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Politics (formerly Election 2012)

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Re: Election 2012

Postby theckhd » Sun Jun 17, 2012 5:45 pm

Amirya wrote:I don't vote because I don't have faith in the system. I can't even believe what Brekkie says about my vote being counted (not because he's dishonest, but because that is the amount of faith I have in the system - it's NOT counted).

So, you don't vote, because you think that the votes aren't actually counted at all. That someone behind the scenes just makes up numbers and that's how the election is decided?

You do realize how utterly and incredibly stupid that sounds right? Our government has trouble covering up trivial things, like representatives banging interns. Covering up a massive electoral hoax would be basically impossible. Not to mention that there's third-party oversight in the form of exit polling. If the exit polls drastically differed from the way the votes actually fell, that would be a pretty strong indicator of tomfoolery (and I wouldn't doubt this has been used to catch smaller, isolated incidents of fraud in the past).

If you really believe that the whole thing is rigged on the vote-by-vote level, then you may as well believe that we're secretly run by communist aliens from Neptune, because as far as conspiracy theories go, that's about as likely.

Amirya wrote:But you're telling me it's better to vote dishonestly, just because everyone else thinks I should - instead of not voting because that's my honest opinion.

If that's what you're saying, then no one will bitch and moan if I ask my resident alien mother to tell me who to vote for, right? Or hell, you guys can tell me who to vote for. It'll amount to the same thing.

Money rules politics these days. I don't have the money to buy any votes or laws. Therefore, my vote is meaningless, because I don't have the wealth to back it up.

Or at least, that's how it's certainly presented these days.

Who said anything about being dishonest? If you really think the system is "broken," then prove it. Go start a grassroots movement for a write-in candidate. When Sideshow Bob shows up with 0.01% of the vote in your district, you'll know your vote was counted.

More importantly, there's nothing dishonest about doing that. If you truly believe the available candidates are shit, vote for someone who isn't, even if they're not running. Your vote is your voice - it's the way you can express support, discontent, or even disgust with the system.

All not voting does is ensure that you're silenced. The only way to make your vote truly meaningless is to not cast it.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Amirya » Sun Jun 17, 2012 5:59 pm

theckhd wrote:
Amirya wrote:I don't vote because I don't have faith in the system. I can't even believe what Brekkie says about my vote being counted (not because he's dishonest, but because that is the amount of faith I have in the system - it's NOT counted).

So, you don't vote, because you think that the votes aren't actually counted at all.

No, and it may be my perception of the electoral college is skewed, but from my understanding of it, people vote and the electoral college *should* vote the same way, but they are not required to do so.

So then it isn't my vote, it's the electoral college vote that really matters. Isn't that why there are swing states and the states that every candidate has to fight in/for, and why there are other states that aren't such a big deal?
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Re: Election 2012

Postby theckhd » Sun Jun 17, 2012 6:11 pm

Amirya wrote:
theckhd wrote:
Amirya wrote:I don't vote because I don't have faith in the system. I can't even believe what Brekkie says about my vote being counted (not because he's dishonest, but because that is the amount of faith I have in the system - it's NOT counted).

So, you don't vote, because you think that the votes aren't actually counted at all.

No, and it may be my perception of the electoral college is skewed, but from my understanding of it, people vote and the electoral college *should* vote the same way, but they are not required to do so.

So then it isn't my vote, it's the electoral college vote that really matters. Isn't that why there are swing states and the states that every candidate has to fight in/for, and why there are other states that aren't such a big deal?

Your perception of the electoral college is skewed. In many states (though I admit, not all), those electoral college members are required to vote according to the popular vote. Under penalty of law, even - they can be prosecuted and jailed if they fail to do so.

Part of the reason that certain states are more valuable is that each state has different rules for how to divvy up those electoral college votes. Some states divide them up evenly according to popular vote - i.e. if candidate A gets 50% of the popular vote, they get 50% of the electoral college votes, and so on for each candidate (rounded, presumably, so someone with 0.01% of the vote really would get no electoral college votes, but they would still show up on the popular voting record).

Other states give all of their electoral college votes to the winning candidate, even if it was a 51%-49% victory.

And of course, some states traditionally vote for one party, while other states are a more even split. This creates "battleground" states that get a lot of attention from candidates. It doesn't make sense for the republican candidate to campaign heavily in a state that always votes democrat by a large margin. They have more to gain per hour of campaign time by spending it in a battleground state where they might be able to turn a loss into a victory.

I'm certainly not saying the system is perfect - I'd rather see all states go with the proportional split method, for example, such that a democrat had more reason to campaign in traditionally "red" states. But it's certainly a far cry from the dystopia that many paint it as. Is money important? Of course, and it's a big factor in how effective a campaign is. But it's also, in my opinion, going to become less important over time.

Why? Right now, media matters. Getting your face and your message out there matters. Getting the baby boomers who watch American Idol in your camp matters. But what happens 20, 30, or 40 years from now, when every voter is as familiar with YouTube and Twitter as they are with ABC, NBC, Fox, and CNN? I'm sure you've seen a viral video before. I feel pretty confident saying that eventually, we are going to see a viral campaign. Some day, the proverbial David candidate will defeat the Republican and Democrat Goliaths. And it'll happen through grassroots methods, all enabled by social media and the internet. I may not live to see it, but I believe it'll happen someday.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Koatanga » Sun Jun 17, 2012 7:57 pm

Amirya wrote:No, and it may be my perception of the electoral college is skewed, but from my understanding of it, people vote and the electoral college *should* vote the same way, but they are not required to do so.

So then it isn't my vote, it's the electoral college vote that really matters. Isn't that why there are swing states and the states that every candidate has to fight in/for, and why there are other states that aren't such a big deal?

The electoral college only elects the President, whereas Congress has the real power regarding what gets done. While the President can veto, he can't initiate legislation. Congress initiates laws and creates the budget, which largely defines what is going to get done and what isn't going to get done.

Whether you vote or not for the President, by all means have your say who represents you in Congress where the real work is done, and where your vote is not filtered through an electoral college member.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Fivelives » Fri Jun 22, 2012 5:47 am

The only problem with that, Koatanga, is that for damn near everyone, the congressional race is just a checkbox on the ballot that you tick for the incumbent (or, occasionally along rigid party lines). None of the candidates are anyone we've ever heard of before, and even if we HAVE heard of them before, they're pretty good at avoiding scandals in an election year.

This is compounded by the typical attention span of American Q Public, who would lose a staring contest with a gnat. So we're reduced to names that sound vaguely familiar, somehow, unless we get interested in the congressional elections and vote the issues. Again, the campaigning at the congressional level is just as close to non-existent as it's possible to get, being relegated mainly to public access television (shit, more people read the nutritional labels on their food than watch public access) and the internet, which is still only available in major areas and roughly about 40% of people have no access to broadband internet and 30% of people have no internet at all.

This doesn't set up a very promising scenario for becoming an informed voter at non-presidential levels, especially considering that the more urbanized your area is, the less likely you are to be interested in Big Issues™.

Then you have to account for the fact that the corruption rarely ever lies in the president, for exactly the reason you state - congress is the body that holds the "real" power, so that's where corporations buy their laws. That's where money counts more than votes, Amirya. Not in elections*.

Forbes recently (at least as recently as 2011 - going off of memory here) published the dollar amounts it would take to get your issues heard at each level of government, compared to the dollar amounts it would take to get your issues heard by "famous" private citizens. As an example:

Donating $71,600 to the Obama "victory campaign" this year will get you dinner with Barack Obama at a private house. However, just to get Kim Kardashian to make a brief nightclub appearance, some Vegas clubs pay her around $100,000. And I'd just like to think, THINK, mind you, that Kim Kardashian is far less important to the running of our country than anyone in any position of power in D.C.

Now extrapolate that to the "less important" or rather more accurately, "less visible" people in power, and you can see where I'm going with this.

Also, the re-election rates in congress is typically a staggering 90%+. This is another reason why corporations spread money around congress like we spread butter on toast - liberally. Once a congressman is bought, he or she stays bought and stays in power. Unfortunately, the Presidential office is term-limited, so they can't stay in power, and it's far more visible so there's less chance of them staying bought. Ironically, the one office that everyone seems to blame is the one office that has the least power to do anything of any note other than set broad policy goals that shoot through the US like a game of telephone where at least half the people are intentionally trying to sabotage the message being whispered from ear to ear. But maybe - just maybe - that's one of the primary functions of the office. People need a target for their outrage, or else we end up with aimless protesting like the Occupy Movement or anarchist "groups" like Anonymous.

Anyway, I'm rambling, so I'll end this here and STFU.

* Money does count in some ways during an election, and probably more than you might think. Sure, there's the obvious "more money means more marketing" thing, but also, the more people that donate to a campaign, the more people are going to be dead set on voting for that candidate. There are others, I'm sure, but those are the main two that I can think of.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Fridmarr » Fri Jun 22, 2012 7:21 am

Fivelives wrote:Donating $71,600 to the Obama "victory campaign" this year will get you dinner with Barack Obama at a private house. However, just to get Kim Kardashian to make a brief nightclub appearance, some Vegas clubs pay her around $100,000. And I'd just like to think, THINK, mind you, that Kim Kardashian is far less important to the running of our country than anyone in any position of power in D.C.
That seems like an apples and oranges comparison, it's like suggesting that hockey is much more popular than baseball because their tickets cost a lot more. Not only that, but even the math is a bit wonky. Those dinners are 71k per person/family. The dudes going to the club to see Kim are not dropping 100k, and the club is going to get at least some of that money back from the people who come to see her.

Anyhow, I don't really see any problem Koatanga's point. It's not particularly onerous to understand the positions of the representative(s) from your district, especially those at the federal level. Campaigning at that level is MUCH more prolific than you suggest. Relegated to public access? That's simply not even close to accurate. The fact that there is a lot of power in congressional seats, means any seat in contention does get a fair (much more than necessary) amount of attention.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Fivelives » Fri Jun 22, 2012 10:33 am

I read my local newspapers, watch my local news shows, and most of my television watching is on "local" network stations. I don't see shit about congressman A vs congressman B, and the extent of the campaigning?

I've gotten a cold call from the campaign and a form letter. The form letter talked about everything he'd done for my district and the cold call only lasted long enough for me to request to be removed from their calling lists.

The amusing thing is? I live in district 2, and am currently registered to vote in district 1. The congressman who mailed me the letter? Is from district 7, and the one that cold called me is from district 8. Go figure.

And as far as comparing apples and oranges, it's not that far a stretch. It almost seems like you're just being argumentative here - the idea is that it costs far more for a celebrity's time and attention than it does for time and attention from our government representatives. Go ahead - it's an election year. Call your campaign of choice and ask how much you'd have to "donate" in order to get some time with your candidate. Then compare that to how much you'd have to pay (at least they're honest) for the same amount of time with a celebrity of your choice. I thought I'd made that clear by saying that 15 minutes of Kim Kardashian's time was worth more than an entire evening of the President of the United States' time*.

If you're interested, here's a legit service that provides celebrities for events: http://millionairesconcierge.com/celebrity-meet.htm

Call them up and ask them how much it would cost to have dinner with DiCaprio. Then compare that number with the $71,600 it'll cost you to have dinner with the President of the United States of America.

* Unfortunately, my google-fu fails me completely today and I don't remember the name of the Forbes article that listed the average cost of buying a congressman. I picked it up and read it in a doctor's office some time late last year or early this year - if you can find it, I expect it would probably leave you as dumbfounded as it left me there.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Jabari » Fri Jun 22, 2012 11:08 am

Fridmarr wrote:It's not particularly onerous to understand the positions of the representative(s) from your district, especially those at the federal level.

Because politicians always do what they say they're going to, right? :lol:

We tried to get some of "our own" into Congress in the last election. Turns out that they're just as easily bought off and/or corrupted as the rest of them.

http://thinkprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Tea-Party-donations.png

Cheap who..., er, dates, that lot.

(Not the link that Fivelives was talking about - I'd be curious to see that one too...)

I'm particularly disappointed in Allen West. Had high hopes for him, he certainly "talked the talk" and seemed to have a good background and character. Then he voted to extend the Patriot Act (among other problematic votes, mostly financial stuff). Ugh.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Fridmarr » Fri Jun 22, 2012 3:09 pm

Fivelives wrote:And as far as comparing apples and oranges, it's not that far a stretch. It almost seems like you're just being argumentative here



Yes, I am being argumentative because what you are saying deserves some common sense thrown at it.

It's totally apples and oranges.  First, just on the simple math, you aren't seperating the difference between an appearance fee and a seat fee.  The president's fee is 71k per 2 people max.  Celebrities attend events which many people show up at...so the cost per person is actually often much less. The host is using that appearance to turn a profit off of small fees from many people over time. The net results are vastly different.

That's all irrelevent though, because what the heck does it matter?  Abosultely nothing at all.  The reasons people are interested aren't the same, the motivations of the honored guests aren't the same.  Trying to parlay that into some sort of commentary about our society is just stupid.  I could probably come up with thousands of similarly meaningless comparisons about just about any topic to spin things in any particular direction.

For our last federal congressional election, we had a televised debate, countless radio and newspaper commentaries and interviews with the candidates, millions of commercials, the voter's summary guide, public records of previous votes, and finally the position summaries in the local papers, and that's all before you even begin to touch that big fancy thing called the internet....and that was just for the Republican primary (the incumbent was the dem so that was all unecessary), the general election was like that again...just on steroids.  Good grief, you can't on one hand suggest that all the power is with congress, point out all the costs involved in getting time with these people and then honsetly suggest that all their positions are a relative unknown...

If you can't find out the positions of your federal representatives, you're being purposely obtuse.
 
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Fivelives » Sat Jun 23, 2012 8:39 am

Fridmarr wrote:Yes, I am being argumentative because what you are saying deserves some common sense thrown at it.

It's totally apples and oranges. First, just on the simple math, you aren't seperating the difference between an appearance fee and a seat fee. The president's fee is 71k per 2 people max. Celebrities attend events which many people show up at...so the cost per person is actually often much less. The host is using that appearance to turn a profit off of small fees from many people over time. The net results are vastly different.


So go check out Millionaire's Concierge. Ask them how much it would cost to get an A-list celebrity to have dinner at your place. The reason I used that particular example is because it was easy enough to find, but the main point is "celebrities are more expensive than politicians". Whether you go by appearance fee per person, or personal interaction fee, or any other metric, the fact is one person is paying that money and getting something out of it. In the case of say, Tao nightclub paying a Kardashian $100k for a brief appearance vs you paying $72k for a dinner with the president, one "person" is still paying that fee. In Tao's case, they'll quite possibly make that back because of all the people that hound celebrities. In the case of dinner with the president, you get to discuss policy and have your own personal ideas heard.

So again, what's the difference between a celebrity appearance fee and a presidential appearance fee? Because that's exactly what that 72k "donation" gets you - a POTUS appearance. Just like the 100k gets you a Kardashian appearance. Now it just seems like you're being purposefully obtuse about this.

Oh, and as far as "cost per person" goes - only one person assumes the cost of a celebrity appearance.

Fridmarr wrote:The reasons people are interested aren't the same, the motivations of the honored guests aren't the same. Trying to parlay that into some sort of commentary about our society is just stupid.


How so? People are more interested in celebrities than politicians. That's not a social commentary, it's stating a fact. The sky is blue. Politicians get less attention than celebrities. These are both facts, and I challenge you to disprove them.

Fridmarr wrote:For our last federal congressional election, we had a televised debate, countless radio and newspaper commentaries and interviews with the candidates, millions of commercials, the voter's summary guide, public records of previous votes, and finally the position summaries in the local papers, and that's all before you even begin to touch that big fancy thing called the internet....and that was just for the Republican primary (the incumbent was the dem so that was all unecessary), the general election was like that again...just on steroids. Good grief, you can't on one hand suggest that all the power is with congress, point out all the costs involved in getting time with these people and then honsetly suggest that all their positions are a relative unknown...


None of my local stations showed anything about it - whether debates or commercials. None of my local papers had anything about it. I admit, I don't listen to the radio, so maybe there was something there. I did get a letter from each candidate talking about their platforms and what they've "accomplished" so far.

Also, for fucks sake. I'm not talking about myself. I may be a PART of Joe Q Public, but I'm definitely not Joe Q Public. You say it's easy to find out things on the internet, which is true - but what if you're part of that 30% of the US that doesn't have internet? How about if you're a part of the 40% of US internet users that don't have broadband internet? Go on - throttle your connection to 56k then try and load a webpage. What if you don't have a television, or live in a rural area as I do? I didn't see jack diddly shit about anything other than presidential races unless I tuned in to CSpan.

And get this through your skull: MOST PEOPLE DON'T FUCKING CARE ABOUT THEIR REPRESENTATIVES IN CONGRESS OR IN THE SENATE - that's why they get away with all of the shit they get away with and STILL have a 90%+ reelection rate. Show me how this is possible without voter apathy. Show me where I'm wrong, here. Give me numbers that disagree with mine. Here:

http://www.fairvote.org/voter-turnout#.T-XfLEWm-So

Relevant bit:
Low turnout is most pronounced in off-year elections for state legislators and local officials as well as primaries. In many cities, for example, mayors of major cities often are elected with single-digit turnout ; for example, turnout was only 5 percent of registered voters in a recent Dallas mayoral election, 6 percent in Charlotte, and 7 percent in Austin. Congressional primaries have similarly low turnout; for example, turnout was only 7 percent in a recent Tennessee primary, and was only 3 percent for a U.S. Senate primary in Texas. A statewide gubernatorial election in Kentucky has a turnout of only 6 percent since Kentucky gubernatorial elections are held in the off-off-year between mid-term congressional election and presidential elections was scheduled at a time when there were no elections for federal office. North Carolina’s runoff elections have seen turnout as low as 3 percent in statewide elections.


In the 2010 congressional midterms you're talking about, my state (Arizona) had a 36% voter turnout. If the media blitz was as pronounced here as you say it was (despite me being fairly certain in my assumption that you don't fucking live in my state), why wasn't it higher? Why was it lower, in fact, than the voter turnout rate nationwide (41.0%)?

http://elections.gmu.edu/Turnout_2010G.html

And this is despite the big huge fucking debacle that is SB 1070 coming to a vote in 2010. I rather imagine that would have something to do with voter turnout in 2010.

Oh look, someone agrees: http://ncoc.net/Actions-That-Influence- ... nout-AZCHI

And here you go - turnout % and raw numbers by county in Arizona: http://www.azsos.gov/election/2010/gene ... rting.aspx

If you'd like to compare that to a population map, go right ahead. Rural areas don't get the same media as urban areas do. In other news: water is wet. Fire's status as "hot" is still being debated.

Go ahead and do the same types of searches on your own state, Fridmarr. Compare turnout rates in low population counties to high population counties and across income lines. Go drive out to East Westbumsfuckville in your state and compare their local newspapers to your local newspapers. Sit around for a couple of hours and compare TV programming (here's a hint: the only thing that's the same are newscasts and regularly scheduled programming, or "big ticket events" like presidential races).

Come back to me with an argument consisting of more than just "lol ur dumb" and then we'll talk.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Fridmarr » Sat Jun 23, 2012 9:36 am

First of all, if you want to keep posting here you need to chill out a bit.

Secondly, I don't need to live in your state to do a search of the at least regional newspapers in your district. There's plenty there. Third, I didn't say it's easy to find information on the internet, I said it's easy to find information without the internet, the internet merely makes it that much easier. If you want to talk about East Westbumsfuckville, I lived there for 18 years. A tiny amish community in the heart of central PA, a lot of people don't even have electricity (by choice), yet somehow managed to be quite knowledgeable about their elected officials (and their opponents) in a time when a lot of the media we have today, didn't even exist.

For the most part, I'm not sure what you are even arguing. I never suggested that voter turnout for *ANY* election is high. I never debated the re-election rate, I lament it myself it's an amazing case of NIMBY. I'm supporting Koatanga's comment that people should participate in their congressional elections, in hopes of the positive affect that would have on those issues. There's no "problem" in that participation, it's not a futile effort, it's not hard to educate yourself on the candidate's positions, and really the lower turnout actually enhances it particularly on off year cycles.

As for the celebrity vs politician thing...it's stupid, the original comparison was mathematically off, but most of all it's utterly irrelevant.

I don't form opinions and then enter google search races to find links to support it. I use information to form my opinions. If you want google links, I'm sure that nothing I've said is all that hard to come by.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Jabari » Sat Jun 23, 2012 9:59 am

Fivelives wrote:And get this through your skull: MOST PEOPLE DON'T FUCKING CARE ABOUT THEIR REPRESENTATIVES IN CONGRESS OR IN THE SENATE - that's why they get away with all of the shit they get away with and STILL have a 90%+ reelection rate. Show me how this is possible without voter apathy.


Well, one reason would be that we're on the wrong side of:
A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public treasury. After that, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits with the result the democracy collapses because of the loose fiscal policy ensuing, always to be followed by a dictatorship, then a monarchy.

Note that we're nearly in the "dictatorship" stage as it is.
http://news.yahoo.com/justice-dept-says-president-exerted-executive-privilege-over-140250605.html;_ylt=A2KLOzLe2uFP1W0AlUTQtDMD

(As an aside, I give it about a 25% chance that this whole discussion is moot as the election will be "delayed" for "national security reasons". Europe blowing up financially being the most likely cause (as that'll destroy the TBTF banks here as well), but there are other triggers too.)
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Fridmarr » Sat Jun 23, 2012 10:11 am

I don't think that situation has to be irrecoverable. I mean clearly, "we" regularly vote that way now, and to see Greece's reaction to their situation by doubling down on that notion is also disheartening, but I think it is possible for people to get past the "how does this benefit me" mentality. Perhaps I'm naive...

You're point is right though, re-election rates is not purely about voter apathy, there's a lot that goes on at the congressional level dealing with the distribution of money and drawing of districts to keep incumbents of the party in power, in place. That said, there is also a lot of people who think seem to think that all congressman are corrupt...except their own.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Jabari » Sat Jun 23, 2012 1:57 pm

Fridmarr wrote:... but I think it is possible for people to get past the "how does this benefit me" mentality. Perhaps I'm naive...


*shrug* - It's Other People's Money(tm), of course they're going to take as much as they can. (Sandra Fluke, anyone?) That, and at some point over the last 60 years or so the whole concept of "personal responsibility" has just gone out the window. (I blame FDR, myself).

I heard that we've recently gone to a population that is only 49% "net tax-payers". Sorry, but we're done for. Only question now is the timing. *shrug*

The only thing that can save us at this point is to enact a law that says something on the order of "Any person that is a net-negative contributor to the public treasury is not allowed to vote."

This really should be the rule anyway, as it's a horrific conflict-of-interest as it is. Note that government employees are paid from the public treasury. (As is the military, and I would certainly allow an exception for active military being excluded from the above).
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Fivelives » Sat Jun 23, 2012 2:32 pm

Not all congressmen are corrupt, but enough are to give that impression.

And Fridmarr - my opinions were formed based on information. The "google search race" was to show you some of the information I used to form those opinions. Not the other way around. Also, how is low turnout not related to voter apathy?

The reason I used the example that I did is because I couldn't find the original article that I was talking about. I mentioned the sources I originally used and also fumed about not being able to find them again - there's a video somewhere in the bowels of youtube that showed me just how "hard at work" our representatives are during a vote, where there were about 20 empty seats visible from the camera's point of view and 5 or 6 people rushing to press other people's "vote" buttons, as they were absent from the vote itself. The article in Forbes that compared hiring a celebrity to buying a congressman and called the latter "a good investment". The absolute dearth of information in rural areas that I've lived in (and you lived in an Amish community - I'd say that probably actually had something to do with the amount of information you had available. "American Colonies" such as the Pennsylvania Dutch have a more vested interest in how the country is run than Joe Q Public simply because they feel they have to be on the lookout for politicians enriching the rest of the US at the cost of their lifestyle). The switch for most campaigns from having people cold-calling registered voters and mailing letters to being run on the internet, which a large portion of society doesn't have access to.

... The list goes on, but that's what I could find to begin with.

I disagree - I don't think it's possible at all for people to get past asking "how does this benefit me". We're selfish, and that's part of human nature. Always has been, always will be.

Jabari, I don't think we're really at that point yet. Of course we expect our representatives to do things that benefit us - that's why they (nominally) represent us. But I also think that quote is more along the lines of a direct benefit rather than something like say, getting government funding to open a state park in the area, supporting our pet non-profit organizations, or fix local roads etc. If that were the case, then the stimulus packages that give money directly to individuals would've been more popular than they were.

Jabari wrote:The only thing that can save us at this point is to enact a law that says something on the order of "Any person that is a net-negative contributor to the public treasury is not allowed to vote."


That's an interesting idea, actually. You mention that active duty military (and I'd probably add disabled veterans that are drawing lifelong pensions) should be exempt, but what about other non-taxpayers such as clergymen? How about college students who are relying on grants and loans to attend school? There's a lot of logistical issues with that, but if those could be worked out it sounds like a Good Idea™.

It would definitely keep the ultra-rich who live on debt and avoid paying into the public treasury because of that.
- I'm not Jesus, but I can turn water into Kool-Aid.
- A Sergeant in motion outranks an officer who doesn't know what the hell is going on.
- A demolitions specialist at a flat run outranks everybody.
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