Friday, November 07, 2008

Voter Independence, Political Ideals over Parties, and Other Dispatches from a Media-Construct Battlefield

Left-libertarianism combines the libertarian premise that each person possesses a natural right of self-ownership with the egalitarian premise that natural resources should be shared equally. Left-libertarianism holds that unappropriated natural resources are either unowned or owned in common, believing that private appropriation is only legitimate if everyone can appropriate an equal amount, or if private appropriation is taxed to compensate those who are excluded from natural resources.... Peter Vallentyne and Hillel Steiner edited a primer, The Origins of Left - Libertarianism: An Anthology of Historical Writings. This text places Hugo Grotius, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Spence, Thomas Paine, John Stuart Mill, Herbert Spencer and Henry George in the left libertarian tradition.


OXFORD, Ohio (ZP) -- You know, it's funny.

I've somehow managed to confuse (and piss off) a lot of folks, simply because, well, for as much as I sometimes ramble on about politics, I've never really made it clear what, exactly, my ideological views are or which party I support.

My bad.

Personally, I prefer the term Sandburg Socialist, since that great Midwestern bard not only influences my writing, but whose ideals also serve as the basis for my political views. And, no, I don't fit either the graph above or the wholly separate, more theoretical wiki definition, either.

I always figured people would pick up the clues I've been dropping on this site for years...

Nothing personal. I'm a Man Without a Party, militantly nonpartisan. And there was no chance, period, of me voting for either Millionaire Right Authoritarian Guy. I swing for the opposite corner when voting for president - it's only in local or congressional elections that my sense of populism kicks in and I'm willing to compromise for the sake of regional stability.

If your choice won, good for you. Here's a cookie. If your choice lost, well, good for you, too. And you get a cookie as well. Hey, I get a cookie as well - I voted and, yep, my choice even got something out of it.

I voted based on principles. And I've done so, well, for most of my adult life. I don't give a shit who won or lost the White House. Democracy isn't a football game - unless you choose for it to be. Though, in all honesty, given the Hank Junior performance on CNN election night and the fact that this election season led to all candidates spending nearly a third of the GDP (exchange rate) of Afghanistan on marketing...

I was shocked that anybody thought I was a Democrat or a Republican, actually - seriously, I keep forgetting that most folks read or hear "Left-leaning centrist" and think "Democrat." And wow, a lot of folks not only think I look like a cop, they also think I apparently vote like one. Just because one reads the word Libertarian on a computer screen does not mean I ever considered voting for the Republican Reject Party candidate.

And, yeah, it's been quite enjoyable hearing about it and seeing some folks' reactions. Don't worry about offending me - hell, I've got skin like a rhino's ass when it comes to political barbs. Gets the adrenaline flowing, it's good for you.

Again, sorry if I confused you. And kudos to the slightly more than 60 percent of the eligible voting population in these United States that actually voted for something, anything.

Even the 500 or so folks who showed up in protest throughout the Rust Belt to vote for the real winners this Fall - baseball's Philadelphia Phillies. Now that's a protest vote.

Yes, I really did vote for one of those candidates down in the Green Zone in the graphic above. Took the Political Compass survey a few moments ago and, well, guess what - that's where I fall and, nope, despite a Democratic Party win, still the same.

And, no, I never considered either major party an alternative.

* * * *

Needless to say, there were some seriously funny quotes this Election Cycle about my presidential choice and political views:

"Wait... am I drunk or did you just say you're centrist because you're between an anarchist and a socialist? Dude... that's ...that's fucked up..."

- Obama supporter

"You voted for the Socialist? I shoulda known you were a Commie..."

- McCain supporter

"Dude, you're the reason she took down the Obama stuff and voted for Nader? God, I knew it - you're a Republican, you fucker."

- No, it's called choice.
I just helped her find more options.

"Aren't you guys supposed to be like, not voting? Fucking French faggot. This is America. Leave."

- McCain supporter and
Obviously not a Log Cabin Republican

"Fuck yeah, dude! ... FUCK! Can I write down that "Camouflage in the Capitalist Kingdom" shit.."

- Intentional Nonvoter.
Steal it, man. Hell, I stole it.

"Man, shit. Thank you for reminding me that I'm not crazy and not the only one refusing to buy this bullshit anymore."

- A Guy Who May Just Vote
Ron Paul/Dennis Kucinich in 2012

"Jason - Ohio could fall because of your callous disrespect for this country with those stupid posters. This is not FUNNY!"

- Ex, Obama Supporter

"Man you're still the same arrogant fucking righteous prick ... when it comes to politics. Fuck you and that wacko Liberal Socialist bullshit."

- Another Ex, McCain Supporter
By the way, Ohio folks cast roughly 85,000 independent or small party votes for a Third Party President this cycle, somewhere between an estimated one and a half to two percent of the ballots cast for that office in the ol' Buckeye State. I'm far from the only one. It's nothing new.

Camouflage. Capitalist. Kingdom. And there are quite literally millions of us out there, who will never, ever vote for Thing 1 or Thing 2. Don't feel bad - it's the American Way.

* * * *

Oh well... Thank all that is holy that we - as well as the citizens of the world - survived another run-of-the-mill election year in the United States.

God bless America! Hosanna in the Highest! Let freedom ring! Hell, Yes WE Can't! or whatever the Obama folks were screaming all day... so exciting, so riveting, so...

Damn, something about Election Season just...

... Just...

Wow, sorry about that. Don't worry, the bastard pops up whenever I get excited. Six, seven times a day. It doesn't bite, no, but watch your eye.

And your back. Once slipped into an awkward position with someone, yeah, it's no fun taking the chick you're seeing down to the local Urgent Care because she told you to go in easy and then your arms gave out, thought you may have accidentally torn...

Horrendous experience. Forgot her purse, thus had to call one of her roommates. The official story the roomie got was, well, she'd slipped in my shower and somehow landed on the plunger.

Oh wait...

I forgot, we're not talking about Erection Reasons, are we? Sorry. Distracted. Cute girl just walked by in front of me. Dead ringer for the girl I was just talking about.

Damn, why do presidential races in the country always remind me of somebody getting fucked in the ass? Oh, that's right. Voting for the President, in the United States, usually turns out to be much dirtier and less seductive, at the end of the day, than your average guy-girl anal sex mishap story.

If this had been a midterm election year, I probably would've thought about that time after an all-night house party, walking into a kitchen, seeing two lesbians tossing dildoes at a blow-up doll. Like lawn darts. I laughed, one of the women went sidearm my way, and I caught a hard shot right in the ol' nutsack.

Hey, don't ask me. That last one just popped into my head.

* * * *

God Bless America, you dirty, dirty girl. That's right, spank me. Like that. Slowly, gently... Ow.

And here, have another fucking cookie. All outta strawberries and melted dark chocolate. Just, please... no crumbs in my bed. Frankly, if the ball drops this time, well, you get to clean it up and wash the sheets in the morning.

You know, let's not ruin that audacity of hope afterglow or whatever they call what we just did to Democracy.

It feels so, you know, dirty. But we'll always have the memories.

- # # # -

EPILOGUE: Yes, I know I promised a lot of folks I'd abstain from political writing during the 2008 Election because, well, I tend to irritate people on the Right and Left equally with my crazy "cynical idealist" politics. But, Good Gawd, what the fuck just happened?
Don't worry, folks, I'm putting the Political Blogging Beast (HA!) back in the box - she's all yours again.

Congrats to ya'll Obama folks and McCain folks, too - voting is, after all, the ultimate sign of courage in this world and it's nice to be reminded that even dirty-politicking has become truly about the campaign and not skin color.


Anonymous said...


My Countrymen always amaze me by thinking that Democrats are "Left." Democrats, as the graph indicates, are firmly in the center of the top right corner. When Republicans talk about the "Left" they really mean Moderate. In many European countries Obama is, again as the graph illustrates, Moderate/Right. This is also why Republicans scare the hell out of them. Republicans are very VERY Right... Zealously Right.

I never thought for a minute that you have ever been anything but Independent Jason. And I think that great! Everyone already knows who I support although I took that same survey several months back myself and saved the results: Economic Left/Right -7.38, Social Libertarian/Authoritarian -5.38 which puts me directly between Ghandi and Buddah and very near you. Ron Paul has some good ideas, and I also like Kucinich's spirit but they weren't going to happen. Sadly, if they did they would most likely be shut down by Congress anyway.

The important thing is to vote and to be true to your ideals. I compromised mine a bit for the sake of being Moderate because another administration consisting of those so crammed-up in the top right corner fills me with the urge to defecate. The only thing I don't agree with is your suggestion that this election cycle was run of the mill. For many reasons this just isn't true. I'm not going to bore anyone with a litany, but I will point out that Obama actually managed to get young children interested (even excited) in the political process (no small thing), and also managed to register and actually persuaded the 18-30 demographic to vote in record numbers. BTW, for the first time in American history a candidate won a mandate (66%) by voters in this demographic.

This scares the hell out of Republicans because once you get the youth vote you get them for decades. As an aside the Republicans are also terrified by the outcome of the Latino vote because they are the only consistently growing demographic in the Country. Throw in the fact that Whites will be the minority around 2040 and they should be terrified. This is why the Republicans are now eating their own. Identity crisis! Do they pander more to fiscal conservatives? Social conservatives? Who? How do they build a coalition when so many Moderates are coming up in the World and speaking their minds.

Anyway, overall I would much rather be moderate than Zealot... That's my $.02, I lost my youthful idealism years ago.

EsotericWombat said...

I fall more or less in the same area of the graph, but take the opposite practical approach to elections. I'm convinced that if we had a President who shared my politics entirely, the resulting backlash would be worse than three Contracts With America wrapped around a Richard Milhaus Nixon. Kulturekampf flailing in its death throes.

I voted for a guy who I think has the potential to move policy towards my liking, and take the rest of the country with him. And who I genuinely admire and trust.

But Congressmen? Well, their job is to represent the beliefs of their own constituents and work those into public policy in whatever way fits. Even the brashest ideologue needs to work with the rest in order to get anything done.

Smurf said...

LOL, you make me laugh Jason! I knew that you would end up writing something on the recent election and I was curious to see what you wrote. My favorite line from your piece is, "Congrats to ya'll Obama folks and McCain folks, too - voting is, after all, the ultimate sign of courage in this world and it's nice to be reminded that even dirty-politicking has become truly about the campaign and not skin color."

Patricia said...

Read the white paper you sent me from that Rajan guy. Thx! And haha love the anarchosocialism tag. you just made that up didnt you silly monkey boy MUAH.

Okay one question: are you capitalist or anti-capitalist? never sure with you, lover. I LOVE that Sandburg link too.

ps: I don't know what's worse the fact that prop eight passed or that you were the only one who bet the jesus freaks would go obama. FUCKER.

The ZenFo Pro said...

Heh, yep... we really don't have a left or, as the analysts say, a social democracy block anymore. It's not just about left and right - it's about a drift up towards a more authoritative Thatcherism in North American politics. The rise of Canada's Conservative Party, the ousting of the PRI, and the election of a president who's quite frankly so far right of New Deal era Roosevelt that he looks a whole hell of a lot like first-term Nixon.

Isn't necessarily a bad thing - Nixon did, after all, open up Chinese markets and start the SALT treatise rolling, and deserves credit for getting us out of Vietnam. But, ha, I wouldn't hold my breath on groundbreaking social reform, since, well, the new prez-elect sure ended up with a lot of those former Religious Reich folks now forming a key constituency within the "new" Democratic Party - as with Nixon's Southern Strategy, Obama's Hope and Prayers strategy...

Actually, I think the GOP actually came out ahead in losing, at least in the long run.Yep, I expect they'll begin what reforms they can internally, probably even shift back down towards a Milton Friedman version of libertarianism, ease up on the religious bedroom regulation talk and possibly begin rebuilding a solid - yet open - party platform.

I think, in all honesty, a good chunk of both Obama and McCain supporters have a lot in common as well on that survey, too.

Lol, we'll have to agree to disagree on this, and watch and wait. I couldn't vote for either guy because, yep, to me in my study of the two - and the trends in power consolidation and voter manipulation - we had just another Nixon/Humphrey election, 1968 in 2008.

Trust a politician at your own discretion.

Well, fuck yeah, Miss New Mom! Glad to entertain ya. :)

Hey, now the fun begins... sorta.

Well, yeah, the anarchosocialism - I think, unless the Poli Sci theorists have been cooking up new terms, I just pulled out of my ass. Sort of a joke.

Well, I guess I am, at the end of the day, a believer in the theories behind capitalism but not the practice or its purpose. I believe we've reached a point where we need to look at what really needs to be considered a public good and what is best turned over to the open free market, what needs to be trust-busted and what needs to be deregulated, and whether or not we can find, as Rajan and his partner suggest (as did Nelson Mandela, too), a new, better form of economic structure.

Thanks for the cyberkiss :)

Yup, sad, isn't it? That Prop 8 situation is going to get a lot uglier...

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