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  • I Want To Care, But…

    Posted by Dan from Madison on November 23rd, 2007 (All posts by )

    In a previous post I communicated how busy I am, and how little time, unfortunately, that leaves me to keep informed on current events.

    I promised at the end of that post to break down the Presidential election for you.

    To review, I am very busy with my business and family. I don’t have any regrets about this. The reality of it is that I have very little time for news, blogs, and other ways to receive information about current events. I would assume that many other Americans are like me and are likewise uninformed – some by choice, some by circumstance.

    I have taken a realist’s look at the upcoming presidential election, which, by the way, doesn’t happen for another 11+ months.

    I don’t care. Yet.

    I think I will care about one day before my primary here in Wisconsin, which is on February 19, 2008. Why the attitude?

    Because 31 states have their primaries before mine, and the candidates will be narrowed down to the real players by that time. Why waste any time trying to understand the nuanced positions of all of these people when 75% of them won’t even be around by the time I vote?

    After the primary I probably won’t care about the general election until the day before it happens. I am a busy guy.

    I typically vote my wallet, and that means that typically I vote Republican. I have been known to vote for independent parties if the Republicans put incompetent candidates on the ballot, which seems to be happening more frequently. I like a lot of what the Libertarian party does and stands for, but they, at times put people on the ballot that I wouldn’t trust to park my car, much less hold a position of power.

    I think I know what I will do in my primary though, and that is cross over and cast an annoyance vote for a Democrat that is left in the field against Hillary. Wisconsin is a state where you have the option to vote in either primary, but not both.

    I do think that she will definitely tack more center before it is all said and done, especially after she wins the nomination and the real campaigning begins.

    Comments that are not respectful, rambling, or off topic will be deleted and/or altered.

     

    17 Responses to “I Want To Care, But…”

    1. Vince P Says:

      The economy was in recession when Bush took over.

      The budget was in deficit as well.

      The sham surplus of the 1990s was because the SSI money was used as it normally is… the SSI revenues become IOU in the trust fund, and the money dumped into the general budget.

      In other words… Federal Spending still exceeded receipts and borrowing had to be done.

      There was no surplus.

      This is why Democrats should not be empowered.. they have to tell a lot of lies to get there.

    2. Vince P Says:

      hmmm I think i responded to something that has been removed.

    3. Dan from Madison Says:

      Yes Vince, we are taking some measures to try to curtail the troll postings here. Thanks for commenting though.

    4. Shannon Love Says:

      The “informed voter” is a complete an utter myth.

      When the media or elites say someone is “informed” it means that they know what issues those same elites have designated as important. Its exactly the same social process as saying someone is “fashionable” because they know what vomitus the fashion elites have hourked up for us this year. History shows that elites almost never understand what is going on at any given time and that elections rarely cover the main issues that politicians will face.

      The entire function of voting is not to cleave to this or that elitist fad of the moment but rather to provide feedback to the political system about how your individual life is going. You’ve done your part if you just look at your own immediate environment, examine the influences of politics on that environment and then vote based on what you feel will work out best for you and those around you. The polling system will aggregate these type judgments for millions of voters into a generalized policy direction.

      People do a lot more good for the world concentrating on the beneficial tasks for which they have detailed practical knowledge and ignoring the political fads and hysteria du jour.

    5. Dan from Madison Says:

      Good comment Shannon, sometimes I have guilt for not being a bit more informed, but according to your comment I am doing my duty. I especially appreciate the last paragraph of your comment.

    6. Jonathan Says:

      Yes, the big media and liberal goo-goos are always prattling about how we should be “informed” as voters. What they mean is that we should pay attention to their preferred candidates’ poll-tested position of the week, which the media are helping to sell, and ignore fundamental questions of character and judgment. Look at how the media treat Hillary Clinton as compared to Fred Thompson. We’re supposed to pay attention to Hillary’s plan for socialized medicine or retirement accounts or whatever, even though everyone knows she will change her plans as becomes politically expedient. But questions about her past (and present, as WRT Mr. Hsu) corruption and dishonesty are treated as illegitimate. Meanwhile Fred’s principled, thoughtful, articulately expressed policy positions get ignored and the media discussion is mostly about his supposed laziness and other character flaws.

    7. Don Hodges Says:

      Recycling an email wherein I answered the Q: “who would you vote for?” (I’m surprisingly close to Shannon here): I’m afraid I’m RAPIDLY drifting toward treating politics the way it is treating itself – as mass entertainment. Both mass entertainment and politics are PR-and-poll-driven and only the proven-audience acts get financed. It is only a matter of time until they converge and somebody like Beyonce is elected President (after all, Sonny Bono, for God’s sake, made it to the Senate!). It is no accident that “American Idol” (a poll-driven act) is the most popular mass entertainment. Perhaps some day even total fabrications like Homer Simpson will be eligible – it’s hard to beat dialog like “I for one welcome our giant ant overlords…” – has the same cadence as “Ask not what your country can do for you…”.

      Some wag once said “It doesn’t matter who is elected President – I don’t need any foreign countries invaded or an appointment as ambassador, and none of these guys is going to wash my car or paint my house.”

      Forced to the wall, I would say Ron Paul for the R’s (no chance) and Joe Biden for the D’s (no chance) – neither is pretty enough and Paul has an awful voice, would mangle the lines. Biden may be still plagiarizing and you know what happened to Menudo for lip-synching.

    8. Tatyana Says:

      Well, actually, when this voter wants to be informed, the information isn’t there. I mean all the local politicians we’re supposed to cast a vote for during general election time. Who are these people? Biggies, at least, you have a chance to make you mind about in advance – I mean, it’s always Billary this, Rudy that. But the State comptroller? Local Council member? I’ve no idea what their platforms are, let alone their characters or tax evasion scandals.

    9. Shannon Love Says:

      Jonathan,

      …and ignore fundamental questions of character and judgment

      Given the disparity between what seems important at the time of elections, what happens during an officials tenure and the significance that history attaches to events not understood at the time, I think that selecting candidates for character and judgement is far more important than their stand on particular issues. For example, very little of the debate in 2000 focused on terrorism even though in retrospect it dominated the next four years of Presidential politics. Even if they had debated it, virtually no one in American establishment of any persuasion really understood the consequences of an era of mass-causality terrorism.

      Given the great uncertainty that the future holds, it makes more sense to choose people for any job based on their general personal characteristics and not based on their stances on the problems we face right now.

    10. Jonathan Says:

      Local elections are often difficult for voters because there is limited public information about many candidates — these elections affect relatively few people, so there is often little incentive for media, including bloggers, to do research.

      I didn’t even vote in my last local election. It was an easy choice, for once. The incumbent, who I assume was reelected, is a conventional tax-and-spend liberal type. I would prefer not to vote for him but at least he is a responsible adult. The two challengers were flakes: a self-declared socialist and a guy with a shady past who is being pursued by various parties for nonpayment of debts. What to do.

    11. zenpundit Says:

      “History shows that elites almost never understand what is going on at any given time…”

      For which we should all be thankful as they will do a hell of lot less damage that way.

      If the global elites inderstood in 1994 about the internet and the web what they know now in 2007, they would never have let the genie out of the bottle.

    12. joseph hill Says:

      if not the “elites,” then the guy in the street knows much better so let us listen to him rather than lobby groups, politicians and academics.

    13. Don Hodges Says:

      Please explain the consequences of “mass-causality terrorism”- (I presume you mean “mass-casualty terrorism”). If the consequences are just beginning with fumbling through a trillion-dollar war longer than WW II and stupider than Nam, I think I’ll take Beyonce. She couldn’t be any more incompetent and she’s surely prettier.

    14. mishu Says:

      For all you know Beyonce would launched the missiles on Mecca. That act must be cheaper than Iraq. It’s certainly quicker. BTW. I’m glad we bugged out *all* U.S. military after V.E. day. Oh wait, they’re still in Germany. I wonder what the cost of maintaining military installations in Germany from 1945 until present is in 2007 U.S. dollars?

    15. Ginny Says:

      Those military installations in Germany were a hell of a lot cheaper than having to go in twenty years after WWII and fight another war. That was the choice people saw and I didn’t see many hesitate at paying it. And since Chomsky hadn’t yet informed my parents’ generation, they retained a sense that Russia was a threat – one reinforced by the emigres that they knew.

      The price of Europe’s fecklesness in American men as well as money was real to them – tonight, Atkinson discussed his book on the Italian campaign, 1943-44. That war is hell was certainly something the generation before mine knew (and we knew because, at least in my youth, it was that war and not the Civil War that people talked of).

      And yes, living with that paradigm for the first fifty years of my life may have made me more willing to see Iraq as a place where we should be making a long-term investment, too. I’m not unhappy with how it has turned out in Germany. I hope my children will not be unhappy with how it turned out in Iraq. And indeed, one of my grandchildren may marry an Iraqi. But, then, my family (as my parents) values diversity and assumes that – while the United States is hardly in a position to be able to ensure all other’s these rights – those beyond our borders were endowed with the same rights as we.

    16. Shannon Love Says:

      Don Hodges,

      Please explain the consequences of “mass-causality terrorism”- (I presume you mean “mass-casualty terrorism”)

      During the Cold War, most terrorist were directly or indirectly controlled by the Soviet Union, PLO, IRA, Red Brigades etc. Their primary goal was not to kill a lot of people but rather to create media events that in turn would create an illusion of impotence on the part of liberal-democracies. Since everybody knew of the Soviet involvement any attack that caused more casualties than a bag civil crime could backfire on the Soviets and even provoke a war. Imagine if 9/11 had occurred in 1980 and had been carried out by individuals trained and supported by Soviet Union. We might all be living in a post-apocalyptic world now.

      The end of the Cold War ended superpower oversight and terrorist began to compete internally to score the most massive blows possible against the external enemies. Throughout the 90’s, the destructiveness of the acts kept increasing finally peaking in 9/11. The goal of terrorist remains to kill as many random people in the target population as possible. This change in both actors, goals and methods mandate a different strategy than that pursued during the Cold War.

      Given your subsequent comments, it comes as no surprise to me that you lack both an understanding of recent history and strategic vision.

    17. Don Hodges Says:

      Shannon,

      Since we seem to have lost our sense of humor and gone ad hominem, here’s one for you to delete: You are delusional and have WAY too much time on your hands, and you have no idea the depth of my understanding, gained from many years INSIDE GOP politics. My “strategic vision” is as irrelevant as yours (after all this is just a chat) and besides that I claim no expertise in strategy. OTOH, I can count and I assure you the fruits of Iraq are not worth a trillion.