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Message From A Real Physicist

  1. Dec 14, 2005 #1
    I was out at a laundrymat today sitting on a bench near a guy who was reading the paper. He put it down in disgust and launched into an interesting and articulate lecture about how people in the US are wasting their votes by both not using them and by letting themselves be swayed by manipulative potlitcal advertising when they do bother to vote.

    Eventually he interpolated the information that he was a physicist who'd come to the US from India in the 1960's to work on the Apollo program.

    The brunt of his message was that people should not hand their rights away to politicians like the current administration so carelessly. People should vote, and research the candidates to levels deeper than TV adds.

    I just felt like passing that on since he was a physicist and articulate and I pretty much agree with it. I run into a huge amount of anti-Bush sentiment from people all over San Diego, and also on the net, and I have to wonder how he got re-elected. I have to wonder sometimes if the people who are complaining about him have fallen into the trap of being too cynical to actually get out and vote when the opportunity comes.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 14, 2005 #2
    Or perhaps the machines were rigged, and Bush never got in "fair and square."

    http://www.bbvforums.org/cgi-bin/forums/board-auth.cgi?file=/1954/15595.html

    I don't buy that the American public is stupid or lazy. In fact, I think they're clever enough to know how to rig election machines without leaving a trace, and if people would face up to this possibility instead of considering it a "tin foil hat" scenario, we might resolve a lot of the apparent conflicts that our present circumstances present to us (and which your acquaintance commented upon, today.)
     
  4. Dec 14, 2005 #3

    Pengwuino

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    Well ignorant conspiracy theories aside, people are too damn lazy. I probably could count the number of people i know hwo voted on my hands and hte number who didnt vote using the leaves on a tree. I even had a thread where it basically came to the conclusion that too many people here didn't vote and they still thought they should complain.
     
  5. Dec 14, 2005 #4

    Evo

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    The majority of Americans are, unfortunately, lazy, mindless sheep when it comes to actually researching and understanding what they're voting for and for whom they are voting. Unions tell their members who to vote for, Churches tell their members. It's disgusting.

    Many people vote because a single issue caught their attention and they have no clue, nor do they care, what else comes with the package.
     
  6. Dec 14, 2005 #5

    Pengwuino

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    Evo agrees with me, i must be right.

    She told me to vote for nader though...
     
  7. Dec 14, 2005 #6

    Evo

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    What? Wait.... :wink:

    Ralph's our man. :bugeye:
     
  8. Dec 14, 2005 #7
    Don't you get it... Republicans pull the wool over the eyes of folks like you by making their indiscretions complex and conspiratorial. They do this, knowing that even if it is true, people like you will dismiss it out of hand because for some crazy reason you do not want to even look at it for some unconscious fear of looking like a kook.

    Everything that you call a conspiracy is not crazy. It is all there in the news, you just have to put it together into one lump to see all the connections.
     
  9. Dec 14, 2005 #8

    Evo

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    I believe he was referring to pattylou's post on tampering with voting machines, which is off topic to this thread. That's been discussed in another thread, and is very possible, still, not appropriate in this thread about voter apathy.
     
  10. Dec 14, 2005 #9

    Pengwuino

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    You're right, what was I thinking.
     
  11. Dec 14, 2005 #10

    Astronuc

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    Some churches tell or strongly suggest which candidate to support. Many do not.

    It would appear that some fundamentalist Christian churches were very active in supporting Bush (and that is certainly disgusting), while many so-called 'liberal' churches were questioning the policies of the Bush administration.

    Bush's faith-based initiative program, based in the White House, ignores non-evangelical churches while favoring fundamentalist and evangelical churches which support his programs. :rolleyes: So much for the first amendment.

    - http://www.theocracywatch.org/faith_base.htm

    - http://www.heritage.org/Research/Religion/HL752.cfm

    Can you say - Hallelujah!. :biggrin:

    and I am not talking about that really cool tune by Sweathog back in 1972. :cool:
     
  12. Dec 14, 2005 #11

    Pengwuino

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    Some very non-biased sources there eh astronuc.
     
  13. Dec 14, 2005 #12

    SOS2008

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    Many people I know who don't vote generally say it is because they don't believe their vote counts and/or they don't feel informed enough, and admit they are not informed enough because of the time required to understand the complexity of politics.

    As Evo posted, many vote for one reason, such as being against gay marriage, pro-life, or what have you, and that is enough as that is all that matters (i.e., blindly driven with passion). I have been getting people to register to vote, sadly with similar simplicity. I ask them if they believe in balance of power (thus allowing for accountability), and if only for this reason they will vote. And if they vote, along with others who also share this belief, then their vote will count.

    As for Bush and those who voted for him, and furthermore those who are still so easily swayed (per current polls following his speeches about Iraq), I suspect that pride is involved. Americans in particular have a need to feel our nation is a "winner," which reflects upon them personally as being "winners." This shallow emotion prevents reflection on changes toward real improvements to our society, and ultimately to their individual lives.
     
  14. Dec 14, 2005 #13

    Astronuc

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  15. Dec 14, 2005 #14

    Evo

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    Yes, I'm thinking mainly of Southern Baptists and similar types of churches, you are correct about more liberal churches and other faiths.
     
  16. Dec 14, 2005 #15
    I don't believe the original post is about voter apathy.

    It appears to be about how Bush got into the White house. Here:

    My post was in direct response to Zoobyshoe's wondering if:

    We all know that Kerry got more votes than any other candidate in any prior presidential election, including every previous winner. Poor voter turnout (Zooby's suggestion) is therefore hardly a likely explanation for why bush is in the white house.

    But in any event, if one is speculating about why bush is in the whitehouse, ("I have to wonder how he got re-elected.") it is certainly not off topic to suggest a reason.

    Aside to Pengwuino: I'm glad you understand the Diebold situation better than the head of elections in Leon County, Florida.
     
  17. Dec 14, 2005 #16
    Does the same characterization apply to whether people research the technology upon which their votes are counted?

    I realize this particular post is "off topic" but the question stems directly from your post and I am curious.

    Many people seem to think that the public is a bunch of sheep. (I don't.) But, IF the public is a bunch of sheep, doesn't it stand to reason that they'd be even *less* inclined to research whether the machines are rigged, than they are to research their candidates?
     
  18. Dec 14, 2005 #17

    Evo

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    I think that the apathy doesn't stop when it comes to voting, it also applies to accepting vote counts even when confronted with discrepancies as in Ohio.

    I don't think zooby was thinking of fraud and investigations into fraud when he made his post. I think your leap to the fraud issue is too much of a stretch in this thread. You notice I left your post, because by itself, it has merit, just not in this particular thread.

    The gist of what zooby posted
     
  19. Dec 14, 2005 #18

    SOS2008

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    Assuming mainstream news properly covered the topic of electronic voting problems, most Americans don't watch the news, which is apathy. I also agree they are more likely to listen to the church leaders, for example, and this is being like sheep. But ultimately they are ignorant, and why they are so easily swayed by the likes of Bush.

    Edit: I'm cynical, but I get out and vote.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2005
  20. Dec 15, 2005 #19
    That anti-nuclear hippie? You must be joking.

    As to the topic, yes, people are lazy arses. I live in the UK and it's the same thing over here (turnout at the last election was around 65%?), people go on about how politicians are 'all the same' and not worth bothering with. Firstly that's bull, but even if so that's when it's time to get involved in the political process yourself and try to change something. I have nothing but contempt for the people who moan at the political institutions in their nation and then do nothing to change it, not even something as simple as voting (assuming they live in democratic states where dissenters don't get picked up in black vans and dissapear).

    Cheers,
    Just some guy (hardcore Liberal Democrat junkie ;) )
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2005
  21. Dec 15, 2005 #20
    Not so much that they're the same, just that they're as bad as each other. For the forseeable future we will have either a Labour government or a Conservative government. The former is deceitful, untrustworthy, immoral, unethical, totalitarian and oppressive. The latter is laughable, out of touch, stuck-up, stupid, prone to mismanagement and is not a government for all of the people. Neither should be in power. So I, like you, vote Lib Dem. So I, like you, can be sure that probably the most my vote will do is restore the Tories to power. We do this in the hope that Lib Dem's status will increase and increase until one day they become a viable opposition. This probably won't happen. If it does, it probably won't bear much resemblance to the party you and I voted for. It's like doing the lottery, but a pound a cheaper - I can't be arsed with the lottery either.

    P.S. Save our Kennedies!
     
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