there has been a one hundred and fifty year campaign wholly devoted to stop people from voting. like, murders and stuff. bombings. things of that nature. death, what have you. https://t.co/nCjZNBV4oI
— World Famous Art Thief (@CalmSporting) May 4, 2022
Because there is always a fresh crop of twenty-something transanarchist Discordians (or bots emulating them) who wouldn’t have been paying attention in civics class if there ever was a civics class in their curriculum. (Also, several commentors requested Ms. Semrau’s argument be front-paged. Remember — sharing is caring!)
I don’t know how anyone can look at the historical arcs of civil rights, labor rights, LGBTQ rights, and women’s rights and then think to themselves, “Well, I tried voting once and nothing changed, so I guess I’m not going to vote again.”
— Magdi Semrau (@magi_jay) May 4, 2022
There is almost a profound disrespect here, particularly to Black citizens, who, even while oppressed & threatened with state-sanctioned violence, continued to fight until many, but not all, rights were won.
Now Black citizens’ already insufficient rights–gathered over the course of more than a century–are under threat & allies throw up their arms because apparently change is not happening quickly enough? Because we cannot see the immediate benefit of every vote we cast?
I think of this need for immediate gratification & how, on the left, we let it dissuade us from voting. I then think of the years of planning that went into the strategy of non-violence. That a decade passed btwn the Montgomery Bus Boycotts & the passage of the Civil Rights Act.
I think of the rights The Civil Rights Movement secured for Black Americans & how, tho their victory was immense, it was far from complete. I think about how, 18 years after her husband was murdered, Coretta Scott King fought against Jeff Sessions' appointment to the judiciary pic.twitter.com/EubyzNZjyt
— Magdi Semrau (@magi_jay) May 4, 2022
This need for immediate gratification is also jarring when viewed against other long battles for freedom, equality, & dignity in American society. I think of the time that lapsed between Stonewall & Obergefell. Of how the US gov’t enabled the mass death of LGBTQ people in between.
I think of how more than 50 years passed between the 19th Amendment & Roe V. Wade. I also think of how, in 1978, 5 years after Roe, a man stood trial for raping his wife for the 1st time in the United States, but, even then, marital rape was not fully criminalized until the 90’s
I think that many privileged people have rested on our laurels because of the rights other Americans secured after generations of fighting. We should look at these histories now & ask ourselves why we feel so comfortable giving up just because change does not occur immediately.
People say voting doesn’t matter & I think of Democratic Black women I knew in Tennessee. They stood for hours in 95 degree heat to register voters. Usually, they’d only register a handful: ten or less. But then they’d always come back, in the heat, to register a handful more.
Then I think of the young white volunteers who would occasionally join these women. They’d show up, full of righteous energy, register only a handful of voters, & leave deflated, never returning again. We cannot continue this pattern. It is a betrayal.
Finally, as we look to the battle for abortion rights, I will add this: In 1978, John Rideout, the 1st man tried for raping his wife in the US, was acquitted b/c marriage was presumed to equal consent. Almost 4 decades later, Rideout was tried & convicted of raping his girlfriend pic.twitter.com/VtXCfaCYWd
— Magdi Semrau (@magi_jay) May 4, 2022
Change can & does happen. Change we do not want is unfolding all around us. This harmful change–the dismantling of rights others secured–is only possible b/c some of us cede the fight. We must redirect, look at the history of rights, & honor this history by rejecting all apathy
— Magdi Semrau (@magi_jay) May 4, 2022
I think the thinking is complex, but ultimately boils down to a customer-service approach to democracy.
— *The* Editorial Board (@johnastoehr) May 4, 2022
I occasionally co-teach a class with an Econ professor (I’m a mathematician) and I was really shocked when he told me he never votes because it doesn’t matter. I told him about the local election in VA that was a tie and was decided by a coin flip. He grudgingly admitted that maybe one vote could make a difference. No surprise that this is a white male we are talking about.
Alison Rose ???
I’m almost 42, am I old enough to be annoyed with The Youngs?
Only the ones who don’t vote because they think it’s pointless since they don’t magically get everything they want the very next day.
Will only claim to have modeled every-election voting for the kid her entire life and while she’s now a whopping twenty, she’s voted every opportunity so far, while bitching about the quality of available candidates. Which sounds like me at twenty and I’m cautioning her to not toss away her votes on 3rd party candidates like [ahem] some may have, back in the day.
“I voted for Reagan and Bush and they still didn’t overturn Roe vs. Wade. Guess I’ll just sit out the next vote or vote Third Party!” — No Conservative, ever
Young voter turnout has been recordbreaking in the last couple of elections.
I can certainly relate to feeling disappointment, but giving up accomplishes nothing. I survived Reagan and Bush, then got Clinton. I survived Bush II, then got Obama. Now, Biden. Politics is a pendulum. Why leave before it swings your way?
@Alison Rose ???: We’ve also been dealing this attitude in local organizing. Young people join democratic coalitions that include countless groups, interests, demographics but then get upset when everybody doesn’t immediately center them. Then they claim that nobody would listen to them. They conflate being “listened to” with being “deferred to.” Like I really want young people at the table and involved, but they very much need to understand that they are just one of many groups at the table and no group gets to just waltz in and take over.
Dear Celine, why do you think Republicans are trying to make voting illegal right now?
Bernfeelers literally asked “Without mentioning the Supreme Court, why should I vote for her?”
I’ll never forgive that MFer for 2016.
People like Ralph Nader, Susan Sarandon, and Michael Moore are also complicit in depressing Dem turnout to make it close enough for Bush and Trump to steal.
Do you see the difference between Democrats and Republicans now, dumb asses?
In almost 50 years I have missed voting in 2 elections. The first was when in person voting was the only option and I woke up on Election Day with a temperature of 101.5. The other time was right after I moved and I knew nothing about the candidates. It was a Primary Election with no issues, so I didn’t feel that bad. I have stood in line for a half hour to vote. I have gotten to the polls as 6:00 am to vote. I have voted on weekends and after hours and I have voted absentee, when it finally became allowed. I never considered not voting, even though a lot of the time the people I voted for lost (sob Al Gore, John Kerry, Hillary Clinton). I was raised to vote and I don’t understand people who blow it off.
@Alison Rose ???:
If you have cause, it’s perfectly okay to be annoyed with the Youngs even if you’re a Young yourself. And many twenty-something Youngs would consider your 42-year-old self to have already aged out.
Politics is a pendulum in countries with fair elections.
Fair elections are under full frontal assault in every Republican state, with the blessing of the Republican Supreme Court.
And these Supreme Court decisions will never affect any of them.
As someone who always votes for the Democrat, I know that many times my vote doesn’t matter, there is no way my candidate is going to win.
A case in point is my upcoming vote for the Democrat running to be my CongressIonal Representative. My district is gerrymandered deep Red. No way my candidate will collect more votes than that slimly incumbent.
I’ll be voting to make a statement, to stand in solidarity with all my fellow Democrats. That’s all I can do in this instance and it has to be enough.
@Betty Cracker: And I hope it stays that way. There are a bunch of voices who are saying “Why bother?” I don’t care whether they are young or old; they are wrong. Whether it is despair or cynicism, it is harmful.
What do you expect from a country where whining has become the national pastime?
Thank you for saying this, so I don’t have to yell at people. :)
@Omnes Omnibus: I see some of that too in my travels around various online hellholes, and it sure as hell isn’t helpful. I also see people dunking on young folks for protesting in the wake of the Alito draft leak and making sweeping assumptions about entire demographics. That shit isn’t helpful either.
Alison Rose ???
@Amir Khalid: I mean, to be fair, I’m 41 going on 42 going on 90, so….
The strategy of nonviolence also has to be seen as part of a larger campaign of activism, protest and an organized and focused ongoing effort to challenge discrimination in the courts.
And this was accomplished despite the handicap suffered by black citizens in the South who could not vote and thereby put people in local and state government to be their advocates. This makes it all the more puzzling that anyone would throw away a potential tool for change by not voting at all.
Ohio had someridiculously low turnout for Democrats this time. I can see why. On my whole ballot there were only three contested spots, for governor, for senator and for county commissioner. Governor I liked both candidates almost equally. For senator Ryan seemed like a shoo-in. County commissioners they were all good.
But the newspapers are now all blaring that Republicans are energized and the Democrats are not. I don’t think it is true, but why give them that talking point even if you think this particular primary election doesn’t matter. It just demoralizes the less committed or the depressed voters who are nevertjwless on our side.
Also too, you might miss something. Norton Ohio is a pretty right wing place and would never vote to defund the police. But they had a bond issue this time because the police station has a leaking roof and they need to replace it. But the bond issue lost by 250 votes, so the police in a sense were indeed defunded. Leak away, roof.
As someone has pointed out, two-thirds of the voters in the R primary rejected voting for Vance.
@NotMax: Encourages me quite a bit for November, because Tim Ryan is a likeable fellow and JD Vance is a smug fat cat.
There’s more of us than there are of them
I spent a large part of Tuesday arguing against these people. “All of our problems can’t be magically fixed by Biden, therefore I’m never voting again.”
I think this is the advantage of my mathematical education. I grok the concept of “necessary but not sufficient.”
This is pretty neat.
ATM (3:00 PDT) renewables are at 69%.
@germy: Especially if we remind them that the issue is more about medical care than abortion.
A pregnant middle class girl can probably get an abortion somewhere. A classmate of mine in 1970 got one in Japan, since her parents were rich.
But if you have a miscarriage and need a d&c, good luck getting one in time if you need to go out of state. You may survive, but will your uterus stay healthy?
@NotMax: I of course thought that the Republicans running for the Senate nomination were each worse than the other but I bet there are lots of Republicans who thought it an embarrassment of riches.
A lot of the ones who voted against Vance will come around. I think it will be a tight race between Vance and Ryan.
I lived in OH for a while and once waited in line for 4 hours. The governor had pulled out voting machines in democratic strongholds and limited/combined precincts as well. And did I mention that it was raining? Just in case it wasn’t blindingly obvious, it was a rethuglican governor. Yes it made me proud to be an American. Not.
@Ruckus ??: 2004?
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: if you want to bring on some imagined ideal revolution by heightening the contradictions (like allowing a TFG to be ‘elected’), you had better be the first one that those contradictions heighten on. Otherwise, you’re just another sadist looking for power on the suffering of others.
Looking at you, Susan Sarandon, et al..
Magdi Semrau’s comments may have an extra edge because she self-describes as a Progressive, and her policy advocacy bears that out.
Semrau says she campaigned for Nader in 2000, although she was too young to vote for him. She cites Al Gore’s centering of our need to combat climate to demonstrate how she and and other young people can be mislead by older politicians advancing the “both parties are the same” lie.
I skipped brushing my teeth once and my teeth didn’t fall out, so I stopped entirely.
@Ruckus ??: I remember standing in line for a few hours in the rain to vote in Ohio. Ken Blackwell was running for governor. I remember discussing with other voters in line that I would never have suspected that Ken Blackwell ( Sec of State at the time) would be involved in voter suppression, but there we were in a Democratic county standing in the rain because they had cut back on the number of machines for us. I think I changed a couple of minds at least.
Nor do I. I remember when I was a child my mother taking me with her when she went to vote, on her way home from work. It was cold and I was bored waiting in line and I asked her what we were waiting for. She said, “I’m voting in the election. This is how we choose our leaders in this country. This is the most important thing I ever do.”
I always vote. And think of my mom.
@Ruckus ??: I think that was the Rethuglican Secretary of State, probably Ken Blackwell. He was particularly awful.
I remember when he was on Cincinnati’s City Council. Proof that even a very local position can send somebody upwards (didn’t hurt that he was a Black Republican).
I think this is why the GOP is quietly freaking out about this Draft coming out the way it did.
As a Decision Handed Down from On High? It has a narrative weight. Much like Barr’s pre-empting of Muller, the usual suspects on the Right would have had time to prep their usual paeans to “state’s rights” and “protecting the unborn,” the usual crap that our major media swallows.
And, although people have been warning for years that Roe was effectively a dead letter, seeing the decision as Final would have, I think, de-motivated a not-insignificant number of people.
This Draft, though? Look at the fire it’s lit. Look at how it’s clarified, esp. in it’s harsh and ugly language, the fierce fight for survival so many have said we’re actually in, not the “culture war” fight many were told was going on.
“We” got a lot more people wising up, this way. It’s not AT ALL what I wanted; good people are and will be hurt by these decisions, and I wish to everything we didn’t have this situation. I do not believe in the ethics of the “it’s bad enough now” scenario.
But, between this situation, and finding only the slicked-up and pre-sold version these asshats no doubt were preparing to force on America? Yeah, this is better for us, I think, overall. It’s not like the Final decision, now, will tame these fires, in my opinion.
If we, and our Reps, are ready to take advantage of it.
Among my cherished childhood memories is walking with my mother after dark to the elementary school where I had spent the better part of the day. The gymnasium was transformed! — long tables, and lots of booths with curtains to hide from all the other people, and a funny machine with little handles. I was there with her in 1948 when Dewey Beat Truman, and again in 1952 when I’m pretty sure she turned traitor and voted for Adlai Stevenson. And who knows how many off-year and local and special elections. Just by including me in this very grown-up activity, she showed me that voting is important. Every. Single. Time. Even if your cause or candidate doesn’t prevail.
I’ve never forgotten that.
Some of them may even be human.
This is spot on, too
I’m thinking yes 2004. My last vote in OH. Thank fucking god
Got back from the VA a bit ago, from getting my eyes checked. Just went out to get the mail and it’s a bit bright and sunny out. Walked in the door and everything had a green tint to it. That turned to a red tint. Now it’s getting back to something like normal.
This getting old shit is getting old. Still. Better than the alternative.
I saw that the anti-Roe SCOTUS 5 all had their home addresses doxxed.
If the people don’t have a right to privacy, you don’t either.
You MFers work for us.
@Ohio Mom: One benefit of Vance’s nomination is that it may enhance Tim Ryan’s fundraising. The dynamic of “negative partisanship” seems especially strong in political donations. I think Ryan will have stronger national fundraising with the notorious Vance as his opponent than he would have with a more generic Republican rival like Gibbons or even Mandel.
@Ruckus ??: I stood for two hours in the drizzle in Schiller Park that night.
@sab: also I heard some Democrats were going to ask for Republican ballots mainly because of the Senate race, to vote for Dolan, thinking he would be less crazy than Vance or Mandel. Didn’t work but it was a theory.
So how often do we “vote blue no matter who” and how often do we choose better challengers to some bozos?
Charles Graham, a Democrat, who voted in abortion restrictions in North Carolina, is making face noises about protecting Roe. Should people take chances with this incumbent or find a better candidate?
@germy: The 19th Amendment wasn’t in effect in 1671, or when the 14th Amendment was ratified, so it’s invalid by the Alito Doctrine. Thus those women “voters” are nothing of the sort, especially if they’re going to vote Democratic.
@Ruckus ??: I don’t care what anyone says, what evidence they point to, I remain convinced that the Ohio Republican leadership stole the 2004 election.
I didn’t have any trouble voting, I live in a Red suburb, there are always plenty of voting machines and short lines.
Ohio is a + 8 Trump state and it’s a midterm, where the Party out of power has an advantage.
Vance is the favorite. Ryan winning will be an upset. That’s the situation. If knowing that – all true- somehow makes Democrats so despondent that they can’t even vote then I can’t be the one who talks to them, because I have no interest in blowing smoke up their ass.
@Eunicecycle: I thought about that but didn’t want to risk Ryan not winning by a couple of votes.
That sounds about right. Ken does seem to be just a bit of a fucking asshole.
As Ohio Mom said it was likely him because he was SoS. I really enjoyed driving a rental truck west a year later with all my stuff in it. Of course it all went to hell because of Bush’s recession, but still…..
@Starfish: Vote your heart in any primary. Vote for the Dem in the general.
Upsets are the best. That can be their motivation. That no one thought they could win and they did.
@Kay: Shontel Brown last time.
At least look to see if there is a better one. There is no value in making women second class citizens. Because they assuredly are are not. If anything it’s many of the men who should be. And most of them know this, which is why they fight so hard to prove it. And yes, in case some are not sure, I am a male.
Winning the Rethug primary with a third of the vote – I don’t see the big whoop there. R primary voters are highly highly unlikely to vote D. They are very disciplined that way.
@sab: yes and I wanted to vote for Whaley, too. Cranley put out some nasty ads against her so that extra motivation!
Beating Turner? No. Despite the discussion here Brown was the overwhelming favorite, as evidenced by the margin. The only person who thought Turner would win was Turner.
This is a thing with economics academics. I have no clue who first made the argument. It’s a virtues-of-selfishness argument; that going to the polls consumes time and attention that would be better spend doing doing other more selfish things, like increasing one’s net worth.
Kerry, right? I stood in the rain for two hours and remember the precinct for OSU had only one machine. Those students never gave up.
During that 4 hrs in the rain, many people left because well it was morning and they had to go to work. I had a reasonable gig, I traveled 8-9 months a year, so no one missed me if I wasn’t in the office and besides I was one step away from the CEO. No one ever questioned my presence or absence.
It is sometimes deliberate voter suppression.
Alison Rose ???
Also…the first presidential election I was able to vote in was 2000.
If THAT clusterfuck didn’t dissuade me from voting…
The thing about “I don’t vote because it’s mathematically very unlikely to matter” is that it actually makes some sense. Voting is a collective action problem. If most people have the attitude that their vote doesn’t count, then the handful of people who still do vote will have an outsized say.
There are two plausible responses to this argument. One is that voting is a civic duty and you need to do it whether or not your vote matters. The other is that voting is a way of expressing your opinion and remaining silent is treated as consent by those in charge. They can both be effective, but the personal expression angle is more likely to result in people staying home because they feel as if none of the candidates truly represent them.
I believe that was the election where Blackwell tried to toss out a ton of absentee applications because the paper they were printed on was less than 60 lbs.
@Bill Arnold: That too.
JD Vance own team accidentally dumped their own oppo research on him.
— On his law firm’s work for Purdue Pharma and Chinese corporations: Vance has run as an anti-opioid crusader and China hawk — a posture that researchers suggest opens him up to attacks over his tenure with the law firm Sidley Austin. At the same time Vance was employed at the white-shoe firm, its lobbying arm was doing work for Purdue Pharma, which faces billions in penalties over its production of OxyContin. The dossier notes the firm also represented a Chinese real estate company and Alibaba, the Amazon of China.
When my daughter was first voting she was not politically engaged but just vaguely “liberal”- she is more politically engaged now. Anyway, she asked me about the two Democrats on the ballot that year, hands on hips, “are they going to win?”
I said “I don’t know. I can’t see into the future. You expect a guarantee?” There are a LOT of people like that. I still get it, from full grown adults.
Ok, I’m going to be an asshole here and say Fuck This attitude. And Allison, this is not necessarily aimed at you, but an attitude I see amongst many of the olds (and not so olds) posting on Balloon-Juice toward younger folks.
And, I’m an old. I turn 68 in a few months, I registered Democrat when I was 18. I’ve voted in every national election in the last 50 years, and nearly all of the local ones, even when I knew the local elections wouldn’t make a difference (I live in a red city in a blue state).
It’s really easy to assign singular motives to an entire group of people, and diss them for those motives – it looks like bigotry to me.
Rather than slamming young folk for not voting, and calling them selfish, perhaps we should listen to why they don’t vote. I think you’d find that many of them have very solid reasons for not doing so. I don’t necessarily agree with those reasons, but I understand them.
I think Democrats are far better than rethuglicans on most issues of individual rights – LGBT+ rights, women’s rights, and at least closer to the right side on racial justice.
But, Let’s look at the results of the last 50 years of governance across both parties.
A whole lot of the folks slammed as selfish spoiled are anything but. They see no real future for themselves between Climate Change and the collapse economic opportunities. Why give a shit when their future looks fucked anyway. And – just looking at the record, Democrats don’t appear to have been effective at all in addressing those issues in a meaningful way. It’s not that they don’t care that they won’t see quick progress, it may be that they see progress on critical issues to them appear to be impossible no matter what they do.
As Betty Cracker said, young folks are voting in record numbers.
If we want to reach the younger folks who are not voting, perhaps we olds need to shut up and listen to why they are not voting, and work on addressing those issues.
I’m unabashedly a very leftist democrat, and I’m profoundly disappointed in the party. We roll over when faced with aggressive rethuglicans, and allow them to almost completely control the political messaging environments. We don’t work on actively messaging both our objectives, and we don’t work on countering rethuglican/right wing messaging. Far too many Democratic politicians are still beholden to lobbyists and donors far more than their constituents.
I vote in every election I can, and will continue to do so. For all my complaints about Democrats, we’re better than the rethuglicans. I want people to be engaged in the democratic process and vote. But slamming people who don’t vote as selfish and spoiled (particularly when it smells like bullshit) won’t bring them to the polls.
I had voted in the same location prior and there had been 4 machines. That year there were 2. And the number of voters was about doubled, they cut back the number of polling locations, mine was in Gahanna, and so the number of people about doubled.
@Kay: The commenter may have been talking about last year’s special election primary for the OH-11th CD, where Turner started out ahead and Brown closed the gap in the last few weeks. Turner’s supporters certainly treated it like an upset, and a nefarious one at that.
@trollhattan: Nicely done CA. Now, let’s get it over 100% and we can sell excess to some Red State that we can fuck over (see Enron).
I agree. If it even worked it would be one thing but I have never seen any evidence that it does. They’re people. What if we just talked to them like we would any other voter, every cycle?
@Whereaway: Thank you. I thought I was alone in feeling this way.
The other day, when people started their millionth round of sniping at the other half of the Democratic Party, it seemed like both sides were doing that because they were getting stressed by the most recent outrageous nonsense.
A couple of his body parts should be wound up in very fine wire and him hung by the wire. (use your imagination) When the wire cuts through those two very sensitive body parts, and it will or it will break, the 50 foot fall will be broken by the bonfire burning below him. Some things that sound mean, really aren’t. At least for some…
That’s my point. The only person who thought Turner would win was Turner. I have no idea why you listen to her.
@Percysowner: I know what you mean. I rarely missed elections when I was young…..I even went to the Michigan caucuses (a one time thing) and voted for Jesse Jackson….who won!
I grew up the child of Soviet war refugees, and voting was a privilege and a duty. I remember going with my mother to vote, back when they had those big mechanical voting machines. I never considered not voting or not registering….I did as soon as I was legal!
Now I vote absentee (yay Michigan!), and am a poll worker most elections. All those idiots talking about how the election was stolen should work at least one election–the security involved is tremendous.
@Starfish: “Pro-Life” Democrats are a vanishing breed, so I was curious and looked up Mr. Graham. He is a State Representative trying for the nomination to challenge incumbent Republican David Rouser in the Southeastern North Carolina 7th Congressional District. The Fayetteville Observer has an article about the race, a sort of voters guide. It looked to me that of Graham’s several competitors, miltary veteran Charles Evans would be a better choice than Graham.
Shontel Brown is great but perhaps we could stop portraying Turner as this Left juggernaught bearing down like a freight train? It’s not true. She’s (allegedly) running against Biden in 2024. Am I supposed to take that seriously? Because I don’t.
Florida has lost its claim to being a bellwether state, but I think we’ll get some clues about the health of our democracy from FL in November. The maximalist hard-right governance by grievance and corruption thing has come to full fruition here. Are people okay with that? We’ll know soon.
@Whereaway: Actually, young or old, I don’t care. People who say “I tried voting and everything didn’t get better” piss me off. Being a citizen requires effort.
@Kay: Which election are you talking about, this year’s or last year’s?
I did not think Shontel Brown’s victory this year was an upset. Last year was certainly a relief, though.
@Whereaway: we would have made a hell of a lot more progress on climate change and inequality with a second term for Carter and presidents Gore and Kerry and H. Clinton. But keep shitting on the Democrats who tried to get them elected
@Geminid: Didn’t follow the OH races closely, but the time before, Turner had some serious (perhaps Ill-advised!) endorsements. This time, it was a clown show, from what I saw.
@Kay: “Perhaps we could stop portraying Nina Turner a juggernaut bearing down on us like a freight train”?!!
If you can’t make your argument without exaggeration maybe your argument is not very good.
@Kay: I live near what used to be their district ( literally a block away in either direction.) Cuyahoga County loved Shontel Brown because she has been so active in her short political life, and Nina Turner had been gone a long time.
Summit County (Akron) where I live doesn’t follow anything about Cuyahoga County except Cleveland’s mayor. Turner had his endorsement. And our Bernie Bros loved Turner a lot. So I was very worried.
ETA And this year Summit County is entirely in 13, not 11. No Cleveland congressional district down here anymore. Yay. Although I admit that our out of town congresss people were always good to us and never ignored us (except Dave Joyce, and he was only in our outer suburbs.)
In the short term, a tip for any woman of childbearing age with the misfortune to live in a caveman state:
Use cash only from now on when buying a home pregnancy test.
Leave no electronic trail that can be used to prosecute you under the caveman laws soon coming.
@zhena gogolia: We don’t get to live in the hypotheticals. If we don’t start doing some SERIOUS work on climate change now, our children are going to be living with food insecurity on a burning planet.
Their future is fucked, yes, but the amount of fuckedness is still in play; it can be merely rather unpleasant (that’s already baked in, by (most of) their elders), or a literal hellscape with collapsing civilization and a reduction of global human population by 90 percent (with an accompanying mass extinction), possibly in their lifetimes. Sitting it out is not an option for them, long term. Politics is an important part of the available paths to avoid the worst of the hellscape futures. Though certainly not the only part.
@Starfish: How does choosing not to vote help that?
Alison Rose ???
@Whereaway: I agree with much of this, but I will simply add that I know young people in my own life who have very clearly said some version of “both sides blah blah voting is pointless”. The Democrats aren’t leftist enough (I agree!) and thus are no better than the Republicans (very wrong!). I’m not saying all younger voters think this way, and I know plenty who don’t. But there are some of them out there and I have no patience for that attitude because it’s the “Hillary would be just as bad as Trump” mindset. Again, plenty of them are not like this and they work hard and they care. But those that don’t and then complain about not getting their student debt erased or not having quality health care frustrate me. They deserve those things, and if we had more Dems in Congress, they might get them.
When signing your HIPAA forms with a new medical provider in a caveman state, if they request general consent to share medical information with other providers, refuse. Grant consent only on a transactional and need to know basis.
Hear, hear! Voting in every election is the very least we can do.
There are a ton of ways to be a citizen.
If you have money but no time, donate to a favoured candidate or cause.
If you have time but no money, volunteer.
If you are an extrovert, knock on doors. Make phone calls. Register new citizens to vote. Host a candidate event. Sign up to be an election official or poll watcher. ETA: OR RUN FOR OFFICE YOURSELF!
If you are an introvert, write postcards to voters. Textbank. Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper.
But don’t ever sit out an election — a primary, a runoff, a special election, a general — local, state, federal — get your ass in gear and take whatever action you can to support what you believe.
And, of course: Vote.
Speaking of North Carolina:
Cash, leave cellphone (our personal tracker tags) at home, maybe find a store a few towns away. Avoid traffic cameras/license plate readers or borrow a vehicle or use public transportation. Avoid any places with surveillance cameras that might be tempted for money or ideology to sell video for facial recognition to data brokers.
A thorough and continuously maintained guide to avoiding the commercial/governmental panopticon would be useful. It’s getting harder.
@Whereaway: Definitely all of this.
It’s not just staring at a shitty future and the Democratic party’s passivity. It’s also the (justified) fear about who’s next. The Republican party’s is working haaaaarrrrrd to make existing as a trans person a criminal offense, and they’re trying to figure out a clever legal trick to make informing on them mandatory. And it won’t stop there.
@Betty Cracker: Yes, Turner’s position in her rematch with Brown was not as strong as last year’s special election primary. I think everyone here understands that.
Democrats dodged a bullet last year, though, because Turner would have done her best to disrupt her caucus and then used the status of Representative to mount a third party campaign in 2024. And I think the 2000 and 2016 Presidential elections proved that third party candidates can help Republicans win close races, and they don’t neccesarily have to be “juggernauts.” Gary Johnson and Jill Stein certainly weren’t.
@Omnes Omnibus: The people who are noisily choosing not to vote are not nearly as numerous as the people who are generally disenfranchised. Focusing on the first group does not make sense.
@Geminid: It’s impossible to prove one way or another, but had Turner won, I think it’s more likely she’d have voted with the Dems when it counted and been a noisy abstention when it didn’t, like several others in the caucus. She seems to have an excess of self-regard and might’ve taken her win as a signal the party isn’t completely broken.
@Whereaway: I am in favor of giving respect to the young, but dang do I disagree with your complaints about democrats. I was there. We having been losing a lot of elections since Regan, a lot of states swung really Republican and the margins even when we won the Presidency were never enough to do a lot of things that needed doing. Clinton used triangulation and other democrats did too which was just political speak for not losing even more elections. It was necessary to survive the greed decades. We did get Obamacare and we haven’t lost social security yet, but democratic politicians can’t get things done if there aren’t enough of them and not enough voters have their backs.
This country has been almost equally divided for decades now. Yes there are more of us, but not that much more.
And it is harder for the working poor to get time off.
So you also are painting with too broad a brush in blaming democratic politicians for not delivering more. It’s complicated.
@Starfish: Why can’t we focus on both? Focusing on one does not preclude focusing on the other. They may be different modes of voter suppression, but they both cost votes that can make the difference in close elections, and I think Democratic control of the House and Senate will turn in a number of close elections.
My parents always tried to be the first and second voters in our precinct – they took turns at every election. They always took my sisters and me and let us “help.”
I did the same with my kiddos, and part of turning 18 included registering to vote on their birthday – and my son registering for the draft. Every televised debate was watched as a family. (It helped that they got extra credit from their Government Class teacher lol) I never told them who to vote for, but I told them who I was voting for, and why. Later, when my daughter moved to Nashville, we spent a lot of phone and computer time going over her TN ballot. We still do this now that she lives in FL. I believe she votes mostly, if not all, Democratic, but I don’t ask. I always stress women and family rights – and her best friend since middle school is a married gay man with an adopted child.
Now she takes her boys to the polls to vote!?
My son and I live in WA, so it’s vote by mail, but his girls get to help vote by filling in the bubbles.
The future is not written. Nor is the future something that we passively endure. Our fate is what we make it, either by action or inaction. I prefer action, even if the results are unknown or imperfect.
The US has bounced back from major economic and social catastrophes larger than those we currently face.
Yeah, the Democrats really did nothing to get the country through the Great Depression or World War 2. Social Security, the Civil Rights Act were not perfect, so must be meaningless. And more recently, Biden hasn’t done much, other than help get us through the pandemic and raise millions of families and children out of poverty with the American Rescue Act.
Yup, being a citizen requires effort.
Why should someone put in that effort when it’s extremely obvious to them (correctly or incorrectly) that any effort they put in does nothing positive and only causes them angst and stress.
It pisses me off when folks like you diss those non-voters without working on understanding them.
@Starfish: Well, then you disagree with the premise of the post. People who are disenfranchised are a different problem. One we need to be working on and one which Democratic majorities would go a long way to fix.
I’m in my early 40s and deal with people in their 30s and 20s all the time some friends some family as well in those ranges. For those who have advanced degrees and are living in 2500+ a month apartments, making good money they have hope and really care about social issues.
For those outside of that income range, they are enraged or checked out. Even the Democrats tell them they won’t get universal healthcare, they won’t get rent control, that taxes won’t hit the low six figures, they won’t get UBI. Nothing that would need to happen for their lives to improve will happen and even the “good” party makes a point of telling them that, repeatedly.
I know plenty of people who supported Obama and after things got worse and not just the rich but the upper middle class well went even further from them “Vote!” has become either a joke or a flat out four letter word, and probably the most offensive.
They have given up on politics and given up on democracy. It’s not just the right that is itching for a change there is a growing sense on the left that short of a French revolution style fiasco they are doomed.
I was one of those people – but look where we are.
We won’t be more effective in getting things done until we take a hard look at why we fail to do so.
@Whereaway: Don’t pretend that you know what I have or have not made an effort to understand.
@Geminid: The way people have chosen to focus on one (by generally complaining about the young) has been snotty, ageist and discouraging people from voting.
If you want to focus on the loudmouths, perhaps choose a more effective strategy? But I really do not think that you should give them your energy.
@Betty Cracker: I wonder if you have looked very closely at Nina Turner and her allies. Turner supported Jill Stein in 2016. She was helping launch the People’s Party just four months before Marcia Fudge’s seat came open unexpectedy.
Turner’s lucrative political consulting firm is a subsidiary of Mercury, a Republican outfit (they probably play horseshoes after work). Turner’s politics are those of David Sirotten and Michael Moron.
James E Powell
Every time I run into that argument – that if one vote doesn’t make a difference, voting is pointless – I want to drink poison.
The entire focus here on Ohio primary night was Turner v Brown. Brown is in a safe district. Someone who actually wanted to hold the House would have focused on Marcy Kaptur’s primary opponents- she’s at risk. Not from the Left. From Republicans.
To elected politicians, committed non-voters might as well be Pre-Soylent-Green, unless they affect other voters significantly.
I fully agree with you here, it is complicated in very many ways.
I make no apologies about ranting about dissing folks who don’t vote without trying to understand them.
I also don’t apologize for criticizing Democrats for a massive failure in messaging – and this is not something I did until recently.
In 2016, I caucused for Sanders in Colorado. And – I really liked Hillary’s detailed policy plans (even when I didn’t fully agree). I appreciated the thought and detail that went into her platform, and was proud to vote for her. I thought the wonky approach was really cool.
And it didn’t work.
If we Democrats can’t do 2 things (IMO), we won’t succeed.
First, we need to be extremely aggressive in our messaging (including sound-bites and over simplifications), and we need to willing to play extreme hardball with our counter messaging.
Second, we need to find ways to not depend on the Manchin’s and Sinema’s. I think our electoral process is fundamentally corrupt, and those 2 are a reflection of that (along with many others). And damn but I wish I had ideas for addressing that which were viable instead of pie-in-the-sky.
@Geminid: I know who and what she is, thanks. Just speculating, as are you. I’ve seen validation turn tent-pissers around.
I also agree with first part of this, and I think there’s more gain with enfranchising voters than engaging non-voters.
I also think it’s possible to walk and chew gum at the same time :)
@Starfish: I haven’t said anything about young voters beyond recounting what Mangy Jay said about her experience as a young Nader supporter in 2000. There is no basis for conflating my criticism of Nina Turner with criticism of young voters. That’s her and her allies’ framing, not mine.
When we found out that Russian agents used social media to undermine African Americans’ motivation to vote for Hillary Clinton in 2016, most people agreed that this was a bad thing. Now, when people try to undermine young people’s motivation to vote for Democrats in 2022, why should I ignore it? Because they might be our allies if we reshaped the party the way they want it? They are not our allies and I don’t regard them as such.
I think that anyone who doesn’t vote is unwise. And this has never been just a problem with young people.
Also my young adulthood was during a time of youth activism and young people agitating to get 18 year olds the right to vote.
We live in a country where one party is actively trying to steal or suppress your vote. I don’t understand why anyone would help them do it.
@Omnes Omnibus: Youi showed nothing in your post that showed you made any effort
@germy: Wait — they’re freaking out about Roe v. Wade being on the chopping block now, but voted for Trump, who vowed over and over to appoint judges up and down the federal bench all the way up to SCOTUS whose only job it would be to strike down abortion rights? Talk about “surely the leopards won’t eat *my* face…” thinking.
We have observed many times here (and elsewhere) the hate-hate relationship the GOP has with their right-wing base.
The GOP congresscritters hold their base in contempt. Treat them like a bunch of idiots they can do nothing material for except feed them red meat, while at the same time resenting how they have to cowtow to the chuds. Less obvious but equally true, much of the base is at least partially aware of the low character of “their” congresscritters; among the chuds it is an article of faith that there are maybe 5-6 “good” congresscritters and the rest are sellouts who have to be hounded relentlessly into line.
I think there is some accuracy to both these points of view (although they are terrible both ways).
What we don’t comment on much is how the Dem congresscritters have a similar relationship with their left-wing base, and that the basis of this mutual loathing is often just as accurate in both directions.
I’m not saying this because I am in any way above it all, but I do find the spectacle of leftists defenestrating Bernie Sanders for practising incrementalism just as disheartening as Dem congresscritters fooling themselves about the seriousness of their political situation.
@Geminid: I agree with this.
I have voted in pretty much every election since I was 18. Since 2013, when Colorado instituted mail in voting, it couldn’t be easier.
A nephew lived here for a few years and when my spouse asked if he was going to vote in some election, he said he just wasn’t energized.
I just can’t grok this apathy, selfishness and and abdication of the responsibility of citizenship, even when it’s made as easy as possible. No consideration for those who are made to stand in long lines and even then, sometimes turned away.
The 2016 election of D.J. Trump will (probably, i.e. averaged over possible futures) kill hundreds of millions of humans in the fullness of time, just due to his blocking for four years of global heating action in the US (with GOP help), withdrawal from the Paris agreement, and encouragement of some other governments worldwide to do nothing about global heating.
Same for the election (by SCOTUS) of GWB in 2000.
I agree with this. But yelling about those damned kids (or other non-voters) doesn’t do anything to encourage people to vote.
@Whereaway: I generally don’t find it necessary to explain my entire life and the evolution of my political thinking in each and every blog comment. You made assumptions about me because I came to a different conclusion to yours.
People who repeat the line about the two parties are essentially the same forget that George Wallace said the ‘not a dime’s worth of difference” because he was a segregationist and both parties supported desegregation.
@Kay: I saw a lot of focus on the Ohio Senate race here on primary night, and not just on the Turner/Brown contest. Marcy Kaptur’s opponents got their share of attention too.
Kaptur has an uphill fight and besides getting Democratic base voters to show up she will likely need every “persuadable voter” she can get. Some of these are on the “right” side of the party, but some are on the “left.” And there are people who are obviously trying to persuade the latter group not to turn out, and that should not be ignored
The facts may be against you. Everything that is part of a get out the vote effort is necessary. In 2020 more people came out to vote. There was also a huge decline in third party voting.
Most people saw what was on the line if Trump won. Maybe some people needed convincing.
People who don’t vote are just as wrong as people who are anti vaxx. And if they come to a political discussion site, they have to expect push back. And for the most part that push back has been vigorous, but respectful.
And the bottom line is that we live in an age where people who don’t want to vote may not have to worry about it at all.
I agree with all of this.
My question is how do we become more effective at preventing this type of shit.
I’ve been reading Balloon-Juice since 2002, when I thought John Cole was one of the least crazy Republicans blogging at that time, Prior to today, I’ve made perhaps 2 dozen comments. But I recently retired, and have time on occasion to engage in a comment thread.
And – demonizing folks for not voting is one of my hot-buttons, it’s useless and counter-productive.
It’s not my intent to offend folks here (except for maybe Omnes), I want to drive discussion on how we can be more effective at -winning elections-
Realistically, in many states it’s very difficult at a local, state and house of representatives level due to jerrymandering. But at a State and Federal level, we have opportunities. There are more Democratic than rethuglican registered voters nationwide, and more folks who identify as leaning Democratic that rethuglican.
When voters are asked about policy, rather than buzz–words (Socialism, etc.) they tend to favor Democratic policies.
How do we leverage that??
Populist lefties are never wrong they can only be wronged. They will diss Democrats in one breath and whine that their wish list is not fulfilled in the next.
They love leaders who perform for the camera (BS of Vt, EW, Squad etc) but never have the back of those who do actual work (Biden admin, Obama admin, etc)
@Brachiator: This is my takeaway on a lot of this. There’s a party that is entirely trying to screw you and everyone else over for fascism/religion/profit. They have about 50% of the voting populace and most of the big money. That’s Republicans.
There’s another party which fights this stuff and does it pretty well. We still have voting rights. We have civil rights, gay rights. The pandemic restrictions, benefits, and action we got were mostly due to Democrats while Republicans fought it tooth and nail. And there’s regulation on colleges, education assistance, medicare, welfare and a (bad) social safety net because Democrats have fought for and defended all of those things.
All of this should be better. But there’s a team to root for here, and to push for. It’s the one team that’s doing good, and voting for them makes a big difference. As does pushing it further left.
@Geminid: Her opponent is the Trump lawn kook, correct? Here’s hoping having a clown-ass rival will work in her favor.
I will respectfully disagree here. I think the turnout in 2020 was driven by Trump (on both sides). Democrats and many independents and non or rare voters despised Trump and turned out. Many non or rare voters loved Trump and turned out. I think the latter was one of the reasons why we Dems did poorer than expected down-ballot.
My point is that slamming people who don’t vote won’t convince them to vote, it will only piss them off.
@Betty Cracker: I guess we differ on how we weigh the damage a disruptor could do to Speaker Pelosi and President Biden’s agenda, versus the potential value of getting a politician who has never won a contested election to stop pissing from outside the tent.
@Whereaway: For what it’s worth, I think you made some good points, and I hope you’ll keep commenting when it suits you.
This sounds really interesting. How did this come about? How do the students like it?
Does he really think that political outcomes are a random walk, that you would get the same laws no matter who is in office?
@Geminid: Not really! I was glad she lost both times; it was far better that she was neutralized politically by losing, IMO. I just don’t agree she would have definitely tried to destroy the party from within had she won. I think Kay is right; Turner is basically a nobody.
good. Maybe a woman who can’t get an abortion will leave the baby on Amy Coney Broodmare’s front porch.
Thank you for this. I’m acutely aware that my political view are very much on the left side of the Democratic political spectrum. and that I’m in the minority amongst Democrats in many of my views.
I was happy with Bernie in 2016, and caucused for him because he was driving pushing the Democratic discussions further left. I’ve come to strongly dislike him since, he’s about Bernie more than effective progress.
My frustration with AOC and team is not with most of their policy ideas, it’s that I don’t think they realize change will only be incremental, so they don’t work for that incremental change (it’s the ‘it’s complicated’ thing).
But, if we don’t get more effective at politics, we will continue to lose opportunities to drive policy.
NYTimes is lauding JD Vance for being a fake hillbilly with the Ohio rural rubes but a Yale educated VC guy for the suburbs:
Ouch. I have a feeling there won’t be a response. Remember when they spent two days speculating that she was fake crying that time? That’s because all women are emotionally manipulative liars.
James E Powell
Pretty sure that’s been tried. Not saying you’re wrong, but sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t work. Every presidential election, it’s a whole new round of Youngs. And we were all Youngs once, right?
And from one poll to the next “The Youngs” range from 18-24 to 18-34. As if 32 year olds have more in common with 18 year olds, than with 35 year olds.
My experience working with The Youngs – high school teacher – left me with the anecdotal impression that it isn’t so much “The Youngs don’t vote for reasons” as it is “It never occurred to The Youngs to vote, follow the news, or notice that there is any connection between politics and their lives.”
They tend to educate themselves and get involved if there is something political that they care about. But it varies widely from person to person.
@Betty Cracker: Thank you!
And – I’ll shut up now …
People came out to vote in 2020 even if they had been slammed for previously not voting. I am okay with that.
They came out even if they were pissed off. I am okay with that.
More people came out who hated Trump than who loved him. That’s the whole point.
Mai Naem mobile
@Cacti: i didn’t see that. Good. Welcome to the party.. I thought it was ironic that Alito is a ammosexual but chickenshit that he is cancelled his appearance at the Fifth Circuit Court Conference. And ofcourse, there was increased security immediately ordered around the USSC. Regular Americans are told to go fuck themselves for just asking for minimal standards like background checks but these assholes get primo security details and massive security around there workplace.
@Kay: Well, how can there be a response when part of the question was an instruction to “be honest?”
I don’t understand non-voters. Its the least you can do as a citizen in a democracy. If you can’t do the bare minimum who have no right to whine.
I became a citizen so that I could vote. How hard is it to fill a form online or while getting your driver’s license to register to vote?
@Betty Cracker: I think having a clown-ass opponent will benefit Kaptur. Analysts say that Trump carried Kaptur’s new district by 3% in 2020. I sense some Trump fatigue, though, especially among independents. This race will be a good test of Trump’s MAGA magic.
Kaptur’s a capable, hardworking. politician who has done a lot for the Lake Erie region. This guy, on the other hand, has little to show besides a painted lawn and a really big beer belly. Majewski woul do well to trade in his polo shirt for a loose fitting suit, and maybe a big red tie.
Mai Naem mobile
@Annie: not a woman, a girl. A thirteen year old raped by her daddy. Let Amy Conehead deal with that. And, yeah, let their kids especially their daughters(looking at you McBeer McRapey) be embarrassed by their parents.
What I learned in 2020 was republicans can be overwhelmed. republicans can be defeated.
I think she was actually radicalized by the Ohio Democratic Party pre-Bernie, and they are backward and insular and sorta racist, so no wonder. She’s not the only person they’ve embittered. She’s just the only one you hear about. She used to give perfectly normal presentations at voting rights events.
The only reason they don’t drive me crazy is I’m extremely shallow.
He has a huge internet presence though- they link it all over Facebook. The Trumpsters basically watch only their own media now.
Kaptur’s campaign manager is young. He’ll know about it.
They were pissed off at Trump, not pissed off because they were being bitched out for not voting.
(And I guess I haven’t shut up)
@Mai Naem mobile: it won’t last… that’s all
James E Powell
Who demonized folks for not voting?
@Kay: Well, this looks like an intersting social science project, at least from 300 miles away. I’m guessing Trump maxed out the Republican vote in 2020. Glen Youngkin apparently found a small trove of older Virginian Republican voters who did not come out in 2020, but Majewski is no Youngkin. Although it would be funny to see him model a supersized fleece vest.
At any rate, it doesn’t seem Majewski can add voters, but he has to hold them.
Like I think you said yesterday about Tim Ryan, people vote on their identification with a candidate as much as on issues. Kaptur’s a hard worker and she should be able to meet a lot of people she has not already represented. Majewski might prove to be a good retail politician himself, but that usually is an acquired skill.
I hope that Majewski agrees to multiple debates and that a lot of people watch them.
OMG this. So many people think “not being centered/catered to” means “not being listened to.” As if there aren’t an entire raft of people who had been working before they showed up to the party, so to speak. I don’t know how to explain in a way that it gets through (constructively) to people.
@eversor: What I don’t understand is why everyone is so sure they’d come out on the winning side. And as someone else on here said, “I voted for Reagan and Bush but Roe still exists so I’m not voting anymore,” said no Republican ever. I’m black, so out of respect for my elders who risked life and death to vote, I do so every election. Do they actually think of the alternative?
Hell, I have waited in line to vote for more than 4 hours in MA. You just gotta live in the “wrong” zip code for that shit to happen, in any state.
the pollyanna from hell
@James E Powell: The earth is doomed because Democrats are ineffective.
The earth is doomed because some folks are too lazy to vote.
I say, demonize ’em all and let god sort ’em out./s
@Whereaway: I disagree. People know what the Democrats stand for. They just don’t want to vote for the party with the black people in it. A black historian said a long time ago that race will be America’s intractable problem for the foreseeable future. Stop attributing a problem actually about race to youth.
Why are we assuming people are being taught about civil rights, women’s rights, or labor history? These were long important struggles where elections played a role, but if you have never heard a word about any of them, how would you think to look for that information?
@Glory b: Extremely late to thread but you have nailed it. Too few white people comprehend that.