If Voting Doesn’t Matter, Why Do Evil Billionaires Seem to Think it Does?

blueenergyheatherFor everyone who thinks voting doesn’t matter I’ve got two words for you: legal weed. Okay, shut the fuck up now. Thank you. My state is currently not arresting people for up to an ounce of marijuana and it will soon be sold in stores, which is the greatest victory of the people thusfar in the drug war. Guess how that happened? One, some determined folks got it on the ballot and two, we voted for it. For the record, it wasn’t even close. Why am I bringing this up? For the most part I try and avoid politics in my writing (outside of the drug war) because I tend to think it takes away from a spiritual message that should be applicable to anyone regardless of political affiliation (man are people divided on politics in this country). But I just voted the other day and once again, had to endure a bunch of commentary from idiots on the internets about how “it doesn’t matter who you vote for man”. Sometimes this idiocy comes from talentless Hollywood millionaires who espouse socialism but technically only spend like 1% of their income on actually helping anyone.

I think the absolute stupidest argument I hear against voting is that somehow failing to do so is a protest. I love how people say this publicly but then further can’t at all articulate what they mean. It’s just a hard pose by closet tough guys who think they know something that greedy rich people don’t. I sort of think it’s the other way around. Let’s evaluate this, by doing something that nearly every young person does (not voting), you’re protesting. That would seem to me like conformity merged with laziness and let me sum up the message you’re sending with your brilliant anti-protest: hey, evil billionaires and psycho religious people, please do whatever you want with my tax dollars. That’s sort of the problem with not voting, there’s some black hearted motherfuckers that get really into it and spend a crapton of cash and energy manipulating vulnerable whack jobs to do their bidding. When you don’t vote, those robots are voting for you. If you were going to tell me that you found a way to not pay taxes or give any of your money to large corporations, I’d be all, wow, that certainly is a protest, but you do give these people your money and you apparently don’t care what they do with it. “But voting for the lesser of two evils is still voting for evil man.” Ummm, I just voted and 70% of the things I voted for had nothing to do with Democrats or Republicans. They were initiatives. The GMO labeling thing I voted for lost by the way. You see, you’re so fucking ignorant you don’t even know that voting happens in non-presidential elections involving non-partisan issues like say, legal weed. So, because partisan politics are fucked, I shouldn’t have voted for the GMO labeling bill? These are the same people who are posting constant “Mosanto is Satan” stuff on Twitter (follow me). It’s insane.

And why is it so insane? Because we de-regulated the media. You see, back before 1987, a propaganda station like the Fox News network would have been illegal essentially. Throughout the last 30 some odd years, our government officials have been paid quite handsomely to continually get rid of laws that we initially put in place to prevent exactly what’s happening now, which is a society that is so utterly clueless as to what’s going on politically that they think not voting is some kind of a protest or even worse and more pertinent, passionately voting against their own interests. Take a look at this.

these-6-corporations-control-90-of-the-media-in-america

I’d say that’s pretty much all you need to know, but it’s even worse. There used to be what’s called a Fairness Doctrine which in a nutshell meant that you had to present controversial issues of public interest on the news and present both sides of them. That used to be a law. One that died in a calculated hit back in the 80’s and yep, we’re all stupider because of it. The telecommunications act in the 96 was the freaking death knell of an informed society. This affects everything, the entire consciousness of our nation. You know how many articles I’ve read about the how the music business is fucked that conveniently don’t bother to mention that all the major labels and radio are now owned by six corporations? Yeah, that has more to do with the crap they’re pushing than digital music. Any bands with messages that run counter to the daemonic profit margins of those companies probably aren’t going to get through to Joe Sixpack, which is why we get bling rap, boring indie, and American Idol pop bullshit. What do these genres have in common? They all inject a subtle subconscious message of obedient consumerism into the minds of the masses which might not be the greatest for the short term profit margins of the labels necessarily, but serves the larger agenda of their corporate overlords. It’s all tied together. Hell, half of the major indies are now essentially owned by the exact same parent companies. Same shit with Hollywood. Why do you think all we get is popcorn violence? Fuels the war machine. How many articles have I read about how the millennials are a bunch of vapid twats with a deluded sense of entitlement? Tons (and sorry, I used to think this was nonsense until I started working with them and saw it firsthand. My wife works in education, yeah, it is in fact a problem, albeit not an unsolvable one). You know what none of these articles mention? We programmed them to be that way. We wanted mindless consumers, that’s what we got. It’s a consequence of media de-regulation. There wasn’t nearly as much of this wealth worship nonsense in the early 90’s. You know why this never comes up? BECAUSE THAT WOULD REQUIRE THE MEDIA CALLING BULLSHIT ON THEMSELVES. You see how genius this all is?

When we went to war with Iraq, it had the support of the majority of Americans. You know why? Because the majority of Americans believed Saddam Hussein had something to do with 9/11. The corporate media never bothered to tell them that this wasn’t even remotely true, and so we started a for profit war. No one would have supported that war if they knew it had nothing to do with 9/11. Absolutely no one. This is how dangerous a de-regulated media can be. And so with that in mind, I’m going to offer up a few political micro-rants I don’t see anyone talking about and then shut the fuck up about politics and get back to my regularly scheduled “I talk to planets with my penis” programming next time around (which is always running on Facebook, friend me). First off.

Occupy Wall Street Got Beaten Down By The Cops

I love how I constantly see mocking articles regarding the failure of Occupy Wall Street where no one points out the glaringly obvious: Occupy Wall Street didn’t fail, it was crushed. That’s right, cops showed up, beat people the fuck down and threw them in jail. A lot of these cops in New York were literally funded by Wall Street. That’s sort of why the movement fizzled, much like the hippie protest movements of the 60’s. The hippie’s acid lifestyle was made illegal, their organizations were infiltrated by intelligence personnel, and their leaders were thrown in prison. Occupy wasn’t allowed to occupy anywhere public anymore legally, which sort of killed it. Why do I mention this? Well, because Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party were initiated around the same time (Occupy was sort of a reaction to the Tea Party actually) and while one managed to eventually shut down the government, the other did basically nothing other than make a few protesters feel like they were taking a stand against something for a brief period, which is all traditional protesting ever accomplishes in this day and age.

You know what’s funny? I played an Occupy Wall Street benefit show years back when that was in full force. I was the only musician on stage that encouraged people to get out and vote the following week and most of the crowd looked at me like I was nuts. Sort of why it turned out to be a non-factor. The Tea Party’s political strategy was ALL about manipulating the vote. It was a bunch of billionaires deciding they could use the racism they knew was boiling beneath the surface in hickville due to there being a black president for the first time, and use that energy to get poor people to vote against their own self interests. They quite calculatedly found vulnerable Democratic seats in the House and Senate and pumped tons of cash into those elections to get their people in. Because of that, we have the worst congress in history. One movement was devised by poor people who didn’t bother with the vote, the other was run by rich people who did nothing but manipulate the vote. If there’s another Occupy-esque movement that comes along, learn a few things from the Tea Party. One, focus pretty damn intently on getting people to vote and two, be run by rich people who don’t mind spending their money calculatedly manipulating elections.

There is in Fact a Difference Between Democrats and Republicans

One of the more depressing things about looking at comments sections on sites that have political content involves watching kids who don’t even really remember the Bush administration saying things like: “Get a brain moran, Obama is worse than president Bush ever was.” Yeah, no, he’s not. George W. Bush was the worst president in American history and possibly one of the worst leaders in world history. Period, end of story, no debate. The only one dumb enough to start a war and simultaneously slash taxes. Obama is a mediocre president. They’re all involved with  unspeakably heinous shit. This is the problem with a de-regulated media. People these days not only don’t remember history, they don’t even remember the last ten years of history. If you don’t think W was the worst president ever, then ask yourself a question, why wasn’t he even invited to the Republican National Convention in 2012? Yeah, because he sucked so bad even the Republicans don’t want to be associated with him.

Regardless of your feelings about partisan politics, there’s something that needs to be said here. Being a president involves things like giving speeches, doing interviews, meeting with foreign leaders, etc. Obama is 1000% better at performing these basic functions of the job than Bush was. Bush was an inarticulate halfwit. Not only was he an inarticulate halfwit, he was an inarticulate nepotism halfwit. Those are the worst kind by the way. Having that dude as the leader of our country was a supreme embarrassment to anyone with even a modicum of linguistic intelligence. As much as I don’t agree with a ton of Obama’s hypocrisy, I must confess that the guy is one hell of a public speaker and I’m consistently impressed with how he manages to not put his foot in his mouth. During the entire last presidential campaign the only “gotcha moment” the Republicans had on the guy was the whole “you didn’t build that” thing, which wasn’t even much of a slip up. Bush said dumb shit every fucking day. Because of this, he was an enormo PR disaster for our country.

Which would be another thing. The entire world hates Republicans. The media should be explaining that to people but they don’t. Because of their inarticulate war mongering in the 2000’s, the whole planet is rooting for us to never have a Republican president ever again. This is fact. Hell, they gave Obama a freaking Nobel Prize as basically a way to tell Americans, Jesus Christ thank you so much for not voting for McCain. You can be a hard ass and say, fuck the rest of the world, but yeah, that’s going to have a pretty strong effect on things like the economy now, isn’t it? The dollar tanked under Bush. Voting for a Republican president after Bush is like giving a middle finger to the entire rest of the world, which is incredibly stupid as we’re becoming increasingly interconnected.

This whole both-parties-are-the-same nonsense hits me particularly hard because I didn’t give a crap about politics until 1999 or so. You know what got me interested? Listening to a speech by Ralph Nader that my friend encouraged me to go to. His entire platform was based on the idea that both parties were identical. It was an incredibly pertinent message about the corporatization of our political process. I voted for him. The problem is that for the next 8 years we found out exactly how wrong he was about that. The Republicans are way more tied to conservative religious and military interests. There’s a difference between a guy who killed civil liberties, cut taxes on the rich, and doubled the size of the war machine by lying about weapons of mass destruction and the guy who nationalized healthcare. The difference is in who’s controlling them. Obama’s owned by Wall Street (hella creepy) and guess what, Wall Street’s doing better than ever. Shocking. This is fucking horrifying and I acknowledge that, but I have not once heard a Democrat mention going after things like women’s rights, gay people, labor, expanding the war machine, or cutting taxes for the wealthy even further. Romney openly talked about wanting to slash social services in favor of increased military spending…during the debates. He then essentially slagged Obama for not attacking Iran. Do you want a war with Iran? Then you probably shouldn’t vote Republican and you should probably vote. I’m not even going to get into drugs (Republicans hate legal weed) or pornography (Republicans openly want to wage a war on pornography).  There’s a reason Bill Hicks and Robert Anton Wilson spent half their time taunting them.Yeah, sorry, while both are embarrassingly owned by corporation interests, there is in fact a big difference. Ralph Nader unintentionally taught me that, which brings me to my next point.

Why on Earth Do We Still Have An Electoral College?

Al Gore wouldn’t have started the war in Iraq, wouldn’t have sponsored the Patriot Act, and most certainly wouldn’t have cut taxes on the wealthy. This is pertinent because he got the majority of the vote in 2000. I say that I didn’t give a shit about politics before Ralph Nader, but it was really watching the rigged election in 2000 that made me think I should start paying attention. I can’t believe people still talk about JFK’s assassination but somehow the rather blatant throwing of a presidential election is a minor historical detail that we’ve all conveniently forgotten. No one’s even going to deny that it happened. It was right out in the open. Thousands of black people who vote 92% Democrat were turned away from the polls. The person who decided to send the decision to the Supreme Court was W’s Florida campaign manager. The supreme court was in his pocket. Thousands of votes in a primarily Jewish district went to a neo-nazi somehow and even he said he didn’t believe those people voted for him.

All in all, the best margin they could rig to make Bush a winner in Florida was a couple hundred votes and that’s what lead to the military takeover of our country that was his administration. In other displays of mind blowing stupidity, I’ve actually seen 9/11 conspiracy people take the position that voting doesn’t matter. Ermmm, the entire cornerstone in your theory is that they had to get an insanely pro-military president into office in 2000 for them to push through the multiple theater wars they wanted. That’s sort of why they rigged it. As it stands, in a presidential election, my vote in the state of Washington now means exactly nothing. Democrats will win here always. If I would have stayed in Ohio (or lived in any swing state), my vote for the president would mean a thousand times more than it currently does. That…..is fucking retarded, but I still fill out my ballot and vote for local stuff, as everyone should. Why there has been no effort to reform the electoral college after 2000 is a complete mystery to me. That should have been priority number freaking one.

Politics are Really Fucking Boring

This is the biggest problem with politics and why it’s so hard to get young people interested in things like voting. It’s…just…so…boring. You know how boring politics are? Even when you fictionalize them in movies like Lincoln and shows like House of Cards, they still put me to sleep. Seriously, I was bored to tears by both of those. Oh wow, you totally made that backroom deal to secure that Senator’s vote all last minute like. Jesus, what a snore factory. My first introduction to this reality was during my collegiate tenure at Ohio State. I knew several people who were involved with local government there, and as a result had some direct ties to the dude who ended up being our class president. He was such a bland fucking dork it was unreal and I’m sure now has more political clout than I ever will. These are the people who get into politics. If we can’t get people who aren’t lawyers and sterile businessmen into politics, we’re fucked. The fact that I would actually vote for a Jessie Ventura/Howard Stern ticket is beyond surreal and shameful. Having someone the kids actually respect as a candidate would in fact be the first step in getting them out to the polls. They thought they had hope in Obama the poor fools.

Everything Anyone in The Tea Party Says Should Have An “In Favor of Military Spending” Asterisk Attached to It

As a spiritual person, the Tea Party is the most infuriating thing that’s happened to politics since our response to 9/11. Here’s why:

Spending-by-country

On top of that, according to some estimates, we now spend 53 cents of every one of our tax dollars on the military in some way or another. It’s been the biggest growth sector and nearly doubled in size under Bush. What are these Tea Party rubes supposedly pissed about? Yeah, big government. Ummm, but not the biggest growth section of our government? They’re all for that. If we didn’t de-regulate the media, every headline regarding the shut down would have read something like: Tea Partiers Shut Down Government Over 3.4% of the Budget. Seriously, these guys shut down the entire government over 3.4 cents on the dollar, while as high as 53 cents are going to the military. Roughly none of them want to scale back the war machine, which means their entire message breaks down to: we should spend our tax dollars on wars overseas rather than helping people in need. Even when we do that the cash should go to weapons manufacturers rather than the soldiers. It’s completely oppositional to the teachings of Christ which is sort of why I’m writing this. We just cut food stamps rather than scaling back arms funding significantly. Fucking food stamps. Way back in the day when I was a Christian and went to church I spent multiple afternoons helping feed the needy at soup kitchens at the encouragement of my pastor. Now we’re cutting food stamps in favor of weapons under the guise of Christianity. Operation hell on earth if you ask me. Again, this isn’t something the Democrats are pushing for, sorry. I hate them too, but they haven’t achieved that level of absurd spiritual corruption as of yet. Just a reminder to all you Tea Party asstards, you will have to answer for these things when you die. It is what I’ve been shown. Life is a test and you failed. Have fun knowing exactly what it’s like to watch your family starve, and furthermore, rot in hell you heartless pricks. The fact that you did this in the name of Christ will make things particularly brutal on you, I promise.

(I intentionally avoid talking about politics on Facebook, where I write about magick. Twitter is also a thing that I do)

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  • Hadrian999

    voting matters, how you vote doesn’t. A populace voting is part of the window dressing that keeps the illusion of democracy rolling along. By the time you hit the ballot box most of the decisions have already been made, you are just acknowledging the decisions that have been made for you.

  • Reasor

    Unrelated, but not:

    From today’s edition of Salon: “According to a report from Sarah Posner in Mother Jones, George W. Bush is scheduled to give the keynote address at an upcoming
    fundraiser for the Messianic Jewish Bible Institute, an organization devoted to converting Jews to Christianity in order to bring about the second coming of Christ.”

    http://www.salon.com/2013/11/07/george_w_bush_to_help_group_that_converts_jews_in_effort_to_bring_about_second_coming_of_jesus_christ/

  • Chaos_Dynamics

    A temporary psychosis.

    It too shall pass.

    • denverover

      Right. As soon as it is more profitable to be against it again.

      • Chaos_Dynamics

        Thinking in aeons…

  • echar

    Wow, weed is legal in your state. I got that the last however many times you informed us. Oh and you voted… Here’s a cookie.

  • Juan

    Very passionate piece, Thad.
    I do not agree with your position viz voting. I think if enough people called bullshit on this farce and boycotted voting all togeter, it would show just how bankrupt the system truly is.
    As for me, I absolutely refuse to give my tacit approval to a corrupt system by voting for bogus choices, especially for any national office.
    But, you may have a point, perhaps voting in local elections for things other than a fucking “candidate” might make some kind of sense, maybe. Still, I refuse. But you know, if it makes you feel better . . .

    • Jim Morduck

      Oh man, these comments are absolutely validating his main point that apathy begets apathy. What a load of crap. By not acting you are bringing down the system by subverting it somehow? By doing nothing? That is how you accomplish a goal that requires challenging people, their beliefs, and one’s own struggle for meaning in this life?

      I mean, I GUESS it works on the internet, where ideas succeed/fail by how many people support them with their attention. But that level of abstraction and safety simply does not exist outside of the internet. Problems don’t go away by widespread shunning. Civil Rights didn’t come about by black folks sitting on their hands and shutting their eyes tightly and simply IGNORING the racism.

      Those folks had to struggle, put themselves in danger, organize, and openly challenge established ways of living, all while being denigrated, identified as a public threat, and belittled as wildeyed optimists. Oh, that’s right.

      They had to endure being LABELED! And that was a HUGE hurdle that in my uninformed opinion, slowed the ability of Occupy to adapt. If there is one thing that Millenials have a widespread, paralyzing fear of doing it is being labeled (either conservative or liberal) by the many and having no guaranteed platform to explain away those labels. But by all means, cling to your undefined potential. Your silent revolution will beat back your detractors by its moral authority alone. Sarcasm aside, just know that your apathy and lack of will contribute to a labeling by history that is simply much sadder than the meaningless “liberal” or “conservative,” “Democrat” or “Republican” labels you fear today.

      • Juan

        I am insulted by the idea that TPTB think I will be fooled by “voting,” as if it made any difference, please.
        You are welcome to your reality. Mine is apparently quite different. I am totally okay with that.
        Best of luck to you:)

        • Jim Morduck

          My reality, hehe, that is pretentious in the extreme, which is fine. A less hyperbolic way of phrasing it would be that we have very different perspectives. If I took the 10,000 foot view that “difference” meant fundamentally transforming how our society and the people in it worked, then I concede that voting will not lead to such an exquisitely absolute goal.

          My perspective, informed by history and my own experience with human collective behavior is far beneath your own. While so many have convinced themselves they have somehow transcended the human condition (especially the ugly parts), I will happily remain mired in the imperfect, counterintuitive world below.

          So, I have conceded your righteousness without resistance. But I smile when I read you dismiss voting and politics (as if it is an institution instead of just a word that means human interactions as relating to civic duties). From your perspective voting will make zero difference (with the strong implication those who practice what you do not are somehow dumber than you). I have to wonder what it is you are doing that will make a fundamental change in society while you look down on a majority of people in that society.

          • n0b0d1

            “My reality, hehe, that is pretentious in the extreme, which is fine. A less hyperbolic way of phrasing it would be that we have very different perspectives.”

            Pretentious, though it may be, it is a common theme for fans of Robert Anton Wilson…are you familiar with his works?

            p.s. Why are you bitching at “Millenials”? Do you mean Gen Y? As far as I know, there are only like, 3 people who regularly post here who are Gen Y…everyone else is Gen X.

            Not that it really matters, but since you place SO MUCH importance on arbitrary birth date ranges, I thought you should know you’re complaining about the wrong one.)

          • Juan

            “Gen X” you say? Really, how would you know that?
            Anyway, if true, that makes me like the oldest dude here.

          • n0b0d1

            *shrugs* general impression? How old are you?

          • Juan

            54

          • n0b0d1

            Eh, would that make you a Boomer? At least you were too young to be a hippy. :)

          • Juan

            These various generational catagories that people seem so fond of, just seem, to me, like yet another way to divide people.
            But since it is a theme of this thread, yeah, I guess I was born at the tail end of the baby boom, if you wanna frame it like that. But, you know, I was not born in the US. So I don’t know if the boomer category extends to people born outside of the US and the UK.
            Yes, too young to be a hippy. I was 8 when Woodstock happened.
            I think it was 75 when the US finally got their ass kicked out of Vietnam. I was 15 at the time. I was glad I didn’t have to, but I had decided to leave the country, in case that shit was still going when I turned 18 in 78.
            This freak was not going to be cannon fodder for a Uncle Sam’s killing machine. Fuck all that.

          • n0b0d1

            “These various generational catagories that people seem so fond of, just seem, to me, like yet another way to divide people.”

            As I said to Morduck, “Not that it really matters, but since you place SO MUCH importance on arbitrary birth date ranges…”, so, yes, I very much agree…did you enjoy the 80’s? What were they like?

          • Juan

            Step up and let uncle Juan tell ya about the olden days, sonny;)
            For me the 80s were a great time. I was in my 20s and had discovered punk rock and a bunch of other cool music. I went to shows and got laid a lot. Saw some great bands, X, The Ramones, Agent Orange, Oingo Boingo, Bad Manners, Los Lobos, 45 Grave, The Dickies, etc. It was kinda fun being one of the few “alternative” guys in south Orange County.
            Politically there was fucking Raygun; another corporate robot trotted out for the ignorant masses.
            Started seeing homeless people on the streets for the first time.
            AIDS scared the shit out of everyone . . .

          • n0b0d1

            That’s funny, I was literally just listening to Oingo Boingo.

            I suppose my generation will have to settle for “permanent gonorrhea” and “one in four chance of HPV”.

            Did you dress up?

          • Juan

            Hell yes, I dressed up. Used to hit the thrift stores looking for cool old stuff. I was never like hardcore punk, with the huge spikes or Mohawk. Even that seemed too much like a uniform, to me. I had spikey hair with an orange tail. I’d wear docs or Chuck Taylor’s with the thrift store gear. I had an upside down silver cross earring that wore for a while in my left ear.
            I remember I was at a used record store, somewhere in LA, and as I walked past these two hardcore punk dudes in the isle, one them turns to the other and says, “look, there’s a new-waver, let’s kick him.” Which reminds me that there was this whole, I am more punk than you, or I was a punk before your were punk, thing happening at the time. So lame.
            Wow, I hadn’t thought about any of this for a while . . .

          • Calypso_1

            keytar fantasies?

          • n0b0d1

            Maybe one day but, for now, no; I have something else fairly specific in mind…

          • Calypso_1

            bafflement points

          • n0b0d1

            Yes! I knew it was only a matter of time…

          • Juan

            :)

          • Juan

            You know what voting looks like to me? Perception management, PR; something to placate the masses and blind them to their servitude by giving them the illusion of choice.
            It’s a tacky show, man.

  • Garret

    I’m assuming you’re in Washington State. I voted yes on I-522, but it’s not much of a surprise that it got shot down because the uninformed masses voted no on it thanks to the deluge of anti-522 ads we saw EVERYWHERE. On tv, on the radio, in the papers, even my website’s Google Adsense was pushing them all over the pages of my content. It was fucked.

    So sure, yea, voting matters, but really, only on the local level, and even then, you still have to pray that the informed outweigh the zombies, which isn’t very common.

  • Hoarfraust

    I agree with everyone posting here, and against the article. You have no real choices: just the nonsense distraction choices.

  • TheLie

    “Millennials are vapid! (Friend me on Facebook)”

  • Adam’s Shadow

    Honestly, I view voting the same way as I view the stories and texts I write, the music I make, and the clothes I wear: as a form of self-expression, nothing more and nothing less.

  • InfvoCuernos

    If you vote for a criminal, then you are complicate in his crimes while he is in office. This is exactly the excuse the US used when we bombed the infrastructure and other civilian targets in Iraq. They voted for a Husssein, and did not actively try to remove him from office, so they deserved to get “Shock and Awe”.

    • Andrew

      We all have blood on our hands.

      Even vegans.

    • Jim Morduck

      “If you vote for a criminal, then you are complicit [my correction] in his crimes while he is in office.” Let’s test the logic of your widespread condemnation.

      Presumably, both parties regularly elect criminals or at least officials who will engage in criminal acts. Only such an exquisitely judgmental assertion can allow you to label the majority of society (voting population is almost always a majority in presidential elections) as criminals.

      If I am righteous and I refuse to vote (in the most meaningful way possible, of course), then presumably one of the two criminals will go on to win the election anyways. You judge society as beneath you and retain your moral integrity. But the undefined criminal acts will take place (maybe fewer maybe more criminal acts depends on the candidate, but that makes no difference to you).

      Let’s assume that the victims of our war machine do not vote, so as to be worthy of your concern for non-criminal parts of humanity. How many innocent victims killed in faraway countries will your moral integrity save? How many starving mouths created by Wall Street’s craven manipulation of prices in food staples will your integrity feed? If just a few thousand more people turned up in 2000, there would very likely be millions fewer refugees in Iraq and Afghanistan, and many thousands fewer victims of a feckless war of choice. I wonder how worthwhile your integrity would weigh against those consequences?

  • Craig Bickford

    Voting in some elections doesn’t really matter. There is no way anyone is going to convince me that a ballot I cast in the popular vote is going to effect an election like say the election for the POTUS. It’s just madness.

  • kowalityjesus

    Please ladies and gentlemen, can we pile up the stars? This is one of the best articles I have ever read.

  • kowalityjesus

    It will always be extremely ironic that at the same time I attended the “Value Voters Summit” to see Ron Paul in Oct 2011, my Father was sleeping in Zuccotti park at OWS. Ron Paul was an absolute PARIAH from GOP mainstream in 2008 and barely tolerated and largely ignored in 2012. He should have the implicit support of so many anti-establishment types for standing up to the Man and making obvious his corrupt system, but he is even a pariah from their hipster cynic asses. Ron Paul is supposedly the “godfather” of the Tea Party, but as anyone who knows anything about Ron Paul will tell you, wars and military spending were top of the list to get slashed. I don’t understand how the ideology could have wandered so far other than evil agents of slimy rich people. That must be where a lot of the misconceptions of his policies have come from.

    I am convinced that Bush was about as dystopian a president as we could ever have. He MUST HAVE been actively trying to destroy the United States as a sovereign and solvent nation. But does anyone remember how the many internet-armchair-pundits were calling Bush and Gore “tweedle-dee and tweedle-dum”? It did hold water with reference to the calculated moderate rhetoric, but think of how different it would have been! damn.

    Does anyone remember how Republicans were pushing for electronic ballots? What was theirpremise? Saving paper? Big time bullshit.

  • FreakyFranks

    Thad votes and what he picked won! Are you still wearing your “I voted” sticker?
    I vote for you, Thad, for douche bag of the day; and you win! See, voting does matter.

  • moremisinformation

    Yaaaaaaawn.

    • Bluebird_of_Fastidiousness

      fascinating insight. did you compose that yourself?

      • moremisinformation

        It’s a fair point you make. I read the essay and my head began spinning with all the problems it contained. I had intended to address every one but realized I’d need to write one 2-3x as long as the initial one and didn’t think it worth my while. A cop-out? Sure. I blame the snarky, shallow, disinfo culture…

  • mcubik

    thad

    if your spirit advisors

    advised you to write that

    non sense

    you should probably seek

    some new advisors

    because honestly

    if you think demon weed was legalized

    because you voted for it

    it wasnt

    it was legalized because it is going to make

    some rich people

    even richer

    and if you think bush 2 was worse

    that obama

    well

    somebody isn t paying much attention

    non serviam

    is the only way to stop

    the machine

    peace

  • The Design Flaw

    Voting is literally the least you can do for your country without doing nothing. It matters at the state level, but not for the presidency, yet. I also disagree with the premise that Bush was worse than Obama. The difference in suck is negligible. In fact, one of the reasons Obama sucks IS the fact that he can “perform” better than Bush. Those lies are certainly better told.

    OWS is NOT non-factor.
    I voted for legal weed too, so don’t get tennis elbow with all of that back patting. It’s still illegal federally.
    Lastly, waste less letters next time.

  • alizardx

    The answer to your question is that if one is a billionaire, one can control the choices that can appear on a state or national ballot, both candidates and ballot initiatives and buy the votes for one side of the other. There’s always the chance that other billionaires will disagree… but that’s democracy, right?

    Marijuana legalization is no exception, it’s generally won in the states where it had major financial backing. If you think that major political backers do this out of the altrusitic pursuit of the public interest, you have not the remotest clue as to what you are talking about.

    Perhaps this is why there are at least two political studies that show that there is no correlation between public opinion of the 99% and votes of Federal elected official. There is a comment in one of the studies that says that the researchers suspect that the correlation between the 1% and politicians’ votes is actually a reflection of how often the 1% agrees with the political elites.

    What is called bi-partisan neoliberalism and centrism is the doctrine that the only legitimate purposes of government is to facilitate upward wealth transfer and to protect the wealthy recipients, who are also campaign donors.

    The differences between the two $$$ factions we call Dem and GOP are different demographic marketing based on cultural issues that the superwealthy generally don’t really give a shit about because it doesn’t affect their profits, and GOP money which is increasingly technocapitalist money wants to accelerate the process of “cooking the frog” to the point where the stove blows up and the pot melts. Democratic money wants to get maximum nutrition out of us. But either way, at the end, we’re cooked.

    But if a fundamental threat appears to the rich getting richer, Democrats and Republicans will come together to suppress that threat. Both parties are about “cooking the frog” – and that’s us. While one is somewhat less immediately dangerous than the other, in the long run, with these parties’ backers left in dominance, the 100% will be totally screwed.

    The primary political money doesn’t even consider it’s own long term interests, let alone ours, and the results are a threat to worldwide high-tech civilization. Probably the only real one, fixes to any of the world’s major problems are a threat to their short-term cash flow.

    According to the principles set forth in the 1971 Powell Memo, the wealthy have been buying up mainstream public opinion up to the 1990s, they’ve gone on to the fringes like Libertarianism and Futurism and major single-cause movements. (remember Manning and SF Gay Pride?) Libertarianism is financed by corporate welfare recipients. Futurism (Singulatarianism in particular) is financed by Theil money that’s also behind cutbacks in science programs via GOP PAC donations. Occupy wasn’t suppressed because they were winning, it was suppressed because there was fear of political ideas going into circulation major money did not really control.

    “Progressive” and “Conservative” are no longer ideologies, they’re tribal identities for different groups of authoritarian followers whose message is based on competing sets of top-down talking points.

    Political corruption is currently at the “decline and fall of empire” level. The endemic problems of environment, economic breakdown, etc. are a threat to us all, but the elites insist on running things according to their short-term interests and locking the rest of us out of the political process.

    Voting or not voting is an individual choice, but anyone who is telling us that our problems can be solved at the ballot box in 21st C America or EU is either ignorant or selling something unlikely to be in the public interest.

    Democracy to some extent is still available at the local level. But serious money is increasing being spent in local – small city – school board races.

    I don’t have the solutions, but we need to figure out what the right questions are. It’s only a matter of survival of high-tech civilization.

    BTW, your invoking of Robert Anton Wilson in a lecture on why we should vote goes beyond ironic.

  • Damien Quinn

    I see your point, it’s a great article, but I respectfully disagree.

    Voting has little intrinsic value because, as you yourself outline, there are people within our society with the power to manipulate the outcome regardless of the actual vote and, in any event, the people you vote for probably won’t do what they said they’d do once they’re elected. The politics of the pole is irrelevant.

    That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t vote, IMO, it just means you do so knowing your vote’s irrelevant. It’s a waste of time that is probably better spent doing something else political.

    Let me explain this by addressing an early point in your article (I did read it all, I promise). You said legalized weed in your state is a result of voting. It’s more accurate to say that the legalization is the result of every single voice which has called time on prohibition for the past 50 years, people who’ve done research, written articles, made videos and circulated information in books, magazines, newspapers, blogs and forums. That’s the important work (and that’s what billionaires spend their money doing) so you can say truthfully that “I legalized weed with my vote” but you should also be aware that your vote is only affirmation of someone else’s work, it’s important in the same way a crowds applause is important to a bands success.

    Just my opinion, obviously.

  • http://KREET-N.BLOGSPOT.COM/ KREET-N

    Dear sweet thad. All good points. Terrific article. Even in it’s longevity..it is concise and to the point. Are you prepared to hear the side of the non-compliant?
    Why is there no option for those who do not wish to participate in this system?
    Democracy is not, in point of fact, the “best” form of government, it is the most popular form. I do not know which would be the best as I have only lived in TEXAS and the way things are done here has had me raising my eyebrows and shrugging my shoulders for 15 years (since I was 18). Mob rule is unjust to the individual and that has never been more clear in the USA. injustice, corruption, graft, nepotism, all caused by greed and the misunderstanding of life and death in this particular culture of pop christianity pop stars pop tarts and porn…lets no forget those housewives!
    This culture is on the downslide from the 50’s. this civilization may never have actually been civilized. Voting for one dude in a suit who refuses to talk about actual relevant things over another suit who shares the same indifference to the universe as the other one…who came up with these choices? I surely didn’t. No one in politics has ever asked me my opinion. And i can only assume it’s because they don’t care.
    billionaires…blah. more greed and hubris against the hostile void of the universe.
    we are all going to die. I hope to die never participating in this joke.
    this country is a joke man, but It aint funny.

  • Liam_McGonagle

    Because their intent is to preserve the public sector power vacuum that enables their private sector power.

    An incredibly dysfunctional system is extremely useful to petty lords with private power bases. This is why the nobility was always monarchy’s primary enemy in all early modern societies.

    Duh.

  • DR Ouroboros

    To summarize my thoughts on voting. Voting locally is more important than federal elections. When voting for any candidate or ballot measure, be as informed as is reasonable about the candidates and issues. Never vote for the lesser of two evils as this makes you complicit in the downward spiral that is American politics. No candidate is satisfactory, no problem. Write someone you would like to win. Voting is not as important as being an activist for a good cause. And most importantly don’t get attached to the outcome of the election. Ultimately, you did what you could and the tide of public opinion will be the deciding factor. True, humans are quite simple in how they respond to propaganda, but that is okay. As long as you can honestly say to yourself that you did your best, including voting and activism, if an election doesn’t go the way you wished, it isn’t your karma.

  • Guest

    Yes, we shall have thought and propaganda police regulate the media… hahahahaha, hilarious. Please tell me, will these be the same regulators that were watching during the fascist cooperation of the big banks, fannie mae, and all the fooktards in congress fooking the housing market to all oblivion. Don’t forget what lead to Occupy Wall Street… Remember TARP, the bailout, etc… all a result of federal regulations and a centralized banking system printing ponzi scheme fiat currency at a rate faster than the speed of light. The Federal system is fooked and corrupt beyond all recognition, however I still believe you have some voice in State and local matters. I personally don’t vote because I don’t believe in giving tacit consent to a system that essentially endorses and depends upon majority mob rule. Only individuals exercising in collaborative voluntary association have true power, not the states, the federal government, etc… Until people realize this, no amount of initiatives, etc… is going to change a thing. The idea of the hierarchical democratic state, stemming from Aristotelian and Christian metaphysics is dying. In time, people will realize that the only natural system for independent/societal sentient beings is bottom up organic interaction, based on voluntary relations and consent. Until then, enjoy the show. Peace.

  • Anonymous

    Yes,
    we shall have thought and propaganda police regulate the media… hahahahaha,
    hilarious. Please tell me, will these be the same regulators that were
    watching during the fascist cooperation of the big banks, fannie mae, and all
    the fooktards in congress fooking the housing market to all oblivion.
    Don’t forget what lead to Occupy Wall Street… Remember TARP, the
    bailout, etc… all a result of federal regulations and a centralized banking system
    printing ponzi scheme fiat currency at a rate faster than the speed of light.
    The Federal system is fooked and corrupt beyond all control or reform,
    however, I still believe you have some voice in State and local matters. I
    personally don’t vote because I don’t believe in giving tacit consent to a
    system that essentially endorses and depends upon majority mob rule. Only
    individuals exercising in collaborative voluntary association have true power,
    not the states, the federal government, etc… Until people realize this, no
    amount of initiatives, etc… is going to change a thing. The idea of the
    hierarchical democratic state, stemming from Aristotelian and Christian
    metaphysics is dying. In time, people will realize that the only natural
    system for independent/societal sentient beings is bottom up, organic
    interaction, based on voluntary relations and consent. Until then, enjoy the show. Peace.

  • doodahman

    Yeah, voting makes sense because nobody understands politics, the issues, their interests or who really represents them. A very well thought out screed. Not.
    I had been voting on candidates as of 2008 for over 30 years and haven’t managed to see one elected official be anything other than a lying shitbag in the service of one segment of millionaires or another. Which incidentally, is why millionaires care about elections and we shouldn’t– because whoever is elected serves THEM. DUH.
    I gave up after the debacle of Mr. Hope and Change. I’ll pop in for ballot issues from time to time, but in the end, they are never what they are advertised to be anyway– even pot decriminalization, the vote is just an excuse for what they are going to be compelled to do anyway by the way of the world. The vote wasn’t the change– things already changed and the vote just put the seal of approval on it.
    So keep voting and keep pretending their is a moral aspect to your continuing to kid yourself. You’re smart, and you will figure it out eventually. It sure does take awhile, and mostly because when the vote is the last thin thread of political empowerment that keeps the mask on over your serfdom, it takes a strong person to throw it off and see your predicament for what it is. Or a desperate one. Either way, you’ll get there.

    • Jim Morduck

      Yes, I have been there, too. Felt hollowed out, totally cynical of people and their abilities to think and act rationally, abandoned hope that either party would lead us to anything but further debasement of democratic principles. Sickened by people I know who simply want quick answers, juvenile talking points that demogogue the “others,” and defeated by the pathologically obedient brand of identity politics that dominates this land.

      But I made a different choice than you, and yes, it really is a choice. I don’t always think I made the right choice, and often feel like a fool for not simply tuning out and reclaiming my well-earned cynicism. On my worst days, I wonder if I am just part of the problem. But the history of failed societies is all around. It’s the part of history that rhymes. It’s been written so many times, it seems the least imaginative part of ourselves. And it’s always available to anyone too tired to think up anything better.

  • Other Mr. T

    I believe you’re confusing voter apathy with refusal to vote for false choices, but who doesn’t these days.

  • doodahman

    As a brief follow up: pot wasn’t decriminalized by votes. It was decriminalized by me, and about 50 million other stubborn bastards who refused to stop smoking even after they chained us, hauled us away and caged us, taking away our homes, our jobs and sometimes even our kids. They did all that until they went fucking bankrupt caging us all. And when the money issues became more important than the “let’s hammer and cage all the hippies, spics and niggers” then they let us vote to change the policies they can’t afford to maintain anyway.
    And that, my friend, is the lesson about change. When you vote for them, you make the fucking of us easy and legitimate. When you don’t vote, don’t cooperate, and don’t obey, then the fucking of us is a lot harder and lot more expensive. Took me a long ass time to figure that out, so I’m just trying to save you some time.

  • Jason Lewis

    Like all complicated issues, the subject of the value of voting in a corrupt system is a contradiction. On the one hand I believe that fundamentally my vote has very little value especially when it comes to national politics. With the system rigged by moneyed interests I think it’s really hard to argue for the vote playing the kind of role that the propaganda says it plays. At the same time I agree with Thad that when it comes to policy votes on the local and state level the vote has a much more significant impact. I don’t think you can clearly be on one side of this because both sides present legitimate arguments. I’ll say this, Obama broke my political back. After Bush I thought there might really be a significant shift to the progressive side of the spectrum but he’s been a disappointment. Despite that, on the state level it’s nice to see progressive policies pass.

  • denverover

    Don´t be a dumb-ass, if there wasn´t money in it for those “billionaires” there would be no legalization of it for the common man. Jesus Christ, some people are so damned ignorant of the fact that it was profitable to sell new equiptment to the DEA until they now have the very best available, and the profit petered out due to over supply by the competing companies. Now the drugs will become legal because that is where the profit is going to be in the future. Wake up and smell the coffee.

  • JosephConrad

    The CEOs of the 2 top 2 voting machine manufactures are owned by criminal GOP thugs (tax evasion, fraud, etc). They make nearly all US ATMs but not one voting machine is un-hackable (as ATMs appear to be) or will disgorge a receipt to a the voter after use. Why vote if the Old White
    Wealthy .0001% already OWN the Congress, Lobbbyists and Courts? It is far more logical to take advantage of your Amendment rights and buy a .45 and practice regularly. Voting is a MSM diversion and distraction. The Wealthy live by their own savage rules and will never change. They only understand Genocide, Power, Wealth, Greed and Death.Most of all, they fear their own Violent Death – not voting…

  • Juan

    Just thought I’d chime in again. You know, I would totally vote in the next presidential puppet show, but only if TED NUGENT is on the ticket as either president or vice president. My ultimate fantasy ticket would be Nugent/Palin. My vote would be an expression of my utter contempt for this farce.

  • Woobniggurath

    TLDR

  • Woobniggurath

    JK!UR my new BFF! Wanna meetup for some PBR and knitting?

  • Woobniggurath

    But seriously. No bigger sellout than Clinton and the telecom consolidation. It will be identified in the future as the moment when US started its terminal decline.

  • Jonas Planck

    Spoilers ahead: In history class, they told us that the post-millennial Aristocracy was finally defeated after the development of mind-recording neurotechnology. The elites first used it to replace key figures in the growing counterculture, but once the genie got out of the bottle, the underground had replaced the minds of the entire ruling class within three years. Almost half of the world’s political and business leaders eventually turned out to be the same guy, called himself Arthur after the legend of Camelot. Basically, once he’d assimilated all the world’s powerful elites, he restructured every legal and economic system he had control over, then orchestrated a mass suicide of the bodies he’d stolen. There are more conspiracy theories swirling around this guy than JFK, 9/11, and Cygnus D combined.
    Hmmm…. I’m still here. No change. Must be a bunch of bullshit. That’s what I get for believing things told to me by a Federation schoolteacher.

  • Jonas Planck

    Er, more on topic: I can’t vote, because legally, I’m only a corporate person (no physical body don’tcha know)…. but my 30Xgrand-dad Billy tells me that in the Deep South, it’s easier to vote a strait libertarian ticket than it is to vote strait democrat. He also says he writes in NO wherever someone runs unopposed. Fat lot of good that does, if you ask me. He also says he stupidly voted for Nader in 2000, but I think he was living in Florida at the time, so he probably shouldn’t be too broken up about it. He blames a Rage Against the Machine video, can you believe that?

  • hk

    voting for president doesn’t matter. obviously things can be accomplished on a local lvl. but when it comes to prez, nope doesn’t matter. “presidents are selected not elected” they are all on the same team, giving the illusion of choice….

  • mister blank

    i will read this / only there is a 3rd possibility (a sudden rewrite of the constitution & how money&resources are fairly ENGINEERED to keep the average class productive towards THAT 3RD EARTH u know after that jew APOCALYPSE idiocy ((( real apocalypse is pagan BTW & psychopomps rule the afterlife ))) if u didnt know that NOT MY PROBLEM

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