Lewis Black has had it with people who don’t vote


Nobody personifies the ‘Get off my lawn!’ sentiment better than Black and his latest rant is epic.

(This clip aired on October 5, 2015. To get suggestions on how to view clips of The Daily Show outside the US, please see this earlier post. If the videos autoplay, please see here for a diagnosis and possible solutions.)

Comments

  1. says

    Black’s looking unusually shaky; I hope he’s not suffering some kind of neurological problem. Maybe it’s just all the frustration eating his brain.

  2. John Smith says

    Well, what about this year? You have a person whose pedaled racist policies and has fascist and authoritarian tendencies running against Donald Trump. And protest votes are wasted, so what’s the point of voting this year?

  3. says

    John Smith said:

    so what’s the point of voting this year?

    Perhaps my daughter being able to make reproductive decisions for herself? That seems like a good reason to vote.

    Or my BGLT relatives keeping the civil liberties progress that we’ve made as a society? That seems like a good reason to vote.

    Or letting the major party know that nominating a fascist who wants to jail his opponents after the election is profoundly un-American? That seems like a good reason to vote.

    I’m planning on proudly pulling the lever for the best-qualified major party candidate on election day. She has the temperament and experience to be a good President. She isn’t perfect but no human running for President or any other elective office is.

  4. John Smith says

    @4:
    1. That’s Pence. Trump doesn’t agree with Pence on everything, like Syria where Clinton wants to start a world war with Russia. Trump is by far the most sensible Republican leader on Syria (except Rand Paul).
    2. Per Podesta Leaks 2: Clinton is against gay marriage. That’s one of her public/private position dichotomies. Trump is for it.
    3. Yes, Trump is bad. Clinton helped create Obama’s legal framework for getting rid of human rights. She is allowed to kill american citizens without fair trial. Putting on her trial for a crime she did commit is far from fascist – though again, Trump sucks.
    4. Letting a major (left wing) party candidate win with a record of warmongering, neoliberal policies that have decimated the American middle class and killed millions upon millions of muslims. Look at Libya, Syria, Honduras, Haiti and Iraq. If that doesn’t make her unqualified, I don’t know what will.

    With all the election fraud (look up Election Justice USA), and the DNC leaks she is just as obscene a candidate. And if you look at policies (sorting through the public and private positions, of course) Trump is usually to her left.

    @5:
    I apologize for grammatical errors in a comment I made @2 am.

  5. John Smith says

    If you’re voting for Clinton, make sure it is a vote against Trump and not for Clinton. I don’t drink the kool-aid that Trump is worse than Clinton. I can’t see a strong argument for doing so. Personally, I’d encourage you to vote for Jill Stein. Getting her to 5% makes for real progress – Greens will be able to run a Presidential candidate in four years. If Trump is the consequence of that, so be it. He is not as scary as a President Cruz. Not as scary as a President Pence. And to me at least, not even as scary as a President Clinton. Before comparing Trump to Mussolini or Hitler remember that they had political machines behind them. They were incompetent but driven.

    Trump is a reality show star. He is a rapist like the Bills Cosby and Clinton and many Republican congressmen and Senators. He is a racist like Megyn Kelly. He is a sexist like Todd Akin. He is a stupid man like GWB. He is a terrorist, also like GWB. He is a con man like Mitt Romney. But where he differs from the generic republican in a substantive way, he is to their left. He supports childcare and opposes free trade. He is less a warmonger. He is more brazen, where they are more reserved and hide their evil. Zaid Jilani made an interesting point “Paul Ryan walked into Congress and introduced a health care plan that would drive millions of people into a situation where they couldn’t afford care, and thousands more would die prematurely, the news media would yawn. (We know this, because he did just that and he is still considered a legitimate, serious figure).”

    And finally, per the podesta leaks, the Clinton Camp wanted to elevate Trump (a “pied piper” candidate) . She helped Trump win the nomination behind the scenes. Which makes her deplorable. (read: http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/10/11/elevating-trump/ ) That’s horrifying – who else would she elevate to achieve her goals? And what destructive organizations and wreckage would she leave in her wake?

    Source for quote: https://theintercept.com/liveblogs/seconddebate/donald-trump-will-have-no-political-legacy-except-proving-the-weaknesses-of-political-media/

  6. Mano Singham says

    John Smith @#6,

    Regarding your point #2, whatever may have been the private/public differences by Clinton on same-sex marriage in the past, she is now firmly locked into her public pro same sex marriage position. There is no way in hell that she will not continue to support it, simply because there is no political upside to reversing her stand.

    Trump on the other hand says that he opposes same-sex marriage and will appoint Supreme Court judges that will reverse the Obergefell decision.

  7. felicis says

    There are only a few states where a protest vote (third party, abstention, whatever) will have a large effect – in my state of Oregon, for example, Clinton is up by double-digits in a lead that has only increased since polling began comparing Clinton-Trump back in February – even with the recent polls including Johnson. I can safely vote 3rd party without worrying that I am handing my state’s EVs to Trump.

    Arizona, on the other hand, is about 50-50 (well, technically 40-40) with Clinton and Trump swapping leads in polling – it’s a toss-up. If I lived there, I would hold my nose and vote Clinton – because a Clinton presidency will not be terribly different from that of Obama, Clinton I, or Bush I, or even Reagan – we will have various scandals – some of which will have some substance to them. We will probably have a recession (we are getting due) with a tepid neo-liberal response. I doubt we will see any major changes to the way things are done. I can live with that in opposition to a man who wonders why we don’t use nukes.

    Of course – in a state like Oklahoma – the EVs are going to Trump no matter what (the reverse of Oregon) – again, I would feel free to register a protest vote – it won’t help Trump, and a vote for Clinton wouldn’t hurt Trump there.

    But the focus on the presidency is misleading in any case. The downballot races are every bit as important – especially control of the senate. Again – I would rather that be in the hands of the Democrats than the Republicans – even though I have been watching their slow shift to the right for my entire adult life.

    As for the Greens – they will field a candidate for president in 2020 no matter what we do – what I do not see them doing is fielding candidates for any lower office. The Libertarians do (sometimes as Republicans) and get seats – this gives them both a say in policy and legitimacy when running for federal offices. Were I to have a say in the Green’s strategy, I would recommend that they drop any pretense of running for president, and instead start filling school boards, city councils, and the state houses. Start pushing their policies at a lower level – then use their success their to start working on larger areas. They (and the other minor parties) don’t generally do this, and so fail to have much more than a protest voice.

  8. says

    @10 felicis
    The Greens have several down ballot candidates. In your state of Oregon you’ve got:
    Alan Zundel for Secretary of State.
    Alex Polikoff and Joe Rowe for State House of Representatives.
    Eric Navickas for the US Senate.
    Mike Bielstein for the US House of Representatives.
    Tim Dehne for County Commissioner.

    http://www.gp.org/2016_candidates if you’d like to know more.

    Not really sure why everybody keeps talking like the Greens only bring out their one candidate and that’s it. Their list of candidates is actually pretty long, I mean, it may not be as long as one of the Main Parties’ but it really flies in the face of everybody saying that the Green Party is a joke with 0 down ballot candidates. Google, guys. It’s not so hard.

  9. says

    @4 Steve Caldwell

    I presume that your daughter is not enlisted in the army and under no risk of being sent to Syria to die in a pointless fight with the ruskies.

    I imagine that none of your LGBTQ relatives are ill and ineligible for obamacare, waiting for some better plan that (in the words of HRC) “…will never, ever, happen”.

    I’m not saying she’s worse, necessarily. But there are a lot of contexts where the answer is not as clear-cut as it is for you right now, and some understanding might go a long way towards bringing about the best possible outcome.

  10. felicis says

    Lurker @11:
    “Not really sure why everybody keeps talking like the Greens only bring out their one candidate and that’s it. Their list of candidates is actually pretty long”

    There are 279 Green Party Candidates seeking office in 2016

    There are literally tens of thousands of offices up for election in the country. That is not a ‘long’ list. Especially if you discount the President, Vice President, and the Federal offices, that drops to around 210 – not even in every state. Federal elections are a huge drag on resources for seats the Greens are not going to win (as Greens – they might as Democrats – similar to how Libertarians win as Republicans).

    The only two in Oregon I *could * vote for are Zundel (Sec State) and Navickas for US Senate (the others are not in my district/city).

    In fact I am planning on voting Navickas – which will be a protest vote as Wyden is the clear favorite to win this one (I expect he’ll beat out the Republican by 20 points and the 3rd parties won’t together break 5%).

    For Sec State I was going with Avakian – who is the Democratic nominee, but also has (along with Navickas) the Progressive party nod.

    My point stands – if you want to build a part base, you need victories to build on – which can include getting a major party person to stand under your umbrella (a la the Progressives and Avakian), but really needs to have someone running for every minor position you can get people to jump into the race for – especially if you can team up with both other minor parties and even try getting major party nods for seats they aren’t interested in putting money into, but allowing you to get their voters.

  11. John Morales says

    Incidental, but as an Australian I am bemused by countries which don’t require citizens to vote — particularly the USA, given the in-your-face rah-rah jingoistic purported patriotism on display.

  12. says

    There was a moment near the middle where I disagreed with Black. He makes it seem like voting is always an easy thing to do. He needs to check his white privilege as there have been reports of long lines and a waiting time of hours to get in to vote. That is inconvenient. And it seems to be inconvenient on purpose since the reports seem to always come from minority communities.

  13. KG says

    But there are a lot of contexts where the answer is not as clear-cut as it is for you right now – A Lurker from mexico@12

    No, there are not. Your two examples are particularly absurd – and it’s very telling that they are the best you could come up with. Clinton has made it clear she does not intend to send ground troops to Syria, while Trump has made clear he is a complete ignoramus with regard to foreign policy, is quite evidently liable to lash out in response to any perceived insult, and has hinted he would be willing to use nuclear weapons. Clinton has noted some of the problems with Obamacare and talked about coreecting them – whats she’s said will never happen is a single-payer sytem; Trump has made clear he would repeal Obamacare and made no committment whatsoever to replace it with anything. Clinton is in many respects a bad prospect – and if I were American, I would be voting for Stein in any state where the result was not in any real doubt – but Trump as president would be a hideous danger to the entire world, as well as to many millions of Americans.

  14. says

    @16
    http://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/.premium-1.747305
    As far as my info goes, she still advocates for a no-fly zone over Syria. Such endeavor requires sending troops to the ground. ISIS doesn’t have aircraft, the syrian rebells don’t have aircraft, the only planes such no-fly zone would target are russian.

    Her campaign has made their animosity towards Russia widely known. Accusing them of hacking the DNC on 0 evidence. Take this two statements:
    “We will respond to cyber-attacks with military force”
    “Russia hacked us”
    How’d ya like the cold war? Those were the good old days, let’s do that again! Let’s risk an international conflict with motherfucking Russia, because we all know that nuclear weapons will be politely put off the table.

    “One of the first things I’ll do as a president is to call for a new nuclear posture review. We have to make sure that america’s arsenal is ready for any future threats.” -Hillary Clinton
    Sounds like she’s getting ready for something, doesn’t it? Tell me, why renovate an arsenal you do not intend to use?

    Trump’s calling card and a (rightfully) mocked part of his policies is his dumb-ass fucking useless border wall. Did you know that Hillary Clinton also advocated for that stupidity? She was only more savvy with her words (as usual) and called it “physical barriers” and “more like a border fence” instead.
    The idea doesn’t stop being wasteful, useless at solving the illegal immigration problem, kind of insulting to mexicans and even redundant (Bush’s border wall is still there, being useless) just because she says it.

    Her stance on Obamacare is, as usual, incrementalist. And a lot of people need more than that. It’s one thing to say “I’m so sorry, but we just can’t get you the life-saving medicines you need” than to (weirdly enthusiastically) screech “You’ll never EVER get them”. If you can’t understand why someone would listen to that and become unwilling, even upset, at the idea of supporting that person, you don’t understand fuck-all about people.

    I fucking get it. Trump is worse on the bigger picture, do you want a fucking medal for figuring it out?
    Here’s the problem, most people don’t live on the bigger picture. And a lot of shit the Clintons (and a million other asshole neo-liberals) have pulled in their years in power have damaged people’s lives. This shit is personal for a lot of people.

    Until the damage she has done is acknowledged and properly dealt with, you’ll always be left scratching your head. Wondering “why would anyone support that guy?” and getting the wrong answer every damn time until that guy wins and fucks everything up.

    It’s very easy to demonize and look down your nose on people who disagree with you. It also takes you nowhere. As of right now, Clinton is more likely to win. If the alleged “liberals” of the United States are unable to give any seriousness to whatever is upsetting these other people, we may not be so lucky next time.

    The world isn’t this simplistic “the ignorant hillbillies are the bad guys getting a bad guy elected because they’re eeeeeeviiilllll”. Have a read, and maybe understand why the Trump thing (and the Brexit thing, and the PRI thing, and the Nazi thing, and the communism thing, and the ISIS thing).
    http://www.cracked.com/blog/6-reasons-trumps-rise-that-no-one-talks-about/

    Perhaps some understanding will help us not get caught up in this sort of situations in the future.
    Everybody keeps acting like ambiguity and nuance died when the dumbass announced his run for president.
    It’s. Not. Helping.

  15. John Morales says

    A Lurker from mexico:

    I fucking get it. Trump is worse on the bigger picture, do you want a fucking medal for figuring it out?
    Here’s the problem, most people don’t live on the bigger picture. And a lot of shit the Clintons (and a million other asshole neo-liberals) have pulled in their years in power have damaged people’s lives. This shit is personal for a lot of people.

    So: you are get it, others here get it where “getting it” is acknowledging that Trump is worse but — alas! — most people either aren’t smart or get caught up by personal shit, as you do.

    Until the damage she has done is acknowledged and properly dealt with, you’ll always be left scratching your head. Wondering “why would anyone support that guy?” and getting the wrong answer every damn time until that guy wins and fucks everything up.

    Because those who disagree with your assessment are clueless about what bases those who support that guy make their choice, and so don’t get it, right?

    You keep telling others, others keep not getting it.

    Do you consider it so very infeasible that perhaps others may not only get that, but you don’t get that they get that?

    (Do you acknowledge that your proposed basis is not the only possible one for such support?)

    BTW, Russian news and propaganda sites make the very same types of contentions as you — e.g. Will Hillary Clinton plunge the world into nuclear apocalypse?

  16. John Morales says

    PS

    It’s very easy to demonize and look down your nose on people who disagree with you. It also takes you nowhere. As of right now, Clinton is more likely to win. If the alleged “liberals” of the United States are unable to give any seriousness to whatever is upsetting these other people, we may not be so lucky next time.

    You know, many Brexiteers who admitted to regret after the fact used that very logic to indulge in a protest vote.

    It is quite plausible to consider that single cohort’s attitude might well have made the difference to Brexit.

    (No doubt a consideration you consider less than significant)

  17. John Morales says

    PPS consider too that this is the time to get votes, not the time to craft policy. Priorities.
    There have been 4 years during which to attend to that, hitherto.

  18. says

    @John Morales
    “most people either aren’t smart or get caught up by personal shit, as you do”

    I never said that ‘getting caught up by personal shit’ is not smart, that statement seems to align more with your values. Let’s say you have two choices: A is virulently anti-atheist, but otherwise a perfectly fine candidate; B is generally pro-atheist, but dismal on every other issue.
    If you, as an atheist, pick B, are you a selfish idiot who can’t put your problems aside for the bigger picture?

    I said “most people don’t live on the bigger picture”, perhaps I should have said NOBODY lives on the bigger picture. I just kinda hoped that alleged “freethinkers” would try to expand their worldview and understand why the other side does their thing.

    I’ve seen it too often, every opposing position is narrowed down to a single point. “You only support Sanders cause you hate women”, “You only voted for Brexit cause you are xenophobic”, “You only support Trump cause you are a racist”.

    “(Do you acknowledge that your proposed basis is not the only possible one for such support?)”

    The entire basis of my argument is that there are a shitload of possible reasons to support x or y, some of them idiotic (i.e. racism, sexism and so on), some of them understandable (real damage done to you by the opposite candidate). And that addressing the reasonable objections may take away the support for evil bullshit, leaving the “deplorables” alone and unable to get anything done.

    KG’s particularly extremist response to that idea is quite telling. “NO, there can NOT be ANY context where the answer is in any way ambiguous”. That’s not helpful, it’s a dangerous attitude that will only make the problems that drove people to Trump in the first place, fester and affect more and more people on the long run.

    “BTW, Russian news and propaganda sites make the very same types of contentions as you”

    Cute. Do you have anything other than “JESUSFUCKINGCHRIST DA RUSHEEENSSSSS!!!!” or that’s it?
    You know that saying about broken clocks, twice a day and whatnot? Or maybe this one: Association Fallacy.
    But sure, that’s good enough. Russians. If they said it, it must be wrong. No need to look deeper into it.

    “It is quite plausible to consider that single cohort’s attitude might well have made the difference to Brexit.
    (No doubt a consideration you consider less than significant)”

    http://www.economist.com/blogs/graphicdetail/2016/10/daily-chart-6
    I give it 6% of significance. Did we make a wrong turn and arrive at Bizarro-World? Last year I was seeing outrage at Merkel dictating useless and harmful austerity measures to Greece and Spain. The english got out first they could. Did national sovereignty, self-determination, independence and representation become afterthoughts this year? Because everywhere I saw, people were accusing the brexit voters of being only xenophobes. Any other possible reason being lost in the contempt for, basically, the british rednecks.

    “There have been 4 years during which to attend to that, hitherto.”

    8, actually. Could those years of policy-making have anything to do with the rise of the Taco-bowl Führer? Nah, shit’s been great! How could anyone be unhappy with the current state of affairs?

  19. John Morales says

    “most people either aren’t smart or get caught up by personal shit, as you do”

    I never said that ‘getting caught up by personal shit’ is not smart, that statement seems to align more with your values.

    Heh. You imagined that was an exclusive or?

    Let’s say you have two choices: A is virulently anti-atheist, but otherwise a perfectly fine candidate; B is generally pro-atheist, but dismal on every other issue.
    If you, as an atheist, pick B, are you a selfish idiot who can’t put your problems aside for the bigger picture?

    You left out your own admission: B “is worse on the bigger picture”.

    Once you’ve made that determination, it doesn’t matter on what basis it was made; unless you cared not for the bigger picture, you should not pick the worse choice. Duh.

    I said “most people don’t live on the bigger picture”, perhaps I should have said NOBODY lives on the bigger picture.

    Then it would have been stupid to raise the issue of the bigger picture, given its irrelevance to everyone.

    (You are someone, no?)

    The entire basis of my argument is that there are a shitload of possible reasons to support x or y, some of them idiotic (i.e. racism, sexism and so on), some of them understandable (real damage done to you by the opposite candidate). And that addressing the reasonable objections may take away the support for evil bullshit, leaving the “deplorables” alone and unable to get anything done.

    Really? Why then contend that “Until the damage she has done is acknowledged and properly dealt with, you’ll always be left scratching your head. Wondering “why would anyone support that guy?” and getting the wrong answer every damn time until that guy wins and fucks everything up.”

    After all, the damage she has done (whatever it may be) is but one of a a shitload of possible reasons.

    Could it possibly be that another reason is people such as you, who fpcus on relentlessly chiding Clinton and only when pressed reluctantly concede that “I’m not saying she’s worse, necessarily”?

    KG’s particularly extremist response to that idea is quite telling. “NO, there can NOT be ANY context where the answer is in any way ambiguous”. That’s not helpful, it’s a dangerous attitude that will only make the problems that drove people to Trump in the first place, fester and affect more and more people on the long run.

    I’ll let KG speak for himself, should he care to, but that’s a misrepresentation of what he wrote in response to what you wrote in response to what someone wrote in response to the Russian shill (“John Smith”).

    Cute. Do you have anything other than “JESUSFUCKINGCHRIST DA RUSHEEENSSSSS!!!!” or that’s it?
    You know that saying about broken clocks, twice a day and whatnot? Or maybe this one: Association Fallacy.
    But sure, that’s good enough. Russians. If they said it, it must be wrong. No need to look deeper into it.

    I see you don’t dispute the claim at all. I’m sure their propaganda affects you not at all, either. 😉

    (And yeah, I had more: everything that was not a parenthetical aside, for example)

    I give it [Brexit protest voting on the expectation of a win for “stay”] 6% of significance.

    There you go. You’re advocating for something that vents frustration at the risk of compromising the bigger picture.

    “There have been 4 years during which to attend to that, hitherto.”

    8, actually.

    If there have been 8 years, then it is necessarily true that there have also been 4 years.

    Point being (you know, the point you evaded) that this is the time to get votes, with the election looming.

    (Time for tactics, not grand strategy; for pragmatism, not ideology)

    After the election, there will be another 4 years (or maybe even 8!) for you to spruik the addressing of the dissatisfied and the development of outreach approaches.

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