This is the website of Abulsme Noibatno Itramne (also known as Sam Minter). Posts here are rare these days. For current stuff, follow me on Mastodon



September 2007

Convention Time?

I normally disagree with most of what ends up on the blog I’m about to link to, but I found this post particularly amusing. And although I’m not ready to advocate a coup or anything, it makes some good points:

If Congressional Approval Falls Below 10%, Do We Get to Have Another Revolution?
(John Bambenek, Stop the ACLU)

The latest Zogby poll shows that only 11 percent of Americans approve of the job Congress is doing. This is contrasted with Bush’s underwhelming 29% approval rating. These polls show that Americans of all political stripes are losing faith in their government. Congress’ all time low (prior to this poll) is 18% approval. Do we get to disband the government and write a new Constitution if it falls below 10%? For comparison, most foreign governments suffer a coup at these approval ratings.

The partisans on both sides will likely use this poll to show how the other party is ruining America. That’s what they do and most people have adopted this approach. It doesn’t matter who has the most coherent policy, it just matters how you can spin things to show the other party as a moral evil. This line of thinking misses the point.

The poll shows that the average American and the average politician are simply disconnected. The concerns of the average American aren’t represented inside the Beltway and it shows that what’s huge news on the cable news channels and in the latest partisan shouting matches isn’t what matters most to Americans. And America is fed up.

It’s not about a single issue, it’s about the sum total of all the issues that America cares about that go ignored or are actively worked against by our politicians. Our candidates are pre-selected by party insiders where people who aren’t “team players” (i.e. party hacks) are actively discouraged from running. Sure, they’ll take your money but they want yes men in office.

We have representatives from every corner of this country in D.C. Yet all issues are effectively nationalized. How does a representative vote on a particular bill? With his caucus, not with the intentions of his constituents. There are rare exceptions, some of those are honest principled men, many are just media whores who like the press image of being a “maverick”. And America is fed up.

In every direction one looks, one can find a promise of government to help and that promise being broken. Corruption is rampant in both parties and the talking points that one party is more corrupt than another are simply absurd. Looking at the field of 2008 presidential contenders, it looks like it’ll be more of the same. How much lower do approval ratings need to fall until Americans insist that things change?

11% for Congress and 29% for President is indeed pretty sad. Wouldn’t a sign of a properly functioning democracy be approval ratings over 50% at least a decent fraction of the time?

Last time the President was over 50% was in early 2005 right after his reelection. Congress hasn’t been over 50% since 2002.

So the public hates the whole lot of them. But even when new people get voted in, we seem to hate them just as much. Doesn’t this indicate we’re voting in the wrong people? Not a Democratic/Republican sort of thing… just people of all political stripes voting for people they don’t actually like. If people would only stop doing that “lesser of two evils” thing and instead pushed for and voted for other people en masse, maybe things would change a bit.

Of course, that won’t happen. Cause voting for someone without a chance of winning is a “wasted vote”. Bleh. Of course it isn’t really wasted. It is the one and only time you get to register your opinion on who you think should have the job. Vote for who you think would be best. If they are on the ballot, great. (Definitely consider third parties and independents there!) But if you dislike everybody on the ballot, don’t turn up your nose and pick one anyway… think of someone you would approve of and write them in. It is better than voting for someone that you know you don’t like. And if enough people did it, it WOULD be noticed.

But of course enough people never do.


Time is not Enough

Sometimes, things take a lot longer than you wish, and other times you have a lot less time than you wish. Most of the time both are true. And that kinda sucks.