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Deep and Intelligent

  In the last few days, I've gotten a lot of the same questions. "Aren't you happy the Democtats won?" and "Who did you vote for?" I am not happy, and I did not vote. Allow me to explain. I passionately believe in democracy, and if I am told I can't have it, then I will do with a democratic republic. I believe that a true democracy means the will of the majority of the people is the law. Innate in this is the minority conceding because of their faith in the system. If the majority truly disagrees with me, I may not agree but I will live with it and not pitch a fit making them live my way. A democratic republic is a version of a republic (where a representative makes a decision for a segment of a population and represents us to higher orders of government) where I believe we democratically choose a representative to represent the will of their constituents. I think this system is innately flawed for several reasons. We have been living in a democratic republic where we "democratically" elect representatives not to follow the will of the people but to represent their own will. We democratically choose them because their overall personal philosophy is closest to our own, rather than because we expect their actions to represent our will, which we further pervert with the oversimplification known as political parties. "Democrat? Must think like me since I'm one of those, I trust their actions and opinions to satisfy and represent me." The perversion of this system comes full circle when election is now based on the person whose personal philosophy is constructed to appeal to the most people while still representing a theoretically divisive title, producing bickering moderates with no passion for anything other than getting elected.
  But at least we democratically choose our representatives still, even if they are meaningless, right? Consider this: what is the will of the people? You have people forming opinions on issues they at best barely understand the scope of. We live in the time of government secrecy and headline news, where the government's report to the people on a war is "The war is going well" (on a day when 20 of our soldiers were killed by friendly fire and no enemies were killed) and a headline at the bottom of a screen represents a fact for the person watching. We have such little accountability for what we are told yet we choose to believe it. With the Bush/Kerry election, I did an amazing thing, I flipped from CNN to MSNBC to FOX News, and all 3 had different outcomes for the different states! At the end of the day, broadcast media is someone saying something and cutting to the most simplified conclusion so it's easiest to consume based on evidence they don't have time to present in full because the private companies which pay their bills must interject with dancing monkies and clever slogans (commercials). What did that liberal rant really mean? Someone cooking breakfast with the TV on in the background reads at the bottom of the screen "Study shows gay men likely to commit child molestation" and goes to school/work, now a verbose opponent to a cause, and votes based on this information. Additionally, so many people hand over opinion control to other groups blindly that we may as well hand over our ballots! I'm on a few listservs like human rights campaign and such, and they send me mails all the time with the subject "vote for this person because of this!" and I'm sure that people too busy to read the issue trust this source and vote that way. Religion is a HUGE source of this, people voting for a candidate or on an issue because their church supports this person. We don't at all take the time to learn issues and facts, partially because there's too much info and not enough time, partially because parties make it too difficult to obtain truthful information, and partially because we're lazy.
  So, I feel I have shown that it is impossible to really be informed, so uninformed people vote for other people who are more informed but really don't care what their constituents want, unless it will help them to get elected. So, let's look at the election process. The simplified view? I put in a bubble on a paper, or push a button on a machine, and some magic number I see on TV causes a state to turn red or blue and a number to change. There is such a disconnect there that I cannot have faith in the system. First, Diebold. Enough said. Second, who counts the votes, and what accountability is in place? I have never seen them or been asked to check the count. Third, how easy is it to vote? Even if none of it is true, all over the news are enough stories of people calling voters and falsely telling them they'll go to jail if they vote, or not getting enough ballots to minority districts, or sending faulty equipment to minority districts so they can't open until hours late, or districts redrawn by incumbents to select areas that supported them to guarantee re-election. The fact that such allegations even exist, even if untrue, should disrupt faith in voting.
  So, now, dumb people make some notation of a misinformed opinion if they are able to to select an oversimplified moderate with no/their own agenda. FINALLY, we get to the question, why didn't I vote? If those reasons aren't enough, how's about this one: I am registered to vote in Tallahassee, FL, since I have to be to go to school. I will be out of here in April, and I will promptly leave this state which I hate because it is a vortex of evil. If I believe in Democracy, even if it is impossible to acheive, and I believe the will of the people should dictate the law, why should I have a say in this area which I plan to evacuate before anything I could have voted for even takes place??? Just because you have the right to an opinion doesn't mean you have to exercise it; it's irresponsible for me to make policy in a place where that policy will never effect me, I leave that to the people who the policies will effect. And a vote for a senator/representative can change the policies for the whole country? Blow me. No one lost by 1. At least my decision to not vote was informed. I think back to last November, when a measure was on the ballot in Tallahassee where the neighboring county was building a coal electrical plant and the measure was for whether or not we should receive power off of it, additionally receiving power from it meant we got a representative on the plant's management committee. I saw billboards in Tallahassee that people paid for saying "Vote no on coal, fight pollution!" which prompted me to think, did they even read the measure? You paid to put that sign up, but you fail to realize that voting no does not stop the plant from being built and polluting, but means you don't get a say in how it's run? I think I'll let this town just vote for its own issues and get the hell out of Dodge.

  So am I happy the Democrats won? Well, I really went to bed the night before the election hoping that so many chairs in Washington D.C. would be filled with donkey butts over elephant butts, but then the psychadelics wore off and I realized I want the war to end, gay marriage to be recognized, and abortion to be a matter of personal choice. I woke up the day after the election, and we still have troops in Iraq, my gay friends are still unmarried, and I still have income so long as I can maintain my supply of semi-clean coat hangers. I'm not happy, this election proved overwhelmingly that people were unhappy with the present leadership/direction of the country, but as of now no change has really happened. It may happen, but what direction and to what extent are not even close to being realized. So no, I did not jump for joy at the election results. This is the same world, and until they prove me wrong one set of assholes just lost their job to another set of assholes, only we haven't yet figured out how many children these assholes have illegitimately conceived/sexually assaulted.

  I do not support our troops, just because they defend our country. Someone chooses to get paid and compensated to get a specific training then go to a country to impose a will, and often commits ethical violations (England? The chick with the tied & gagged prisoners?) but get free concerts (USO) and shit. The they come back and either think they're the hottest shit and push everyone else around or become stupid drunk homeless people who are a burden on our society. I will not blindly support our troops, I'm sure there's exceptions to these generalizations I've made, but if someone really thinks they're making a huge sacrafice to defend our freedom, how about you do something where you don't get paid and you actually deal with a threat that has a chance at hurting our freedom. Iraq, Iran, Al Quadea, and everyone may kill some people but even if we left them alone we'd still be free, they can't overtake us, we would run out of people before they ran out of bullets. Yet here we have invasions of privacy and restrictive laws all over from our own government! I'll support someone who spends their own money and time to personally investigate fraud in our government to make positive change, that's someone who is making a huge personal sacrafice to protect our freedom, not some punkass gangster who couldn't go to college so they fire guns for 2 years and get the government to pay for them to go anyway. Come to think of it, I pay for them to go over there, they should have magnetic ribbons on their cars that say "support our taxpayers."

  If marriage is to only be between a man and a woman, and we think this is such a matter of public policy that an amendment to the constitution is even discussed, then I think we need to really go for it. When someone applies for a marriage liscense, they should have to get naked so everyone can see their genitals to perform the first test that they're man and woman. Pictures should be taken and made accessible for anyone who wants to see. Now, I know surgery and stuff can change these things, so blood tests must also be performed. Additionally, people can have gender identity problems, so even someone biologically and physically one gender may not mentally be that gender, making whether they're fully man or woman questionable. Full inquisition for all of them, subject to any test any citizen deems appropriate to protect the sanctity of marriage. Once a person is stripped, tested, interrogated, and finally approved, then they can ethically get married and live happily ever after, for the next 4 years when 50% of marriages end in divorce.

  In my true democracy, I would overcome all logistical interruptions to true polling to enable me to ask everyone opinions on all/any issues, with all information readily available. Issues that are important would be presented. Not "should english be the official language" but "Since everyone drives at 85 anyway, how about we actually ask if you all just want the speed limit that high?" Eliminating representatives eliminates the need for political parties, since each issue can be treated individually instead of having to make a list of bullet-pointed opinions. People will think more critically then, and debates force people to listen to each other rather than assume what the other person is going to say just because of their party. Whatever, that's the beauty of being an idealist, you can envision the system you want in your head when the one we have sucks so bad it depresses you.

  One more philosophical path I've been on, not to say I have conclusions here but a logical feeling I'm testing out and running through. If religion is about faith, than isn't any proof of god proof he/she/it doesn't exist? If you have to have faith to successfully be religious in some form, does having proof allow you to have faith? There's a difference between me saying "I have faith my glasses are strong" and me saying "My glasses are strong, I have faith in that." You can't have faith in a fact, you just know it. I believe having knowledge removes the possibility of faith because as I understant/choose to understand it, faith requires trust in the unknown and without proof. This of course leads to many religious implications if this is logically true: creation scientists are trying to take the basis of faith away from the people, people who are possessed/have god talk to them/speak in tongues/etc. cannot have faith anymore since they have proof. Things like evolution should be a person with faith's friend, they should be able to say "you know, you have good evidence and it makes sense, it's not in accordance with a lot of my beliefs and I can't explain it but even if it's true somehow it's caused by god, maybe god planned evolution, I don't know, but regardless of your proof of evolution I still believe god exists." If someone is asked if they believe in god, and they say yes because they have proof, I have to ask, if you didn't have the proof would you still believe, and if so why do you fall back on the proof? I think that faith is critical to religion (and not that religion is critical to faith) and that faith is the basis for religion, if god exists. If god and heaven exist (which I don't at all but follow me on this one), I believe having faith in him/her/it are the most important aspect to the system of beliefs. I'm repeating myself, but if this makes sense, challenge yourself to think about it. I believe Darwinian evolution explains everything about the world. I know Darwininian evolution exists (I actually came up with a cool way to prove it through the ipod, look at the generations, aspects that were good survived and bad were dropped, plus mutations provide new avenues for survival/diversity, the mechanism clearly exists) but I have faith that the world exists as a result of it. I believe we evolved from some common ancestor to the monkey, I believe some process happened bringing us from fish to mammals, but I don't know nor need to know exactly how it happened, I have faith it's the right mechanism to explain the world and to me it creates the possibility of pathways and trends that I can extrapolate on to two ends: entertainment (If all we are motivated by is offspring creation, then is it possible the fanny pack was a subliminal statement to draw attention to the genitals and thus was favorably selected for?) and understanding of the world (religion is so popular and exists because some pathway of selection made people who believe in god form societies that were more resilient to challenge than societies not founded upon god, therefore of course 95% of the world believes in god and I don't and they're the crazy ones).

  I need sleep, goodnight.

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