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June 04, 2012

Comments

Brandon

"Of course I have no choice but to vote for him anyway."

Why? What about one of the third parties? I know someone who thinks a vote for anyone but Romney is a vote for Obama. Do you feel likewise that a vote for anyone but Obama is a vote for Romney?

Hattie

Brandon: Yes, it all makes me feel a little glum. No one is making a real try to get out a third-party vote. The effort is huge and the results are small, as Green Party members will tell you. They are feeling defeated. And there are too many really cracked people on the libertarian side. I can't take them seriously. So there really is nowhere to go. That's reality. Huge forces are massed against all attempts on the part of individuals or small groups to change things. Only mass movements could do that, and that's a scary proposition.

Brandon

"Do you feel likewise that a vote for anyone but Obama is a vote for Romney?"

"Yes, it all makes me feel a little glum."

I guess that's a yes.

Third parties have to build from the bottom up, and it may take decades before any of them have substantial representation on the national level.

"Huge forces are massed against all attempts on the part of individuals or small groups to change things."

I know what you mean, but could you elaborate? By "change things" I think you're talking about major things, like ending wars or overhauling the financial system.

Henry Hank Chapin

Yes, the drone missiles have started to bug me too. They are not as surgical as the administration claims. Also, on the the subject of education I find him and Arne Dawson to be tone deaf on the importance of public schools. Their remedies are along the lines of more testing, merit raises, for-profit schools, special public schools with their own school boards, all the latest trendy stuff. There is not a hint of public schooling in his background.

But I have not turned against him so much as I can feel the tide turning against him. The tide is picking up steam! How's that for a mixed metaphor for a mixed-up situation? A really big reason to vote for Obama is the likely choice of Supreme Court justices.

Hattie

Brandon: On this island we may not be aware of what mass society has become elsewhere. Things are still on a small "human" scale here. But most people today are living in soul-crushing conglomerates of people and stuff which make the individual feel small and unimportant. If masses of people start rebelling in such circumstances, there will be hell to pay. That is what frightens our leaders so much and why they have withdrawn into their enclaves with their guards and other toadies.
Hank: He really needed to go to Wisconsin. He could lose the labor movement over this. I'm on his side, really, but I can't blind myself to the mistakes he is making.

gigi-hawaii

If you read Obama's memoir, you will remember that he was active on the grassroots level by working as a community activist. Can Romney say the same? I think not! Obama clearly has my vote!

Hattie

Gigi: Well, yes, he has done these things as one would expect. And he lived on food stamps and so on. But that was a long time ago, and now he is a huge success! He's the President.
I had the experience of seeing a friend completely change when he got into the "corridors of power." All of a sudden everything he said was a pronouncement from above instead of a friendly interchange It happens. Power is pretty heady stuff, I imagine. I've never had any power, but I can see how attractive it would be to be in charge!

Henry Hank Chapin

Regarding acquiring power and becoming a blowhard, a fellow graduate student got sick of poverty in Albuquerque, so he joined the Police Force. We got the feeling that maybe he had changed when he told us, "When I wear the uniform, I AM THE LAW!"

Regarding third parties, I wasted my vote on Dick Gregory, the comedian, back in the day. Hubert Humphrey refused to repudiate LBJ's Vietnam policy even when he was begged, so he lost a lot of purist votes. In parliamentarian systems, third parties can place some candidates in the government, but AMERICA IS WINNER TAKE ALL. Ralph Nader really messed up the country with his third party effort by enabling George W. Bush to win.

Brandon

I never expected Obama would instantly withdraw troops from around the world as Ron Paul would have. And people aren't up in protest against the war because it's abstract to them.

"But most people today are living in soul-crushing conglomerates of people and stuff which make the individual feel small and unimportant."

I've never been to the mainland, or anywhere else outside Hawaii, but I can imagine immense cities ringed with suburbs.

Brandon

"In parliamentarian systems, third parties can place some candidates in the government, but AMERICA IS WINNER TAKE ALL. Ralph Nader really messed up the country with his third party effort by enabling George W. Bush to win."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third_party_(United_States)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duverger%27s_law

Henry Hank Chapin

Brandon: Thanks for the 2 Wikipedia references. I put them in my Favorites and will read them today. I am curious as to WHY you posted. Just for info or are you making a point? Agree or disagree?

Wikipedia is a great thing. If you look up Accademia (Firenze), I wrote the two sentences about visitors who see the replica of the Michelangelo "David" statue in the town square of Firenze (known to us as Florence), Italy. I had heard that one could add to Wikipedia entries, so I gave it a shot and IT WORKED! They monitor entries closely, so false info doesn't make the grade.

Hattie

Hank: I was the first person to write a Wikipedia piece about the conservative womens' group The Independent Womens' Forum. Since then this entry has been much expanded. Fragments of what I said are still in there somewhere.
Ha! We were in Florence for one day, and all we got to see was the replica, because it was Monday and the Uffizi and the Accademia were closed!

Brandon

@Hank: Just for information. I never heard about Duverger's law before yesterday, and thought it was as good a reason as any for the persistence of our two-party system.

I think third parties will have to be built up from the bottom, on the municipal then state levels. And it will take decades.

Hattie

Brandon: No small party can succeed, IMHP. Where are the Greens? The Socialist Workers? The Reform Party? These parties end up being dominated by charismatics and cranks, and they deflate pretty fast. What's needed is a mass populist movement that will take power at all levels of government through the medium of the Democratic Party. I hope that is what will happen in the next few years.

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