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And this one from the boss. Nothing to really add here:

If you don’t vote, you can’t fucking complain

Gallup congressional approval

Gallup

Whining about Washington is pretty much a national pastime these days. Only 41 percent of Americans approve of the job President Barack Obama is doing. Only 14 percent approve of the job Congress is doing. Everyone knows Washington is broken.

And it is. So fix it.

“Washington is broken” is passive-voice bullshit. Politicians in Washington do what they think will win them elections. If Washington is broken, then we voters bear some of the blame for breaking it — and everyone who is sitting back and complaining and not voting bears some of the blame for doing nothing to fix it.

“Washington is broken” is passive-voice bullshit

There’s one really good reason not to vote today: you like how Washington is working. You like how your state government is working. You like how your local government is working. But you also don’t much care if it changes.

Which is to say, if you’re basically satisfied with how things are going, and also don’t think you’ll care much if they sharply reverse direction, then by all means, stay home. But if you care enough to be unhappy, then you need to go vote. Otherwise, “Washington” isn’t the problem. You are.

Sure kids. Sure. Maybe I expected more from “experts” who seem to know something about politics and policy. Maybe it was expecting too much to see an article today observing that half or more of the population doesn’t vote because maybe it doesn’t matter, or maybe because the hacks in politics and policy are not giving people any reason to go vote. Maybe we would expect these “really serious experts” to appreciate the fact that many people view the political process itself as illegitimate, and that the folks who blindly support the type of democracy we have are the “bad people to blame.” Nah, not possible. The kids at Vox are right, the rest of you idiots are wrong.  And for those of us who do vote, are the kids at Vox going to look it up, and give us a pass on complaining? Will they support “voter ID” card laws so that they know for sure who has a right to complain or not? And is it conceivable that the LESS that people vote, the better chance our public lives will be better? Can you at least even conceive of the possibility? In any case, the kids are just being so classy, and you just gotta respect how passionate they are, surely.

UPDATE: the kids are also French navel gazing again. The evidence that divided government is “dangerous”? “Go read for yourself.

5 Responses to “High Quality Turd from the Kids at Vox”

  1. Doug M says:

    Washington gives us exctly what we ask them to give us.

    In 2006 the democrats took congress on a platform of “Stop Bush.”
    In 2008 Obama won the presidency on a platform of “Not Bush.” — okay “Change” but it is effectively the same thing.
    In 2010 the Republicans took the house on a platform of “Stop Obama.”

    We like gridlock. Gridlock is good. It means that congress is to busy fighting with its self to screw things up too much for the rest of us.

  2. Dan says:

    How condescending. I count eight times you use the word “kids.” Would the quality be higher, and would you be more receptive, if all of them were 15 years older?

  3. wintercow20 says:

    Condescending?

    “If you don’t vote, you can’t fucking complain”

    I don’t think they deserve any courtesy or respect. Period. That’s childish and immature. Hence the word “kids.” It’s what I see in high school and among idiotic pre-teens. It’s not just the profanity on a supposedly high quality “news” site, it’s the whole entire condescending tone “they” take. No amount of good reporting makes up for it.

    Here’s more from that passage:

    “”Washington is broken” is passive-voice bullshit. Politicians in Washington do what they think will win them elections. If Washington is broken, then we voters bear some of the blame for breaking it — and everyone who is sitting back and complaining and not voting bears some of the blame for doing nothing to fix it.”

    Really? The language? The condescension? But how about the vacuous observation. Is my voting or not voting really the only thing that qualifies as “fixing it?” Is there really NOTHING else that could possibly qualify as trying to fix it? Are political science professors not in any way trying to fix it? I, of course, am not doing anything at all.

    And here’s some more charitable seriousness, ” But if you care enough to be unhappy, then you need to go vote. Otherwise, “Washington” isn’t the problem. You are.” Let’s just commit a philosophical fallacy for a moment. I am unhappy about the treatment of citizens in Myanmar by its government. By this logic, if I don’t go to Myanmar to intervene, or even if I don’t start a foundation to do something about it, then not only am I just not being helpful, then I am actually part of the problem, basically part of the reason that Myanmar’s citizens are treated badly.

    At least I don’t misrepresent myself as anything other than a lowly hack lecturer with strong views, weakly held.

    Screw them.

    • Dan says:

      The Times, the Journal, and the Post regularly publish editorials that are plain embarrassing. Yet I see no instances of you dismissing them all as children. What kind of reporting is left if they must be evaluated through the editorials printed a few pages away?

      Who in the world is reading this as a straightforward piece of reporting? It makes no pretense to be anything but an opinion piece; is it more seriously egregious and fallacious than the typical editorials and op-eds out there?

      Vox does do some original reporting, but most of content seems to be these kinds of opinion pieces. Show me a person who lets go of all his skepticism when he visits Vox.

      Anyone who feels that good reporting can’t adopt a viewpoint and take a condescending tone has to consider that it’s the practices of some of the best journalists out there. Radley Balko and Glenn Greenwald are famous for their rejection of this viewpoint-of-god, voice-from-nowhere approach in which the journalist pretends to be plain and objective. I’d much rather read reporting like theirs or a piece like this, in which the author lays out his own opinions so that I can raise the right expectations.

  4. Harry says:

    Washington is still the problem, not the solution.

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