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View Full Version : Ben Serotta For President!


BumbleBeeDave
11-02-2004, 06:15 AM
He could not possibly do any worse of a job than all the jokers of both parties that we have making fools of themselves in Washington right now. And come to think of it, a Nove in every garage and Super Serotta Sandy as Secretary of Tuna Sandwiches doesnít sound so darn bad! ;) ;) ;)

But seriously, go vote. Go vote for whoever you like--I donít care who--just to convince me that thereís SOMETHING left in our country that EVERYONE agrees is important!

BBDave

Kevin
11-02-2004, 06:24 AM
Get out and vote.

Kevin

Kevan
11-02-2004, 07:38 AM
if you lack conviction or don't know the candidates' stance.

I don't want my vote cancelled by some yutz playing Eenie-meanie-miney-mo. :crap:

dbrk
11-02-2004, 07:56 AM
A good pal of mine who happens to be a wonderful cyclist and writer sends me a quotation everyday. Today's is something I wish for my children will come true though I confess much to my own regret I am not as sanguine for our future.

"America is not always right--that's a fairy tale you tell your children. But America is always true. And it's in seeking this truth that we find a deeper patriotism. Remember, the country we carry in our hearts is waiting."
--Bruce Springsteen

dbrk

Elefantino
11-02-2004, 07:59 AM
And if you want to read something great, catch Paul Krugman in today's Times:

http://nytimes.com/2004/11/02/opinion/02krugman.html?hp

You may not always agree with his politics, but he hit this one out of the park.

Mike

kenyee
11-02-2004, 08:01 AM
He could not possibly do any worse of a job than all the jokers of both parties

And remember there are other parties besides the two that gets all the media attention. I suspect more people believe in Libertarian ideals (freedom, personal responsibility, small government) than not, but they have no media attention :-(

These past few elections remind me of the Scott Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy: the world is run by lizards because people are afraid to vote for anything besides the lesser of the two lizards ;-)

p.s., wish Lance would run for President. He'd be a good role model...

Serotta PETE
11-02-2004, 08:03 AM
THere are many things wrong with the world and US, but there are also MANY things right with it!! Very good article. THanks

kenyee
11-02-2004, 08:04 AM
"The people hate the lizards and the lizards rule the people."
"Odd," said Arthur, "I thought you said it was a democracy."
"I did," said Ford, "it is."
"So," said Arthur, hoping he wasn't sounding ridiculously obtuse, "why don't the people get rid of the lizards?"
"It honestly doesn't occur to them. They've all got the vote, so they all pretty much assume that the government they've voted in more or less approximates the government they want."
"You mean they actually vote for the lizards."
"Oh yes," said Ford with a shrug, "of course."
"But," said Arthur, going for the big one again, "why?"
"Because if they didn't vote for a lizard, then the wrong lizard might get in."

Climb01742
11-02-2004, 08:46 AM
:crap: :crap: :crap:

i HATE the electoral college. because kerry will win massachusetts hands down, my vote -- or almost any vote in this state be it democrat or republican -- is rendered meaningless. same in california and new york. and in many southern states. any state that is heavily one way or the other is, essentially, disenfranchised.

one person, one vote is the core of a democratic process. IMHO, national offices should be decided by a national popular vote, so that every vote in every state matters.

SGP
11-02-2004, 09:14 AM
knowing that the electoral college has its beginings rooted in the contempt that the founding fathers had for the uneducated masses has always bothered me. I still vote. I don't completly trust the process. With todays technology we should be able to conduct a true popular vote. :crap:

pbbob
11-02-2004, 09:23 AM
rode 20 miles this am and then voted. couple folks looked like they were :argue: with the republican greeters outside the polling place. not going to watch the tube or radio tonight,going to get up early and do my ride
in the am and only then look at the results.

BumbleBeeDave
11-02-2004, 09:55 AM
"With todays technology we should be able to conduct a true popular vote. "

But this also begs the question: In the context of today's vastly more complicated world, are the "uneducated masses" any more savvy than they may have been 230 years ago?

BBDave

Bruce K
11-02-2004, 09:59 AM
Geez Climb, I somehow had you pegged the other way.

The sad part is that when all is said and done, we may not know who our next President will be for quite some time.

The "sharks" (not you dnovo) are already circling/surfacing in key areas.

A popular vote election for national office probably is an idea whose time has come. But how would we protect the technology from tampering? It will make for great discussion in the coming months, especially if the Electoral College goes 1 way and the popular vote the other.

Whatever your choice, get out and vote.

BK

Climb01742
11-02-2004, 10:05 AM
But this also begs the question: In the context of today's vastly more complicated world, are the "uneducated masses" any more savvy than they may have been 230 years ago?BBDave

IMO, citizenship should be the only requirement for voting. who are any of us to say another u.s. citizen is part of the "uneducated masses"?

and bruce k, my comment is actually about my vote FOR kerry being meaningless here. one more vote for kerry here means nothing. and any vote for bush here is basically meaningless too. my vote should count for something, as should a vote for bush. i want the next president to be chosen by ALL voters. if that's bush, ok. if it's kerry, ok. i just want democracy to be alive here, not just in afghanistan and iraq. ;)

Kevan
11-02-2004, 10:22 AM
hence the college.

JohnS
11-02-2004, 10:28 AM
Did anyone else vote for a 3rd party candidate because there wasn't a "None Of The Above" on the ballot?
I HATE the TWO party system!!! :crap:

M_A_Martin
11-02-2004, 10:38 AM
Good turnout here in my area of Michigan.

In the last presidential election there was one person in line ahead of me...I waltzed right up, gave my name, and stepped into a booth to vote. And don't even get me started on the local elections when there's even LESS turnout...
This morning I stopped by to vote and the line for my area was practically out the door, a good hour wait.
There's a few state and local proposals that have excited the voters though, its not just the presidential election that has brought them out.

Climb01742
11-02-2004, 10:52 AM
is there lincoln or a jerfferson or even a truman out there and we just can't find him/her...or would lincoln/jefferson/truman not run today...or could not be elected today? as they say in hollywood...the evil of two lessers. :fight:

BumbleBeeDave
11-02-2004, 10:55 AM
Your vote "counts" only in the aggregate. The same argument about "cancelling" votes can be made between ANY two votes. The important thing to me is for as many people as possible to get out and do it. Regardless of the outcome, I think this election will be a good thing because voter participation will end up increasing dramatically.

BBdave

spiderman
11-02-2004, 11:03 AM
democrat
republican
and
now...serottan: with sandy as the leader of the peleton...

is there a second??

Kevan
11-02-2004, 11:05 AM
I'd move to Canada. :rolleyes:

SGP
11-02-2004, 11:11 AM
yes, the masses are more savy today. the complexties of the world have increased, but even the poorest amung us has access to all sorts of media. School children who can not diagram a sentence can surf the web...golly I can post this and regret the lack of "spell-check".
(As it is the use of paper ballots and lever-pull machines from the 1920's is just silly.)
There would be an acountibility issue...
Removing the privledge of casting actual votes from an oligarchy that is not acountable to us would, IMHO, be worth the risk. "I could be wrong, who wants pie"- Dennis Miller. :banana:

Climb01742
11-02-2004, 11:26 AM
Regardless of the outcome, I think this election will be a good thing because voter participation will end up increasing dramatically.BBdave

but is voter participation the same thing as genuine democracy? is a vote that doesn't honestly impact the outcome of an election much of a vote?

Tom
11-02-2004, 12:07 PM
I worked with a person that could not point out South America on the map of the world, even when we showed them North America. I worked with another person that could not identify what an easel was. "Is there an easel in the room, John?" "I don't know, you'll have to describe it to me." This person grew up in Schenectady New York and had no idea how the Hudson River came to get its name. Both were computer applications programmers.

Back in the day, people could actually write Latin. Did they need to? Probably not but they had the brains to do it. Today? What does surfing the net give you? Does it teach you to think critically? I very much doubt it.

We have devolved to having a very short attention span that is captured by shiny objects or loud objects. That's all.

JohnS
11-02-2004, 12:14 PM
Shiny objects-Serottas?
Loud objects-BostonDrunk and Roy Munson?

kenyee
11-02-2004, 12:18 PM
knowing that the electoral college has its beginings rooted in the contempt that the founding fathers had for the uneducated masses

Huh?

AFAIK, the reason for the electoral college is to give suburban/country folk a count. Think about what it means to have a popular vote: someone can just go in and plaster the most populated cities (Boston, San Fran, NYC, Chicago, LA, etc.) w/ ads and promise them free money to cruise to a win w/o hopping all over the country and shooting geese w/ country bumpkins (no offense intended, but probably what these rich candidates think ;-)...


ken (who just stood in line for 1hr 40 min so I could vote for a non-lizard and a single local office which is contested and write in "mickey mouse" for all the other local offices that have lame duck uncontested Dems that just give you form letters for replies when you write them letters)-:

midnightmoses
11-02-2004, 12:25 PM
"America is not always right--that's a fairy tale you tell your children. But America is always true. And it's in seeking this truth that we find a deeper patriotism. Remember, the country we carry in our hearts is waiting."
--Bruce Springsteen

dbrk

Great line, Douglas. Too bad Springsteen isn't on the ballot.

Mick

davids
11-02-2004, 12:29 PM
"With todays technology we should be able to conduct a true popular vote. "

But this also begs the question: In the context of today's vastly more complicated world, are the "uneducated masses" any more savvy than they may have been 230 years ago?

BBDave
While I would argue that "the masses" are certainly much better educated than 230 years ago, I am still disheartened and frightened by the extent to which we are subject to manipulation by our leaders.

A couple weeks back, non-partisan poll showed that an awful lot of us still believe that Iraq had WMD and had links to 9/11. They believe this in the face of lots of strong evidence that this is not true. It's not surprising to me that those who support our current president's actions are more likely to have these beliefs.

I'm not implying that us liberals are any more immune to manipulation. But these poll results really shook me up.

Here's a link (http://www.pipa.org/) to the organization that conducted the poll. There are more like it there...

Serotta_James
11-02-2004, 12:58 PM
You guys are getting away with MURDER on this forum right now. The only reason Aly the sheriff has not shut you down is because the views have been erudite and eloquently expressed.

I am amazed that you all can conduct yourselves with such aplomb about politics (on Election Day no less), but threads about Campy versus Shimano elicit an emotional maelstrom.

I am glad to see we all have our priorities in order. :beer:

jeffg
11-02-2004, 12:59 PM
While I would argue that "the masses" are certainly much better educated than 230 years ago, I am still disheartened and frightened by the extent to which we are subject to manipulation by our leaders.

A couple weeks back, non-partisan poll showed that an awful lot of us still believe that Iraq had WMD and had links to 9/11. They believe this in the face of lots of strong evidence that this is not true. It's not surprising to me that those who support our current president's actions are more likely to have these beliefs.

I'm not implying that us liberals are any more immune to manipulation. But these poll results really shook me up.

Here's a link (http://www.pipa.org/) to the organization that conducted the poll. There are more like it there...

but I would say partisan politics is what should be excluded. To my mind the process of parlimentary democracy keeps politicians more accountable due to (1) the ability of third parties to gain influence more easily and (2) the scrutiny of the parliamentary leader by the representatives. Anyone who doubts point (2) should watch Tony Blair in PM's Questions where he has to answer everything from the war in Iraq to the amount of available hospital beds in Surrey, and answer follow-ups in real time. Contrast this with the sound-byte prepared statements offered in our Congress and by the executive.

So, I would not say that the populace of the UK or other parliamentary democracies is generally more informed than the US; however, I would argue their systems hold their leaders more accountable, which helps the integrity of the process. This, I think, is probably the most we can realistically hope for at this point.

If you really consider the amount of information or knowledge the American voter generally brings to bear on their election "choice," you may end up agreeing with the following statement written by a friend of mine in an article titled "Voter Ignorance and the Democratic Ideal:"

"If voters do not understand the programs of rival candidates or their likely consequences, they cannot rationally exercise control over government. An ignorant electorate cannot achieve true democratic control over public policy. The immense size and scope of modern government makes it virtually impossible for voters to acquire sufficient knowledge to exercise such control. The problem is exacerbated by voters' strong incentive to be "rationally igno- rant" of politics. This danger to democracy cannot readily be circumvented through "shortcut" methods of economizing on voter knowledge costs."

Quo vadis, America?

Climb01742
11-02-2004, 01:10 PM
just curious...what "test" would folks want to apply to be eligible to vote? i know not all voters are equally informed, but at different times in our history, you had to...own property...or be a man...or be a white man...or be a white man or woman...to vote. what intellectual, educational or informational "poll tax" would be any more fair? and why, just to play devil's advocate, is an informed vote anymore valid than an emotional vote...or a very narrow single issue vote...or an utterly ill-informed vote? i guess for me, democracy is best when it is most open, pure and free. i may totally disagree with someone's vote, but who am i to challenge their right to cast it or form it however they see fit? democracy, IMO, was created to abolish the distinction between kings and peasants.

JohnS
11-02-2004, 01:26 PM
There can't be any (and there shouldn't). About 220 years ago it was decided that "all men are created equal". What a concept!!! Intelligence doesn't equal thoughtfulness or fairness.

jeffg
11-02-2004, 01:33 PM
just curious...what "test" would folks want to apply to be eligible to vote? i know not all voters are equally informed, but at different times in our history, you had to...own property...or be a man...or be a white man...or be a white man or woman...to vote. what intellectual, educational or informational "poll tax" would be any more fair? and why, just to play devil's advocate, is an informed vote anymore valid than an emotional vote...or a very narrow single issue vote...or an utterly ill-informed vote? i guess for me, democracy is best when it is most open, pure and free. i may totally disagree with someone's vote, but who am i to challenge their right to cast it or form it however they see fit? democracy, IMO, was created to abolish the distinction between kings and peasants.

one rationale behind democracy would be that, in Mills sense, the "marketplace of ideas" produces the best proxy for truth or what is best for the country, i.e. a deliberative process allows the best ideas to flourish and those that do not test the stand of scrutiny to be defeated. If, however, the mix of information is manipulated by the media and/or politicians so that the process of deliberation becomes ideological or otherwise tainted (even simply because the government is too large/complex), then democracy is nothing other than mob rule, albeit somewhat restrained in a functioning constitutional system with separation of powers. I do not believe it is possible to achieve something like Rousseau's "general will," i.e. everyone voting in the best interest of the collective and have little faith in our current "marketplace of ideas" to produce truth or justice. So, I guess I am left with process qua process.

Even if it's truth claim is weak, democracy must advance more of a claim than simply the majority rules. (Would a Nazi-led democracy be legitimate, for example? Given the choice of an enlightened sovereign and a bigoted mob, which would you choose to live under?) Democracy rests, IMHO, on voters at least being informed and being able to influence the outcome and hold leaders accountable in a meaningful sense. If you just want to abolish the distinction between kings and peasants, why not a socialist dictatorship? I do not equate a political system (democracy, monarchy, etc.) with the economic structure. That is why you can have socialist democracies, semi-capitalist party dictatoriships (China), etc.

If uninformed, bigoted votes carry equal weight and the regime they put in place is equally legitimate, why not just flip a coin? :no:

davids
11-02-2004, 01:40 PM
just curious...what "test" would folks want to apply to be eligible to vote? i know not all voters are equally informed, but at different times in our history, you had to...own property...or be a man...or be a white man...or be a white man or woman...to vote. what intellectual, educational or informational "poll tax" would be any more fair? and why, just to play devil's advocate, is an informed vote anymore valid than an emotional vote...or a very narrow single issue vote...or an utterly ill-informed vote? i guess for me, democracy is best when it is most open, pure and free. i may totally disagree with someone's vote, but who am i to challenge their right to cast it or form it however they see fit? democracy, IMO, was created to abolish the distinction between kings and peasants.
I can't disagree with a word you say. It is a right and duty of a free citizen of this country to vote.

My prior post was a response to BBD's question about voters' savvy. I hope you didn't take my post as implying that I'd prevent mis-informed or uneducated people from voting.

I know people who vote based on a cadidate's overall stand on the issues, on the candidate's (perceived) character, on the candidate's stand on a single issue. I may disagree with (not only) their decision, but the criteria they used to make it. In certain situations, I'll argue their choices. But, as cliche as it is, I'll defend to the death their right and duty to make it!

Climb01742
11-02-2004, 01:42 PM
jeff, your argument is a good one, very well stated. the greeks tried to create such an institution. but today, where i'd get uncomfortable is...who gets to say what vote is informed or intelligent? education gives us one sort of "wisdom", but a long hard life of no school but much work gives a person another kind of wisdom. "mob rule" is a prejorative description of classless democracy. i am in agreement with your insight and goals. but i simply can't envision how we'd get there. and without that vision, i'd put my trust more in the pure "anarchy" of 100% democracy than in a filtered, inspected, judged and graded version.

Climb01742
11-02-2004, 01:44 PM
I hope you didn't take my post as implying that I'd prevent mis-informed or uneducated people from voting.

david, i didn't take it that way for a second. :beer:

davids
11-02-2004, 01:47 PM
Jeff,

What climb said.

I don't know how the society you're proposing would determine the criteria to be used to identify an informed voter - Would they vote? ;) I'm sure you see the problem. You would need some kind of perfectly enlightened 'Deus Ex Machina' to create the criteria. And that doesn't exist.

Democracy - The worst political system in the world, except for everything else...

bcm119
11-02-2004, 01:53 PM
I'd like to see an optional question on all ballots: "why did you vote for who you voted for?" There would be room for only a sentence or two. Selected responses would be published in a "bathroom reader" style book.

It would probably be one of the funniest, most shocking, and best selling books ever. It may even bring this very question to the forefront of pop culture.

I think most of us overestimate the collective brain power of our country.

jeffg
11-02-2004, 01:54 PM
jeff, your argument is a good one, very well stated. the greeks tried to create such an institution. but today, where i'd get uncomfortable is...who gets to say what vote is informed or intelligent? education gives us one sort of "wisdom", but a long hard life of no school but much work gives a person another kind of wisdom. "mob rule" is a prejorative description of classless democracy. i am in agreement with your insight and goals. but i simply can't envision how we'd get there. and without that vision, i'd put my trust more in the pure "anarchy" of 100% democracy than in a filtered, inspected, judged and graded version.

Climb, I am not talking about instituting any voter restrictions. I am talking about the legitimacy of our democracy. It would not help to institute "information tests" to determine who could vote because the issue is not whether this voter or that voter is informed. It is a question of whether the process fosters deliberation among the voters as a collective, allows their feedback to flow-through to the centers of power and the representatives respond to this feedback (rather than to lobbyists, etc.). You started by saying you were concerned that your vote does not "count" due to the electoral college. Your vote, as an expression of a deliberative process would count more if the voters as a whole were making informed choices -- choices that you had helped shape by your involvement in the political process (not just by voting). Is the electoral college undemocratic? You bet! But the best answer to the scepticism that was behind the EC is to put together a flourishing democracy where all the people are heard and deserve to be by any standard. :banana:

Climb01742
11-02-2004, 01:55 PM
amen.

jeffg
11-02-2004, 02:07 PM
Jeff,

What climb said.

I don't know how the society you're proposing would determine the criteria to be used to identify an informed voter - Would they vote? ;) I'm sure you see the problem. You would need some kind of perfectly enlightened 'Deus Ex Machina' to create the criteria. And that doesn't exist.

Democracy - The worst political system in the world, except for everything else...

David -- Sorry for the misunderstanding. Note that my post does not talk about criteria for an informed voter. It simply points out that just because the majority makes a decision does not mean that decision is ultimately legitimate. I am not proposing an alternate "society," but rather trying to focus on allowing citizens access to real information and decreasing the influence of interests that manipulate the public for their own gains. I by no means believe that any citizen should be disenfranchised. The problem is that they (i.e. we) are defacto disenfranchised by the system at this point. If you say, "whatever the majority decides is legitimate" and pay no attention the the underlying process, there is no argument against a democracy instituing slavery, committing genocide, etc. If a country voted that they should sponsor terrorist attacks against the United States and try to obtain weapons of mass destruction to use against us, would we view their choice as legitimate? Process matters, not just the end result.

Climb01742
11-02-2004, 02:20 PM
i wish we could ask candidates or elected officials questions...and somehow they'd be compelled to give is straight answers...not talking points but straight honest answers to the exact question we asked...if only truth serum worked. :crap:

jeffg
11-02-2004, 02:40 PM
i wish we could ask candidates or elected officials questions...and somehow they'd be compelled to give is straight answers...not talking points but straight honest answers to the exact question we asked...if only truth serum worked. :crap:

http://cdd.stanford.edu/polls/docs/2004/delibday/nyreview-delibday.pdf