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Bill Roper's Journal
If It Weren't For Double Standards, We'd Have None At All 
1st-Oct-2016 06:30 pm
I admit it. I am more likely to tolerate bad behavior from a politician whose positions are better aligned with mine than I am from a politician whose positions are less well aligned with mine. Watching this election, I conclude that most of my friends are no better than I am, but that's ok -- it just means that we're all sinners in that sense.

My news feed is full of horrible stories about both candidates that will convince no one of anything, except perhaps that it would be better to give up on social media until after this fiasco of an election. Some of these stories may even be true. (Many aren't.) And the stories that I have seen that I have been reasonably able to verify as being true have convinced me that both of the major party candidates for president are horrible, horrible people who I would not have as friends under any circumstances. I do not choose to repeat any of them here, because they would only annoy you; they would certainly not convince you of anything, because we are all pretty much long past convincing. You can do your own research, if you choose.

I have only cast one vote in my life that I am ashamed of: I voted for George Ryan for Illinois governor at a time when I really should have known that he was a crook. I am trying hard not to do that again.

My consolation is that I live in deep blue Illinois in districts that are so thoroughly gerrymandered that my vote is completely meaningless, save for the Senate race. (When the Democrats won the gubernatorial race in 2010 giving them total control over redistricting in Illinois, I -- like the poor groundhog -- predicted 10 more years of bad government in my state. Anyone care to argue with that prediction? You can find it on my LJ from the time... :) )

In any case, you all are my friends.

But, dear God, the echo chamber that is being provided for each of my ears is deafening.

2nd-Oct-2016 12:08 am (UTC)
I'm thinking the best way to survive the next five weeks without going mad or losing friends is to obsessively study the Swift programming language.
2nd-Oct-2016 12:18 am (UTC)
I tire of the echo chambers too. Yet I am convinced enough of the absolute necessity of the position I have taken that I'm compelled not to remain quiet in response to the most egregious trepasses of the opposition.
2nd-Oct-2016 07:13 am (UTC)
No vote is meaningless as a great many Brits found out after voting "leave" because "I didn't think my vote would change anything"
2nd-Oct-2016 12:04 pm (UTC)
It's a huge frustration to me that most people who vote at all can't seem to get beyond trying to evaluate which candidate seems like a better beer buddy, when what matters is what they're going to do in office -- which is far more about what politicians they associate with and what policy directions they favor than whether they're personally likeable or even decent people. As a historical example that we can hopefully pretend is neutral, Bill Clinton was definitely a philanderer, but that only affected what he actually did as President to the extent that the controversy distracted from his policy agenda.
2nd-Oct-2016 02:22 pm (UTC)
I do wish that we had Instant Runoff Voting (the Hugo Awards system) for at least the Presidential election. That would allow people to vote their "real" first preference for a minor-party candidate without being worried that they're "throwing their vote away." I don't care if that means people could vote for a candidate on the far end of the spectrum (i.e. Buchanan and Nader in the Bush-Gore election) even if those candidates horrify me, because then those voters can pick someone else in 2nd place and so forth. This (a) will give those minor-party candidates more first-ballot votes and might improve their showing sufficiently to get people to pay attention to them; (b) mean the minor-party candidates can't be "spoilers" the way they potentially are in first-past-the-post voting; and (c) possibly make the major-party candidates have to court the outliers (which isn't necessarily a bad thing) because they have to do better than just "vote for me, I'm the lesser evil, and voting for that minor party candidate is effectively a vote for the greater evil."
2nd-Oct-2016 10:45 pm (UTC)
Instant Runoff isn't perfect but I think it's a lot better than what we have now and I'd support moving to it as an interim step while hopefully eventually getting people to understand something better.
3rd-Oct-2016 10:53 am (UTC)
I'm sticking to cute animal videos and other non-partisan stuff in all of my posts. My friends fall all over the place politically.

Just curious: Have you decided which way you plan to cast your vote? if you don't want to share your choice, that's fine with me.
4th-Oct-2016 04:25 am (UTC)
You're unsurprised that I'm voting for the survivable evil for President. I am very happily looking forward to voting for Tammy Duckworth, though.
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