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posted by on Thursday March 02 2017, @05:44PM   Printer-friendly
from the ideology-vs-scientific-analysis dept.

The Center for American Progress reports

On [February 27], days after White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters to expect stricter enforcement of federal pot law, Attorney General Jeff Sessions recycled discredited drug war talking points in remarks of his own.

"I believe it's an unhealthy practice, and current levels of THC in marijuana are very high compared to what they were a few years ago, and we're seeing real violence around that", Sessions said. "Experts are telling me there's more violence around marijuana than one would think and there's big money involved."

In reality, violent crime rates tend to decrease where marijuana is legalized.

Denver saw a 2.2 percent drop in violent crime rates in the year after the first legal recreational cannabis sales in Colorado. Overall property crime dropped by 8.9 percent [PDF] in the same period there, according to figures from the Drug Policy Alliance. In Washington, violent crime rates dropped by 10 percent [PDF] from 2011 to 2014. Voters legalized recreational marijuana there in 2012.

Medical marijuana laws, which have a longer track record for academics than recreational pot legalization, are also associated with stable or falling violent crime rates. In one 2014 study of the 11 states that legalized medical pot from 1990 to 2006, there was no increase in the seven major categories of violent crime and "some evidence of decreasing rates of some types of violent crime, namely homicide and assault."

[...] Elsewhere in his remarks, Sessions unwittingly made the case against treating pot activity like serious crime. "You can't sue somebody for drug debt". he said. "The only way to get your money is through strong-arm tactics, and violence tends to follow that."

Legalizing, regulating, and taxing the sale of marijuana is the surest way to remedying that exact tendency for pot commerce to trigger violent score-settling. Legalization invites pot business into the light, granting cannabusinesses at least partial access to official modes of recourse when they are defrauded.

8 states and the District of Columbia have legalised marijuana for recreational use.
Ever see anyone use cannabis and become more aggressive rather than more mellow?

Note: ThinkProgress redirects all accesses of their pages and will attach tracking numbers. I have made sure that those are not in the URLs.


Original Submission

Related Stories

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions Will Rescind the Cole Memo 112 comments

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions will reportedly rescind the Cole Memo (DoJ), effectively ending the moratorium on enforcing cannabis prohibition in states where it has been legalized:

Attorney General Jeff Sessions will roll back an Obama-era policy that gave states leeway to allow marijuana for recreational purposes.

Two sources with knowledge of the decision confirmed to The Hill that Sessions will rescind the so-called Cole memo, which ordered U.S. attorneys in states where marijuana has been legalized to deprioritize prosecution of marijuana-related cases.

The Associated Press first reported the decision.

Sessions, a vocal critic of marijuana legalization, has hinted for months that he would move to crack down on the growing cannabis market.

Republican Senator Cory Gardner says he will hold up the confirmation process for DoJ nominees:

Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) threatened on Thursday to start holding up the confirmation process for White House Justice Department nominees unless Attorney General Jeff Sessions reverses a decision to roll back a policy allowing legalized recreational use of marijuana in some states.

Gardner said in a series of tweets that Sessions had told him before he was confirmed by the Senate that he would not change an Obama-era policy that discouraged federal prosecutors from pursuing marijuana-related offenses in states where the substance had been legalized. Colorado is one of those states.

[...] The Justice Department's reversal of the Cole memo on Thursday came three days after California's new law allowing recreational marijuana use went into effect.

Other politicians have reacted strongly to the news.

Previously: New Attorney General Claims Legal Weed Drives Violent Crime; Statistics be Damned
4/20: The Third Time's Not the Charm
Jeff Sessions Reboots the Drug War
According to Gallup, American Support for Cannabis Legalization is at an All-Time High
Opioid Commission Drops the Ball, Demonizes Cannabis
Recreational Cannabis Goes on Sale in California

Related: Attorney General Nominee Jeff Sessions Backs Crypto Backdoors


Original Submission

Opioid Commission Drops the Ball, Demonizes Cannabis 23 comments

Opioid commission's anti-marijuana argument stirs anger

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, head of the presidential commission on opioids, warned of the dangers of marijuana in a letter to President Donald Trump earlier this month about the panel's findings, saying the current push for marijuana legalization could further fuel the opioid epidemic.

"There is a lack of sophisticated outcome data on dose, potency, and abuse potential for marijuana. This mirrors the lack of data in the 1990s and early 2000s when opioid prescribing multiplied across health care settings and led to the current epidemic of abuse, misuse and addiction," Christie wrote in the letter, which was released with the commission's final report.

"The Commission urges that the same mistake is not made with the uninformed rush to put another drug legally on the market in the midst of an overdose epidemic."

[...] But some experts say the commission's fixation on marijuana was bizarre and troubling, lending credence to outdated views of marijuana as a gateway drug. And these experts want to nip such thinking in the bud.

They emphasized that they support efforts to curb the nation's opioid epidemic, but not the demonization of marijuana in the process.

"I was surprised to see negative language about marijuana in the opioid report," said Dr. Chinazo Cunningham, a professor of medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. "Research that examines pain and marijuana shows that marijuana use significantly reduces pain. In addition, the majority of studies examining marijuana and opioids show that marijuana use is associated with less opioid use and less opioid-related deaths."

You had one job.

Previously:


Original Submission

According to Gallup, American Support for Cannabis Legalization is at an All-Time High 55 comments

64% of Americans now support the legalization of cannabis, an all-time high since Gallup first asked the question in 1969. Also for the first time, a majority of Republicans (51%) support legalization, up from 42% last year:

As efforts to legalize marijuana at the state level continue to yield successes, public opinion, too, has shifted toward greater support. The Department of Justice under the current Republican administration has been perceived as hostile to state-level legalization. But Attorney General Jeff Sessions could find himself out of step with his own party if the current trends continue. Rank-and-file Republicans' views on the issue have evolved just as Democrats' and independents' have, though Republicans remain least likely to support legalizing pot.

Also at NPR, The Hill, NORML, and Reason.

Related: New Attorney General Claims Legal Weed Drives Violent Crime; Statistics be Damned
4/20: The Third Time's Not the Charm


Original Submission

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(1) 2
  • (Score: 5, Informative) by NewNic on Thursday March 02 2017, @05:53PM (113 children)

    by NewNic (6420) on Thursday March 02 2017, @05:53PM (#473961) Journal

    And there we have the perfect example of why this administration is the worst. It's not driven by facts or data, but by ideology and authoritarianism.

    --
    lib·er·tar·i·an·ism ˌlibərˈterēənizəm/ noun: Magical thinking that useful idiots mistake for serious political theory
    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 02 2017, @06:00PM (102 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 02 2017, @06:00PM (#473964)

      Well, that's what America wanted, that's what America got.

      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 02 2017, @06:13PM (20 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 02 2017, @06:13PM (#473971)

        Well, that's what A̶m̶e̶r̶i̶c̶a̶ Russia wanted, that's what America got.

        FTFY

        • (Score: 1) by kurenai.tsubasa on Thursday March 02 2017, @07:02PM (19 children)

          by kurenai.tsubasa (5227) on Thursday March 02 2017, @07:02PM (#474007) Journal

          No, Americans voted. Most Americans—what is it, three quarters or so?—voted “Eh, whatever.” This is what they wanted. This is what they are getting. This is “whatever.”

          Words won't stop it.

          • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 02 2017, @07:05PM (3 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 02 2017, @07:05PM (#474010)

            Your circular nihlism is part of the problem.

            • (Score: 4, Funny) by aristarchus on Thursday March 02 2017, @09:18PM (2 children)

              by aristarchus (2645) on Thursday March 02 2017, @09:18PM (#474105) Journal

              As is your orthogonal authoritarianism. Many are the plane figures of our dysfunction.

              --
              #Free{nick}_NOW!!!
              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 03 2017, @12:43AM (1 child)

                by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 03 2017, @12:43AM (#474190)

                Yes, I am orthogonal to authoritarianism.
                You seem to think that's a problem.

          • (Score: 5, Informative) by DeathMonkey on Thursday March 02 2017, @07:07PM (14 children)

            by DeathMonkey (1380) on Thursday March 02 2017, @07:07PM (#474011) Journal

            Most Americans voted for Clinton, by a wide margin.

            • (Score: 3, Informative) by DECbot on Thursday March 02 2017, @07:30PM (7 children)

              by DECbot (832) on Thursday March 02 2017, @07:30PM (#474035) Journal

              I think he's saying that most Americans didn't vote, and thus are perfectly fine with either candidate. A smaller minority of Americans voted Clinton, and an even smaller minority voted Trump, but the majority of the smallest minority that matters, the Electoral College, voted Trump, and that's how we got to where we are today.

              --
              cats~$ sudo chown -R us /home/base
              • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 02 2017, @07:43PM (6 children)

                by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 02 2017, @07:43PM (#474048)

                > thus are perfectly fine with either candidate.

                Which would be a false framing.
                They could have hated both candidates.
                Or they could have been so busy living their own lives they just didn't know what the choices actually entailed.
                Many couldn't even vote anyway for logistical reasons, most people have to work and there is no law guaranteeing them enough time off from work to be able to cast a vote. When your choice is between being keeping your job or voting, well you keep your job even if you really believe in one of the candidates.

                She's just reading her own issues into their non-action.

                • (Score: 4, Insightful) by edIII on Thursday March 02 2017, @08:05PM (4 children)

                  by edIII (791) Subscriber Badge on Thursday March 02 2017, @08:05PM (#474059)

                  Exactly. I got roped into the 2016 election *PURELY* because of Bernie Sanders. I loathed, and still loath, both Hillary and the Orange Anus.

                  When the Orange Anus got the nomination, that made it extremely clear to me that I really did have two choices: A) Let Trump win and enjoy the burning down of America, to build it back up again after the civil war, or B) Vote for Hillary and hope like hell that the new wave of Progressives and radicals would keep her in check and prevent her from enjoying her own corruption running rampant in government.

                  It was a completely fucked deal from the start, and I almost didn't vote at all. The choices were that shitty. But, I wanted to vote on a few things other than the president, and couldn't leave the damn thing blank.

                  There is an extremely good chance that the bulk of America that didn't vote was not able to do so because they lacked the means to do so, or were so apathetic and lacking of hope that voting holds no meaning to their lives.

                  Again, how is voting helping anything? Trump is burning down America as we speak, and all of those who found hope in Trump are about to have those hopes slowly leave them to be replaced with the disillusionment that most share.

                  • (Score: 2) by Azuma Hazuki on Thursday March 02 2017, @11:46PM

                    by Azuma Hazuki (5086) Subscriber Badge on Thursday March 02 2017, @11:46PM (#474181) Journal

                    This was almost exactly my reasoning too :( What a shitshow...

                    --
                    I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
                  • (Score: 2) by Anal Pumpernickel on Friday March 03 2017, @09:40AM (2 children)

                    by Anal Pumpernickel (776) on Friday March 03 2017, @09:40AM (#474311)

                    When the Orange Anus got the nomination, that made it extremely clear to me that I really did have two choices

                    So, like a panic-stricken fool, you bought into the false dichotomy that the media, ignorant general public, and two parties try to sell you every single election. If they can just scare you into voting for bad candidates, there's no reason to be better. Even not voting at all is better than voting for evil. Our current political system is, at least to me, fairly good evidence that the average person is little more than an overgrown child when it comes to the ability to do long-term planning.

                    A) Let Trump win and enjoy the burning down of America, to build it back up again after the civil war

                    Do you really believe that will happen? What president hasn't tried to 'burn down' America? Maybe Trump will be a bit worse, but violating everyone's liberties and the Constitution is nothing new.

                    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 03 2017, @04:21PM

                      by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 03 2017, @04:21PM (#474410)

                      "So, like a panic-stricken fool, you bought into the false dichotomy that the media, ignorant general public, and two parties try to sell you every single election. If they can just scare you into voting for bad candidates, there's no reason to be better. Even not voting at all is better than voting for evil. Our current political system is, at least to me, fairly good evidence that the average person is little more than an overgrown child when it comes to the ability to do long-term planning."

                      exactly, people make a bunch of excuses why they keep voting for bad candidates as if they aren't the freaking problem. Vote third party, you dumb monkey! It doesn't matter if the party has been hijacked by a moron like Gary Johnson! he's not gonna freaking win anyways! It doesn't matter if you're even a libertarian, they're not gonna win anytime soon! Once they get close to winning vote 4th party if you're not a libertarian. Get more parties funded and in the damn debates and maybe you'll get a more perfect socialist or whatever it is you want!

                    • (Score: 2) by edIII on Friday March 03 2017, @08:06PM

                      by edIII (791) Subscriber Badge on Friday March 03 2017, @08:06PM (#474541)

                      No, you dick. I was perfectly cognizant of the concepts you espouse here. The truth is that no 3rd party was going to win. Let's just admit that; IT WAS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.

                      So your PROTEST vote actually takes away from Hillary's ability to win, or in other words, gives power to Trump and his ability to WIN. Which he did. The PROTEST vote this time, including the abstaining voters, only fucked us and dressed us up like the gimp waiting to be abused in the cellar.

                      It wasn't about politics this time, and it was far simpler than that. I DIDN'T WANT TRUMP BURNING DOWN AMERICA. Sure, I entertained it. I thought about it. I wrote about how we should just rush to fires and get it over with. In the end, I voted for a more peaceful path to the reforms we need. Didn't matter. Fire is coming anyways.

                      A) Let Trump win and enjoy the burning down of America, to build it back up again after the civil war

                      Do you really believe that will happen? What president hasn't tried to 'burn down' America? Maybe Trump will be a bit worse, but violating everyone's liberties and the Constitution is nothing new.

                      Yes, I do believe it is inevitable now. No president has ever tried to burn down America like this. Not even close. Are you an American in this country? I only ask because if you are you are blind. This country is more passionately divided and filled with hate and fear than it ever has been. That's including civil rights and the 1st civil war. There have been untold numbers of divorces and shattered families because of this. Quite a number of families I know are divided, including my own. So we are not even united anymore, not even at the family and small community level.

                      Moreover, the policies and direction that the Republicans are taking the country to is Armageddon as far the worker and citizen is concerned. All of the "entitlements" are going way, which are really the subsidies that the U.S government pays so that Corporate America can pay their workers less and profit more. What plans do they have? Kill entitlements, kill taxes, reduce government to nothing with zero power to regulate or control Corporate America. In other words, let Corporate America go even more evil than ever before and without our ability to even see them doing it. Yeah, things are going to turn out just peachy for the worker. Sure.

                      We are far more delicate and frail than we want to believe. The current Great Depression II has been going on for about 10 years now. America has not healed. Americans did not get their 401ks back. Americans had their properties stolen right out from under them. The wealth transfer to the richest Americans has weakened us *badly*. Living wage jobs have disappeared only to be replaced with wage slave jobs, or subsidy jobs which they should really be called. More frighteningly, many service jobs are set to be automated away with robots. Which means it took 100 years or so, but it happened. The American worker is going to start competing with robots. It would be pretty reasonable for anyone in the slave wage industries like fast food to be panic-stricken right now. With no subsidies on the horizon, and rents in some places being over 100% of the prevailing wage, get ready to see the homeless population explode by at least 1 million people, if not more.

                      Americans did not vote for this president. I don't give a fuck what anyone says about the electoral college. We're fucking pissed that ~3 million people's votes didn't matter. That's a truth that cannot be denied. Trump has no mandate, and he did not win the people. The media has created a magnifying glass over the hate and fear and made us believe that it is all of us infected with Trump's hate. It isn't. Those of us, in the majority, are more panic-stricken, and more determined than ever to resist.

                      Yeah, civil war is coming. It will come because it will become clear that it is the only path of resistance left, and our only hope of reclaiming America back and our lives. The path to liberty, freedom, and the pursuit of happiness will be civil war.

                      Get ready.

                • (Score: 4, Insightful) by c0lo on Thursday March 02 2017, @10:57PM

                  by c0lo (156) on Thursday March 02 2017, @10:57PM (#474167)

                  Or they could have been so busy living their own lives they just didn't know what the choices actually entailed.

                  Or they could have been so busy working those two low paid jobs they just couldn't spare the time to vote.
                  Make the election day a public holiday [wikipedia.org] and participation may improve. No guaranteed results, though

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 02 2017, @10:15PM (1 child)

              by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 02 2017, @10:15PM (#474147)

              I wouldn't call it a wide margin. It was a relatively slim margin. When they did the recount that the green party demanded it even shrank a bit until they stopped the recount. Let's not let facts get in the way of a good narrative though.

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 03 2017, @12:45AM

                by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 03 2017, @12:45AM (#474193)

                3 million people is not a slim margin

            • (Score: 2) by nyder on Friday March 03 2017, @03:03AM

              by nyder (4525) on Friday March 03 2017, @03:03AM (#474239)

              Wrong.

              57% of Americans voted. Clinton got the popular vote, but not by that wide of a margin, and when you consider that 43% of the people didn't give a fuck enough to vote, you find that a majority of Americans didn't in fact vote for Clinton.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 03 2017, @03:11AM (1 child)

              by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 03 2017, @03:11AM (#474242)

              Clinton got more votes, but that doesn't mean more Americans voted for her. Mexico checks ID, because they don't want some illegal invader from the USA voting for the Mexican president. I guess Mexico really is an advanced country!

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 03 2017, @05:09PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 03 2017, @05:09PM (#474447)

                psst, I've got some great property in Florida for sale. It's tremendous!, really, really, great. And I offer better deals than anybody. Only a loser wouldn't buy it! Send me your money or be sad,

                So sad.

            • (Score: 1) by DeVilla on Tuesday March 07 2017, @03:48AM

              by DeVilla (5354) on Tuesday March 07 2017, @03:48AM (#475892)

              ... and yet still not a majority.

      • (Score: 2) by DeathMonkey on Thursday March 02 2017, @06:16PM (49 children)

        by DeathMonkey (1380) on Thursday March 02 2017, @06:16PM (#473975) Journal
        • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Thursday March 02 2017, @07:22PM (1 child)

          by bob_super (1357) on Thursday March 02 2017, @07:22PM (#474023)

          What's the worst part of the system?
          That barely half of eligible voters bother to vote, that the electoral college skews those results, or that no democracy can satisfy everyone anyway?

          • (Score: 2, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 02 2017, @08:25PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 02 2017, @08:25PM (#474069)

            Barely half, and that's how Republicans like it.

            With current efforts they will make it so onerous to vote that only retirees and wealthy playboys with gun licenses can fly into the only voting booth in their State between the hours of 9.15am and 9.45am on the day of the election, which will be on a weekday coinciding with Microsoft patch day, major retail sales and a national sporting event. Then we will finally get some representative government.

        • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Thursday March 02 2017, @07:26PM (46 children)

          by Grishnakh (2831) on Thursday March 02 2017, @07:26PM (#474029)

          The opinions of all the eligible voters who didn't bother voting don't count.

          • (Score: 0, Troll) by edIII on Thursday March 02 2017, @08:15PM (40 children)

            by edIII (791) Subscriber Badge on Thursday March 02 2017, @08:15PM (#474063)

            Yes, they do. I refused to vote my entire life till this election, and my opinion very much fucking counts. It informs MY WALLET, and that fucking counts. It forms my decisions to obey laws, it forms my decisions to support whatever initiatives they attempt, it forms my decisions as a citizen and how I will operate in this country.

            The opinions of that 74% very much fucking matter because they didn't just disappear after "failing" to vote. Not everyone that is protesting right now voted. I protested plenty in the past, and I never voted, but abstained. Not all protests have to be in a street with signs either. Civil disobedience?

            When will people start to fucking understand that ABSTAINING IS VOTING? Do you truly not understand that a very large portion of that 74% are not giving an opinion, but a vote of a no confidence in the system?

            That, and the vote is a delusion anyways. Before, just like now, the votes are irrelevant when WHAT we vote on is CONTROLLED by those in power. Voting is a purely delusional activity, and I participated in it out of desperation. Nothing more.

            • (Score: 5, Insightful) by NewNic on Thursday March 02 2017, @08:27PM (15 children)

              by NewNic (6420) on Thursday March 02 2017, @08:27PM (#474071) Journal

              When will people start to fucking understand that ABSTAINING IS VOTING?

              NEVER!!!

              Because abstaining isn't voting. You talk about voting with your wallet. Please tell me when taxes became discretionary spending by individuals.

              Policies are driven by politicians and politicians don't care about people who don't vote.

              IMHO, you don't have a right to complain if you didn't vote.

              You are the one who needs to understand that the USA is in this situation because of you and millions like you.

              --
              lib·er·tar·i·an·ism ˌlibərˈterēənizəm/ noun: Magical thinking that useful idiots mistake for serious political theory
              • (Score: -1, Troll) by edIII on Thursday March 02 2017, @09:10PM (10 children)

                by edIII (791) Subscriber Badge on Thursday March 02 2017, @09:10PM (#474097)

                No, FUCK YOU! Abstaining IS VOTING YOU STUPID PRICK!!!!!!!!!!!

                Why the FUCK should I be responsible for anything when the choices are between a shit sandwich and a douche? You sit there like a retarded fucking asshole screaming at me. "EdIII!!! derp, derpy, derp derp you didn't choose between them! You can't complain!"

                Yes, I can you stupid fuck. I get to complain ABOUT THE VOTE ITSELF! The voting is fucked up and wrong and I will not be responsible when WHAT AND WHO WE GET TO VOTE FOR IS OUTSIDE OF OUR FUCKING CONTROL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                We DO NOT HAVE A REPRESENTATIVE ANYTHING!!!!!!!!!

                You give me a vote that makes fucking sense, with people actually worthy for the fucking job, and I'll show up.

                Until then, shut the fuck up, because my ABSTAINING IS A VOTE! I'm voting for a VOTE OF NO CONFIDENCE IN THE ENTIRE SYSTEM.

                You sit there like a delusional prick thinking that progress can be made by choosing the shit sandwhich, and if only EdIII had chosen the shit sandwhich with me, things would be better. Therefore, it's EDIII's fault when the douche makes your life miserable.

                No, you stupid, stupid fucker. Not voting is a vote!!!!!!

                • (Score: 2) by NewNic on Thursday March 02 2017, @09:29PM (8 children)

                  by NewNic (6420) on Thursday March 02 2017, @09:29PM (#474115) Journal

                  Stupid person is stupid. Film at 11.

                  --
                  lib·er·tar·i·an·ism ˌlibərˈterēənizəm/ noun: Magical thinking that useful idiots mistake for serious political theory
                  • (Score: 0, Flamebait) by edIII on Thursday March 02 2017, @09:42PM (7 children)

                    by edIII (791) Subscriber Badge on Thursday March 02 2017, @09:42PM (#474128)

                    Yeah, and that's all you can say instead of responding to the actual arguments you stupid fuck.

                    You make zero fucking difference with your vote. It's just a delusional dance where you believe you had any control over the dance floor, or your dance card.

                    You're wrong about voting, you're wrong about the value of abstaining, and I bet you are not anywhere after the fucking vote are you?

                    Do you call your Senators? I bet your follow through game fucking sucks, and I'M THE ONE who picks up after you by calling and writing all the time.

                    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by NewNic on Thursday March 02 2017, @09:57PM (3 children)

                      by NewNic (6420) on Thursday March 02 2017, @09:57PM (#474144) Journal

                      OK, I'll give you a more reasoned answer.

                      Abstaining is NOT VOTING. Go look it up in a dictionary if you need any help with this.

                      But, more importantly, what message does abstaining send? It sends the message: "choose whatever method you want to fuck me, and just do it, I don't care". Abstaining doesn't send a no-confidence message that anyone will hear. No one cares about you, because you chose not to send a message.

                      I'll explain why voting is important, even if your choice is between a cat turd and a dog turd. You have to recognize that there is a long game in play and that things may be more important then the current election.

                      Now, IMHO, whether the President is a (R) or (D) doesn't really matter. What matters is what these labels mean. What matters is where is the midpoint between left and right wings. The Koch brothers have recognized this and developed the Tea Party to move the center of politics to the right. Republican politicians know that they can shift right and not risk losing votes, so that's what they do. Democrats then move to the right to be nearer the center and now the center has moved further right. Rinse and repeat.

                      How do you fix this? Well, if you don't vote, you won't fix it. Your "vote" is for the situation to continue. The only answer is to vote for the most liberal politicians that you can choose and keep voting this way. You are sending a message to your politicians that moving to the left will result in more votes. If enough people do this, then the center can be pulled to the left.

                      Also, primaries. Voting in the primaries is just (if not more) important than voting in the final election. Again, you can send a message by voting, but send nothing by abstaining.

                      Abstain and you are "voting" to keep the same broken system. Abstain and politicians don't care about your opinion. Abstain and no one cares about you.

                      --
                      lib·er·tar·i·an·ism ˌlibərˈterēənizəm/ noun: Magical thinking that useful idiots mistake for serious political theory
                      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 03 2017, @04:39AM (1 child)

                        by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 03 2017, @04:39AM (#474265)

                        Liberals have decided to throw LGBT under the bus in favor of Muslims. Er, maybe throw them off the roof. This also doesn't bring us women's rights, in case you hadn't heard of the middle east. Going conservative is safer for LGBT and women. Going liberal is a vote to oppress them. Rape culture in the USA is not really a thing, but it is 100% real in the places the rapefugees come from. Oh, the Sikh guy that was shot? Muslims do that too, in a more organized way.

                        Liberals have also decided to throw blacks under the bus. Blacks have been hurt worst by illegal aliens. Illegals get hired, while "scary" blacks go unemployed.

                        Liberal-conservative is not really the best way to divide things. Better is globalist-nationalist. The globalists will gladly throw all of us little people under the bus. US representative Pelosi didn't start out rich when she entered politics. When you look at Pelosi's net worth and her salary in the house of representatives, it becomes clear that she has been in office for over 1000 years. Um, no, she's just corrupt to the tune of nearly 200 million dollars. Outsourcing works out well for these people, directly or via "campaign contributions", while American culture dies and the American people slip into poverty.

                        • (Score: 1) by Scruffy Beard 2 on Friday March 03 2017, @06:36AM

                          by Scruffy Beard 2 (6030) on Friday March 03 2017, @06:36AM (#474286)

                          I know people in the US find this hard to believe, but there are more than 2 choices to choose from.
                          If the small, insignificant, parties start getting even 2% of the vote: the "big 2" will start adopting their policies.

                      • (Score: 2) by edIII on Friday March 03 2017, @08:10PM

                        by edIII (791) Subscriber Badge on Friday March 03 2017, @08:10PM (#474545)

                        Fine, you play in your little rigged games with the delusion of the "long-game" as you say.

                        Meanwhile, I'm going to be doing every single thing I can do to resist them at all costs, and in all ways. Voting is fucking meaningless. Surrounding their houses and families with protestors is what means something. Making sure that they can't sit in their offices without thousands of people chanting at them, means something.

                        You sit there and fucking vote. I'll be the one actually doing something.

                    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by hemocyanin on Friday March 03 2017, @01:22AM (2 children)

                      by hemocyanin (186) Subscriber Badge on Friday March 03 2017, @01:22AM (#474203)

                      It seems you are angry about the fact that once we get the General Election, it's a choice between a giant douche or a shit sandwich. Abstaining at that point is valid, but the problem is, you are perfectly camouflaged as being part of the group of people obsessed with Justin Bieber and nobody else. A better protest vote is to vote 3d party because you are then very clear in your opinion rather than ambiguous.

                      But setting that aside, if a person becomes interested in the race only in the GE, it is already too late. The time when your vote can make a difference in knocking out all the douches and shits, is in the primaries. If the primaries would generate as much interest as the general, we might have fewer crap candidates.

                      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 03 2017, @04:22AM

                        by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 03 2017, @04:22AM (#474259)

                        I missed the primary. I probably would've voted for somebody lame like Jeb Bush, figuring that Trump couldn't take down the felon... but then he did!!!

                        America has been saved. My complaints are trivial (death of net neutrality, not banning all the Muslim nations, lame wall instead of landmines...) compared to the horrors that Clinton would have foisted upon us.

                      • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Friday March 03 2017, @12:42PM

                        by Thexalon (636) on Friday March 03 2017, @12:42PM (#474334) Homepage

                        I agree that you should vote in the primaries.

                        That can do only so much, though, to knock out the worst candidates, if the worst candidates have the backing of the people that run the election. For example, on the Democratic side, the worst candidate can lose the vote by a substantial margin and still win the nomination if they have the backing of the largely unelected "super-delegates" - Hillary Clinton nearly did this in 2008. And election officials in many US states bend the rules to try to ensure their favorite candidate wins.

                        --
                        A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of bad gravy.
                • (Score: 2) by Joe Desertrat on Saturday March 04 2017, @09:04AM

                  by Joe Desertrat (2454) on Saturday March 04 2017, @09:04AM (#474811)

                  You give me a vote that makes fucking sense, with people actually worthy for the fucking job, and I'll show up.

                  You will never get a vote that makes fucking sense as long as politicians know that most people won't vote. They simply have to pander to a small base that will get them elected. You want to fix the system, get everyone to vote. It would not even matter who won, if we had a near 100% turnout for an election it would frighten the politicians more than anything else. By not voting, you are voting, you are voting to continue a broken system.

              • (Score: 3, Insightful) by krishnoid on Thursday March 02 2017, @10:15PM

                by krishnoid (1156) on Thursday March 02 2017, @10:15PM (#474148)

                Policies are driven by politicians and politicians don't care about people who don't vote.

                IMHO, you don't have a right to complain if you didn't vote.

                In all fairness, they also don't care about people who *do* vote. So ... there's that.

              • (Score: 2) by Anal Pumpernickel on Friday March 03 2017, @11:39AM (2 children)

                by Anal Pumpernickel (776) on Friday March 03 2017, @11:39AM (#474320)

                IMHO, you don't have a right to complain if you didn't vote.

                So you're opposed to the first amendment? If you meant it another way, what exactly do you mean and what practical effect does it have on reality? Are you saying their opinions are automatically invalid simply because they did not vote? That would be a non sequitur. Are you saying you would disagree with their opinions automatically simply because they didn't vote? Then that would make you an idiot. Are you simply saying they are foolish? Then just say so. Regardless of what you mean, the 'You didn't vote, so you have no right to complain.' argument needs to die; at best it's just unclear, and at worst it's outright illogical.

                • (Score: 2) by Whoever on Friday March 03 2017, @04:14PM (1 child)

                  by Whoever (4524) on Friday March 03 2017, @04:14PM (#474407) Journal

                  IMHO, you don't have a right to complain if you didn't vote.

                  So you're opposed to the first amendment?

                  Moral right.

                  Yes, obviously, the first amendment also protects the rights of the weak minded idiots who don't vote, just as it protects (unfortunately) the rights of large, wealthy corporations.

                  My point is that people who don't vote have no moral right to complain.

                  • (Score: 2) by edIII on Friday March 03 2017, @08:15PM

                    by edIII (791) Subscriber Badge on Friday March 03 2017, @08:15PM (#474548)

                    Oh, yes, we fucking do.

                    What you are saying is that because we recognize the game is rigged, because we recognize that there is no way to win, because we recognize that it's not in our best interests, and finally STOP playing the game, that we don't get to complain?

                    No, fuck you. I get to fucking complain, and protest, and perform civil disobedience as much as I want to. It's my moral right to fight rigged games filled with cheats and liars. It absolutely fucking is.

                    The game is fucking rigged. Why the fuck would you still play in it? Then why the fuck would you insult and demean the people pointing out that you are the fool playing in a game that will never benefit you?

                    It never has. Americans, specifically the poor and middle class, have never, not once, not even remotely, been benefited by voting and politics. Only when there is massive strife, deaths, and bloody riots, have American's lives temporarily improved.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 02 2017, @08:29PM (1 child)

              by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 02 2017, @08:29PM (#474072)

              The system acknowledges your abstention. Your lack of opinion is duly noted and we will all work tirelessly day and night wondering what you were thinking about. Thank you so much.

              • (Score: 1, Troll) by edIII on Thursday March 02 2017, @09:16PM

                by edIII (791) Subscriber Badge on Thursday March 02 2017, @09:16PM (#474103)

                You don't need to wonder what I'm fucking thinking about. All you need to do is pick up the fucking phone, or read your email, or pick up the letter I sent.

                While I don't vote, I DO VERY MUCH CALL MY SENATORS. I call Congressmen. I leave messages for the chief of police.

                I'm moving and active in the community you stupid fuck, and putting plenty of energy into the proceedings.

                The only thing I will not be forced to do is participate in the delusion that a choice between two things I don't control, and don't believe in, suddenly make a difference and are the only thing entitling me to participate.

                No, I get to participate while not voting. Voting is just ONE of the activities that make a difference, and is fact, JUST THE BEGINNING. People don't fucking follow through after the vote and HOUND the FUCK out of their Senator or Congressmen. You can't vote on Monday and not also be there on Friday asking the Senator what he has accomplished and what his plans are.

                What we need, and I help provide, are the slammed phone systems in Washington, D.C and other offices. I'm the follow through that you stupid voting fuckers can't be bothered to do.

            • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 02 2017, @08:36PM (1 child)

              by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 02 2017, @08:36PM (#474074)

              When will people start to fucking understand that ABSTAINING IS VOTING? Do you truly not understand that a very large portion of that 74% are not giving an opinion, but a vote of a no confidence in the system?

              No. Abstaining is not voting. The reason is because there are numerous reasons why a person wouldn't vote. For example:
              1) They love both major candidates and have no problem with either one winning.
              2) They were apathetic and didn't see how the president could affect their lives for better or worse.
              3) They tried to vote, but were unable to (couldn't find transportation, were confused with date or location, etc)
              4) They tried to vote, but were denied (improper identification, racial profiling, etc)
              5) They hate all candidates and think the system is rigged and pointless

              Each of those has a different connotation, message, and "way to fix it" if that was a goal.

              A vote of "no confidence" (keeping in mind that that is a technical term and not applicable how the US government works) is to vote and put in a write-in of some kind. A lesser version which is probably more productive is to vote for a third candidate who aligns with what you believe. For example, I guarantee you right now that if Stein or Johnson had gotten 20% of the popular vote, politics would be playing out FAR differently than it is right now.

              Frankly, if you didn't vote, your vote didn't count. That's not to say you should be dismissed, but you don't count and politicans care far less about you. Ideologically it's because they don't know how to read your confusing message, and pragmatically it's because they have little to gain from your support. You could become a rabid fan and vote in the future, but as an retailer will tell you, it is far easier and more profitable to get somebody who has bought $100 shoes in the past to come in and buy another pair than to try to get a completely new customer in to buy their first pair.

              • (Score: 3, Insightful) by edIII on Thursday March 02 2017, @09:21PM

                by edIII (791) Subscriber Badge on Thursday March 02 2017, @09:21PM (#474107)

                Nope. Voting is just the beginning. You claim that they have no information about me based on the vote. WRONG.

                When the vote is on Monday, I'm the one there the next week calling on his staff in his office to tell him my DEMANDS upon him as a CONSTITUENT.

                That is far more effective than the fucking vote. The vote was bullshit from the beginning, the politician knew that, and only had to dupe you enough to get in. What happens afterward is what truly informs him about how his constituency feels.

            • (Score: 4, Informative) by Grishnakh on Thursday March 02 2017, @08:38PM (11 children)

              by Grishnakh (2831) on Thursday March 02 2017, @08:38PM (#474076)

              -1 Stupid.

              Your opinion is utterly worthless if you don't vote. There's no way anyone can figure out what you want or what your grievance is if you don't bother to make your voice heard. And no, what you vote on is NOT controlled by those in power, not completely. You always have the option to write-in a name, including "Mickey Mouse". People who do that at least are making their voice heard, that they bothered to show up, that they care enough to spend the time needed to vote, but are completely unhappy with the choices on the ballot. Your lazy ass couldn't even be bothered to do that.

              You don't have to vote for one of the mainstream choices. You can always vote for one of the numerous third-party choices, or you can write in a name on the ballot, or even cast a ballot with nothing selected. If 2/3 of the voters cast ballots with "Mickey Mouse" on them, that would be a real wake-up call, and cast the political system into disarray, causing real changes. 2/3 of the voters not even bothering to cast a vote doesn't do that; they're just ignored as lazy, apathetic fools. And if 2/3 of the voters cast ballots for some 3rd-part candidate no one expected to win, we'd also have real changes, just like we're getting now with Trump, where a whole bunch of voters cast votes for someone the establishment and those in power never expected to have a chance of winning, and now he has (and the results aren't pretty). So while lazy fools like you can't be bothered to vote, even for an outsider, people who were angry and *could* be bothered to vote now have voted for a different outsider they like who'll (IMO) cause real problems for the country.

              • (Score: 1, Flamebait) by edIII on Thursday March 02 2017, @09:28PM (6 children)

                by edIII (791) Subscriber Badge on Thursday March 02 2017, @09:28PM (#474114)

                Sorry dude, but fuck you. My vote to abstain is not worthless.

                I'm not lazy. You can go fuck yourself with that. When somebody is so angry and disillusioned that they REFUSE to participate in a illusion of a choice, that is not laziness. That is the conscious recognition that you are playing in a rigged game where the only purpose of it is serving those in power.

                You want to claim laziness? Where the fuck were you 4 months after you voted? Did you write in a letter? Did you have weekly conversations with their staff about your demands as a constituent? Did you participate in canvassing neighborhoods with flyers? Have you been at a protest? Firing off a single vote doesn't fucking impress me at all, and YOU PEOPLE are the fucking problem.

                Voting is just one tiny part of the participation in government, and is the most pointless out all of them when we DO NOT CONTROL THE WHO AND WHAT OF VOTING. We don't control that.

                The only exception is when we get to vote on a what and not a who, and even in those cases, you still see laws that are proposed with lies and mental games to trick people into voting for one thing or another. Or some rider exists where pork is being handed out. Very few votes are legitimate votes that weren't designed to game the system in some way.

                • (Score: 1) by Scruffy Beard 2 on Friday March 03 2017, @06:44AM (5 children)

                  by Scruffy Beard 2 (6030) on Friday March 03 2017, @06:44AM (#474287)

                  The problem, as the GP explained, is that staying home does not communicate your grievances. It is very easy to claim that everybody staying home does not care: even if it is not true.

                  Spoiling your ballot leaves a paper trail. It shows that you are willing to show up and vote: if only there was a viable candidate to choose from.

                  Myself, I advocate voting third-party. That requires some extra research, since the media is apparently not going to tell you about the candidates.

                  • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Friday March 03 2017, @03:24PM (4 children)

                    by tangomargarine (667) on Friday March 03 2017, @03:24PM (#474378)

                    Considering that third parties don't usually get over 5% a piece, the best way IMO is to vote for the third party that's doing the best in order to push them towards that 15% threshold, regardless of whether you agree with them or not.

                    --
                    "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
                    • (Score: 1) by Scruffy Beard 2 on Friday March 03 2017, @05:13PM (3 children)

                      by Scruffy Beard 2 (6030) on Friday March 03 2017, @05:13PM (#474449)

                      One problem with strategic voting is that polls are wrong 1 time out of 20 (corollary to being within the margin of error 19 times out of 20).

                      Canada has 308 ridings. Last election somebody was advocating strategically voting for the candidate most likely to win in about 12 "close" ridings. The only problem: 308 x 0.05 (5%) = 15.4 or 15 ridings. You would expect the polls to be wrong in that many ridings.

                      Polls often ignore third-party candidates as well.

                      • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Friday March 03 2017, @05:19PM (2 children)

                        by tangomargarine (667) on Friday March 03 2017, @05:19PM (#474450)

                        I'm not talking about strategic voting. Voting for a third party that has virtually zero chance of winning doesn't do anything other than make a statement.

                        In voting methods, tactical voting (or strategic voting or sophisticated voting or insincere voting) occurs, in elections with more than two candidates, when a voter supports another candidate more strongly than his or her sincere preference in order to prevent an undesirable outcome.[1]

                        It sounds like in order to qualify as strategic voting, there has to be a chance in hell of the candidate you're voting for actually winning.

                        --
                        "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
                        • (Score: 2) by Scruffy Beard 2 on Friday March 03 2017, @05:53PM (1 child)

                          by Scruffy Beard 2 (6030) on Friday March 03 2017, @05:53PM (#474471)

                          If all you are doing is making a statement, why vote for a candidate you don't like?

                          ... the best way IMO is to vote for the third party that's doing the best in order to push them towards that 15% threshold, regardless of whether you agree with them or not.

                          How do you know which third-party is "doing the best" without polls?

                          • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Friday March 03 2017, @06:00PM

                            by tangomargarine (667) on Friday March 03 2017, @06:00PM (#474474)

                            If all you are doing is making a statement, why vote for a candidate you don't like?

                            in order to push them towards that 15% threshold

                            The televised debate/campaign finance one.

                            a candidate you don't like

                            regardless of whether you agree with them or not.

                            How do you know which third-party is "doing the best" without polls?

                            Oh, *that's* what you meant. I wasn't sure why you were replying to me from my first reading of your post.

                            --
                            "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
              • (Score: 2, Interesting) by edIII on Thursday March 02 2017, @09:34PM (1 child)

                by edIII (791) Subscriber Badge on Thursday March 02 2017, @09:34PM (#474120)

                So, do you have 5 fucking minutes? Put up, or shut up, mother fucker.

                Mike McGuire - 916-651-4002 or 707-576-2771
                You can call up and tell them whether or not you support SB562 (Single payer medical).

                Lazy huh? I'll send you a comment every week of who you can be calling. It's not limited to people like McGuire. Feel like calling the cops that were abusing the fuck out of people in the NODAPL protests?

                I'll give you their number.

                • (Score: 2, Insightful) by requerdanos on Friday March 03 2017, @12:24AM

                  by requerdanos (5997) Subscriber Badge on Friday March 03 2017, @12:24AM (#474185) Journal

                  I'll give you their number.

                  I find your ideas interesting, and I would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 03 2017, @08:54PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 03 2017, @08:54PM (#474571)

                What said your vote was the only way to communicate or be involved in civic duty? open your eyes.

              • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Saturday March 04 2017, @03:34AM

                by JoeMerchant (3937) on Saturday March 04 2017, @03:34AM (#474758)

                Voting is one way to make your voice heard.

                There are others - many more effective than voting, but they generally take more time and effort than voting.

            • (Score: 3, Interesting) by darnkitten on Thursday March 02 2017, @09:27PM (4 children)

              by darnkitten (1912) on Thursday March 02 2017, @09:27PM (#474113)

              Personally, I feel obligated to vote, but what I would really like to see is the possibility of a "Vote Against." Not a vote cast for the opponent of a candidate (which is what I usually do), but a straight, -1 vote against a particular candidate. Or, even less likely to be implemented, a "None of the Above" vote that splits my one negative vote amongst all of the candidates for a particular office.

              That could allow for protest votes without requiring me to vote for the lesser evil, so to speak.

              Maybe it could require a minimum threshold for total votes below which no one can take office, triggering a new election. Of course, that would lengthen the campaign season, which would be almost worse...

              • (Score: 2) by edIII on Thursday March 02 2017, @09:38PM (3 children)

                by edIII (791) Subscriber Badge on Thursday March 02 2017, @09:38PM (#474126)

                I'm down for that. I'm not lazy, just disillusioned with the voting process itself.

                If I did have the option to vote something like, "No, you all suck", I would be at the voting booths every single time. As it stands, my only way to tell them the true depths of my disapproval is to actually pick up the telephone and call them.

                Which I do.

                • (Score: 3, Funny) by darnkitten on Friday March 03 2017, @02:31AM (2 children)

                  by darnkitten (1912) on Friday March 03 2017, @02:31AM (#474226)

                  As it stands, my only way to tell them the true depths of my disapproval is to actually pick up the telephone and call them.

                  And I vote, but I don't call --I guess that between the two of us we make one active citizen. :)

                  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by edIII on Friday March 03 2017, @07:43PM (1 child)

                    by edIII (791) Subscriber Badge on Friday March 03 2017, @07:43PM (#474526)

                    That's fine, but I wish you engaged in the follow through and hounded the fuck out of your candidate day and night. I'm not going to ever vote for a candidate again. I'll vote on measures, or initiatives that make sense. Otherwise, it's all a rigged game, and "my" player was cheated out the game anyways. I don't play in rigged games. I play to destroy the playing field of a rigged game underneath the players that are doing it.

                    I didn't vote for Hillary. I voted for Trump to *not win*. There is a huge difference between the two.

                    I'm done with voting. It takes energy away from resisting in every way, shape, and form that I can. What frustrates me is that people believe voting is actually resisting, when it's only the dancing with devil in the pale moonlight.

                    When you show up at their offices screaming, when you surround their homes and their families, when you make sure that their phone systems are slammed 24/7, when you shutdown streets with thousands of protestors, when you use your wallet to not support the Establishment, when you hack and dox the fuck out them to bring sunlight to the cockroaches.... that's resisting.

                    Anything else is playing their game, and they own every aspect of the playing field. They make the rules selling the delusion that we were involved in their creation. There is simply no hope of winning whatsoever. They made sure of that. Which is why we show up and attempt to thwart every single one of their goals of initiatives. Resistance is all we have.... until that blossoms into civil war. At that point, we will find true and meaningful change and the possibility of returning back to an America that is truly for the people and by the people.

                    • (Score: 2) by darnkitten on Saturday March 04 2017, @03:19AM

                      by darnkitten (1912) on Saturday March 04 2017, @03:19AM (#474751)

                      You make a good point.

                      Maybe voting should be the startpoint of the process, and maybe the followthrough is what provides meaning to the vote, especially if you stand in opposition.

                      My question would be, how do you engage with your elected officials in a meaningful way, one that will bring some sort of constructive progress, or at least will result in him or her listening in a serious way?

                      Because, and forgive me my saying it, but the strategy of constant attack you laid out in your comment, while emotionally satisfying, seems to me to be more likely to cause anger and retrenchment, which would result in the reinforcing of those things you are protesting out of sheer contrariness.

                      Protests bring out the fact that you are frustrated, yes, but, judging from the comments that I am hearing around me (I live in strong Trump supporter country, oh my, do I ever), your protests are viewed with bemusement ("I don't know what they're protesting about"); looked down on with revulsion ("in my day, people were more polite"), or seen with satisfaction or glee ("well, now they know how we feel", "now we've got a bit of our own back"). They don't get it, and, because you don't have a channel to communicate directly with them in their silos, you have very little chance of changing their votes--and They Do Vote.

                      And chivaree/charivari, while once an effective tactic, in this age of sound-cancelling technologies and insulation, has been reduced to a memory of wedding rituals of a time long past, at least in my town. :)

                      -

                      So--Given that some sort of action is necessary to bring meaning to my vote, what do you do that's been effective? Do you ever actually get to talk to your congresscritters (or their staffers) directly/one-on-one? Do you write letters or emails, or do petitions? Do you attend legislative sessions or town hall forums? Do you work with any organizations (also, are they effective)? My professional organizations and a couple of other organizations with which I am affiliated do lobbying, but it mostly consists of asking us to forward form letters, and, besides the fact that blockquotes rarely reflect my thoughts and concerns, pre-written material has always seemed to me to be readily ignorable.

            • (Score: 3, Interesting) by tangomargarine on Thursday March 02 2017, @09:36PM (1 child)

              by tangomargarine (667) on Thursday March 02 2017, @09:36PM (#474122)

              When will people start to fucking understand that ABSTAINING IS VOTING? Do you truly not understand that a very large portion of that 74% are not giving an opinion, but a vote of a no confidence in the system?

              No, if we had a system like Australia where voting is compulsory (which does in fact have a "none of the above" IIRC), *then* abstaining would "be voting." A lack of vote for us is indistinguishable between 1) boycott, 2) laziness, 3) uninformedness.

              --
              "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
              • (Score: -1, Redundant) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 03 2017, @12:34AM

                by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 03 2017, @12:34AM (#474186)

                No, if we had a system like Australia where voting is compulsory

                What do you mean by "we"? Are we not all Australians here? I thought we were talking about Yanks.

            • (Score: 2) by cmdrklarg on Thursday March 02 2017, @10:27PM

              by cmdrklarg (5048) on Thursday March 02 2017, @10:27PM (#474155)

              ABSTAINING IS VOTING

              If somehow your abstaining counted for anything (for instance, if one needed to win a majority of ELIGIBLE voters, not just ones that actually voted) you'd have a point. Unfortunately the way it works is that your abstaining simply doesn't count for anything other than a statistic. It simply does not affect the outcome of the election in any way.

              I wish it did; this travesty of an election would have gone differently.

              --
              THE SOFTWARE, IT NO WORKY!
          • (Score: 2) by Anal Pumpernickel on Friday March 03 2017, @09:57AM (4 children)

            by Anal Pumpernickel (776) on Friday March 03 2017, @09:57AM (#474313)

            So you can arbitrarily decide whose opinions count and under what conditions? Who made you an authority over such a thing?

            • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Friday March 03 2017, @04:23PM (3 children)

              by Grishnakh (2831) on Friday March 03 2017, @04:23PM (#474413)

              Are you stupid? If you don't vote, in a democratic system, then by definition your opinion doesn't count, because you haven't done anything to choose the leadership.

              • (Score: 2) by Anal Pumpernickel on Friday March 03 2017, @05:34PM (2 children)

                by Anal Pumpernickel (776) on Friday March 03 2017, @05:34PM (#474456)

                We don't live in a democratic system; we have an oligarchy. There is massive bias against third parties, we have a winner-take-all system, and we have a staggering amount of corruption in our government. Most voters vote for 'the lesser of two evils'. You cannot call such a system "democratic" just because you technically can vote; it's barely democratic at all.

                Anyway, there are other ways to make your opinions heard than just by voting. Voting actually does not communicate much, because you're not voting for individual policies, but for an individual who supports many different things that you may or may not support. Many people vote for candidates they mostly disagree with simply because they believe said candidates are the 'lesser evil'. You need to make your opinion heard in other ways if you want it to truly count. You're likely deluding yourself if you think your opinion counts just because you voted, or that someone's opinion doesn't count just because they did not vote.

                • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Friday March 03 2017, @06:53PM (1 child)

                  by Grishnakh (2831) on Friday March 03 2017, @06:53PM (#474502)

                  Voting is the only way to actually *force* your opinion to become policy. All these other "ways to make your opinions heard" do not. You can scream at politicians all you want, but they're perfectly free to ignore you and tell you to take a hike. If you're not even voting for them, and you're not voting against them either, then why should they listen to you? You mean nothing to them, and you have no power over them because you've specifically chosen to not exercise that power.

                  Yes, we have a two party system that gives little power to third parties. But there is very little evidence of any actual voting fraud or election fraud. *We* are electing these people into power, willingly. If all the whiners who refuse to vote got together and voted for a third party, that party would have a lot more power (getting over 15% gets you matching funds IIRC), and if enough people voted that way, the third party would get elected. Have you forgotten what happened in Minnesota a while ago? Everyone was so mad at the two incumbent candidates and their parties that they voted for Jesse Ventura, who won in a big surprise. Something a little similar has happened now with Trump. When people are mad and vote against the mainstream candidates, we get outsiders in power. (Of course, with Trump it appears this isn't really a good thing, but time will tell I suppose.) So claiming your vote is useless is obviously stupid, as the Trumpists have proven by getting their guy elected against all expectations.

                  In the end, the *only* thing that matters is voting. You can yell at politicians all you want, you can talk to other citizens all you want, but if none of you actually *vote* for what you want, you're not going to get it. So yes, your opinion does not count if you don't vote. If you disagree, feel free to prove how anyone has actually effected real political change without either voting or using violence. In any political system, there are only two ways to effect change: through the mechanisms already set up in the system (i.e., voting, for a nominally democratic system), or by using violence to bypass the existing system (i.e., revolution). None of you are talking about revolution here, so that only leaves voting. (There's also a third option, which is utilizing the judiciary, but none of you are talking about bringing lawsuits against the government either. You're just talking about whining loudly.)

                  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 04 2017, @05:59AM

                    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 04 2017, @05:59AM (#474784)

                    > Voting is the only way to actually *force* your opinion to become policy.

                    Geek binary thinking failure mode on display.

                    Politics isn't about force, its about persuasion. And all the stuff you denounce as ineffective is how politics actually works when it isn't an extreme edge case. Focus on the general case because that's something you do have the ability to affect.

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by stretch611 on Thursday March 02 2017, @07:24PM (25 children)

        by stretch611 (6199) on Thursday March 02 2017, @07:24PM (#474026)

        Well, that's what America wanted, that's what America got.

        No, this is what the existing politicians want.

        The news media lies and tells everyone that it is a two party system and that all 3rd parties are a wasted vote. This becomes a self serving attitude and fewer people vote third party.

        As long as people only think that the choices are limited to two parties, the two parties in control do not have to field a good candidate... they only have to get a candidate slightly better than the other guy.

        Trump is not what America wants... He has a horrible approval rating... http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/donald-trump-lowest-approval-ratings-any-president-in-us-history-poll-cnn-a7563091.html [independent.co.uk]

        However, Trump beat Hillary Clinton. It was not because of election shenanigans... its because she was just as horrible a candidate as he was... and based on the election results, slightly worse.

        Until the voters in the US wake up and realize that 3rd parties can win, the two party system will just continue its race to the bottom with horrible candidates barely able to beat each other.

        • (Score: 4, Informative) by TheGratefulNet on Thursday March 02 2017, @07:29PM (15 children)

          by TheGratefulNet (659) on Thursday March 02 2017, @07:29PM (#474034)

          I disagree. it had nothing to do with clinton.

          trump touched a nerve with redneck flyovers. he said shit that they have wet dreams over.

          you could have had jeebus christ as a D runner and they'd still pick the racist guy. he represents them!

          we don't want to say this, but its true. more than half of america is back-assward, dullard, non-thinking, walking in a haze, thinking that some sky daddy will give their useless lives some meaning. they are sold a bill of goods by their church leaders and it is so ingrained in them, it can't be easily removed.

          nothing to do with clinton. total red herring.

          middle america wanted a KKK racist style leader. they got one. its just that simple.

          --
          "It is now safe to switch off your computer."
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 02 2017, @07:39PM (3 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 02 2017, @07:39PM (#474044)

            Well you're correct in one sense, but it does have something to do with Clinton - she didn't really inspire anybody to go and vote for her out of those Americans who didn't want Klan-style leadership. In fact, many of them saw her as indirectly supporting the same kind of politics. Her campaign was just as prone to fallacy and hyperbole as was Trump's, it was just politically correct hyperboly and fallacy so it was political suicide for anyone but republicans to call her on it. I lost democrat friends even though I voted for Clinton, simply because I refused to shut off my critical thinking ability.

            The danger of ignorant voters extends beyond those who are actively ignorant.

            • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 02 2017, @07:51PM (2 children)

              by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 02 2017, @07:51PM (#474053)

              > Her campaign was just as prone to fallacy and hyperbole as was Trump's,

              If you believe they were equally distorted, then your view of reality is so completely distorted itself that your opinion is beyond unreliable.

              Comparing Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump on the Truth-O-Meter [politifact.com]

              Furthermore, the single best predictor of voting for trump is an authoritarian personality. [washingtonpost.com] Even people who aren't normally authoritarian can be triggered to act like authoritarians when they feel under threat. Which is why Trump's entire campaign was about telling white people that black and brown people are a threat to them, either by lying about crime "mexicans are rapists" or more generally a threat to their culture "make america white again."

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 03 2017, @04:43AM (1 child)

                by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 03 2017, @04:43AM (#474268)

                The bias there is hard core.

                Heck, one of the people they employ had actually run for office as a democrat. That should tell you something.

                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 04 2017, @06:01AM

                  by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 04 2017, @06:01AM (#474785)

                  Yes, facts do have a well-known liberal bias.
                  That's why I prefer alt-facts, at least they are biased for conservatives. That's fair, fair and balanced.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 02 2017, @08:42PM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 02 2017, @08:42PM (#474078)

            This is a way oversimplification and also just wrong. I'm sure racism played part of it (although in fairness, racism also goes the other way with black and minority voters voting for Democrats because "that's our team").

            Among other things, there was the "firewall" of Pennsylvania, Michigan, etc of staunch Democrat states that voted for Trump. Was it that in 2016 they woke up to their inner racism, or was it that Clinton never visited any of them throughout the campaign? You can blame the former, but I'll bet the latter contributed as well.

            Racism played a part... but there were numerous others (TPP, the death of coal, immigration policy, H1B abuses, timely exposure of Democratic and Clinton scandals, Democratic reaction to scandals, media coverage during the primaries, etc).

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 02 2017, @09:16PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 02 2017, @09:16PM (#474102)

              > Was it that in 2016 they woke up to their inner racism

              Yep.
              Racism isn't a binary state.
              Trump's entire schtick was about activating latent racism by making people feel threatened.

              > (although in fairness, racism also goes the other way with black and minority voters voting for Democrats because "that's our team").

              It is not the "other way" its the same way. Republicans keep telling minorities they aren't welcome. It isn't that minorities want to vote democrat, its that the republicans don't give them any other choice.

          • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Phoenix666 on Thursday March 02 2017, @09:20PM (7 children)

            by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Thursday March 02 2017, @09:20PM (#474106) Journal

            we don't want to say this, but its true. more than half of america is back-assward, dullard, non-thinking, walking in a haze, thinking that some sky daddy will give their useless lives some meaning. they are sold a bill of goods by their church leaders and it is so ingrained in them, it can't be easily removed.

            That's dismissive, and incorrect. Trump did not win because of the evangelical vote. The evangelical vote preferred Cruz. Trump did not win because of the racist vote. KKK sympathizers are few.

            The balance of Trump's voters voted their pocketbooks. They are the formerly prosperous middle class who got wiped out by NAFTA and could feel the final nail in the coffin coming from the Trans-Pacific Partnership that they knew, just knew, that Hillary would instantly find a reason to support again once the election was over. They wanted somebody to do something about illegal immigrants being brought into the country to suppress wages in many of the sectors they were previously able to make livings in. Another portion wanted to feel good about being American again, after about 30 years of people dumping on the country and watching DC either apologize to or sell them out to. And bound up in all that was a burning desire to flip the bird to the Establishment.

            So I'd caution against smearing those people as, "back-assward, dullard, non-thinking, walking in a haze." It is incorrect and will lead to more error and failure.

            --
            Washington DC delenda est.
            • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 02 2017, @09:48PM (5 children)

              by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 02 2017, @09:48PM (#474138)

              > The evangelical vote preferred Cruz.

              That is just false.
              During the primaries, the evangelicals still preferred Trump. [fivethirtyeight.com]

              And it should be no surprise. The evangelicals have always been about racism.

              The Southern Baptist Convention was formed explicitly to support the institution of slavery because the dominant evangelical convention at the time wouldn't have it, so they split off. And then for 150 more years they continued both explicitly and implicitly supporting racism. The last time "religious liberty" was a catch-phrase it was about religious based arguments to resist school desegregation as in Bob Jones University. [jbhe.com] BJ-U forbid interracial dating as recently as 2000.

              It was not until 1995 that the SBC officially denounced racism [sbc.net] Racism is still the biggest animating factor to evangelicals. If you had spent any time in the south you'd know it to, it oozes from them. They deny it with their words, but their actions say otherwise. Sure they aren't all white devils, some actually do follow Jesus' principles, but most of them pray to an explicitly white jesus. Just listen to runaway1956 if you need an example, he's just barely to the right of mainstream (white) evangelicals.

              > They are the formerly prosperous middle class

              Incorrect. They are the current prosperous middle class that are scared of a brown america. It was not economic anxiety, it was racial anxiety. Trump supporters are richer, not poorer, than average. In fact, the people most likely to support Clinton were those most affected by trade policies.

              • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 02 2017, @09:53PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 02 2017, @09:53PM (#474141)

                In fact, the people most likely to support Clinton were those most affected by trade policies.

                The Missing Link: http://www.vox.com/2016/8/12/12454250/donald-trump-gallup-trade-immigration-study [vox.com]

                And an excerpt:

                Trump's base is not poor whites — it's way more complicated than that

                What Rothwell found was revelatory, to say the least. He finds that individuals who are struggling economically are not more likely to support Trump, nor are people living in areas that have suffered a loss of manufacturing jobs, an influx of immigration, or competition from China. By contrast, people in areas where whites are struggling health-wise, and in terms of intergenerational mobility (and in areas that are very racially segregated), do seem more likely to back Trump.

                Trump supporters are richer, not poorer, than average: For one thing, Rothwell found that both across the overall population and among whites, support for Trump is correlated with higher income, not lower. That’s not surprising; low-income people have always preferred Democrats. But it definitely contradicts the image of Trump as spokesman for the economically struggling.

                Rothwell also found that Trump supporters are no likelier to be unemployed or to have left the workforce. The problem of men dropping out of the labor force doesn’t seem to be a factor behind Trump’s rise.

                "The individual data do not suggest that those who view Trump favorably are confronting abnormally high economic distress, by conventional measures of employment and income," he concludes.

                Nonetheless, Trump supporters tend to be blue-collar and less educated: On the other hand, Rothwell also finds that Trump supporters are more likely to work in blue-collar fields and to have less education. This fact, however, sits uneasily with Trump’s greater support among the wealthy and lower support among the poor, and suggests that his sweet spot is less-educated people in blue-collar fields who are nonetheless doing pretty well economically.

                Trump does well in racially segregated areas: Turning to the geographic data, Rothwell finds that segregated, homogenous white areas are Trump's base of support. "People living in zip codes with disproportionately high shares of white residents are significantly and robustly more likely to view Trump favorably," he writes. "Those living in zip codes with overall diversity that is low relative to their commuting zone are also far more likely to view Trump favorably." Put another way: If you're in the whitest suburb in your area, you're likelier to back Trump.

                Trump doesn’t do well in areas affected by trade or immigration: This is perhaps the most surprising finding. Contact with immigrants seems to reduce one's likelihood of supporting Trump, as areas that are farther from Mexico and with smaller Hispanic populations saw more Trump support.

                Areas with more manufacturing are significantly less likely to support Trump. An increase in the level of manufacturing employment from 2000 to 2007 predicted higher Trump support — which is the opposite of what you'd expect, given the narrative around this campaign. While the finding isn't statistically significant, greater exposure to Chinese imports predicts lower support for Trump, despite his agitation for higher tariffs on the country.

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 03 2017, @04:56AM (3 children)

                by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 03 2017, @04:56AM (#474270)

                Both poor and rich went for Clinton. Trump grabbed the middle, and happened to end up with a slightly higher average because there are more poor people than rich people.

                Trump support is really high in the social range from "skilled trade" to "STEM BS degree". It's weak above that, and very weak with the poor. Trump voters tend to be people who are doing OK, but with reason to be nervous. The sort of people who may have seen friends and family lose jobs tend to vote for Trump.

                Clinton gets the people on government help and the minimum wage workers. She also gets what you might call the "guilty rich", people who might feel a sort of discomfort in the realization that others are much worse off. These people push up the average education level for Clinton voters, often with doctorates. Also pushing up the education level are people with generally impractical degrees.

                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 03 2017, @05:20AM (2 children)

                  by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 03 2017, @05:20AM (#474276)

                  Nice theories. Do you have any evidence beyond wishful thinking?

                  > Both poor and rich went for Clinton. Trump grabbed the middle,

                  Trump got the rich and the white vote. [theguardian.com]

                  Far from being purely a revolt by poorer whites left behind by globalisation, who did indeed turn out in greater numbers for the Republican candidate than in 2012, Trump’s victory also relied on the support of the middle-class, the better-educated and the well-off.

                  Of the one in three Americans who earn less than $50,000 a year, a majority voted for Clinton. A majority of those who earn more backed Trump.

                  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 03 2017, @08:06PM (1 child)

                    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 03 2017, @08:06PM (#474540)

                    $50,000 a year is nothing special. If you draw the line there, and call everybody above it rich, then yeah Trump voters are rich. I guess that fits your narrative.

                    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 04 2017, @05:55AM

                      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 04 2017, @05:55AM (#474783)

                      Trump also got the majority vote of people making over $100K, and the vote of people making over $250K and those making over $500K all the way up.
                      $50K was just where the break started.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 02 2017, @10:19PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 02 2017, @10:19PM (#474151)

              I have no account on here, but +1 Insightful, Phoenix.

          • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Friday March 03 2017, @03:55PM

            by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Friday March 03 2017, @03:55PM (#474403) Journal

            "you could have had jeebus christ as a D runner"

            No, He wouldn't ever register as an R, or a D. Never happen.

            http://catholicexchange.com/deeper-meaning-story-jesus-moneychangers [catholicexchange.com]

            --
            #eatyourliver #WalkAway #CTRLLeft
        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by meustrus on Thursday March 02 2017, @09:35PM (1 child)

          by meustrus (4961) <reversethis-{moc.liamg} {ta} {surtsuem}> on Thursday March 02 2017, @09:35PM (#474121)

          All election shenanigans and the candidates themselves aside, this election year was a pretty good shot for a Republican president no matter what. For the last 25 years the presidency has flip-flopped between parties after every 8 years, following a very similar pattern with congressional midterms as well. Democrats needed to field a vastly superior candidate to win. They believed they did, polling be damned.

          I prefer to think of the elections not in terms of how the ideologues talk past each other, but in terms of the undecided and unmotivated voters. There will always be voting Democrats and Republicans, and those groups are relatively balanced against each other. But the people who really swing elections are those two groups of people in the middle: the moderates who plan to vote but could actually be swayed either way on whom; and the voters who just won't show up unless a candidate really speaks to them.

          When you look at this group of people and try to explain the flip-flopping trend, there's one obvious answer: our government sucks. Think about it. The unmotivated voters would tend to vote for change, because if they didn't want change they would stay home. The undecided voters might swing either way without an incumbent, but with an incumbent they are more likely to vote for the devil they know, even if that choice doesn't excite them.

          So basically, the pattern of American democracy is that every eight years, we decide that the last guy didn't make anything any better, and elect somebody else who promises to dismantle everything that just happened. It's no wonder that things never get better.

          --
          If there isn't at least one reference or primary source, it's not +1 Informative. Maybe the underused +1 Interesting?
          • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Friday March 03 2017, @12:59PM

            by Thexalon (636) on Friday March 03 2017, @12:59PM (#474337) Homepage

            I agree that right now our government truly sucks. At the moment, according to Gallup polling, 47% of Americans approve of the Supreme Court, 45% of Americans approve of Donald Trump, and about 28% of Americans approve of Congress. That's abysmal leadership, and more importantly means that not a single branch of the federal government is operating with majority support. Congress in particular has had sub-50% approval ratings for most of the last 40 years, with only a brief respite between 1998 (probably due to the impeachment of Bill Clinton) and 2002 (after the spike of support of government post-9/11 wore off).

            That said, the reason Trump won this last election had very little to do with attracting moderate voters, and a lot to do with a huge number of normally Democratic voters not voting for president. For example, in my home swing state of Ohio, Clinton got about 20% fewer votes than other Democrats have (including Obama, Kerry, Gore, governor candidates, senate races, etc). Which isn't all that surprising, when you realize that Clinton's entire campaign pitch in the general election amounted to "I'm not Donald Trump".

            --
            A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of bad gravy.
        • (Score: 2) by meustrus on Thursday March 02 2017, @09:38PM (5 children)

          by meustrus (4961) <reversethis-{moc.liamg} {ta} {surtsuem}> on Thursday March 02 2017, @09:38PM (#474125)

          Did you see the third party candidates? They lost because they were batshit insane. Not that that stops some people.

          --
          If there isn't at least one reference or primary source, it's not +1 Informative. Maybe the underused +1 Interesting?
          • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 02 2017, @09:58PM (3 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 02 2017, @09:58PM (#474145)

            Only people that were actively looking for them saw anything of the third party candidates. This is part of the problem. They get .01% of the airtime of the two major party candidates, and even then it's focused to be as negative as possible.

            Perot scared the shit out of the RNC and DNC, so they took over the Presidential Debates. Unless that's reversed, those two pretty effectively have third parties locked out no matter what else happens.

            • (Score: 2) by meustrus on Thursday March 02 2017, @10:24PM (2 children)

              by meustrus (4961) <reversethis-{moc.liamg} {ta} {surtsuem}> on Thursday March 02 2017, @10:24PM (#474154)

              The real problem is that Sanders couldn't run, because him running would have mostly hurt Hillary and there are enough die-hard Hillary supporters to keep him from winning. No high-quality candidate is going to run such a race; Theodore Roosevelt tried in 1908 in the Bull Moose party, which led to the election of Woodrow Wilson who would have lost under any other circumstances.

              The only way to make it work is if you can steal enough voters from both parties. Otherwise, the voters who love their party form a larger fraction of voters than the typical margin of victory. But this isn't going to happen, because the parties do more than just field candidates. They define the debate. Does it really make sense that political opinions around abortion and environmentalism are correlated? What about gun rights and free trade? Financial regulations? Warmongering? Both parties have tied all of these issues together in a very strange way that has made it so that whenever you talk to someone you agree with on one issue, they always agree on a whole bunch of issues as well.

              --
              If there isn't at least one reference or primary source, it's not +1 Informative. Maybe the underused +1 Interesting?
              • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Thexalon on Friday March 03 2017, @01:08PM

                by Thexalon (636) on Friday March 03 2017, @01:08PM (#474342) Homepage

                Both parties have tied all of these issues together in a very strange way that has made it so that whenever you talk to someone you agree with on one issue, they always agree on a whole bunch of issues as well.

                There's a reason for that.

                Both major parties basically try to win votes on social issues like gay marriage or religion in schools, while winning donors with economic issues like refusing to renegotiate drug prices. This system keeps the people at each others' throats while the government helps the rich run away with all the money. And they also try to keep conservatives and liberals from interacting too much socially, so that they won't notice all the shared problems and areas of agreement they have.

                --
                A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of bad gravy.
              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 04 2017, @06:17AM

                by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 04 2017, @06:17AM (#474788)

                Does it really make sense that political opinions around abortion and environmentalism are correlated? What about gun rights and free trade?

                That's how tribalism works. And it isn't just political parties, that's just one manifestation of tribalism. Much of it is that people have to generally agree with each other in order to have trust in each other and societies run on trust because trust really means things like common agreements on implications of words (think of old "indian-giver" insult with its origin in the difference between western and native american understanding of land ownership).

                So anytime you get a group of people dedicated to working together they end up converging on common beliefs. It really puts the lie to this idea of people being pure individuals. As misanthrope myself I wish it were otherwise, but the whole ideal of "rugged individualism" is really more of a pernicious myth than a useful goal for making the world a better place.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 03 2017, @11:48AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 03 2017, @11:48AM (#474322)

            If candidates lost just by being batshit insane, pretty much none of the people who have been president would have won.

        • (Score: 2) by TheGratefulNet on Thursday March 02 2017, @11:40PM

          by TheGratefulNet (659) on Thursday March 02 2017, @11:40PM (#474180)

          its not the media's fault. the US system is designed (well, evolved, lol) into a two-party-only system.

          not the media's fault. the 2 existing parties do all they can to keep ONE of them in power.

          blame the existing guys, not the reporters.

          reporters often suck, but this time, its not their fault.

          --
          "It is now safe to switch off your computer."
      • (Score: 2) by davester666 on Thursday March 02 2017, @09:45PM (3 children)

        by davester666 (155) on Thursday March 02 2017, @09:45PM (#474134)

        It's what a minority of America wanted.

        Hell, if 50,000 or so people in I believe 3 states voted differently, Hillary would have won bigly.

        • (Score: 1, Troll) by hemocyanin on Friday March 03 2017, @01:29AM (2 children)

          by hemocyanin (186) Subscriber Badge on Friday March 03 2017, @01:29AM (#474207)

          So? Trump sucks, but so would a nuclear armageddon with Russia over a Syrian no-fly zone. Plus there's the fact that she's a murderous sociopath and loves banks.

          • (Score: 2) by davester666 on Friday March 03 2017, @09:48PM (1 child)

            by davester666 (155) on Friday March 03 2017, @09:48PM (#474617)

            And yet it was the Donald who talked casually about using nuclear weapons in the middle east to solve problems, now wants to go back to an escalating nuclear arms race ("I've got more than you!!"), but didn't even know what the nuclear triad meant or stands for.

            • (Score: 2) by hemocyanin on Sunday March 05 2017, @05:15PM

              by hemocyanin (186) Subscriber Badge on Sunday March 05 2017, @05:15PM (#475312)

              Yeah Trump sucks -- I said that. But anyone who thinks HRC wouldn't have sucked is nuts. The ONLY upside to Trump, is chaos in the DNCGOP which means that maybe, slim chance, they'll reform from inside.

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by q.kontinuum on Thursday March 02 2017, @09:55PM

        by q.kontinuum (532) on Thursday March 02 2017, @09:55PM (#474142) Journal

        There is some move towards more liberal marijuana-laws in Europe as well. And obviously, the connection between violent crome and marijuana consumption is made up. But there is no denying that Americans, first election after marijuana got legalized, voted for Trump. And that really [wikipedia.org] makes me scared...

        --
        Registered IRC nick on chat.soylentnews.org: qkontinuum
    • (Score: 3, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 02 2017, @06:14PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 02 2017, @06:14PM (#473973)

      Sure it's driven by facts and data. They're alternative facts and data.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 03 2017, @03:25AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 03 2017, @03:25AM (#474252)

        Sure it's driven by facts and data. They're alternative facts and data.

        All being "reported" by fake news media.

    • (Score: 5, Informative) by DeathMonkey on Thursday March 02 2017, @06:31PM (1 child)

      by DeathMonkey (1380) on Thursday March 02 2017, @06:31PM (#473983) Journal

      Let's also not forget that Trump promised that he would leave weed legalization to the states on at least 3 different occasions. [soylentnews.org]

      Yet another notch for the Liar-in-Chief's belt.

      • (Score: 3, Funny) by TheGratefulNet on Thursday March 02 2017, @07:26PM

        by TheGratefulNet (659) on Thursday March 02 2017, @07:26PM (#474030)

        you mean, an R is a FLIP FLOPPER!?!?!

        that can't be. just can't be!!

        (lol)

        --
        "It is now safe to switch off your computer."
    • (Score: 2) by TheGratefulNet on Thursday March 02 2017, @07:16PM (1 child)

      by TheGratefulNet (659) on Thursday March 02 2017, @07:16PM (#474020)

      republicans are the ultimate buzz-kill.

      the thing they are trying to figure out is: which is better for 'them': the sweet sweet tax money from sales or the loss of imprisonment 'funds' that the punishment industry LOVES to have. they also are trying to figure out if a 'states rights' thing applies here or if they simply want to ignore their own ideas and double down on the derp (in the parlance of our times..).

      lets also state that they have NO PROBLEM with fights and rowdiness that always happens when enough people drink too much. the alcohol industry will keep paying off politicians to keep THEIR chemicals legal and available, but the pharm, prisons, cops and authoritarians will continue to fight the 'debil weed'. aftereall, so many white women were raped by negros, we can't have THAT happening! (rolls eyes)

      --
      "It is now safe to switch off your computer."
      • (Score: 5, Informative) by bob_super on Thursday March 02 2017, @07:28PM

        by bob_super (1357) on Thursday March 02 2017, @07:28PM (#474032)

        Easy if you think as an R politician: there is no centralized Pot industry, therefore no lobbying (in the "money is speech" sense), no money flow to specific interest groups, no kickbacks.

        Allowing and taxing tiny independent producers creates money for the states. It's a tax. Bad!
        Allowing giant conglomerates for tobacco and alcohol creates dividends and lobbying money. Good!

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by TheGratefulNet on Thursday March 02 2017, @07:32PM (1 child)

      by TheGratefulNet (659) on Thursday March 02 2017, @07:32PM (#474036)

      short form: republicans are in charge.

      authoritarians are republicans and republicans are authoritarians.

      --
      "It is now safe to switch off your computer."
      • (Score: 2) by hemocyanin on Friday March 03 2017, @01:31AM

        by hemocyanin (186) Subscriber Badge on Friday March 03 2017, @01:31AM (#474209)

        While what you say is true, the Democrats sure seem to love the prison industry and the surveillance state, so you might as stick them in the fuckwad authoritarian category as well.

    • (Score: 4, Funny) by JoeMerchant on Thursday March 02 2017, @08:09PM

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Thursday March 02 2017, @08:09PM (#474060)

      "Experts are telling me there's more violence around marijuana than one would think and there's big money involved."

      The best experts. Top men, the kind of people you should trust, the kind of people we are trusting, trusting to provide the best information.

      It's like a bad W flashback.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 03 2017, @03:23AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 03 2017, @03:23AM (#474251)

      I'm sure glad the liberals don't ever do that. I love their open-mindedness, respect for other's views, tolerance, etc.

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