Another nagging voice

If you are an American over the age of 18 and are registered to vote, you’d better go out and friggin’ do it today. Or I’ll jump on your back and punch your skull until candy comes out.

Me, I was actually a pretty big fan of McCain in the 2004 election, but since he’s running this year on basically the exact opposite platforms of the he advocated back then I guess I’ll be voting for Obama. He’s not perfect by any means, but even so I think I might have voted for him even if I hadn’t generally agreed with his stances and politics simply because of what he stands for. And I don’t mean the fact that a self-made mixed-race public servant who’s spent significant time in the world outside of the U.S. is a tidy summation of what our country is supposed to be about (although that’s pretty compelling!); I also mean that he’s the only candidate who seems to recognize that America is not some towering, invincible colossus that can stride through the world with impunity. The past few years have shattered that particular illusion, I think, and the wild economic woes of the past couple of months have shown just how connected every nation is. We’re all in this together. So I like the idea of having a president who respects the rest of the world and actually sees talking to them as a better solution that shouting at them from a threatening posture. That seems like it would be the sort of country I could feel confident about living in again.

I’m sure everyone who doesn’t share my views is sick of being shouted at by angry liberals, who tend to be pretty strident here in the world of blogging. So I’ll spare you that. All I really ask is that everyone votes who can, and that they make an informed decision about their choices — whatever those choices may be. If you’re still unsure about what’s what and which of your state propositions to support and so forth, check out this site. It’s detailed and neutral and links to some informative breakdowns. Please don’t just vote straight-ticket unless you’re sure that you really mean it. Both of the major parties are horribly flawed, and until politically conservative Republicans break away from the intolerant reactionary rot that’s taken over the party and Democrats with a spine decide to move en masse to create a party that actually believes in getting things done, it’s always smart to research the alternatives. For instance, I may be a registered Democrat, but I vomit at the prospect of voting for Nancy Pelosi, who went from “fiery” to “useless” the moment she became the majority leader.

Anyway, vote, and be a smart voter. This is your only social obligation as a GameSpite reader. Well, that and “be excellent unto one another.” And…party on, dudes. So that’s three obligations. But I think you can handle ’em.

Edit: I have put my money where my mouth is! And looked damn nerdy doing it.

42 thoughts on “Another nagging voice

  1. All you need to do is take a look at McCain in 2000 to see how he’s since traded in his principles in exchange for a shot at the Presidency:

    It makes me sad.

  2. It doesn’t matter who you vote for today. Just vote and be part of the democracy/republic. Even if you put a write-in for Mickey Mouse or the vote gets tallied wrong, you need to be a part of the process. That participation is the whole point of this political system.

  3. Couldn’t agree more on our country needing a little more humble pie.

    In a perfect world, the religious right wing of the Republican party and the centrist DLC side of the Democrat party would splinter off from their respective parties into their own tickets, so that there’s more balance between the two big parties. We’d have something closer to a truly conservative Republican party and a more progressive Democratic party.

  4. With all due respect, I have to vehemently disagree with the assertion that voting for fictional characters somehow still counts as participating in the civic process. I’m all in favor of everyone voting, and I’ve ordered my students to skip my classes if they need to (ah, so naive), but the idea that the mere act of voting, as opposed to specifically voting for (or against) someone, strikes me as ridiculous.

  5. Yep, going to have to disagree here. I really don’t advocate telling neo-nazis to go out and vote. That’s how David Duke managed to win seats in elections.

    Then there are people who simply will never be informed, aka folks that vote against Obama(i’m not a supporter of him) because they believe he is secretly part of some Muslim plot to overthrow America.

    Voting also says you approve of the whole process, If I had the chance I’d vote none of the above in a heartbeat.

  6. I agree wholeheartedly with GeoX. If you’re going to vote, you have an obligation to yourself and your country to educate yourself about the candidate and the issues first.

    Yes, all Americans should get out and vote. However, we all must take this obligation we all have as Americans – that has been fought for and defended for centuries by brave men an women – very seriously. We’ve all had plenty of time (several years) to learn about these candidates and the issues that face us today. If you haven’t taken the time to educate yourself about these candidates and what they stand for and you’re just going to go into the polls blind and throw a dart then you might as well stay home.

    A uneducated vote is worse than no vote at all.

  7. I had to get up at six am today in order to have the chance to vote, no small task for someone who works nights, so nobody else has any excuse. Aside from the sick and bedridden, everyone who can should.

  8. I heard Obama is a muslin. Trying to keep down wholesome fabrics of liberty like poly-cotton blend and pure wool.

    Gotta agree on the fictional write-ins being a bad idea. I said INFORMED voting, please! Our system is already enough of a mockery without taking “Republicans for Voldemorte” seriously. We have acceptable candidates this time around. Pick the one you think will do best in bringing the country in lone with what you believe it should be.

  9. As a Californian, it’s kind of disheartening (or is it?) that my vote won’t matter either way, when it comes to choosing the next President.

    HOWEVER, the Propositions are something everyone should research and vote carefully on (or leave blank if you don’t know!), no matter what state you’re in.

  10. I also recommend as a place to get some facts about your candidates. Local newspapers (and their websites) are another resource. I love the idea of being an informed voter. Sadly the practice is worse than trying to write a 15-page research paper. I did my homework over the last month or so (most of it last night in true college student fashion, I’ll admit) and then voted this morning. I’m looking forward to watching the results come in on the local contests almost as much as the Presidential election.

  11. “As a Californian, it’s kind of disheartening (or is it?) that my vote won’t matter either way, when it comes to choosing the next President.”

    Votes always matter. They only work in aggregate.

  12. The real problem is that people think that voting third party is a wasted vote, when the real wasted vote is voting for the wrong person for president. Not that any third party ever has the RIGHT person to vote for, but voting for them as a protest to best emphasize exactly why you are disappointed with the candidates of the Republican and Democratic parties is a never a bad way to spend your vote.

    And so I will be voting for Bob Barr this election. I will never vote for anyone who supports the 700 billion dollar bailout plan, and that includes John McCain and Barack Obama.

  13. “Me, I was actually a pretty big fan of McCain in the 2004 election, but since he’s running this year on basically the exact opposite platforms of the he advocated back then I guess I’ll be voting for Obama.”

    I think you mean 2000 election.

  14. I wasn’t going to vote for McCain anyway but I wouldn’t have been utterly devastated if he’d won because, like you, I’d liked him in previous elections and at any rate the Senate would still be in Democratic control until the Palin nomination. I’m also as keen about my state’s gubernatorial race because our current governor’s an ass.

  15. If you’re a Californian, you bloody well BETTER vote against Proposition 8. Otherwise I will be very disappointed in you.

  16. Prop 8 is an embarrassment. Every other item on the ballot has its impact defined in real terms like fiscal and ecological effects, but 8 uses language like “sanctity.” Keep that out of my politics, thanks.

    Not that I’m blameless and perfect myself. I voted yes for local Prop R, which is renaming the sewage treatment plant in honor of George W. Bush. I bet that’ll be the biggest landslide this year.

    Also: no more defeatist talk allowed. You may feel your vote doesn’t matter for the presidential race (but it does! Remember that the past few elections have been won, or “won” if you prefer, by a margin of a few hundred votes), but it’s actually more important in my opinion to weigh in on state and local issues. Not the races, but the propositions and amendments. That’s what you really need to read up on, because those have a direct impact in your day-to-day life.

  17. To those who believe their vote doesn’t make a difference: What do you think would happen if enough people thought that way?

    I believe that if everyone who claims their vote doesn’t count actually went out and voted, it WOULD make a difference. Complacence and apathy will lead us nowhere.

  18. Agreed. I’m always sad when I hear people say their vote doesn’t matter. You may be in a state that votes heavily in one direction, but each vote matters, and your state and local elections can have dramatic effects on your life as well.


    I’m so glad to be able to, and I always feel good that I made my informed choice, even if things don’t turn out the way I’d like them to, I made a decision and had a say in the result.

  19. Now, that Proposition R sounds humorous, but its existence would tick me off if I lived there. I am sure there are plenty of real issues that are being left on the table by your local government while public money was spent writing a proposition and placing it on the ballot simply to get a few laughs. Not to mention the expense of installing a brass plaque and the rental of novelty ribbon-cutting scissors.

  20. The fact that it’s Prop R indicates that it is not in fact coming at the expense of other issues, as it was preceded by Props A-Q. The local ballot was two full sides and about 20 items total.

  21. I voted today! Hooray. It felt good.

    Hopefully it will be just the first of many votes cast for the right candidate. I will forever be trying to make up my decision to vote for Bush in 2004. I lived in Alaska at the time and figured my vote doesn’t matter since AK is always red. So don’t be an idiot like me circa 2004.

  22. Prop 8 may be the most talked about, but one proposition I think should have gotten more coverage is 5. Which I think is important because of prison overcrowding of victimless drug offenders and the drug war itself, which are not only wrong, but cost millions if not billions in taxpayer money. Now a yes vote wouldn’t be a cure-all, but I believe it would help.

  23. I wish my local government were clever enough to come up with something like Proposition R. I like to think my vote this year mattered. I guess we’ll know in a couple of hours.

  24. Nevada changed their deadlines for absentee ballots I’m pretty sure, and I don’t have a car to drive to Vegas to vote. Sorry!

  25. I like that everyone read the first part of my “my vote barely counts” post and missed the 2nd paragrpah, wherein I said “But every single vote counts for the Propositions, so you better vote anyway.”

  26. Here’s hoping I voted for a winner for president this year. Been eight years too long on that. Got out early and stood in line in our little township. Too cheap to even have “I voted” stickers here. How sad. I wanted one this year to go with my Obama button and bumper sticker.
    Wish I could have voted on your Prop R. As it was I voted for the ‘weed and breed’ props here in Michigan.

  27. Point taken on the Proposition R. I had forgotten that a proposition on the ballot in California has taken a much shorter trip than one in most other states.

    Also, I googled proposition R and was taken to that smartvoter site. The pro and con arguments there are worth a read. Highly amusing.

  28. Speaking of propositions, isn’t there supposed to one that decriminalizes prostitution?

    As for the fictional character write-in stuff, I would certainly prefer that someone be educated about who they vote for, but the point of a democracy/republic is that everyone down to the Epsilon Semi-Moron gets to vote for whoever they deem fit. You can vote willy-nilly on one issue and seriously on another. I did very sparing research on my local freeholders, but it yielded one Democratic and one Republican vote. It could be considered sloppy, but I voted seriously on all the other various propositions and office elections.

  29. I already voted. I was surprised to find that it wasn’t computer voting this time. I had to vote on paper. It was a blast from the past.

  30. I voted and they told me to put my ballot in a machine but the machine wouldn’t read it so I was then told to put in a slot that looked suspiciously like the trash can at a fast-food place. This is the first time in my 12 years as a voting adult that I’ve been excited about casting my ballot.

  31. I didn’t see your edit earlier but your “I voted” sticker amuses me greatly. The Chinese in the second line is correct but it’s in a very formal archaic pattern of speech that you don’t hear anywhere except in period dramas. Be happy to know that thou hast voted!

  32. This was my third Presidential elections, and it always gives me a warm feeling when I vote. No snark, I really feel good about it.

  33. This was my first, and I was proud to be a part of it. Amazingly, I had no wait at the polling place to vote, and I had Castlevania to play while I waited and everything!

    Also, does Europe not hate us anymore? Please?

  34. Haven’t missed an opportunity to vote since I turned 18. I’m not a religious at all and don’t subscribe to any particular faiths, but the one thing I do believe is that voting is a SACRED right and duty.

    My friend bought that woot-shirt as his Halloween costume and I thought it was lazy and lame. However, my opinions of the shirt changes when you slap a voting sticker on it, and is dawned by the T-Frog!

  35. Now that the election is done, I can finally allow my superficial self to ask:

    JEREMY, Where did you get that awesome shirt?!

  36. I’m a schmuck.

    Damn you, woot! How dare you, woot! My feelings are not your plaything.

    That was rather Keith Olbermann-esque.

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