I Affirm and Aver the Following is Poo

The Whole Poo and Nothing But the Poo

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I Have Not Yet Sealed the Ballot
The Captain's Prop
peristaltor
I should, but something this year is... different.

Preamble: I have voted officially for president in every election since I was eligible in 1984. I'm not going to defend past presidential choices; no voter needs to defend past election choices.

This year, though, has been hard. This is the first year where I just don't give a shit which of the main candidates wins. This apathy of mine has run smack into a major antipathy amongst those of my friends, family members and online acquaintances who happen to be gay.

Here's an example, from a former coworker and F#c@Book friend who has moved elsewhere:

I'm watching c-span and vomiting in my mouth. I'm certain most of the Trump supporters have hidden me in their feed or deleted me, but if by chance you are seeing this and voting for Trump (or as Cher refers to him:🚽), please remove me from your list. You obviously hate your kids, women, all non-white people, immigrants and yourselves, and I have zero need to have any connection to you. Zero. Bye, Felicia.

...We are facing a catastrophe if Trump is elected. If you're considering supporting a third party: you are making a huge mistake and adding to the problem facing us.

(I emboldened the issue.)

I'm not sure who Felicia is, but yikes.

And that FB friend is not alone. I was repeatedly attacked by the flimsiest of rhetoric by an LJ friend who simply wouldn't let up. I mean, it was striking, the dismissive "Bernie Bro" talking points he constantly threw in my face as if they were a thing. Because I was such a person as this imaginary BB, I was automatically anti-gay, anti-woman, anti-democracy—name it, I'm probably it.

Which is patently batshit insane.

Look, when I question my pretty damned long adherence to the Democratic Party line, I do not do it lightly. Yes, in passing, I wondered why Hillary was so darned insistent on non-diplomacy. Pretty striking, really, from a former Secretary of State, dontcha think? LJ dude took one look at the single interview I (grudgingly) gave him supporting my opinion, saw some "controversial" material in it, and dismissed it as "fringe" (meaning he didn't deign to read the damned thing in its entirety, if at all).

Well, today I came across this article from Dennis Kucinich published in The Nation. (I'm sorry, LJ dude, not "unfringe" enough for you?) It dealt with exactly the same issues I raised in that earlier exercise in LJ frustration. In it, Kucinich laments the fact that formerly liberal think tanks have been infected with the same disease vector that dominated every complaint I had about Hillary: money, money given to think tanks that now advocate increased military interventions:

How else to explain that in the past 15 years this city’s so called bipartisan foreign policy elite has promoted wars in Iraq and Libya, and interventions in Syria and Yemen, which have opened Pandora’s box to a trusting world, to the tune of trillions of dollars, a windfall for military contractors. DC’s think “tanks” should rightly be included in the taxonomy of armored war vehicles and not as gathering places for refugees from academia.

His conclusions resonated with me. I hope they do the same with you.

Any report advocating war that comes from any alleged think tank ought to be accompanied by a list of the think tank’s sponsors and donors and a statement of the lobbying connections of the report’s authors.

It is our patriotic duty to expose why the DC foreign-policy establishment and its sponsors have not learned from their failures and instead are repeating them, with the acquiescence of the political class and sleepwalkers with press passes.

It is also time for a new peace movement in America, one that includes progressives and libertarians alike, both in and out of Congress, to organize on campuses, in cities, and towns across America, to serve as an effective counterbalance to the Demuplican war party, its think tanks, and its media cheerleaders. The work begins now, not after the Inauguration. We must not accept war as inevitable, and those leaders who would lead us in that direction, whether in Congress or the White House, must face visible opposition.

(I did it again.)

In the name of a "visible opposition" I threw my support to Bernie. Why? If you have to ask, in my opinion, you aren't paying attention.

That said, I'm in a quandary. No, I do not support The Donald for anything other than a Cheap Laugh. But No, I cannot support Hillary. Why? Yes, she is eminently qualified. Yes, she is farther to the left of her opposition.

But here's a question too few even raise with themselves: Consider her campaign symbol. In which direction does the arrow point?

Real Progressives Point Left!


I thought of printing up a few of that slogan along with an image for a bumper sticker, but no, I thought. Bumper stickers should support something, not just shit on everything.

And that's what opposition to the mainstream is today, the role of shitting on everything offered as an option.

I want OTHER options!


But yes, I know, I can't have any. Probably because we don't actually live in a democracy.

That LJ dude pointed out that a few people in Florida voting for Nader ruined the early oughts for the rest of us: I retorted that the only decision makers that mattered in 2000 wore black robes to work.

I used to give Nader voters that same raft of shit when they flooded me with their idealism. Now I properly blame the robe wearers.

Which brings me to today.

I don't want. Therefore, I can't decide.

If you have an opinion, and it doesn't resort to calling me names that I don't deserve, chime in on what I could do.

I'm seriously open to any option other than casting a vote for The Weasel Headed.

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no voter needs to defend past election choices.

You know, I fundamentally disagree with you on that point. I thinking people who vote for terrible people SHOULD examine and interrogate their choices. I think it's important to be able to look at a vote for Reagan and say "I didnt know about the Alzheimer's" or "in the 1980s I didn't recognise racism the same way" or even "I just thought Carter was weak in dealing with Iran, I didn't know at the time that was sabotage" and be able to not only defend your at-the-time choice, but examine how your decision was made and, given the outcomes, what you might want to do differently with your next vote

Going forward, I don't just want Trump voters to "not need to defend" their support, I want them to be incapable of DENYING it. I want them to wear signs, prominently, for the rest of their fucking lives, so that everyone knows immediately "that dude voted for Trump" and knows that yes, they supported Orange Hitler. Because it's *important* to know when the people around you hate that hard, that wide, and that irrationally.

re: Felicia:
This is who Felicia is.

In the name of a "visible opposition" I threw my support to Bernie. Why? If you have to ask, in my opinion, you aren't paying attention.

I don't have to ask about support *then*, but the problem then becomes that Sanders *lost*. He's out. He's no longer an option. Right now, your only choice left is whether you prefer Trump to be President or you prefer Clinton to be President, or you prefer to not pick.

Consider her campaign symbol. In which direction does the arrow point?

"Forward", since we read from left to right.

I want OTHER options!
But yes, I know, I can't have any. Probably because we don't actually live in a democracy.


Yup. You don't have any and you can't have any, at least not this late in the process. There's actually a whole lot of huge design flaws in the US system, mostly stemming from it being put together by rank amateurs who didn't have a lot of prior-failures-like-the-USA to examine, and from their quite explainable failure to foresee how big the country would get and how fast travel and communications would become. As a 1.0 product it was pretty good for the 18th century, but it hasn't aged well and the patching mechanism is so bad that its almost impossible to use, meaning all these failure states are never getting fixed.

I retorted that the only decision makers that mattered in 2000 wore black robes to work.

That's a bad argument, like claiming that in a race won by 1 vote the "only vote that mattered" was the one single guy who put the final total over the top. Every vote mattered to reach that point. Think nobody else's vote on the winning side mattered? Swap them to the other side and WHOOPS they just changed the result, I guess maybe they did fucking matter.

The final decision was made in the USSC only because voters in Florida, when given the choice "Bush or Gore?", came out to almost a tie (~500 difference officially, a few thousand difference the other way when all votes are actually counted), with nearly 100,000 people saying "Not Bush, but also not the only alternative to Bush, so I just won't vote." If those 100,000 people had voted for a presidential candidate rather than not voting for one, the "robes" wouldn't have been involved at all.

The fact that the Supreme Court made the final decision doesn't change that they got there because of the voters, just like the 1-vote-margin guy only tipped the election because of how everyone else voted underneath him.


...thinking people who vote for terrible people SHOULD examine and interrogate their choices.

I agree, and I did. But I can't regret my Reagan vote any more than I can regret my choice of college polo shirts (mine had the little frog in the cart on them from a National Lampoon cartoon, but were polo shirts still), any more than a short kid can regret not being able to reach the cookie jar before the growth spurt.

For the record, I resonate best with the third of your scenarios. Fuck Bush I, Casey and Gates. Fuck them hard, fucking treasonous traitors.

The fact that the Supreme Court made the final decision....

I'll stop you there. Gore won Florida. Yes, he made a tactical mistake in not insisting on a state-wide recount; but he still won.

Trouble here is, there have been close elections in the past. The Robed Ones stopped a standard recount, and included language in the decision that noted it must never be used for precedent. Which the Court has never done in its past.

Meaning your swap scenario? Would. Never. Have. Happened.

Dubya was given office because money paid for at least 4 of the 5 on the court to get him to office (nobody has figured Kennedy out yet). For one example, David Brock confessed to slurring Anita Hill just to get Thomas out of the negative spotlight, and it took money to get him to write those "a little bit nutty, a little bit slutty" articles.

Had those votes gone to Gore, the recount would have continued.

And here, I must note that you haven't commented on the Kucinich article to which I linked and from which I quoted. Money changes the thinking of think tanks toward thinking about more needless wars. Money gets Federalist Society "originalists" (who are hardly that at all) on the highest Court. Money forces Obama to give up the Public Option on health care (which was the fucking goal all along). Money gets Hillary to stop even thinking about talking about regulating money, and money makes The Donald's erstwhile opponents so obviously suck-uppish to their sponsors that all he has to do is spout his Cheeto Mussolini mouth (good one there!) and rally the hateful.

I will consider your conclusion, even though it reads to me like:

"Money could win, or money could win, so perhaps that money should prevent this money from winning."

Thanks!

I must note that you haven't commented on the Kucinich article to which I linked and from which I quoted.

You're right, and I didn't click through and read beyond the bits you quoted, because regardless of how well it's argued, at this point in the cycle those are not relevant considerations. The time for a "should we have a 'money' candidate or not" is WHEN CANDIDATES ARE BEING CHOSEN.

I will consider your conclusion, even though it reads to me like:

"Money could win, or money could win, so perhaps that money should prevent this money from winning."


I think the equation of Trump with Clinton, or of Democratic policies with Republican ones, is either ignorant or disingenous. Even leaving aside the issue of wars, the economy improves significantly under Democrats and crashes under Republicans, every time, because Democrats care about facts and results more than ideology. Society improves for more people under Democrats than Republicans because Democrats care about people more than ideology.

And bringing wars back in, I'll take Obama's Libya or Syria over Bush's wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, even if I'd prefer neither. And Trump's already on the record as saying he doesn't see the point of having nukes and not using them, and that he would like to nuke ISIS. Clinton's handling of the situation won't be what you want it to be, and it might even be objectively bad. You know what it WON'T be? A fucking nuclear first strike. Because Clinton is lots of things and "stupid" is NONE of them.

Americans don't *have* a good option, an option who makes all correct or even (depending on your perspective) mostly-correct decisions. What you have MOST years is an option that makes some good decisions and an option that makes very few good decisions. 2016 is unique in that you've got "some good decisions" versus "actively working to make the worst decision possible".

An actual Good Decision Candidate needs to get into the race when the race starts, and have a real base of support *when the race starts*. When the race is underway is too late. The weekend before the election is WAY too late.

And:
I'll stop you there. Gore won Florida. [...] Dubya was given office because money paid for at least 4 of the 5 on the court to get him to office (nobody has figured Kennedy out yet).

My point remains: The court only got involved because it was close. If Gore had won by 100,000 instead of 1,000, it wouldn't have been close, there wouldn't have been recounts, and it wouldn't have gone to the Supreme Court.

So no, the USSC were *not* the only decision-makers who mattered. They were just the people whose decision mattered LAST, in that specific circumstance.

Americans don't *have* a good option, an option who makes all correct or even (depending on your perspective) mostly-correct decisions.

Quite true. By the way, on that note, have you heard of the book Ratfucked? The author is making the radio rounds of late. I heard him on a show called This Is Hell. Right up your alley.

The time for a "should we have a 'money' candidate or not" is WHEN CANDIDATES ARE BEING CHOSEN.

Quite true, also. A pity money shut down the anti-money candidate. Which means....

Oh, wait....

And wow, that Bye, Felicia is a really obscure reference. I doubt I would have remembered it even if I had seen the movie.

It also means that my FB friend just equated people with genuine concerns about Hillary's potential presidency with worthless moochers. Well, fuck him. It's a good thing I don't respond to anything he posts. And that he is now on the other coast.

It's not so much "an obscure reference" as it's a meme that's spread almost entirely through Black media spaces. And its use, in the meme, is not about the mooching character per se, it's about "the conversation is OVER, we're done here and I don't respect you."

Friday is a classic, but "Bye, Felicia" has only become a thing in the last few years.

What struck me is that my gay former coworker is quite white. It must be working its way through those closer to their youth.

I've seen it spreading in gay subcultures, too. And I'm neither black nor gay, but I've seen it - I've just mostly seen it from black people, and the intersection of black and gay media.

(continued because of character limits)

If you have an opinion, and it doesn't resort to calling me names that I don't deserve, chime in on what I could do.

You only have three choices: Trump, Clinton, or "I don't have any opinion, let everyone else decide".

And, well, you're not a Klansman or a Nazi or a neoconfederate, so voting for Trump is out, hard. You don't like or agree with Clinton, so you're not inspired to choose Clinton over hypothetical good alternatives, like Sanders. Problem is, there are no good alternatives.

This leaves "I have no opinion, let everyone else decide" with it's implied accompanying "I don't see a difference between Clinton and Trump" and "I don't care if Trump wins or not".

So you're left, in the end, with either voting "Clinton and Trump are the same, I don't care if Trump wins or not, I feel a Trump win is an acceptable election result".... or "Trump should not win".

The time and place to get real options is at the START of the election cycle, which, in the USA, is 18 months before each even-numbered November. If you want a real choice in November 2018, you need to start the ball rolling in April 2017.
Same thing with 2020: because of how American Elections work, by the time 2020 rolls around, the choices will be mostly set and the options will already be heavily limited.

So what I think you should do is vote Clinton, and then in January send letters. On paper, with stamps, to your congresscritter, Senators, Governor, and yes, to President Clinton's office, saying, outright, that you voted for the Democrat *only* because the Republicans nominated A LITERAL NATIONAL SOCIALIST, and that the Democrats would not have gotten your vote had the Republicans not kicked themselves in their stupid Nazi crotches. And in 2 year, and 4 years, and 6 and 8 and so on, if they want your vote again here are [a list of issues important to you]. Send it to whoever's in the office, Democrat or Republican. If they're a Democrat, you're expressing why you were unhappy and what they'll need to do to keep you if the Republicans somehow become competent or a real third party someday forms. If they're a Republican, you're saying "look, you stupid fuckers nominated Cheeto Mussolini, and even though you won YOUR race (and/or were not up for re-election in 2016), and it's really unlikely you'll ever win me as an enthusiastic voter, here are the things you could do that will make me not hold my nose and vote Democrat AGAINST you because I hate those fuckers too."

I'm seriously open to any option other than casting a vote for The Weasel Headed.

Since I'm neither Trump nor Clinton, voting for me is the same as not voting, which is the same as voting that you don't care if Trump wins and that you consider Trump winning to be an okay result. So yes, definitely don't do that.

The American system sucks. But SINCE the only three choices available are "Trump should win", "I don't care if Trump wins or not and consider Trump winning an acceptable option", and "Trump should not win", I say vote that last one.

Weasel Headed, not Weasel Crowned.

Forward, it points forward! Look, if you're getting hung up on that logo, "deliberately obtuse" is an accusation you most certainly deserve. It's infuriating. I swear to god, I just want to get out my dimensional portal to the universe where alternate-universe you is complaining that if Hillary Clinton is so progressive, why does her logo point backwards?

As for my advice, my advice on elections is pretty consistent: Of the candidates who might win,* vote for the candidate whose victory would lead to better outcomes. (*As much as I want instant-runoff voting, we don't yet have it.)

And there's no question in my mind which candidate that is, even if you think she's too right-leaning. Trump is in favor of mass deportations, favors opening more Guantanomos, creates ambiguity about whether the US will defend its allies (and that sort of ambiguity is really, really dangerous), and may well think reluctance to use nuclear weapons is mere political correctness. Plus my daughter is almost one and if candidate Trump is any indication, I'd rather not have to explain things done and said by President Trump to a four-year-old.

I think Clinton's a good candidate, thought she was good in 2008 and that she's better now. But Clinton is a good candidate in mundane ways and her downsides are also mundane, Trump is an anomaly, in the science fiction monster-has-just-shown-up sense. (Political-science fiction, in this case. You know, like It Can't Happen Here.)

I sympathize with your quoted friend. Given your political views (and you've said a fair amount about your political views), it seems like frustration with the system has burned out your ability to deal with realpolitik if not your empathy in general. Beyond the candidate you "want" is a void so deep that even your preference between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump is muted into insignificance. But it is not at all insignificant, as Sanders himself repeatedly points out. A Clinton victory means more prominence for Sanders, not less, and Sanders will not be the last or best candidate from the progressive vanguard.

It does tickle me how upset you get about the arrow thing. That shows me the gag has legs.

More seriously, there is a group out there who would like new maps of the world to be printed upside down, with North being on the bottom of the page. They argue that because early charts and maps were made by those from the North, that the planet now holds a North-centric bias against the people on the "bottom" of the planet. Flipping the map would literally be an arbitrary decision with no consequences to the planet (other, of course, than screwing up map readers who are used to North being up).

Making people confront the "play/progress means point right" social convention? Worth doing, if only for a laugh.

...I'd rather not have to explain things done and said by President Trump to a four-year-old.

Personal things, or political things? The personal things that fall out of his mouth, yes, those are difficult, especially the cat grabbing.

But, like theweaselking, what about the Kucinich article? What about the realpolitik of money sponsoring the next needless wars? That would explain Clinton's seeming aggression (again, not a good thing to see in a Secretary of State!).

Personally, wars are far more difficult to explain to children than potty mouths.

...it seems like frustration with the system has burned out your ability to deal with realpolitik if not your empathy in general.

My empathy is just fine, but there is frustration. I'm working on the next several episodes, and deeply entrenched right now in the money awash in the system, buying lots of ads, sponsoring lots of really stupid philosophy as if it were wisdom, and gumming up the democracy something fierce. (The last ad-libbed episode was a good example.) The system is what made Trump's candidacy possible. He is the most likely outcome for the pandering progression of bought alliances and false dichotomies.

Any candidate that cannot address this money problem directly and forcefully (as Bernie did on the trail) is no candidate for me.

A Clinton victory means more prominence for Sanders, not less, and Sanders will not be the last or best candidate from the progressive vanguard.

Well argued! That's the best feedback I've had on this whole sorry mess yet. Thanks!

It does tickle me how upset you get about the arrow thing. That shows me the gag has legs.

I gotta admit, it didn't seem like a gag to me. It seemed like you thought it was a serious thing to be concerned about, and that you'd genuinely missed that it points "forward".

Contrast with the troubles of the AP History students of the 2050s, who will be left asking their teachers if this Early 21st project isn't some elaborate joke. Not only was the guy who did THAT actually named "Wiener", but there was a "family values" candidate who claimed his wallet name was "Rick Santorum" - Rick being short for Richard, which shortens down to Dick, meaning this dude wanted to be taken seriously while claiming his real name was PENIS SEXPOOP?

I feel for that poor hypothetical AP History student. And I think the joke is a lot clearer in that paragraph than in your OP, y'know?

In all fairness, Santorum meant nothing until he pissed off Dan Savage. That was a brilliant stroke on Dan's part, I must say.

On the note of bad names, an anecdote: I used to work in one of those chain mall book stores. A little dude with a bad combover ordered the complete Sleeping Beauty trilogy by Anne Rice's pseudonym. Something about his name bugged me: Dick Schmaltz.

I looked up the last name in the German-English dictionary. Translated literally, this guy was named "Thick Drippings." And he ordered porn.

Wiener? Don't know if you read Ferrett Steinmetz's blog, but he has a point: those pics must have some effect, otherwise why use them? Ferrett has a lot of contact with the kink community, so he would know far better than I.

(Oh, and Steinmetz's Flex, The Flux and Fix trilogy is well worth a read.)

And I think the joke is a lot clearer in that paragraph than in your OP, y'know?

I left it deliberately vague in the OP because L33t already knows the joke and likes it not one bit (see his comment below). I decided not to print out a higher-quality image of the gag, complete with left-pointing Hillary arrow over a Hillary-stylized "B", until after the election. If Trump wins, I won't do it at all.

Don't know if you read Ferrett Steinmetz's blog,

I don't. I have zero interest in the writing of a man who says of catcallers "they're not rapists, they're enthusiasts", who writes "any woman who says no to a man more than once before saying yes should be dragged into an alley and beaten", and who thought organising crowds of men to approach strange women at conventions, surround them, and ask to grope them was a good idea.

Fuck that guy. He's a misogynist shithead.

(Oh, and Steinmetz's Flex, The Flux and Fix trilogy is well worth a read.)

The one where he rips off Stephen King's Firestarter, all the way down to not bothering to change the name of the villain, for the first book?

I haven't read them and I won't, because "misogynist shithead". But I've read people who've read 'em.

those pics must have some effect, otherwise why use them?

For the same reason that 419 scams are deliberately badly written and show off bright red flags for being a scam: because this self-filters the responders. No need to waste time on someone who'll catch on soon, because only THE MOST gullible ever respond. Dick pics are the same way: you will repel 95% of the targets and avoid "wasting time" flirting with someone who won't sleep with you. Only people who are responding "yes" to "nice boots, wanna fuck?" will respond to a dick pic.

It does tickle me how upset you get about the arrow thing. That shows me the gag has legs.

It's the stupidest shit. Playing dumb for a joke drives me up the wall.

(Eh, maybe it will be funnier after the election.)

Personal things, or political things?

Both. For one thing, for all that Clinton is hawkish, I think Trump is likely to mess up things much worse in terms of getting the US into wars. He's not a guy who's hesitant to take on conflicts he thinks he can win, and he's very overconfident. He's also erratic, easily provoked, and ignorant (and not keen to listen to good advice). He's expressed enthusiasm for military occupations to extract a foreign countries natural resources as plunder, and seems to think that would be trivially accomplished.

Plus the aforementioned indefinite detention, racial profiling, mass deportations, and torture.

Also, "potty mouth" is missing the point (and really understating things). It's not about foul language. It's about the attitude of someone who could become President towards women and minorities, how he treats those different from him and those who disagree with him.

what about the Kucinich article? What about the realpolitik of money sponsoring the next needless wars?

I don't go so far as to think that war is just "a racket". Yes, there are forces pushing for more war. But the US is an unsurpassed global superpower, and I don't think, for example, putting an extreme pacifist in charge who would close all the bases and bring all the troops home would lead to good outcomes. (Note I certainly don't think Trump is that, and probably not Sanders either.) I'm also not as negative about "humanitarian intervention". Yes, that can turn out badly, but it's also easy to imagine a falsely rosy picture for the nonintervention counter-factual. To take it to extremes, I don't want the United States to have a policy of restraint in the face of genocide.

Basically, it's complicated. Sanders definitely has more purity in his rhetoric. But he's maintained that purity in the context of e.g. not being Secretary of State. Direct, forceful rhetoric about systems of power is not the same as immunity to systems of power.

I like you. You seem smart.

He is, he is!

(Ignore the fact that he still listens to my podcast, and he'll seem even smarter!)

It's about the attitude of someone who could become President towards women and minorities, how he treats those different from him and those who disagree with him.

Absolutely. Frightening narcissist of the first order.

I don't go so far as to think that war is just "a racket".

Ah, Smedley Butler. Have you read his biography, essentially couched in the book The Plot To Seize The White House? Interesting guy. Took no guff. One of the first Marines, and a Quaker at that.

(Eh, maybe it will be funnier after the election.)

Maybe that's my entire problem. This campaign has dragged on soooo damned long I'm sick of it. The Sanders Assault was soooo damned obvious, and the cover-up/denial soooo pathetic, I'm still pissed at the entire Clinton bandwagon for trotting out their "There, there, you had a chance, but it's over"s like they were kindergarten teachers passing out "nice try" lollipops.

My step-mom is one of them. (She's even a former teacher!) I trotted out the right-pointing arrow when I commented on her button. She got it right away and laughed, but then said, "But if you look at it from my perspective," ie. from behind the button, "then it does point left!" She had the decency to laugh at her own weak interpretation.

I concluded, in a rare bit of insight, that therefore Hillary was only progressive to people who view the world through their navels.

Step-mom laughed. It's a fun family. We laugh.

And after this shit is finished, we'll laugh some more, no matter which bad choice wins.

I'm sure your mom has a lot more practice dealing with you.

I'm still pissed at the entire Clinton bandwagon for trotting out their "There, there, you had a chance, but it's over"s like they were kindergarten teachers passing out "nice try" lollipops.

Would you rather they rake you over the coals?

I'm still pissed at the Sanders camp for outright denying the genuine preference of a majority of Democratic primary voters (including my genuine preference) for Clinton over Sanders. (Not to mention their pointed unimaginativeness when picturing how their preferred candidate might fare in the general election and as President.)

It's the stupidest shit. Playing dumb for a joke drives me up the wall.

I wasn't playing dumb, but I get your reference.

Years ago, college buddies all rented an RV and head road tripping to the Rose Bowl (winter '91?). We spent New Year's Eve wandering from RV to RV parked for the game the next day. It was quite the party.

I was wearing a former Soviet naval officer's jacket my then girlfriend bought off an officer candidate that got stranded in Seattle after the wall fell and left them on their naval training vessels penniless. It had attracted female attention, and one of my buddies was wing-manning it, working the possibilities. He was good. He was getting through to one of the women, who spoke Russian and was translating my patches.

Another of my friends, though, was in a sabotage mood. While Buddy #1 was spinning a good yarn, #2 approached, grinned like an idiot, and asked, "Can I watch?"

To this day 25 years later, I like to bring that moment up when all three of us are around, just to watch Buddy #1 say predictably, "I can't believe he did that!"

Politicians are not leaders.

"You can vote for someone on Election Day and march in protest of their policies three hours later. It is not your job - and so long as American Presidential voting works the way it currently does, in its ugly, hamfisted first-past-the-post, winner-take-all way, it will never be possible - to vote with your conscience. That isn't what it’s about. Voting for the office of President is about choosing who will keep the lights on. "

http://isocracy.org/content/politicians-are-not-leaders

I can't tell you what to do about the president one, but I think the choices on the other issues are a lot easier, like on ST3 funding, gun access for domestic abusers, voting rights, campaign funding, and the local elections. Your votes on those will have far more immediate impact than your vote for president.


Although...if you did vote for Trump (not for a third party or Hillary or a write-in), I'd have to wonder if you realize how dangerous he would be as president. Not necessarily because of his actions and proposed policies, but because his supporters have already felt encouraged to commit violence - including MURDER - upon various minorities. They have felt that encouragement because he validates their existing bigotry and their violent instincts. I believe that the violent trends will only continue - even increase - under his presidency, because even though he may not be able to legalize said violence with the Congress he has, plenty of people will still be able to get away with it and feel encouraged to do so. I truly worry for the safety of people of color, LGBTQ+ people (LGBTQ+ people of color more than white LGBTQ+ people like myself, but still all of us), and immigrants, if Trump's rhetoric continues to be in the public eye on a constant basis.


I can't say I voted straight ticket this time. For example, ST3? The proposed routing infuriated me! Really? You're going to run dedicated bus lines, but not light rail, to Renton? But Issaquah gets rail from Bellevue?! I'm sorry, but someone at ST has property along the proposed rail. Either that, or overt bigotry against the racial perception of Renton's population has overcome good planning sense.

And how many engineering firms have told ST that a rail across the existing I-90 bridges is a no-go (due to insufficient buoyancy)? Last I heard it was more than three. Yet they insist on routing across.

Not to and through Renton. Something stinks there.

Sadly, I don't think Trump is the real threat to the LGBTQ community, meaning the threat will not go away when he's gone. I know that isn't encouraging, and I'm sorry. Trump re-used the rhetoric that was already suffused in paid media (especially radio), which has been used for the last 30+ years to wedge "values voters" away from the left.

Well, we'll see what happens come Tuesday!

As far as ST3, if I remember correctly from their later plans, there is a plan to have a light rail extend past SeaTac (more than one, even), but my memory is murky as to the specifics. If I'm wrong in thinking that includes plans to extend the light rail to Renton, then yes, that is messed up. Renton and Seattle need to be connected WAY more than Bellevue and Issaquah do, considering the sheer number of service workers in Seattle, who live in Renton and other nearby towns for reasons of housing affordability. Likewise, Lynnwood and Everett and towns north need to be better connected to Seattle for the same reasons. West Seattle also needs quicker transit connections to downtown. All of that should take priority over a Bellevue-Issaquah connection, or an ill-proposed SR520 track. I think the express buses going across SR520 do just fine right now.


As for Trump being a threat to the LGBTQ+ community, he has stated that he would not only propose revocation of same-gender marriage rights and employment non-discrimination clauses, but that he would also propose amendments to allow other forms of systemic anti-LGBTQ discrimination. I say that the other piece - the violence - would only be heightened against the LGBTQ+ community, and particularly its people of color, because of compounded racist and queerphobic bigotry, and because people who support Trump would feel that his hypothetical presidency justifies their violent instincts. Of course that violence won't go away just because Trump does, but while he is around in the public eye, he legitimizes people's bigotry in a way other politicians and would-be politicians - even the ones writing and passing discriminatory legislation - wouldn't dare.


I'm unaware of any Renton extension plans, sadly. The flyer sent out by ST is quite specific as to routing to be funded. So, yeah, messed up indeed. ST has enjoyed some pretty unprecedented successes; losing one election and listening to constructive criticism in the wake of such a loss would be good for them. (Hello! Forget I-90 as a rail link! Insufficient flotation! Trains are heavy! Physics will not be ignored!)

It's impossible for me to separate Trump's personal policy statements from those he pulls from the right-wing radio universe of hate and reuses for vote pandering. He seems, really, to have no concerns other than himself.

I'm personally more concerned about the backlash from fired-up Trumpies once they lose.

So now that I'm looking at the ST3 map, it appears that the extension to Renton via Burien and West Seattle is "under study." Seems a little ridiculous that they haven't prioritized it over the definite projects. There is, however, a plan to extend the current SeaTac light rail through Tacoma, which would be great. It would be easier to access than the Sounder, and less expensive to ride. There are also plans to extend the current light rail up through Everett (also great), and into Lynnwood. I can definitely get behind all of that. Less so the extensions into Redmond or the Bellevue-Issaquah links, because again, the express buses and B line are doing just fine, from what I've experienced during rush hour.


...This is why I'm interested in an Urban Planning degree. Not that I'll ever be able to afford one, and not that the job prospects are numerous post-graduation.


And if you look carefully, as far as I know no line, dedicated bus lane or light rail, gets anywhere near Southcenter. Not that I have any love for malls, mind you, but really? If your goal is serving people who will ride, why no to Southcenter and yes to Issaquah?

I drive the bus to Issaquah. It gets to Eastgate, and most everyone gets off to transfer to Factoria or hop in the car in the garage. I know what kind of numbers they would get outside the commuters. The only goal has to be selling some prime "undervalued" real estate, or watching their own houses/land skyrocket once the link is made.

Something funny is happening there.

So, how do you feel, now that it's all over? Well, not entirely, there's still the possibility of faithless voters...

My take: the US system is especially broken (FPTP is just not a good system, forcing people to choose only between 2 candidates or waste their vote) but democracy is general is failing, as money seems to always win, people believe blatant lies, and the championing of competition over collaboration just seems an unevolved way to govern. The sortition of the Athenians rather appeals, but how to actually get to that kind of system in the modern day? Painful and bloody if ever possible at all. I feel very sorry for all USAians and the world as a whole in any case, the near future is scary, especially for you close up over there.

So, how do you feel, now that it's all over?

Surprised, like more than half the voters. Yet again, we have a majority that lost the race, thanks to the Electoral College.

I, however, am a bit less surprised. I kinda saw something like this as an inevitable outcome; I just didn't think it would be the Horror Clown, the Cheeto Mussolini. He was too ridiculous to be taken seriously (by me, at least).

...democracy is general is failing, as money seems to always win....

Exactly! Which is why I have my pet theory that actually came to be before I thought it would. (Said pet theory is rather complex, but it does focus on the money, as you note. Those that ignore the money, or propose raising more to compete, are either in collusion or gullible.)

For me, the current system would work if tweaked; but those tweaks would be drastic, and affect the money, meaning the only way they could be instituted is for people to realize the growing influence that gobbles their own influence and shoves it to one side.

By the by, here's a good example of how money has entrenched itself. The title of his book says it all!

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