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Old 10-14-2016, 07:26 PM   #1
xoxoxoBruce
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I Love Mike Rowe

Someone wrote to Mike Rowe…
“Hey Mike, I have nothing but respect for you. Your no-nonsense outlook and incredible eloquence have really had a profound impact in my life. Can you please encourage your huge following to go out and vote this election? I would never impose on you by asking you to advocate one politician over another, but I do feel this election could really use your help. I know that there are many people out there who feel like there is nothing they can do. Please try to use your gifts to make them see that they can do something – that their vote counts.”

He responded…
“Hi Jeremy,
Thanks for the kind words. I appreciate it. I also share your concern for our country, and agree wholeheartedly that every vote counts. However, I’m afraid I can’t encourage millions of people whom I’ve never met to just run out and cast a ballot, simply because they have the right to vote. That would be like encouraging everyone to buy an AR-15, simply because they have the right to bear arms. I would need to know a few things about them before offering that kind of encouragement. For instance, do they know how to care for a weapon? Can they afford the cost of the weapon? Do they have a history of violence? Are they mentally stable? In short, are they responsible citizens?”

“Casting a ballot is not so different. It’s an important right that we all share, and one that impacts our society in dramatic fashion. But it’s one thing to respect and acknowledge our collective rights, and quite another thing to affirmatively encourage people I’ve never met to exercise them. And yet, my friends in Hollywood do that very thing, and they’re at it again.”

“Every four years, celebrities and movie stars look earnestly into the camera and tell the country to ‘get out and vote.’ They tell us it’s our ‘most important civic duty,’ and they speak as if the very act of casting a ballot is more important than the outcome of the election. This strikes me as somewhat hysterical. Does anyone actually believe that Leonardo DiCaprio, Ellen DeGeneres, and Ed Norton would encourage the ‘masses’ to vote, if they believed the ‘masses’ would elect Donald Trump?”

“Regardless of their political agenda, my celebrity pals are fundamentally mistaken about our ‘civic duty’ to vote. There is simply no such thing. Voting is a right, not a duty, and not a moral obligation. Like all rights, the right to vote comes with some responsibilities, but let’s face it – the bar is not set very high. If you believe aliens from another planet walk among us, you are welcome at the polls. If you believe the world is flat, and the moon landing was completely staged, you are invited to cast a ballot. Astrologists, racists, ghost-hunters, sexists, and people who rely upon a Magic 8 Ball to determine their daily wardrobe are all allowed to participate. In fact, and to your point, they’re encouraged.”

“The undeniable reality is this: our right to vote does not require any understanding of current events, or any awareness of how our government works. So, when a celebrity reminds the country that ‘everybody’s vote counts,’ they are absolutely correct. But when they tell us that ‘everybody in the country should get out there and vote,’ regardless of what they think or believe, I gotta wonder what they’re smoking.”

“Look at our current candidates. No one appears to like either one of them. Their approval ratings are at record lows. It’s not about who you like more, it’s about who you hate less. Sure, we can blame the media, the system, and the candidates themselves, but let’s be honest – Donald and Hillary are there because we put them there. The electorate has tolerated the intolerable. We’ve treated this entire process like the final episode of American Idol. What did we expect?”

“So no, Jeremy – I can’t personally encourage everyone in the country to run out and vote. I wouldn’t do it, even if I thought it would benefit my personal choice. Because the truth is, the country doesn’t need voters who have to be cajoled, enticed, or persuaded to cast a ballot. We need voters who wish to participate in the process. So if you really want me to say something political, how about this – read more.”

“Spend a few hours every week studying American history, human nature, and economic theory. Start with “Economics in One Lesson.” Then try Keynes. Then Hayek. Then Marx. Then Hegel. Develop a worldview that you can articulate as well as defend. Test your theory with people who disagree with you. Debate. Argue. Adjust your philosophy as necessary. Then, when the next election comes around, cast a vote for the candidate whose worldview seems most in line with your own.”

“Or, don’t. None of the freedoms spelled out in our Constitution were put there so people could cast uninformed ballots out of some misplaced sense of civic duty brought on by a celebrity guilt-trip. The right to assemble, to protest, to speak freely – these rights were included to help assure that the best ideas and the best candidates would emerge from the most transparent process possible.”

“Remember – there’s nothing virtuous or patriotic about voting just for the sake of voting, and the next time someone tells you otherwise, do me a favor – ask them who they’re voting for. Then tell them you’re voting for their opponent. Then, see if they’ll give you a ride to the polls.”

“In the meantime, dig into Economics in One Lesson, by Henry Hazlitt. It sounds like a snooze but it really is a page turner, and you can download it for free.

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Old 10-14-2016, 07:39 PM   #2
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Mike Rowe for President
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Old 10-14-2016, 07:54 PM   #3
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I can see why some call it skimming. I read until my head hurt.

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Old 10-14-2016, 08:09 PM   #4
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I Love Mike Rowe ...

Me too.
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Old 10-14-2016, 09:11 PM   #5
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I love Mike Rowe
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Old 10-14-2016, 09:30 PM   #6
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I love him and agree with him.
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Old 10-14-2016, 11:27 PM   #7
sexobon
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It seems to be more a matter of one's interpretation of the terms used. People have a right to vote and a responsibility to make it an informed vote.

A problem with terminology occurs because a synonym for "duty" is "responsibility". Some will use them interchangeably regardless of context. Here's an example of the confusion it creates taken from a simple internet search:

Quote:
Which is a duty of every American citizen rather than a responsibility?

The duties or responsibilities of a United States citizen can be separated into two groups: mandatory responsibilities, such as paying taxes, and duties not demanded by law, such as voting. Laws are the rules under which a society or community is governed.
That would probably give Mike Rowe conniptions; because, mandatory responsibilities are duties and duties not demanded by law are responsibilities.

I think that with most people who encourage others to vote (regardless of for whom) it's implied that they want those others to get involved and make an informed vote. They would give those others a ride to the polls even if the others were going to vote for an opponent. They believe greater participation has its own benefits. If they refer to voting as a civic duty, I'd just consider it wishful thinking on their part and not demeaning of those who don't vote.

Of course there'll be people with political agendas who encourage others to vote, just for the sake of voting, if they think it will somehow end up helping their agendas. If you don't like it, you're free to encourage others to vote for their opponents. Just whining about them and whining about their terminology doesn't accomplish much more than perhaps gaining some popularity with the disaffected.

Last edited by sexobon; 10-15-2016 at 12:21 AM. Reason: Clarify
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Old 10-15-2016, 10:10 AM   #8
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Heh heh hehe he said "doody"

That is mighty bullshit. It's just semantics though. You bring your own meaning to the table. I find it very unconvincing.

If you are not informed on the candidates it's your duty not to vote. But it's not your duty to stay informed, so where are we now. We could dance around that doody all day and not get anywhere.

I also notice it's the field of some supreme assholes to talk about your duty to the country. Some find it may be your duty to die for it.

So fuck that and fuck all the semantics.
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Old 10-15-2016, 10:34 AM   #9
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That's pretty much how I viewed Mike Rowe's article, as just pandering to the disaffected.

The cognoscenti know that it's not their duty to die for their country; but, their responsibility to give an enemy the maximum opportunity to die for theirs.

It's among the differences between those who have been there, done that and the been nowhere done nothings. Those differences seem to extend to voting. That doesn't stop the disaffected from complaining about the political outcomes.

They certainly have a right to complain. Fortunately, others don't have a duty to listen to the nonparticipants.

Last edited by sexobon; 10-15-2016 at 10:42 AM.
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Old 10-15-2016, 11:47 AM   #10
xoxoxoBruce
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Disaffected? No one in this country is disaffected by elections, from local to national. What Rowe is saying is don't vote to just vote, know what and who you are voting for. Not being part of the system is not smart, it's just leaving your future for others to decide.
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Old 10-15-2016, 12:16 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sexobon View Post
The cognoscenti know that it's not their duty to die for their country; but, their responsibility to give an enemy the maximum opportunity to die for theirs.
And yet, those same cognoscenti will inevitably describe that dead person as having died while doing their duty.

As cognoscenti go, you have learned from the cognoscenti on killing, and that's what you got.

I asked the cognoscenti on loving, and they said your biggest responsibility to the human race is to avoid killing people. Killing people seems to change very little. Loving them seems to change everything.

Perhaps we could take a vote on whose cognoscenti are primary.
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Old 10-15-2016, 12:20 PM   #12
xoxoxoBruce
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Fuck the cognoscenti, learn what's at stake, what candidates stand for, and make your own decisions.
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Old 10-15-2016, 12:31 PM   #13
sexobon
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xoB,

dis·af·fect·ed
disəˈfektəd/

dissatisfied with the people in authority and no longer willing to support them

I'm using the term to include those vying for positions of authority, as in elections. People can support candidates in many different ways; however, if they're unwilling to vote for them the motives for whatever else they're doing becomes questionable.

I agree with what you said; but, that's only part of what Rowe is saying.
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Old 10-15-2016, 12:32 PM   #14
sexobon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Undertoad View Post
... Perhaps we could take a vote on whose cognoscenti are primary.
But if you don't vote, you don't have a mouth. You become a castles in the air loser.
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Old 10-15-2016, 12:39 PM   #15
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Semantics again. By dictionary definition, "loser" is the side that lost. If you don't take sides, you can never be a loser, Q.E.D.
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