Log in

03 November 2008 @ 05:38 pm
Second post today! This post only applies to people living in the U.S., so if that is not you, feel free to skip this. I know lots of people are probably tired of all the election talk, but too fucking bad. I really care about this, so I'm going to subject you to it. Also, if you really are that tired of it, it's all behind a cut so you don't have to hate on me. If you are not voting tomorrow (and have not early-voted), NOT COOL. My pretty awesome boyfriend wrote this post that I am blatantly stealing. But what are significant others for but to steal from? That's my theory, anyhow. Plus, I agree with everything he says so it works. The post is geared towards people who wouldn't want McCain as president but are not voting, as the title suggests, so if you like John McCain this doesn't apply to you.

Think it can't happen? Think the election's already a done deal? Wake up. McCain has a very good shot at winning, and you can do a lot—more than you could imagine—to prevent that happening.

John Sidney McCain III:
Our 44th president?

That's up to us.

What will we tell our children when they come home from their (doubtless well-funded...) social studies class and ask us why everybody had decided to elect President McCain after all the bad stuff Bush had done? Why didn't we choose to do things differently when we had our fleeting chance?

What will we say, knowing we all could have done so much more to change history's course—knowing that none of our candidates would guarantee a perfect world, but that at least one of them would have ensured a better world, a safer and wiser and more sustainable world, for all our friends and family?


McCain can win because Obama's support is becoming overconfident. Complacent. In direct contrast, McCain's supporters are becoming increasingly scared, irrational, and frenzied in their anti-Obama rhetoric. It's a fact of human nature: When people are scared, they act. When they're happy and content, they don't.

Obama's success hinges on voter turnout receiving a huge boost compared to past elections—particularly among college students, who, despite talking big, have historically been huge disappointments in terms of actually going out and voting. There's reason to hope that that trend will finally change this time, but I won't believe it until I see it.

Remember New Hampshire? In the primaries, after Obama's big win in Iowa, he surged into NH with seemingly unstoppable poll numbers. The pundits completely wrote the Clintons off, much as they are now writing off McCain. And what happened? Obama's supporters took his victory for granted; college students turned out in astonishingly low numbers; shocked and angry Clinton voters stormed the polls and trounced Obama, who not a day before had been double-digits ahead.

History doesn't have to repeat itself. But again, as Obama's poll numbers look increasingly promising, droves of potential voters—especially younger ones—are forgetting that all the polls in the world mean nothing without ballots to back them up. The Hare is falling asleep on the last lap, giving the Tortoise a crucial window of opportunity. If we don't wake up fast, videos like this will become tragically prophetic.

Think you, as one person, can't have an impact? Think again. One vote is a droplet, but every wave is made of droplets. Having a big impact is actually surprisingly easy. If, for example, you convince (or remind!) six other people to vote, and get those six people to get six of their friends to vote too, you've suddenly got over 40 votes. Another degree of separation, and it's over 250 votes. Every mass movement begins with individuals acting, and their ripple effect can level mountains as surely as can the sea.

Consider the 2000 election—where Al Gore won the popular vote, yet lost in electoral colleges because he didn't manage to carry Florida. In Florida, the results were:

  • 2,912,790 votes - George W. Bush
  • 2,912,253 votes - Al Gore

    That means that Bush officially won the White House by 537 votes. (For some perspective, Nader received nearly 100,000 votes in Florida—if a handful of Naderites had voted for Gore instead, Bush would still be clearing brush in Texas to this day.)

    Historically, it is not at all uncommon for state victories to be within only a few thousand votes. This is why it is all the more important for people who live in swing states (such as Indiana, Virginia, Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Missouri, New Mexico, Colorado, Montana, Nevada, and North Carolina) to get out and vote.

    Think McCain wouldn't be so bad? Let's be realistic here: McCain is not some evil boogeyman. Neither was Bush; he was just, like McCain, an out-of-touch, single-minded man with some rather poor priorities. Bush didn't seem entirely awful in the 2000 election either; only in retrospect does his promise of a "humble foreign policy" and "compassionate conservatism" seem bitterly ironic. The same would doubtless hold for many of McCain's promises, considering how radically he's shifted to the right in recent years and months.

    But we don't even need to speculate. McCain's own deeds testify to the risk we're taking if we continue to reward the Republicans for callousness and excess. McCain has a long record of voting against funding education, alternative energy, disabilities services, and children's health care; remarkably, he voted against Joe Biden's 1994 Violence Against Women Act, the landmark legislation under which most cases of domestic abuse are prosecuted.

    What is much worse than what a McCain administration will do—"Bomb Iran" aside—is what it won't do. The reason this election is so essential is because there are so many domestic and foreign issues which desperately need immediate attention.

    In a world where we are slipping further and further backwards in life-saving science, technology, and infrastructure, we desperately need to overhaul our education, transportation, and health care systems if we are to promote public health and prosperity.

    In a world where anthropogenic climate change threatens to devastate ecosystems around the world, where current extinction rates will mean the extinction of half of all species on Earth within 100 years, and where the climatic point of no return is not centuries, but only decades, away, we desperately need to put all our efforts into following the lead of countries like Brazil in establishing clean energy and sustainable habits.

    In a world of bitterly complex international conflicts and nuclear proliferation, we desperately need to rebuild our international standing, to inspire the world once more with the American ideal and thus take the wind out of the sails of terror cells seeking to recruit anti-American youths around the world, while at the same time rebuilding and fortifying our alliances.

    And in a world where the only safeguard against corruption is the electorate's attentiveness and activism, we desperately need a president, not to idolize and worship, but to excite a whole new generation to get involved in politics and thus hold our officials accountable. The last thing we need is to disappoint and disenfranchise a generation: A passive populace, one that thinks it has no power, is ever the greatest friend of tyranny.

    ... And then there's Sarah Palin. ..... Yeahh.

    Have a problem with some of Obama's positions or policies? Guess what? So do I. All candidates are imperfect, and no rational person will agree with a politician 100% of the time. The question is not "Do you agree with Obama on everything?" Instead, there are two questions:

    1. "Is this the only issue you care about?"
    2. "Is McCain better than Obama on the issues you care about?"

    If the answer to either of those questions is "no," then you should seriously reconsider if you're planning to vote for a third-party candidate—or, much worse, if you're not planning to vote at all (which I have discussed and criticized in a previous note). I'm all for making powerful statements, but giving away the election to someone who you like even less is not making a statement. It's biting off your nose to spite your face.

    Voting for someone who you disagree with on a certain issue doesn't mean you need to give up advocating that issue. Just the opposite: One of the main reasons I support Obama is because I am hopeful that he will be more receptive than McCain to changing his mind on those issues where I disagree with him. Which will mean a lot of letter-writing, phone-calling, sign-waving. But throwing away my vote won't further a single one of the causes I believe in.

    Don't know how to actually vote? It's remarkably easy. Go to voteforchange.com and input your address, and you'll receive directions to your nearest polling or early-voting location. Simply bring a photo ID (a driver's license or student ID will work) and.. that's it! You're set!

    Please spread the word to as many people as you can. Explain to them why it's so important that they act now, before it's too late. If you wish to re-use, in original or modified form, any segment of this post, feel free to do so; what matters is that we actually get the job done.

    And I know that, with a few minutes worth of effort, although we can't solve our every problem in a heartbeat... we truly can change our country's destiny. Amazing stuff, guys.


    -Written by the right honorable raugust, not Laurie.

    ETA: I made the post public, so if you feel like linking, I would love you forever! The more people that see it, the better.
    Current Mood: nervousnervous
    WARNING: CONTAINS MILD PERIL: awesome: snowwhite/trexhammster on November 3rd, 2008 11:06 pm (UTC)
    this is epic... I don't suppose there is any chance of you making it a public entry?
    a raisin girl: lost: desmond predicts jearscetacea on November 3rd, 2008 11:07 pm (UTC)
    Ooh, good idea! I just did.
    WARNING: CONTAINS MILD PERIL: nia: niasimonLOVEhammster on November 3rd, 2008 11:08 pm (UTC)
    SWEET. Now I can spam people.
    Mira: liberal biasrowena742 on November 3rd, 2008 11:09 pm (UTC)
    I think I like your boyfriend.
    MamaCheshirecheshire23 on November 3rd, 2008 11:09 pm (UTC)
    There is a teenytiny chance I won't be able to vote due to being in the hospital (I wasn't expecting this and it's now too late to get an absentee ballot). If I can make it through the next 12 hours, then I can vote first thing in the morning and if needed go when I'm done. :P
    Janet Snakehole: [hp] luna's shoesapplespicy on November 3rd, 2008 11:24 pm (UTC)
    Mike: Politics | Oregon Obama427 on November 3rd, 2008 11:31 pm (UTC)
    I voted. Yay for Oregon Mail-in ballots.
    Aberforth!charming_goats on November 3rd, 2008 11:40 pm (UTC)
    Voted a week ago! Another note on the Fail that is McCain - a lot of people vote for him because of military service, feeling he's the best for our troops... but then, he consistently votes against improvements to the G.I. bill. He's also made comments before about how people don't serve in the military for the education benefits, they do it for the honor of serving. I can honestly say I don't know a single person who has joined for the joys of serving their country. All but one joined for the education benefits - the other one joined because he couldn't find any other job in our horrible economy.
    Katie Magnolia: {Politics} LBGT Fans for Obamadesire_of_nymph on November 4th, 2008 12:15 am (UTC)
    Much <3 for you for this.
    oh, honestly.: colbert [ powerfully staged photo-ops ]enchantee on November 4th, 2008 12:59 am (UTC)
    Word. This is everything that's been keeping me up at night for the past week. I'm freaking out and can't do my homework right now and tried to take a nap to take my mind off it.
    chapstick_chick on November 4th, 2008 02:01 am (UTC)
    chapstick_chick on November 4th, 2008 02:04 am (UTC)
    I just thought you may find this mildly amusing.