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‘11 Excellent Reasons Not to Vote?’

Op-Ed in today’s NYTimes.  Watch the video. Share it.  Then GO VOTE! ~RM

We are proud when Iraqis and Libyans dodge bombs to vote in their first free elections in decades, and then, when it’s our chance, we barely exceed their turnout rates. Often, we do worse. Roughly half of us vote, and the other half don’t.

It made me wonder: What’s stopping us? Do we have reasons not to vote? How can we hear so much about the election, and not participate? If hope isn’t doing it, isn’t the fear of the other guy winning enough to brave the roads, the long lines?

In the middle of October, I spoke to more than 50 people between 18 and 40, almost all of whom are planning to go to the polls on Nov. 6. That made them exceptional: only 51 percent of young people voted in 2008. A smaller group is expected this year.

Before asking why they will vote, I asked why most young people won’t. They told me that many of the issues they care about — climate change, civil rights, the war on drugs, immigration, prison reform — are not discussed by Democrats or Republicans. That there is such a gulf between what candidates say they will do, and what they do, that it’s impossible to trust anyone. That apathy is actually supported by the evidence.

Voting is a leap of faith. Calling it a civic duty is not enough. Either you believe that the system is both changeable and worth changing, or you don’t — and most new voters are not convinced.

The arguments against voting have been persuasive to many Americans. But what about the flip side? Why bother? Here I think the arguments are better. War and peace. Equal rights for women and same-sex couples. My personal favorite, the balance of the Supreme Court. The prospect of meeting the love of your life at the polling place. Several people argued that if you don’t vote, you lose your right to complain about the results of an election. But I respectfully disagree. In our society, the right to complain is even more fundamental than the right to vote.

I don’t know what, in the end, forces me to vote. It could be fear; it could be guilt. Although my mother died over 10 years ago, I feel that she is watching me, and I don’t want to disappoint her.

I would like to thank everyone who volunteered to be interviewed. I would also like to thank Doug Abel, Bob Chappell, Steven Hathaway, John Kusiak, Isaac Silverglate, Nick Rondeau, Dan Mooney, Jeremy Landman, Julie Ahlberg, Robert Fernandez, Amanda Branson Gill, Dina Piscatelli, Eric, Lori and Jessica Lander, Bina Venkataraman, Linda Carlson, Angus Wall, Jennifer Sofio Hall, a52, Kim Bica, Kirsten Thon-Webb, Arcade, Dana May, Patrick Regan, Ronnie Lee, Zoey Taylor, Adam Picchietti, Timothy Collins, Josh Kearney, Max Larkin, Drew Beirut, Reid Savage, Karen Skinner, Ann Petrone and Julia Sheehan.

This Op-Doc video was produced in collaboration with two creative agencies, CHI & Partners NY and Moxie Pictures, and with the I CAN. I WILL. Campaign for Our Time, a nonprofit organization that advocates for young voters and consumers.

Errol Morris  is an Academy Award-winning filmmaker (“The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons From the Life of Robert S. McNamara”) and author of the recent book “A Wilderness of Error: The Trials of Jeffrey MacDonald.” His first film, “Gates of Heaven,” is on Roger Ebert’s list of the 10 best movies ever made, and his latest, “The Unknown Known: The Life and Times of Donald Rumsfeld,” will open in 2013.  He lives in Cambridge, Mass., with his wife and two French bulldogs.

 

And here I thought it was “the Ann Coulter agenda.”

Anti-LGBT pastor blames Hurricane Sandy on ‘the homosexual agenda’

By David Edwards
Monday, October 29, 2012 12:17 EDT
Defend and Proclaim the Faith ministries founder John McTernan

A fundamentalist Christian minister has become the first to link Hurricane Sandy to marriage equality and the “homosexual agenda.”

Gay Star News first reported on Monday that Defend and Proclaim the Faith ministries founder John McTernan had posted on his blog that Hurricane Sandy is proof that “God is systematically destroying America.”

“If you add the area of the drought and now the hurricane together, it would be about 80 percent of the country!” the preacher wrote. “As I said, the Holy God of Israel is systematically destroying America right before our eyes.”

He continued: “Just last August, Hurricane Isaac hit New Orleans seven years later, on the exact day of Hurricane Katrina. Both hit during the week of the homosexual event called Southern Decadence in New Orleans!”

McTernan noted that “God’s judgement” began 21 years ago, on October 20, 1991 when President H.W. Bush initiated the Madrid Conference to negotiate peace between Israel and Palestine.

“Twenty-one years breaks down to 7 x 3, which is a significant number with God. Three is perfection as the Godhead is three in one while seven is perfection,” he explained. “It appears that God gave America 21 years to repent of interfering with His prophetic plan for Israel; however, it has gotten worse under all the presidents and especially Obama. Obama is 100 percent behind the Muslim Brotherhood which has vowed to destroy Israel and take Jerusalem.”

The Christian leader warned that even electing Mitt Romney might not save the country from God’s wrath because both President Barack Obama and Republican presidential nominee supported LGBT rights.

“Both candidates are pro-homosexual and are behind the homosexual agenda,” McTernan insisted. “America is under political judgment and the church does not know it!”

Knuckle-draggers.

Like watching a garden hose.

Congratulations to the San Francisco Giants. They caught lightening at the right time and clearly were the best team in baseball when it counted most. But seriously, this World Series was like watching a garden hose.

Tigers apologists will say they disposed of their playoff opponents too fast – that the layoff hurt them. Bullshit. They choked. Detoit’s Big Three looked like Detoit’s other Big Three in the 80’s – fat, slow, boring. 

The Detroit Tigers can now relax their sphincters. 

Colin Powell’s former Chief of Staff: ‘My party is full of racists’

Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, Colin Powell’s chief of staff during his time as secretary of state, decried John Sununu’s comment that Powell only endorsed Barack Obama because they are both black. “To say that Colin Powell would endorse President Obama because of his skin color is like saying Mother Teresa worked for profit,” Wilkerson told Ed Schultz.

Wilkerson said on The Ed Show that though he respects Sununu, a top Romney adviser and surrogate, “I don’t have any respect for the integrity of the position that he seemed to codify. Look at me, Ed, I’m white. I’m not black. Colin Powell picked me because of the content of my character and my competence.”

He added that he thinks Sununu’s remark was an “unfortunate slip of words,” but that it speaks to larger problem in the Republican party.

“My party, unfortunately, is the bastion of those people, not all of them, but most of them, who are still basing their decision on race,” Wilkerson said. “Let me just be candid: My party is full of racists. And the real reason a considerable portion of my party wants President Obama out of the White House  has nothing to do with the content of his character, nothing to do with his competence as commander-in-chief and president, and everything to do with the color of his skin. And that’s despicable.”

In an interview with radio host Michael Smerconish Friday, the president brushed off Sununu’s remarks, saying he will let Powell’s statement and support “speak for itself.”

“I don’t think that there are many people in America who would question Gen. Powell’s credibility, his patriotism, his willingness to tell it straight,” Obama said. “So any suggestion that Gen. Powell would make such a  profound statement in such an important election based on anything other than what he thought would be best for America doesn’t make much sense.”

Finally. A Republican with the balls to say it. 
RM