I come back to voting every election year, mainly because I am so thoroughly disappointed in the outcomes of our two-party system.
And make no mistake, it is the party system that fails us.
I talked about "how not to get out the vote" - "vote even if you are disgusted?" UGH
I've always liked this article about shaming "non-voting."
I completely agree with the author: "No one should have to justify exercising a right; rights, by definition, justify themselves. Nevertheless, for many people, not voting is an entirely rational choice: The cost of learning about the candidates and the issues often outweighs the benefit to be had from casting a ballot whose odds of making a significant difference in the outcome are infinitesimal."

And for those that argue that you have a "civic duty to vote," please lay off the doody.
I like what this guy has to say about the idea.

Just because someone has the right to bear firearms does not give them a civic duty to bear them, right?
Just because you have the right to free assembly doesn't mean you have a civic duty to assemble, unless maybe you are Captain America?

This election, more than any other, is illustrating that the move towards approximately 40% of registered voters identifying themselves as independent is the only choice. 

Will we still have an election result if all 40% just decided to forgo both options this year? Yes. 
I wish we had a protest option like the 1983 remake of Brewster's Millions, when Richard Pryor ran as "None of the Above." 
At least then, I wouldn't have to hold my nose to vote. 

As a former political science student and teacher, one thing that has ALWAYS bothered me about the electoral system in the United States: why does the public PAY for party primaries?

I can understand the states being responsible for running their general elections to provide opportunity for their citizens to choose mayors, governors and all the way up to president, but for the life of me- why does the public pay for party primaries?

FROM: http://www.coolinfographics.com/blog/2016/8/3/very-few-americans-nominated-trump-and-clinton.html
Look at that graphic above. You can see how it works here: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/08/01/us/elections/nine-percent-of-america-selected-trump-and-clinton.html?_r=0
Only 9% of the American public selected either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump via the party primary process!

So, 9 out of ten of us are paying for the privilege of the remaining less than ten percent to have a chance to participate in what are private organizations selecting their general election candidate.


Do you know how much that cost? According to openprimaries.org, over $425 million dollars this past election cycle.

Now, granted, states do choose to hold elections in primary season for other reasons. Ballots can have voter referendum on bond issues or other state elections. But would they choose to if they didn't have to? In my state of North Carolina alone, it was $9,000,000. But the amount is really NOT the issue.

Based on Pew Center Research, "...based on 2014 data, [of American voters] 39% identify as independents, 32% as Democrats and 23% as Republicans. Most polls have the registrations as high as 45%. Meaning that a minority of the population is subsidizing the majority's ability to select.

I'm with this editorial columnist: make the parties pay for their own elections. 

While back, I wrote a post on Father's day about being a father and how being a parent is a job.
I wistfully look back as I look forward to another school year quickly approaching and the evidence of my "work" is becoming less and less my handiwork.
Our youngest has just moved on to middle school. Josh has moved into high school and the oldest has graduated from high school and about "start" her life.

We've had a tacit arrangement with the kids. We do NOT want boomerang kids coming back to haunt us. So they have always been told, they are staying with us until they are REALLY ready to go out and that includes the joke that college has become.

Sadly, despite the fact that I have spent a good chunk of my career working in higher education, I know that it is a folly to think that sending a child off to college is preparing them for much other than to have a lifetime of loans.

Thankfully, Amanda has gotten the message. She has a plan to go to local community college for a degree and career path that has growth and upward mobility. You know as opposed to a bachelors in philosophy degree.

The weird part? Now looking at it, being a parent is a job really designed to work itself out of existence. Presumably, these beings will become their own and not REALLY need us any more.

At least, that's the goal.

I will always view myself as a parent, but like so many jobs today. It is not a career with a 30 year life span at the same place. It evolves and means that what you did even two-three years ago is not what you are going to be doing in the next two to three years.

Course, this is true until we become grandparents. Which had better be a while off.
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