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* I haven't read LJ in about a week, which I regret. However, life has been full of shiny lately, and my ability to resist shiny things is only theoretical, and has never been observed in actual practice.

* The big event of the last week was violet_flames and Stevan's wedding on Clearwater Beach! Everything about it was picture perfect. The weather cooperated perfectly (thanks to slartibart), the beach was gorgeous, the ceremony was both fun and touching, the bride was handsome, the groom was lovely, and a good time was had by all. :-) Additionally, the reception was a blast and had OMG AWESOME food! I must admit that I had reservations about vegan lasagna. My reservations were completely unjustified. It rocked.

* Of course, it would be impossible to have something like a wedding go absolutely perfectly without the cooperation of ninjas, right? Right! This perfect wedding was no exception! I'm not at liberty to discuss the details, but I can now reveal that the four-people-formerly-known-as-the-Smoosh were recruited by The Bride to be her Secret Wedding Ninjas; a role that at least zensidhe and I embraced with ninja-like fanaticism. We served Her will quietly, discreetly, and with utter indifference to the wishes and well-being of any of the other guests or family. Our role was a small one, but it was a special joy to be able to contribute to Lea & Stevan's day.

* Speaking of special joy, have I mentioned before how flat-out, straight-up awesome it is to have friends send me nekkid pics of themselves? I'm clearly doing something right in my life. I won't reveal the name of the "guilty" party here (you obviously know who you are!), but the pix were an absolute delight that completely made my day! I'm flattered and very, very happy. Oh, and it bears repeating: blue hair is hot (and so are the pix)! 8-)

* On a completely different but still awesome note, we're dog sitting! trogdor_the_dog is staying at our place until M&J get back from their vacation tomorrow. Kim and I love having the Dog Monster around! Sadly, APAR doesn't share our enthusiasm for our house guest, but after a brief tiff Monday morning things have been surprisingly peaceful.

* Our new bathroom, which was officially completed last week, still needs work. The faucet under Kim's sink leaks. WTF? We paid gobs of money for a professional job. You'd think that the workers wouldn't need constant supervision and that they'd get basic things like "leaky pipes are bad" right the first time, right? It would appear not. I suspect it's time to break out the blowtorch again (and not to do repairs!)...

* Did you know that glow in the dark materials rely on quantum phenomena for their functioning? I didn't until just a couple of days ago. It makes sense of course, but I'd never really given it any thought. Yay science!

* Not speaking of science, I've been saving all of the pro-McCain fliers I've been getting in the mail from the Republican party for the last few weeks, partially because it'll be interesting memorabilia after he loses the election, but mostly because I think it's example after example of propaganda done wrong. Each flier is single-issue, which from an advertising/marketing standpoint is a good idea. Unfortunately, it shows the hollowness of the Republicans' campaign that the differentiating points they promote about their candidate are ones where their arguments are weak at best and are also are little more than sidebar issues in this election. I mean really, is it so important that I know that John McCain is a strong supporter of Israel that you sent me two different fliers about it? How about convincing me that you're a strong supporter (or even a moderate supporter) of me? I certainly have no beef with Israel, but when the message I'm getting from a prospective President is that they subscribe to the fundamentalist Christian belief that the US has a God-given mandate to support Israel so that it can fulfill its role in some upcoming Armageddon then I begin to suspect that our priorities are not in alignment.

Frankly, the propaganda insults my intelligence. It's nothing more than scare-mongering and unsubstantiated assertions about Barak Obama. It'd be funny if it didn't also imply the belief that I'm likely to be swayed by such transparent emotional appeals. Thanks guys. I appreciate the reminder of why I'm a former Republican.

* To my surprise, last night I did actually receive a piece of anti-Obama mail that I found somewhat compelling. It laid out his position on taxation of guns and ammunition and backed it up with quotes and specifics from his Senate voting record. My first thought was "Wow! It's a niche issue, but they're finally not treating voters like frightened children!" Then I flipped the ad over and realized that it wasn't from the Republican Party. It was from a sport shooters' advocacy group.

* I don't want to turn this into a lengthy rant, but to be clear and up front, I'm not planning on voting for either McCain or Obama. I'll be writing in Ron Paul. However, please don't for a moment think that since I'm not voting for either of the two major candidates that I hold them in similar regard. Nothing could be further from the truth. Both candidates have platform positions that I can't in good conscience endorse with my vote, and I don't think that either of them is truly willing to do what it'll take to resolve the fiscal mess that the country is in, but that's where the similarity ends. I started out this campaign with a fairly low opinion of John McCain, and that opinion has done nothing but plummet since then. I disagree with him on just about every issue, and I think that a McCain/Palin win would be an utter disaster across the board. Conversely, I also started out the campaign with a fairly low opinion of Barak Obama, but time and again I've been impressed by him. I very much like and respect him as a person, and despite my opposition to some of his platform points I think he just might be able to turn things around for the country, both from a domestic/economic perspective and with regard to our position and standing with the rest of the world. We could do better, but dear Gawd the alternative is so much worse! As I mentioned to aclaro, I may not be voting for him but I'll be cheering alongside his supporters when he wins.
EDIT: Okay, change of plan. Thanks primarily to aclaro's comments in this thread, and the discussions and research it sparked, I'll be voting for Obama after all. I still have deep misgivings regarding his economic policies, and disagree with him on some other points, but in a field of poor candidates he seems to be the "least bad".

* One last political comment, regarding the whole Acorn hubbub:

* Super short Max Payne review: If you played the video game and really liked it (like I did) then it's probably worth seeing. There are a lot of ties back into the game that were pretty cool, and the title character clearly has the same "bullet time" capability from the game. :-) If you haven't played the game or if it didn't particularly impress you, don't bother. The movie doesn't really stand on its own.

* My dreams lately have been exceedingly strange. Last night I had a fun dream about zombies (actually more like The Forsaken in WoW). The night before I had a dream that involved, among other things, zensidhe, a time machine, and William Shatner trying to punch me in the nuts. All in the same dream. Yes, really.


( 27 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Oct. 30th, 2008 01:09 am (UTC)
Sorry, but I can't let the opportunity slip by, even if you've already made up your mind. I have to urge you this once to reconsider voting for Ron Paul and then I'm done with the badgering. As you've said, Obama's not a bad choice, and the alternative is much, much, worse. Ron Paul will not win. Period. So your vote for Ron Paul is one less vote to oppose McCain. If you're truly opposed to McCain, if you believe Obama is the better, if not best, option, your vote for Ron Paul only helps McCain.

As you've mentioned aclaro, I assume you've already seen her post and probably even talked to her outside of her post about how the presidential election is not the place to form a protest about the choice of candidates. The presidential election is too late for that kind of statement. What matters is what we do about it between elections. I'm also sure you've seen Greta Christina's post about why voting for Obama is better than a third party even if you like a third party better, since you're the one who turned me on to her blog.

But I'd like to suggest reading both of those again. I wholeheartedly agree that there are other people out there who are potentially better than Obama, and I completely understand the desire to make a point by saying "neither of your candidates deserve my vote". But this election is too close, and I can't, in good conscience, let McCain go unopposed, which is what a third party, in effect, does.
Oct. 31st, 2008 07:46 pm (UTC)
I agree with your voting decision, but completely disagree with how you're getting there. Let me start by saying that Shelly has changed my mind and I will, in fact, be voting for Obama, and then take your comment a bit at a time.

"As you've said, Obama's not a bad choice, and the alternative is much, much, worse."
Let me clarify that point. While I like Obama as a person, he is "not a bad choice" only in comparison to the alternatives. He has positions which in any "normal" election would be immediate disqualifiers for me. He might turn things around, but I'm not especially optimistic. The advantage he has is that his low chance of success outweighs McCains zero chance of success.

Ron Paul will not win. Period.
I agree completely. That affects my assessment of who I think should be the next President not one bit.

So your vote for Ron Paul is one less vote to oppose McCain.
This is completely irrelevant. See below.

the presidential election is not the place to form a protest about the choice of candidates.
On the contrary, I think that making a statement - protest or otherwise - is the only reason to vote in the first place. Again, see below.

I'm also sure you've seen Greta Christina's post about why voting for Obama is better than a third party even if you like a third party better
Greta Christina's harm reduction model does not apply to my electoral voting, nor does it apply to yours. Lemme s'plain:
The harm reduction model works well in analog situations, where each small action creates a small change. Recycling, reducing one's carbon footprint, and taking a moment to hold the door for a stranger are all excellent examples of where it's perfectly applicable and a great idea. However, elections aren't analog. They're binary (at least in the current US electoral system). Either John McCain is going to be the next President or Barak Obama is. Therefore, my vote is only significant from an electoral standpoint if it tips the balance in the election, and it won't.
Oct. 31st, 2008 08:21 pm (UTC)
Let me say that again. My one vote will never determine the outcome of a presidential election, even living in a swing state with a large chunk of electoral votes. It's a fantasy to even speculate otherwise. The likelihood is roughly in the same class of probability as the toy Terminator endoskeleton standing on my desk waving at me simply by virtue of the thermal vibrations of the molecules in its arm all spontaneously being in sync. In fact, it's even less of an issue since, as we learned in 2004, any election that comes down to a few thousand votes will be decided by the courts more than by the ballots. In a very real sense then, applying strategic planning to the scale of my (or your) single vote is an exercise in self-important mental masturbation.

The only circumstance in which applying strategic planning to one person's vote makes sense is in the case of high-profile public personalities who carry significant influence. For example, Bill Clinton has made it clear that he'll be voting for Obama. I'm sure that that endorsement was a no-brainer for Clinton, but he also certainly (and rightly) made the decision from a strategic standpoint. If I was Clinton I would've endorsed Obama as well even if I did think that Ron Paul or Bob Barr or some other 3rd party candidate would do a better job, because with his level of influence he could conceivably sway the outcome of the election.

This is not to say that campaign work, such as what serolynne and radven have been doing, isn't important. It absolutely is. A single person campaigning hard can touch thousands of voters. But campaign work isn't the same as casting one's ballot. When I control a voting bloc of thousands of people then I'll vote strategically, but as things stand right now I don't even control femetal's vote, and my blog readership is insufficient (by orders of magnitude) to change the election.

Being aware of the absurdity of taking strategic planning into account leaves me free to simply choose the candidate whom I feel is best for the job, which gets to the whole reason why I vote in the first place. I don't consider myself to be especially patriotic, but there are certain duties and responsibilities that I have as an American that I take seriously. I don't try to get out of jury duty. I registered for Selective Service as soon as I turned 18 and never for a moment considered draft dodging, even when Desert Storm broke out while I was in AFROTC. And I vote; not because I'll elect the President (or any other position) but because It's my duty. IMHO, to not vote would be to shirk my obligation as an American, and to vote for one candidate when I think that another is better for the job is to misrepresent myself.
Oct. 30th, 2008 02:41 am (UTC)
What's your opinion on Ron Paul's apparent extreme religious fundamentalism and rejection of Evolution?
Oct. 31st, 2008 08:41 pm (UTC)
We discussed this briefly last night, but just to put it in writing - his religious views in and of themselves are of no concern to me. His actions in office are what matter, regardless of whether they are motivated by his religious views or not. Of course, some of the areas where I disagree with him seem to be driven by his religious views, just as some of them are driven by the fact that he is much more hard line in his states' rights views.

His rejection of evolution, which I see as a matter of scientific and intellectual honesty rather than a religious position, has always disturbed me deeply. I've never said that he's an ideal candidate.

Of course, since I've changed my mind about voting for Obama it's all a moot point now, but your question still deserves an answer.
Oct. 30th, 2008 02:48 am (UTC)
Well said about the polics at hand. I'm voting for Obama. I don't agree with him 100% and am worried about the tax increases, but I think he will bring enough socialism to this country, something that we desperately need!
Oct. 30th, 2008 03:29 am (UTC)
Ya know, if we lived in an actual democracy instead of a republic, I would be with you on the Ron Paul vote. But we don't. Our system of election through an electoral college has always heavily favored two - and only two - dominant parties. The only way a third party will ever change the system is by outspending and out-organizing the major parties. If you want better choices, vote with your wallet in November 2011. Because once the election gets here, your vote will not change anything party-wise or policy-wise in this country.

By the time we get around to actually voting, it's too late: one of the major party candidates will win. Florida is once again the position to decide this election. So I'm voting for the better candidate of the two, which in my mind is clearly Barack Obama. I urge you to think long and hard about how to spend your vote, and whether you are willing to see the Republicans steal this election. Again.

Because, of course, I will blame you.
Oct. 31st, 2008 08:50 pm (UTC)
Because, of course, I will blame you.

That's all well and good, but the video you linked to specifically targets people who won't be voting at all, which doesn't apply to me. :-P

On the other hand, please check out my replies to aclaro and joreth's comments. I did think long and hard and have, in fact, decided to vote for Obama - not out of any bizarre belief that my one vote will make any difference whatsoever in keeping McCain out of the White House, but because I think he's better suited to the job overall. He's far from what I'd consider an ideal candidate, but given the poor pool we have to draw upon he seems to be the best shot we've got (which is a nice way of saying that the Libertarians suck this time around). :-)
Oct. 30th, 2008 07:55 am (UTC)
"I may not be voting for him but I'll be cheering alongside his supporters when he wins."

On the other hand, if he lose Florida (and thus the election) by just a few hundred votes... How will you feel then?
Oct. 31st, 2008 09:04 pm (UTC)
Regardless of who I'm voting for, whether Obama were to lose by "just a few hundred votes" or by 30 million votes wouldn't change how I feel about it one bit, given that I represent a voting bloc of exactly one.

When my one ballot carries the weight of hundreds of other people's ballots then I'll revisit this particular issue. Until then, I'm surprised that this (along with a funny-yet-irrelevant video that targets non-voters) is the most persuasive argument that you can come up with.

If the video you sent is intended to imply that you're unable to see a distinction between voting 3rd party and not voting at all then I submit that we have fundamentally different understandings of what the electoral process is all about. Please see my replies to Shara and Shelly for clarification.
Oct. 31st, 2008 09:58 pm (UTC)
I thought the video was very clever in how the re-render it to incorporate the targets name. There is some clever geekery going on to pull that off. And it is a bit funny too.

I totally respect voting for a third party candidate - I have done that myself often enough in the past. But I do object to expressing a clear preference between two candidates, and then choosing to not vote that preference.

If Ron Paul were actually on the ballot in FL, that would be a bit of a different story. But as I understand it, he has not even registered to be an "official" write-in candidate, so in this case any votes towards him will not even be counted. You might as well write in "Jon Stewart".

Voting for a third party candidate whose platform you agree with (such as the Greens) can help towards building up that parties ability to tap into public campaign financing in the future. That is a good and respectable reason to vote third-party, if that is your prime goal. But Ron Paul is not running with a third party - so your vote will not even count towards this.

I am pleased to see your change in preference however of who is the overall best choice for President. I at first was excited by Ron Paul too, but the deeper I dug into his writings and policies, the more disturbed I got. On the other hand, the deeper I looked into Obama, the more convinced I became that he is exceptionally well suited for the job.
Oct. 30th, 2008 01:15 pm (UTC)
I understand voting for a 3rd party candidate.. I even understand not voting, but I am very uncomfortable with the idea of Ron Paul as president.

Ron Paul is all about "states rights" which, being a freak in the south, terrifies me. He is strongly pro-life and wants to leave it up the the individual states to decide. He was also a supporter of the Defense of marriage Act, for the same reasons as Bob Barr. He also co-sponsored the Marriage Protection act.

While removing these sorts of things from federal jurisdiction may sound good - all it does it is take these sorts of decisions out of the hands of a federal government representing a more middle ground, and put it in the hands of states like, oh, Alabama, *shudder*.

Ron Paul also thinks it's ok to be prosecuted in Texas if you have anal sex:
"Consider the Lawrence case decided by the Supreme Court in June. The Court determined that Texas had no right to establish its own standards for private sexual conduct, because gay sodomy is somehow protected under the 14th amendment “right to privacy.” Ridiculous as sodomy laws may be, there clearly is no right to privacy nor sodomy found anywhere in the Constitution. There are, however, states’ rights – rights plainly affirmed in the Ninth and Tenth amendments. Under those amendments, the State of Texas has the right to decide for itself how to regulate social matters like sex, using its own local standards."

And Ron Paul doesn't believe in evolution:

Here's Obama's response (http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2008/04/01/obama-on-evolution/):
Q: York County was recently in the news for a lawsuit involving the teaching of intelligent design. What’s your attitude regarding the teaching of evolution in public schools?

A: "I’m a Christian, and I believe in parents being able to provide children with religious instruction without interference from the state. But I also believe our schools are there to teach worldly knowledge and science. I believe in evolution, and I believe there’s a difference between science and faith. That doesn’t make faith any less important than science. It just means they’re two different things. And I think it’s a mistake to try to cloud the teaching of science with theories that frankly don’t hold up to scientific inquiry."

While not perfect, Obama's answer is much better. I'm sure you can understand why this was a deal breaker for me with Ron Paul, and would be for any other candidate.
Oct. 30th, 2008 01:48 pm (UTC)
Here's Obama on the DoMA:

(Right wing websites seem like the best places to get good obama quotes :) )

Windy City Times
Obama on Marriage

As an African-American man, a child of an interracial marriage, a committed scholar, attorney and activist who works to protect the Bill of Rights, I am sensitive to the struggle for civil rights. As a state Senator, I have taken on the issue of civil rights for the LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender] community as if they were my own struggle because I believe strongly that the infringement of rights for any one group eventually endangers the rights enjoyed under law by the entire population. Since 1996, I have been the sponsor or a chief co-sponsor of measures to expand civil liberties for the LGBT community including hate-crimes legislation, adoption rights and the extension of basic civil rights to protect LGBT persons from discrimination in housing, public accommodations, employment and credit.

Today, I am a candidate for the U.S. Senate. Unlike any of my opponents, I have a legislative track record. No one has to guess about what I will do in Washington. My record makes it very clear. I will be an unapologetic voice for civil rights in the U.S. Senate.

For the record, I opposed DOMA [the Defense of Marriage Act] in 1996. It should be repealed and I will vote for its repeal on the Senate floor. I will also oppose any proposal to amend the U.S. Constitution to ban gays and lesbians from marrying. This is an effort to demonize people for political advantage, and should be resisted … .

When Members of Congress passed DOMA, they were not interested in strengthening family values or protecting civil liberties. They were only interested in perpetuating division and affirming a wedge issue. …

Despite my own feelings about an abhorrent law, the realities of modern politics persist. While the repeal of DOMA is essential, the unfortunate truth is that it is unlikely with Mr. Bush in the White House and Republicans in control of both chambers of Congress. …

We must be careful to keep our eyes on the prize—equal rights for every American. We must continue to fight for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. We must vigorously expand hate-crime legislation and be vigilant about how these laws are enforced. We must continue to expand adoption rights to make them consistent and seamless throughout all 50 states, and we must repeal the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” military policy.

I know how important the issue of equal rights is to the LGBT community. I share your sense of urgency. If I am elected U.S. Senator, you can be confident that my colleagues in the Senate and the President will know my position.

Barack Obama

Democratic Candidate for the U.S. Senate
Oct. 31st, 2008 05:47 pm (UTC)
Re: also
I've already expressed this in our brief e-mail exchange, but thank you again for your informative comments. I sincerely appreciate the education.

Ron Paul's primary motivation seems to be reining in the federal government to just the role prescribed to it by the Constitution, and leaving everything else to the states, local governments, and the people as individuals. On a theoretical level I support this (with a couple of exceptions), as in general the closer power is to the hands of individual citizens the more control the individual has over his or her own affairs. However, as you rightly point out, having a lack of uniformity and reciprocity in laws across states can lead to undesirable consequences, and in the case of issues that should fall under the umbrella of basic human rights (gay marriage, non-discrimination, and the like) can and has led to situations that are simply not acceptable in modern society. In doing a bit of research I came across a case where a lesbian couple who had gotten married in Vermont (I believe) and had a child got divorced. The birth mother took the child to Virginia, leaving the other mother with no legal recourse whatsoever.

I knew about Ron Paul's stance on evolution, and it's always been a fact which has troubled me greatly. I did not, however, know that his states' rights stance extended to permitting states to intrude into their citizens' private lives and infringe upon their personal rights.

While I think that his intentions are good, I'm still not especially confident that Barak Obama will be willing to take the radical steps that will likely be necessary to return the government and the country to fiscal stability. However, in the grand scheme of things you have convinced me that Obama is a better choice (by "better" I mean "less bad") for President than Paul.

You've changed my mind. I'll be voting for Obama.
Oct. 30th, 2008 02:51 pm (UTC)
*blink* *blink*

You're voting for an anti-gay, pro-life Creationist who wants to return to the gold standard? You've surprised me.
(Deleted comment)
Oct. 31st, 2008 03:05 am (UTC)
Um...so that makes him, what, a Statist version of Sarah Palin?

The history of the states-rights movement is not a pretty one. For decades, "states' rights" was coded jargon for "pro-segregation;" it was a way for hose places that opposed civil rights for blacks to resist the introduction of Federal civil rights legislation by claiming the matter to be the exclusive domain of individual states. (And, in fact, Federal civil rights legislation existed precisely because the states had done such a dismal job of it.)

Today, the states' rights movement has morphed only slightly; it's become the rallying cry of anti-gay activists frustrated that the Federal Defense of Marriage Act stalled in Congress and upset by the lack of support on a national level for a "Defense of Marriage" Constitutional amendment. The states' rights movement is seen as a way to do piecemeal what they failed to do on a federal level--pass laws forbidding gay marriage.

I find it absolutely fscinating that Libertarians have jumped on this particular bandwagon, and even more fascinating that the Libertarian candidate for President is the conservative Evangelical Christian who wrote the failed Federal Defense of Marriage Act. (When did the notion of outlawing disfavored forms of marriage become a part of Libertarian thought, I wonder?)

It seems to me that the same thing is happening to the Libertarian Party as happened to the Republican Party--it is becoming a vehicle for Evangelical Christians to pursue their agendas. The issue today is gay rights, not black rights, but the tool is the same--re-frame the question away from civil liberties and toward the decentralization of power, then pursue the disenfranchisement of people on a more local level. Is it an accident that the two most prominent Libertarians today are both anti-gay activists? Honestly, I don't think it is.
Oct. 31st, 2008 08:51 pm (UTC)
Actually, I'm not. See above.
Oct. 30th, 2008 09:41 pm (UTC)
I fully support and encourage voters who are equally dissatisfied with the two leading candidates to vote third party/write-in/not vote at all. And I know that we had that conversation last presidential election.

But when you fully admit to seriously disliking McCain and preferring Obama.. you honestly have shocked me. To state that you would see McCain/Palin as an 'utter disaster' and Obama being capable of turning things around - and then cast a vote that in a swing state that really could lean things towards the candidate you really really don't want, is well.. not exactly having your voice heard within the existing system.

I completely get that you want change within the system, and that you want more viability for more than the two leading candidates. But that's not the system we have this election - there are only two viable candidates, and one of them will win on Tuesday. The time to show your support for Ron Paul was back in January and will be again leading up to the next election should he run again. Republicans already chose their candidate, and you *strongly* dislike him more than the Democratic candidate.

As a supporter of Obama who is putting my money and time where my ideology is.. I really won't be all that welcoming of you cheering along side us after you've worked against us. If fact, I'll feel down right taken advantage of. But I certainly will blame you, and those who think along these lines, should McCain win. If you have a definite preference of Obama over McCain in office, join us in making that happen instead of making it more difficult.
(Deleted comment)
Oct. 31st, 2008 12:44 am (UTC)
I totally agree.. if someone views the choices as turd vs douche, and has a more ideal candidate in mind - vote for who you want, knowing that you'll have either a turd or a douche in office either way.

But that's not the case that was presented here. Or at least, not how I read it. datan0de expressed a pretty clear preference for Obama over McCain, and even said he would be *celebrating* if Obama were to win. This, to me, is not the same argument as when the choices are turd vs douche. It does not seem from his word choice that he views Obama as a douche.

I agree.. change needs to be made. But at the voting booth is not where the stand is effective - especially if it has decent odds of leaving us with a turd that that will take us even more on a path not wanted.

It's kinda like being on an airplane and offered chicken or a turd for dinner, when what you're craving is steak. Sure, you can continue to ask for a steak when none is forthcoming and be handed what is left over, or you can look at the reality of the options before you and express which dinner you want now and seek out a steak dinner when you land.

(Edited to add: And, btw, if he was expressing a clear preference for McCain, I would still be making these statements. It's not just about me campaigning for Obama.)

Edited at 2008-10-31 01:02 am (UTC)
Nov. 6th, 2008 04:36 pm (UTC)
Part 1 of 2
When I first read your comment I was so furious that my hands were shaking. I gave myself a couple of days to calm down before responding so that I don't have to set an adult content filter for this post. I then decided to wait until after the election furor had died down before posting it, as I'm not sure you were in an appropriate frame of mind to receive this. Please bear in mind that this was written several days ago. The election situation has obviously changed significantly for the better since then. The offensiveness of your comment has not.

But when you fully admit to seriously disliking McCain and preferring Obama.. you honestly have shocked me.
I may not have communicated my position with sufficient clarity. Mike's "turd sandwich vs douche" analogy isn't entirely correct, but it's not far off. A more realistic analogy would be "little hope of economic recovery and not much chance of a real redress of the erosion of civil liberties that's happened over the last 8 years vs no hope of economic recovery and the civil liberties situation becoming even worse." I like Barak Obama as a person. As a presidential candidate he is "desirable" only in the context of the other candidates (and McCain in particular) being worse.

To state that you would see McCain/Palin as an 'utter disaster' and Obama being capable of turning things around
"Capable of turning things around" is not the same as "expect him to turn things around". I'm choosing a long shot over no shot.

and then cast a vote that in a swing state that really could lean things towards the candidate you really really don't want
If you haven't already, please read my comments to joreth. If you think that one vote will decide the election then you're not living in the real world.

is well.. not exactly having your voice heard within the existing system.
I couldn't disagree with you more. Voting for a candidate based on likelihood of winning instead of genuinely preferring him/her is worse than not having your voice heard - it's having your voice heard while speaking disingenuously. As I indicated above, voting strategically is a reasonable course of action when you control a voting bloc of hundreds or thousands.

The time to show your support for Ron Paul was back in January and will be again leading up to the next election should he run again.
Setting aside for a moment the fact that I've decided to vote for Obama after all, you're correct, and I concede that point. The time to support Ron Paul ended when he withdrew from the campaign. However, the time to speak my mind and express my preference is every single day. That includes this coming Tuesday.

Republicans already chose their candidate, and you *strongly* dislike him more than the Democratic candidate.
Yup. That's absolutely true. However, do you see how that's faint praise? I have a co-worker who's a staunch Republican. He supports Bush, supports the war, and supports McCain. When I bring up a criticism of the Republicans his typical response is not to defend them, but instead to try to bring up some point showing that the Democrats also suck. He doesn't seem to grasp why this isn't persuasive. You're smarter than he is, and I expect better reasoning from you, particularly since you're so directly involved in the campaign.
Nov. 6th, 2008 04:37 pm (UTC)
Part 2 of 2
As a supporter of Obama who is putting my money and time where my ideology is.. I really won't be all that welcoming of you cheering along side us
[RANT] How fortunate for both of us that who I'll be voting for isn't affected by who is "welcoming" to me. I have difficulty wrapping my mind around the idea that you're working your ass off to elect a candidate who is so inclusive and unifying in his message, yet you demonstrate the exact opposite attitude toward your own friends?!? Let me be absolutely clear: I'll be voting for Obama despite your comments here. I honestly think Sen. Obama would be embarrassed by your attitude.

after you've worked against us.
Excuse me?? I make a post explaining how I think that your candidate is enormously preferable to the only other candidate who stands a chance of defeating him, and include a video explaining why some of McCain's recent attacks are complete BS, and now I'm "working against" you? Kindly explain this. I really do want to understand how you arrived at this conclusion.

If fact, I'll feel down right taken advantage of.
Now I'm the one who is shocked. I never would have guessed that you're capable of being so petty.

But I certainly will blame you, and those who think along these lines, should McCain win.
I'm not even going to ask you to defend this statement. It's as logically indefensible as it is offensive. How about blaming the McCain camp for fooling more voters, or Obama for not having an economic plan that stands a better chance of actually fixing the problem than merely slowing down the collapse? [/RANT]
Nov. 6th, 2008 05:17 pm (UTC)
Re: Part 2 of 2
First of all, I greatly appreciate that you took the time to reply AND that you withheld your reply until post-election. You are absolutely correct that I would not have been in the right mindframe to receive it - in fact, it would have been quite possible that a reply of anything other than 'you're right' (which, I would not in the least expect) - would have driven me over the edge during many of my crashes out here to actually pulling the trigger. The stress out here was that bad.

We obviously disagree on many points in our understanding of the election system, and have read more into each other's words than intended. I'm not going to argue the election system for a long long while.. I'm frankly burned out on the whole thing. I read more support of Obama than you likely intended, and I see where you're not understanding that I was offended at your wanting to attend *my* post-election victory celebration after not voting for Obama (I read your post that way). It's not that I wouldn't be welcoming of you in a unified Obama-era, just *my* immediate celebration of the win.

But I think most of all, is that I've been far too stressed out here and feeling slighted by people who call themselves my friends when I've directly asked for help and support. And you've been amongst the people I feel particularly triggery with around this particular issue after months of feeling like I've fallen off your radar, and I felt personally attacked in your post at the time. The combination of feeling little appreciation for what I'm doing, no response to my direct cries for help and then seeing you say you're not voting for Obama - well, I felt completely unappreciated as both a friend and a supporter of Obama. Not that I think you even had me in mind when you posted it or even realized it might have that affect on me. It may not be rational, you may see it as petty.. but it is what it is. I am an emotional being, afterall.. and when I'm weak, that's what comes out strongest.

So, I apologize. I think my response was more out of a last attempt at crying for help, crying for a hug, crying for a purpose for making it alive through election day.. than it was out of making a rational point.
Nov. 6th, 2008 06:39 pm (UTC)
Re: Part 2 of 2
and now I'm "working against" you? Kindly explain this. I really do want to understand how you arrived at this conclusion.

I've actually decided to address this questions directly since you asked. I think this comes down to our differing views on the importance of a single vote.

And I completely get where you're coming from, that influencing lots of votes has a lot of power. And I agree. Or else I wouldn't be out here.

However, those votes come one at a time.

Please keep in mind, that my *single* mission out here, and that of the campaign, was to stress the importance of how important a single vote is. Here in Nevada, the state lost the democratic 2004 election by the absence of just 8 votes per rural precinct. We oversaw 19 precincts.. thus we were here chasing after 152 votes that really could make a difference. Or at least, that was the mission we *had* to believe in to get through the plan (and trust me, there were times I seriously doubted the plan). And we were chasing them one door knock at a time. And I know that my focus on that mission had me extra on edge to statements of the contrary, because at times, the belief that each vote mattered was the only thing keeping me going.

Now granted, the 2004 election didn't have nearly as inspiring a candidate, and that alone influences far more voters to make it to the polls in 2008. But if I - or any other campaigner - had for a moment discounted the importance of a single vote, our entire campaign would not have had the momentum to organize and deliver.

So, hopefully you can see.. than when I've invested so much of myself in this mission - that hearing someone say that their singular vote doesn't make a difference, grates against the very purpose of my campaigning. The very thing that we're trying to encourage out here. It's tough enough to inspire teams of canvasers to go door-to-door, day by day, trying to encourage single votes and battling against the smear tactics and racism, let alone someone hearing their vote doesn't matter anyway. If it doesn't matter, then why spend the time door knocking, which is the foundation of this grassroots campaign?

As a result of our (and by 'our' - I mean that of the entire NV staff & volunteers) efforts here, NV had the highest voter turnout of any state. 78%. And blue won by 11 points this time. And just here in Churchill County, we helped influence over 1000 more votes than the 2004 election.

And whether you or I agree on the importance of a single vote, the plan predicated on the importance fucking worked, despite folks trying to convince me the approach, and me, were not living in the 'real world'. I don't know how much more real it gets than directly talking with people about their daily lives and how they have a voice to effect change via their vote.
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