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Author Topic: Mandatory voting in the US?
Fenring
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quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:

Progressives have poisoned our government so badly and turned off so many voters that it is no wonder they want people to be forced to vote to attempt to provide false legitimacy to their tyranny.

The poisoning has been happening piecemeal since the founding. Group after group has tried to bend government and the economic system to their purposes. If I had to name the chief source of the problems I would say that corporate personhood and cartel banking have contributed most to the entwining of politics and big money, which is the source of most of our woes. In a sense we can maybe blame the post Civil War Republicans and their taste for big business for this, but at this point I don't think it's fair to specifically blame either party.
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Those is favor of a more intrusive and powerful centralized federal government like it, those that prefer the opposite oppose it (generally).
Which is to say those who feel that the people as a whole should have the most say and control over the government support it, and those that prefer corporate oligarchy and plutocracy, which automatically emerge in the face of weak popular government, oppose it.

Strong, engaged popular government is the only defense against the natural tendency of power to accumulate in the hands of a few private interests such that they become the de facto rulers.

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Seriati
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
I don't think it says much about goals, but it says a lot about priorities. Leftists generally support citizen participation in government, whereas conservatives believe that government is for moneyed elites.

What utter nonsense. There has not been a single serious proposal to limit voting or participation to "moneyed elites" and as for actual politicians Dems are at least as guilty of being moneyed elites and soliciting them (or did you think its the common man at $10K a plate fund raisers with the President?).

The actual conservative position - as articulated - is to limit voting to citizens and to enact reasonable measures to prevent voter fraud, nothing more or less.
quote:
The concern that only the "right" people should be allowed to vote is quintessentially the position of the modern conservative.
Said the man in charge of keeping crows out of the corn field (ie building strawmen).
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Seriati
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
[QB]
quote:
Those is favor of a more intrusive and powerful centralized federal government like it, those that prefer the opposite oppose it (generally).
Which is to say those who feel that the people as a whole should have the most say and control over the government support it, and those that prefer corporate oligarchy and plutocracy, which automatically emerge in the face of weak popular government, oppose it.
Lol. It doesn't say that all (in fact your restatement is the polar opposite of what it says), but I guess that would be the way an autocrat would see it, since they can't conceive that the ruling elite's view of what's best for the people and what's actually best for the people are not the same thing.
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TomDavidson
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Are we stipulating a "ruling elite" consisting of something other than oligarchs? If so, on what basis?
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Seneca
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Let's all keep in mind exactly where this proposal came from and why.

This thread would be more accurately titled: "Democrats lose election then propose mandatory voting."

If the Democrats had won we wouldn't even be discussing this. Where was Obama suggesting this in 2009 or 2013?

This not only shows the shallow character of Obama and the Democrats, but it illustrates more broadly overall that we would be well warned to worry about opportunism from all politicians and that that possibility is too great to risk. Any attempt at such a mandatory system would be twisted and manipulated by whoever was in power. I'm not even seeing any argument about this just attempts to mitigate it by claiming it would be no worse than what we have now.

It would be a lot worse. Right now government holds a place of cultural disdain in American Society due to low approval ratings and low voter turnout. Imagine how much more corrupt and openly contemptuous the government would be if they had 100% forced turnout.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
This thread would be more accurately titled: "Democrats lose election then propose mandatory voting."
Well, no.
For one thing, mandatory voting has been proposed by various people for over a hundred years. For another, "Dems" didn't "propose" it just now, either; the president mentioned it as an option to address something he perceives as a current problem.

quote:
If the Democrats had won we wouldn't even be discussing this.
Why do you think so? When in living memory do you think Democrats have opposed expanding voter rolls?

---------

quote:
Imagine how much more corrupt and openly contemptuous the government would be if they had 100% forced turnout.
I'm not sure why you think that more people voting would make the government more contemptuous and corrupt than it is. Do you really think that fear of low turnout acts as a check on corrupt behavior currently?
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Seneca
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Why didn't Obama propose it after either of his victories?

As for remembering a time in my lifetime when Democrats wanted to restrict voting all I have to do is look in a mirror and see the color of my skin and it's quite easy to remember the racist Democrats, the party of Jim Crow.

As for turnout and low opinion, these serve as soft restraints on politicians' basest desires. Politicians are first and foremost slaves to public opinion and fashion, or at least their own definition of it. They are popularity addicts. Forced 100% turnout would give many of them the wrong impression about who approves of them given how jaded voters often are in choosing the "lesser evil." Low turnout reminds current victory that they weren't someone's ideal choice, but usually just an alternative.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
Why didn't Obama propose it after either of his victories?
He didn't propose it now, either. I suspect he mentioned it this time because it was on his mind.

quote:
As for remembering a time in my lifetime when Democrats wanted to restrict voting all I have to do is look in a mirror...
Ah, yes, I forgot that you were old enough to have actually lived in an era where Democrats were all about states' rights and bigotry, before they handed both those causes over to Republicans. [Smile] How about something since the late '60s?

quote:
Forced 100% turnout would give many of them the wrong impression about who approves of them...
Not if you put a "None of the above" on there.
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Wayward Son
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quote:
Forced 100% turnout would give many of them the wrong impression about who approves of them given how jaded voters often are in choosing the "lesser evil." Low turnout reminds current victory that they weren't someone's ideal choice, but usually just an alternative.
Seriously, can you quote for me a politician who won that ever mentioned low voter turnout as mitigating his "mandate?" [LOL]

I don't think they even realize there is low voter turnout...

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Seriati
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
As for remembering a time in my lifetime when Democrats wanted to restrict voting all I have to do is look in a mirror...
Ah, yes, I forgot that you were old enough to have actually lived in an era where Democrats were all about states' rights and bigotry, before they handed both those causes over to Republicans.
Statistical studies show that racism is as present in the Democratic party as the Republican party.

And in fact, last time I looked into this it became pretty clear that while some high profile politicians changed parties (and not in particularly great numbers), the rank file of the parties largely DID NOT change. Which means the same racist democrats are still sitting there as old democrats not as Republicans.

This seems to be one of those old saws with a grain of reality in it, that gets repeated and continually overstated without any more thought.
quote:
Not if you put a "None of the above" on there.
Which does nothing to correct for uneducated voters, or for the impact of manipulation and electoral bribery (e.g. vote for me and I'll tax the rich and send you free money, why does that sound familiar?).
quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
Why didn't Obama propose it after either of his victories?

I think you're trying to hard on shaky ground with this. I feel confident that Obama has always been in favor of mandatory voting. His number one skill (and possibly the only skill other than oration at which he is truly exceptional) is electioneering. It doesn't take a genius to understand who the likely voters are and who the potential voters could be. Demographics demonstrate convincingly that now more than ever elections are not about convincing anyone, they are just about motivating turn out. If you're in command of the party that gets its support from voters that are less motivated to vote perennially, of course you're going to be in favor of this. The same way you're going to be in favor of every policy that maximizes the demographics that are most likely to vote for you.

[ March 27, 2015, 01:51 PM: Message edited by: Seriati ]

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Seneca
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If Obama was always for this then why when his party had full control of the Congress and presidency and passed one of the most controversial and dividing pieces of legislation of all time did they not also do this?
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TomDavidson
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Perhaps it's not a huge priority? It seems to me that he was spending a lot of political capital on something else.

Because here's the thing: Dems have for as long as I've been alive wanted to see more people voting. This is not a new thing. It is not somehow surprising to Democrats that, as turnout increases, they do better; this is something that has always been known.

So why have they not prioritized pushing through items to increase voter turnout, much as Republicans have prioritized pushing through items to suppress it? Because they are not as cynical and sleazy as Republicans.

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Seneca
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Seriati makes a good point. The Democrats are still just as racist as they have ever been, and the new generation of Democrats has simply switched up the format of this racism.

The 2015 Democrat party hates blacks and other minorities but instead of suppressing their votes, they want to go back to slavery which is to make them dependent on government handouts and special legal protected classes which they then use to blackmail minorities into voting for them.

Imagine what the Democrats would run on if they couldn't use the chains of the welfare state to enslave their base? They'd have nothing left. This is where their class warfare is taking us, to a state-centric society where they get as many people as possible dependent on the government so then those enslaved voters will always do what their progressive masters want them to and vote them into office no matter what.

[ March 27, 2015, 04:16 PM: Message edited by: Seneca ]

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Imagine what the Democrats would run on if they couldn't use the chains of the welfare state to enslave their base?
First you'd have to buy the ideological and ahistorical lie that's built into that false assertion.

I mean, we could go back to the days of wide-spread poverty, malnutrition, and outright wage-slavery that those programs helped to ameliorate. You are doing a good job of presenting the propaganda of the actual class war- the one that rich neo-aristocrats are waging against the middle class that has slowly destroyed the middle class that the labor movement helped to carve out space for and maintain.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
The Democrats are still just as racist as they have ever been...
Just a quibble: that was not Seriati's claim. Rather, his claim was that Democrats and Republicans are roughly equally racist, not that either party is as racist as they have ever been.

quote:
they want to go back to slavery which is to make them dependent on government handouts
I should point out that you greatly minimize the actual sins of slavery with this false comparison.
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Wayward Son
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quote:
The 2015 Democrat party hates blacks and other minorities but instead of suppressing their votes, they want to go back to slavery which is to make them dependent on government handouts and special legal protected classes which they then use to blackmail minorities into voting for them.
That sentence only makes sense in Newspeak, where slavery = welfare (along with black = white, truth = lies, and Republicans = concern for minorities [Smile] ).

Slavery is where you are owned by someone, and have to work for them for free (or face the consequences [Eek!] ).

Welfare (aka "government handouts") is where you get money when you can't find work or are unable to (due to disability, need to care for dependent children, etc). But note that you don't have to work, and you have a choice if you find good work to get off of it. No one forces anyone onto welfare. Only lack of finding adequate employment does that.

And special legal protected class? Why would anyone be afraid of losing a special class when everyone protected equally in America? Unless, of course, someone felt they were not protected equally... [Wink]

The main difference between slavery and "government handouts" and "special legal protected classes" is that you can choose to give up handouts and special classes. Which means it isn't slavery.

But the silliest thing about your assertion is that "2015 Democrat party hates blacks and other minorities." Which American political party has the majority of black and other minorities? Isn't it the Democrats? Why is that? Do you think blacks and other minorities are stupid? That they don't see that they are being exploited by the Democrats? Or do they see that Republicans are just feeding them some Newspeak, and lack of welfare does not equal more jobs for them, that lack of special status does not mean fair treatment, that these programs were enacted because they system wasn't working right before and there is no reason to believe it will automatically start working right now, just because some Republicans say it will.

If Republicans really cared about blacks and other minorities, they would create programs that would guarantee conditions would get better, rather than rely on some invisible hand that has never worked for them in the past.

Maybe then you'll see some movement by blacks and minorities into the Republican party.

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Seneca
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quote:
Originally posted by Wayward Son:
quote:
The 2015 Democrat party hates blacks and other minorities but instead of suppressing their votes, they want to go back to slavery which is to make them dependent on government handouts and special legal protected classes which they then use to blackmail minorities into voting for them.
That sentence only makes sense in Newspeak, where slavery = welfare (along with black = white, truth = lies, and Republicans = concern for minorities [Smile] ).

Slavery is where you are owned by someone, and have to work for them for free (or face the consequences [Eek!] ).

Welfare (aka "government handouts") is where you get money when you can't find work or are unable to (due to disability, need to care for dependent children, etc). But note that you don't have to work, and you have a choice if you find good work to get off of it. No one forces anyone onto welfare. Only lack of finding adequate employment does that.

And special legal protected class? Why would anyone be afraid of losing a special class when everyone protected equally in America? Unless, of course, someone felt they were not protected equally... [Wink]

The main difference between slavery and "government handouts" and "special legal protected classes" is that you can choose to give up handouts and special classes. Which means it isn't slavery.

But the silliest thing about your assertion is that "2015 Democrat party hates blacks and other minorities." Which American political party has the majority of black and other minorities? Isn't it the Democrats? Why is that? Do you think blacks and other minorities are stupid? That they don't see that they are being exploited by the Democrats? Or do they see that Republicans are just feeding them some Newspeak, and lack of welfare does not equal more jobs for them, that lack of special status does not mean fair treatment, that these programs were enacted because they system wasn't working right before and there is no reason to believe it will automatically start working right now, just because some Republicans say it will.

If Republicans really cared about blacks and other minorities, they would create programs that would guarantee conditions would get better, rather than rely on some invisible hand that has never worked for them in the past.

Maybe then you'll see some movement by blacks and minorities into the Republican party.

What you said is nonsense. Welfare and generating government dependency is very much a form of slavery, and I'll let this black gentleman explain how and why. I encourage you to watch his brief video which goes into more detail than the excerpts mentioned in this article.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2013/06/18/black-louisiana-state-senator-explains-switch-to-gop/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_YQ8560E1w

quote:
A state senator in Louisiana explains in a new video why he switched to the Republican Party, arguing that the GOP should be the new home for African-Americans like him.

In the video, state Sen. Elbert Guillory says Democrats use social programs like welfare and food stamps to monopolize the black vote. He urges them to "please join with me today in abandoning the government plantation and the party of disappointment."

"You see, at the heart of liberalism is the idea that only a great and powerful big government can be the benefactor of social justice for all Americans," Guillory says. "But the left is only concerned with one thing: control. And they disguise this control as charity. Programs such as welfare, food stamps -- these programs aren't designed to lift black Americans out of poverty. They were always intended as a mechanism for politicians to control the black community. The idea that blacks -- or anyone else -- need the government to get ahead is despicable."


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TomDavidson
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quote:
Welfare and generating government dependency is very much a form of slavery...
No, it's not. You're a big opponent of force, remember? When establishments can legally apply force to require people to do things, like vote?

You're generally supportive of inducements and persuasion and purchase, but force is right out.

Guess what American slavery was, and the difference between slavery and indentured servitude. You can argue that a welfare state creates dependents, but you certainly cannot sensibly or sincerely argue that it creates slaves.

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Seneca
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Welfare is a more insidious form of slavery.
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TomDavidson
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So voluntary servitude is more insidious than forced servitude?

I ask you to clarify this because it would seem to contradict your position on several economic and legal matters.

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Fenring
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Voluntary servitude is more insidious precisely because one can blame the people who "chose" it for their condition, rather than the people who control the system that makes them dependent. It's a far more sophisticated type of slavery, where the person is technically free to refuse except that the alternative is starvation. But the illusion of choice allows the people subjected to feel the morale boost of "being free" and thus makes them very unlikely to revolt or try to change the system. Slavery as it was very quickly became odious to many people and was abolished; oligarchs learned from this that in order to control people they must not believe they are enslaved.

That being said, I think the blame for the systematic controls enacted on both the black population and others can be laid equally at the feet of both parties. I agree with Seneca that the current welfare system seems in its effect to indenture much of the population, although I'd say that this is a result of flaws in the economic system and in direct interference in the U.S. economy going back to the 20's that necessitated drastic measures during the depression.

The welfare system as it's used now in politics reminds me of Caesar who threw Gallic gold at the Romans in order have himself elected as Tribune. It's no different in type than Republicans who 'throw gold' at their own special interests. That this is sad seems to me a product of the sad nature of politics rather than the idea that helping the people is a bad thing. Where I'm sure Seneca disagrees with me is in the idea of the basic income, which I think would remove the political angle of welfare and get back to the project of stopping arbitrarily denying people basic living.

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Seneca
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I might be persuaded on basic income if you agreed that it would be 100% "it."

That means if someone blows through their entire basic income at the casino or on drugs that they get no more from the government even if they are starving.

As long as the ideology to rescue someone infinitely from self-destruction at the expensive of everyone else remains it cannot be compromised with.

[ March 28, 2015, 01:09 AM: Message edited by: Seneca ]

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Fenring
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quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
I might be persuaded on basic income if you agreed that it would be 100% "it."

That means if someone blows through their entire basic income at the casino or on drugs that they get no more from the government even if they are starving.

As long as the ideology to rescue someone infinitely from self-destruction at the expensive of everyone else remains it cannot be compromised with.

I would personally also want this clause to be in effect, making it the one and only source of dole. For those who make mistakes or bad decisions I believe there would always be the charity of individuals to help them out in one way or another, in the form of soup kitchens and so forth.

Drug addicts will always have troubles, with or without a basic income, so at the very least I don't think the advent of this would make anything worse for them. If anything I think the proportion of people who become drug addicts would be lowered immensely if there was a basic income.

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Seneca
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And if there is no charity available at the moment to save them? Would you commit to freeing the rest of us from the chains of infinite welfare?
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Fenring
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quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
And if there is no charity available at the moment to save them? Would you commit to freeing the rest of us from the chains of infinite welfare?

That is already the case; people do starve. A basic income can't stop the possibility of starvation, but it could remove many of the cases where it becomes a greater possibility. I don't want infinite welfare any more than you do. Personal responsibility has to still have an effect on the result of a person's life, even if that might mean death. The basic income is just a starting point that's better than the old starting point. Each person still has to decide to live.
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JoshCrow
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I'm pretty sure the starvation problem could be solved by tapping into the power of the Olive Garden's infinite breadsticks policy. [Smile]
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TomDavidson
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quote:
It's a far more sophisticated type of slavery, where the person is technically free to refuse except that the alternative is starvation.
Interestingly, I have seen Seneca reject this very argument when used in defense of multiple worker protections.
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Greg Davidson
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Do any of these anti-welfare people actually get government aid during their lifetimes? Do they take out of social security more than they put in?

Have any of those who favor restrictions on voting ever had their eligibility accidentally eliminated because a felon had a similarly spelled name? Has any of them ever had to wait two hours in line to cast a vote?

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Pete at Home
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If someone is taxed onto the welfare lines, or out of work because a stupid taxation system causes avaIlable jobs to go overseas, why shouldnt they use what's available?

Your argument is the mirror equivalent of a tea partier arguing that a homeless man that eats a rich man's leftover scraps, would be ungrateful and hypocritical to vote to increase taxes on the eich dude.

I probably agree with you on policy. But let's argue this without resorting to specious attacks on those who disagree.

[ March 28, 2015, 12:46 PM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]

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seekingprometheus
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Caw.

Confession: I haven't yet fully read this thread--I made it halfway through the first page before being overwhelmed by the urge to comment. So my apologies for unpinioning opinion before following the flock's full flight, but my murmuration has already taken off...

I don't vote. I never have, and I haven't any intention of starting, regardless of whether or not you voters have a vote which means to you that I have to.

I'm not interested in participating because I'm disinterested in validating the political charade our society utilizes to manufacture perceptions of empowerment and consent among the governed.

Participation in the voting process validates a process I do not acknowledge as valid. To me, to vote is to consent to a democratic model of governance to which I DO NOT CONSENT.

So, as you resume dialogue about whether or not to utilize selfsame absurd process to write laws outlawing the tactic of politely declining to consent to the consent-manufacturing charade you apotheosize, remember that to some of us (worthless weirdos and anomalies though we may be), what democracy is herein doing typifies the ugly, demotic stupidity of democracy: only a society which has crippled its logical decision-making capability by tying the faculty to the lowest common denominator of intelligence in its constituency would consider institutionalizing the violence of state power against passive non-compliance with an already highly successful (and peaceful) mode of manufacturing consent.

You are a mob, Democracy, nothing more.

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Pete at Home
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and the constitution absolutely protects sp's position. voting is indeed a manifestation of consent, and to force the appearance of consent is a type of rape.
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seekingprometheus
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[LOL]

It may typify rape in some figurative sense, but I'm not sure I see the sexual component.

To me it's simply typical of the mob mentality. Now, if I'm not carrying a pitchfork and running with some yammering herd, I'm suddenly a target of the yammering, pitchfork-wielding populace--for nothing more than failing to fulfill my duty to that specific societal convention.

I wasn't aware that the penalty for not voting was some type of rape, though.

I may have to reexamine the entail of the conviction of my principles...

[Wink]

[ March 28, 2015, 03:13 PM: Message edited by: seekingprometheus ]

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seekingprometheus
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..."if it's not referenced in the commentary, is it entailed as unremarkable?" one mouth in the mob murmured...
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Pete at Home
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"It may typify rape in some figurative sense, but I'm not sure I see the sexual component"

obviously.to my best knowledge we are all adults here, and capable of recognizing figurative language when it sits on our face.

oh. That too was a metaphor, in case you missed it. [Wink]

[ March 28, 2015, 04:38 PM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]

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seekingprometheus
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[Big Grin]
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Greg Davidson
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Sp, I am curious - from your perspective, is mandatory jury duty similarly a form of rape? Because you would similarly be implicated in approving that form of justice by your participation?
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Greg Davidson
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Pete, regarding your other comment, when people start arguing about "welfare" I do get suspicious because there is no such program by exactly that name. I wonder if they define welfare as governmental benefit programs that they imagine unworthy people get, and do not use that definition for programs that they receive the benefit of.

With respect to voting rights, I am legitimately curious how severe the barriers are that have been faced by people who argue on the subject. There are places were routinely it takes more than an hour wait in line before you can vote - that's nothing extraordinary in American elections. I myself have tended to live in more affluent communities, particularly the last 18 years, and I have never waited more than 15 minutes, usually it's closer to 3-4 minutes.

If no one on this loop has ever waited for more than an hour in line to vote, I think that is meaningful when in some of our national elections there are places where people have to wait as long as four hours to vote, and the Republican position has been to eliminate the early voting intended to mitigate some of these disadvantages.

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seekingprometheus
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Greg:

I wasn't suggesting that I think mandatory voting is a form of rape. My language may have been ambiguous (I was braiding three distinct punning meanings, after all), but I actually just playfully objected to Pete's "rapey" characterization of my implication that this idea boils down to institutionalizing coercion in lieu of consent, citing the absence of sexual context in the superficial meaning of my text.

But, given that my response to the "rape" idea also "entailed" a subtextual allusion to presumably forceful sodomy, I guess I crossed the line to own some responsibility for "crying rape" here...

So, as to your question, I suppose it depends: our jury selection system is definitively coercive, so the question really comes down to how badly the system sticks it to non-consenting individuals, in the end... [Wink]

I feel it's my duty here to plead the fifth on the issue of whether or not I've ever ignored a jury summons, but SWIM notes that he has found that there is usually no consequence, meaning that the sovereignty of individual consent isn't usually impinged, in the end. (Sorry, I can't help it... [Wink] )

PS: I note further that I personally would never be selected for a jury, even were I to appear as summoned. It would be obvious that I'm an inappropriate person to be on a jury.

[ March 28, 2015, 08:13 PM: Message edited by: seekingprometheus ]

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seekingprometheus
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The reason that I would be inappropriate for a jury isn't that I would feign delusion, apt allusion notwithstanding. It's that I wouldn't feign anything but my contempt for our "court of justice," which seems to me to enshrine exactly as vulgar an ideal of "justice" as should be expected of a system so plebecentric as is democracy.

What I mean by this is that I think that it is because we are a democracy that our highest ideal of justice is retributive, rather than rehabilitative/recompensatory. The explanation for this travesty is simple: you just cannot expect the lowest common denominator of the masses to forgo the individual need to quell the rage that rises in response to offenses of personal intent with anything less than the relief of revenge.

So while it's obvious to anyone with passable critical faculties that, on a social level, "justice" should really concern itself with recompensation and rehabilitation rather than retribution, our social system can't overcome the mob mandate which limits ideals to those which pass the muster to appeal to lowest common denominator of the demotic masses. Which is to suggest that democracy is such a primitive social system that it impedes civilization from apprehending the basic nature of a social ideal like "justice," and causes us to preserve rather a base and twisted retributive notion of justice (which is is all that the LCD of the democratic body republic wants as "justice"), rather than permitting for those inspired to aspire to a more civilized form of justice which is more concerned with curing ills. Only the pretense of the rule of plebes could have perverted modern notions of the ideal of justice to the point that nearly everyone appears to have somehow agreed with bizarre judgment that we can best make things right by causing further wrongs.

Dumbocrazy (the pronunciation of the "o" is short and stressed) gives some of the right to rule specifically to the lowest common denominator of society, so our socially institutionalized ideals are chained in the shackles of the very least of our minds. Which is what it is, which is fine, but would we find I should be fined if, being haled to the court to give judgment, I hailed back nothing but the judgment of my contempt for the court?

[ March 28, 2015, 10:17 PM: Message edited by: seekingprometheus ]

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