The MSM and the establishment have either marginalized them or never acknowledged them in the first place. They have no chance, thus, I won’t ‘waste my vote and will choose between the ‘viable’ candidates declared ‘electable.’

We don’t give those ‘better’ candidates a chance even when we believe in them and their competence. What if every one of us who’ve been active and pushing for ‘real changes’ disregarded the ‘established’ etiquette of candidate viability, went out and actually voted for the candidate we trusted ? What if by doing this that ‘nonviable’ candidate ended up with, lets’ say 15% of total votes? Granted he or she has not become the ultimate winner, elected, but what do you think that 15% would mean in the next election? Would it encourage more people to do the same, cast their vote based on what they really believe? Would it motivate better people to rise up and take on leadership? Would it help the current landscape of the MSM – promoting coverage of a ‘people’s candidate’? And finally, what if two election seasons later we get to see a ‘people’s candidate’ with 50% or more of votes cast?

I think this is more than enough to chew on and discuss. I am truly interested to hear all viewpoints, so please bring them in!



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Comments

  1. To Mr. Hough: Choo Choo!

    To Sibel: We’re working on it. To be honest, I trust you and I trust Ralph Nader. But he’s only got a few more tries left in him ;)

  2. Sibel, actually, the numbers are there already, and in the millions.

    We need to call off the damned progressive dogs who bark everytime an inependent walks by.

    And to repeat what some others have said, a keystone focal point is the NYCCAN initiative.

  3. To Zica:

    Why do you blame the progressives?

  4. To mmonk: Because I consider myself one and I see time and time again the interest of progressives go down on Mr. Hough’s Titanic because they purposely steer the boat towards the iceberg. Must be a lack of self-esteem or maybe it’s the thrill of fear itself.

    I don’t blame progressives solely, but I see us as an ironic roadblock to our own goals. So, I guess it’d be nice if we could stop barking at the real progressive leaders and candidates when they don’t have a (D) next to their name.

    One of the most trusted and proven progressives in our history is trying to lead us away from EvilTown, and all the so called progressive pundits can do is ‘bark, bark, bark’ when he runs for office.

  5. avatar Jere L Hough says:

    Take Action: There is a unique window of opportunity for casting votes in the President’s Online Brainstorming Session.

    The top vote-getters will get top priority. I posted above my own pet project, transforming private money creation into a public function, with direct oversight. This is Ellen H Brown’s proposal, and can be seen HEREOnce you are there, look for The Whistleblowers Protection proposal, and sign it, as I did. There are several key proposals there that any progressive should support, including election reforms, instant runoff ballots, campaign finance reforms, and so on.

    Voting will continue for a few days, and then the most popular ideas will get further online discussion.

    This is a chance to DO something other than just gripe and complain.

    Web of Debt

  6. avatar eric zaetsch says:

    The Hough-provided links regarding monetary politics are both informative and challenging.

    Neither Hough’s nor Zica’s answer about facing wasted voting worries via either fork in the road is strong.

    The options are weak because one vote is weak.

    Questions of time and immediacy and present degrees of potential mischief are points Hough and Zica differ on – if we don’t take “path A” now, how bad are the consequences.

    My take – Humans have evolved and lasted so that time and civilizatons are measured in generations, centuries, eons, and immediacy is an illusion (although historical changes in power and empire can be quick but then permanant). E.g. Gorbachev and “that wall.”

    Wars can be lost or abandoned with lasting consequences.

    In that sense of instantaneous historical timelessness, Hough may be correct. In a larger sense, species survival lengths of time, Zica’s choice might be without fault.

    In the sense that nuclear war or astroid hits can make us a cinder where all bets are off on species survival, rare event statistics did not even predict the present financial system failure and crisis in any satisfying way, so it is faulted for more rare possibilities.

    Charles Schultz had Linus in Peanuts saying, “Two hundred years from now, who’ll know the difference?” What do we know about monetary history and what help is it today, and will today’s money amounts and distribution matter two hundred years from now?

    On the monetary system and reform, the Steve Lendman blog is above average:

    http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/

    In there he has a six part series about Ellen Brown’s “Web of Debt.” Brown has her own site and blog:

    http://www.webofdebt.com/

    From there, this link is given:

    http://model-economy.wikispaces.com/

    It seems there is overlap with what Sibel is aiming at exploring and what Hough is saying about monetary reform.

    I did not know Kucinich had a bill on monetary reform, and that link from Hough helps me learn more. I knew Ron Paul has his audit the Fed and end the Fed bills, with the audit bill having over 170 cosponsors and gaining.

    Looking at the House Financial Services Committee membership, and how they jumped at the 700 billion dollar slush fund for banks that Palusen and Bernanke fostered, and how they are dragging feet on helping the debtor-homeowner little folks, suggests monetary reform will not be easy.

    I think Barney Frank is as well-spoken as Obama. Has it done any good or is his having a secure district and funding from those the committee should regulate leading to more problems than solutions?

    Sibel, have a look at Landman.

    Perhaps you or BradBlog could get cross-posting of his very recent op-ed on manipulation of markets, and because you’ve public recognition you might be able to interest a first rate econophysicist to enter the question – they claim to be the new wave, etc.

    For the most credible econophysist around, and one with practical experience on setting up a trading company, Prediction Company, there is Doyne Farmer at Sanata Fe:

    http://www.santafe.edu/~jdf/SFI%20Template/About%20Me.html

    http://www.santafe.edu/profiles/?pid=37

    His publications listing indicates interest in how trading markets function, which should include wanting to be able to spot abnormal trading patterns – such as the “pump and dump” that Lendman discusses.

  7. Zica, I understand what you are saying. I was curious sense progressives in the Democratic party seem to be the only ones to fight for accountability among the elected. I was thinking the DLC and Blue Dogs have the Democratic party in a headlock. And they control things. But I know there are many outside the two pary system and they left because it seems the two parties are merging in many respects despite the rhetoric.

  8. avatar Sibel Edmonds says:

    MMonk: “it seems the two parties are merging in many respects despite the rhetoric.”

    And I totally agree with this observation.

  9. avatar eric zaetsch says:

    Zica – MMonk – Sibel

    My impression has been third parties try to park in the middle.

    Jesse Ventura and the Independent Party in Minnesota is that – Blue Dog attitude but secular and w/o any of the GOP theocratic flavor.

    Then there was Perot.

    Wallace and John Anderson seemed to be insincere spoiler efforts only.

    I wonder if it would be viable, a left and labor party, a centrist Democratic remainder, a secular GOP business-banking-privilege remnant, and a Christian Family Party thing. It is how I would like to see the fractions break up.

    Then the theocratic people would not have to feel used and then marginalized, while a left and labor candidate could win the oval office, if current labor leadership could deliver rank and file votes and not only volunteer help on phone banks and if awareness of what’s best for “our people” might again be as awakened as it was in labor’s past.

    Remember how the air traffic controllers supported Reagan.

    Then there would have to be coalition formation for any party to have a congressional majority including itself but not exclusively entitled to committee chairs, etc.

    It seems the Dems now take the liberal wing for granted – a they may not like our games but they’ll deliver in the booth mentality.

    AND – Nadar did not cause Gore to lose. Gore caused Gore to lose. He ran an awful campaign and picking Lieberman was unwise.

  10. Great post! (Forgive me, but let me repeat a comment of mine from your second post:)
    Your political honesty is a breath of fresh air, Sibel. The list of Obama’s terrible voting record — not even to mention the Afghanistan war! — made me ultimately cringe away from voting for Obama. Basically, I agreed with McCain 20%, Obama 40%, and independent Chuck Baldwin/Ron Paul 80% (though Nader is equally impressive). I think it’s obvious who won my vote :)

  11. avatar Anonymous says:

    With numbers on our side re:MSM, think like the younger generation folks. Be mobile. Sibel’s site will work for awhile, then move on. Move on got controlled by Soros. Learn to link critically, verify your sources, talk with live people.The Internet will become less free with a cyberczar and abuses still in place regarding Internet surveillance. Free speech is on the ground, Dude.

  12. avatar Jere L Hough says:

    Whoever the last “anonymous” is, he knows a few things. It will soon be too dangerous to openly post on topics like this, or my web site, or Ellen Brown’s. Enjoy and use them while you can. Now to my main request:

    Please sign the WHISTEBLOWER PROPOSAL on Pres. Obama’s Open Gov website, below. It is now second in popularity, ahead of even election and money reforms.

    IMO, election and money reforms are THE keys to returning democracy to the people. Government is now in the hands of a financial aristocracy, and they are mostly psychosociopaths. They do intend to rule our world or destroy it.

    The problem is that even if they get to rule it among themselves (Bilderbergers, Trilaterals, CFRs) they will still destroy it fighting for control among themselves.

    This is a main reason I cannot accept the second premise Sibel advanced for voting for “can’t win 3rd candidates”. We don’t have the time, even if that strategy worked, and it doesn’t.

    Anyone who REALLY wants to open their eyes and “wake up” from the “Matrix” (The movie is an excellent allegory – disregard the gratuitous violence) they have us trapped in should read “Tragedy and Hope”, by Prof. Carroll Quigley. It is the best “contemporary history of our world in print, bar none. Furthermore, nothing else even comes close. (Believe me, I’ve checked them all out.) I’ve written a review of this on my website, and many reviews can be seen on Amazon.com.

    If you lack time to read the book, then read the reviews of the book, or read some intelligent synopsis or highlights. One such can be found in “How the World Really Works”, by Alan B Jones. This route will get you the juicier parts of several other “must read” works to those who really want to see what is behind the “Matrix”, or “curtain”.

    A few more honest souls here might even find a little sympathy for the unenviable position our current president finds himself, and try helping his efforts at change, along with making an effort to better sort out what is personally HIS fault, and what is just the world he inherited.

    Sign the WHISTLEBLOWER PROTECTION proposalMore information and eye-opening leads can be found on my blog, HERE

  13. I see by the date on the other posts that this is an old discussion, but I found this debate an interesting and important one, and want to chime in with a couple comments.

    Sibel, I greatly admire you and your work and have followed your story ever since I heard about it. I was especially intrigued with the recent wiretapping revelations about Senator Harman vis-à-vis Aipac. I had been looking to see if you had anything to say about the matter and was thrilled to find your site. I’m glad you joined the blogosphere. Just be careful! I’m sure you know better than anyone how they’d like to seize upon the littlest thing to try to discredit you.

    I’m also surprised at the general level of civility that has prevailed on your blog. Hopefully it will continue even as your readership grows!

    I wanted to briefly respond to the debate about which strategy is superior with regards to elections. Having heard both arguments here and many times before, I think the tactic of voting for the non-establishment candidate is the most compelling.

    In response to Mr. Hough (I’ll post to your blog too): After looking at your linked argument and some of your other postings, I can tell we have many points of agreement. Your argument was generally sound, but I think you missed part of Sibel’s reasoning. You critiqued the “do what is right let the consequence follow” argument but missed the consequentialist argument that was also made in combination with it. It goes along with what was said about the long term perspective when voting your conscience. The strategy of gradually increasing votes for non-establishment candidates is a legitimate one and is not blind to outcome. It just finds that it's more hopeless/useless to vote within the system, with little differences between the parties in their approach to a number of important issues.

    In criticizing the “both parties are the same” attitude, it seems you let your frustration get the better of you. While some of the reasons you cite for this attitude are undoubtedly correct, there is much more truth to this statement than you recognize. Though fostering this mindset may be a tactic of some political strategists, I doubt it is on the scale you suggest. Moreover, it is without question infinitely secondary to the opposite strategy of creating a façade of conflicting interests among each parties’ elite. I’m especially surprised at your thoughts on this given your knowledge of Carroll Quigley’s works—“The two parties should be almost identical, so that the American people can 'throw the rascals out' at any election without leading to any profound or extensive shifts in policy” (Tragedy and Hope). Many of us believe the establishment has succeeded in achieving this. Sibel’s story attests to this—clearly it has influenced her views on voting. Party, platform, and campaign promises make little difference when it comes to establishment politicians' actions, making judging the better of two evils nearly a hopeless endeavor.

    You draw upon relevant historical examples where little success was achieved, but I think therein lies your mistake. You seem to be grounded in the failures of the past, without faith that anything can change. Remember that there were naysayers about every “improbable,” great moment of history, but fortunately they were wrong. I think Sibel’s case might be the key to bringing about the REAL change we’ve all been longing for. I have hopes that if/when the truth about Sibel’s story (and all the others connected with it) becomes known, with its magnitude and scale across both parties so far-reaching, that it will awaken and disgust a naïve, trusting public, alerting it to the façade created by the establishment.

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