Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Texas is still a non-voting state

As a reminder, one could read a blog post here on Trump every single day (and two on Sunday with cartoons), and that's what you'll find on most every blog in the right-hand column.  It's my belief, long-held, that the Democratic Party in which I was once a committed activist has fallen down so hard that they have become all but useless as a tool to stop the worst Republican legislation, nationally and most especially in Texas.  So the focus here will remain on what tools there are that can be used to slow the roll of these GOP cretins, and what Democrats should do in order to gain -- or regain -- both the respect and vote of those who, like me, have simply given up on them.

Below, the reveal from Michael Li, via his Twitter feed.

All blame assigned the two million four hundred thousand-plus Texans who chose to vote in 2016 but not for Trump or Clinton should now cease.  Following the blind binary logic employed to claim a victory where none exists in reality, if it was ever the intention of those who voted 'other' to instead cast a ballot to block, not for but against one of the two worst-in-history choices of the red/blue duopoly, then the pie chart above should disavow that false notion.  Partisans of the bipolar persuasion shouldn't spend any more effort trying to shame us into voting for their shitty candidates.  That effort can and should be more wisely spent convincing some of the six million registered non-voters -- you know, the people who don't pay much attention to politics, don't have much of an opinion either way, etc. -- to vote for your shitty candidate.  Less selling/spinning, simpler arguments, higher success and conversion ratios and all that.

Seems obvious to me but apparently not so much to others.

In Texas, just like California and roughly forty other states, the Electoral College outcome is foreordained.  My vote for Jill Stein did not contribute to electing Trump in 2016, any more than my vote for Stein in 2012 helped or hurt Barack Obama from being re-elected.  Someone voting for a minor party candidate is just not something a committed duopolist should be concerned about.  Getting people who are registered to vote, but didn't, to the polls for your man or woman should be the only thing that matters now.  There were over six million of those folks in the state of Texas in 2016, a number 50% greater than those who voted for either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump.

You have one job in 2018, Democrats.  Focus.

Don't ask why they're not voting, or posit reasons you have divined for a Facebook post.  As odd as it may seem, non-voters actually are voting their self-interest, even if it seems they aren't (conservatives prefer to call them 'values', and are more adept at compromising them for the sake of political expediency, which explains Christians' continuing support of Trump: a Supreme Court that strikes down Roe v. Wade being just one example).  Don't scold them when they don't see things from your POV.  Just get off your couch and go talk to them.  Start with your neighbors in your home precinct.

I'd help, as I have for the past ten years, if you hadn't run me off with your scorn and ridicule for voting my conscience and principles.  You might be calling it my privilege, but that's just one more reason you're on your own now.  Maybe you haven't noticed, but some of the old guard is still doing that.  Shouldn't have to be said, but that's no way for Democrats to win elections.

But if you would rather ... go on and keep whining about the Russians, Russian ads on Facebook, hackable voting machines, voter photo ID, gerrymandering, and the host of other excuses for losing that you really can't do much about.  Until you turn out some votes for your party's candidates, that is.

Twenty-eighteen is going to be a difficult midterm for Democrats; they're likely to lose some Senate seats in Trump states, and Republican Senators once thought to be among the worst are going to be primaried from their hard right and lose, as in Alabama yesterday, or retire and be replaced by someone further right.  John McCain is going to die very soon, and the governor there is likely to appoint someone who thinks like him, thus the GOP votes against Obamacare repeal are dwindling, and that bill will come back sooner than later.

Here in Texas, Beto O'Rourke remains a little mealy-mouthed on Medicare for All.  That's not going to get him over the hump no matter how much Twitter porn Ted Cruz's staff 'likes', as Jon Tilove at the Statesman pointed out.  And there are some Democrats who still can't see any gubernatorial candidates, though there are two: Mr. International Leather and Bernie Sanders in a cowboy hat, as Leif Reigstad at Texas Monthly posted a couple of days ago (disregard the attempts at snark).  It's certainly understandable that these candidates are invisible to the state's ConservaDems; they should concentrate, as I have previously advised, on recruiting Joe Straus to run.  Even Big Jolly's readers want to see it happen, so it would be a bipartisan collaboration.  Clue to the neolibs and the corporate media continuing to ask him: forget about Hamlet Castro.  Please.

And as blogged one month ago (scroll to the very end), the scrum to go up against John Cumbersome has indeed winnowed, by word and by deed.  Alex Triagesyphilis wormed his way right out of contention by reprising the role of Jon Ossoff, raising tons of money while exhorting half-measures on Medicare for All.  (The DNC, and Ben Ray Lujan of the DCCC, approve this message.)  He and corporate lawyer Lizzie Fletcher can go stand next to James Cargas; Laura Moser and Jason Westin are dueling for the Democratic progressive lead.

I like some of the D slate as currently comprised; Kim Olson for ag commish is notable.  Whether or not I can cast a ballot next March in the Blue primary, however, depends on whether the Texas Greens intend to muster some effort to get on the ballot.

So far, that effort is as scarce as a Democrat running against Ken Paxton.


Unknown said...

There's something wrong with the numbers in that pie chart. The number of "Other" voters in the presidential race is actually about 406,000, not 2 million-plus. This is also from the Secretary of State's Office.

Unknown said...

Oops, I think you misinterpreted the pie chart, which led me astray in my previous comment. The 2 million-plus is those eligible but not registered (gray). The little green strip is the "Other" voters.

PDiddie said...

Yes I did, and I have corrected it as a strike-through. It makes my point even stronger.

Unknown said...

About that whole "whether the Texas Greens intend to muster some effort to get on the ballot" thing...

PDiddie said...

I had previously exchanged FB messages with Wesson Gaige, who said the matter "hasn't been decided yet".