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A proud member of the reality based commentosphere since 2000. You can find my two Eurocent mainly at liberal and centrist discussion threads, but also at some other surprising places. Also tweeting now, as user "graygoods".

Thursday, August 10, 2006

The Greatest American Value

"In the end the people make up their own minds and this is going to be a people’s campaign"
I think Loserman has a point here, but not in the way he might think. After the great experience of yesterday, who's gonna deny that people made up their mind and that the people's campaign was victorious? And, (sry, now I may sound to idealistic, but its the view of a foreigner) what topic has a very high value in the people's mind? Democracy! It's a value deeply embedded in US history, it's part of the american way, and it always has been one of the most distinguished aspects of US identity. And its main rules aren't really difficult to dig, one of them is you can decide to compete for a position, you campaign for your cause, and then comes the day when your fellow countrymen decide.

But that's exactly the point, it's one day of voting, it's THE day, and if you're not elected, you respect the result and wait for next turn. You don't simply do the stubborn, spoiled kid, ignore the decision and pretend that this try doesn't count and that you are entitled to restart the game. We all now this behaviour from our youth or from young sister, brothers or friends, but it's not adult behaviour, especially is it not democratic behavior . The system simply wouldn't work if everybody would feel entitled to ignore unfavorable outcomes and go on, so nobody is allowed to do so (Kant, right?). And in mayn US states, they have such 'sore loser' laws, it just a historical coincidence that CT is not among them.

Imho, what has to be done now is to generate a lot of buzz about voting and democratic rules. Many citizen simply don't think much about the philosophy of democracy, it's something that is simply there, it's taken for granted. But there always has been a lot of emphasis on what makes America great, so not much campaigning is needed to bring it back to conciousness. And especially the organisations that pretend to pursuit the poeple's interest have to be targeted. They have to answer the question if it is according to their ideals and their mission if they support undemocratic manoeuvers. And the emphasis has to be that seeking a second chance to run for an election may be technicaly not forbidden, but that it violates core US values. Imho it should be possible to spread the insight that Loserman is following a deeply unamerican idea and that no patriotic citizen or group should lend him a hand. If the NGOs can be pusged into the defensive on that issue, they will have to drop support for Lieberman, and certainly many private donators would think twice, too. If Sore Loserman insists on spurning the very principles he purports to defend, ok, but he should be aware that it might be a lonesome voyage.

(originally posted at FDL, but to be honest, I'm too tired to engage in a long discussion now. And I suspect that I'll find this posting incredible naive if I take another look at it tomorrow. Well, however.)

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since when does democracy demand that only Democrats have a voice? Less than 15% of CT voters voted Tuesday, and less than 8% cast a vote for Lamont. Why do the other 85% not count in your democracy? Because of some made-up rule that only people who run under the banner of one of the two major parties have the right to run?

You're right. We should outlaw independent and unaffiliated voters. This is a war, and everyone needs to choose a side or else get crushed!

11 August, 2006 15:41  
Blogger caffeine soldier said...

"Since when does democracy demand that only Democrats have a voice?"

A core rule of Democracy has always been that there are limits on who is eligible to vote. In ancient Athens, only free citizen were allowed to participate in the elections, this excluded the majority of the population effected by the lected politicians and thus was highly discriminatory.

In the US today, only US citizen and only those above 18 are allowed to vote. Also, depending on the race, other limitations apply. Imho almost nobody disagrees with these restrictions. After all, why should foreigners have a vote on the US president, for instance?

It's the same with the primaries. Of course, the choice of the party candidates should be the decision of the party members, not of outsiders. A majority of the Dem party members chose to participate. And every CT citizen 18 and older had the chance to vote for or against Lieberman, all he/she had to do was affiliate with the Dems in time. But, of course, anyone who did so lost the right to vote in the republican
primary. And afaik, only people not affiliated with either party, the independents, are allowed to take part in signing for an independent candidate (those 7500 signatures), so this is their 'primary'. People have to make a choice, they can't have it two or three ways.

But Loserman wants exactly that. He wants to run both as a democrat and as an independent. He conveniently ignores that the ethical decision would have been to chose the Dem nomination process OR the path of independence. Mayn states have a law prohibiting this sore loser behaviour. Loserman simply is exploiting the fact that CT lawmakers failed to implement this. But this doesn't give his approach any ethical legitimation.

"You're right. We should outlaw independent and unaffiliated voters."
Stop spinning! I didn't say that and actually I oppose this idea!

11 August, 2006 17:41  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So yeah...your answer is that you support a made-up rule. People can run in the primary and then in the general as an indy if they lose. You might not like it, but it's legal and it's certainly not contrary to democratic principles. The ballot in November is the only one where everyone can vote for a given candidate, and it's supremely democratic to allow voters as many choices as possible in that election. Unless you know better than the hundreds of people over the past two centuries who have crafted the rules for what's acceptable and healthy for democratic elections in America.

11 August, 2006 19:50  
Blogger caffeine soldier said...

"You might not like it, but it's legal and it's certainly not contrary to democratic principles."

It's legal, at least in CT, BUT it's contrary to democratic principles. This is my personal opinion, sure, and I would like to see a poll on that topic.

"Unless you know better than the hundreds of people over the past two centuries who have crafted the rules for what's acceptable and healthy for democratic elections in America."

"The ballot in November is the only one where everyone can vote for a given candidate, and it's supremely democratic to allow voters as many choices as possible in that election."

You think it would be "supremely democratic" if every losing candidate in the primaries would seek a second chance as an independent? Strange idea.

And you think you know better as the hundreds of people over the past two centuries who have crafted "sore loser" rules to prohibit the exact type of double running that Loserman is engaging in?

11 August, 2006 21:53  

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