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Stop whining?

November 3rd, 2004 No comments

If I read one more away message, view one more article or blog entry, or overhear one more conversation about how Kerry supporters need to shut up about losing I’m going to go nuts.

Let’s get something clear here: while Kerry may have lost, that doesn’t mean his supporters were “wrong” for picking him. I’ve seen and heard all too many people saying “face it Kerry supporters, you were wrong.” No, we weren’t. An election isn’t a test, a gamble or a hypothesis on who is right or wrong. It’s a chance to pick who we think is better for America at the time. To say we were “wrong” gives them implication that there was a “right” person to pick and that anyone who didn’t vote for him is somehow inferior.

The sheer notion of implying the results of an election somehow divide right and wrong is absurd. The same logic could help a majority of the public prove the sky is red and the Earth is flat. Simply voting for the losing side in the election does not make your beliefs false or your opinion invalid. It just means that slightly more people thought that someone else would be a better choice for the country.

I think it’s abhorrent to marginalize the 48% of us who did vote for John Kerry. To say we were wrong is to imply we have to submit to the realization that everyone else was right, and that’s just not how things work. A 3% margin is hardly a mandate by any terms. Let’s remember that while a small majority of the country may have voted for Bush, nearly half of voters disagree with you, and that’s a good thing.

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Sorry sir you can’t vote, you’re goning to vote for the other party

November 2nd, 2004 No comments

I just got back from doing my civic duty. I’ve now voted in two presidential elections; I think that makes me old.

I showed up at the polling place at about 8:15 and was greeted wtih a decent sized line. There were maybe 100 people between the registered and non-registered lines. The setup was kind of annoying, as my ward (#83) had a massive line compared to the other ward at the location (#81). For whatever reason, they only had one check-in table setup per ward, despite the inequity of people residing in that ward.

When I got to the table and told them my name, I saw two older men sitting at the end of the table and trying to listen to my name. I immediatley knew what they were up to so I mumbled my name and pointed to it on the sheet rather than letting them hear it. I might as well make their job a bit harder. They were vote-deny-ers. They had a literal shitlist in their hands of people who they were to challenge the vote of. How despicable.

They were neat and tidy in their little area. Both had a chair, a packed lunch underneath it, and a clipboard in each of their hands. They were in for the long-haul.

I asked the jerks who they were with and they proudly told me the Republican Party of Wisconsin. I really didn’t have to ask as I highly doubt two older white men would be out denying votes on behalf of the Democratic Party. It was sickening to see them sit there with some vile grin on their face as if what they were doing was somehow patriotic. I hardly think the founding fathers would be proud that people actively sit at polling locations and attempt to deny people the right to vote based on highly refined lists of probable voters for the other party.

Maybe if the location was a problem in the past with multiple-voters, or a high amount of transient population without established residency. But this is the freaking west side of Madison.

I asked them if that was the list and they grinned even wider – their patriotic duty being brought to the attention of all in the area. Oh, how proud they were. They were denying people the right to vote because it’s their patriotic duty to help re-elect that monkey of a president we have. For, without them, the president might have blacks voting for his opponent, and blacks don’t win Republicans elections.

I asked them if they felt good denying people the right to vote and they said “well sir, you’re not on the list, are you?” Of course not. I explained I am a white middle-class male, surely I’m not on the list. A black bystander chuckled.

Luckily, to even things out, MoveonPAC had a lady there, as well as a lady from another organization which acts as an advocate for challenged voters. Imagine that, people at the polls HELPING other people vote rather than denying them the right. What a progressive idea.

When I saw them I asked if they were actually attempting to get more people to vote rather than discourage it and they both smiled like “we know exactly what you’re talking about.”

I just find it sickening that in this day and age people are at the polls challenging a person’s most basic right as a citizen. It’s not that the people they were challenging were voting three times or registering under four different names, it’s that they were going to vote for the other side. That’s just wrong. If anyone is going to challenge voters it has to be a non-partisan group, not someone from either side.

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