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Vote Your Conscience - Updated

okanogen's picture

Vote your conscience (or not at all), and may Cthulu have mercy on our souls.

Regarding what will happen, one of the two legacy parties' candidates will win. We know this. While there isn't a thin film of spit difference between either of these deeply damaged, evil people, either by temperment or policy on the domestic front, and on the vast majority of the empire enterprise, I'm personally persuaded there is a difference that is worth pointing out. It is my personal opinion that Obama has been, and is, determined to avoid a war with Iran, and has been and therefore will be more likely to continue, to restrain those in Israel who would trigger that war. This isn't a moral stand on his part, certainly, but I think it is a practical calculation by his administration that it would be a disaster.

That Benjamin Netanyahu also believes this about Obama and Romney is evidence enough for me, even if one doesn't agree on the rest of the evidence out there.

Will Obama continue his drone campaign, killing hundreds/thousands? Yes, the same as Romney will, so that is a terrible, and unavoidable, reality which will happen regardless*, but a war with Iran would kill hundreds of thousands, maybe even more than just millions. Most of them brown people....

I didn't vote for Obama in 2008, I didn't vote for either legacy candidate, I had zero illusions about Obama, and still don't. But I have to be honest that while I don't know what I will do until I'm in the booth, I'm reasonably certain that this time I will have to vote for Obama as a vote against war with Iran.

I don't presume my vote means much. My reasoning for this action is if Romney is elected and doesn't prevent the war I fear, I will never feel good about my "purity". Maybe not having voted for Obama the first time, and therefore not feeling burned by him, makes it possible for me to do vote for him (or more specifically, against Romney) this time. Don't know, hard to say. The fact he will only be around four years doesn't hurt.

My guess is not many here agree. Which is fine, I'm not going to judge your actions. By the same consideration I would appreciate not being judged either, but I wouldn't be honest if I wasn't... honest. I just think it is worth detailing the tine on Morton's Fork on which I'm choosing to impale myself, and my reasons for doing so.

Good luck, because yeah, either way, both these guys are going to fuck us, the thin film of spit is lube.

So again, vote your conscience (or not at all), and may Cthulu have mercy on our souls.

UPDATE: Not everyone is in the position to take the absolute moral stand Silber has taken. Am I supporting the murder of innocent human beings? In Silber's view, by voting for one of these candidates, or if voting third party, in the long run since I would therefore be lending my tacit support for a system which murders innocent human beings, by that measure, then yes, I guess I am. However, while it is true that the only "free" choice given us is to remove our participation from the system, that is only the "free" choice of the Hobson variety: take the horse closest the door or no horse. We aren't really "free" because an unavoidable result will be imposed on us regardless of what we choose. So, realistically, it would be exactly analagous to another conundrum: Sophie's Choice. If I am voting for Obama in order, in my belief, to prevent a war with Iran (given that one of these two people WILL be ruling us), am I voting for murder? By saving one, did Sophie agree to murdering the other? It's a formulation that puts all the onus on the one who is least in control of the outcome. So while I respect that viewpoint, I also reject it.

* I'm not minimizing it, it's a fact I have no control over.

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tarheel-leftist85's picture
Submitted by tarheel-leftist85 on

I abstained from voting. Although I came close to supporting Jill Stein, and by many metrics she is vote-worthy, the failure to accept and propagate the operational realities of our money-sovereign government was the deal-breaker.

Full employment public sector jobs guarantee? Yes.
Medicare for All? Yes.
Refuting the inevitable and bogus question of "How are we going to pay for it?" with a clear explanation of monetary sovereignty and the inability for a money-sovereign government to involuntary become insolvent? No, and even (IMHO) perpetuating the myth that taxes "pay" for spending (including in last night's debate). Taxing the rich and corporate taxes are, if we are to be honest, redistributive mechanisms which guard against pooling money which breeds rent-extraction, parasitism, and amplified wealth inequality. That is why these forms of wealth should be taxes; not to balance an accounting identity.

My litmus test is that a candidate rebuke the bogus debt terrorism and clearly explain the operational realities of our monetary system, including how full employment via a permanent jobs guarantee is the key to reversing the mal-distribution of wealth and achieving price stability (full employment --> upward pressure on wages --> median wage growth > inflation). Taxes and spending are merely modes of money creation/destruction and distributive mechanisms. The "How are we going to pay for it?" question becomes moot. I would have liked to have supported Dr. Stein's candidacy and other emergent parties' candidates, but because of my MMT litmus test, I could not in good conscience. YMMV!

It's all about rents and rent-seeking.

okanogen's picture
Submitted by okanogen on

Stay Puft Marshmallow Man is not on the ballot.

Sorry, I don't fall in love with politicians. I'm not that desperate.....

jumpjet's picture
Submitted by jumpjet on

There's not enough difference between either of them to make voting for them worthwhile. I voted for Stein, because she has a more realistic view of the US's energy needs going forward.

Energy is my litmus test, and Stein seems to be the only candidate who recognizes the impending problem of Peak Oil. Obama probably knows about it, but his 'solutions' are either half-assed or rely on other fossil fuels that will deplete if stressed. I don't even think Romney has an energy policy beyond pandering to Big Oil.

Though if Romney wins and promptly starts building nuclear power plants, I may dislike him a little less.

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness

tarheel-leftist85's picture
Submitted by tarheel-leftist85 on

This post does a tremendous job of relating how the rent-extractors will exploit peak oil for still more further rent extraction.

In other words: the very wealthy in the US have neared the terminal point of their oil based power, and have begun the project of triage, dismantling the welfare state, shifting created wealth out of public systems and into private ones, increasing "national security" and "anti-terrorism" expenditures as a means of consolidating power using the rump of the liberal state. A similar process unfolds in Western Europe, and follows a pattern set in Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union. These measures, imposed first externally on Argentina, South East Asia and Brazil, as well as Mexico, now threaten Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain with the liberation of the wealthy from the reaches of the remaining poor. China and India will face crisis situations, driven by population and food/fuel consumption, which will precipitate resource conflicts within and beyond their own borders, so that "this disparity between the Euro-American dominions, the territorially expansive but unevenly developed nations such as Russia, Turkey, Brazil, China and Iran, and the 'underdeveloped' peripheries compel the several factions and combinations of capital and control to vie for access to remaining convertible resources, by simultaneously withdrawing public commitments to superfluous domestic populations and extending armed authority over regions ripe for extraction."

This may present a useful way of understanding the seemingly "knee jerk" reaction of American elites, to failed and minor acts of "terrorism," as well as to any protest or provocation which calls into question the means, methods or morality of their power.

As justifications for the militarization of the commons, and the capture of the creative class as dependents of the corporate-state.

As the world approaches a climate tipping point for which no solution present itself, coupled with the collapse of the one hundred year historical anomaly of cheap, reliable energy, the ruling factions approach a final plateau - sacrifice their power, luxury and wealth, or sacrifice the rest of us.

What do you think they'll choose?

I recall seeing this post linked from Corrente way back when, and it's one of those bookmarks I re-consult.

It's all about rents and rent-seeking.

Submitted by lambert on

... but I do think it's the best argument I've heard.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi