I am 75 years old. I have been voting since July 4, 1968, my 21st birthday and the day of the California Democratic primary. My introduction to voting was to have the person I voted for assassinated the night I voted for him. I have never missed voting in an election, including any special elections.
I have been a socialist since my first vote so, in reality, I’ve never been able to conscientiously vote for someone who represented my actual views or for the system I would like to see implemented. Sure, there were socialists running for office but, lets’ face it, this is a two-party political system and I’ve never wanted to waste my vote.
My point isn’t to argue the validity of voting for the lesser of two evils or the value of the protest vote. I had my reasons, but I’ve always voted – always, and if you don’t get off your ass and vote I don’t know what to say other than I have no use for you. Not voting is akin to voting for the worst possible choice, IMO, especially when those who support the worst possible choice vote en masse every. damn. time.
I posted this response a few days ago to someone on Facebook who said they would never vote for Biden, and that Trump winning a second term as POTUS would “teach people” a lesson. I believe that’s an amazingly idiotic and insensitive response to your candidate not winning the Democratic nomination. What follows is my response:
Which people? The kids still in concentration camps?
The women who will lose all control over reproductive rights once Trump replaces RBG with another conservative ideologue?
I’m a Marxist. Bernie’s policies are more conservative than those I’ve been advocating for for 50 years.
This is my 14th general election and I’ve never had a candidate who really represented me.
But, as a Marxist my philosophy—dialectical materialism—is pragmatic, based on the reality we face, not how I would like things to be.
Apparently, you have nothing to lose if this country goes full-blown fascist, and you couldn’t care less about the millions who will needlessly suffer when that happens.
Biden is hardly an ideal candidate. Neither was Obama, Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, or Hubert fucking Humphrey, but any one of them were head and shoulders above Trump.
I’ll vote for Biden.
I don’t expect to see this country become a socialist economy in my lifetime (which, at almost 73, is coming to a close sooner than later) but I don’t measure progress by how correct I am.
I measure it by how things change for the better, for those who need it most.
I understand your disappointment, but I have no patience for anyone’s privileged petulance.
In the 2020 General Election, coming up waaaaay sooner than you think, time being what it is, there are eight (count ’em, eight) Republican Senators who are up for election unopposed. Actually, two of the eight are retiring but, in all cases, whether it’s a replacement or the incumbent, they’re all running unopposed. This is an intolerable situation, IMO.
Allowing any Republican, all (save for Justin Amash) of whom have shown themselves to be hapless sycophants, bowing to the whims of the most destructive and inhumane President in modern history, to run without any Democratic opposition is something we should avoid at all costs.
Bill Cassidy, Louisiana (In 2014 he beat three-term incumbent, Democrat Mary Landrieu, 56 percent to 44 percent. Don’t know if there are any Democrats in the running at present.)
Mike Enzi, Wyoming (Retiring – This seat is considered safe by most people.)
Cindy Hyde-Smith, Mississippi (Hyde-Smith defeated Mike Espy last November in a racially charged campaign.)
James Inhofe, Oklahoma (This is the schmuck who brought a snowball into the Senate chambers to make the argument that global warming can’t be possible because it’s still cold somewhere.)
Pat Roberts, Kansas (Retiring – Maybe a lost cause, as he ran unopposed last time and Kansas is a deep red state)
Mike Rounds, South Dakota (The entire state has approximately a quarter of a million voters. Unknown if there are enough Democrats to matter.)
Ben Sasse, Nebraska (In the 2014 election, there were a little over a half million voters; Sasse won every county in the State – 64% to 31%)
Dan Sullivan, Alaska (In the 2014 election, Sullivan won by 2.2% with a total of only a little over a quarter million voters. This state could be ripe for a flip.)
After the 2016 General Election, I worked with a group of people who were creating a canvassing tool that was designed to use AI to better prepare people who were out knocking on doors. It would have used demographics and historical voting data to train a machine learning algorithm on the patterns to be found in the data. Unfortunately, our primary investor kept adding requirements and ultimately squeezed the value right out of the app.
Nevertheless, our original concept we had discussed was to use machine learning to help political organizations make the most effective (not merely efficient) use of their various resources, e.g. time, money, people, connections, as well as understanding the political environment based on polls and overall news coverage.
Frankly, nobody I know of has sat down and begun to develop such a decision model, though I would dearly love to see it happen. It’s what we envisioned after Trump “won” and I still think it’s a viable approach. It does look like it’s a somewhat daunting challenge, however, when it comes to how expensive it would be to gather all the data we’d need access to, as well as develop the algorithms that would analyze and correlate the data.
Regardless, it seems a shame so many Republicans might run without any Democratic opposition. You’d think the least we can do is make them fight for their seats, which would include forcing them to shift resources around as well. It should be part of the overall pattern of the elections, which I’m unconvinced the Democratic Party really understands.
I retired nearly 13 years ago, though I've continued to work during most of the time since then. I'm hoping to return to work on the RS-25 rocket engine program (formerly the SSME) which will power our return to the moon. Mostly I'm just cruising, making the most of what time I have remaining.
Although my time is nearly up, I still care deeply about the kind of world I'll be leaving to those who follow me and, to that end, I am devoted to seeing the forces of repression and authoritarianism are at least held at bay, if not crushed out of existence.
I write about things that interest me and, as an eclectic soul, my interests run the gamut from science to spirituality, governance to economics, art and engineering. I'm hopeful one day my children will read what I've left behind.
The views expressed herein are those of the author. Any opinions regarding the value or worth of particular business processes, tools, or procedures, whether at his former place of employment, at a current client's enterprise, or in general, are his responsibility alone.