The Cult of the Non-Voter

MOLA:42’s Guide to the Cult of the Non-Voter

Long, long ago in a county not very far, far away, I was an Eligibility Worker with their Welfare Department.

If anything will try one’s leftist idealism, it is working at the ground floor of the welfare realm. I’ve seen Peace & Love Hippie Liberals turn into rabid conservatives after a year or two at the job.

Rush

Limbaugh ranting about one thing or another

In fact, when being placed on hold there, instead of hold music they used Rush Limbaugh recordings (honest, I’m not making this up). The first time I called them to make a job interview appointment I was put on hold for five minutes and forced to listen to Mr. Limbaugh rant about one thing or another.

My Liberalism survived but was forever tarnished.

However, I digress. (How can you digress? You haven’t even started…)

Anyway, in my capacity as a lowly EW-II I heard many a complaint from my clients about how screwed up things were. Usually it was little more than entitlement-inspired grumbling but occasionally they would have a valid grievance. My clients would ask me why things were so screwed up.

I would always reply with the question: Do you vote?

Invariably (not often, invariably) the answer was No. To which I replied, “Then how can you possibly expect things to be any other way?” The usual response was a blank stare; with an occasional guffaw at the stupid liberal that didn’t know how things worked in the real world.

Before that, when I was going to college, an intellectual fad of the time was to proclaim proudly one’s

"Only suckers played in a rigged game.”

“Only suckers played in a rigged game.”

a-politicality and disdain for voting. Their argument boiled down to, “Only suckers played in a rigged game.”

Being at the time a bit older than the average college student I knew it was impossible to talk a kid out of a cherished intellectual fad.

But here is the answer I held in my mind: “It’s only a rigged game because you let it be a rigged game.”

It’s still my answer.

Both welfare client and cynical-poseur college student are members of what I call “The Cult of the Non-Voter.” There are of course many more sects belonging to the Cult than the two I described.

A bit of Humboldt County History is in order:

Once upon a time the City of Arcata was a bastion for the most conservative politicians in the county. What drove this was the typical Town & Gown cold war that happens in many college communities.

Also, Arcata wasn’t a particularly well run town; think Eureka on a bad day but instead… every day.

So the folks on the city council (with the eager help of Caltrans) decided the solution to all their problems was to build a deep moat (now known as Highway 101) between the town and the college (I’m guessing Caltrans drew the line at the plan to fill the trench with water and stock it with moat monsters).

Consequently the project also wiped out the majority of off-campus student housing. The city council expected most of the students would go live somewhere else and Arcata would be free once and for all from a major pain in their poop hangers.

But it didn’t work out that way.

For one reason; all those students who had rarely voted before got good and pissed-off and voted.

For another; those students who were displaced did not “go away” but instead moved farther into town. Since housing became scarce (and therefore got really expensive) all those good god-fearing conservative folk turned their homes into rentals and moved out on the proceeds.

Arcata has been a progressive community since then and (in my opinion) probably the best run town in the county. I’m not saying Arcata is a problem-free Shangri-La; they just do better with what they have.

In short, the game WAS rigged; but not anymore (although conservatives might argue the game is still rigged, just now in favor of the pointy headed liberal progressives; what the heck).

Great changes can take place and do take place when a populace is driven to the point of saying through their ballot boxes that their leaders are full of feces.

History lesson over, now back to present reality (No…! I’m not coming back!).

The leading issue of this year’s Board of Supervisors campaigns is whether or not the development cabal should continue to dictate affairs for the county.

Fair enough. Let me ask a question: Why should someone living in a Eureka Victorian ginger-breaded hovel on California Street care about General Plan Updates and land use issues? What’s a 160 acre TPZ to them?

I know there are other very important issues and other concerns talked about in this election. But it seems to me the current Supervisorial election has been focused around issues that look important to progressives and mean nothing to everybody else.

If I gave them that much credit for intelligence I’d say the Regressives did a masterful job of setting that focus. Certainly, by luck or design we Progressives have been out-maneuvered.

You see, just as it was in ancient Arcata, you need a cause to get people out and voting. If the issues being talked about appear not to make any difference to the voters’ lives then why would they bother to vote?

An aggressive “get out the vote” campaign may give Chris Kerrigan the edge over Virginia Bass (assuming of course the drive draws Kerrigan supporters) but first you have to give those voters a reason to “get out and vote.”

Perhaps we have missed the boat on this election. Or perhaps it is not too late.

Cult of the Non-Voter rally at an abandoned church, Westside Eureka Nov 2010

Cult of the Non-Voter rally at an abandoned church, Westside Eureka Nov 2010

But being a proud Non-Voter is just a cynical pose for not bothering to even try to change what has gone wrong (or… to try to keep what is going right).

The Cult of the Non-Voter is based upon the desire to give up personal responsibility for what is happening around them.

When that attitude becomes the norm then democracy has died.

On another totally unrelated subject: Lately (and much to my own surprise) folks have been expressing their shock and dismay that I am really NOT a spunky 42 year old woman dynamically presenting the feminine point of view.

It didn’t even occur to me that “Mola” could be considered a name.

Here’s the deal: MOLA:42 is an acronym, not a name.

I’m a guy. Sorry…

Mola; as a spunky 42 year old woman

 

Standard Disclaimer: My opinions are my own and not necessarily those of the Tuluwat Examiner. I am not on the staff of the Tuluwat Examiner. I don’t even know who these people are. This week I originally wanted to do an article entitled, “Cute Things My Dogs Did Over the Weekend,” but the Tuluwat Examiner Staff wouldn’t let me.

I think they are “doggists.”

Examiner staff meeting

Examiner staff meeting

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30 thoughts on “The Cult of the Non-Voter

  1. A shorter version would be if voting didn’t matter the GOP wouldn’t be working so hard to restrict the votes of people who don’t vote for them.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. If you think the bottom layer of DHHS is conservative, MOLA, well, let’s just say you ain’t seen nothing yet. While I don’t disagree about working at DHHS being a great conservatism-generator, I also feel confident that the majority of its complete, abject failure to respond to problems is the meanness, conservatism, and sociopathy of the crap that’s floated to the top with the support and assistance of various not-wanting-to-be-bothered Boards of Supervisors.

    I’d never thought about how Arcata came to be relatively functional while in the midst of Humboldt — thanks for the insights.

    And I agree with almost everything you’ve said about voting. I’m not sure it will change things directly, but it definitely assists in seeing where the cage’s bars are placed. Voting is great for changing things that the 0.01% doesn’t really worry about.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Voting is only great for changing things when you have someone worth voting for that are not corrupt to the got. The emphasis on voting is trying to cure the disease by working on the symptom; it’s a proven endless circle and a total waste of time. So join Mola’s cult.

    Like

    • Sure, Joe. People like you not voting is why the GOP was able to take over the House in 2012, block every job bill, block nominations, block unemployment extensions, shut down the government, vote to revoke ACA 50-some times and hold endless witch hunts. Not voting in 2014 could give them a majority in the Senate at which point all bets are off as to whether we remain a democracy in any form, especially when President Koch Puppet fills the vacant judicial slots and appoints a few more SCOTUS justices. That could come even before 2016, of course, if a majority GOP House decides to vote to impeach Obama and Biden the GOP Senate votes to convict. People who can’t be bothered to take the few minutes to vote deserve the government the people who do vote choose. The rest of us, not so much.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Did I say I don’t vote?

    Your statement is bogus and does not address my point, corrupt politicians are your choice, no matter either party. Good solution.

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    • Sorry if I misrepresented what you wrote, Joe. But in my world telling people that voting is a waste of time translates to trying to discourage people from voting. Apparently in your world it means something else.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks to Jane I don’t have to listen to Thomm Hartman today..but she is right

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  6. Howard Zinn’s Peoples History of the US says that we are offered the choice of tweedle dum or tweedle dee with the vote and that real change only comes from struggle, often armed or violent. Not an advocate but his is a very researched opinion.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Howard Zinn is brilliant, but too cynical by half. While I agree with his brand of politics, I have no doubt that there is a huge difference between Democrats and Republicans; although I will concede that the difference is shrinking, primarily due to conservatives running as Democrats on corporate money.

      Like

  7. Not to belabor the point, but there is a HUGE difference between Ted Cruz and Elizabeth Warren, between Darrell Issa and Nancy Pelosi, etc. and the legislation they propose and support is very different as well no matter what HZ and JB say.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. What world is that, OPJ? Where am I trying to discourage people to vote? Whatever world your in I’d say speaks for itself. You don’t need be disparaging and demeaning to make your point? Learn to speak for yourself.

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  9. Every election ‘counts’. Seriously. Start where you live. Vote whenever there is something to vote on. I think the local lesser hyped voting opportunities are the ones that you can have the most leverage on. The candidates are local,the turnout is lower so it will take less time, and you’re paying for the resources used to have them with your tax money. Might as well give those poll workers something to do.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I’m NOT addressing this to anyone, I just want folks to think on the following:

    Mao Tse Tung is famous for his declaration, “Power grows from the barrel of a gun.”

    I reject that type of thinking not because it isn’t necessarily true (it is in many places) but because that is an unacceptable way to live.

    Is there really no alternative to Mao’s world? Isn’t that what the ballot box is really all about?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Power may grow from the barrel of a gun, but the people with the biggest or most guns and willing to use them to gain power are not necessarily the best people to trust with that power and are most likely the worst.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. You must speak a different language then Joe. In English, saying that voting “is a proven endless circle” and “a total waste of time” is and attempt to discourage people from voting. Furthermore, calling people who vote “Mola’s cult” and calling Mola “a mind-reading demi-god” is demeaning. I didn’t demean you or use someone else’s words. I’m quite capable of writing my own words as well as understanding accurately what other people are saying. Either you are crazy or not very brightl but either way, reading or responding to anything you write is an obvious waste of time. Now that is demeaning you – down to invisible.

    Liked by 1 person

    • And there is the proof of what I observed. This is a perfect example of why voting for corrupt people is a total waste of. They are so corrupt themselves they are incapable is see and knowing what they say and do. The epitome of corruption and we are supposed to accept that as our way to peaceful resolution. A demigod is as a demigod does.

      Like

  12. The North Coast Journal sets the General Plan (environmental issues) as paramount. Kerrigan lifted Bass’ goals statement and added draining the Headwaters fund to make hypothetical jobs. Betty Chinn supports Bass. Really. The BOS just put together a Housing Element with incentives for very low income housing. If you didn’t read it, don’t tell me what you think is in it based on assumptions. No, the stereotypical “me/earth first” vs “everybody else” – get out the vote, done honestly in the 4 th district, would put Bass in office. I am sorry you mocked your clients at DHHS. I hope you never experience yourself on the other side of a desk.

    Like

    • I have been known to mock one person or another from time to time.

      However, that you would say I would mock my former clients is a bit perplexing to me. However, if you believe what ever I said was done in a mocking way, then I am sorry you saw it that way. It certainly was not the intention.

      And for the record… I’ve been on both sides of the desk. I always treated my clients based on how I would have wanted to be treated, tempered by my own experiences.

      The rest of what you say is your own view and you have the right to express it; and I have the right to disagree with it.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Molo. I didn’t see where you mocked any of your clients in this thread either. A case of looking for some excuse to bash you for your support of Kerrigan, maybe?

      Liked by 1 person

  13. This comment is directed specifically to the Tuluwat Examiner. What you see on your blog is Democracy at the point of a gun. Guns are used to silence the dissenter; anyone that darers offer a different point of view. You tout Bret Harte as the model for your blog. I hardly think his example serve as any justification for what I’ve observed from some peoples racist, murderous, terrorist comments. This is a good example, and it is current: “Either you are crazy or not very brightl but either way, reading or responding to anything you write is an obvious waste of time. Now that is demeaning you – down to invisible.” (https://tuluwatexaminer.wordpress.com/2014/05/14/the-cult-of-the-non-voter/comment-page-1/#comment-1428)

    This is the equivalent of a bullet to the brain. In times past people that acted this way and justified their political and amoral deprivation were know as Brownshirts. Are we looking at a Chapter of these kinds of people making a home at the Tuluwat Examiner?

    Like

    • Isn’t there a rule about being on topic when commenting on this site? I think there is, but I can’t see why JB is allowed to break it in almost every feed. Isn’t it about time for the herald treatment on this guy. Also, this post was another winner Mola. The pictures were a good touch.

      Liked by 2 people

  14. No Joe.

    A comment on a blog is not a “bullet to the brain.” That is over the top.

    You are completely anonymous Joe, how can you be threatened by another anonymous poster?

    You have your opinion and you are entitled to it, but don’t you have your own blog? I can read your opinions just about anywhere they litter the local blogosphere. Why aren’t you happy expressing yourself on your own blog?

    I am ok with your opinions Joe, I agree with most of them I am just tired of the incessant attacks on other posters and I skip most of your stuff.

    Sorry.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Joe, the trick is to be smart enough and do the research so you don’t vote for the unscrupulous politician. Its is also how to have a life well lived.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. MOLA is really Tim McDermond?

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  17. Mola wants me censored, too. That proves my point Tuluwat Examiner. Question is, are you going to let these Brownshirts use your blog to accomplish their nefarious work or stand the true test of Bret Harte? The credibility of this blog is on the line. I’m sure you are well aware of the Brownshirts and what history showed was the only way to deal with them. You might want to explain to some of these people that on blog forums censorship is equivalent to a bullet to the brain. Which, by the way, is only a step or two from committing the actual crime – it is where it all starts.

    Like

    • Mr. Blow, the truth is Mola specifically ask that we not delete your comments. You have been breaking our comment rules for sometime now.
      We’re over it. Our patience is worn out. Follow the comment rules or don’t comment.

      Liked by 2 people

  18. Once again I would like to thank everyone (for the most part) who participated and commented.

    There were signs of lively debate, which I cherish even more than people telling me how wonderful I am (which I can tell you is pretty darn important for a shallow narcissistic person such as myself).

    The biggest thanks must go to the Staff of the Tuluwat Examiner for providing a particularly wonderful set of images for my article. I don’t have anything to do with the picture selection; I may make a lame suggestion from time to time but they find the pictures that work so well. Thank you TE.

    yodaspappa: I had to look up who Tim McDermond was so I’m pretty confident I’m not him.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. “The BOS just put together a Housing Element with incentives for very low income housing.”

    They could have promised apartment rooms to end our homeless problem but it wouldn’t matter anyway if the state rejects it due to the BS about “landlord rights”.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Pingback: Tuluwat Examiner | This weeks burnt offering! Again

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