Sunday, November 12, 2006

post-Election-Day decompression

I voted.

This is the first election where I was not a gung-ho yellow dog.

Oh, I've voted for the odd Republican on the odd occasion, mostly because I live in a conservative area where only Republicans have run for local offices in recent years. But in statewide and national elections, I've voted almost exclusively straight-ticket Democrat.

Yes, straight-ticket voting is the lazy citizen's way: pick a party you like the sound of, or the major candidate you like the looks of, and vote for that party in all other races.

You may deplore, and I often have, the lack of rigorous inspection of the candidates and the issues, but if about half-ish of the people vote for One Party and about half-ish of the people vote for The Opposing Party, what you get is a befuddle of several hundred people standing in the middle of the road, verbally pushing and shoving each other, and engaging in legislative tug-of-war over bridges to tiny Alaskan islands.

We're a lot safer, and the world is safer from us, if we busy ourselves with pork-barrel politics, arguing over how to divvy up this year's tax revenues for each others' states, than if we're all on the same page, marching to the beat of the same drummer, following our Fearless Leader into A Brighter Future, Bringing Democracy to The Rest of The World. That all sounds loverly, but what if that fearless leader decides that spreading Democracy means that we need to invade helpless, backward nations, listen in on everyone's phone calls without warrants, establish secret prisons, and re-define torture?

Oh, wait ....

This year I took IOZ' advice and voted for some Independents. I sort of have to agree with his assessment of the Democrats, though the rest of my votes all went to the Party of Yellow Dogs, and for now I'm still gloating over the Democrats taking both houses of Congress by narrow squeaks.

I'm taking Rumsfeld's resignation as a sign that maybe things will change for the better. The next step I'd most like to see? Impeach Cheney.


Anonymous said...

my ballot: 3 greens (the green governor was the smart one), 1 republican (anti-incumbent and threw my vote away), maybe seven democrats (less odious than their opponents by far). Surprised at some of that.

Don't know if you read the last Kinsley article, the one on voting, when he called it (I forget the exact words) a foolish effort. I think he meant that delving deeply into a candidates positions is both unenlightening and unrewarding. (Perhaps he should have used the phrase "diminishing returns".)

You want a(nother, sheesh) link, by the way? Thought I should ask first.

hipparchia said...

you're free to link if you like, but not compelled to.

yes, i read that article, and didn't take it your way, but that's ok. it's going to take more than a few magazine articles to make me shut up.

the post i didn't post: ...537 votes...537 vote...537 votes...

i've always been a rabid voter, and the 19xx presidential election happened shortly before my 18th birthday. first i went down to the voter registration office and argued that since i would be of voting age shortly after inauguration day, i should get to vote for [or against] that president. they didn't go along with my argument, but they did at least sign me up as a pollworker.

Anonymous said...

It's my pleasure. It makes it easier to find my way around, if nothing else. If you shut up, however, I'll have no choice but to remove the link.


hipparchia said...

good thing my STFU didn't last long.