from a public HS teacher (Gov't, Religion, Soc. Issues), who is eclectic (Dem-leaning) politically and Quaker (& open) on everything else. Hope you enjoy what you find here.

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

8:45 PM EST - election results coming in. Edwards won big in SC, and Dean barely showed. The best hope seems to be the Edwards also win OK,and possibly Dean win or come close in NM - that would stop the sense that the race is over and perhaps we could rethink the idiocy of John Kerry as the nominee of the Democratic party.

There - I've said it -- the idiocy. After having been attacked multiple times on dailykos for saying why I would not vote for Kerry -- oh well -- as I keep pointing out to people, I live in Virginia. Even if my one vote cost Kerry Virginia, a Democrat who needs Virginia to be elected president is not going to be elected president. Heck, the Old Dominion even refused to cast its electoral votes for the first JFK in 1960, casting them instead for Sen Harry Byrd.

I have not gotten as much silence and stillness as I would have wanted. The outside world intruded several times. I'm even getting called by other campaigns [yes, an annoying call from Kerry people]. Methinks to my great regret that my reason for involvement in this political cycle is rapidly drawing to a close. I would be delighted to see Dean resurrect his campaign, but methinks the story tomorrow will not include him [unless by a miracle he pulls out NM, and I do not expect that]. 5% in SC is kind of the kiss of death. I am probably too old for this. I will still probably make calls here in Virginia on Saturday, but that is likely to end my work on his behalf.

I still wish we could see our politics reshaped, where issues really mattered, where politicians would be held to account for their actions, and be required to to address the real needs of the people. it would help if our system were not so juryrigged that for most of us most of our vote don't count. Mine makes no difference in a presidential election because this state has little chance of going Democratic. It makes little difference locally because Arlington is so Democratic. Voting for Governor and LT. Governor is one of the few times I can believe that my vote might make a difference.

And I think this is as responsible for the loss of interest in elections as anything. Many people feel that their vote is not important in legislative districts that are gerrymandered for one or the other party - it doesn't matter if you are in majority or minority, your individual vote matters little in such situations. And since except for NE and ME, all states award their electoral votes on a winner take all basis, in many states there is not a strong reason to vote. We had 60% turnout in 1960, and we have not come close since. Perhaps campaign finance laws are the least of our problems. Perhaps we need to go to a different voting system, or to allow Instant Runoff Voting in primaries, or even in general elections to allow new and more vibrant political parties to have a chance to appeal to voters. I hear the plaintive response of Dennis Kucinich that "I'm electable if you'll vote for me."

And now I will sign off from politics for the night, not immediately, but after I do one or two more things.

As usual, if you have encountered this blog, feel free to contact me directly at kber@earthlink.net please put teacherken in the message line so I will know it is not spam. And as Howard Dean often says, comments, questions and rude remarks are welcome.
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