Why do people care about politics?

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Casepb

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I know what you mean. It's pretty hard to care about something that we have little control over. It also makes people act crazy.

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nutter

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@casepb: It’s the crazy part that gets me. Healthy debate and an open mind are great and lead to further understanding of yourself and others.

Be open to understanding people and maybe having your mind changed. Understand that people that disagree with your political views are not evil.

If you can’t do the above, due to yourself or others around you, maybe just avoid political discourse in general. You’ll be happier for it.

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Onemanarmyy

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While spending all your time on politics is probably not the healthiest thing, shutting yourself off from it entirely isn't neither. Just like you would make all kinds of decisions in the household with your family / roommates, a country has to make those too. You probably wouldn't hand all your money to a roommate and tell him that he has to use it to take care of you and leave him alone. You want to make sure you can trust your roommate with this and that he actually makes sensible decisions. And you probably want your opinions to affect their actions. If he blows it all on hookers & coke for himself, you would not put your trust in that roommate anymore. Politics is just that but for an entire country. If they get to decide wide aspects of your life, it's only fair that you get a say in that process.

You don't have to be a political junkie that keeps tabs on all the news, systems & procedures all the time. That's not for everyone. But you should at least be able to take the few hours out of your day to be part of the elections. There are plenty of resources out there to quickly get people up to date about the policies that candidates stand for.

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stonyman65

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Local and regional elections very much do matter and affect your daily life in big ways. National elections, at least in the US, maybe not so much. Both sides kinda suck for different reasons and have horrible policies in general, so you're getting a shit sandwich either way. Just depends on if you prefer a Democrat shit sandwich or a Republican shit sandwich.

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SunSpark

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I'm even younger than you are, and I feel completely desensitized to political discussion and at this point I just try my best to tune it out. I do get why people care about politics though. It's easy to get invested when an issue directly relates to your life.

With that being said though, I find it extremely hard to care about politics when all politicians are capable of doing is pandering to the people who already agree with them. Very few people are actually interested in debating politics, everybody just seems to want to talk to people who already agree with them or impose their beliefs on people with different opinions. In an election cycle, candidates make a ton of promises they don't end up keeping and constantly flip-flop in attempt to appease their own party without losing the moderate swing-voters.

I don't think anyone who's been President as long as I've been alive has accomplished anything meaningful at all, and at some point, I started seeing the left-wing and the right-wing as functionally identical to each other. When I turned 18, I very deliberated decided not to register to vote. Seeing as how less than a third of Americans voted in the last presidential election, and how a lot of people of my generation seem to feel the same way, I think the US is headed for an overwhelmingly apathetic, or at least neutral, future. And frankly, that's fine with me.

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shorap

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#56  Edited By shorap

@sunspark: yep a lot of politicians, especially presidential nominees, make promises they don’t keep. Some are straight up lies, some are because the president isn’t a king and can’t just force things through without some oversight or cooperation from the senate, house, and judiciary.

As for meaningful, I think you mean a president hasn’t done anything that you’ve liked significantly. Every president has done meaningful things, it’s a neutral term which can be good or bad depending on your pov.

Both parties, even the center-left and center-right of the establishment are not identical. They may have similarities (especially the center-left/center-right) such as neo-liberal views of the market and neo-conservative foreign policies but neither party sees eye to eye on women’s reproductive rights, health care, regulation, taxes, welfare, social security, immigration, separation of church and state, race, LGBTQ right’s, religious equality, etc.

I do however agree that it’s more important to go after the half of the country that doesn’t vote. More people will turn out if they have something to vote for instead of against.

Unfortunately some can’t vote because of various voter suppression tactics like voter ID laws, reducing the number of places to vote in an area, eliminating same day registration, early primary deadlines, felon disenfranchisement, no voting holidays, etc. That’s gonna be hard to fix but I won’t go into it since I think you were referring to those who can vote but choose not to.

@stonyman65: national elections in the US can most definitely effect your daily life in big ways. If you think it doesn’t then you’re extremely fortunate or not paying attention.

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davosplat

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#57  Edited By davosplat

@ravensword: Hi there, this is an honest question and I admire your courage to ask about such things. Personally, I think real politics are important. Actual legislation that voters/legislators pursue to (hopefully) better our state/country. I believe that the overwhelming anxiety/fear/toxicity etc is largely being driven by a media industry that THRIVES on causing drama and vastly overstates issues. As someone who is center right politically, it is really really tough to have any conversations these days...even on sites like GB (which has been my online home since way back in 2009).

On a related note, it is quite disheartening to have GB staff members come out and say that if I happened to support the current president of the U.S. they "don't have to be civil" with me...

If we can't all put aside political differences to enjoy a bloody hobby, where the hell even are we??

I have nothing but love for the GB community and staff. Truly.

Sorry for the little vent sesh. Anyhow, props for asking questions...

Also, for the record, no, I don't support everything Trump does, he can be a real dipshit but despite his terrible twitter style persona, his administration's policies have been ok, and the world - despite what the media would have you believe- isn't close to ending.

Also also, I voted for Obama back in the day.

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kmj2318

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I think a lot of it is because it’s a a socially acceptable outlet for tribalism. It’s like sports. Policy is important, but the arguments I hear and get into have no effect on policy. It’s just people making disingenuous arguments to dunk on each other, not giving up any ground, not accepting subtlety for their argument or the other person’s. Both just working off their own confirmation bias.

What is to be gained in an argument? If I use shame tactics to smear the other side it’s because I think I have nothing to learn. In which case neither of us will listen. Calling people deplorables, snowflakes, sjws, nazis, or bots won’t help them see it your way.

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kcin

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#60  Edited By kcin

People who don't care about politics tend to be healthy people who haven't been forced to interact with governmental systems for any reason. They don't go to to doctor often (or ever), they don't need financial assistance, they haven't had to deal with a family member's trauma, they haven't been arrested or tried to press charges against someone. They've never needed to assist a family member in dealing with any of these things, either. They don't understand why people care about politics because their lives have never been materially affected by the massive, labyrinthine systems that politics directly govern.

This is why you will see people frame their political ideology with relation to something in their lives: "as a father of a young woman," "as a brother of a chronically ill person," "as a reformed felon," "as a victim of police brutality," etc. These sorts of things awaken people to the realities of politics: when you are truly in need of help - a family member has been assaulted, you are too sick to work and are drowning in medical debt, you have a daughter against whom you now can project gendered bigotry - you are forced to interact with politics.

Why are my medical bills absurdly high? They can't expect me to be able to afford this. Why have I been denied financial aid? I will be evicted if I don't qualify. Why is it so difficult to prosecute a rape allegation? It doesn't seem to matter that the victim is themselves a witness. How do they expect me to pay this rapidly-ballooning penalty for expired registration on my car when I couldn't pay for it in the first place, and what good does putting me in jail for failure to pay actually do? Doesn't that cost MORE money?

Politics define the guidelines that these systems observe. People tend to awaken to the significance of politics only after they have been forced to reckon with how these systems actually serve (or harm) them. My personal feeling on this is: that fucking sucks. This basically means people don't think about, or listen to, other people impacted by these systems for any number of selfish reasons, and can afford to "be happy" because they don't actually have to deal with them themselves.

It is also possible that people who don't care about politics just never bother to think about why things are the way they are, even when they are suffering beneath the treads of political machinations. This is just the way it is, they must think. The truth is, health insurance doesn't have to bleed you dry. Rent doesn't have to vastly outstrip your income. We don't need to imprison people who don't have enough money to pay fines on parking tickets. These are all functions of politics.

This is why people care about politics: because politics literally bankrupt, imprison, and kill people.

This is also why cries for civility increasingly fall on deaf ears. No, I will not have a lively debate with you about the merits of private healthcare, or caging children and denying asylum, or fossil fuels, or the police state. Those who want to have polite discourse about politics are also people who are largely unaffected by politics. Politics are not fun, nor are they some intellectual exercise. They are life and death - just maybe not for you personally.

You may not care about politics simply because they haven't bankrupted, imprisoned, or killed you or someone you love yet.

Rest assured: one day, they will.

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Drachmalius

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I've cared about politics since I was 12, and 9/11 happened. So yeah, I'm 30 too and living through the Bush era and all the craziness of that time got me pretty invested in the state of things in the country. I don't go out of my way to talk politics with every single person I interact with, but it's important to have values and stick by them. My immediate family was also really willing to discuss politics since I was very young too, which might have something to do with it. We disagreed a lot, but there were a lot of good talks I had with them that helped me solidify my feelings on political stuff.

I have to reject the idea that caring about politics is *just* tribalism too. Maybe for some people that's part of it but also maybe people have actual opinions on important things? That would also suggest that the left and the right are monolithic in nature, when there's a whole political spectrum and people disagreeing with others on the same "side" all the damn time. It's not Coke v Pepsi here.

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shorap

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#62  Edited By shorap

@drachmalius: 100% and we’re seeing a perfect example of this now with the democratic primaries. There’s a host of differing opinions and policies and to generalize both sides as being monolithic is ignorant or an excuse to check out of politics.

-Edited for clarity

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north6

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@kcin: Come on. This is why these threads don't really work for very long. Most people were able to answer the question without pushing, or even disclosing, their own agendas, but I assume you're trolling so I'll leave it at that.

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Efesell

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#64 Efesell  Online

@north6: You assume THAT is trolling? Really?

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FrostyRyan

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Wow, no wonder I don't come to this site anymore.

Because people are suffering, OP. There's your answer. Be grateful you can afford not to care.

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shorap

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@north6: other people here have shown their “agendas.” Don’t know why you chose to pick on a single person?

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clush

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@kcin: Nice little rant, but I think you're just factually wrong. I'm willing to bet that the groups you mention are on average less politically engaged than the more privileged population. It sounds nice, but in fact the exact opposite of what you're saying is way more likely to be true.

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nicksmi56

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#68  Edited By nicksmi56
@kmj2318 said:

I think a lot of it is because it’s a a socially acceptable outlet for tribalism. It’s like sports. Policy is important, but the arguments I hear and get into have no effect on policy. It’s just people making disingenuous arguments to dunk on each other, not giving up any ground, not accepting subtlety for their argument or the other person’s. Both just working off their own confirmation bias.

What is to be gained in an argument? If I use shame tactics to smear the other side it’s because I think I have nothing to learn. In which case neither of us will listen. Calling people deplorables, snowflakes, sjws, nazis, or bots won’t help them see it your way.

Spot on. It's not even about improving the country anymore. It's just one giant sporting event with people cheering on their "team" by any argument necessary. No real discourse, no compromise or solutions. Just mudslinging, sweet little lies and overwhelming social pressure to get you to vote a certain way.

I'll start caring about politics when these clowns we call our leaders start caring about actually making things better instead of just getting power for themselves.

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kcin

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#69  Edited By kcin

@north6 said:

@kcin: Come on. This is why these threads don't really work for very long. Most people were able to answer the question without pushing, or even disclosing, their own agendas, but I assume you're trolling so I'll leave it at that.

How in the fuck do you answer the extremely frustrating question "why do people care about politics, the literal largest and most powerful force on the entire planet" without imparting emotion or explaining your own position? Rhetorical, don't answer

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Gundato

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#70  Edited By Gundato
@nicksmi56 said:
@kmj2318 said:

I think a lot of it is because it’s a a socially acceptable outlet for tribalism. It’s like sports. Policy is important, but the arguments I hear and get into have no effect on policy. It’s just people making disingenuous arguments to dunk on each other, not giving up any ground, not accepting subtlety for their argument or the other person’s. Both just working off their own confirmation bias.

What is to be gained in an argument? If I use shame tactics to smear the other side it’s because I think I have nothing to learn. In which case neither of us will listen. Calling people deplorables, snowflakes, sjws, nazis, or bots won’t help them see it your way.

Spot on. It's not even about improving the country anymore. It's just one giant sporting event with people cheering on their "team" by any argument necessary. No real discourse, no compromise or solutions. Just mudslinging, sweet little lies and overwhelming social pressure to get you to vote a certain way.

I'll start caring about politics when these clowns we call our leaders start caring about actually making things better instead of just getting power for themselves.

You fix that by caring about politics.

You research your local candidates and you vote accordingly. You make yourself aware of what is happening in the country and you tell those local candidates that, if they want to represent you, they need to open their mouths about things like gun control.

And you keep doing it even if you don't get what you want.

All your mentality does is lead to the shitshow we are in. Because lots of kids who are privileged enough to not have to care don't. And when you don't care and the people with very strong opinions do: They fuck up your entire country's economy for years to come by deciding to secede from the european union. They elect an idiot where the question becomes "what will he actually be impeached for?" And countless other problems

Take a look around. Are you living in the world you want to? if so, good for you. If not? Grow up and do something about it. But don't take pride in apathy and don't think for a moment that your apathy isn't how things got this bad.

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Efesell

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#71 Efesell  Online

@nicksmi56: You'll care about the problems once the problems get around to fixing themselves?

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SethMode

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@efesell said:

@nicksmi56: You'll care about the problems once the problems get around to fixing themselves?

There have been a few real head scratchers that are in the same ballpark as this in this thread. I understand that the world is a draining place and that can lead to apathy, but it's also how we get into convoluted messes like the one we're in with professional politicians that have a stranglehold on a district or state because of anything from name recognition to simply voting down party lines with no exploration of policy platforms or issues. The number of times I have seen some rendition of "Why vote? They don't do anything anyway." no matter how much I understand where it is coming from, will never not break my brain a little bit.

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YummyTreeSap

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#73  Edited By YummyTreeSap

i haven't been able to afford to go to the doctor or dentist in almost a decade.

edit: to add, the idea of "respecting your enemies" or whatever is such dogshit. why should I respect people who want me to die because I don't have the money to get my body fixed. or millions of others. this is literal life or death. if you are comfortable enough to not be fucking furious at the scum causing this, you're lucky. realize this, cherish this.

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nicksmi56

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@gundato said:

You fix that by caring about politics.

You research your local candidates and you vote accordingly. You make yourself aware of what is happening in the country and you tell those local candidates that, if they want to represent you, they need to open their mouths about things like gun control.

And you keep doing it even if you don't get what you want.

All your mentality does is lead to the shitshow we are in. Because lots of kids who are privileged enough to not have to care don't. And when you don't care and the people with very strong opinions do: They fuck up your entire country's economy for years to come by deciding to secede from the european union. They elect an idiot where the question becomes "what will he actually be impeached for?" And countless other problems

Take a look around. Are you living in the world you want to? if so, good for you. If not? Grow up and do something about it. But don't take pride in apathy and don't think for a moment that your apathy isn't how things got this bad.

What's the point of research if these people can say whatever the hell they want to and there's not a single thing to hold them accountable? Where they can vote certain ways on issues because they know that's exactly what people want to hear and then chuck it all away when they've finally gotten to the spot they were aiming for since the beginning?

If anything, these fools need to speak less and we need to stop listening to them. You want me to trust you with my future? Then shut the hell up. No more slogans, no more rallies, no more hilariously skewed commercials, no more "Killary" or "Dump Trump", and no more of your farcical "debates" that are just an excuse for your idiotic face to parrot whatever people want you to say.

Lay out everything about you with absolutely no say on your part on what gets shown. Good and bad. Have it all laid out by an disconnected third party, and then let the people decide who they want leading them without any of your smokescreens. Hide even the smallest detail and you're through. Don't like it? Tough. Don't apply to be one of our most important figures then.

And no more of this "Well they get free reign for however many years to lead us down the drain unless they do something super ultra bad!" Do something messed up that pisses off the people? Fine, you're out. End of story. And what the hell even is the State of the Union? People tune in on their televisions religiously to be charmed by a snake oil salesman, and they KNOW this is happening, but they go along with it anyway! Why are we not told every single detail of what's going on with our leaders to the letter as it happens? Why do we have to wait for the news to tell us about the horrible crap that goes on behind closed doors, or even worse, find it out in a history textbook years after the damage has been done?

And no, it's not my fault that things are as bad as they are. It's the fault of every single person who continues to play this sick little game. The people who say they're "informed" because they checked the websites of the exact people that they KNOW are lying to them! The people who KNOW that the people are involved are human trash, but still give them power because "Oh, they're not AS bad as the other guy!" instead of focusing on the fact that, ya know, THEY'RE BAD! And then you whine and cry when you get screwed? Entire "debates" go by with several large issues not even being touched on, just more mudslinging and the most ridiculous nonsense coming out of these people's mouths, and I'm the bad guy for saying that I refuse to leave the future to these people?

And yes, obviously, I'm not packing all the answers to these problems in my head, and what I've typed here is nowhere near comprehensive, but it's incomprehensible and infuriating that everyone just seems to love to go along with this garbage. If the people of this nation would unite and actually stand up for themselves for the next couple of elections, said "Screw you, we're not participating in this nonsense until you give us every scrap of actual information on these issues and these people," didn't go vote, and then ignored whatever losers they put in by default, I guarantee we'd see change in this system. What are they going to do? Throw the entire population in jail?

That's never going to happen though. Despite all the hand wringing about the issues and he said this and he said that and Dirty Libs this and Republican Pig that, everyone seems to love to ignore the underlying problems in the system itself. They'll complain, but they won't take the necessary steps to actually influence some real change. They just vote, get screwed, complain, and then do it again next time to convince themselves they have a "voice", all while the people with real power laugh in their comfy chairs and manipulate them against each other. They know that real change could be made if we all worked together and came up with a better, more honest way of doing things, but that's too hard apparently. Better to just cheer for my sports team and watch as countless people's lives are ruined in the process, am I right?

The whole thing is a freaking joke.

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SethMode

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@nicksmi56: I absolutely mean no disrespect here because I understand where you are coming from, but this is just the longer form version of "I'll wait to care once someone else fixes the problem, but that will never happen because the people that can fix it are the problem."

A difference can be made on the local and even larger scales. Support candidates you believe in, volunteer for them, realize that running for office is extremely difficult and costs money, and spread the word to as many people as you can. In the moment, call your senators and representative when something heinous is happening. Explain why it is heinous to friends or relatives that don't agree, in the (admittedly small) chance that you might change your mind. Waiting for everything to break is only ever going to make things worse, because it's just going to do things like increase the wage gap, and ensure the have-nots never get a seat at the table. It was never going to be easy, but increased apathy is definitely what got us here so quickly post WW2. Saying, effectively, "Politics, amirite? Who has the time? Just a bunch of corrupt assholes." is both inaccurate and completely ineffective. There are plenty of statesmen on all levels of government, it's just about getting out there, supporting them, and being willing to be a part of the process, especially when it comes to the shitheels that need to go. Getting frustrated and leaving the table solves nothing.

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shorap

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#77  Edited By shorap

@nicksmi56: there are real solutions though. Regular people running for office has been getting more and more popular over the years. Protesting can make a difference, primaring incumbents, involvement in a community (town, neighborhood, or even just family), volunteering, joining movements, etc.

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Shindig

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#78 Shindig  Online

I want to see if the extinction rebellion types actually get into community projects rather than trying to shut down airports. The logistics required to go carbon neutral sounds like a massive, decades long undertaking.

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Hotpot

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Just yesterday I discussed it with my friends Lol what a coincidence

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nicksmi56

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@sethmode said:

@nicksmi56: I absolutely mean no disrespect here because I understand where you are coming from, but this is just the longer form version of "I'll wait to care once someone else fixes the problem, but that will never happen because the people that can fix it are the problem."

A difference can be made on the local and even larger scales. Support candidates you believe in, volunteer for them, realize that running for office is extremely difficult and costs money, and spread the word to as many people as you can. In the moment, call your senators and representative when something heinous is happening. Explain why it is heinous to friends or relatives that don't agree, in the (admittedly small) chance that you might change your mind. Waiting for everything to break is only ever going to make things worse, because it's just going to do things like increase the wage gap, and ensure the have-nots never get a seat at the table. It was never going to be easy, but increased apathy is definitely what got us here so quickly post WW2. Saying, effectively, "Politics, amirite? Who has the time? Just a bunch of corrupt assholes." is both inaccurate and completely ineffective. There are plenty of statesmen on all levels of government, it's just about getting out there, supporting them, and being willing to be a part of the process, especially when it comes to the shitheels that need to go. Getting frustrated and leaving the table solves nothing.

That's not what I'm saying. I'm saying "Hey, guys! If this system is so bad, which everyone knows about, let's get together and get rid of it!" The people that can fix it in an easier way are a problem, sure, but that bigger problem is that people know they're a problem and can't be bothered to do anything about it. I've been over this before with friends and family, and the overwhelming response is, "Nah, you should just stop complaining and vote!"

Why??? What does that do?! Are we really betting on one day, after hundreds of years of the exact opposite, we'll elect just the right people and they'll turn around and give up the system that gives them power out of the goodness of their hearts? What kind of fantasy pipe dream is that???

It's like if everyone in the U.S. sat down, row by row, at machines where you press a button and you get punched in the face by a boxing glove on a stick. It's only gotten more and more obvious with time that all this machine does is punch you in the face. They've even put up a sign saying "This machine will punch you in the face." And after an embarrassingly long time, you turn to the person next to you and say "Hey, let's stop doing this. We're only getting punched in the face. Let's go to the company that makes these and tell them to stop punching us in the face," only to have them look at you and go "No, if you keep pushing the button, eventually the hand will give you a pat on the back!" Or sitting down at a gambling table with a clearly marked weighted die and thinking if you just keep putting in money, the die will magically become unloaded and you'll win. Sounds moronic, right? It is, but apparently when it comes to our leaders, it's the right solution!

Did just shutting up and voting get rid of Jim Crow? Did it get women the right to vote? Would America even exist if all we did when we got screwed by England was sit there and take it while complaining? Of course not! Every single time we needed a radical change, it took the people coming together, giving the powers that be a gigantic middle finger, and forcing that change on them. That's how it's worked throughout history, not just in America, but in countless other countries.

So no, I'm not sitting back and waiting for politicians to fix themselves! They WON'T! No matter how much you protest, no matter how much you vote red, blue, purple, orange, yellow, and no matter how much you "exercise your civic duty," real change isn't going to come because you're trying to change things by playing in a rigged game! I'm waiting for people to realize that this is a dumb idea! So we can get together and tell every single lying snake up there to go screw themselves! They don't like to seriously admit it, but they need us! A leader of nothing is no leader at all. Every time you sit at your ballot, fill it out and go "Well, maybe this time," you are giving them the power to screw you. If we all agreed to walk away from the table and ignore whatever the people at that table tell us, that's when things change! I know this because we've done it before! And then we could come up with something better, because we've done that before too! That's how we became America in the first freaking place!

But clearly the only way forward to sit at that machine and get punched in the face while waiting for that mythical pat on the back? Am I supposed to seriously consider that as an option? We've been doing that and it hasn't done jack diddly squat! It's not going to suddenly work!

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shorap

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@nicksmi56: people peacefully protesting lessened the severity of Jim Crow and gave women the right to vote. You’re suggesting armed revolt by bringing up the American Revolution and in the next paragraph stating that you’re “not sitting back and waiting.” You need to chill. Maybe read Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States.

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nicksmi56

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@shorap: Ah, yes. Something you're uncomfortable with is suggested so you try to twist my words and portray me as a violent loon. Then you can safely file me away in your mind and continue as normal. No wonder you believe in our current political situation. Your first resort is to use the same dirty tricks 😒

Yes, peaceful protesting was a large part of Jim Crow, but you know what was another part? Not going along with what they were told to do. Sitting in at restaurants where they weren't wanted, marching even when they were violently attacked, etc. I'm not saying we shoot them all in the head. I'm saying we, as a nation, plant our feet and say "We refuse to continue with this farce as long as we are misled and lied to by our leaders. We want a new system where we are given honest information and change can be enacted by the people."

And when they don't give us that right off the bat because of course they won't? Don't empower them. Ignore their speeches, ignore whatever new laws they enact, and don't let them guilt you into voting by speaking to you about your "voice." As it is now, you don't HAVE a voice. As long as you are not given all the facts and manipulated to vote for one person or another, your "voice" means about as much as a wet fart.

Once again, we have done this before. It's what we've always done whenever we've been overly bullied by those who claim to have power. Without us, they have absolutely nothing. The reason things are as bad as they are now is because we keep playing this game exactly the way they want us to play it.

So no, I don't need to chill. We need to act.

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Gundato

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#83  Edited By Gundato

@nicksmi56: I am probably going to not respond to you anymore for a range of reasons, but I will just reiterate what a lot of us in this thread have been saying:

Do you know how "the old men" get away with shit? When people like you can only act in extreme apathy or... whatever the hell you're doing right now.

If a politician doesn't do what you want them to do, call their offices or send a letter. And take a note. If someone you voted for ran on an anti-gun platform and wasn't even willing to come down as pro-control after this week's shooting, you call their office and ask that poor intern to take a note about how this makes you feel. And you talk to your friends and community members. And if they don't get off their ass, that impacts them, and their party, in the next cycle.

Do this often enough and you start getting change. For example: a LOT of people were getting pissed off at the centrist democrats. The past few election cycles have seen a pretty decent rise in more leftist (still right wing as fuck compared to the rest of the world) elected officials and they are making their voices heard and, by association, their constituents.

At the end of the day: If you think you can just sit back and "refuse to play the game' you are either incredibly naive or so privileged that you don't need anything and don't care what happens to anyone else.

And either way, you are the problem.

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nicksmi56

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#84  Edited By nicksmi56

@gundato: So do the same thing we've been doing and hope that this time will be the time it actually works? Sorry, been there, done that, saw the horrifying consequences, not putting more of that on my hands.

You know, if a friend or family member came to you and was being beaten daily by their spouse, you would never in a million years tell them "Just go back to them and hope that they won't hit you this time." If someone you knew got electrocuted, you'd never say "Go back, touch the live wire again, and hope that you won't get electrocuted."

So why is that the only possible conclusion we're allowed to come to with American politics, which people in this thread agree is SO far-reaching and has SO many dire consequences?

And don't you dare try to insinuate I don't care about others. I volunteer to help the less fortunate in my community. Give them food so they don't starve. And my career is spent helping kids who need intervention lest they end up dead or imprisoned by 25. The difference is I go out of my way to help in a way where I KNOW I'm having a direct positive impact. I don't just pick some nut with a nice smile and pretty words that I know mean nothing and expect them to do it for me, and then sit back and flaunt my superiority because I used my non-existent "voice."

You know why Trump can put kids in cages? Because he was given the power to do so. You know why we can get thousands of people killed in wars in the name of "my country?" Because we put the people up there that make it happen. And I'm sure when you did, it felt good. "Finally, the one that will fix it!" And then when things aren't fixed, because of course they aren't, you whine and cry and wonder when change is coming, when you don't really want change at all. Change is hard. Change is confusing. Change is uncomfortable. And people don't like that, so they settle for sitting back, picking a team, and expecting Clown #5049 to be the one that solves the problem. And when 20, 30, 50 years from now, when we're all sitting here arguing over the same old things and blaming each other and calling each other names like elementary schoolers, you'll still be wondering why nothing has changed.

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clush

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@nicksmi56: You're making a lot of sense, my dude. You'd hope at some point thing's would get bad enough to the point where reforms would be inevitable, but it would be an easy argument to make we're already at that point and nothing's changing.

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north6

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@nicksmi56: I get what you're against. I can't tell what you're arguing for, other than for not voting. Am I missing something? Are you really making an impassioned plea for just... not voting?

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clush

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@north6: I'll let @nicksmi56 speak for himself, but right now fixing the system should be the priority, not whatever flavour of the month mudslinging everyone's engaged in. Until there's some serious democratic reforms, everything else (including your vote) is meaningless.

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BallsLeon

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You are entirely too old to have this take. Think beyond yourself.

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Gundato

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#89  Edited By Gundato

@clush: And how are you going to get that?

Violent rebellion or whatever the hell that guy is rambling about? A "peaceful" revolution? Either one will cause massive upheaval and is another case of those coming from incredibly privileged positions liking it because they don't think they'll be negative impacted. Even something as "minor" as the government shutdown impacting park rangers and TSA (and many others) caused massive issues in people's lives.

And all of that assumes that we get something better.

You know how you get this? By voting and getting involved in politics. This country's history is full of people and organizations who said "This shit ain't right. I'm running for office" and enacting change. If everyone had said "Fuck it, I'm not playing that game" we would have gotten none of the civil rights advances in the pst few decades because it would still be the same people

And we're already seeing this happen again. On the Democrat side a lot of people felt the party was not representing them. And there was a rise in young candidates running for office and better representing their constituents and the people as a whole. And, for much worse, the same thing happened with the Republicans.

All this kind of attitude does is promote and glorify apathy which is how things go to shit.

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clush

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kcin

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Say whatever you want about your personal impact on national or global politics, but local politics have both a direct impact on your daily life (what are my streets like? how high are taxes on goods? how many parks do we have and what condition are they in? how much power over tenants do landlords have, or vice versa? what are the schools like? what kind of businesses are allowed to operate in my city? and on and on and on) and are directly impacted by your vote.

Participation in local politics through organizing and activism is regularly, extremely effective, period. I know this because I have participated in these acts myself and watched the change occur in real-time.

It's ignorant, false, and lazy to say that you have no impact on any politics and so you simply do not vote at all. City, county, and state politics are still politics. Ignoring them in favor of bemoaning presidential primaries does nothing but reveal how much you have to learn about politics in general.

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north6

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#92  Edited By north6

@clush: The way you both are framing this argument sounds like you're trying something new. I assume you know that you're in the *vast* majority of people (probably 18-29) that don't vote. 20% of this demo voted in 2014, it spiked to all of 36% in 2018. You've led us to the partisan mudslinging we are in today, because if a politician can rile up their base they've got a shot. It literally doesn't take much.

You're arguing like you're the underdog, you're not even close.

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shorap

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@kcin: a perfect example of not participating having a direct impact on every single person are the courts. The Supreme Court’s last two members will be there for generations while 1 in every 5 federal judges in America is now Trump appointed. These are all lifetime appointments that will effect every single person in the country and innumerable people in other countries.

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DodoBasse

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@davosplat:

Well, one example would be the fact that GB crew have several friends who are trans. Some have even been on the show. Trump and the republicans have not only been trying to undo pro-trans legislation, but their rhetoric has almost certainly been a factor in the increased killing of trans people ever since Trump was elected.

Supporting Trump and the Republicans is maybe not saying "I agree with that happening", but it is helping it happen.

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SethMode

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@nicksmi56: Man, you're losing me now. Is the short version that you are against voting because you think not making a contribution will continue to let the current government system that we have to crumble and then be built up from the ground? Or are you proposing rebellion or a coup? And are you for a new government system, like Socialism or Communism? Or just throwing the whole thing out and embracing anarchy? For the former two, I'm not sure how, to use the US as an example, we would get there; there are 300 million people in this country and a lot don't like Socialism (some for bad reasons, some for justified ones). Communism has been proven not to work when it doesn't happen organically, and it will never happen organically because Capitalism makes too many people happy (or at least comfortable). Anarchy poses as many problems as Fascism, as you'll just have the haves trample the have nots, or even kill them depending on how far it goes.

Representative Democracy is messy as shit, but there's a wide gulf between "I am going to work to make what we have the best it can be" and "LET IT ALL BURN DOWN AND BUILD IT UP BUT BETTER!" The latter is fun to say when you're in a college history or political philosophy class, but it's one of those things that are important in the development of a person's critical thinking skills but needs to be left behind as it isn't practical in a world with billions of people that aren't just sitting around a safe college classroom.

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clush

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Some of you are being very disingenuous, and I don't really understand why. What do you gain by blatantly misconstruing what others are saying on these forums?

It's ok to just disagree with someone. No need to belittle them or paint them as human scum.

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Gundato

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@clush: When you've watched multiple (more or less) democratic nations shoot themselves in the foot repeatedly in the past few years because of people refusing to vote and see others actively advocating against voting, it is hard to view that as anything other than folk trying to actively make things worse. And that is before you take into account the weird pseudo-revolutionary crap that can only be spouted with a poster of Che Guevara bought from Hot Topic in the background.

And its especially frustrating when there is palpable evidence of folk actually standing up and making a difference and trying to fix their countries

If being told that being apathetic is the problem and advocating for apathy makes you part of the problem "paints (you) as human scum" then... maybe consider assessing your behavior? Because I'm not going to pretend that doing so is anything other than actively trying to make the world a worse place

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#98 FinalDasa  Moderator

This went on longer than I expected and to those of you who took what could've been a frustrating question and were honest without being disrespectful, kudos.

When ya'll start lobbing accusations at one another this stops being a discussions or a place to share ideas and drifts into petty insults.

So gonna lock this one up before ya'll just make more work for us mods.