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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Voting doesn't matter my ass!!

Prepare yourself...



The idea has been presented that voting doesn't matter, and I'm going to crush it.



Actually, what's been presented is a Facebook post asking if there is value to voting. The post I'm responding to says that proponents or opponents of voting will either use a "utility" argument or a "duty" argument in order to sway the other members of a conversation to support their views (to vote, or not to vote).

Vote. Please vote. I'm gonna tell you why. 


I speak a lot about complacency in my writings and blogposts, and I can see in the facebook conversation I'm reading that there's a whole bunch of complacency.


Some members of society, including myself (and Lawrence Lessig, watch his talk on enacting change here) hold a belief that one of the MANY reasons it's difficult to enact change in the United States is that a large population of the United States believes that Congress and big government are doing poorly, but very few think they can do anything to change it. 

"Now politicians and pundits tell you, there's nothing we can do about this issue, Americans don't care about it, but the reason for that is that 91 percent of Americans think there's nothing that can be done about this issue. And it's this gap between 96 and 91 that explains our politics of resignation," said Lessig. 


Funny. If you don't do anything to enact change, change isn't going to happen.


But no, it's not as simple as that. The first step to enacting change is to decide to change shit. The next step is to come up with a comprehensive plan. In my case, the next step is to choose a comprehensive plan developed by a public intellectual that I like.


But I don't want to start here. I want to start at the state level elections, which are part of the midterm elections.


A lot of the legislation that affects your everyday life happens on the state level. Is there corruption on the state level? Sure. But it's usually more quid pro quo than the corruption going on at the national level, because the corruption on the national level is more an issue of money in politics, which I comprehensively rant about on a daily basis. 


State level elections need people who care about their districts and want to work for the good of the citizens. Now, if you make an informed vote in a state election for the state senator working in your district, you're GOING TO HAVE AN EFFECT ON LEGISLATION PASSED IN YOUR DISTRICT. Smaller amounts of people go out to vote, and your vote has a greater impact.


State elections are soooo close so often, but nobody really pays attention to them. We piss on the national elections all the time, but we don't give nearly enough press and care to the elections happening closest to home.


So, yes, on the state level, your vote absolutely matters. You can vote on ballot questions and share your views, and you can vote for the candidate who holds the same platform as you, whether it be red, blue, green or rainbow.


The biggest issue in state voting is that we need more poli sci students running and working on the state level to improve infrastructure and help the people, and we need a greater circulation of officers, instead of one incumbent making the same lousy decisions year after year. We need citizens to pay attention to the state senate as well as the national senate because state senates also work with Congress.


NOW.


National elections are a shit show. I get that.


To those of you following the money in politics issue, you know why. I'm not gonna to get into that here. If you want to know what I'm talking about, go to this link: http://beanalive.blogspot.com/2014/07/why-i-back-mayday-pac.html


This outlines a plan to help fix the national elections. It's pretty damn cool.

But your vote still matters in national elections. Because elections are still decided by votes?! Yes, the electoral college is fucked up. Yes, dark money is ruining politics. But you're not going to get anything done if you don't educate yourself on the issues and get to the polls.

So yeah, agree with me or not, my view is stop being a pessimistic houseplant and get to the damn polls.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

#internetslowdown

I couldn't figure out how to upload the icon, so here is the general idea. For more information on net neutrality, go to https://www.battleforthenet.com/sept10th/ 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Massachusetts gubernatorial primaries: Democrat style

I don't know if any of you have noticed, but I have a very pronounced liberal bias in all of my writings on this blog. Alas, that's what the blog is for; I can hardly write these things when I'm putting together the student paper I write for.

(A little self promotion check us out at http://observer.necc.mass.edu)

Ahem so yeah the Mass. primaries are tomorrow, and I've done zero research on the candidates, so I'm getting my ass in gear and giving you the rundown so that I can decide who I'm voting for.

I'm pretty unfamiliar with state elections, so I'm going to do my best here. Also, at the moment I only have time to review the gubernatorial candidates. This is the ballot I am basing my research off of, and I think it's the right one for those voting democrat this election cycle: http://wheredoivotema.com/bal/BallotOut.aspx?btcode=D&ctcode=180&wno=0&prno=1

Governor:

     Don Berwick: He was Obama's chief of medicare, and he seems to be down with some environmental reforms for energy specifically. He's the dark horse of the Democrats, and he's been stirring up stuff with his single payer health plan (still trying to figure out what that is; check the bottom of the post for more info), and he spent a lot of the last gubernatorial debate stating that the other two candidates were all bark and no bite. Credit to my friend Katie for sending me this info.

   Martha Coakley: Now of course I'm immediately thrilled at the idea of having a woman run Mass., being a woman myself, but let's look at this more closely. She was the first female Attorney General for Mass., and she went against the Defense of Marriage Act while she held the office. Okay, so far so good. She's an advocate of gun control, worker's rights and women's rights.

  Steve Grossman: Grossman was the treasurer for Mass., runs (ran?) a small business and union shop for 35 years. He's been the chairman of the Mass. Democratic primary and was a national part chair under Clinton. He's got a cool section on empowering the creative economy and helping artists afford to be artists, and his issues are similar to those of Berwick and Coakley: energy, women, veterans and education. 

Of course I'm pulling all of this information off of the candidates sites, so it's inherently biased to favor them. Let's see if I can pull at least one piece of dirt on each candidate for the sake of balance.

  Berwick: The Boston Herald Reports that he called the death of a man run over by an illegal immigrant to be an anecdote (I'm assuming the point is that the man didn't have a license). The story was brought up by WBZ's Dan Rea, and Berwick called the mention of the story an anecdote to dismiss it. Full story here.

   Coakley: In 2013 Coakley was investigated by the FEC over political fund management. The complaint was filed by a state Republican. She had a similar inquiry in 2010. The question was whether she had been using state election funds for a federal election and also reconciled balance sheets that made it difficult to find out whether the funds were properly used or not. Full story here.

   Grossman: The Boston Herald ratted on him for getting around 100,000 dollars of help from his mom for his campaign, but other than that I couldn't find anything. Poorly written and completely biased story bite on that here.

So, friends, I don't know who I'm going to vote for yet. But I'll know by tomorrow. Good luck to you all, and don't forget to vote!