Friday, October 13, 2006

Vote Your Conscience - Arcuri, Meier or Sylvia

I've taken a day off to reflect on the complicated dynamics of this election, and come to one obvious conclusion: My views don't represent the views of the majority of the Democrats in this district.

To put it more plainly, my views don't represent the views of 98 percent of the Democrats in this district.

That disappoints me greatly, of course, but then, I don't think that my disappointment alone will persuade 24th District Democrats to give a damn about the issues that I care about.

Someone left a message here pointing out that I really may not belong in the Democratic Party. I'm inclined to agree, at this point, but won't make a final decision about that until after this election is through.

I don't feel the need to take back anything I've said about Michael Arcuri. I think he's a terrible candidate with an agenda of self-promotion that will lead him to betray Democratic voters here whenever he thinks that he needs to and that he can get away with it. Given the reaction of Democratic voters here to his support for the Military Commissions Act, I'd say that he'll be able to get away with it most of the time. I'm furious at Michael Arcuri about that, but even more, I'm furious at the Democrats in our district about that.

But, Ray Meier is also a terrible candidate, and he runs to support a political party that is even worse than the Democratic Party. To write all the reasons Ray Meier is a terrible candidate in a single article would be impossible. Let me just summarize. Ray Meier: Very, very, bad.

The truth is, I admire a lot of what Mike Sylvia has to say. But, am I a Libertarian? No. I believe in the power of people to come together to do good things. That means I still bellieve in the goodness of government, at least when we have a more enlightened citizenry than we do at present.

So, where does that leave this election? The two major candidates support an unforgivable law that takes away the very foundations of our freedom. Both of them believe that they can support that law without consequences, and they're both right. After all, CNN, MSNBC, and FOX News aren't covering the story of that law, and if it's not on TV, I don't think it exists as an issue in the minds of most Americans. Other issues have more sex appeal. Liberty, fair trials, and that funny Latin phrase habeas corpus are just too plain musty for most people here to get worked up about.

So, I've done what I can to bring the issue of the Military Commissions Act to light here. It must return as a vital issue, but it doesn't stand a chance now, when 30 second TV spots dominate the political debate. On this issue, I have this last warning: There are very dark times ahead for our nation if we do not repeal this law, and do so quickly.

Where does that leave this blog? Neutral and adrift of any political party structure - pre-independent, you might say. I don't support any of the candidates, but honestly, candidates are not what I've been most interested in writing about in this campaign anyway.

There are more important things than candidates. They're called issues, and they persist as important things even when candidates aren't out in our district using them as selling points.

I'll spend the rest of the short time left in this campaign season writing about the issues other than the Military Commissions Act, and where the two candidates who stand a snowball's chance in hell of getting elected stand on those issues.

I'll stop trying to tell anyone what to do with this election, because the truth is that there are no good choices. You decide which issues matter to you. You decide how you will vote. We may not have habeas corpus, and half the Bill of Rights may have been trashed, but at least we still have the vote... so long as electronic voting machines haven't been tampered with.

Democracy is all about this basic concept: We may make a rotten mess out of our country, but at least it's our mess.

11 comments:

Curious said...

Today's the last day to change party affiliation for the 2007 races. Better hustle! (Remember, that means you can't vote in primaries.)

24 Independent said...

Like how we got to vote in the primary for Congress this year? And like how our vote in the presidential 2004 primary mattered so, so, so much, given that Kerry already had the nomination practically wrapped up?

The Democratic Party has made the primary promise a really weak selling point in recent years.

Mike Sylvia said...

Sure, I don't have a 'snowballs chance' as long as 60% of registered voters stay home on Nov. 7. I'm happy though, to give people of conscience a place to stand against the Military Commissions Act. Those who do not vote for me will be endorsing the horrors of this law. We will be able to count the number of moral people in the district on Nov 8th.

As for the common thoughts of Libertarians, we oppose the use of force and encourage cooperative ventures to do the most good for the most people. Government force will always meet resistance therefor, less government is better. This I believe is particularly true at the Federal level where it is far removed from the people. For a much better look at the vision I hold see: http://libertyunbound.com/archive/2006_06/mackey-winning.html
John Mackey, founder of Whole Foods Markets, shares his journey to libertarianism.

Peace and Freedom,
Mike Sylvia

Curious said...

http://ithacajournal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061013/OPINION02/610130315

Joan makes a powerful point about the stakes.

24 Independent said...

You know what, I think she doesn't make a good point. She makes the same jump over the hurdle of logic that too many other Democrats make.

One the one hand, she agrees that Maria Cantwell supported the invasion of Iraq, but then calls Maria Cantwell "a fine Senator".

WHOAH!

A fine Senator does NOT vote in favor of a war without solid evidence that the war is necessary. Senator Cantwell was never given that necessary solid evidence, but she voted for the war anyway, because it was the politically convenient thing to do.

Senators are supposed to be more intelligent, and are supposed to have more integrity, than that.

That makes Maria Cantwell NOT a fine Senator, and causes Joan Bokaer's argument to crumble like a house of cards.

I wish her column could have been more honest, and made the more modest claim that she is asking people to vote for bad Senators and Representatives because the Republican alternatives are worse.

Allen Carstensen said...

Jon said - "On this issue, I have this last warning: There are very dark times ahead for our nation if we do not repeal this law, and do so quickly."

I completely agree with you on this, and sometimes, when you reply to my posts, I think you miss that point. 98% of Democrats don't disagree with you about how horrible the bill is, they just disagree about the path back from the brink.

Russ Feingold was interviewed yesterday on Air America. He was responsible for blocking the NSA wiretapping bill the same week as the Military Commissions Act was passed. When congress comes back after the elections in a lame duck session, the Republicans will try to ram the NSA bill through again. Hopefully he can stop it again. He wanted to filibuster the Military Commissions Act but he didn't have the 40 votes he needed because of the 11 democrats that chickened out. Maria Cantwell voted against it, so I'd have to agree with Joan Bokaer, that Democrats should vote for her. At this point if we stopped voting for people like her, then Feingold will never get the backing he needs. Feingold said that reversing the Military Commissions Act would be a top priority for him. If we can pass a bill reversing it, then Bush will veto it, but Feingold wants to force him to veto it and then take that into the 08 election.

Asked why 11 Dems crossed over - Feingold said "Obviously, they feared the fact that this would be laid at their doorstep as being somehow soft on terrorism." He said it wasn't typical of the stands they usually take. I'm hoping the same is true of Arcuri.

24 Independent said...

Allen, any Democratic politician who believes that he has to support laws like this one to earn the support of voters is a fool, and he's going to keep on being a fool. People in the House of Representatives are constantly up for re-election, and if they pander once they'll pander again. Saying this is excusable because there's an election on misses the point.

If 98 percent of the Democrats in this district don't disagree with me on the Military Commissions Act, where are they Allen? What are they doing? What have they done? Nothing. Nothing.

These Democrats in this district talk as if they give a damn, but when it comes down to it, they cave in to the Republican ideology.

No wonder the Democrats in Congress don't have a spine, if Democratic voters across America are like the ones we have here.

I see no signs that Democrats really give a damn, Allen. I'm sad to say that, but come on. How many turned out to the October 5 protests? How many even bothered to find out where the protests were?

30 people showed up in Ithaca. I'll tell you, in Chicago, where I was that day, it was just a thousand. In a city like Chicago, only a thousand Democrats could show up - and after working hours?

Pathetic.

I don't belong with the Democratic Party any more - Josh is right about that. Take a look at who we're voting for to send to Congress in our District, Allen, and tell me that the Democratic Party system is giving us good a good result.

I'd say we deserve better, except that, given what I've seen, I don't think that most people here really want better.

Prove to me I'm wrong. Show me the evidence.

24 Independent said...

Allen said:

Jon said - "On this issue, I have this last warning: There are very dark times ahead for our nation if we do not repeal this law, and do so quickly."

I completely agree with you on this, and sometimes, when you reply to my posts, I think you miss that point.


Allen, if you really mean what you say, why are you supporting Arcuri?

He's said over and over and over again that he thinks the Military Commissions Act is a great law. What makes you think he's going to support a repeal of the law?

If you really agree with what I said, then you have to believe that putting Michael Arcuri in Congress will help hasten the dark times.

True, the same can be said of supporting Ray Meier, but at least be honest about it and say that we're just plain screwed here in the 24th District.

What is your plan for stopping Arcuri's defense of this law once he's in Congress? What makes you think he'll change his mind?

I really want to know what your plan is, Allen. What is the plan? Replace Arcuri in 2008? Hope that there are enough Democratic votes to overturn the 34 who already support it, PLUS Arcuri?

The math just isn't there!

Allen Carstensen said...

''I really want to know what your plan is, Allen. What is the plan?''

I've got a plan. call me

Anonymous said...

I strongly resent Mr Sylvia declaring that because I refuse to vote for a Libertarian, I am not moral. That takes a lot of nerve. How Libertarian typical. I would vote for Ray Meier before I would vote for you and that's no compliment.

Anonymous said...

You know, maybe Arcuri wasn't so bright in supporting W's North Korea policy either.