too close to a dystopic science fiction novel
This sounds awful: Republicans are organising troops of people to challenge the right of voters to vote in Ohio, a swing state. That’s sickening. Bitch. Ph.D., and quite a few other Democrats, have volunteered to go help out during the actual voting. Ferrying people to the polls, I imagine. There won’t actually be riots, violence and civil war at the polls, will there?
So is there any point in my campaigning for Kerry on this blog? Sure nearly half my readers are in America (well, between 30-55% actually, different counts kind of vary) but probably you’ll all vote for Kerry anyway, right? I mean, I don’t think I’ve ever personally met an American who admits to being a Bush supporter. If you were one, you probably wouldn’t be reading this.
Do vote though. If you’re able. We (a.k.a. The Rest Of The World) really appreciate your fight against Bush. Maybe you should vote by mail, though, so you don’t get beat up at the polling station.
6 thoughts on “too close to a dystopic science fiction novel”
As another representative of “The Rest Of The World”, can I also plead with Jill’s loyal band of readers to in the US to (a) vote and (b) vote for someone who didn’t order an invasion of a whole country under false pretenses.
I’m still on the fence, but I think you just may sway me. I mean, I don’t know, do I actually want a president who’s smarter than, say, a log? I don’t know, intelligence is scary, and after all most of our problems were caused by intelligence failures. Maybe we should just stick with stupidity.
Gone are the days where America actually gets violent about politics. Only the police keep the trend of beating up the opposition alive.
Kerry isn’t perfect, but my reasoning is that he can’t make much more of a mess than Bush would with 4 more years. I don’t necessarily mean in terms of terrorism/security, either – I’m very concerned about his shortsighted views on the environment, big business and general consumption. I could never trust a president who seems to only think in terms of short-term solutions and the retaining of power.
With that said, I voted for Nader. I’m a staunch Democrat, but i voted on principle — I think a viable third party is going to be necessary to solve some of the problems in America. This artificial dichotomy of democrats and republicans is just polarising the country for no good.
J. Nathan Matias
Well, it’s rather difficult Jill. Certainly, interest in blogging and hypertext doesn’t automatically make one want to vote for Kerry.
Most of my more liberal friends are voting for Kerry not because he’s liberal but because he’s not Bush. This seems to be an odd reason. Kerry is actually more American-centric economically than Bush. While Kerry says we need to get along with the world, he’s very interested in exploiting the world economically. He doesn’t want to see other countries get economic opportunities and would like to penalize companies who provide jobs to developing nations, etc… My dad is from Guatemala, and I see the value of equality in the world economy, even if occurs at the expense of American workers (and I think it can only help the American economy)
I’m also interested in religious/individual freedom. This gives me really really difficult problems, since Republicans are traditionally more interested in freedom of religious expression than Democrats. I strongly disagree with both sides, and I wish the political system were not manipulated by the parties to force people into a two party system (see Ghani’s thoughts and the Condorce method of preferential voting).
In the end, I have to bite my lip and vote for whatever candidate I believe would best protect the freedoms I hold dearest.
(and the prez is just one person. Local politics is perhaps more important imho — this may not make sense to people in other countries, but the US in theory tries to place as much power at the local level as possible, which I like. This is changing, though.)
The Republicans have not made this choice any easier the last few years. The war is disturbing. But Saddam’s regime was rather disturbing too. During the 20th century, America got blamed for *not* going into wars. But the war in Iraq is disturbing. But the Republicans have been good to me. They’re part of the reason I was allowed to be home educated (which is a huge part of why I’m reading this blog instead of being some sort of corporate or student drone). A couple decades ago, I would have been forced into the public school system (see Paul Graham’s “Why Nerds are Unpopular” for a good reason not to be part of it. I can’t speak for other countries, but I distrust most forms of government-based education. Individuality is very important to me; I’m not a fan of forced public education when viable alternatives are available.)
Democrats fought hard to put me and my friends into government schools. They threw parents in jail for educating their own children, even though the stats show that the kids come out much smarter.
Democrats sometimes also fight hard to suppress religious expression in a misguided bid for religious equality and tolerance. Ideas must not be surpressed. We know that censorship is a stupid way to make a point. Yet Democrats have done a good job to restrict and in some cases take away religious expression in schools.
Politics is not simple. I have little doubt that most of the world gets as limited a view of the U.S. as we do of the rest of the world.
But you are right on one thing…
Bloggers (in my guesstimation) tend to be middle or upper class intelligencia. They’re the white collar workers. You would know this better than I — what are the demographics like? Are many lower-class, blue-collar factory workers blogging? Are there many blogging hispanics (I’m one, but I’m not the norm for my ethnic group. I grew up out of that culture).
I worry about what seems to be the demographic/sociological imbalance of the blogging world. It seems to be only a small subset of the vast available resources of human ideas and creativity. After reading just online for a while, we can forget that there are many many many things outside the screen that may never reach it.
J. Nathan Matias
Oh, on another note…
The election system in the U.S. is not a very happy thing. But people usually don’t get beat up at the polls (the Republicans no doubt will be tempted abuse their plan, but many people vote illegally in the U.S., and they want to prevent it).
My family have worked as neutral translators for voters who only speak Spanish. We have seen some disturbing things from both sides over the years. Last year, we were in a heavily-Democrat area. We stood by helplessly while Democrat election officials forbad us from translating, while they walked into the voting booth with people they couldn’t communicate with. They pulled the lever for the Spanish-speaking voters. Democrats sat next to the registration table (they were supposed to be 30 feet away) asking people who they were going to vote for and trying to intimidate them into voting a certain way.
So I’m not surprised by early complaints by both sides. It’s unfortunate that both sides have overzealous people who are willing to break the law to get their candidate elected. It violates the whole purpose of having elected representatives.
Things are better than they used to be. A hundred fifty years ago (I’m doing urban history research right now), election riots were not uncommon in the bigger cities of the United States.