August 26, 2004

Reasons To Vote Kerry (As If You Needed More)

Know someone that's voting Bush that you think shouldn't? I'm going to rip off a post from Pandagon because it's perfect.

The number of Americans living in poverty increased by 1.3 million last year, while the ranks of the uninsured swelled by 1.4 million, the Census Bureau reported Thursday.

It was the third straight annual increase for both categories. While not unexpected, it was a double dose of bad economic news during a tight re-election campaign for President Bush.

Approximately 35.8 million people lived below the poverty line in 2003, or about 12.5 percent of the population, according to the bureau. That was up from 34.5 million, or 12.1 percent in 2002.

The rise was more dramatic for children. There were 12.9 million living in poverty last year, or 17.6 percent of the under-18 population. That was an increase of about 800,000 from 2002, when 16.7 percent of all children were in poverty.

Nearly 18% of kids live in poverty. That's 2 out of every 11 kids. Bush's presidency was a time when things got worse pretty much across the board. Yeah, sometimes events outside a person's control happen, but excuses only go so far and for so long. You've had a full term, why haven't you been able to improve anything?


Anne said...

Obviously Bush sucks and has to go; I don't get the feeling most people who read this blog will disagree with that. But Kerry sucks in his own special way. I'm still thinking about the whole Nader thing. A bumper sticker spoke to me the other day: Vote your conscience, not your fears.

MosBen said...

Well firstly, you're terribly mistaken if you think real, actual "people" read this site. Other than yourself and the posters that is. Yes, we live in our little bubble, but the bubble has new car smell. As always, this is where I threaten to make the site into a porn site in order to get more readers.

But to adress you point instead of making teh funny, I absolutely agree and disagree. I hate Kerry. He's a crappy candidate from a crappy party. Granted, there are LOTS worse Democrats out there, and while he may not be the #1 most liberal senator as some pundits will have us believe he's certainly better than most. Still though the Democrats are a party that cares about winning, not ideals. To a degree, and I'm cribbing a West Wing quote here, you have to win in order to govern, but in my idealistic world we don't have to compromise much if ever on ideals. With that in mind I voted Nader in 2000 and I'm proud of that vote.

That being said, I'd have to say, and I'm hardly the first, that this isn't really the year for voting one's conscience. Well, rather, this isn't the year for one's conscience to work like it did in 2000. Personally I think it would be unconscionable to allow Bush to govern any more because he's so damn bad at it, so my conscious says vote Kerry.

Please, do not allow my indulgent habit of posting encyclopedia length, if a crappy, third rate encyclopedia, posts and responses. Once my fingers start walking, I just can't stop them. It's like Ash in Evil Dead 2, but instead of trying to kill stuff they bloviate.

Noumena said...

As another proud Nader voter in 2000, I have to wonder out loud what message you're trying to send by voting for your conscience. What policies has Nader talked about that are so much better than Kerry? Remember that Nader has had Republicans pounding pavements getting signatures to get him on the ballot -- while they get signatures for homophobic ballot initiatives at the same time. And those signatures have been rife with fraud. Then, when he was rejected by the Green party as their presidential candidate, his response was, more or less, 'fuck the Green party'.

I voted for Nader not because I thought he'd be a good president -- obviously a single electoral vote would've been miraculous -- but because it would help the Green party in future election cycles. With Nader an independent, a vote for him certainly isn't going to help things any this time around.

Finally, as Barbara Ehrenreich (another Nader-in-2000 voter who will be voting Democratic this year) pointed out when she was subbing for Tom Friedman in the NYT earlier this summer, the Democrats fielded three progressive/leftist candidates in the primaries. They were marginalized in the debates, but were still actually there as potentials. This isn't a huge improvement, but it is something.

I think the Democratic party does need some pressure from the left. But voting Nader isn't the way to do it, at least not this time around.

MosBen said...

Come on though, Nader is ALWAYS talking about better issues, or at least better positions on issues, than Kerry or a huge majority of Democrats. Fair Trade, better/smarter foreign policy, stop the tax system from favoring the rich. Granted, Kerry's certainly not running the centrist campaign that Gore ran, but he simply can't talk about some things or take some positions because he has to be elected and Americans hold some crazy wrong beliefs. Nader on the other hand can and does talk about whatever he wants to.