inkwell.vue.227 : Farai Chideya: "Trust: Reaching the 100 Million Missing Voters"
permalink #26 of 112: Alan L. Chamberlain (axon) Tue 26 Oct 04 21:06
    
>I'm sure you've heard all the arguments for voting

I've certainly heard the oft-repeated argument that if you don't vote
you don't get to complain.  I disagree.  I believe that if you vote,
you assent to the outcome, howbeit fulsom, whereas if you abstain, you
enjoy the right, not to say obligation, to dissent, since you never
bought into the grisly shuck to begin with.  I'm given to understand
that some will fail to embrace this logic, unassailable as it so
manifestly is.

At the end of the day, I don't really believe that voting makes a hell
of a lot of difference one way or the other.  The State is a king hell
configuration of career bureaucrats.  They do as they see fit, net of
what the elected policy professionals enact.  The system is rife with
checks and balances, and in the end, it does what any organism
instinctively does; it self-preserves.  I'm not particularly worried
about the health of the republic; I'm more worried about the
undeterrable fanatics who don't believe in democracy more than I worry
about the apathetic beneficiaries thereof.
  
inkwell.vue.227 : Farai Chideya: "Trust: Reaching the 100 Million Missing Voters"
permalink #27 of 112: Alan L. Chamberlain (axon) Tue 26 Oct 04 21:09
    

Zimbaesque slippage.  As for me, I <heart> your abbreviation; v.
Churchillian!
  
inkwell.vue.227 : Farai Chideya: "Trust: Reaching the 100 Million Missing Voters"
permalink #28 of 112: Alan L. Chamberlain (axon) Tue 26 Oct 04 21:12
    

>how sucky political reporting is

I don't think the reporting sucks.  Check out The Note, for a daily
dose of what's really going on on the ground.  Bloggage similarly
furnishes useful triangulation.  Fact is; most folks can't be bothered.
 Happy to take the artful artifice that passes for political
advertising; guilty on both sides, alas.
  
inkwell.vue.227 : Farai Chideya: "Trust: Reaching the 100 Million Missing Voters"
permalink #29 of 112: Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Tue 26 Oct 04 21:29
    
The problem is that many limit their participation in governance to 
voting, or as some would say, the voting ritual, and when the vote's cast, 
they're done. I wouldn't make axon's argument that the vote is 
meaningless; rather, I would say that it carries little weight in and of 
itself. It means more if it's part of a broader civic engagement.
  
inkwell.vue.227 : Farai Chideya: "Trust: Reaching the 100 Million Missing Voters"
permalink #30 of 112: It matters who your daddy is. (debbie) Tue 26 Oct 04 22:44
    

I think everyone gets to complain!

No, I was saying you should vote, because other people are voting, and lots
of them are voting to approve various initiatives that are poorly thought
out, and if you don't vote against them, then they will win. In a way, it
seems like a lot of people not voting gives more power to the people who do
vote.
  
inkwell.vue.227 : Farai Chideya: "Trust: Reaching the 100 Million Missing Voters"
permalink #31 of 112: Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Wed 27 Oct 04 05:46
    
Well, that's why you have "get-out-the-vote" efforts by each party:  
they're hoping they can get more of their people to the polls,
acknowledging that not every registered voter will vote and not every
eligible voter will register. My argument is that, if you want to
influence governance, you should know that your vote is important but not
enough; you have to become engaged with the process and with others who
have affinity... that's more in line with Christian's discussion, and when
we scheduled Farai and Christian for the same slot, we realized that their
books were sort of complementary.
  
inkwell.vue.227 : Farai Chideya: "Trust: Reaching the 100 Million Missing Voters"
permalink #32 of 112: It matters who your daddy is. (debbie) Wed 27 Oct 04 08:36
    

Just noticed you'll be at ACWLP on Nov 12, Farai. Could be a very
interesting post election moment. Hope we know the results.
  
inkwell.vue.227 : Farai Chideya: "Trust: Reaching the 100 Million Missing Voters"
permalink #33 of 112: Lisa Goldman (lisago) Wed 27 Oct 04 09:41
    
it seems that along with the 'get out the vote' effort  is a companion
effort to scrutinize or intimidate voters at the polls.   Farai, early
on in your book show how Florida 2000 was squarely in a pattern of
disenfranchising black voters since the end of Reconstruction.   I
guess the flipside of choosing not to vote is to try to vote and find
that you're not permitted...
  
inkwell.vue.227 : Farai Chideya: "Trust: Reaching the 100 Million Missing Voters"
permalink #34 of 112: Christian Crumlish (xian) Wed 27 Oct 04 11:01
    
Yeah, the Republicans are sending out email to their faithful saying
that "barring voter fraud" they are sure to win, which seems like a
recipe for an excuse to hold the next president illegitimate if it's
not their guy.

Meanwhile, the Dems are claiming that a tide of new voters is being
undercounted in the polls. Will we know who is right after Nov. 2? I
hope so.
  
inkwell.vue.227 : Farai Chideya: "Trust: Reaching the 100 Million Missing Voters"
permalink #35 of 112: Gail Williams (gail) Wed 27 Oct 04 13:19
    
Farai, what is you take on this letter:
http://www.salon.com/news/letters/2004/10/27/youngvoter/index.html

Here's a particularly optimisitic snippit from it:

>           Kerry wins nationally in a blowout. Election night is
>over as central time zone states finish reporting. Why? Because of blacks
>and young'ns. Bush's people know this, as their strategy is to turn out
>their base while suppressing our base ... fuckers.

It cites the influence of the new Eminem song "Mosh" 
http://www.ifilm.com/viralvideo?ifilmid=2654122

What do you think?
  
inkwell.vue.227 : Farai Chideya: "Trust: Reaching the 100 Million Missing Voters"
permalink #36 of 112: Farai N. Chideya (zimby) Wed 27 Oct 04 22:38
    
Judging from my emails, Mosh is a total phenomenon. It's an AMAZING
video.... I found it about a zillion times more compelling, as a sign
of how hip hop is marketing voting, as the P Diddy "Vote or Die"
t-shirts. (I was just speaking today at Washington University in St.
Louis and the V-o-D shirts aren't selling.) That's because it has
actual content, a critique of the current political environment, not
just an empty call to vote.

I think Kerry is going to win, based on some of the same reasoning as
the letter writer. Not so confident about the landslide thing.

Here's my reasoning. You have three basic types of registered voters:
Dems/Repubz/third party-unaffiliated.

Take third party-unaffiliated:
Some won't vote.
Some will vote for Nader or other independent/third-party candidates.
Of those who vote for a major party candidate, they'll overwhelmingly
vote for Kerry. And in this election, I think many more unaffiliated
voters will choose Kerry than a third party candidate.

Take Democrats:
like, about zero will vote for Bush. okay, maybe a handful.
those who think the party is not liberal enuf are still, by and large,
voting for K
those who like the party are voting for K
those who think the party is not conservative enuf (for example, some
Catholic democrats) are still, overwhelmingly, voting for K

Take Republicans:
there are some Republicans for Kerry
but my sense is, from talking to folks around the country, there's
actually a more significant number of Republicans who can't stomach
voting for Bush, aren't willing to go all the way to Kerry--and just
won't vote.
these include some of the isolationist Pat Buchanan types; some
Republicans who are turned off by the religious-right rhetoric; and
some who are torn over issues like stem-cell research

I just think when it comes down to it, Kerry has united his base with
party outliers (like ABB progressives); Bush has actually split the
Republican party.

For example, take the Ron Suskin article in the Times magazine a week
ago "Without a Doubt," that reads in part:

Bruce Bartlett, a domestic policy adviser to Ronald Reagan
and a treasury official for the first President Bush, told
me recently that ''if Bush wins, there will be a civil war
in the Republican Party starting on Nov. 3.'' The nature of
that conflict, as Bartlett sees it? Essentially, the same
as the one raging across much of the world: a battle
between modernists and fundamentalists, pragmatists and
true believers, reason and religion. 

''Just in the past few months,'' Bartlett said, ''I think a
light has gone off for people who've spent time up close to
Bush: that this instinct he's always talking about is this
sort of weird, Messianic idea of what he thinks God has
told him to do.'' Bartlett, a 53-year-old columnist and
self-described libertarian Republican who has lately been a
champion for traditional Republicans concerned about Bush's
governance, went on to say: ''This is why George W. Bush is
so clear-eyed about Al Qaeda and the Islamic fundamentalist
enemy. He believes you have to kill them all. They can't be
persuaded, that they're extremists, driven by a dark
vision. He understands them, because he's just like them. .
. . 

''This is why he dispenses with people who confront him
with inconvenient facts,'' Bartlett went on to say. ''He
truly believes he's on a mission from God. Absolute faith
like that overwhelms a need for analysis. The whole thing
about faith is to believe things for which there is no
empirical evidence.'' Bartlett paused, then said, ''But you
can't run the world on faith.'

=====

Finally, I'm hosting a Nov 3 party in North Beach.... please come;
RSVPs due by Friday

http://www.evite.com/pages/invite/viewInvite.jsp?event=MZMEVJAFFPMKNKEFMOEH&un
knownUser=true
  
inkwell.vue.227 : Farai Chideya: "Trust: Reaching the 100 Million Missing Voters"
permalink #37 of 112: Sharon Lynne Fisher (slf) Thu 28 Oct 04 05:55
    
>and just won't vote

I was talking to a Democrat around here who'd looked at the statistics
of the Republican primary here in March, and she said there was a
significant dropoff between the number of votes for the local
candidates and the number of votes for Bush.
  
inkwell.vue.227 : Farai Chideya: "Trust: Reaching the 100 Million Missing Voters"
permalink #38 of 112: Lisa Goldman (lisago) Thu 28 Oct 04 06:49
    
re: 36 -- That's an interesting and encouraging analysis.   

BTW, a new interview with Julian Bond in Salon underscores the
conversation about disenfranchisement:

"The two parties are much more aware, taking a lesson from 2000, that
every vote counts, and the Democrats take the lesson to mean we need to
get all our people to the polls, while the Republicans take the lesson
to mean we have to keep as many people as we can away."

http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2004/10/28/julian_bond/index.html
  
inkwell.vue.227 : Farai Chideya: "Trust: Reaching the 100 Million Missing Voters"
permalink #39 of 112: Gail Williams (gail) Thu 28 Oct 04 10:06
    

Yeah.

I have been silently steaming for about 10 years that the right-wingers are
so discliplined about calling the Democratic Party the "Democrat Party" and
that this is staring to bleed into less partisan sectors.  The implication
is that democracy is unrelated to politics, or undeserved by the Dems. 
Over the last few weeks I have had the fantasy of renaming the GOP the 
"Anti-democratic Party."  It's simply stunning to see the contrast 
around that issue -- the simple issue of democracy itself.

The companion piece is that I'm still pissed at Gore's folks for not
demanding a full state recount in Florida last time, and standing totally
on that principle.  Be Democratic and be democratic, both.
  
inkwell.vue.227 : Farai Chideya: "Trust: Reaching the 100 Million Missing Voters"
permalink #40 of 112: Christian Crumlish (xian) Thu 28 Oct 04 12:18
    
Florida law required requesting recounts in specific counties. Had
Gore asked for an entire recount he'd have been savaged for going
outside the law. It was a lose/lose. Fact is, the Republicans stole
that election in advance. That's why I'm glad the law suits are already
being filed in Florida now, before the voting.
  
inkwell.vue.227 : Farai Chideya: "Trust: Reaching the 100 Million Missing Voters"
permalink #41 of 112: Farai N. Chideya (zimby) Thu 28 Oct 04 12:39
    
Well, my book includes Gore campaign manager Brazile's take on their
legal tactics, which she disapproved of. A snip:

Former Al Gore campaign manager Donna Brazile won’t outright say the
Vice President would have taken America’s top office in 2000 if only
he’d listened to her. She doesn’t have to. Instead, she talks about the
point where their relationship—an opposites-attract partnership of the
passionate organizer and the cerebral politician—broke down.

“My sister lives in Seminole County (Florida). She called me and said,
`How many forms of ID do you need to vote?’ And that’s when I broke.” 

It was Election Day. Since dawn, Brazile had been on radio stations
across America, listening to black callers complain of police
roadblocks, problems with the voter rolls, and being asked, illegally,
for more than one form of ID. (Her sister had to show three before she
was allowed to vote.) “This was not isolated to a specific state or a
specific region,” Brazile says. “Black people were catching hell.”

When she went to the Vice President, says Brazile, “I got froze out.”
Gore decided to pursue a legal strategy to fight the suspicious
activity in Florida. Brazile wanted to get activists into play and
focus on civil and voting rights. “The Republican talking points were
all about, `Stop the count. Declare victory.’ And ours were all about,
here’s why we gotta have the count. It was not based on the Voting
Rights Act. It was all blah-de-blah. It was all bullshit.”
  
inkwell.vue.227 : Farai Chideya: "Trust: Reaching the 100 Million Missing Voters"
permalink #42 of 112: Martha Soukup (soukup) Thu 28 Oct 04 12:40
    
I watched "Mosh" for the first time this morning.  Then I watched it again.
I confess I had tears in my eyes; I'm an easy get.
  
inkwell.vue.227 : Farai Chideya: "Trust: Reaching the 100 Million Missing Voters"
permalink #43 of 112: Sharon Lynne Fisher (slf) Thu 28 Oct 04 13:10
    
I saw it for the second time today, and my tv wasn't staticing out so
I could pay more attention. And yes, when all the thuggish youth went
into a government building, and I was thinking, oh geez, just what we
need, threats of violence, and then they are actually all in line to
vote -- yes, I lost it too.
  
inkwell.vue.227 : Farai Chideya: "Trust: Reaching the 100 Million Missing Voters"
permalink #44 of 112: nape fest (zorca) Thu 28 Oct 04 14:40
    
farai, your popandpolitics.com site has been a valuable resource for years
now. i'm wondering what changes you've seen within the youth community since
you started the site and how much impact you see online discourse having
this time around. the noise around the eminem video is certainly one marker.
are there other efforts you see that might actually influence action?
  
inkwell.vue.227 : Farai Chideya: "Trust: Reaching the 100 Million Missing Voters"
permalink #45 of 112: Christian Crumlish (xian) Thu 28 Oct 04 15:11
    
I was surprised how the African-American voter suppression was swept
under the rug in Gore's strategy, definitely. It was the beginning of
feeling like I was splitting off into a separate reality not only from
right-wingers but from the leaders of the Dem party.
  
inkwell.vue.227 : Farai Chideya: "Trust: Reaching the 100 Million Missing Voters"
permalink #46 of 112: Farai N. Chideya (zimby) Thu 28 Oct 04 17:08
    
<xian>, yeah, the Dems have been pretty damned hard-headed about
responding to, essentially, the post-Civil Rights Act, post-Dixiecrat
political polarity.

I'm typing while on a Cincinnati radio show, a black talk radio
program. The ads are AMAZING. There's a ton of Kerry ads, plus one from
something called America's PAC that said: when the Democrats critize
Republicans, "remember who's talking...the losers.... Without black
Republicans, our community would be absent from the corridors of
power."

Crafty... and more than a grain of truth, despite the fact that most
black Repubz don't do much for the black community.

<zorca>, what I've seen is, if I can put it this way, the maturing of
youth. hip hop, for example, has existed as an idiom for 30 years. you
have a whole generation of people raised on cut-and-mix culture, the
quick-cut audiovisual processing of information. em's video, the daily
show, and p diddy's marketing all apply theories of meta-culture--the
idea that we've passed the stage where we can look at a screen filled
with a man in a studio and not think "there's a man in a studio." Most
TV execs have not reacted well to the piercing of the veil... Reality
TV is a poor excuse of a reaction, but I think some of the better
aspects of that--the fact that you identify with a larger personal
narrative--can be incorporated into smart news and culture coverage.

MTV, where I used to work, has various pros and cons, but it really
understands that most people do not see a hard distinction between news
and entertainment the way purists do, and that people expect not to
have to fight sighs of boredom as they watch the news; that they want
narrative, and, no, the back and forth on McLaughlin is not enough;
that they want to understand more about the story of the nation.
Eminem's video is so powerful, in part, because it depicts a coherent
(if, literally, cartoonish) narrative about political empowerment.
That's something a lot of news doesn't do. 
  
inkwell.vue.227 : Farai Chideya: "Trust: Reaching the 100 Million Missing Voters"
permalink #47 of 112: Christian Crumlish (xian) Thu 28 Oct 04 18:09
    
Once politicians got into the entertainment kitchen, they stopped
having the right to complain about someone else using their star power
(whether it's the Governator or P. Diddy) to become a player.

I'm most interested in your sense that the latest generations are
media-creation literate, because I remember when De La Soul came around
that I was listening to Negativland at the same time, and I remember
thinking that both were suburban kid who decided to "talk back" to the
incoming streams of media, whether tv, movies, their parents' records,
the radio, what-have-you.

I think you stop feeling bombarded with that kind of thing when you
can turn it around and put it in your own frame, but I think we have a
wide variety of media literacy, and creative literacy still to deal
with in this country. I think my parents will never fully get TV just
as I will probably never fully get the Internet, but I'm watching
younger people for clues.
  
inkwell.vue.227 : Farai Chideya: "Trust: Reaching the 100 Million Missing Voters"
permalink #48 of 112: Lisa Goldman (lisago) Fri 29 Oct 04 10:13
    
The news itself often seems so partisan that it is increasingly
difficult to watch -- leading to the huge success with younger viewers
of programs like the Daily Show, which feed the audience's sense of
media literacy by skewering the media along with the news.    

This week's "South Park" episode - with it's central realization that
" all elections come down a choice between a giant douche and a turd
sandwich" -- really captured the spirit of alienation from politics
that Farai discusses.    Their send-up of electoral polarity, and 
especially the P. Diddy's 'vote or die' music video segment was pretty
funny - and a brief relief given the tension of the very real polarity
that divides the country.  

Farai, you talk about the red/blue polarity in your book -- and i was
especially struck by your insight that "the best way to tell a red
state from a blue state is not its location in the country but how much
federal tax residents pay vs. how much they get back from the federal
gov't. .... Blue staters pay more taxes to the federal government than
their states get back in return."    

Why do you think it works out that way?
  
inkwell.vue.227 : Farai Chideya: "Trust: Reaching the 100 Million Missing Voters"
permalink #49 of 112: from JOHN ADAMS (tnf) Fri 29 Oct 04 11:53
    


John Adams writes:


There are still open primaries in Louisiana--it's likely to be a factor this
year, as the Senate race there will be the last decided (unless someone gets
a flat-out majority Tuesday).

All the best,

        John A
  
inkwell.vue.227 : Farai Chideya: "Trust: Reaching the 100 Million Missing Voters"
permalink #50 of 112: Farai N. Chideya (zimby) Fri 29 Oct 04 14:16
    
Interesting John... do you live in LA? What's the mood on the ground
there?

I'd love to hear from anyone who's reading this on the WELL or off
about what's going on in their region. 

Lisa, I hope the S. Park episode airs again for the pleasure of my
TiVo. If not, I'll have to find someone who taped it.

Re: Red/Blue and tax $$$$.... the blue states are chumps!!!!! No,
seriously. both the red and blue states are very deluded, in different
ways, about what role they play in supporting and benefitting from the
federal gov't and what they should get in return. The Red-staters play
the role of rugged individualists, but suck from the federal teat; I
think some of the Blue-staters believe, if they personally/individually
are giving more taxes than they receive in benefits, that some of this
money would come back to poorer neighborhoods in their areas. A lot of
blue states are ones with big urban centers, and the Reagan-era
divestment of resources in urban areas has hurt those cities and the
states around them, but no major initiative of federal urban
re-investment is forthcoming.

As a Blue stater, part of me says, "Fuck the Red States. If they're
going to argue for smaller government, let them live by their words."
But I know that not only is that mean; it's impractical, detrimental to
the health of those states, and in the current political climate of
total Republican control of Congress, impossible. I do think the Blue
states need to make a better and more agressive case for reinvestment
of Federal resources where they're needed in those states, especially
in things like urban schools and transportation infrastructure.
  

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