Democrats! Bah, humbug. (was: The Last Laugh)

James Rogers jamesr at
Sun Apr 20 21:47:35 PDT 2003

On 4/20/03 7:18 PM, "Russell Turpin" <deafbox at> wrote:
> The shift from the caucus to the primary
> system has made this worse. The problem is
> that the Democracts need to attract the votes
> of independents and "soft" Democrats who
> don't vote in the Democratic primaries. There
> are a lot of people, who do NOT identify
> themselves as Democrats, who are hoping that
> the Democratic party fields a reasonable
> candidate. Because they don't identify, they
> don't vote in the primaries, and their hopes
> have no influence. The Democrats then field
> (another) poor candidate, who necessarily
> panders to many of the traditional Democratic
> special interests, and the "soft" Democrats
> are left voting third party or not voting.

Pretty much.  You see evidence of this in places like California.  The
Democrat Party thinks it can put damn near anyone on the ballot because they
own most of that state, but if you look at how the votes break down on
ballot Propositions (where people actually have something resembling a
choice), it is clear that the kinds of people being propped up in public
office by the Party don't really share the views of the Democratic
population in that state.  Voting isn't much of a "choice" when the two
major parties decide what you get to vote on for all intents and purposes.

But that is an extreme case.  Some states are better than others.

> Similarly, I've always despised the Democrat
> Party, and likely haven't voted for more than
> ten Democrats my entire life. While it may
> not come out here where so much dialogue is
> with John Hall, I'm more sympathetic to the
> war with Iraq and more hopeful that it will do
> some good than most people I know. My voting
> for a Democratic Presidential candidate is
> very much like a vegetarian eating steak
> tartare. Or a yellow dog.

I have a strong free market libertarian bent, so the Democrats have never
appealed to me either.  In truth I don't believe I have ever voted for any
candidate from any party in any election because, in short, all the ones I
typically can vote for suck.    I believe I am nominally registered as a
Libertarian or something.

Mostly, I only care about issues, and ones that actually matter in some big
picture sense at that.  I am not so droll as to think that the ballot box,
public protesting, and other inanery count for much other than appealing to
a popular fiction, so I spend my effort in areas where I can actually
influence outcomes.  Of course, that takes a lot more effort.

Yup, I highly doubt I will be voting for a Democratic President in the next
election, or even a Republican one for that matter.  But it isn't like I
stand to gain anything by voting either way.

What we *really* need is to go back to the days when the individual States
were essentially the eminent legal authorities for their region (rather than
the Federal government).  The US is too diverse culturally, socially, and
economically to have some a group that represents some small cultural
fraction of the US to have the power of creating broad mandates for the
entire bloody country.  There are five or six major distinct socio-cultural
regions of the country with very different views of the world and economic
concerns, and a two-party system cannot adequately serve all those regions
without generating serious conflicts of interest within the parties.

Voting affects change, but you have little control over what that change
actually is as a mere voter. That's certainly not how you go about creating
specific outcomes.

Color me cynical,

-James Rogers
 jamesr at

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