Mister Eclectic (howeird) wrote,
Mister Eclectic

Story Time: Why I Believe Voting Makes No Difference

As we go through the primaries and on to the November elections, Social Media™ fills up with graphics and memes and other missives to the effect that if you don't vote, you have nothing to complain about the government being a pile of festering cow pies. Makes me very angry to see those, because your vote does not make any difference at all. Money runs this country, and if we all withheld our votes, no one would be elected, hence the country could not be effed up any more than it already has been.

But of course I do vote in every election, great and small, because if I didn't, I couldn't say "I voted, and it made no difference."

Recently one of my friends told me that if I felt that way, I could write my congresscritters, because they read their mail.

That's a crock. I write my reps, and my senators, and all they do is reply with whatever answer they have already made up their minds to.

Just to show how far I can go to express my political beliefs, here's a story.

In 1980 Ronald Reagan was running for President. I lived in Washington State, where polls showed him running away with the GOP primary. There was almost no chance Carter would be re-elected if Ronnie was the Republican candidate. A group of 30 of us in and around Seattle decided to make our voices heard, and try to block Reagan's nomination.

To do this, we needed to be able to vote in the state GOP primary. To do that we needed to be elected Republican Precinct Committeemen. Between us, we lived in 18 different precincts. I joined the Republican Party, paid my small fee to get on the ballot, and ran unopposed in my almost totally Democratic precinct. I won the seat. All 18 of us did.

At the time, there was an anti-war, socially liberal but fiscally moderate Republican congressman named John Anderson, whose name was on the GOP primary ballot. We chose him as our candidate, and went to the state convention as delegates pledged to him. I found this item in his wikipedia page: "Anderson increasingly found himself at odds with conservatives in his home district and other members of the House. He broke with the administration on Vietnam, was not always a faithful supporter of the Republican agenda, and was a very controversial critic of Richard Nixon during Watergate."

At the convention, there were 40 of us Anderson delegates from around the state. George Bush had about 500 delegates and their very smarmy campaign manager tried to buy our votes. Bob Dole, Howard Baker and John Connally were also in the race, but I think by this time they had bowed out in favor of Reagan.

Just before the convention started, Anderson left the GOP and declared as an independent candidate, with Patrick Lucey, as his running mate. By the rules of the convention, we were still pledged to Anderson, he was still on the ballot, so we stuck to our guns.

I have to say that the state GOP chairman was extremely gracious, he allowed our nominating speeches the full allotted time, and he stifled any and all calls from the floor to have us disowned.

Reagan won on the first ballot. It was something like 1200 to 40.

I voted for Anderson in the November election, but the tally was:
Ronald Reagan/George Bush, Republican       43,903,230  50.75%  [489  90.9%   electoral votes]
James Carter/Walter Mondale, Democratic     35,480,115  41.01%  [  49    9.1%   electoral votes]
John Anderson/Patrick Lucey, Independent        5,719,850   6.61%  [    0    0.0%   electoral votes]

In 2008 I voted for Obama, because he promised to withdraw our troops from Bush's war in the middle East, do away with "don't ask, don't tell", and discontinue Bush's bank bailout program. How has that worked out?

So in 2012 I wrote in Hilary and Bill for Prez and VP, respectively, not being 100% certain that Bill could legally hold that office.

This election I will be voting against all incumbents. They'll probably get re-elected anyway. They will definitely continue to follow wherever the money leads them.
Tags: politics

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