Wednesday, August 20, 2008

How McCain Lost My (Nonexistant) Vote

Normal people get 1 vote per election. Identity theivers get multiple. Their victims get none. The government has granted me 1 vote in the upcoming election, but they're gonna make me pay $55 for it. Quick cost-benefit analysis.....yep, not worth it.

Suppose I did have a vote though. ...That I didn't have to pay exorbitant amounts of hard-earned cash for. What would I do? I don't really care much for either of the front-runners McCain and Obama. They both have their good sides and they both have their evil sides, but neither can adequately represent my views as an American citizen. Typical Presidency I guess. So without going into too much detail, I'd have to say neither.

But what if I were forced to choose between the two? After all, the Democratic and Republican parties are by far the ones with the most $$$, so really we're restricted to only those two candidates anyways. (does anybody know why this is??) I suppose I could vote Republican just because it's what I've always grown up with, but I'm all for change, if it's warranted. I don't really know though, and I couldn't care less. (I'm not much for politics if you can't tell). But after reading this the other day (McCain's technology platform), I can safely say that I would never vote for that candidate. Why:

"John McCain does not believe in prescriptive regulation like 'net-neutrality,' but rather he believes that an open marketplace with a variety of consumer choices is the best deterrent against unfair practices. John McCain has always believed the government’s role must be rooted in protecting consumers. He championed laws that penalized fraudulent marketing practices, protected kids from harmful Internet content, secured consumer privacy, and sought to minimize spam."

This seems awfully contradictory to me. He wants to protect consumers by opposing net-neutrality? Now don't get me wrong, I'm very opposed to government regulation too. But in this case, net-neutrality is regulating the telcos and cablecos and protecting the rights of the users to run whatever they want to and say whatever they want to. It's been shown again and again and again that these corporations will censor and block whatever they don't agree with. (Nevermind that I'm against it too--it's not right to deny First Amendment rights to customers.) Preventing fraudulent marketing practices, protecting kids from porn, securing privacy, and minimizing spam sounds good on the surface, but it's not treating the root of the issue.

"John McCain Will Pursue Protection Of Intellectual Property Around The Globe.
Intellectual property protection is increasingly an issue for U.S. innovators operating in the global economy. John McCain will seek international agreements and enforcement efforts that ensure fair rewards to intellectual property."

This just screams DMCA to me. While McCain is opposed to government regulation of telcos and cablecos, he wants to enforce IP protection not just in the US but "around the globe." I can easily see this kind of policy leading to increased DRM and more frivolous RIAA and MPAA lawsuits. (Not to mention that we keep sticking our policies and ideologies where they don't belong...can't we work on fixing our own country before we start fixing the rest of the world?)

"While the Internet has provided tremendous opportunity for the creators of copyrighted works, including music and movies, to distribute their works around the world at low cost, it has also given rise to a global epidemic of piracy. John McCain supports efforts to crack down on piracy, both on the Internet and off."

Piracy is bad. It's unlawful. I get it. And I agree. But there is a virtual war waging between government agencies and the pirates, and everyone else is getting caught in the crossfire. It's a war that the pirates and handily winning by wide margins, but the government just doesn't know when to give up. Fighting them is not the answer! Working with them is. There are reasons why people pirate music and movies and games, and there are solutions. There are solutions that don't involve blocking BitTorrent (which never works, besides being unethical), cracking down on offenses (which only stimulates more piracy), and denying basic freedoms to ISP customers (again, DMCA).

As righteous as McCain sounds, I don't like what I'm hearing. He's got some good stuff, but if he enforces all his policies, I see our freedoms shrinking even more. Of course, Obama's probably not that much better. I have no idea where he stands and I'm too lazy to research it.

I can be bribed though. If McCain wants to pay me $210 for my vote (what I figure it would cost me in gas, wear and tear on my car, 8 hours of my time, and the actual cost of my vote), I'd do it. Same goes for Obama. They certainly have enough spare change. I'm pretty sure that's quite illegal though...I wouldn't want any of our maybe-future-Presidents breaking the law by buying off a single, relatively inexpensive vote. (Remind anyone of Clinton?) Naw, I'll just dream that Stephen Colbert ends up winning as a write-in.


John said...

Well it's either that or vote for Obama-- socialized medicine and abortion.

denaje said...

Or you don't vote at all...

Robert said...

Or you could read:,1607,7-127-1633_8716-21037--,00.html

It will now cost you however much a stamp costs, if you need, I'll pay for the stamp for you as well.

denaje said...

Yeah, absentee ballots won't work for me. That's why I'd have to drive all the way home.