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Greg's Essay/Guide to voting

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    Posted: 11/07/2016 at 16:05
I like to share this (usually just the guide) during election cycles. Greg needs to write more essays.

Voting is a privilege. As such it requires responsibility. Irresponsibility when coupled with licence can lead to social tragedy. If one is to feel good about his or her vote, it is necessary to have an agenda to use as justification, and also to adhere to some sort of ideological protocol for casting a particular vote. Too often in the past, our generation has voted and formed opinion based on self-serving interests. "I know what is good for me, and I don’t really care about what is good for others, I will vote for the candidate or issue that benefits me the most" is a common way of thinking. This is an example of the simplest possible voting convention. It doesn’t require much worldly knowledge or social concern, it is simply a selfish desire for personal gain. This will probably typify most people’s thinking on their way to the polls this year, as it has in years past. But it does not make for a better society. Voting offers us a way to responsibly improve society. If you don’t care about such a goal, then voting isn’t a privilege for you, it's just a routine behavior that happens every four years, or worse, a way to implement evil policies that further degrade the lives of the careless and powerless. If you don’t care about improvement, you better hope that those who do go to the polls advocate your interests. Societal improvement is a somewhat nebulous concept because change is rarely teleological and it rests in the whims of the populace. Most people think that a candidate who wins an election can make the world a better place. This has rarely happened in history. It is the people, or the ruled, who make the world a better place by behavioral changes, and the ruler is usually only a by-product of this collective phenomenon. The process of voting, because it demands sharing of information, requires people to gain knowledge about their world. It offers an opportunity to question whether they accept the tenets of their representatives and of their society. When this occurs, people get informed, people can communicate their distastes, and their hopes. They feel useful and acknowledged by their fellow citizens. And through communication comes action, and eventual abatement of the stigmas that cause suffering and misery. An informed person is a content person. An informed society is a strong society, supportive of its citizens, aware of, and compassionate to those less advantaged. Finally, an informed vote is a responsible vote. It goes far beyond the election in question. The knowledge is carried through the life of the possessor, and it shapes the way that person views his/her position in society and communicates with others. All of this is a contribution to a better community and a more meaningful election.
AN UNORTHODOX PROTOCOL FOR CASTING A MEANINGFUL VOTE:

      1 Determine whether you care about the general well-being of society (If you do not, skip to step 7, if you do, continue on)

      2. Determine whether you are a privileged citizen (If you are not, then proceed to step number 6, if you are, read steps 3, 4, and 5 only)

      3. Examine not how well you will fare if a given issue is voted into law, but how poorly the under-privileged will suffer (no matter which laws pass a vote or who is voted into office, you will probably always still be better off than the people you fear you’ll become, namely the under-privileged).

      4. Create an ideological balance-sheet that details how much better you will fare, as a percentage of your current comfort level, versus how much worse the under-privileged will drop in their current comfort level (for instance, as a very banal example, a mere 2% drop in your current income, could provide a tremendous relative rise in an under-privileged household’s income).

      5. Vote for the issue or candidate that promises to balance the disparity between the privileged and the under-privileged classes, even if it doesn’t make you richer or if it provides a small compromise in your day-to-day comfort.

      6. Vote for the issue or the candidate who will make your life better.

      7. Abstain from voting

Finally, remember voting started out as a way for concerned citizens to play a role in creating a society that was good for all. Over time it evolved into the monstrosity it is today which is no more than a vehicle for selfish partisanism, and worse, a voice for those who want the law to preserve and increase the disparity between needy and privileged. This unfortunate turn of events has made us a hostile, hopeless people. We should remember that history is relevant, and can help us gain a perspective on our current situation. NO civilization persists without a strong sense of social welfare. The British empire expired once its subjects learned that through unity and enlightenment of the underprivileged came a new power structure and a new sense of national community, one strong enough to turn away any possible oppressors. We are headed in the same direction as the failed British empire as our privileged class increases in wealth yet shrinks in population, and our underclass grows in population and shrinks in wealth. Your vote is meaningless if it merely bolsters the selfish desires of a small privileged minority of citizens. A meaningful vote depends on the passage of issues or election of candidates that help to create a better scene for everyone, not merely the rich elite, and not merely provisional support for the poor. If you follow these guidelines, we will have a less polarized, more enthusiastic underclass, and a less greedy, more compassionate upper class; and the quality of our social fabric will be drastically enhanced.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RabidRabbit Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/12/2018 at 19:19
Did not expect 7

Also, personally, if I thought one person would fly off the handle from a few lines, I would probably change the words...unless it can really be defended as some kind of a political or social song, which if one went to law school, maybe one could pull off. But since one did not, perhaps one could spare another the agony of wanting something so incredibly, it feels like said words are sucking the life out of the another.

Feeling this way about a married person, whatever kind of marriage married person is involved in, is uncouth, to criticize myself in the most scathing way possible. I cannot fathom a wife that would allow such a crazed individual to be allured once again. Whatever. I so want to be done guessing about you.

I mean, I would be like- I'm out, bitch

Edited by Marty - 03/13/2018 at 15:33
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RabidRabbit Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/13/2018 at 17:41
I also said who am I to tell you what to do? No one. Thanks for the misrep, bro
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote -Fatal- Apocalypse Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/01/2018 at 06:51

Democracy is the tool the machine uses to make believe it's operators that they are in control. If you vote, you're a soul criminal.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote friteman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/02/2018 at 08:26
If you don't vote, your voice is just being ignored. It might look as a protest to you, but in the end you just give way to what other people decide.



Edited by friteman - 04/02/2018 at 08:36
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote coop Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/02/2018 at 10:36
LoL
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cleverscreename Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/14/2018 at 00:50
Originally posted by friteman friteman wrote:

If you don't vote, your voice is just being ignored. It might look as a protest to you, but in the end you just give way to what other people decide.

is this not assuming that not voting is not a voice in itself?

triple negative? fuck yeah.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote friteman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/14/2018 at 12:00
Well, I guess it depends on how the voting system works in different places in the world. In Belgium, voting is a legal obligation. You must partake in the election (still you can blank vote). But blank votes are not taken into account at all in the counting. They're just ignored. Calculations are made on the basis of regular votes only.

On 10 people, 7 blank vote, 2 vote for A and 1 vote for B. A is credited with 66.7%, not 20%.

So in my country, a blank vote is not a voice in itself. In such a system, blank voting = letting other people decide. Statistically, it favours the party that most people vote for.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cleverscreename Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/15/2018 at 06:07
i think thats more or less how it goes everywhere? whether you're obliged to vote or not i imagine thats basically how its calculated everywhere? so i think i stand corrected against the firm pole of friteman.

also i think this original post here is very cool. especially for someone like me who has a pain body around being forced to participate in things i fundamentally disagree with. i always liked gregs essays and the few times i looked i was never able to find them since the official br website took them down years ago. gregs rationale here is great. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote friteman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/16/2018 at 10:19
Ivan is the one and only firm "Pole" of the BRpage. Fuck yeah!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cleverscreename Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/17/2018 at 00:28
i dunno, i turned into a pretty firm pole after being exposed to gregs logic...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote punkrockjustin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/18/2019 at 19:46
I can agree that voting is a privilege and a responsibility in a democracy.

Not so sure I agree that the USA is still a democratic nation--so much of the population seems unrepresented to me.  Being pressured to choose between Republican and Democrat is too black & white.

Sometimes I vote major party, most times I don't.  I've been told ad nauseum that voting "third party" or even voting write-in is the equivalent to Greg's number 7 in the above protocol.  Looking back at the last two decades, it's hard for me to believe that voting even means anything anymore on a federal level.

I guess when it comes to the voting system in the USA, I have a shattered faith.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CleverScreenName Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/20/2019 at 11:34
Originally posted by punkrockjustin punkrockjustin wrote:

I can agree that voting is a privilege and a responsibility in a democracy.

Not so sure I agree that the USA is still a democratic nation--so much of the population seems unrepresented to me.  Being pressured to choose between Republican and Democrat is too black & white.

Sometimes I vote major party, most times I don't.  I've been told ad nauseum that voting "third party" or even voting write-in is the equivalent to Greg's number 7 in the above protocol.  Looking back at the last two decades, it's hard for me to believe that voting even means anything anymore on a federal level.

I guess when it comes to the voting system in the USA, I have a shattered faith.


In the US, a third-party vote is absolutely a wasted vote. You go to the polls knowing full and well that whichever third-party candidate you're voting for has a zero percent chance of winning or exacting any meaningful positive change. So yeah, you're better off staying home and doing something else with your time if that's the path you want to go down. Unless leaving the house to stand on line for however many minutes or hours just to fart in the wind brings you joy, in which case, by all means, vote for the spoiler. 

This whole "vote your conscience" shit makes you as an individual happy and satisfied, but that's about where the positivity ends. The political system in the US has been a rigged plutocracy for decades, and Citizens United made it ten times worse. So... I guess when you think about it, all votes are wasted votes, and as long as there are two establishment candidates in the running, you're voting for a self-serving shill for the corporate whores that got them there in the first place. 

I voted because I felt some kind of civic duty to engage in "democracy." What a fucking waste that was. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote punkrockjustin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/21/2019 at 06:23
Surprised to find someone who shares my opinion on the matter.  I do still vote, and still vote third party many times, but I don't feel happy or satisfied as an individual because like you said, the system is so... so... well, like you said "all votes are wasted votes."  But I do enjoy the thought that some individual has to look at my ballot and go "really?  people are still doing this?"

Edit:  At least where I live, voting definitely matters for local issues.  Third party really isn't a thing here, but then, party lines in general don't mean all that much here either.  Except during presidential elections when Republicans and Democrats want to fight eachother, and both of them want to fight me...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote StrizzMatik Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/21/2019 at 07:40
Like him or not, Trump winning 2016 was iron-clad proof that voting DOES work and that polls / media / popular culture and the establishment are not only vulnerable, they're largely irrelevant. The turnout for Bernie and Trump proves that both the left, right and the moderates are tired of established candidates and opinions on how to run their own lives, and made that clear. You can be blackpilled all you like, but if the establishment always wins then HRC would've been in office, simple as that. They didn't even hide their blatant bias for her, and their ongoing reaction to the loss and knee-jerk hatred is more than a little telling of their distaste and overall hatred of the public expressing their will in opposition to what they're told to believe.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote punkrockjustin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/23/2019 at 19:47
Originally posted by StrizzMatik StrizzMatik wrote:

Like him or not, Trump winning 2016 was iron-clad proof that voting DOES work and that polls / media / popular culture and the establishment are not only vulnerable, they're largely irrelevant. The turnout for Bernie and Trump proves that both the left, right and the moderates are tired of established candidates and opinions on how to run their own lives, and made that clear. You can be blackpilled all you like, but if the establishment always wins then HRC would've been in office, simple as that. They didn't even hide their blatant bias for her, and their ongoing reaction to the loss and knee-jerk hatred is more than a little telling of their distaste and overall hatred of the public expressing their will in opposition to what they're told to believe.


Hm.  Well, you and I definitely see things differently.  Not sure what to say to this, really; I don't agree with... well, any of it.  Most important difference between our takes is that a corporate CEO doesn't seem particularly different from the establishment to me.  I think 2016 proved the opposite of what you suggest.  Of the three individuals you mention, I suspect that their campaign success had more to do with money than it did informed voters (yes, I realize that campaigning is costly--which, now more than ever it seems, requires an individual to either be wealthy or have wealthy supporters to, er, challenge the establishment).  Oligarchy, plutocracy, call it what you want, the majority of the citizenry seem to have less and less influence on what becomes of their rights, what laws are imposed and how they are enforced, how much they are taxed and what that revenue is used for, what wars their children are manipulated into fighting....

How could 2016 be so significantly different when it was the same as the last umpteen "elections": a choice between a rich Republican and a rich Democrat.  And next year?  Does anyone really think it won't be another "choice" between a rich Republican and a rich Democrat?

I also want to point out that your post sounds uncannily like what I've heard said by mainstream media.

Not sure what it would take to convince me that the American voting system still has a purpose at the federal level other than placebo.  I'd like to see a presidential election in which none of the candidates' affiliations were made known until after the vote--i.e. the merits of their thoughts and ideas and vision were the only things on which voters could base their decisions--and each candidate's campaign received equal funding.  Idealistic maybe... perhaps as idealistic as the notion that an individual vote actually means anything anymore?
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