Wednesday, November 08, 2006

dear Conrad & all 

Conrad :

I’m sorry I didn’t make this clearer in my original post – I wasn’t ignoring your posts on third party candidates, but I wasn’t responding to those posts, either. I was responding to your response to Hassen's post, & moreover your implication that to cast a vote for either major party senatorial candidate meant that the person casting the vote cares not about women or stopping the war, which I found reductive & offensive.

This conversation was in fact born out of your response to Hassen’s thread, in which she explained why she was voting major party. & you responded listing all the ways in which you disagree with her thinking. I agreed with Hassen’s philosophy regarding this election, & tried to explain why in a non-argumentative way. You responded & explained the ways in which you disagree with my thinking. We’re not all supposed to agree -- & I’m fine with that. I respect your support of third party candidates & the Green Party. I’m asking for the same respect for the choices I make regarding casting my own vote.

You were talking, yes. But it did not seem to me that you were looking for dialogue, but agreement.

Here’s where I agree: Disenfranchisement of third party candidates sucks. It sucks that PA has such a restrictive procedure regarding ballot access. It sucks that you need so many signatures & so much money to get on a ballot as a third-party candidate. & that’s policy I think many of us would like to see change, & I’m sure that those who are strongly committed to the viability of a third-party option will support the ongoing efforts of those, including the Greens, working to change that policy.

& for the record, while I do think the above sucks, I also think it sucks that the Luzerne County Greens/Romanelli (who you refer to as the only candidate who cared about women’s issues & stopping the war) accepted money from, among others, the founder/owner of Blackwater USA, from a lobbyist for Halliburton, and from one of the largest financial backers of the anti-choice proposition 73 in CA, as reported by Will Bunch & discussed at length on DEMOCRACY NOW!.

You asked:
"The question is, what exactly is under the umbrella of "luxury" in this statement?"

I apologize for not making this clearer in my previous posts. I will not presume to speak for Hassen, or anyone else, but for me, “luxury” meant simply this: The reality of this election was that either Santorum or Casey was going to win. I was concerned enough about the possibility of Santorum being re-elected that I believed, and still believe, that voting for Casey was the right thing for me to do. Frankly, I would have likely voted for the dead guy from Weekend at Bernie's if he was Santorum's opponent on the ballot.

That is: I was not comfortable affording myself the "luxury" of casting my vote in what would have been, for me, a symbolic fashion, for a candidate who I might find more ideologically palatable, when doing so could have impacted the outcome of the election & helped Santorum win. That said, I don’t consider Romanelli my ideal candidate either, but I totally respect your support of him & his campaign.

You said:

"It's suddenly unclear to me, as I wonder hard about your stand on the issue of backing a party whose members have left a trail of stitched mouths in its wake."

Conrad, I could just as easily say that I wonder hard about your stand on the issue of backing a candidate who’s called himself and the PA Greens into question by accepting money from such questionable donors, which include anti-abortion advocates & war-profiteers; but as I've said from the beginning, I'm not spoiling for an argument.

You said:
"The statement you both so openly back says "an ideal democracy at this point in the game" and I'm thinking, well, maybe THAT points to the answer I've been wondering hard about. That YES, "at this point in the game" we need to stomp and smash out that 3rd party voice."

That’s absolutely not what I was saying, & nowhere advocated the stomping & smashing out of that third party voice, which I feel has gotten considerable play on this blog; or of your voice, for that matter. I have said again & again that I was voting according to what I felt were the viable choices available to me as a voter in PA.

You said:
"To me though, that's not only NOT an ideal democracy, it's NO kind of democracy"

To me though, here's what I’m feeling on this community blog at the moment: that you’re really not interested in hearing opinions or views that are not ultimately in agreement with your own; and that’s NO kind of community.

You shared your views & explained, at length, why you were campaigning/voting in the manner you were. I respect you enough to believe that you've done your homework & thought long & hard about your choices. I don't share those choices, & I was under the impression that such difference of opinion was ok, especially here. I thought I was careful to be clear that I was not attacking you or your choices, or undermining your ideology, but sharing MY views & explaining why I was voting in the manner I was/did. I expected the same degree of respect.

Meanwhile: Final numbers won’t be known for another day or so, but it appears that voter turnout was significantly higher than four years ago – the people of the US finally got involved in a non-presidential election, & I’m really happy about that. To all of you who voted, thank you, no matter for whom.

jenn mcc.

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