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2012 Presidential election thread

Discussion in 'GMD Social Forum' started by Peter Joseph, Jul 21, 2011.

  1. Jimmy... Dead.

    Jimmy... Dead. contemplative curmudgeon

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    Well we are contractual beings, so yes the collective idea follows. I'm not saying we are without society or loners in a matter of choices but man must choose his actions, values and goals, not men. To call this a fantasy is to deny any individual his right to reason and survive by the standard which is proper to the individual. In order to achieve,maintain,fulfill and enjoy that ultimate moral value, that end in itself, which is his own life.

    well, I digress and leave this convo off with a little...

    [​IMG]
     
  2. zabu of nΩd

    zabu of nΩd Free Insultation

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    Chris, Pat, Richard, and everyone else here who has said they're better off not voting, is a complete jackass. It's only better not to vote if you are too ignorant on the candidates to make a good decision, or too lazy to petition for better candidates. These are personal flaws that you should (1) admit having, and (2) strive to overcome. Unwillingness to do either does not make it "okay" to not vote.

    I'm pretty sure none of you actually prefer to live in a society that is devoid of a social contract between the rulers and subjects, because that would be fucking stupid. If you do not accept the role of a responsible citizen, you accept by default a predator-prey relationship between you and those with power over you.
     
  3. The Ozzman

    The Ozzman Melted by feels

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  4. MasterOLightning

    MasterOLightning Optimator

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  5. Saparmurat_Niyazov

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    So I should vote, even though my vote is essentially wasted, because, as someone who is a staunch opponent of the 2 party system, I refuse to vote for anyone who is a republican or a democrat? I suppose, but usually every other time I masturbate, I'm not really benefiting society in any meaningful way.
     
  6. zabu of nΩd

    zabu of nΩd Free Insultation

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    That's not what I said -- read again.
     
  7. Einherjar86

    Einherjar86 Active Member

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    I think it's premature to call us "jackasses." It's not any candidate in particular that I'm arguing against or attempting to thwart. It's the system itself; and when the system itself is the electoral system, then by voting one fails to change anything. No matter which candidate you vote for, you can only serve to sustain its ideology.

    By not voting, a citizenry can have enormous power over an institution that thrives on their votes.
     
  8. zabu of nΩd

    zabu of nΩd Free Insultation

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    You'll have to elaborate a bit. What do you mean when you refer to the "ideology" of the electoral system, and what is the problem with it?

    Your last point I find rather incoherent. If a majority of citizens abstains from voting, it gives the minority's votes more weight. If you mean to suggest that a better alternative to voting would be for people to abstain from voting in such great numbers that it causes some kind of national debate, I would say that not only is that a pretty fantastical scenario, but if there were anywhere near that kind of voter solidarity in a country, the voters may as well just make a coordinated effort at electing good candidates -- though I guess that depends on what kind of "ideological" problem you're talking about, and whether that problem needs to be addressed first.
     
  9. Badbird

    Badbird Never banned

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    Ayn Rand is dead hahahahaha
    zabu, who would you vote if say Dennis Kucinich face off Ron Paul in presidential election?
     
  10. zabu of nΩd

    zabu of nΩd Free Insultation

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    I'd vote for whoever is more likely to ban you and your sock puppet from the forum
     
  11. Badbird

    Badbird Never banned

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    Ayn Rand is dead hahahahaha
    I don't have any sock puppet at the moment.
     
  12. Dak

    Dak mentat

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    To vote is to accept the system, and not only are the candidates flawed, the system is flawed at it's core.

    Vote with your feet. That is my long term plan. Voting is accepting the system. If you vote, you have no right to complain about the results, contrary to popular belief.
     
  13. zabu of nΩd

    zabu of nΩd Free Insultation

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    You seem to be making a similar argument to Pat's, only much more poorly, so i'll stick with debating Pat.
     
  14. Dak

    Dak mentat

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    Debate what? That the system is flawed or that voting is acceptance of the system?
     
  15. zabu of nΩd

    zabu of nΩd Free Insultation

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    I think the debate encompasses both of those propositions, but i'm still waiting for a clarification of his arguments.
     
  16. Cythraul

    Cythraul Active Member

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    The issue for me does not concern how much I know about candidates, but how much I know about the truth or falsity of the positions they hold. There is no unwillingness to learn here. I've spent plenty of time trying to figure out where I should stand on a whole host of issues, and the time I've spent doing this has mostly served to show me exactly how much I really don't know. So it is rational for me to suspend my judgment on a whole litany of issues right now, yet somehow I ought to go out and make what would amount to largely arbitrary decisions on my part despite that? That's being a responsible citizen?

    I definitely can't agree with this. Whether or not my decision not to vote amounts to accepting a predator-prey relationship is dependent upon what causal powers my single vote has. It's pretty obvious that my vote has virtually no causal power with respect to who becomes the president. Furthermore, it's pretty obvious that my simply deciding not to vote has no causal effect on other people's tendency to vote. So the relevant causal effect of my decision to vote or not to vote is simply nowhere to be found. Since (1) I know that I can free ride on other people's votes, (2) I have good reason to doubt that I can make justifiable decisions in many cases about who ought to rule over me at any particular moment, and (3) voting is a loss of utility for me (it takes time and I don't like going to the voting place), then I have virtually no reason to vote at this point other than to signal to other people, "hey, look, i r a responsible citizens!!"

    edit: I mean, it's possible that when it's time to vote, I'll be at a point where I feel confident enough in my views on topics x, y, and z to vote for so-and-so on that basis, but I'm talking about where I'm at right now. The larger point is that whether it is individually rational or responsible to do some particular thing is not written in stone for all time.
     
  17. Einherjar86

    Einherjar86 Active Member

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    By "ideology" I mean, most immediately, the way the electoral system directs its citizens to vote according to two (and only two) choices: republican or democrat. That is: it provides the illusion of choice while actually maintaining a strict status quo in which the choice is always the same.

    I, personally, believe that third parties do not provide a viable alternative to the two-party system. I actually feel that they only serve to propagate this ideology of republican vs. democrat. The argument I'm making is similar to Žižek's claim that in post-9/11 America, the ideology of "liberal democracy vs. fundamentalism/terrorism" emerged as the dominant choice; and in fact, some extreme conservatives today still implement a form of this ideology in the electoral system: "You're either a patriotic, liberal democratic capitalist; or you're a socialist." This is the division promulgated by many conservatives and even by news outlets such as FOX.

    Voting third party doesn't serve as a viable option because of the inherent workings of the system. I made the argument a page or so back on why libertarianism as a party is harmful to this country; people allow themselves to agree with its values while voting their jobs (and their jobs only, thus equating freedom with economic freedom, eschewing the entirety of basic human freedoms). Other third parties work in the same way; people identify with their ideals and values, but end up voting republican or democrat. Third parties alleviate a sense of guilt by providing people with something to believe in while they don't actually vote for what they believe in (or maybe it just gives people something to claim they believe in, while also providing an excuse not to vote for it because their vote will "go to waste").

    That's why I didn't say "a majority of the citizenry." I said "citizenry," meaning the citizenry as a whole.

    It is much easier for a populace to agree that "no candidate is good" rather than "which candidate is best." However, I agree that actually convincing everyone to abstain from voting is a fantasy, mainly because people are still steeped in this ideology and truly believe they have a choice at the polls. The truth is, for me, the day a third party candidate gets elected, I will be seriously skeptical of him or her enacting any changes whatsoever. The stranglehold held on this nation by the democratic and republican parties will never allow for a third party to achieve the office, much less make any quantifiable changes if it does.

    By refusing to vote, I'm not sending a message to individual candidates or parties that says "Give me better choices!"

    I'm sending a message to lawmakers that I recognize the fact that I don't actually have a choice.

    EDIT: As a final point, I think the lame excuse that, as citizens, we have a duty and responsibility to vote is complete bullshit and merely contributes to the subsistence of the ideology.
     
  18. Jimmy... Dead.

    Jimmy... Dead. contemplative curmudgeon

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    Zabu I think I understand where you are coming from. You're going after the lazy gray area American but these guys are doing their homework and still choose not to vote, which is actually much more responsible than someone who votes on a whim/feeling. What I think you don't understand is that the right to vote is a consequence, not a primary cause, of a free social system. It's value depends on the constitutional structure implementing and delimiting the voters' power.
     
  19. Saparmurat_Niyazov

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  20. zabu of nΩd

    zabu of nΩd Free Insultation

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    I don't have much time but i think i can respond to most/all of Chris's post for now:

    This is a good point, it's not easy to understand many of the problems politicians commonly take stands on, and it's all the worse that they usually do not understand the problems themselves. Perhaps it would make sense to allow citizens more direct votes on specific laws, and have the politicians serve more in the role of issuing recommendations to voters (preferably with advisor assitance) in the event that voters do not know enough to make a good decision.

    I don't know if you're hinting at the electoral college here, but (1) the electoral college almost always follows the popular vote thereby indicating that the body of voters as a whole does have influence, and (2) there are elected offices other than the presidency where voters have more direct control over who gets elected.

    No, but telling people on a forum that you are not planning to vote does have a causal effect on others' tendency to vote.

    I don't see how this is really relevant, but i guess i am curious to know if you consider the effort involved in, say, recycling to be a justification to not do it since an individual's decision to recycle has "virtually no causal effect" on the environment.
     

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