"Loff56 wrote this:
"So does this mean you are voting this year? As imperfect as our political system is, and as wretched as our politicians can be, it and they are the only things we've got.
You can't deny that if Gore won in 2000 we would be in a very different place right now. Not a perfect place by any stretch, but for sure a better place. Elections, (and votes) do matter. Even if votes themselves are bought and sold, and elections stolen and bargained for, if a few thousand apathetic democratic voters came out to vote in Florida instead of lying on the beach, the "re-count" wouldn't have been needed and the Republican leadership of that state never would have had the opportunity to hand the victory over to Bush.
The beauty of our system is that if the masses stand up and speak it will override the bureaucracy no matter how loud it gets. The secret strategy of republicans and democrats alike is keeping at bay the three headed beast that is the will of the American people. Both parties (and the underwriters of those parties) fear this and therefore subscribe to a strategy of voter suppression, not "get-out-the-vote" as they claim. It is a well known fact that this country is at the bottom of the list when it comes to voter turn-out. (We're ranked 139 of 172 voting countries). The organizations at the top are having their way with our will just by scaring us from voting and making our stomachs churn every time we pull a lever for a politician smeared by the opposition. If we want politicians to do what we want them to, we all have to take responsibility for our collective "will" and vote, individually, and collectively we can drown out the BS and become an actual voice in American politics.
So I suggest that you get off your high horse of "Nobody's good enough for me" and vote. Otherwise score another victory for voter suppression and enjoy watching the endless cycle of deception, pandering and mud-slinging politics go on from now until the end of time."
Well, okay, Loff56, let me come down off of my "high horse" and tell you that first of all, I did vote in 2000 and 2004 - by NOT voting. I am not going to be blackmailed into a choice by politicos putting up "the worst and the dullest" instead of "the best and the brightest." To me, choosing the "lesser of two evils" is still choosing evil, and in the long run, that will come back to haunt you. Furthermore, the argument that in hindsight, we'd have been better off if Gore got elected in 2000 is flimsy at best, and ignores some very reality-based facts. If Gore had won, he'd have been faced with the same rabid Republican majority in Congress that thwarted Bill Clinton constantly, and Gore showed himself not to have the stomach for that kind of never-ending conflict the way Clinton did. It is very conceivable, since we're engaging in speculation on where the election of Gore would have led, that Barack Obama - a real leader, with intelligence, wisdom, humility and balls - would not be on his way to the presidency if we'd had four years of a Gore presidency deadlocked with the lunatic fringe that was running the Republican Party in 2000. Now, in 2008, we've seen in full view what a modern-day Republican president and Republican congress will do together.
Here's another thing: I saw Al Gore speak at the Democratic Convention last week, and I can tell you this, the Al Gore we know, now - confident, eloquent, forceful - is not the Al Gore we saw in 2000. Giving away that election, which is what he did, seems to have been the best character-building experience he ever had, so again, had he been elected in 2000, we might not have had the person who, as a non-president, won the Nobel Peace Prize. So, maybe now, we're ready to demand more from a Democratic leader than the Kerry's, Dukakis's, Mondales and Gore of 2000 that the Dems have put up.
Finally, Loff56, if I had voted in 2000, it would have been for Ralph Nader.