Episode-1453- Challenging the Myths about Voting

My Vote in 2014 Is NONE of the ABOVE.

My Vote in 2014 Is!

I am really late today because I wrote an article that took a long time about not voting.  I wrote this not to convince you of anything only to challenge the myths around the concept.  What amazed me was how quick I got some really hateful comments by people who clearly didn’t even read the article.

How quickly people who choose to listen to and follow my work just out of hand dismissed what I had to say with programmed talking points while never actually hearing what was said.

So today I am going to examine this and I do hope people LISTEN to the substance vs. the title.  You see to me this is about liberty.  I always say, “know why you believe what you believe”, that is all I am saying here.

I think so many people are trying to control other people and tell them how and what to both do and think that people just can’t accept that such isn’t always the case.  It is even harder on a hot button issue like voting.  Anyone listening to this episode or reading my article is highly likely to assume that my goal is for them to follow my example and not vote.  Nothing could be further from the truth than that.

I am only asking you to examine why you believe what you believe and the validity of your own beliefs.  No one who fully understands that should respond with either anger or preprogrammed talking points.

Join Me Today to Discuss…

  • Why I wrote the article and what it says
  • Voting myths and talking points we should examine
    • People died for your right to vote so you should vote
    • Voting brought us great things like Social Security and the Civil Rights Act
    • But there are also important regional, local, etc. issues ballot initiatives, etc.
    • If you don’t vote you don’t get to bitch/complain
    • Not voting is unpatriotic or un-American
    • Not voting is admitting defeat
    • Your vote really matters, it counts
    • If you really cared then you’d run for office yourself
    • What if everyone didn’t vote
    • Voting for a third party sends those in power a message
    • The only way to protect your right to vote is by voting
    • If you don’t vote you are not offering up any solutions
    • You should vote so at least you can say you stood for/against something
    • Our system isn’t perfect but it is the best we can do
  • Why I think you should vote if you personally feel that it is the right thing to do
  • Why you have no right to be angry at those of us who don’t vote

Resources for today’s show…

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83 Responses to Episode-1453- Challenging the Myths about Voting

  1. I always wonder what will happen if there is a “no confidence” or “none of the above” box in the ballot.

    • Modern Survival

      None of the above on the ballot is actually a plank of the official Libertarian Party. Sadly has not a chance in hell of happening.

      NOW here is the kicker, under the Libertarian system, if None got even 1% they would have to have a new election!

      For one side to win they would have to have at least 50.1% a clear majority. So if

      Giant Douche got 47%
      Turd Sandwitch got 46%
      and None got 7%

      Neither Mr. Douche or Mr. Turd wins, the election has to be done again and neither Douche or Turd can run in the next election.

      This will never happen but I must admit it would be a better system. It would end this type of thing, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rAT_BuJAI70

      This would actually be a legitimate election because a vote against a candidate would be as powerful as a vote for him.

      • God I love south park….. Couldn’t be more relevant.

        And the “vote or die” song absolutely hilarious.
        (Quite explicit)
        http://southpark.cc.com/clips/104400/vote-or-die

      • @Jack I hate to play devil’s advocate here, but that means 7% of the population would be able to control the outcomes of the elections in a way that 47% cannot.
        I agree a “None” box would make elections better, and for that matter, I would like to see a 1st and 2nd choice option. I think it’d give people an option to vote for 3rd party candidates when they’d otherwise vote against the democrat or republican they don’t want.
        But I could imagine a scenario where you have qualified African American candidate vs. qualified homosexual candidate, (at least qualified enough to be featured on national TV “news” programs) and racist/homophobic groups eliminate both candidates because they control 5-10% of the vote in that area.

      • James St. John

        Actually your vote totals don’t add up. They only count for the number of people that actually vote not the 40 to 60% of people who don’t vote. And to assume that that 40 to 60% would have the same breakdown of the ones who do vote is disingenuous because those are the people who are disenfranchised by the curb DR paradigm.

        Also could you post a pic of that value receipt that had the Libertarian candidate the Constitution candidate and the Democrat/Republican candidate?

        • Modern Survival

          Don’t remember where I put it but here is another one from Washington, it isn’t uncommon at all.

          http://www.thesurvivalpodcast.com/images/dem-rep.JPG

          As for the totals not adding up and only the disenfranchised not voting I don’t want to waste the oxygen necessary to say any more than you sound like you are overly optimistic.

          Most that don’t vote are NOT disenfranchised by the paradigm.

          Most just don’t care or they figure their guy will win anyway. There are very few actual critical thinkers that don’t vote the reasons I provided.

    • Tim Covington

      What’s even better is that people would have an option when only one person is on the ballot for a position.

  2. What would you tell an 18 year old who doesn’t even want to register to vote?
    Her choice yes.
    Her reason, she could care less about such stuff, better things to do with her time.
    All points are valid.

    • Modern Survival

      Good girl, now go find something more productive to be doing.

    • Which at the moment is poking her brother on Facebook while writing a program which sells unicorns.

      I am not making this stuff up.

      I told her she needed to get her own debit card and order her own robot parts. I went with her to the bank but she had to do the talking. They told her she had to renew her driver’s license first, so next stop was DMV. I reminded her she could register to vote by simply checking a box.

      • Modern Survival

        Hey that unicorn program might make money, you never know at least she is writing a program. Programming is a viable skill. Perhaps get her to listen to this episode,

        Episode-1432- Why the Current Generation is “Lost”

        Make a deal with her, you will not give her any shit about anything for two weeks in return for 90 minutes of focused listening.

        • Modern Survival

          Oh and remember your image of yourself at 18 and how motivated you were, etc. Well just like my image of myself, we are both wrong. At 18 you are a stupid kid, it is part of growing up. The reality is you have no idea what dreams she is really dreaming, what she is working though, what she really wants in life. You can’t compare her to yourself or anyone else at 18 because she is a unique individual.

          That said there is some tough love that can be applied. At a certain point, you pay for your phone or you don’t have one, you pay for your food or you don’t eat. I am giving you 100% freedom, isn’t that what you said you wanted.

          Note this isn’t you pay for your phone UNLESS you do as I say. If one is old enough to pay one’s own bills they should be set in a position to do so. When I came up against this I didn’t get upset, I just said, you can stay on my account because that is simple. IF the money isn’t in my hand by the day the bill is due, I am shutting the thing off and you are on your own.

          The internet was important so when I started charging token room and board and “rent” was late I simply changed the password on the router and disconnected the cable line from the splitter that ran up to his TV.

          Shit is easy if you make it easy.

        • Yes, she is still learning who she is, what she likes, doesn’t like, etc. She is concerned about graduating from high school, what to do next. We can’t figure that out for her. Heck most of us are still figuring ourselves out, a lifetime adventure.

          She was surprised that her AP Government is one of her favorite classes and does great with little studying, while struggling with AP calculus.

          She wants to explore engineering but everyone at school says computer science is her thing. She loves labs and hands on learning, building things, dislikes reading books and sitting in lectures.

          She assumed she had little musical talent or interest, yet now plays on the keyboard any chance she gets, programs her calculator to play songs.

          Didn’t have to find friends, plenty of older brothers and sisters around. They grew up and moved out. She is having fun finding her own unique set of friendships. Feels like her life is upside down, things she assumed about herself are not necessarily true, and not sure where her place in the world is at.

          Her oldest brother told her he’d have no problem getting her a programming internship if she wants now that she is 18. Pays better than flipping hamburgers and she can take it with her to college.

          Tough love. If she wants a smart phone she has to earn the money and buy one. Otherwise she has a basic lowest plan go phone on a free phone. Her driver’s license is a permit. She isn’t too happy with me for telling her she must either practice driving or walk, bike, ride buses.

          I’ve charged room/board to one of my sons before. We were paying his expenses while he worked, saving for college. He withdrew all his savings and gave them to his girlfriend and her mom. (They’d spent their money elsewhere and had nothing left for rent, car insurance and utilities).

          I’ll have her listen to the podcast. Easy enough, just record it and play in the car.

      • Hi @txmom! I just have to say, after reading your reply to Jack, that it sounds like your daughter would do awesome in IT/computers. I’m 28 years old and I work in IT. It’s not necessarily my passion, but I love the pay and unemployment in our field is 2% and recruiters tell me that 2% is just people going between jobs. So basically if you want a job in IT, you can get it. I majored in computer science (at Bradley University in Peoria, IL) and I was named CS student of the year my last year there. Your daughter sounds like she is passionate about programming and she should really follow it. We definitely need more women in the field and we definitely need more Americans. I can’t tell you how many people I interviewed this past year that were not Americans. We just can’t find them. I have nothing against Indians or middle eastern people, but Americans complain about not finding high-wage jobs when there are so many out there being filled by foreigners. So, your daughter would be making it easy on herself if she went into computer science…especially if she can get an internship now and start building her experience. It is a tough major in the sense that some of the labs/homework take quite a bit of analytical thinking and there are so many areas to concentrate in that it’s difficult to know everything, but CS really isn’t as hard as people think it is. I remember telling someone that I was majoring in that and he said “Wow! That’s hardcore!”. I laughed to myself inside because I knew he knew nothing about what a CS major does. Anyways, I just wanted to give my encouragement to your daughter. Maybe someday we could work together!

      • Thanks Brooke, she’d do great in that area. Things others find hard are easy for her. When school gets boring she programs her calculator whether it is a graphic image of her teacher, or a program which makes her schoolwork easier. Lots of opportunities as she is a girl.

        But she loves physics, chemistry even more. Her computer science teacher is like but it’d be easy to get you a cs scholarship.

        The robotics team mentors keep telling her to work on the programing team but she doesn’t want to be stuck with just programming. She wants to put the parts and pieces together too. One of her brothers has his masters in mechanical engineering with a robotics focus and that route appeals to her.

        She takes after her oldest brother who taught himself python in middle school on a dial up computer and wrote code that people used. She doesn’t have the zeal he has for just programming, how many people write new languages for the fun of it? He has an idea and can’t sleep until he enough of the code written to see how it ‘ll work out.

        She programs because she wants to do something, accomplish something.

        Agreed, plenty of jobs in the field. Another brother works more in the cyber security side, company he works for wants to hire another 30, issue is finding enough qualified people to fill the spots. Which is why they have so many perks and fun things to do in the office. She had fun visiting his office. What does it take to work in a place like this? Most have computer science degrees except for the sales group.

        My programming son has been in many discussions about ways to encourage more to take this route because of the real need. He grew up with commodore 64, dos computers, things which are easier to program than newer stuff such as ipads. So he was working on developing ways to program inside browsers.

        Another advantage for those in the field. Easier to get a work from home spot. Set your own conditions. I have grand kids a few miles up the road road because their dad can work anywhere in the world and he chose to raise them near family.

  3. The people that vehemently defend voting remind me of the people that I went to high school with that would violent defend the WWF telling anyone that would listen that “wrestlin is real”. Politics is no different. Theatrics to placate the masses and make them believe that they can affect the outcome.
    I still vote, but only because it is one of the four boxes of liberty (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_boxes_of_liberty). I want to make sure the first three are checked before we get to the fourth.

  4. Jack,
    It is disturbing how quick people jump to conclusions. I find your blog and podcasts really force an individual to examine a topic and then decide for themselves. I don’t always agree with you and I think hat is just healthy. I read your article and have to say I am in the same boat as you. I will cast my vote, but only on the referendums and a few select patriots will earn my vote. Beyond that..they can pound sand. It seems you managed to get some nasty remarks on your post about the chickens too. Like you always say…move on and worry about the changes you can effect. Keep it up as it challenges the thought process.

    • Modern Survival

      What gets me is how angry people get when you say, I am choosing not to vote. Not you should not vote or you are wrong for voting just I am not voting this time and here is my reason for MY ACTIONS.

      To tell you the truth that viscid and angry response is why I wrote this article and did yesterday’s episode. When people get so upset over the choice another person makes and their own logical and well thought out reasons for their own choice, something isn’t right. Such responses are not based on logic or facts. If you want to control a person, get them acting on emotion vs. logic and the deal is sealed. If they agree with your side you use them to advance your agenda and if they disagree you villainize them and use them to rally your side. Either way if you can get people emotional you can USE THEM TO YOUR OWN END.

      When people are reacting with emotion on any issue to the exclusion of logic you control them.

      So I have no objection when a person votes, I really don’t. My problem is stupid attacks on someone who doesn’t saying it is apathy, unpatriotic, a disgrace to those who died in war, surrender, etc. that bothers me.

      Not a single one of these arguments can be logically defended. Apathy is a lack of action, many who don’t vote are more active than most that do at getting shit done. Patriotism is standing for your nations ideals based on being a well informed and principled citizen. To not sanction a person you see as a traitor to your constitution is the height of patriotism especially publicly in opposition to public opinion and peer pressure. The dishonoring the fallen argument is almost always made by those who never served and know not the sacrifice of service, that in itself refutes said argument. Surrender is giving up, I say if you vote for someone you hate, you have given up, when I say F-no to them, I have chosen to fight.

      You are correct my challenge here is for people to think critically not to stop or start voting.

  5. I disagree with him often, but here I think Mr. Carlin speaks my mind on voting.

    (some colorful language)

    And my personal meta view as a whole, ‘Healthy cynicism is the first mental step to the creation of pragmatic problem solving.’

  6. Expect to take some flak when challenging one of the biggest rituals in today’s society. Voting is buy-in. Voting adds energy to the system. I look forward to listening to the podcast.

  7. Jack,

    Great Show! I have come to the same conclusion about the sacred cow of voting.

    Josiah

  8. I’m going to vote in this election, but not based on any delusion that it will make a difference in the results. For me, it’s one more finishing step in my recent “walk to freedom” when I moved to Texas a couple months ago. For elections beyond this one, I’m going to look for someone to earn my vote. Honestly, getting my TX CHL meant more to me in my transition to my new home.

  9. Voting is the most important thing you will ever do in your life. Voting for President is probably the most important vote of all!

    1. You get to declare your support for one team over another

    2. You get a sticker

    3. It makes the person you voted for feel better about themselves

    4. You probably get to spend some time in a place where those nasty guns aren’t allowed to come and hurt you

    5. You get to be excited about who might win

    6. If you placed bets on the election, you boosted your chances a little bit

  10. What are we having an election or something soon?

  11. “What gets me is how angry people get when you say, I am choosing not to vote.”
    I’d like to alter an Orwell quote: “In a time of universal deceit, minding your own business is a revolutionary act.”

  12. You know, it doesn’t help my aggravation about elections that everywhere I turn is a damn campaign sign, every youtube video is preceded by a campaign video, and every other commercial is a campaign commercial full of lies, innuendos, and half-truths about the other candidate.

    Seriously, this is supposed to motivate me to vote?

  13. I have a small gripe from your entire 1.5 hours of well rationed arguments.
    You said that we have a constitutionally protected right to vote. I’m not entirely sure that is accurate, particularly the “right to vote”. I ask right to vote for what? The voting aspect is the nature of a “democratic” government, but that doesn’t mean democracy is a right.

    You have a right to choose whom represents you if you’re looking to have a representative government, but that isn’t the same as “voting”. I laughed when I wrote that because I think its really more of a you have a right to ATTEMPT to choose who represents you.

    It’s a small nit pick (not that it changes anything) but as of right now I’m not seeing how I have a RIGHT to vote. If i had a right to vote I should have a right to vote in ….. ANY election. Nobody on the surface would think that is reasonable. In the beginning of the country the only people allowed to vote were land owners. It’s not crazy to me why that would be the case considering they have a physical stake in the game of how the areas they own are controlled and managed. The federal government’s responsibilities as created by the constitution have everything to do with state and above level business, which is why direct election is quite anti-theoretical to foundational principles. (Not that it matters since the supreme court for quite some time has taken over supreme rule of the country, also not their job).

    One last reason that I don’t think its a right. Having the right to vote would indicate that my right requires somebody else to acknowledge the vote. Right there is the litmus test of what isn’t a right. I think upon further analysis we’d find out that government is really the opposite of individual rights no matter how you look at it.

    • Modern Survival

      Actually if I said that I mispoke if you go though my comments on FB about all this you will see I made your point several times.

      Voting is a constitutional right, it is granted in the constitution. One could make the case that indeed it isn’t a “right” but rather a power as such as a citizen in a government. But legally it is protected as a right and hence the use of the word in common language.

      Self defense, self determination, the right to your own property, the right to speak your mind, the right to privacy these are constitutionally protected rights. The constitution acknowledges these as preexisting and forbids government from infringing on them. At least it is supposed to.

      I have a habit of saying constitutionally protected when talking about the second amendment, etc. I do this because some tool in the audience always has to speak up and say, “the constitution doesn’t grant you rights”.

      AH HUM, ah, yea

      The truth though in the modern vernacular of the word right, is that the constitution does grant some and recognize others. Both constitutional rights and constitutionally protected rights.

      Ironically during the time of the founders people just fricken said constitutional rights, the fact that some were created by the Republic and others seen as preexisting was understood.

  14. It gets to be a wrote drudgery for us few proud anarchists to keep bringing up but…

    Voting is not just tactically wrong (covered in the episode). It’s morally wrong. Something doesn’t become right just because 51% agree with it and a man does not have good ideas just because 51% support him. Two wolves and a sheep could vote on what’s for dinner.

    When you check that little box you endorse the system that I find detestable. I will not take part in a system that brought the CIA, NSA, TSA, endless wars on plants and adjectives, central banking, etc. Voting encourages the current path. Telling me it is my duty to vote is like demanding I join the mafia to make sure the kindest capo makes it to the top.

    The sickest part of voting is that it emotionally invests the voter into believing his voice was heard. Remember the government IS you. If the government sucks, it’s your fault. This is the burden you take on by voting. When you walk away you liberate yourself of the Sisyphean task of fixing the government. You can’t do it, just let it go.

    If I walked up to you on the street and told you I knew for fact what your taxes should be, where war should be declared, what 3rd graders need to learn, which energy sources are best, how fast you can drive, what constitutes safe food, what pieces of metal are safe for you to own, who you can marry, which drugs are safe, what interest rates should be, etc. you’d laugh in my face. But every few years we vote on people who claim all this and more. Aren’t we lucky they grace us with their presence?

    Give it up and focus on something moral and productive. The first election you skip is uncomfortable but you’ll get used to it.

    • “The state can’t give you freedom, and the state can’t take it away. You’re
      born with it, like your eyes, like your ears. Freedom is something you
      assume, then you wait for someone to try to take it away. The degree to
      which you resist is the degree to which you are free…” – Utah Phillips.

      And most election issues are about restricting freedom.

    • Modern Survival

      The best overall comment on this episode so far, extremely valid point at the end.

    • Matthew N Gooseneck

      Well said

  15. Matthew N Gooseneck

    Jack I voted for bush twice as well.
    I want to vote.
    I want to believe that my vote counts.
    I want to believe it is the right thing to do. Sadly since 2008 I have come to believe otherwise.

  16. Carry over from last topic comment’s section:

    Jack said:

    “Well I talk about how to change things daily so that is my answer. But you are making a claim here Jose SO YOU DEFEND IT, how is voting going to change the system for the better right now. That is your assertion, that voting is a solution, I made my claim and I backed it with fact, logic and math. You have neither successfully challenged my claim nor made a case for your own. I have said what I have to say.”
    ********

    OK Jack, I get your point. The Old Lady teaching kids to jar did it.

    This coming spring I’ll offer a couple of gardening workshops to my neighbors. For some time I’ve been debating starting a community garden but the thought of dealing with the HOA and the politics in establishing it have somewhat discouraged me. I rather convince 10 neighbors to start private gardens in their backyards than have a community garden.

    • Modern Survival

      @Jose this is what happens when you “move to Frisco because it is peaceful” and want to live in a place where no people are allowed to do what you don’t want them to. Other people form an HOA (more government you can vote for) and you can’t do what you want to do. Yay! Government!

    • Well, this was my first house and I had absolutely no idea what an HOA was. Where I came from they were no-existent. So my line of though was, “how bad can it be.”

      That said, I’ll give credit where credit is due. The HOA does a damn good job at keeping the place looking nice. It’s a compromise like everything else. You talked about things you can do to sell your house the other day. But if you have 3 neighbors on your block looking like crack houses, well, then you have problems. Bluntly put, the HOA takes care of the rift raft. Almost weekly I get mail solicitations from realtors to sell my house. Why? Because it’s in a nice place with green areas, pools, parks, tennis courts all maintained immaculately by the HOA for $42 monthly. That’s a price I’m willing to pay. On the down side, I can’t have chickens in my backyard, no biggie.

      I did contact the HOA about a community garden a couple of years ago, and they were all for it, but it was a bunch of paperwork to get started. Then, I started paying more attention to permaculture and began seeing the benefits of neighbors have their own gardens . For one, it build more resiliency by spreading the garden versus having them all in one place. So I began sharing some of my harvest and talking to people about gardening. Most liked the idea, but the number one objection was they thought it was hard and very time consuming. So that gave me the idea of holding a couple of free workshops and show them it’s really not difficult or too time consuming. Maybe if we get critical mass, we can convince the HOA to allow chickens one day.

      Would I buy into another HOA community? It depends, that would not be my sole criteria for deciding.

      • Modern Survival

        Sigh, again HOAs are for people that just don’t already have enough government in their lives. Paperwork for a garden? Enjoy your micro nation man!

        • My wife and my first home together was a town home with 3 different HOA’s. 1 master HOA, and 2 sub HOA’s depending on which side of the master you were on. I got to see first hand what HOA’s, property developers, and city governments are really all about. And I can safely say that there is absolutely no scenario whatsoever in which I am going to be in an HOA ever again.
          In theory HOA’s are co-ops that are of, by and for the homeowners. If that were really the case, there would be a community pool that costs let’s say $1,000 per month to maintain, there are say 100 homes in the neighborhood, therefore everyone would need to contribute $10 per month in HOA fees in that example, and everyone could use the pool whenever they wanted. Good luck finding that! In reality, they are often ways to syphon funds away from the homeowners and toward the city and property developers.

      • Modern Survival

        By the way I know Frisco well, my old office is there. There are PLENTY of city regulations to prevent houses from looking like crack houses. Their code enforcement is extremely zealous.

        I also live in a place that is unincorporated, not regs to speak of, some how I don’t have any crack houses on my street.

        Of course if drugs were legal there’d not be any crack houses.

      • I couldn’t live like that, man. I mean, if you like it, then you like it, but I get enough of committees, subcommittees, and task-forces at work.

        Check it out: I live kind of in a rural area on the outskirts of an unincorporated community but there’s really houses all around me.

        When I get too many young roosters crowing, I just start giving neighbors eggs, or sometimes a chicken or two, just to make sure everyone is happy and okay. Just a couple of weeks ago I needed two door hinges and didn’t want to run to town so I traded a couple of old door hinges for some eggs.

        If I end up with too many tomato seedlings then I give my neighbor some – no paperwork.

        When we first moved there a neighbor showed up with a tractor and asked me if I needed a spot tilled up and he did it in about 15 minutes, no problem, no paperwork.

        One neighbor lets us pick all the blueberries we want from his bushes. One gives us boiled peanuts on occasion and sometimes I’ll give him something like a chicken or rabbit to cook.

        No clipboards, no paperwork, no cops, no stepping on each others toes, and if I do then I do my best to smooth it over. Sounds crazy, I know, but it works!

        I don’t know anything about HOAs because I’ve never dealt with them, but if you can turn them around, then more power to you!

  17. If there is anyone in Wisconsin listening to this, ignore it and vote for Scott Walker. Everyone in Wisconsin knows that the last governor election and recall election in this state made a major difference in their pocketbook and in education.

    • Modern Survival

      That election might actually be worth voting in IF YOU LIVE IN WISCONSIN. His challenger is from the Public education system and the polls are razor thin.

      YOU DON’T HAVE TO IGNORE WHAT I SAID HERE TO VOTE IN THAT ELECTION.

      Geez, what the hell part of why I as in ME and in NOT YOU do you fail to understand.

    • Yes I definitely misspoke there, I think that no matter how you say it or how many times you say it, there are those that will conclude that they are being told not to vote. With that in mind I thought I was saying: “So ignore that notion that you think you’re being told not to vote.” enuff said.

      Today’s poll says: Scott Walker leads Mary Burke 50-43 among likely voters in the Marquette poll. As for Walker’s opponent, their running mate is a Viet Nam era draft dodger, if that makes a difference to anyone.

      About voting NRA: never vote single issue, some of the NRA suggestions are simply bad.

      • Modern Survival

        You know it is time to admit that draft dodgers were right even if their politics suck ass.

        In 1969 would I have dodged the draft? Hell no, I would have been a dumb ass false patriot and joined before they drafted me.

        Given that war accomplished the square root of fuck all, the vets of it were shit on by their own nation and the POWs and MIAs were ignored as old ragged goods, do you really want to shit on a “draft dodger”

        Again if I was 18 in 69 I’d of joined up just like I did in 90. It would of been a huge mistake! Like it was for 58,000 that never came home. Give me the ability to know what I know today in 69 and I would have told the government to fuck the fuck off and never went.

        Knowing what you know now do you really think going to Vietnam was a good idea for the nation or for any individual citizen. The logical answer is NO, hence dodging the draft was the RIGHT CHOICE and if you want to attack someone who didn’t go to Nam, likely you have many more legitimate reasons to do so.

        • I grew up believing in the military enlistment, always assumed I was going in. Everyone that I knew at that time, including myself, was gung-ho USA, let’s fight the commies in Nam. But then guys from the neighborhood were coming back in coffins, or traumatized, disillusioned about the war, this country. Should it make a difference today if someone was a convicted draft dodger back then? For me there are too many conflicting issues to ever answer that. What about my friends who were drafted and died there, or came back destroyed? The war ended before I got drafted, I would’ve gone had I been drafted even though by that time, and ever since I believe the draft to absolutely wrong. I would not have gone for “God and country”, but because how could I live with myself evading what my closest friends endured? It’s hard enough as it is having never received “the letter” and they did.

        • Modern Survival

          @Richard but would your friends that suffered really have wanted you to go if you didn’t have to knowing what they knew when they came back. If you say no were you honoring them by doing what they’d have said don’t do.

          Another way to see this, you make a major fucking mistake, a bad move. After a time you realize it was a big mistake and said mistake is killing people, how long do you wait to stop doing it? How many more do you send to die and to kill because you fucked up? If you know that someone else fucked up, how obligated are you to do it too just because they did it first?

        • I certainly did not have the clarity of mind to see that then, anymore than volunteers do today.

        • It might be helpful also to point out that during the Viet Nam war protest era I was from a blue collar family in a blue collar neighborhood. The most vehement protestors were students at the university from the suburbs from very well-to-do families. We despised them. These anti-establishment protestors, followers of Saul Lewinsky, turned into our present day leaders. The draft dodgers had big family money behind them. After the war they became lawyers and then politicians. The draft was incredibly socially unjust. Who got drafted? Those from the blue collar neighborhoods, the blacks, the high school drop-outs and vo-tech students. College students had a deferment. I bring this up to point out who actually pays the ultimate price in war.

        • Modern Survival

          While all you said is true, what good would anyone who didn’t go to Vietnam having done by going?

          Being a rich kid doesn’t make you a bad person you know. Are you really still clinging to that class warfare from that long ago Richard? You do realize that the divide you speak of there was not the fault of those kids or their parents right? That it was a perfectly executed marketing campaign designed to fuel a war that was never meant to be won at the expense of both sides? That those kids who are today’s liberal leaders (many are “conservative leaders” too by the way) were part of the same programming.

          May be it is time to stop being mad at the game and pay attention to those that programmed it?

        • I am not mad now, nor was I mad then at rich kids or for that matter boxed in by a class mentality. I am however describing attitudes that existed then that I recognize now.
          And now, just to crank this up a few notches to have a little fun, what difference does it make if someone was a V.N. era draft dodger? If they turned out to be a liberal, it makes a big difference, if conservative, not a big deal.

        • Modern Survival

          Wow and the dichotomy comes full circle. Thanks for making my point better than I ever could about the programming of society.

      • Modern Survival

        I am not a fan of Walker, but I admit if I lived in your state he might be enough of a LESSER of two evils to vote for. I don’t know, you live in WI, I live in TX your politics are not my concern.

        • Our politics should be your concern as it is not about individuals in this case. It isn’t Walker vs Burke, it is about breaking mob rule. A Burke victory would be a victory for mob rule. Millions of dollars from unions all over the country and world have been invested in this state over the last 4 years because the unions’ power base was taken apart here. A mob victory here this coming Tuesday would be a stunning defeat for rule of law that would have repercussions in every state and in the nation.

          By the way, last year I decided to stop being an armchair pundit and ran for city council. I whupped the 15 year incumbent by a 2 to 1 margin.

        • Modern Survival

          No they are not my concern. Why? I have positively zero influence over your states choice for a Governor. I have learned long ago this truth, “that which I can’t not change is not something I need to concern myself with other than how it might effect me and how to react to said threat, if said threat exists”.

          Does your governor loosing to some school board puke effect me? You know what it really doesn’t, I would prefer that it not happen but it doesn’t. If Walker wins, I may think good for about 5 seconds and if he looses likely I will think, “idiots” for about 5 seconds an at that point I will go on with MY LIFE focused on things that I INFLUENCE.

          You say your governors race should be my concern? Why? I can’t vote there. I sure as hell ain’t going to give Walker any money. What exactly would you have me do, be worried and concerned about it? For what purpose, to what end?

          You see I actually believe if we got the Federal Government down to the size it should be (about 10% of what it is right now) a republic would work pretty good. Then WI would be as free as it wants to be as smart or as stupid as it wishes to be. Of course that isn’t going to happen.

          So again I say your state’s politics are not my concern because again I focus only on what is in my circle of INFLUENCE, when you do your circle of concern rapidly shrinks.

  18. Just a comment from the show. You mentioned that some places will not allow people to vote on just one issue. I ran into this problem when I went to vote last year. I wrote in my cat for every office that I don’t want to vote for…my ballot is now complete.

  19. I just listened to this talk from Australia about American politics. John Pilger brought up many of the same concerns you have Jack. http://www.abc.net.au/tv/bigideas/stories/2011/09/20/3320820.htm

  20. “You know, it doesn’t help my aggravation about elections that everywhere I turn is a damn campaign sign” – Look at the bright side, once the so-called “elections” are over, those sign frames make great shooting target holders.

  21. Matthew In Gooseneck GA

    The second amendment is very important to me. Maybe I can vote along NRA lines. That would have me voting for some GOP and some Democrats. maybe I will do that.
    Voting would make me feel good I think

  22. Garrett Schooley

    “Bill Clinton says voting is cure for polarization”
    This is the headline I read on my local news app right after I just got done listening to this show. I had to laugh.

  23. I miss conflicted Mondays. I hope it was just an oversight. I would like to see it come back.

  24. Jack makes many good points. The question I put to you is your vote doesn’t matter how can you make your voice heard?

    Now not every election is like that and Jack even pointed out that if it mattered he would be there voting. My family has always been politically active. The only person in my immediate family that hasn’t run for public office at one time or another is my brother. My message to all is that while the act of voting may in most cases lost its meaning that doesn’t necessarily mean that the teams have to keep playing the same game.

    I apologizes in advance because this will be a bit “inside baseball.” The Republican Party of Texas has a platform that if actually followed has more liberty in it than many think possible. Is it perfect no not at all. There is a large movement inside of the Texas Republican Party to refuse ballot access to those who do not follow and keep the faith with the platform. This is based on my experiences in Tarrant County, Texas so your mileage may vary but the information is basically the same. A relatively tiny number of people in any one county make up the executive committee of the county party. These people are made up of the precinct chairs voted on a precinct level. They vary in size but in most cases its basically your neighborhood and its surrounding area.

    If you want to have a political voice you have two choices. Form a community group large enough that the town/county pays attention or get actively involved in one of the two teams. I happen to be on the red team but I don’t get any game time. I was at the Texas Republican Party state convention are there forces at work to actively give you crap choices at the polls. Oh hell yes there are but there are conversely heartrendingly dedicated people trying to bring freedom to people. Do I feel like I am ramming my head into a concrete wall sometimes trying to accomplish seeming tiny improvements to liberty? Yeah.

    Just for those who want to believe that we have not lost all hope of political solutions. This Spring in my former town the “freedom activists” came within 54 votes to putting a freedom lover on the city council. That does matter people. Your town has more impact on your life than any partition of government. You also have the most direct and indirect say in your town. There are 22,000 registered voters in Hurst, TX 1,241 voted…it came down to 54 votes.

    Now for this specific election Jack is pretty much dead on in his statements at least for Texas. The ballot choices are a joke in most places. Only a handful of mainly state house and senate races are competitive between the teams and fewer still does that really matter. In fact the only ones off the top of my head would be in Arlington, TX.

    Does voting matter? It depends. However, if the country does go down a dark path people who cherish liberty should and must do whatever they are capable of doing in their own way to go kicking and screaming into the darkness and be ready with a torch to lead the way out.

    • Modern Survival

      Party Platforms mean about as much as promises on late night infomercials. I don’t even care to know what is in a parties platform at this point. I don’t care that it isn’t perfect because what is good about it won’t be followed anyway. I would lay very favorable odds that the majority of candidates running in Texas have NOT EVEN READ THE PARTY PLATFORM. Would you really take that bet?

      • Oh no your pretty much correct. That’s the whole point of the movement I referenced.

        I’ll go farther for you. The majority of the people voting in the actual convention for the platform haven’t read the whole thing.

      • Oh also, a group I belong filed suit for violating the Constitution against a Texas city and their ordinance was ruled unenforceable.

  25. I lost all respect for the voting process in 2012 when Ron Paul had a lot of his votes stolen (Iowa straw poll, trucks mysteriously being lost in the caucuses, the whole RNC convention ignoring the states that were nominating RP, etc). I was gung-ho for Ron Paul. I donated to his campaign multiple times, passed out Ron Paul literature, and had yard signs. That is the last campaign I will ever put my energy into…even if Rand Paul runs. After that campaign, I realized how rigged the voting system is, how the two parties are actually considered “private clubs” and can do whatever the hell they want.

    Also, in that election, when I went to my local precinct voting location, the ballot box was conveniently broken. The election official told me I couldn’t slip in my ballot in the top slot – that I had to put it under the lid. When my husband went to vote a couple hours later, the ballot box was fixed and he got to slip his ballot in without issue. How do I know that my ballot was taken out and counted appropriately? Because of that experience, I tell people that my biggest issue with voting is that I just don’t trust that my vote is counted accurately. Until someone can prove to me that my vote is counted, I will not vote. But even then, all the liberty candidates I vote for never ever win so it’s a waste of my time. Like you said, Jack, I would much rather focus my energy on things I can influence (like building a food forest and self-sufficiency and raising independent thinkers) than worrying about electing someone to run my life.

    • Modern Survival

      I wish Ron Paul had lost because of cheating and vote stealing. If so I would still have SOME HOPE for the people of this nation to pull their heads from their asses before being stepped to the point of total tyranny wakes them up, but I don’t.

      Why didn’t Ron win? Not enough people wanted him to, that is why.

      FWIW, the primary where Ron last ran was my list vote on paper. I went and voted for him in the primary though he was already out of the race by mathematics. Why, I had something to vote for. I realize now though that it simply didn’t matter and in the end no one cared.

      The only votes I can cast in good conscious are for liberty, when my nation decides it wants that too, I will be ready to participate. Our nation is a representative democracy and we are getting represented almost perfectly right now.

      The average American is selfish, lazy, wants to blame others for their problems and wants lots of stuff given to them.

      Now look at congress and the president and well, enough said.

  26. I agree with all your comments about voting.
    I vote because:
    1) The republicans will lead us to hell slower than the democrats.
    2) Voting in local elections still has some validity. If the fools here in Colorado had voted Republican we would not have the nasty anti-gun laws we now live with.

    • Modern Survival

      I conceded point two and stated if such elections existed for me I would vote in them.

      However, point one is a talking point, with no substance. I would like to hear it defended. To defend it you have to point out the positives of the republican policies not the anti negatives against the democrats.

      See the problem with this logic is it is basically saying, Republicans are better at x, y and z so they are taking us to hell slower. At the national level EVEN THAT IS HIGHLY DEBATABLE. But it ignore things like A, B, and C.

      Republicans have been just as bad for the debt and deficit. Saying Obama spent more than Bush isn’t relevant, as Bush Spent More than Clinton, who spent more year to year than Bush Sr. who spent more than Regan, and so on. You have to go back to Ike to find a president that spent less, and that is even an illusion. So fiscally which is where we are most likely to run off the metaphorical cliff everyone talks about the Republicans are as bad if not worse.

      The deregulation of GMOs was brought to you by Bush Sr. when he was VP it was continued under every administration since.

      Other than the second amendment, exactly what do Republicans do better than democrats in RESULTS at the national level.

      The slow bus analogy is weak anyway. If a bus is going to a cliff, get off, regardless of how fast it is headed to the cliff.

  27. I hesitate to get involved in a ‘religious argument’ (based on faith/belief, not fact).. but CHS posted a nice list of questions to ask yourself before you get ‘involved’ in the national political process:

    If You Really Think It Matters Which Party Controls the Senate, Answer These Questions
    http://www.oftwominds.com/blognov14/what-changed11-14.html

  28. Awesome episode Jack. I will put forward a few examples of why I did vote this time around, in NV.

    We had 3 ballot questions. 1 would create more government (NO). 1 would remove a constitutional tax cap (NO). and 1 would create a 2% *revenue* tax on all business (HELL NO). We also had a school board in Washoe County that fired our Superintendent for no good reason and cost us TONS of money in doing so.

    The LP actually advocated voting YES on the first two questions. I mean seriously!?!? “Well, we should make suing people easier and make all taxes level… blah blah blah”

    #1 passed. It was about 51-49. Sadly.
    #2 failed. It was about 51-49. Yay!
    #3 failed miserably. It was about 75-25.

    And that miserable bitch of a school board president got her ass FIRED 75-25 to the local manager of the local Sizzlers 75-25.

    So, while I agree with all your points, I’m glad I voted at least in these races, because some of them were close, and the ones that weren’t needed an exclamation point to castrate the idiots & any potential future idiots.

    My local state rep also was a Dem who voted against gun control because he knew the Dems already had the votes to pass it. If not for our governor vetoing it, Nevada would now have no private sales of firearms.

    So I get it, but at least here, this was an important election in certain cases.

    Your point about an incomplete ballot being disregarded…. I don’t know. I wondered about that myself. I will have to look into what our laws here are on that.

    Anyway, awesome episode. Please always keep us thinking.

  29. Another comment… I’ve always heard that Libertarianism is just a gateway to Anarchism. I never really believed it. Until it happened to me. The walk is an interesting one.

  30. The day before the election, I overheard a family member talking about me:

    “He needs to vote. But only if he votes the way I want him to.”

    …Then, after the election didn’t go as they wanted, I was asked whether I voted for the D or the R for our Senate race. After I quipped that I didn’t want either of them and thus wrote my own name in (for the hell of it), I was told,
    “Well that was a wasted vote.”

    • Modern Survival

      As though your vote for their criminal of choice would have changed anything.

    • ‘Convictions are more dangerous enemies of truth than lies.’
      – Nietzsche

      • That is a very Niezsche quote and if one knows his writing well would understand why as nearly everything he ever wrote was in response to what he would consider extreme hubris and arrogance of the biggest and most influential philosophers at the time such as Kant. Some of the most ground breaking “truths” and convictions were made of which naturally, in his snarky way, punched holes in these truths like swiss cheese.

    • When I read this comment, I’ll admit it irritated the hell out of me. I just don’t get why some people are so ridiculous. It’s misguided anger and confusion. Some people just don’t want what you want, and some people just don’t see the world how you do, and yet they’ll still insist that you do exactly what they do, and if you don’t are bewildered and surprised.

      I’m sure the same person would tell you to “grow a brain” as well if you didn’t mirror copy what they thought… hah.

  31. Its so satisfying to beat a dead horse, so I’m going to post:

    Lysander Spooner’s 2nd Class:
    ‘Dupes—
    a large class, no doubt—each of whom, because he is allowed one voice out of millions in deciding what he may do with his own person and his own property, and because he is permitted to have the same voice in robbing, enslaving, and murdering others, that others have in robbing, enslaving, and murdering himself, is stupid enough to imagine that he is a “free man,” a “sovereign”; that this is “a free government”; “a government of equal rights,” “the best government on earth,” and such like absurdities.’

    yes, I really can’t help myself..