Tag Archives: Voting

A Vote for Democrats as a Public-Sector Union Member may be a Misguided Vote

On the ballot in Minnesota are two items that public-sector union members should consider very closely when/if voting straight Democrat in the 2018 Midterms: 1) Single-Payer Healthcare and 2) $15 Minimum Wage. These items are directly contradictory of the hard work that has been done to fight for your benefits and your living wage as a public-sector union member, let me explain my thoughts on these two items and how they could be undoing recent accomplishments of public-sector unions.

  • $15 minimum wage for all does not increase your living wage as a public-sector union member, in fact, it may make your wage less livable, more futile. It may also reduce the number of employees in the local workforce, triggering more unemployment, in order to make up for increased wages paid without increased profits earned. This does not benefit you as a public-sector union member and it does not benefit your community. Many Democrat candidates champion $15 minimum wage as a good thing with little evidence to prove their point, it is already being implemented in St Paul, MN (one example of concern about Minimum Wage locally); recently, perhaps, jobs have gone, businesses have and will close and move elsewhere in lieu of this policy change. These items impact us all. Here is a resource on Minimum Wage.
  • A Single-Payer Healthcare System implementation is an item of considerable speculation, ambiguity, and concern. If you have good healthcare/insurance now, one your union fought hard for to attain, perhaps you can kiss that benefit goodbye under Democrats who want a Single-Payer Health Care System. What’s more, not only could a Single-Payer Healthcare System give you theoretical universal healthcare and take away your unique healthcare plan, one based on your individual needs, one that fits you, but it could increase the taxes for you and your community–keep in mind Minnesota has the fifth highest tax burden in the nation, currently. Could you afford to go on a plan that isn’t built for you precisely and that may cost you more? I don’t think I could, and we are all different with special and unique healthcare needs. And what is the quality of Single-Payer Healthcare and is making it mandatory for all even constitutional? I have just a few questions on this topic, you should as well. I am open-minded. Here is a resource on Medicare for All.

These items, and the policies related to them, concern me as a public-sector union member, as a taxpayer, as a dad, as a husband and as a voter, especially when the rhetoric is at a fever pitch and the focus is on what President Trump does personally on Twitter or how bad he is or was as a person or ubiquitous smear campaigns against both political parties and not on actual government policy that change things for you and I and ours.

These policies are paramount to all. But do we all understand them entirely? Do we understand he Bill of Rights or the Constitution? I am not sure I do. Further, do we vote because we hate something or someone, or because we love something or someone, or their ideas are good? Do we vote for what was benign in the past, what might have worked out OK for that moment, or do we move forward and vote for ideas that work for the future, our future?

The items mentioned above, even though mere rhetoric, could have grave impacts on wages and benefits and communities actually. Think about that when you vote, it does matter.

Moreover, when you vote in the upcoming midterm election, don’t think about the party or something far away or some big ideas or some boilerplate talking point, think about your pocketbook, think about the Constitution, think about the law, the Bill of Rights, small changes for positive, and think about your local situation, good or bad, and how you can improve on it. You have the opportunity to say you want better, your voice is your vote. That thought and decision and voice on who you vote for will impact you most. That and recall, maybe the party that claims to represent your public-sector union vociferously is not the party that represents you personally.

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Why I am not Voting

Henry_David_Thoreau

Recently, surprisingly (in lieu of what I’ve learned from American Literature 1, Henry David Thoreau, and Ralph Waldo Emerson), I have decided to take the opportunity (Nov. 4th , 2014) to not vote. I won’t be out on that blistery Tuesday eve checking boxes and rallying support, and wasting my fucking time. I will be sitting at home and reading books, or out-and-about gathering experience; smoking cigarettes, mindful of where I ash, in light of the fallen leaves, while enjoying an ice cold locally micro-brewed bier.

Everyone is telling me to vote, I won’t listen to their peer pressure anymore. Now I have Thoreau and Emerson on my side, let’s not forget Noam Chomsky. I will avoid being a statistic, a generalized agree-er. Example of not doing what everyone tells me to do: If everyone was telling me to jump off a bridge, likewise, I wouldn’t. So, I will do the same when it comes to voting, and I just won’t.

Reason for this change of heart, I present you with: Resistance to Civil Government (1849), Henry David Thoreau

The reason I will not be voting is simple. Because I notice things, I will not vote. Daily, while on campus, I notice people walking around. There are many people, but some stick out. They seem of a different ilk. They carry clipboards, propaganda, and they look occupied, busy (and slightly worried). They ask introductory questions with brevity, -and then they get right to the point. Their mind’s look in control, but not. They look poised, but it appears as though for someone else, besides themselves. They seem to be toiling in other people’s business. A business not so simple, a business sedimented in ideology, hope, change, and money; a façade of which the American public buys into. Tangible things, apparently; things we see on TV. Yet, we must take their word for it… Those pundits, politicians, and bi-pedal volunteers. Why study the facts when we can count on someone’s good name to guide our hand in voting… I know Al, I know the other guy; they seem nice, their ads are great; they have my vote… But what do we, as voters, understand?

Do we know where the money goes? Overseas, possibly? Do they know why the local public is withheld the opportunity to vote with its dollar? We can’t buy certain things on Sunday… I’ll give two examples:
1. Wars vs. Local Education; Al Franken, as the Senate Votes
2. Letter to the Government: Jerry Hertaus-What is your stance on Sunday Liquor Sales in Minnesota?

Has anyone discussed the importance of these minimally researched topics?
A few years back, I noticed an anomaly within my group of friends; a very close friend of mine, and confidant, chose not to vote. I’m not talking lazy-forget-to-vote, I’m talking just straight not voting. I didn’t understand. I badgered her for some time. I couldn’t believe it! I wanted her to get out and vote, as cliché as it sounds, I really did. That shit fucking counts: EVERY VOTE… I was lost and didn’t get it. Now I sort of do.

Read this: Wikipedia- Civil Disobedience (Thoreau)

Now watch this:

If one views the news, reads any local or national paper, delves into any media, one will notice a trend: people want you to vote for them. As if one person is better to lead, as if one person is actually leading, and not an organization, or worse a corporation; money. They want you to get out and tell them it is okay to do whatever they choose to do, even if those who voted for them don’t believe in what those politicians do after the vote.

Some local and national politicians just want to be talking faces, specifically noticed. They represent you, they are “good” people, probably born and breed in Minnesota, or wherever your hometown is, the similarities in locale. They want to be the next door neighbor who everyone knows, -but really doesn’t. Nothing gets changed, there is a need for necessary confusion, for necessary problems, to provide necessary solutions, with necessary money. Without these we wouldn’t need those, or them. They create a need. They need us to vote.

It is easy to vote for someone, even if you disagree with their beliefs, when everyone else does. But do you have the courage to not play their game?
Asch Conformity Test:

Primary Election Results; Remembering that I voted for the candidate with the best name

SONY DSCMPR News: Primary 2014 Results

Not unlike every single election I have ever taken part in, I voted for the candidate with the best name.  A name that stood out this primary was Tom Books.  If Tom Books is your name you are definitely going to get the intellectual vote. 

Aside from that, I knew not the stance of the candidate I was voting for, nor what they thought about high tuition, Sunday Sales Laws, and or equality.  On a whim I voted for Doug Mann, and surprisingly against Phyllis Khan.  I took the opportunity to vote Independent party all the way down because Republicans just fund wars and Democrats pretend to be against wars and fund them as well.  It felt good to vote against an incumbent that hadn’t done much for me (noticeably). 

Candidates should be more transparent, and have better names. 

All in all my vote was cast and counted, and it felt good!  Go Vote!