Comments on politics is personal
commentson 11 October 2004 : 01:11, Josh Koenig sez:

Cheers! I just went and talked to the kids doing this cool project about blogging; used you as an example.

One thing that bears repeating is the degree to which Bush supporters believe things that tend not to be true about recent events (e.g. 50+% of republicans thing Saddam Hussein was directly behind 9/11) and even about Bush's own positions. He seems fine with this.

Certainly to some degree this is endemic to politics, but Bush and his team seem to relish it. They're ready, willing and eager to run, win and govern on people misconceptions. That's troubling. What I wish is not that Kerry and Dems were more vociferous or vitrolic, but that they drove straight and clear and hard and fast at this: Bush is opposed by scientists, historians, businessmen and economists. People who concern themselves with facts, outcomes, realities and the Truth find him an anathama to all they stand for. In times such as these we need fact-based governance more than ever.

commentson 11 October 2004 : 02:40, David Kaye sez:

The Republicans cultivate their power base and play to their interests. The Democrats take their power base for granted and play to everyone else in order to get more people into their tent.

This is why I'm not a Democrat. I'm a Green. And it's also funny that the Democrats blame the Greens for their losing the election when, (1) the election was Al Gore's to lose -- he had the backing of the most popular president since FDR, but he refused because he's a damned Christian and didn't like the Lewinsky thing, and (2) Gore as president of the Senate held the Senate to a deal with the Republicans to put George W in the White House in exchange for a pact to work together in the Senate. Also, (3) other candidates such as libertarian Harry Browne swung the election in the same fashion Ralph Nader did.

These reasons are why I cannot in good conscience be a Democrat. However, this election is crucial to the existence of what democracy we have left in the country, that I'm forced to vote for Kerry, since voting for Nader the last two times didn't scare the Democrats enough to move them toward the left.

It's probably best you stay out of politics in your posts. It gets too sickening to think about politics sometimes.

commentson 11 October 2004 : 04:56, Troy sez:

I don't like to dwell on it because it would seem to mean I have a values clash with half my home country

just remember that nearly half the people here are of below-average intelligence, and fully 1/6th believe the world will end in their lifetimes.

Where this country is going to be in 5-10 years -- the burgeoning budget crisis, hollowing-out of our high-tech, and general rapaciousness of those currently in power (eg. keeping the consultees at Cheney's energy policy consultations of 2001 secret) make my vote automatic. The last 4 years really, really sucked, and I don't believe I want to be around here after another 4 years of such manifest incompetence.

commentson 11 October 2004 : 05:55, EthanB sez:

Thank you! This might sound silly...but I admire your gift of patient and informed argument, and I selfishly look for you to apply it across broad topics. It means a lot to read your election thoughts. I will work on being an optimist. My favorite question from the VP debate was, "You're going to inherit a very deeply divided electorate, economically, politically, you name it. How will you set out, Mr. Vice President, in a way that you weren't able to in these past four years, to bridge that divide?"

I went and re-read "A Man for All Seasons". It reminded me that times like these are like times before. This particular dialog was as if Thomas More was speaking to Ashcroft:
"And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned 'round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man's laws, not God's! And if you cut them down (and you're just the man to do it!), do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then?"
Of course Thomas More can be appropriated.

Thanks again. Keep on rocking!

commentson 11 October 2004 : 07:08, Liz [TypeKey Profile Page] sez:

"If I manage to submit these voter registration papers in time, I'll vote for John Kerry." ~Justin

Ha-ha. Like I said, you just aren't political. That could change, but if it doesn't thats ok too. Everyone isn't moved or called in the same direction.

Personally, I am chomping at the bit to vote.

commentson 11 October 2004 : 08:00, guillermo in nyc sez:

he just moved pretty recently.
not being registered right now ain't so bad, even for the Political.

commentson 11 October 2004 : 08:22, Mike B. sez:

Well, I always wondered why you didn't talk much about the election, but I figured, "hey, it's his show... he can talk about whatever he wants." Still, I'm glad to hear you express yourself on the topic; your eye is indeed on the ball.

I got my absentee ballot in the mail on Saturday. And I voted.

I personally took Bush to task. Yee-haw!

As I filled in the box next to Kerry, my hand was so tense that I broke off the tip of my fairly dull no. 2 pencil. I couldn't help but feel a little bit of shock as something suddenly dawned on me.

During the second debate, Bush admitted only one mistake when he said that he regretted some of his appointments. In other words, he believes his only mistake was choosing to appoint people who didn't do what he wanted them to do.

Never been so sure of doing the right thing in my life.

commentson 11 October 2004 : 08:55, Kim Pallister sez:

>That said, I'm going to encourage people to vote for someone who will allow for more nuance in this current debate over war and peace

This captured my sentiment pretty well. Not just war/peace either - any of the issues. It irks me to no end to think how many people think each of these issues is black and white ('cept maybe the abortion issue - I'm pro-choice, but I can see why the other side sees no compromise).

All these accusations of flip-flopping just tell me that Kerry's probably reading the fine print, and that these bills aren't that simple, and that many tradeoffs are being made from one iteration to the next. The flip-flop as a sign of diligence - how do you like that!?

Anyhoo, it's the "your either with us or against us" attitude that would have me vote non-bush.

That being said. I'm not going to vote.... I'm Canadian!

commentson 11 October 2004 : 10:37, David Kaye sez:

On one level there's a lot to be said for being apolitical. People still wake up every day and go about their jobs and their home life. In that sense, life doesn't change much for the basic citizen.

For that matter, September 11, 2001 itself didn't affect many people in a real way. After all was said and done, they still had to get up, shower, eat breakfast, and go to work.

commentson 11 October 2004 : 10:39, Joao sez:

Hey Kim - No problem if you are Canadian. Go to and you can vote like I did.

As they say: "The Presidential election in the United States has an impact on people in countries throughout the world, yet only US citizens are permitted to vote in that election. is a Web site designed to permit people throughout the world to cast a ballot in the US election."

I liked Justin's post and I also like that he is not political. So many blogs rehash the same point of view and sometimes people like to celebrate themselves, their thinking, and each other too much.

I wish more channels were like C-SPAN and real debating was encouraged in this countries and in others, but most of it plays to peoples emotions (on both sides).

But like a debate between an atheist and devout catholic/muslim/jew/etc, most people have their minds made up and really have monologues with each other.

I wouldn't vote for George Bush. Neither would I vote for John Kerry. Then again, I am Brazilian and can't vote anyway!

commentson 11 October 2004 : 11:20, Liz sez:

Joao~ I hear what you are saying about rehashing material on blogs. I blog about politics because I attend rallys. It is actually what I do, therefore I blog. :)

BTW, Justin has a Music For America ad here on Links. They are a good organization. The Beastie Boys are playing in Philly tonight on behalf of MFA.

commentson 11 October 2004 : 12:30, Giao sez:

Despite the many failures and mistakes of the Bush presidency, Kerry is a Vietnam War protestor. I'm Vietnamese. I'd sooner kill off my family than vote for a Vietnam War protestor.

It's not about 9/11 or security or taxes to me. It's about my father's life.

commentson 11 October 2004 : 13:24, wayne sez:

Regardless of how the Vietnam War affected your family on a personal level it was a massive failure in American democracy. If you are voting as an American, the legacy of that war is about our American democracy.

The country became engaged in the war under false premises, continued the war under false assumptions, the government lied about its activities during the war to congress and the public on a massive scale. Regardless of what happened in Vietnam, those are the facts of what happened here. While fighting for democracy in another country, the government ignored it here.

Kerry was not only protesting what happened there, but how the government engaged the public here.

Even with 30-40 years of hindsight, there's a sense with Bush and Cheney that they still don't think that execution of the Vietnam War was problematic. So one can't really expect them to see any similarities or admit any failures in Iraq.

commentson 11 October 2004 : 15:25, me sez:

I hope all you folks know that THERE ARE MORE THAN 2 CANDIDATES. As Micheal Badnarik (Libertarian Party candidate) said in last fridays third party debate, "Going back to the same people hoping for change is the definition of insanity." Republican / Democrat...not the same, but equally set against true democracy/ progress. We must not vote for the lesser of two evils, but for the candidate that best represents us! Do the research, and vote with your conscience. Only a defensive vote is truly a wasted vote.

commentson 11 October 2004 : 15:32, again sez:

check these dope mutherfuckers out NOW!!!!

libertarian party

green party

constitution party

socialist party

commentson 11 October 2004 : 18:37, Keefer sez:

Justin, we have so little time left - and this election is SO IMPORTANT. Please go to America Coming Together's website at and ad their "countdown to the election clock" to your website. No matter what your voting preference is: Democrat, Republican, Independent, Green -- it is vital that you and your readers (including me!) become as knowledgeable as possible about the issues facing our great country today (and be continually reminded of it). I would never promote a political plee on your website, but since you finally decided to write about it... Thanks...
P.S. America Coming Together is the organization (along with MoveOn that has put together the Vote 4 Change Tour with Springsteen, Pearl Jam, REM...

commentson 11 October 2004 : 19:02, Mike B. sez:

Still, I think we should be careful about trying to make a virtue out of being apolitcal. Beyond the borders of our country lies an entire planet. Politics aren't personal to them -- many of them don't have that luxury.

commentson 11 October 2004 : 19:21, Giao sez:

You go ahead and lose a few family members due to policy. My interest is neither democracy, fairness, or justice. It's personal.

If my father, uncles, grandfather, and great-grandfather died for this democracy it might be different. But they didn't. So the Vietnam War is a personal issue and will remain so. Give me back 3 generations of men in my family and we'll start talking.

Everyone's free to vote however they want. The decision to vote for or against John Kerry by this citizen was made long before this campaign ever started.

Politics is indeed personal.

commentson 11 October 2004 : 21:07, Mike B. sez:


Of course, you are right. Politics can be extremely personal. Certainly, my own political beliefs are deep-seated and personal.

I should have been clearer in my last message. What I was trying to say is that we shouldn't shy away from discussion and serious thoughts about politics just because they are personal. For instance, many people choose to avoid the political topics altogether for fear of raising emotions and conflict. Too much politeness at too high a cost, sometimes.

In the realm of politics, my deepest respect goes out to you, your family, and even your political beliefes. As countrymen, we'll pull through somehow.

commentson 12 October 2004 : 09:10, Don Wrege sez:

"Politics is the show business arm of the military industrial complex." - Frank Zappa

commentson 12 October 2004 : 09:44, Bill sez:

As a longtime reader of your site, what struck me was not the apolitical-ness of it, but rather, as a pioneer in blogging, and one of the first to "blog" you have been relatively silent on the huge impact blogging has been playing in politics lately. From the Dan Rather "memogate" story (largely criticised and debunked by right wing bloggers) to the inclusion of bloggers as press at the national conventions, to the fundraising done on various sites like dailykos and redstate. Blogging is having a big impact on politics and by and large you have been silent about it. I don't know what I would expect you to say, but as a blogging "forefather" I expected you would sit up and take note. Again this is just something I have wondered about from time to time about your writing, I'm not saying you should write about it, but rather, I find it strange you haven't.

Cheers, have a good day and all that.

commentson 13 October 2004 : 08:32, adam sez:

I read your blog and I am voting for George W Bush. Giao I hear you and agree with you.

commentson 13 October 2004 : 13:37, Mike B. sez:

Adam - How can you agree with Giao, when his message is so unclear? He floats it on a bed of self-righteousness, but the substance (if there is any) is confusing.

commentson 13 October 2004 : 20:26, Liz sez:


commentson 15 October 2004 : 11:10, Mike B. sez:

Guess I'm living proof that politics are personal. (and these days, *mean*) Justin, you are probably right to remain above it all.

commentson 19 October 2004 : 22:38, Giao sez:

Unlike the majority of people, my decisions do not need buy-ins from other people. I make my decision and I go with it. I will not support those who disgraced the work of 2 generations of my family.

I'm not here to convince you of anything.

commentson 30 October 2004 : 06:38, shady sez:

giao, i can't support someone who sends a generation of my family to die for no reason. maybe those WMDs are under my bed. or maybe halliburton owns them all.

maybe you shouldn't just go with a decision. you should think about it. you might be learning something by listening to the canidates as opposed to just picking out of a hat. if i had a choice, i'd pick saddam over bush.

February 2005 - comments are closed on Thanks.