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She The People
October 23, 2012 3:27 PM   Subscribe

Democracy Distilled: A History of America's Voting Rights. Remember to vote this November. Women in America, let's rise up.

Gore: "It’s hard for me to believe but we’re still fighting for the same things we were then. Yes, ladies, we’ve got to come together and get out there and vote and protect our bodies. They’re ours. Please vote."
posted by cashman (32 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
Remember to vote this November.

The cynical response would be why given the demonstrated vote fraud and the Romney clan owning voting machines.

Both of these topics will get plenty of GRR! here on The Blue once the D in office is replaced with an R.
posted by rough ashlar at 3:42 PM on October 23, 2012


Some contributors:
Among the many hipster notables seen lip-synching the words to Gore’s vocal are Girls creator Lena Dunham, style icon Alexa Chung, rock drummer/DJ Tennessee Thomas, filmmaker/writer Miranda July, teen feminist online mag Rookie creator Tavi Gevinson and Lula magazine creator Leith Clark. Also recognizable are actresses including Zoe Kravitz, Rain Phoenix, Alexa Paladino, Alia Shawkat, Mae Whitman and Natasha Lyonne; designers Rachel Antonoff, Tracy Ellis Ross, Melissa Coker and Vena Cava; and members of the bands Au Revoir Simone and Chapin Sisters.
Pulled from not.so.hip's link in this comment.

I love this song and I LOVE this PSA (also digging all the awesome lipstick shades on display).
posted by sallybrown at 3:45 PM on October 23, 2012


"Romney has vowed to defund Planned Parenthood."

Speaking of which: Federal Judge Blocks Arizona From Defunding Planned Parenthood
posted by homunculus at 3:56 PM on October 23, 2012


I saw a wonderful quote the other day and don't remember the author....but he/she was responding to someone who was vehemently suggesting people vote. The response was "oh, so you still believe in the illusion of choice"......
posted by lometogo at 3:58 PM on October 23, 2012


Yes, it's a great PSA but not as joyous to me as you might imagine because...damn...I thought all this stuff had already been settled. It is hard to see that young women today are still fighting the same battles fought by young women back in the 60's and 70's. All we want is autonomy over our own goddamn bodies. Is that too much ask for!?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:58 PM on October 23, 2012


Oh, if only we can make Mitt cry at his party on November 6.
posted by benito.strauss at 4:03 PM on October 23, 2012 [4 favorites]


I have a young daughter who will come of age in the era of Supreme Court judges appointed by the next executive. I get pretty fucking annoyed with people who tell me it is 'only an illusion of choice' when I think of the impact Rmoney appointed judges could have on her life.
posted by Mei's lost sandal at 4:28 PM on October 23, 2012 [8 favorites]


Read something somewhat relevant the other day on 538; gender-gap near historic highs.
If only women voted, President Obama would be on track for a landslide re-election... If the current FiveThirtyEight forecast were re-calibrated to show an overall 9-point lead for Mr. Obama — his lead among women in polls since the Denver debate — he would be a clear favorite in states totaling 347 electoral votes.

About the opposite would happen if Mr. Romney led nationally by 9 points — his current advantage among men. He would be all but certain to win with a total of 321 electoral votes

...

If that difference carries forward to the exit polls, it would reflect among the largest gender splits ever, rivaling the 20-point difference from 2000, and a 17-point difference in both 1980 and 1996.
One presumes Romney's 'gun violence is caused by single moms' and 'binders full of women' bon mots along with his plan to shut down planned parenthood didn't help his cause any, nor a potential Romney Supremes reverse on legal abortion.

Trying to work out why blue-collar white men are so anti-obama is harder though for this lefty Brit. They're amongst the ones harmed most by the 'cut taxes for the rich, slash spending on social programs' Republican agenda. Surely it can't simply be all or mostly be racism though? Not in this day and age?
posted by ArkhanJG at 4:49 PM on October 23, 2012


Trying to work out why blue-collar white men are so anti-obama is harder though for this lefty Brit. They're amongst the ones harmed most by the 'cut taxes for the rich, slash spending on social programs' Republican agenda. Surely it can't simply be all or mostly be racism though? Not in this day and age?

Coming from a blue-collar white family, yes it can. Also Rush Limbaugh, etc.
posted by dirigibleman at 4:56 PM on October 23, 2012


Good stuff. Wasn't Zooey Deschanel in there somewhere?
posted by Skygazer at 5:16 PM on October 23, 2012


Oh, if only we can make Mitt cry at his party on November 6.

What would make him cry? A true bill from a Grand Jury?
posted by rough ashlar at 5:19 PM on October 23, 2012


I was just reading some Canadian history on this sort of thing. Apparently, Inuits didn't get the vote until 1950. Also voting for prisoners wasn't universal until 2004.

That last point was the issue that got me reading such history. It also makes me think that a map for convicts and prisoners is conspicuously absent from the above video timeline.

( Hope I'm not derailing too much with a pet issue. )
posted by RobotHero at 5:50 PM on October 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Why Vote? When your vote counts for nothing.
Men and women who wish to ensure that women have autonomy over their bodies should find less impotent strategies than voting.
posted by Catchfire at 8:03 PM on October 23, 2012


Speaking of which: Federal Judge Blocks Arizona From Defunding Planned Parenthood

And this: Federal Appeals Court Blocks Indiana From Defunding Planned Parenthood
posted by homunculus at 9:48 PM on October 23, 2012


Republican Senate Candidate: Conception From Rape ‘Is Something That God Intended’
posted by homunculus at 9:51 PM on October 23, 2012


Republican Senate Candidate: Conception From Rape ‘Is Something That God Intended’

This asshole has a better than even chance of being Indiana's junior senator.

We're so fucked.
posted by Talez at 10:06 PM on October 23, 2012


Like what, Catchfire?

Surely it can't simply be all or mostly be racism though? Not in this day and age?

No, yeah, it seriously is. I know plenty of blue collar white men (also in my family) who bitch all day about the rich and unfair taxes and church and state and the common man but when it comes to this election there's nothing but thinly-veiled contempt for Obama which has no other rational explanation.

The illusion of choice really isn't an illusion if your rights (and health insurance) are being taken away, I can't understand that. I don't see how that could be any less an illusion. I'm not voting for Obama because he's a heartthrob magic politician dream-come-true, I'm voting for him because he has significantly more compassionate and comprehensive policies than his opponent, however much I dislike that our options are restricted to a two-party showdown and so far to the right. I'm not sure what kind of Platonic "reality" of choice people are waiting to cast their vote in, but however much you want to bring that reality about we live in a contingent world where 45,000 people a year in the U.S. die in part of not having health insurance, so I would vote.
posted by stoneandstar at 11:10 PM on October 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


When in doubt, do both!
Nothing to stop people from voting AND doing other things for social justice.

No matter Obama's many flaws, Romney will be terrible for women.

But I'm in Canada and we elected Harper so I have no right to tell you gals anything I suppose.
posted by chapps at 11:18 PM on October 23, 2012


Catchfire: That link is behind a paywall. Would you care to provide some kind of summary?
posted by bardophile at 1:44 AM on October 24, 2012


Why Vote? When your vote counts for nothing.
Men and women who wish to ensure that women have autonomy over their bodies should find less impotent strategies than voting.


I never understand this. Why not say "Voting isn't enough, you're going to do more"? I'm quite content to vote for the presidential candidate who will be the lesser block to progress.

People who say that simply voting won't fix everything, so it's not worth voting strike me as just self-dramatizing divas.
posted by benito.strauss at 9:42 AM on October 24, 2012


The Trouble with Richard Mourdock Is Not His Alone
posted by homunculus at 10:11 AM on October 24, 2012


Catchfire: That link is behind a paywall. Would you care to provide some kind of summary?

It appears that the text is mirrored here. Beware the comment section of that site, which features a contingent that wants Romney to win, because they see it as a faster way to get American government to burn to the ground.

Yep, that's who you're associating yourself with when you claim that there's no reason to vote in a two-party system. The truth is, if you are voting in a competitive state, a vote for anyone other than Obama is a vote to take fundamental rights away from anyone who isn't wealthy, white, straight, married, employed, Christian and male.

The actual day-to-day impact of a Bush/Romney-appointed Supreme Court majority scares the shit out of me, and it should scare you too. There is only one path away from that in two weeks, and it is not Jill Stein (nor failing to go to the polls).
posted by toxic at 12:52 PM on October 24, 2012


Sorry about the paywall. Thanks to toxic for providing the text.
Try to imagine, if you can, candidate Barack Obama in 2008 running on a platform of balancing the budget and appeasing Wall Street by reducing Social Security benefits, restricting Medicare and Medicaid entitlements, increasing the retirement age, and never challenging the established hierarchy of the Democratic Party but rather returning members of the old Clinton regime to positions of power in his administration, especially those advocates of unregulated capitalism who did so much to bring on the economic crisis in the first place. This candidate Obama would not have been elected, which is of course why you did not see him. Yet President Obama has pursued these policies throughout his administration—and they appear to be exactly what he had in mind all along....

Hence Barack Obama, on a trip to England, could stand next to David Cameron and proclaim with him: “We can honestly say that despite being two leaders from two different political traditions, we see eye to eye. We look at the world in a similar way, share the same concerns, and see the same strategic possibilities.”

Yet how can this possibly be, if democracy today is to have any meaning? How can two politicians from “two different political traditions”— one, Britain’s Tories, the oldest conservative political party in the world, protecting the dominance of privilege and wealth; the other, America’s Democrats, the oldest populist political party in the world, advocating the rights of man and progressive opportunity—possibly share the same worldview?
Please explain to me how Obama has done anything to protect the fundamental rights of "anyone who isn't wealthy, white, straight, married, employed, Christian and male"? He has out-Hawked the Bush administration, is killing more people with drones than ever before, he sold out Wall Street at the expense of the working poor, he further entrenched the power of medical insurance and pharmaceutical companies in America, he has done nothing to protect the environment and has passed some of the most draconian legislation removing basic rights of American citizens. All this while having a House and Senate majority for the first two years of his term.

Obama came out of the most corrupt, self-serving and anti-democratic party machine in the Western world, the Chicago Democratic Caucus. And he's an aberration from old-time politics and set to issue in an era of social justice and prosperity for all? Lord knows I'm ready to believe it: just show me the evidence. Any of it.

You say that I am aligning myself with the Mitt Romneys of the world. I say that you are. I stand, like I always have, with the poor, the marginalized, the vulnerable, the workers. Obama stands, as he always has, with the rich, the powerful, the connected, the privileged.
posted by Catchfire at 3:09 PM on October 24, 2012


Please explain to me how Obama has done anything to protect the fundamental rights of "anyone who isn't wealthy, white, straight, married, employed, Christian and male"?

- End of DADT.
- Unwillingness to defend DOMA
- A clear sign that his support for marriage equality will come in January
- Requiring hospitals to allow LGBT partners visitation rights.
- End of stop-loss orders in the US Military
- Lilly Leadbetter Act
- Funding of Violence against Women act
- Making contraception part of insurance-covered prescription drug programs
- Created the WH Council on Women and Girls
- DREAM act
- Sonya Sotomayor
- Matthew Shepherd/James Byrd act
- Veterans Healthcare Budget Reform and Transparency Act
- GI Bill redux.
- Veterans Job Corps Act.
- Removed combat troops from Iraq
- Ari Ne’eman
- ACA/Obamacare -- in particular the preexisting conditions stuff that doesn't go into effect until 2014.
- General Motors
- $335M fine from Countrywide because of their treatment of black/hispanic lenders.
- $125M from Wells, similar reasons.

But that's hardly the point. My statement was not that Obama specifically protects these rights, but that Romney quite specifically intends to remove them. We all know that either Barack Obama or Mitt Romney will be the resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue next January. That is a hard, cold fact. Here are some of the things that he, his running mate or his party's platform state that they intend to do differently, or have done when they had the power:

- Defund planned parenthood
- Make contraception significantly more expensive/difficult to obtain.
- Repeal ACA, especially the parts that the healthcare industry dislikes
- Voucherize/privatize medicare
- Give social-service block grants to states
- Overturn Roe v. Wade
- Criminalize abortion (including results of rape/incest) through Constitutional amendment.
- Constitutional amendment defining marriage as one man, one woman.
- Veto the Paycheck Fairness Act
- Attack Iran to protect Israel
- Start a trade war with China
- End the practice of giving Emergency Contraception to rape victims (see: Mass)
- Sensata
- Lifetime GPS tracking of criminals convicted of their first crime
- $2T increase to defense budget, when military hasn't asked for it.
- Reinstate the support of DOMA
- Support pharmacists who refuse to do their job based on religious objections.
- Eliminate taxes on carryover interest and capital gains.
- Limit the mortgage deduction
- America's values are exclusively Christian values.


In no way did I say you're aligning yourself with Mitt Romney. What I said, and am saying, is that unless you're in a solidly safe state, you're helping him win, just as much as if you voted for him directly. To distance yourself from the consequences of that choice is at best, obtuse, and is about as intellectually honest as "God's master plan included you having your rapist's baby. He is directly responsible for that life inside you, but that in no way means that God intended for you to be raped".

To me, standing with the poor, the marginalized, the vulnerable, means keeping Romney out of office -- because, to use his words: "I'm not concerned about the very poor... My job is not to worry about those people." Would I prefer someone who's to the far left of Obama? Of course. Can I get that on the National stage in 2012? No way.

Is it worth burning the house down to save it? Not if it means my kids have to live with a Supreme Court packed with the sort that Romney would appoint.
posted by toxic at 4:22 PM on October 24, 2012 [5 favorites]


That list is absolutely laughable considering what Obama has done for the ruling class during his term. And it even includes things he hasn't done yet. Why not throw in his Nobel too? Moving combat troops from Iraq to Pakistan doesn't really count as a win in my books.

And DADT is emblematic on what counts as "fundamental rights" to the craven Democratic party: no, we won't implement queer-friendly curriculum in schools, we won't prosecute homophobic speech or violence, we won't afford them the same civil rights as heterosexual couples, but we'll allow them to check a box as they sign up to murder foreigners and I'll say a nice thing in a press release a few months before election day to shore up our base.

I vote too. I have the good fortune not to live in a country with a psychopathic electoral culture (at least, we're not there yet). I don't know what I'd do if I lived in a swing state and intended to live a long time in the US with my family. In the past, I've voted for a candidate with no chance of winning, but I didn't get too broke up about it. I wouldn't council others to do the same as me. Cast your ballot as you see fit.

My point is fetishizing the vote, relegating democracy to something that occurs once every four years, is a far bigger problem than believing your vote has virtually no impact. Every four years in the US we are told to panic: "Yes, this candidate isn't perfect, but look what's at stake!" What? War with Iran? Health care? Privatization of everything? Economic stability? Liveable wages and work? Look around you, brother.

Vote or don't vote. I don't care. But if you think that's all you need to keep civilization from heading to the brink of catastrophe, you'll be voting long after you've gone over the edge.
posted by Catchfire at 4:42 PM on October 24, 2012


"Yes, this candidate isn't perfect, but look what's at stake!" What? War with Iran? Health care? Privatization of everything? Economic stability? Liveable wages and work? Look around you, brother.

Yeah, it's painful to watch, and I know we could do better if we tried. Better is not the enemy of good, though.

My concern this year has more to do with the appalling influence the evangelical Christians have in the modern Republican party, and their backwards ideals surrounding women and anything remotely related to sex (abortion, contraception, abstinence-only education, preventative care, stem-cell research, IVF, anything associated with gay people). Santorum was their guy, but Romney stands with them on virtually all social issues. Paul Ryan as VP all but confirmed this.

I'm an educated, upper-middle class, white, Protestant male with a stable job, living in a Yuppified urban area. I'm married to a woman, and I run a successful small business. Economically, I'd be voting Libertarian or Republican, if that was all that mattered. But, I happen to like gay people and women more than I like money. I wish more successful people shared that value.

The American right-wing has been waging a culture war for some time, trying to re-establish this country as an Exceptional Christian Nation blessed by God and wealthy benefactors. They've been all but winning for the last 30 years.

Romney in the White House and two or more court appointees means they'll win that war for at least the next 30 years, especially against women (which is the point of the "You Don't Own Me" link in the FPP). If my vote for Obama helps to keep Romney out, then it's a vote well cast.

My point is fetishizing the vote, relegating democracy to something that occurs once every four years, is a far bigger problem than believing your vote has virtually no impact.

On this, we completely agree. If you have a first-grader living in your house right now, they'll be part of the electorate in 2024 -- two Senate cycles from now, but 12-18 local elections from now. The people that they will have the opportunity to vote for are probably running for city council or state legislature right now or two years from now. Those are the ones who will be groomed for national office (maybe not for the '24 presidential, but certainly for '28 or '32), and now is the time to work for or with the ones that really do reflect your values -- locally, when you've still got the clout to reach them.

Politics happens every minute of every day in every county. Reducing it to a once-every-four-years phenomenon is a mistake (though it's been great for those who court the low-information voter). Fundamental political change comes at the local level, and in the primaries. Just ask the Tea Party (dislike them as I might, I can't fault their tenacity and ability to actually get their people in the conversation and on the ballot -- I wish the current batch of "progressives" were 1/4 as successful).

Our country needs to see some serious political change, but it's not the kind that can happen with a single national election with only two serious contenders. This one is important, possibly more than most, and the last time there was a lot of "my vote doesn't mean shit, all politicians are the same so it doesn't even matter" in the national dialog, Ralph Nader ushered in four or eight years of George W. Bush (and really, how'd that work out for the Nader supporters?). We didn't need that then, we really don't need it now. Propagating the "they're all really the same" myth is damn near dangerous.
Right now in America, as in much of the Western world, a massive job of reconstructive surgery, of reattaching the ligaments and muscles of democracy itself, is necessary. This will take time—and to procure that time, it will probably be necessary to keep in power a little longer some of the failed politicians of the recent past, no matter how hypocritical or venal they have proved themselves to be.

So yes, go out and vote. Go vote for Barack Obama, and whatever other Democrats or progressives are running for office where you live. To vote for a Mitt Romney—to vote for the modern right anywhere in the West today—is an act of national suicide. The right is hollow to its core; it has no dreams, no vision, no plans to deal with any of the problems that confront us, only infantile fantasies of violence and consumption. But it is, at the moment, well funded, well organized, and feeling especially threatened. It is capable of anything.

We will have to build the new political parties from the dried-out husks of the old ones. We will have to raise up new political leaders from among us, instead of hoping they will emerge as if by magic. We will have to insist that we have interests, too, that our future wellbeing cannot simply be steamrollered by the claims of a few greedy people posing as the guardians of some amorphous society of the future. We will have to say, in terms that any ward heeler of the old political machine would understand, that if this democracy is to work, we must get what we were promised.
posted by toxic at 6:24 PM on October 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


Send a copy of Our Bodies Ourselves to every member of Congress
posted by homunculus at 7:37 PM on October 24, 2012


At this point, NOT defunding Planned Parenthood and reducing access to contraception are huge economic issues for women and are literally saving their lives. I agree that we deserve much more than DADT, but not voting for Obama is just going to increase the pile of shit work the marginalized have to do to get any farther in this life.

I stand, like I always have, with the poor, the marginalized, the vulnerable, the workers.

I know many of the poor, the marginalized, the vulnerable, and the workers. I'm related to them. For the first 18 years of my life, I was one of them, a worker from the day I could work (and illegally, beforehand), living at poverty level, until I made it to college. The most important thing I've learned from that (my) life is that the poor die of not having the resources the rich do. I competely understand frustration with the Democratic Party; I don't call myself a Democrat. But please give poor women control over their bodies and their economic futures and give all the poor the right of proper health care and don't vote for the candidates that rally their main base by opposing those things. I would rather suffer the frustration with Obama and support him for what he has been and will be able to do, than see more of my family go without heath care. I agree that we're on the brink right now and simply voting isn't going to save us, but the poor and marginalized are real people who need resources now.
posted by stoneandstar at 4:12 AM on October 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


GOP Rape Advisory Chart
posted by homunculus at 2:19 PM on October 25, 2012


GOP Accuses Obama of Ties to Satan Over Lena Dunham Campaign Ad
posted by homunculus at 1:33 PM on October 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Tina Fey Has Had it Up To Here With ‘Grey-Faced Men’ Telling Women What Rape Is
posted by homunculus at 1:40 PM on October 26, 2012


UNCOUNTED shares well documented stories about the spine-chilling disregard for the right to vote in America. In Florida, computer programmer Clint Curtis is directed by his boss to create software that will “flip” votes from one candidate to another. In Utah, County Clerk Bruce Funk is locked out of his office for raising questions about security flaws in electronic voting machines.
posted by rough ashlar at 1:30 PM on October 28, 2012


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