Thursday, June 07, 2007

Continuing Degradation

I’m thinking of switching my political registration from Independent to Republican so I can vote for Ron Paul in the GOP primaries, except I don’t know if I can fit being a registered Republican into my self-image. Especially not since it’s morphed into the party of young-earth science deniers. How could I look in the mirror in the morning?

Damn. If only Paul ran as a Democrat. That registration, I could handle for a couple of months (so long as I could switch back immediately after the primary, and then take a long, long bath in a vat of warm Lysol). The Democrats aren’t as bad as Republicans these days, though that’s no great accomplishment. Democrats are better than Republicans the same way being gang raped by five biker scumbags is better than being gang raped by ten. Either way, you’re badly screwed.

Figures – for the first time in my life there’s a chance I might actually get to vote for a President rather than against his opponent, but first I have to corrode my soul. (Not that there’s anything inherently soul-corrosive about being a Republican; I’m just one of those fragile sensitive types.)

Also, I don’t want to end up on any Creationist mailing lists. Though if anybody asked I could probably say it’s part of a grand scheme to bring down the intelligent-design movement by inflating their postage costs.

Sigh. What to do, what to do? When I close I my eyes I can almost hear the serpentine susurrations of certain people reading this and saying “Join us. Join ussssss.”

38 Comments:

Blogger rhhardin said...

Fortunately Operations Research is on hand to answer this question. You just have to think like a guy for a while.

Voting is a waste of time. The chances of any race that you care about being decided by one vote are zero. Of course, if everybody thought that way, it would be worth voting, but they don't, so it isn't.

But consider what happens if you vote for X and your neighbor votes againsts X. You cancel each other out. Now consider what happens if you don't vote but instead convince your neighbor to vote your way. The your way comes out a vote ahead, even though you didn't vote!

Now think what happens if you convince a hundred people to vote your way. Or a thousand, or ten thousand. You're way ahead.

Not only is it interesting in itself, but you actually have a chance to affect a race you care about.

Don't vote. Persuade.

And of course, don't register, answering the question.

5:38 AM  
Blogger Anj said...

Just remember, you can vote for Ron Paul and no other Republicans. I'm with you on the Ron issue. I think we need somebody in there who knows the Constitution and is willing to speak up and state that we have strayed from it! Down with the IRS! That is one platform of his that I really support (and it's not just because I'm from Texas).

6:20 AM  
Blogger Jim said...

The "don't vote" crowd are mistaken, in my opinion. The error is in looking at each election cycle in isolation.

So forget about thinking like a guy. Think of elections as a market. Voters are consumers, politicians are producers, and votes are the currency. Republicans and Democrats are Big Business (Wal-Mart and Target?), and third parties are the mom-and-pop shops. Everyone's competing for your vote by trying to offer you what you want.

Polls (market research) don't really work as well as people think they do, so the only way to know for sure what your preferences are is to see how you actually spend this vote, and then work on getting your next vote.

Yes, Wal-Mart and Target aren't going away any time soon, and they both know it. That doesn't mean you can't expect them to compete for your dollars, especially since in this market we know that (a) it's a zero-sum game, (b) highest market share wins, and (c) Wal-Mart and Target have nearly equal market shares.

The more votes that get "thrown away" on a crank, the more incentive Republicans and Democrats have to poach the crank's talking points in order to win next time around.

So I guess my advice is: see how much hassle it is to change party affiliation. If it's not much, then vote for Ron Paul, and if you really have to, switch to "registered Democrat" next time around.

6:44 AM  
Blogger Anne O'Neimaus said...

I regularly register as Republican, so I can vote in their primaries. Where I live, the district is 95%+ Democratic, so my vote counts more as a Republican. And there are almost never any third-party candidates to vote for as an "independent" (what you are labeled if you're not one of the Big Two).

Of course, I mostly vote for the candidate I think least-likely to win...my little way of sabotaging the Grand Ol' Party.

2:13 PM  
Anonymous smartass sob said...

Of course, I mostly vote for the candidate I think least-likely to win...my little way of sabotaging the Grand Ol' Party.

I'm sure the Republicans do the same thing to the Democrats. I'm just wondering though - are you one of the reasons that we ended up with the likes of George Bush? ;-)

Myself, I've always voted for the Libertarian Party's candidate, if there was one. When there isn't I just write in "none of the above" or "no one" - if there is a place to write in a name; sometimes there is no write-in option. Where I live I don't think write-in votes are even counted.

9:06 PM  
Anonymous smartass sob said...

I’m just one of those fragile sensitive types.

Hmm, not exactly how you come across in print - though I shouldn't be surprised if that were actually quite true.

...I can almost hear the serpentine susurrations...

Susurration? A neat, new word to add to my vocabulary - cool! Thanks!

11:02 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

No, Smartass, that was ironic fragile sensitivity. In reality, I subscribe to the "Shrug it off and move on" school of dealing with unavoidable unpleasantness.

I think that'll help me persevere through any possible stint as a registered Republican. Helps when working on a phone sex line, too.

7:11 AM  
Anonymous smartass sob said...

No, Smartass, that was ironic fragile sensitivity. In reality, I subscribe to the "Shrug it off and move on" school of dealing with unavoidable unpleasantness.

Yes, ma belle dame (mademoiselle?) sans merci, I picked up on the irony. Forgive me if I can't help but think there must be a heart in there somewhere behind the boiler iron, little and pea-picking as it might be. SSSSSSigh ;-)

11:06 AM  
Anonymous smartass sob said...

BTW, I suppose that could be considered irony as well; couldn't it? Anyway, please do endure being a Republican for a time and vote for Doctor Paul. I intend to do so, and I've never voted Republican or Democrat in my entire life. And yes, the unpleasantness will be nearly unbearable; I shall persevere somehow.

11:29 AM  
Anonymous Dave W. said...

My wife made the same comment about switching to Republican for that reason. Ron Paul is a Truther to the extent I am. I like him.

11:37 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Maybe this comment board can serve as online group therapy for us temporary Republicans. We can discuss the emotional upheavals registering as a Republican has caused us, exchange useful tips for being able to look at ourselves in the mirror ("Turn off the lights, first") and share useful coping tips, such as "drink prodigiously."

If Paul becomes the Republican presidential candidate it'll all be worthwhile.

11:52 AM  
Anonymous Thoreau said...

I change voter registration every 2 years or so, depending on which primary I want to vote in. The result is that I'll get all sorts of amusing mailings, sometimes on the same day. "Help Candidate X win!" "Help us stop Candidate X from destroying our country!"

I say go for it and register GOP to vote for Paul.

I, however, might have to register Dem so I can vote for Richardson. As far as Dems go he's probably a lesser evil. And I really, really, REALLY don't want Hillary to get the nomination. It's not even that I fear her stances that much. Rather, it's that I deeply oppose the idea of electing another Presidential family member.

6:55 AM  
Anonymous NoStar said...

When you register Republican, don't be surprised if you find yourself rooting for Lord Valdemort when the last Harry Potter book comes out.

10:15 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

No can do, NoStar. I'll be too busy arguing that Harry Potter has no business being in the school library, since it's promoting witchcraft.

4:59 AM  
Anonymous Thoreau said...

No blood for broomsticks!

6:05 AM  
Blogger Steve said...

I'm registered republican. Not proudly. I guess I see it the same as ya'll from the other side. If I were to vote democrat, it would be like exchanging the swamp for the cess pool. There isn't a single cadidate worth voting for on either side in my view. Paul is interesting and has good ideas, but he seems a bit nutty if you ask me (not that nutty is necessarily a bad thing, especially given what we have anyway.) He's the elemental, ill fated Quixote that we'll route and cheer for (til he gets whacked) and it's time to vote for real (for someone else.)

8:32 AM  
Anonymous A Moose said...

since it's promoting witchcraft

Hey, watch out now, those are real spells dontcha know....

11:17 AM  
Anonymous Jeff P. said...

Here's a fact/idiosyncrasy about Jen y'all probably don't know: Whenever she is the least bit discomforted by doing something against her nature, she is compelled to justify her actions to someone nearby. For example, the time she bought a Left Behind novel for five cents at a book sale "out of curiosity" (an act she either blogged about or posted about, I recall) I witnessed her explain to no fewer that four people including the cashier, none of whom she will probably ever meet again, that she was only buying it because it was five cents.

It's adorable to watch.

I tell you this because if/when she goes to register republican, she will be unable to help herself from saying "I'm only doing this to vote for Ron Paul" to the person at the registry desk.

I think t-shirts bearing that line are in order.

11:48 AM  
Anonymous A moose said...

I think t-shirts bearing that line are in order.

I'm in for a single XL. If we go with the hooded sweatshirts, I'd have to go with a double X until I get more of my fat lazy ass burned off.

Cafepress?

I think we should have a professional cartoonist do a rendition of the blog picture on the left front chest (logo style) with the statement across the back. I'd prefer basic black with white lettering, but I'd defer to my daughter who is the color goddess.

12:31 PM  
Anonymous NoStar said...

To register Republican don't you have to sign an affidavit foreswearing oral sex, anal sex, and all positions except missionary. (Unless you are in Leadership.)

2:12 PM  
Anonymous smartass sob said...

It's adorable to watch.

Adorable? Jennifer? (smirk, smirk. snicker, snicker)

;-)

4:35 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

It's a simple matter of dignity. I'm not going to pick my nose in public, even if it is in front of people I'll never see again. Neither will I portray myself as a non-ironic Left Behind reader, nor a registered Republican unless I have a damned good reason like "there's a chance to get someone who actually respects the Constitution on the ballot of a major political party!"

5:09 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

And it wasn't that the book was only five cents; it was that I wanted to see what it said, but needed to find a way that involved putting neither money in the author's pockets nor the book on MY library card.

5:14 PM  
Anonymous smartass sob said...

It's a simple matter of dignity. I'm not going to pick my nose in public

You pick it in private then?

Ah well, it's not how one picks one's nose that counts, but what one does with the boogers. ;-)

8:05 PM  
Anonymous smartass sob said...

And it wasn't that the book was only five cents; it was that I wanted to see what it said...

Curiosity is a much more admirable trait than dignity.

8:16 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Yeah, well, curiosity won't work as an excuse for being a Republican. Even if it is only a temporary state of being for me.

8:21 PM  
Anonymous smartass sob said...

Oh! Hello, and good evening. That was a much more rapid response than I expected.

Actually, you don't really need an excuse - it's no one else's business unless you want it to be. I fear, however, that it may prove to be more than a temporary state of being. I mean that you are likely to find yourself on the Republican Party's mailing list for sometime thereafter and subject to requests for donations. Everyone has their hand out, Republican and/or Democrat.

9:02 PM  
Anonymous smartass sob said...

I once found myself on the Republican Party's mailing list. I'm not certain how that happened, but it may have been as a result of participating in a telephone survey. I do know that once, years ago, when they called to ask me for a donation or support for one of their candidates, I informed the volunteer that I always voted Libertarian. I never heard from the Republicans ever again. You might need a similar tactic someday.

9:25 PM  
Anonymous Stevo Darkly said...

Jennifer, maybe you could move to Missouri temporarily? Out here, if I vote in the primaries, I don't have to register with either of the dominant parties. They just ask whether I want a Republican or Democrat ballot. You would only have to be a Republican for less than an hour, and then you could run home and take a shower.

At least I think that's how it (I mean the primary) works. I confess that it has been a long long time since I cared enough to vote in a primary. Of late, there have been too many evils and no clear lesser.

I admit I'm getting excited about the Ron Paul race. I doubt he'll get the nomination let alone the presidency, but at least he is getting libertarian ideas and attitudes some exposure. And the next election ... who knows what might happen?

11:14 PM  
Anonymous A Moose said...

And it wasn't that the book was only five cents; it was that I wanted to see what it said, but needed to find a way that involved putting neither money in the author's pockets nor the book on MY library card.

And telling at least three people assures that the universal forces recognize this and ensure that the proper effect is maintained. Everybody knows that. Right?

Uh, Jennifer? I think your southern girl is showing

1:43 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Dammit, Moose, I can't go around having people think "Look, there's the religious fanatic who reads Left Behind." I just can't.

Yeah, I typed that last sentence in a Southern accent.

4:24 AM  
Anonymous A Moose said...

Dammit, Moose, I can't go around having people think "Look, there's the religious fanatic who reads Left Behind." I just can't.

Fully understandable in a southern small town sense. It isn't what people do that is the problem, it all comes down to what they think about you...its much preferable to be known as the "overtalkative woman who can't buy a book without telling everyone why she's buying it" (as I'm hummin.."In the heat of the night")

Hey, I lived for a bit where everyone north of I-10 was a yankee, I know the drill.

5:46 AM  
Anonymous smartass sob said...

Hey, I lived for a bit where everyone north of I-10 was a yankee, I know the drill.

Heyyy! Moose, I live north of I-10 - albeit only fifty miles or so.

7:07 AM  
Anonymous A moose said...

Heyyy! Moose, I live north of I-10 - albeit only fifty miles or so.

Damn carpetbaggin yankee, I'm sure....

Of course, when I lived down there it was prior to the advent of the riverboat casinos along the Gulf coast, and obviously pre Katrina by a number of years.

1:03 PM  
Blogger Anne O'Neimaus said...

...I can't go around having people think "Look, there's the religious fanatic who reads Left Behind."

So go whole hog: Tell them you need a contribution for a book-burnin', and heard this one was all about sinners who can't get into heaven!

8:28 AM  
Blogger Anj said...

In case anybody is interested here is a link for a petition to get equal media coverage of Ron Paul: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/487443841

6:12 AM  
Blogger perlhaqr said...

Enh. Registering "republican" doesn't make me a republican, just like registering a a "socialist" wouldn't magically make me one. It's about voting for Ron Paul.

My self image is sufficiently strong that I don't have to worry about it being swayed by external labels.

As for rhhardin's thesis, it's utterly ridiculous.

But consider what happens if you vote for X and your neighbor votes againsts X. You cancel each other out. Now consider what happens if you don't vote but instead convince your neighbor to vote your way. The your way comes out a vote ahead, even though you didn't vote!

And hey, if you convince your neighbor, and vote yourself too, you come out two votes ahead!

As for myself, I've been registered Libertarian since my 18th birthday... and I'm switching to R, so I can vote for RP in the primaries. I'll switch back afterwards, I'm sure.

6:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Go ahead, register R. I did it so I could do things like this. The only questionable (beyond regularly questionable anyway) campaign mailing I got was from one candidate's dog to mine.

I WAS hoping to be called on polls so that I could skew them, but alas, that hasn't happened so far.

11:42 AM  

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