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In hindsight, I'm not sure why I bothered voting. For the first time, I really and truly wasn't going to do it, but I let myself be guilted into it by a family member.

A friend of mine covers most of my thoughts. I'm with her and with Cory Doctorow on this one:

Amazing to think that I'm relieved at the victory of the pro-wiretapping, pro-extrajudicial-assassination, anti-whistleblower candidate.


I have really had it with some of my liberal acquaintances on other social networks practically fellating Obama with their cheerleading. I haven't unfollowed anyone, but I did spend part of last night encouraging civility and reminding people to be gracious victors and not kick the other side when they are down, which had nearly zero effect. I reminded them of what empathy is, and to remember how they felt when their side lost. I am appalled by how people justify their behavior by mumbling, "they'd do it to us." As if that somehow makes it right. And you people call yourselves grown-ups? This is the behavior you are modeling for your children? Mob mentality is ugly, y'all, and it doesn't matter what view the mob is espousing, because it's pathetic for individuals to feel empowered enough to bully the other side because they happen to be in a crowd.

Yes, Obama was better than Romney on a number of social issues. That doesn't make him a shining beacon of light, people. As Cory Doctorow said, "It sure would be great to get a progressive candidate who still looked progressive even when not standing next to Attila the Hun." Also, as Cory said, "Obama isn't a symptom of the surveillance age: he is one of its masters and chief proponents," and if you don't know this, you haven't been paying attention.

Look, I believe you should vote your conscience, but please stop acting like Obama is flawless. He isn't. Far from it. He has perpetuated Bush's post-9/11 doctrines instead of ending them as he promised when he ran for office the first time. Be honest and admit that we wouldn't have Janet Napolitano where she is if Obama didn't want her there playing Bad Cop.

My candidate never wins.

I am forever taxed without representation.

Yeah, you folks who are feeling angry at the other party right now? At least you have about 49% of the population with you, whichever side you're on. Me? I'm alone with a little over 1% of the population (about 1.50% in my state, if we count all third party voters). The internet is for all of us. The EFF stays vigilant, but when the presidential candidates completely ignore their existence ... well, by comparison, many of you 49 percenters don't know what being politically marginalized really is.

Is my little fraction the only group who cares about civil liberties enough to not chicken out and vote for one of the major parties because they're just too afraid of the other side? You get why that's a self-fulfilling prophecy, right? If you "want to vote for a candidate that has a chance of winning," then the candidate that you'd really prefer will never win. Don't tell me, "Yeah, I really wanted to vote for a third party," because if you really wanted to, you would've done so, rather than letting fear and peer pressure persuade you to "vote tactically." Don't give me embarrassed body language and try to placate me with pablum about "voting for the lesser of two evils." That's a crummy rationalization and you know it: what good does voting for any kind of evil do anyone?

Your tent is not big enough for me, Democrats or Republicans, because the voting majority doesn't give enough of a damn about the freedoms I care about.

I don't know why I want to keep believing that we can do better. I am consistently proven wrong. I wish I could stop caring and wanting to make a difference: being a fiercely defiant independent who's bucking the trend of being placed into a red or a blue box is almost certainly bad for my health.

Constantly frustrated idealist ... that's me.


Note: I also have a lot of respect for the Green Party voters, because taking care of our planet's environment shouldn't only be an issue when it happens to be trendy. We live here every single day, and it's up to us to make sure we leave it in good shape for those who come after.

Addendum, 5:27 pm: I didn't know about this when I wrote this post. At least that's a little bit encouraging.

Date: 2012-11-08 04:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sj (from livejournal.com)
I love everything about this post. Thank you for writing it.

"Constantly frustrated idealist ... that's me."

Yeah, that. I try to maintain optimism with each election (not just presidential, but with local issues as well), but it seems harder and harder each time.

Date: 2012-11-08 05:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fullofsecrets.livejournal.com
Thank you for your wonderful post, and for inspiring me to type something that didn't related to a software launch! ;)

Back when I volunteered for a counseling center, I asked our trainer, "How do you keep from getting burned out?" He replied, very honestly, "You try to stick to the rule of leaving it at the door, but you do get burned out. You wouldn't be here in the first place if you didn't care, and so you will get burned out. And when you do, you'll talk to other counselors, and you'll pick yourself up and you'll continue on, or you'll decide that it's too much and you'll leave."

I'm a little burned out, but now that the election's over, we can rest a little, prop each other up, and continue on. *hugs*

Date: 2012-11-08 05:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sj (from livejournal.com)
Heh, burnt out is definitely how I would describe myself right now.

I mentioned this yesterday (or...two days ago now, I guess - since it's after midnight) on my blog, but every time I've been eligible to vote, I've voted third party. For a long time I was in California, and I always heard "Well, yeah, I'd totally vote for Nader, but if I do then I'm basically just casting my vote for GWB."

Excuse my language, but FUCK THAT.

Seriously, we're never going to be able to get rid of the outdated EC model if we don't realize that we need to be able to actually make our votes count for something. The only way to do that is by voting for the candidate you feel best represents your beliefs, that you think will do the best job of representing you as an individual.

It hurts me that more people don't/won't/can't seem to realize this.

I meant what I said to you last night, which I paraphrased in that post today (or yesterday, however we're going to look at it), I really hope that someday we'll realize that we can break out of the current system. I think of my grandparents (specifically my dad's parents) who actually believed in this country - I wish I had that same faith they did.

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