Death to Israel, eh Charles?
Charles, I hope you have something to dilute the barrels of poison that are about to get dumped on you.
What a worthless pile of word-drivel. It's shocking how far Slog has gone down the drain since you-know-who left.
You know Charles, you could try to develop a bloc of Democratic voters that would vote for a pro-peace Democrat during primary season. That might have a chance of working, rather than simply aiding a Republican candidate.
When are you going to start agitating for instant runoffs instead of shoot yourself in the foot candidates? Sure you can vote for a socialist in municipal elections, but when our gubernatorial races get decided by such slim margins ... Dino Rossi?
I am often sickened by the actions taken by my country, but I don't think political withdrawal is the answer. There are shades of evil. I don't think the United States will be reined in politically until our allies wake up to the fact that we're a corporatocracy hell bent on profit at the expense of all international norms. We are unable to govern ourselves, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't keep trying. Maybe we can right the ship before we are destroyed.
Mudede, you're deliberately being an idiot. The reality is that most elected officials are either going to be Democrats OR LOW DOWN DIRTY STINKING REPUBLICANS. The Democratic Party is exactly what it says it is; democratic. If you want to change the party platform or principles you can participate and have a say. It's real easy to sit on your ass and criticize and hard to work for change. Meanwhile, if Democratic voters don't vote or squander their votes on pie-in-the-sky third party losers, it will be a big fat free giveaway to the goddamned Republicans. Is that what you want? A big reward for the racist, sexist, homophobic Republican con men and thieves?
Welcome to the disgusted majority who don't vote. It is no fun to join this particular party, but it does make for some peace of mind. Let the farce continue without you. But I don't envy you having to read the response you'll get to this from 'nice' 'progressive' Seattle-ites.
Socialist?? Wow. So close, yet so far...

Stop compromising. You know what you want, Charles. What you need.

Do you really think the answer lies under another banner?
Wait till you see the blood that comes from not voting...

We've actually been trying the experiment of having many likely Democratic and other left-leaning voters not vote for quite some time now. Suffice it to say it doesn't seem to be advancing your foreign policy aims.
@7, I think at the local level, citizen participation can have an impact, but at the national level changing the platform, and policies of either party takes $$$$$$$$$$ with the help of an army of lobbyists and a corporate ending on your name. The 3 branches of the fed government have been totally co-opted by the oligarchy and we will not see any radical change in policies for the betterment of common folk short of disastrous economic decline.
Shades of last year's Russell Brand effort:…
Charles, whenever I go to the ballot now, I have the option of choosing between a moderate conservative candidate on one hand and a right-wing fringe conservative wacko on the other. The reason this is my choice is because when liberals get disgusted with politics, they stop voting. When conservatives get disgusted with politics, they vote ever more conservative.

Please. Not voting may make you feel better, but it is selfish. It is hurting everyone else.
It really doesn't matter what you think, and I'm sure neither Hamas, nor the Palestinian Authority, nor Israel, nor anyone in Washington DC on either side of the aisle cares whether you vote or not. What arrogance.
Let's not forget that democracy demands compromise with people we find reprehensible. There are fellow citizens who vote and who cheer at the thought of cluster bombs falling in Gaza (and a much, much smaller, electorally irrelevant group of fellow citizens who cheer at the thought of rockets falling on Haifa). I am not at all suggesting "My country, right or wrong," but I don't think the actions of the American government represent some kind partisan distortion of the national will. Of course, this is a frightening prospect, but we should reckon with it seriously. What if we just don't have that much in common with our countrymen? What do we do?
You're the one who has to live with yourself, so I'm not going to say you're doing the wrong thing. But I am curious if this is a straw breaks the camel's back sort of thing because the US government generally and prominent Democrats in particular have been complicit in the murderous rampages of our clients around the world before.

And I'm sure I don't have to tell you that the practical effect of your abstinence will be either nothing at all or the empowerment of a party that is no better in this regard and much, much worse in others. But oops, I just did.
Maybe Charles should just resign? That would send a message!

Remember, Charles had no problem cashing his paycheck when Dan Savage supported the war in Iraq in the pages of The Stranger in 2002.

Say "YES" to War on Iraq
Liberals Against Liberation
by Dan Savage…
" In the meantime, invading and rebuilding Iraq will not only free the Iraqi people, it will also make the Saudis aware of the consequences they face if they continue to oppress their own people while exporting terrorism and terrorists. The War on Iraq will make it clear to our friends and enemies in the Middle East (and elsewhere) that we mean business: Free your people, reform your societies, liberalize, and democratize... or we're going to come over there, remove you from power, free your people, and reform your societies for ourselves.

Post-9/11, post-Bali, what other choice do we have? "
You're going to stop voting? I'm going to stop reading your political pieces. If you can't be bothered to be part of the process, then you're part of the problem and I can't be bothered to give a shit about what you have to say.
Democracy includes being outvoted.
i don't know if charles lived here in 1999, but many, many people felt the same way. i may have been one of them. y'know the one's who were fed up with it all, and who chose to just not vote instead of voting for al gore.

if memory serves, that didn't work out all that well.
I'll be honest. I didn't bother to read this post.

So before I waste my time can anybody tell me if Charles is sober this time?

Did he use pull quotes from New Age Times and mistake them for the New York Times or something?

Did he put in any effort at all? Is it worth it? Life is short.

Seriously. He's been phoning it in for the last three years. If he can't bother, why should we.
Yeah! Bush and Gore are EXACTLY THE SAME, so I'm going to vote for Nader. That will turn out well ...
@20, well, Al Gore took Washington, so I don't know what you could have done.
You’re finally making sense!
I hope all of your readers do likewise!
@25 Ha ha ha.

Charles is obviously trolling for comments (like mine, I guess). Don't take him seriously.
It's truly about time you removed your head from your butt, Mr. Mudede.

Now, will the rest of the nation ever follow?
And Paul Schell still sucks!
Charles, whatever's bothering you now will be 10 times worse when the Republicans take over.
Charles has it right. All you "lesser of two evils" voters are just unwitting shills for our two-party corporatist system. Vote your conscience or don't vote at all.
Thank you for reminding me to fill out my ballot!
@cliche: two-party corporatist system

The two-party system is what naturally occurs when you have winner take all elections. If you want more parties, we need a proportional elections where parties get seats as a function of percentage of vote. Like they have in Israel, for example. That would require significant changes to our constitution, however.

Thanks Charles, completely agreed. It's a such a bizarre choice we get here between far-right (republicans) and center-right (democrats) that I also want nothing to do with.

There is a difference between the two, but it's the wrong question to be asked to begin with. It's so absurd when we actually get a different choice (eg, Jess Spear or Kshama Sawant), even when there is no "greater evil" running, that so many people vote to keep their choices limited to the standard two right wing options.
Let's face it, the good old USA has exported war for generations. And we've profited mightily from it! But it's a message we don't want to hear, or admit!
A vote for a third-party big-S Socialist is a vote for the GOP, full stop.
If Charles is no longer voting, then he's no longer qualified to express an opinion about politics. That's the lovely kicker: if you didn't vote either for or against the incumbents and you were eligible to do so, you have forfeited your right to talk about, argue about, or opine on politics and you get to keep your mouth shut when the subject comes up. Only those of us who participate get to argue about the results. So you can take your ball and go home, Charles, and a fair number of us won't miss the juvenile self-centeredness you express at all.
So you're a Republican.
Thanks for effectively making my vote count twice! (If I were voting in Seattle).
This is the kind of whiny, juvenile, take-my-ball-and-go-home poutrage I expect from an anonymous poster on /r/politics.
Start building a movement will ya? We need to tell the politicians what we want. Arms manufacturers in Israel and the U.S. are loving the slaughter in Gaza. There are more of us than them. Of course, they do have guns, but maybe some of us do too.
Charles I'd love to see legislative bodies this Country ditch the winner take all geographically determined election paradigm and replaced with one or more of the various proportional representation models. At least for state house reps and federal reps, state and fed Senates we might be stuck with two party winner take all. Regardless it is not going to happen. American's apparently have a difficult enough time figuring out a binary ballot, we aren't going to understand a ranking one.

Yeah that sucks. But choosing to run off into the corner sitting down pouting and sucking your thumb while whining about how nobody understands you, well that's Collectivism_sucks turf, you might not want to go there.
@11 is right. Charles and many posters ignore the fact that the Democratic Party is not monolithic. Clearly the oligarchs will never permit significant deviation from neo-liberalism at the national level so long as the nation state paradigm is in place to protect their interests. It is clear that Democratic Party organizations at the local level in places like Seattle are more liberal to left than they are at the state and national levels. Difficult as it is, it is easier to pull things to the left at the local level.

Since "disastrous economic decline" is likely under late-stage capitalism and its associated environmental disasters, it's our responsibility to push/pull leftwards locally even harder. When "things fall apart" left wing populists should be organized and ready to act if not already at least part way into the halls of power.
Take Constant and Fnarf with you too. Fnarf hasnt seen a black person in his neighborhood in the last decade, so its time for a change of scenery.
Charles' idea does have some merit, but it needs to be more tactful to have an impact. The goal shouldn't be to vote only for socialists, but to force the Democrats to have more respect for human rights. If enough people let the Democrats know that they would be standing aside during an election, it would give them some motivation to stop the atrocities. It is a principled move, but it may also be a stupid move. If we had President McCain or President Romney, we would likely be involved in a war with Iran which would have led to a minimum of hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths. So how do you change the political atmosphere to prevent atrocities in Palestine without handing power over to the people who would create even greater atrocities? It is tricky. But if you don't discuss the realpolitik and focus only on your political and moral purity, you aren't having a grown-up conversation on the matter. The real world isn't black and white. And not voting so that you don't get blood on your hands doesn't mean that the result won't cause more blood to be shed.

Are any of the neighboring countries accepting refugee-immigrants?

Vote, don't vote, nobody gives a rat's ass what you do.
I respect you on this, Charles, but things have always been thus. Our choices are always the lesser of evils at best, especially now that the decisions of so very few decide the fate of so very many.

Baaaa. Baaaaa.
@27: sgt_doom agrees with this post. Mudede has truly gone too far, then.
Yikes, you have my sympathy Charles. Express the slightest amount of discontent with God-King Obama the Wise and Benevolent and his party of bootlick oligarchs and then it's out with the pitchforks with some people.
I agree with a lot of this. A lot. But without civil rights, most of us are not whole as Americans. ( As described by the forefathers.) So we become ineffective as global ambassadors. We get obsessed with civil rights. As we should. These are the baby steps that an infant country must take. It's shitty, but patience is a vurtue. Even if you never see the fruits of your labor.
Saying that you could give a shit about your right to be acknowledged as a human, when you are a person in Seattle, Washington 20 fucking 14, is a dick move. It's perhaps easy to say.
As far as voting, I feel you. That shit storm is as confusing as fuck!
Yawn, who gives a fuck? You want to be even more of a non-entity in this society? Fine with me.
52: How does it feel to be such a fucking idiot? But then I guess in your world you're fightin' the man in some fantasy revolution.
Put your vote in a place where it does the most good. Don't throw away your vote because you don't have the perfect candidate. That is short sighted, idealistic bullshit. And don't even try to justify why you're not participating in the process. You're going to just give up now? What is wrong with you? This is the shitty system that we have. Suck it up and vote. You might never see the change you want in your lifetime, but you still should at least try to keep the insane people out of power. God damn liberals. What the hell is wrong with us.
From now on, if I don't see a (black, Asian, Jewish, white, Latino, Catholic, male, female, gay, straight) socialist on the ballot, I'm not voting.

Interesting set of adjectives here, Charles. You left out Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, and Protestant but you kept Catholic and Jewish. Maybe they're included because you also included male and female - so those combined adjectives are essentially meaningless. But you were angry, and I hope you feel better now.
@57 I found that bit very confusing. And weird. Emotional?
Voting for Sawant made me happy. And nobody died.
Next time you denigrate those fundamentalist/absolutist rural folks, be sure somebody throws this post in your face.
Oh, you're voting. You just don't realize it.

I do kind of envy you that feeling you get when you can say that the troublemaker in office isn't one that you voted for. Technically.
My goodness, it certainly is telling that Mudede has mistyped the word "pacifist" as "socialist"

History tells us many things; one of the things it has told us over and over again is that a socialist is not the same thing as a pacifist. A true socialist has no use for pacifism; this is pragmatic, and it has been abundantly demonstrated.
What does socialism have to do with Israel? This is a non sequitur.
it would be a great day for this nation if we could drag the marxists and socialists into the streets and kick them the fuck out of the the point of a bayonet.

marxism and socialism bring nothing but death and misery to every nation they have touched.

God Dammit, Charles I was almost asleep and now I am compelled to join the fray...

First off, about fucking time! What? The Iraq war, NSA fiasco, Bailout et al weren't enough? Hello, Vietnam anyone?

I have often shaken my head at the ballot. Why haven't the greens and socialists been running a candidate in every race every election?

And I must gasp in wonder at the idiocy spewed in the gallery here! All from intelligent liberals who know better than us I suppose. Let me begin to dispel some nonsense:

@4 ever heard of Dennis Kucinich, yeah I didn't think so. The establishment wasn't going to put up with another McGovern so they swept him under the carpet. Hell they wouldn't even put up with Howard Dean...

@5 Greens, Libertarians, and other outside parties have been pushing for IRV for decades. The major obstacles? The dem and GOP parties. They continue to disenfranchise us at their own peril...

@7 the platform doesn't mean shit. elected senators and congresspersons are not compelled to follow it. It's just a big worthless ruse to motivate and recruit campaign volunteers for the establishment candidates - so they can get free footwork from all the well intentioned activists and keep them too busy to support better causes candidates!

@10 Americans are already mostly not voting. Charles on the other hand is pledging to vote socialist.

@20 if it wasn't for Al Gore spoiling the election we could of had Nader for president! Fuck Al Gore!

@35 a Vote for a socialist is a vote for a socialist. Stop being stupid again!!!!

That's as far as I can go. Peace out.

PS - Charles, have you ever checked out the socialist org located on Rainier Ave in Columbia City?

Unfortunately, a vote for a socialist is not a vote for a pacifist.
Well, this makes sense. After all, while living in a single-family home and owning a car you've been lecturing the rest of us on the virtue of living in apartments and taking transit. Why shouldn't you abstain from voting and then complain about the politicians the ignorant unwashed masses elect?
@66, sometimes that may be true but at least a vote for a socialist is never a vote for a democrat
What do you mean "items being bought"? They get everything from the U.S. for free...
What do you mean items being bought? They get everything from the U.S. for free. The only thing they buy is people...
WTF is the deal with Seattle loving Dennis Kucinich? I don't get it. There is no there, there. He's like Al Sharpton or Sarah Palin, good at getting press but then nothing.

Although I'll grant he was really good at returning phone calls to constituents. Talks a good game then...... nothing. Fucking con-artist good riddance. Seattle can have him.
I'm ashamed we're selling tools of death to genocidal maniacs in Israel and elsewhere. I'm still gonna vote, and give Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell a call.
you're just now realizing all this? aren't you like 70 years old?
The more people that vote for socialists, the more socialists will be able to challenge the corporate hegemony!
@72 yeah Patty and Maria really care about what some libtard who'll vote for them anyway has to say about israel.
And yet Charles is too fucking lazy to advocate for alternative voting systems, the very kind of systems that would get candidates he would actually vote for on the ballot.

Once again, you're unwilling to do any research or put in any effort.
Well said, Charles. I always appreciate reading about your point of view, which is often an eye-opener and makes makes me ask myself questions, even if I don't always agree or share the same opinion. Thank you for your voice at The Stranger!
I agree with Charles sentiment. But I'd point out that there are some glimmers of hope in the Democrat Party. You should look at the primary race for Govenor in New York. There's an anti-corporatist Teachout who maybe in a position to take Cuomo out.

But one thing that the centrist Democrats have embraced is the idea any though of voting you conscience is answered with "a noun a verb and remember Ralph Nader" Certainly people on here absolve themselves of any of the crimes, and that is what they are, that Obama has committed under the false guise that "He's better than the other guy". Morally I don't know how they can sleep at night but you're right, the innocent blood Obama has spilled is on his supporters as well: especially when the vast majority you find on Slog gleefully turn a blind eye on that blood.

I think Charles you and I will agree a vote for the lesser of two evils is still a vote for evil.
the idea of effecting change through voting is a mass delusion. every day more people are waking up, taking a stand and refusing to perpetuate it
If you find it easier to believe that Israel intentionally targets civilians than that Hamas does you are willfully ignorant or a bigot, or both. Looking at you @72.
@35, fnarfart, the typical neocon response.

Our latest neocon president, Obama (and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize for some unfathomable reason), appointed the most neocon of neocons, James Comey, to be the director of the FBI.

Comey was a board member of the National Chamber Litigation Center.

Need anyone say more . . .
Ah, voting as a way to feel good about yourself and pretend you can wash your hands of the world's problems. Very mature, not narcissistic at all.
@78 - People who reference Nader are very aware that Nader was impactful. And if he wasn't impactful, why did so many people support him? Seems dumb to try and run for president and not make an impact in the process. Nader's supporters and detractors disagree on what that impact was and how big it was, but it was impactful nonetheless.

I'm well aware of what Obama is doing and I'm well aware of the hypocritical stances our country takes on a regular basis. But as a realist who thinks in shades of grey, I have no problems sleeping at night. If that makes me evil in your eyes, so be it; no great loss there.

@68: A vote for a socialist is, in practice, very often a vote for a Republican.
@76 an endorsement of socialists is implicitly an endorsement of IRV or the "single transferable vote" Concepts that are widely popular and yet not adopted because of democratic party obstruction.

@84 then maybe the dems should shape the fuck up so they don't lose more votes!!!
@71, you make no point at all. he was one member of congress. maybe if a couple hundred more members voted for his resolutions the world would be a different place. but they didn't. so what? do you suggest us kucninich supporters should just support a war monger instead? because at least they are effective -- at making wars happen and bringing home the pork to the local military industrial complex employer??

btw, when he flirted with running for congress in a wa district because of all the local support after getting gerrymandered out of his ohio district no less than the head of the wa dem party took to the press to slander him as a carpet bagger and quack - despite a number of our mainstream dem reps coming from out of state. thus even the local party has proven themselves to be stooges for the fuckers in DC
@86 LOL It is true Dennis is good at grabbing the headlines and the cameras. Has a great grip and grin, will take names, to build a database, will call you back and talk pretty to you, etc... practical follow through no not so much.

I've met him, had lunch with him, have friends who staffed for him when he was in the Federal House of Reps. I've sat on committees and non-profit boards that have worked with him. Actually agree with him on a lot of issues but at the end of the day he just shows up for the limelight then disappears.

Seattle you are welcome to him. Nice guy very personable, just don't expect more then mugging for the camera.
@87 what exactly did you expect from dennis that some other congressperson has delivered on? a blowjob perhaps???
@85: Move to the left to court the socialists and they risk losing votes from the center. Don't be such a mermaid.
@80: Does the Israeli Devastation Force (IDF) "target civilians"? I doubt that any Israeli sniper, having a Palestinian in his sights, would say to himself, "Oh! That person has a rifle and is therefore not a civilian, so I won't kill him."

No, they don't target Palestinian civilians because they are civilians. Rather, they target them because they are Palestinians, and Palestinians must be punished for resisting their ongoing oppression and dispossession by racist Jews.
it's kind of silly to talk about changing to IRV or other constitutional changes when we have the following undemocratic practices and laws:
1. the fillibuster. the dems can't even bring themselves to change this self disempowering practice.
2. state rep in senate. VERY undemocratic, unequal, wyoming citizens have 45X the voting wieght in making our laws and decisions on war etc. as a california citizen. 45 times!!!!! but try to end it. yikes, constitution says you can't!
3. DC and puerto rico don't even get a senator at all, so wyoming citizens plus all in the 50 states including Charles Mudede who have a vote to make laws over DC and puerto rico. Funny, though, you never heard Charles or most folks say "dammit, this inequality by law is disgusting. When are we goint to have some representation for DC and puerto rico residents? their second class status by law, that's just fuc king colonialism" nope because at bottom Charles et al. don't really CARE about other people they care about showing off their consumer tastes in politics in typical BOBO fashion. Here, Charles is just adopting the "Gaza solidarity" stance like others buy Putamayo CDs at a record store the latest is "music of the arab world." Ignoring that Hamas and its ilk are a bunch of fucking women hating, women mutiliating, women suppressing, lovers of violence who deliberately DO NOT PROVIDE DEFENSE TO THEIR CIVILIANS in order to play on gullible hipsters like Charles who ignore Hamas' purpose is to kill the jews in israel and oust israel from the area. Hmmmm. And btw if you decry sins for territory how can you even live in America? we stole it from native americans and mexicans and they stole it from native americans and spain who stole it from french and natives etcetcetcetcetcetc......we all stole our land, right? so it's time to fucking stop the rockets into israel and then israel will stop the incursions to destroy the rockets then you can try peace talks but you cna't do any of that while hamas is rocketing israel to kill all the jews there. BTW Isreal does'nt target civillians, but all powers using self defense kill civilians who are surrounding military targets like we did in ww2 and like every just use of force can do.
If you voted for Obama in his 2nd term, then the blood of the drone strikes, the Afghan war, targeted assassinations of US citizens, is all on your hands. You knew he was doing all that stuff; he tipped his hand in his first term, and you voted for him anyway. Therefor you are complicit.

It makes no difference to me whether the administration who doing bad things is Republican or Democrat - evil is evil. I hate Republicans worse, but in a way I'd rather have them do it because at least then people will bitch. When Obama does bad things, nobody says anything.

I will never ever vote for the lesser of two evils again. And if every one of you other chickenshit equivocating realists would do the same thing, we might be able to actually do something positive in our "democracy", instead of just having two different flavors of mostly the same shit.
@89 so? socialists risk losing votes to the greens and left dems if they get too soft. and either side can court the original pre-koch tea activists (who were mostly libertarian, anti war, anti surveilance, and also overwhelmingly anti corporate as well) HOWEVER, the biggest political demographic BY FAR are those too fed up with the bullshit system to even bother voting for some fucking corporate ditto head... I no longer have the patience to bother appealing to folks that fall within the mainstream of american politics be it dem (not left) or gop. combined they are still a minority. i side with the pissed off masses who have not been represented.
@93: "the biggest political demographic BY FAR are those too fed up with the bullshit system to even bother voting for some fucking corporate ditto head"
Fucking numbers, how do they work?
@94 like this:…. Less than 60% of the US voting eligible population voted in the 2012 general election
And in the 2010 general election it was barely 40% of the voting eligible population that even bothered to cast a ballot...
And in the 2010 general election it was barely 40% of the voting eligible population that even bothered to cast a ballot:…
@88 Follow through, actually bringing something home.

That's hardly anything new, of course, and in particular it should come as no surprise that Barack Obama himself is so eager to sell weapons so that Israel can continue killing. During the 2006 July War against Leabanon, the then Senator Obama was one of the most enthusiastic pro-Israel voices, co-sponsoring the resolution of unconditional support that all but a handful of Congresscritters supported.

That's right: Obama wasn't one of the craven multitude who meekly voted yes for the thing: he was one of the enthusiastic co-authors.
@98 nothing specific? give me a break. all our fucking congress does is bring home military pork for boeing. fuck that shit. i'd rather have an unsuccessful voice for peace than a successful pork barrel good 'ol boy.

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