Larry Bradley’s Ezine #376 What’s Being Done to Distract Voters from Rational Voting?

Weekly Ezine Number 376

Why Is What’s Happening in Maine Important to Me?
What’s Being Done to Distract Voters from Rational Voting?

Notice: The thoughts offered in this Ezine are not intended to either support or oppose any individual candidate for the 2016 election. The thoughts are, instead, (as always) intended to demonstrate the inadequacy of our current election processes and offer solutions to make those processes better

Why Is What’s Happening in Maine Important to Me?

If you don’t live in Maine, then you still need to pay attention to the 2016 ballot initiative in Maine. What is happening in Maine needs to happen in your state. That is to say, what is happening in Maine needs to happen and be successful in Maine and in every other state and the District of Columbia if you think the items below are good things:

o Stop having to choose between the lesser of two evils
o Require majority winners rather than plurality winners
o Enable third parties to be competitive
o Eradicate Gerrymandering
o Enable all states to be competitive in Presidential Elections
o Settle the thorny issues we can’t settle with our current methods.

Here is some information about Maine’s ballot initiative courtesy of our friends at FairVote.org.

http://www.fairvote.org/momentum_builds_for_ranked_choice_voting_as_november_approaches?utm_campaign=enews_10_13_16&utm_medium=email&utm_source=fairvote

http://www.rcvmaine.com/

http://www.fairvotemaine.org/

There is also an opportunity to listen to FairVote.org’s Chairman, the former Nirvana drummer Krist Novoselic, as described here. http://www.fairvote.org/flash_update_watch_krist_novoselic_live_on_c_span_tedx_saturday?utm_campaign=enews_10_21_16&utm_medium=email&utm_source=fairvote

Opportunities exist to help with the campaign in Maine. See FairVote’s web site for details.

What’s Being Done to Distract Voters from Rational Voting?

I just listened to a news report of psychologists saying 52% of Americans are stressed by the 2016 Election and 55% are disgusted. To those Americans, we offer the following thoughts.

If you don’t want to be stressed or disgusted by elections then you have at least two choices. One is to bury your head in the sand electronically. Only listen to music or book tapes you play yourself. Don’t read newspapers or magazines. Treat the election like a storm and only come out when the storm has passed. The people who have made you stressed or disgusted welcome that option. It gets you out of the way so the zealots can make the election decision without you.

And what will those zealots decide without you?

Well, to give you an excerpt from my book (http://www.thecenterstrikesback.org/InsideTheBook/index.asp ) they will decide who will sit in the seats of government. Those chosen will pass laws and approve budgets that will determine:

How you will be governed (which impacts the freedom to live as you choose)
On what you will be taxed (with which you may or may not agree)
What your taxes will be used for (with which you may or may not agree)
How much you will be taxed (which diverts money from your personal goals)

If those four things are of concern to you, then they are worth being stressed about.

Option two is for you to lower the stress of election choices. Option two is achieved by changing our voting process. Unfortunately, Option two is impossible for this election. Option two is what we need to do for the next election, starting as soon as this election is over. See our Blog for our specific proposals. http://blog.thecenterstrikesback.org/

So if we’re going to be stressed anyway, then what do we need to focus on to make the best decision possible? We think you need to consider the following two additional points. Point 1: What is being done to get you to bury your head in the sand? Point 2: Why are the two major political parties committed to two such seemingly disgusting candidates?

Point 1: What is being done to get you to bury your head in the sand? The answer is you are being presented with the point of view that the two major Party Presidential candidates are two amoral (if not immoral) human beings who are corrupt, unqualified and incapable of performing the duties of the office they seek. The hope is you will be persuaded by that view that neither of these two is worthy of your vote. You will, (hopefully, therefore) either stay home altogether or vote for alternative third party candidates who have no chance of winning. Either of those two actions make it easier for the zealots to pick the candidates they favor. Or so the zealots think. And the ballot process we use makes that school of thought possible. (See our Ezines # 370 and 366, among others. http://blog.thecenterstrikesback.org/?m=201608 )

Point #2: Why are the two major political Parties committed to two such seemingly disgusting candidates? Because, regardless of their flaws, those two candidates can be trusted (the Party members think) to defend the base issues they want to see become official policy.

Now candidly, we think the Democrats can be more certain of the known attitude of Clinton than Republicans can be certain of Trump. In fact, that’s why we think Republicans (should Trump win) will take the earliest possible opportunity to take advantage of Trump’s inexperience and impulsiveness to find an excuse to impeach him. This will enable Republicans to replace Trump with a true believer in Mike Pence. (This is why we think Pence has hung on with Trump, despite Trump’s clear lack of shared values with Pence.) The attempt to impeach Trump will present Democrats with the choice to defend Trump and keep him in office as the lesser of two evils (in their minds) of having Pence in the White House.

And what are those base issues? They are readily apparent if you listen to the major ads of Republicans. See for example, Roy Blunt’s ads opposing Jason Kandor in their U.S. Senate contest. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xIU817W8qTY&feature=youtu.be Or Eric Greiten’s ads opposing Chris Koster as Governor of Missouri. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-CsYs-g5eM . Those issues are expansion of Obamacare, resolving immigration issues, and who will have the prerogative of naming Supreme Court nominees. The latter is important as a means of controlling the law of the land regarding things like abortion and gay marriage. Also named is the imposition of an energy tax. That latter is contrasted with the Democratic position of addressing Climate Change.

So, this election is about who will have the power to approve legislation and budgets that will create the direction taken to confront these issues.

By way of contrast, listen to this interview of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi by Charlie Rose. Pelosi notes the clear differential between the policy preferences of Democrats vs. Republicans. Pelosi notes the choice as being between Trickle-Down Economics that benefits the richest few or a Middle Class Economics that seeks to create more jobs and bigger paychecks. Pelosi further states that the choice for voters is between supporting or opposing the Ryan budget. Supporting candidates who support the Ryan budget (one of whom is Mike Pence, who voted for the budget twice, supporting his credentials as a true believer) means supporting
o Removing the guarantee for Medicare and replacing it with a voucher program
o Cutting $185 Billion from Education
o Tax breaks for the wealthiest few among us
o Blocking funding for contraceptives, “to name a few” as she puts it.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/videos/2016-10-18/rep-nancy-pelosi-charlie-rose

In the past, an approach often taken by Independent voters was to split power between the two Parties. Either as a deliberate choice or a result of gerrymandering, we have had divided power since 2010. As Pelosi describes in the video, that approach isn’t working. What we get instead of cooperation is obstruction. The better approach in current circumstances is straight ticket voting. Make a choice between the policy proposals offered and vote accordingly. Make your choice based primarily on policy proposals, and secondarily on candidates’ personal flaws

Pelosi talks about Republicans “taking back their Party.” I fear that such an undertaking is near impossible in our current circumstances. Pelosi fails to note the similar circumstances her own party faced during this year’s primary system. To Pelosi’s point, the election/voting reforms we advocate will enable new political parties to emerge which clearly represent a definitive and alternative point of view. Independent voters will then be able to validate and/or reject those parties in General Elections. No longer will alternative points of political view be suppressed at the ballot box during Primary Elections. Those points of view may be defeated, but not suppressed. This will help us to clarify what the majority of citizens will accept vs. what they will not accept.

If you as an Independent voter are annoyed by the lack of “meet in the middle” options to vote for, then come to this realization. The voting system we are using is geared to giving you the kind of undesirable options you’re being presented with. So long as you continue to passively accept the system we use now, you will continue to have these kind of choices. Each side will continue to offer you some things you like and others you don’t like. There is no third option to vote for who will give you more of what you do want and less of what you don’t like.

The only way out of this situation is to change the voting system. The sooner you agree with this conclusion and join us in demanding the changes we advocate, the sooner you’re going to have more of the choices you find acceptable.

Otherwise you will simply continue to walk around with a kick-me-hard sign on your back.

Your choice.

So, remember. Don’t be distracted by the fake issue of the personality of the candidates. Know what position those candidates favor on the issues and vote based upon those issues.

See you next time.

Larry

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