Author Topic: Influencing state representatives other than your own  (Read 4314 times)

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Influencing state representatives other than your own
« on: July 03, 2017, 10:37:33 AM »
This was brought up in the ďsmall acts of political resistanceĒ thread, the idea of calling state representatives other than your own to influence their opinion.

Just for sake of curiosity, and if you would not mind indulging me, I do have a question. How far would you be willing to support these types of actions where an individual seeks to influence a representative in a district other than their own?

Maybe if calling reps doesnít work, we could drive over there and claim to be a resident while meeting with a representative? Or if that doesnít work, would it be ok to move beyond that and maybe bus over a group of individuals to show support during a town hall for an opposition cause and outnumber actual residents? That would surely convince the representative at that point right? Or maybe that doesnít get the point across and so then it would make sense to bus people in to help influence the vote a certain way? Heck maybe that might not even be enough, because politicians are stubborn individuals and sometimes ignore voting results, so we might need to enlist some outside help to remove him for the good of the cause. Would you support hacking emails to dig up dirt on the representative?

I bring this up to understand how far it is ok to behave indecent and disrespectfully to our friends and neighbors? If one small disrespectful act can be committed in the name of a cause, how big is to big? Where do we draw the line? If the cause is just and right, does it not matter how we get results? If utopia can be achieved, does it matter how many lives are destroyed in the process?

I get this is taking it to the extreme, but things that start small and gain momentum move toward extremes, and the ground work and tone that are laid now will carry through to the conclusion. Which, in my opinion, will not go very far if the foundation is not based on mutual respect.

I would love to hear some opinions on this.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2017, 01:42:34 PM by Greenback Reproduction Specialist »
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madgeylou

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Re: Influencing state representative other than your own
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2017, 11:04:58 AM »
Hey GRS,

Thanks for starting the new thread.

For me, each person needs to make a decision on how they want to resist for themselves. Some folks find it important to resist within the letter of the law and by all the rules and mores that are in place -- for instance, they will only call their own reps, using their own name and zip code. Others will feel that the stakes are high enough that it makes sense for them to push the mores -- they'll call reps outside of their state with a fake name and zip code.

Just like some folks at a protest will march peacefully, while others may yell and be aggressive and perhaps even destroy some property.

Or some artists will simply talk shit about the Donald, while others will do edgier or more elaborate things to make their point of view known (like Kathy Griffin and the fake head picture).

And it seems to me that we as activists spend a lot of time debating tactics -- we shouldn't do this! That goes too far! We can't sink to the same level as our opposition!

But, for me, I think this isn't a very interesting or useful question, and we waste a lot of time discussing it and judging others for their actions and clutching our pearls over minor differences in what we think should be done.

Here's the thing though -- people feel different levels of urgency based on their perspective. A nice middle-class white person like me doesn't have the same life experience as someone who has watched friends and family be disrespected, hassled, beaten, and killed for their race ... or someone who has a disability and has had to struggle and fight to survive in this world who is now threatened with losing the supports they need to live.

So ... I'm not really capable of or interested in judging the actions of people who are fighting for their lives. It's a matter of priority. I care a lot more about not throwing 22 million people off of healthcare than I do about fake names and zip codes. I care much more about getting the racism out of our institutions than I do about broken windows.

Let me turn the question around for you. How shitty would our government have to be before you would consider using a fake name and zip code? For you to consider throwing a trash can through a window? For you to consider breaking a law in order to defend more vulnerable people?

Political victories don't only happen through obeying laws and mores. Even non-violent protests like Dr King led in the 60s involved disobedience, audacity, and behavior that many considered immoral and edgy.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2017, 11:06:40 AM by madgeylou »

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Re: Influencing state representatives other than your own
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2017, 11:30:21 AM »
I don't care what side you're on, impersonating someone else by using their name and address to influence representatives outside your own district is disgusting.  It's identity theft, plain and simple.  Why not open a credit card in my name while your at it.  That's a minor crime too and you could use the money to further your own political righteous cause.  It probably wouldn't be too much of a hassle for me since I can just call and dispute the charge, right?

Really this is totally wrong.  Would you do it to someone you know who lives in that district, or just strangers.  Maybe target the elderly for your next scam, as long as it's for the greater good.

I'm no fan of Trump, but this kind of behavior drives me away from the other side as well.

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Re: Influencing state representatives other than your own
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2017, 11:48:10 AM »
I don't care what side you're on, impersonating someone else by using their name and address to influence representatives outside your own district is disgusting.  It's identity theft, plain and simple.  Why not open a credit card in my name while your at it.  That's a minor crime too and you could use the money to further your own political righteous cause.  It probably wouldn't be too much of a hassle for me since I can just call and dispute the charge, right?

Really this is totally wrong.  Would you do it to someone you know who lives in that district, or just strangers.  Maybe target the elderly for your next scam, as long as it's for the greater good.

I'm no fan of Trump, but this kind of behavior drives me away from the other side as well.

I totally agree, glad I'm not the only one.
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madgeylou

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Re: Influencing state representatives other than your own
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2017, 12:04:22 PM »
I don't care what side you're on, impersonating someone else by using their name and address to influence representatives outside your own district is disgusting.  It's identity theft, plain and simple.  Why not open a credit card in my name while your at it.  That's a minor crime too and you could use the money to further your own political righteous cause.  It probably wouldn't be too much of a hassle for me since I can just call and dispute the charge, right?

Really this is totally wrong.  Would you do it to someone you know who lives in that district, or just strangers.  Maybe target the elderly for your next scam, as long as it's for the greater good.

I'm no fan of Trump, but this kind of behavior drives me away from the other side as well.

Now, come on, this is disingenuous.

Like those sputtering arguments against same sex marriage: "If a man can marry a man then what's next? A man marrying a goat!???!"

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Re: Influencing state representatives other than your own
« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2017, 12:17:50 PM »
Political victories don't only happen through obeying laws and mores. Even non-violent protests like Dr King led in the 60s involved disobedience, audacity, and behavior that many considered immoral and edgy.

This is not even the same thing, calling other elected officials and misrepresenting yourself is the exact opposite of what Dr King was fighting for. By calling into smaller districts and trying to be a louder voice is basically silencing minority opinions. Right or wrong, its there opinion and they get to have representation. Districts elect a representative to represent their voices, not yours.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2017, 12:30:25 PM by Greenback Reproduction Specialist »
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madgeylou

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Re: Influencing state representatives other than your own
« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2017, 12:30:29 PM »
Political victories don't only happen through obeying laws and mores. Even non-violent protests like Dr King led in the 60s involved disobedience, audacity, and behavior that many considered immoral and edgy.

This is not even the same thing. What you are advocating by calling other elected officials is the exact opposite of what Dr King was fighting for. By calling into smaller districts and trying to be a louder voice you are basically silencing minority opinions. Right or wrong, its there opinion and they get to have representation. Districts elect a representative to represent their voices, not yours.

I never advocated for this behavior. I have only said that I wouldn't waste breath on decrying it.

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Re: Influencing state representatives other than your own
« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2017, 12:47:51 PM »
I never advocated for this behavior. I have only said that I wouldn't waste breath on decrying it.
No you are right, my response was a little misworded.

I get you donít think it is important, but some of us do, and these kinds of things will give democrats a bad reputation. Speaking up against doing things like calling other representatives and pretending to be someone in their district is important. Being silent is basically accepting it as being ok, and by extension advocating the continuation of it.

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Re: Influencing state representatives other than your own
« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2017, 01:08:01 PM »
I never advocated for this behavior. I have only said that I wouldn't waste breath on decrying it.
No you are right, my response was a little misworded.

I get you donít think it is important, but some of us do, and these kinds of things will give democrats a bad reputation. Speaking up against doing things like calling other representatives and pretending to be someone in their district is important. Being silent is basically accepting it as being ok, and by extension advocating the continuation of it.

See, my take on it is that the people who are still supporting the Donald at this point have broken brains, they already think the worst of Democrats/liberals, and there's nothing that can make it better or worse. There is no way that Democrats can behave that will make Trump supporters respect us. So let's focus on policy and not worry so much about the .00000000001% of protesters who might be calling Representatives from out of the appropriate district.

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Re: Influencing state representatives other than your own
« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2017, 01:11:00 PM »
Oh. What a fun conversation.

I'm going to mention a few things, mostly as practice.

Let's start with the things from the first post that I noticed:

Just for sake of curiosity, and if you would not mind indulging me, I do have a question. How far would you be willing to support these types of actions where an individual seeks to influence a representative in a district other than their own?

Good question.

I bring this up to understand how far it is ok to behave indecent and disrespectfully to our friends and neighbors? If one small disrespectful act can be committed in the name of a cause, how big is to big? Where do we draw the line? If the cause is just and right, does it not matter how we get results? If utopia can be achieved, does it matter how many lives are destroyed in the process?

The bolded parts are mine.

I feel like the first parts of this conversation started great, but just due to the verbiage used, suddenly it closed the door on other people stating their opinion in a place where they won't be judged. All of a sudden, disagreement means one is indecent and disrespectful. Not helpful to the conversation in my opinion.

And it seems to me that we as activists spend a lot of time debating tactics -- we shouldn't do this! That goes too far! We can't sink to the same level as our opposition!

So much of what I've seen involves getting on the same page. For me, anyway, the means are just as important as the ends. While I agree with your politics (I think... a bit), the conversation where tactics are not discussed is a conversation not worth having. Same page!!


Here's the thing though -- people feel different levels of urgency based on their perspective. A nice middle-class white person like me doesn't have the same life experience as someone who has watched friends and family be disrespected, hassled, beaten, and killed for their race ... or someone who has a disability and has had to struggle and fight to survive in this world who is now threatened with losing the supports they need to live.

So ... I'm not really capable of or interested in judging the actions of people who are fighting for their lives. It's a matter of priority. I care a lot more about not throwing 22 million people off of healthcare than I do about fake names and zip codes. I care much more about getting the racism out of our institutions than I do about broken windows.


That is fair enough, I think. It actually seems more real than anything else I've seen you say (within this construct of ideas). And that is the amazing thing about the discussion. The thing that is missed, is that it's all about how you judge things, and how your priorities play a part.


Political victories don't only happen through obeying laws and mores. Even non-violent protests like Dr King led in the 60s involved disobedience, audacity, and behavior that many considered immoral and edgy.

And here we come to the crux of the issue. Are we a democracy, are we a republic, are we something else?
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Re: Influencing state representatives other than your own
« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2017, 01:27:22 PM »
I don't care what side you're on, impersonating someone else by using their name and address to influence representatives outside your own district is disgusting.  It's identity theft, plain and simple.  Why not open a credit card in my name while your at it.  That's a minor crime too and you could use the money to further your own political righteous cause.  It probably wouldn't be too much of a hassle for me since I can just call and dispute the charge, right?

Really this is totally wrong.  Would you do it to someone you know who lives in that district, or just strangers.  Maybe target the elderly for your next scam, as long as it's for the greater good.

I'm no fan of Trump, but this kind of behavior drives me away from the other side as well.

Now, come on, this is disingenuous.

Like those sputtering arguments against same sex marriage: "If a man can marry a man then what's next? A man marrying a goat!???!"
No, it goes to the core of democracy of one man,  one vote.

If you impersonate  someone else, you are taking more than your share of "the vote" (in a broad sense.)  You are making  yourself more important than me.

There are plenty of ways to maximize political influence such as donations, working for a cause, etc so do not lie about who you are. That is cheating. That is arrogant. That is despicable.


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Re: Influencing state representatives other than your own
« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2017, 01:41:03 PM »

I feel like the first parts of this conversation started great, but just due to the verbiage used, suddenly it closed the door on other people stating their opinion in a place where they won't be judged. All of a sudden, disagreement means one is indecent and disrespectful. Not helpful to the conversation in my opinion.

 

No you are totally right, that wasnít a consideration when I wrote the post. I didnít originally write it to start a new thread, it was originally written to respond to a comment. It was a bit of a careless copy and paste without considering how it should be re-written to involve a larger discussion.

I may go and edit it to encourage a little more discussion, thanks for the input.

edit: I just re-read to try and re-write it, but I feel it is a big part of the discussion. Mainly, the question of, is it ok to be disrespectful to further a cause?

I don't mean to say that disagreeing is disrespectful, that's not the issue. But taking certain actions, such as calling up another persons representative and pretending to live in that district is disrespectful to the constituency of the representative.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2017, 01:50:32 PM by Greenback Reproduction Specialist »
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madgeylou

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Re: Influencing state representatives other than your own
« Reply #12 on: July 03, 2017, 01:47:51 PM »
I don't care what side you're on, impersonating someone else by using their name and address to influence representatives outside your own district is disgusting.  It's identity theft, plain and simple.  Why not open a credit card in my name while your at it.  That's a minor crime too and you could use the money to further your own political righteous cause.  It probably wouldn't be too much of a hassle for me since I can just call and dispute the charge, right?

Really this is totally wrong.  Would you do it to someone you know who lives in that district, or just strangers.  Maybe target the elderly for your next scam, as long as it's for the greater good.

I'm no fan of Trump, but this kind of behavior drives me away from the other side as well.

Now, come on, this is disingenuous.

Like those sputtering arguments against same sex marriage: "If a man can marry a man then what's next? A man marrying a goat!???!"
No, it goes to the core of democracy of one man,  one vote.

If you impersonate  someone else, you are taking more than your share of "the vote" (in a broad sense.)  You are making  yourself more important than me.

There are plenty of ways to maximize political influence such as donations, working for a cause, etc so do not lie about who you are. That is cheating. That is arrogant. That is despicable.

Maybe? But in the list of truly despicable acts in the world is it pretty far down the list in terms of impact on people's lives. I'll save my outrage for the institutionally condoned killing of black people, disabled folks being threatened with the end of their independence, and the continued oppression of the poor, thanks.

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Re: Influencing state representatives other than your own
« Reply #13 on: July 03, 2017, 02:09:10 PM »
I don't care what side you're on, impersonating someone else by using their name and address to influence representatives outside your own district is disgusting.  It's identity theft, plain and simple.  Why not open a credit card in my name while your at it.  That's a minor crime too and you could use the money to further your own political righteous cause.  It probably wouldn't be too much of a hassle for me since I can just call and dispute the charge, right?

Really this is totally wrong.  Would you do it to someone you know who lives in that district, or just strangers.  Maybe target the elderly for your next scam, as long as it's for the greater good.

I'm no fan of Trump, but this kind of behavior drives me away from the other side as well.

Now, come on, this is disingenuous.

Like those sputtering arguments against same sex marriage: "If a man can marry a man then what's next? A man marrying a goat!???!"
No, it goes to the core of democracy of one man,  one vote.

If you impersonate  someone else, you are taking more than your share of "the vote" (in a broad sense.)  You are making  yourself more important than me.

There are plenty of ways to maximize political influence such as donations, working for a cause, etc so do not lie about who you are. That is cheating. That is arrogant. That is despicable.

Maybe? But in the list of truly despicable acts in the world is it pretty far down the list in terms of impact on people's lives. I'll save my outrage for the institutionally condoned killing of black people, disabled folks being threatened with the end of their independence, and the continued oppression of the poor, thanks.

I feel acts that undermine the very basic expectations underlying our democracy undermine any of the good that may come out of the intent. I'm not saying there aren't problems with the current form of democracy in the United States, mostly stemming from the way money interacts with politics, however we shouldn't be undermining it further.

Not only that, but if you can't fight your cause without cheating that simple fact alone will undermine the validity of your cause, no matter how right you might be.

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Re: Influencing state representatives other than your own
« Reply #14 on: July 03, 2017, 02:10:25 PM »
I don't care what side you're on, impersonating someone else by using their name and address to influence representatives outside your own district is disgusting.  It's identity theft, plain and simple.  Why not open a credit card in my name while your at it.  That's a minor crime too and you could use the money to further your own political righteous cause.  It probably wouldn't be too much of a hassle for me since I can just call and dispute the charge, right?

Really this is totally wrong.  Would you do it to someone you know who lives in that district, or just strangers.  Maybe target the elderly for your next scam, as long as it's for the greater good.

I'm no fan of Trump, but this kind of behavior drives me away from the other side as well.

Now, come on, this is disingenuous.

Like those sputtering arguments against same sex marriage: "If a man can marry a man then what's next? A man marrying a goat!???!"
No, it goes to the core of democracy of one man,  one vote.

If you impersonate  someone else, you are taking more than your share of "the vote" (in a broad sense.)  You are making  yourself more important than me.

There are plenty of ways to maximize political influence such as donations, working for a cause, etc so do not lie about who you are. That is cheating. That is arrogant. That is despicable.

Maybe? But in the list of truly despicable acts in the world is it pretty far down the list in terms of impact on people's lives. I'll save my outrage for the institutionally condoned killing of black people, disabled folks being threatened with the end of their independence, and the continued oppression of the poor, thanks.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=eXWhbUUE4ko

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Re: Influencing state representatives other than your own
« Reply #15 on: July 03, 2017, 02:14:05 PM »
I don't care what side you're on, impersonating someone else by using their name and address to influence representatives outside your own district is disgusting.  It's identity theft, plain and simple.  Why not open a credit card in my name while your at it.  That's a minor crime too and you could use the money to further your own political righteous cause.  It probably wouldn't be too much of a hassle for me since I can just call and dispute the charge, right?

Really this is totally wrong.  Would you do it to someone you know who lives in that district, or just strangers.  Maybe target the elderly for your next scam, as long as it's for the greater good.

I'm no fan of Trump, but this kind of behavior drives me away from the other side as well.

Now, come on, this is disingenuous.

Like those sputtering arguments against same sex marriage: "If a man can marry a man then what's next? A man marrying a goat!???!"
No, it goes to the core of democracy of one man,  one vote.

If you impersonate  someone else, you are taking more than your share of "the vote" (in a broad sense.)  You are making  yourself more important than me.

There are plenty of ways to maximize political influence such as donations, working for a cause, etc so do not lie about who you are. That is cheating. That is arrogant. That is despicable.

Maybe? But in the list of truly despicable acts in the world is it pretty far down the list in terms of impact on people's lives. I'll save my outrage for the institutionally condoned killing of black people, disabled folks being threatened with the end of their independence, and the continued oppression of the poor, thanks.

I feel acts that undermine the very basic expectations underlying our democracy undermine any of the good that may come out of the intent. I'm not saying there aren't problems with the current form of democracy in the United States, mostly stemming from the way money interacts with politics, however we shouldn't be undermining it further.

Not only that, but if you can't fight your cause without cheating that simple fact alone will undermine the validity of your cause, no matter how right you might be.

Do we live in the same world? Because what I see in government right now is a regime that has cheated continually for 20 years which now has all the power and plenty of people still believe in the validity of their cause. So I don't think your statement is true, though I really wish it were

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Re: Influencing state representatives other than your own
« Reply #16 on: July 03, 2017, 02:16:08 PM »
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=eXWhbUUE4ko

Lol best thing I've seen today!

And catchy enough it will probably be stuck in my head the rest of the day : )
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Re: Influencing state representatives other than your own
« Reply #17 on: July 03, 2017, 02:37:04 PM »
Fraudulently posing as an out-of-state politician's constituent to influence both overestimates how influential town halls and phone calls to your congressman are and undermines your own moral authority. If the other side did this, could you see the problem with it? What if Alabaman Republicans pretended to be Maine residents to influence Susan Collins on the healthcare bill? Or if New York Democrats did the same thing? It reminds me of the Kansas-Missouri relationship prior to the Civil War.

Also, supporting those politician's opponents seems more effective anyway. Fund and volunteer for Jon Ossoff and other opposition candidates. Fund the ACLU. This is a much better use of your limited time and money than pretending to be someone else's constituent. Some staff person prints out a form letter and sends it your way. It doesn't change Paul Ryan's mind.

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Re: Influencing state representatives other than your own
« Reply #18 on: July 03, 2017, 02:37:56 PM »
Do we live in the same world? Because what I see in government right now is a regime that has cheated continually for 20 years which now has all the power and plenty of people still believe in the validity of their cause. So I don't think your statement is true, though I really wish it were

I agree with you on part of your point and that is a big reason why I think shrinking the size and scope of the gov should be of the highest priority on either side. Mostly because I donít think some of the decisions should be made by a regime that has cheated continually for 20 years.

I think it is important to note however, a thought that this discussion caused to pop into my head.

Though we may be trying to influence a power much larger than ourselves, and the message falling on def ears. Itís important to remember that we most certainly will influence the people closest to us, for good or for bad. They are always watching, listening, and being influenced one way or the other. So a small deceitful act may go unnoticed in the grand scheme of things, but it might sour friendships with good people or grow bonds with deceitful ones. There are people in our lives that look up to us for guidance.... Just a thought.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2017, 03:07:09 PM by Greenback Reproduction Specialist »
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dmc

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Re: Influencing state representatives other than your own
« Reply #19 on: July 03, 2017, 02:51:55 PM »
This reminds me of a fellow from the golf club that passed away.  I was told he cheated at golf, and that's  how many saw him.  After he passed it was found out this guy had a remarkable life. 

But he was known as a cheat in his later years.

iris lily

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Re: Influencing state representatives other than your own
« Reply #20 on: July 03, 2017, 05:18:37 PM »
I don't care what side you're on, impersonating someone else by using their name and address to influence representatives outside your own district is disgusting.  It's identity theft, plain and simple.  Why not open a credit card in my name while your at it.  That's a minor crime too and you could use the money to further your own political righteous cause.  It probably wouldn't be too much of a hassle for me since I can just call and dispute the charge, right?

Really this is totally wrong.  Would you do it to someone you know who lives in that district, or just strangers.  Maybe target the elderly for your next scam, as long as it's for the greater good.

I'm no fan of Trump, but this kind of behavior drives me away from the other side as well.

Now, come on, this is disingenuous.

Like those sputtering arguments against same sex marriage: "If a man can marry a man then what's next? A man marrying a goat!???!"
No, it goes to the core of democracy of one man,  one vote.

If you impersonate  someone else, you are taking more than your share of "the vote" (in a broad sense.)  You are making  yourself more important than me.

There are plenty of ways to maximize political influence such as donations, working for a cause, etc so do not lie about who you are. That is cheating. That is arrogant. That is despicable.

Maybe? But in the list of truly despicable acts in the world is it pretty far down the list in terms of impact on people's lives. I'll save my outrage for the institutionally condoned killing of black people, disabled folks being threatened with the end of their independence, and the continued oppression of the poor, thanks.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=eXWhbUUE4ko

That was funny!

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Re: Influencing state representatives other than your own
« Reply #21 on: July 03, 2017, 05:34:19 PM »
Just for sake of curiosity, and if you would not mind indulging me, I do have a question. How far would you be willing to support these types of actions where an individual seeks to influence a representative in a district other than their own?

I've given this a LOT of thought in the past and ended up doing a complete 180 on my original stance.  I would have been your biggest supporter about 25 years ago.  I eventually realized that it's unethical in the extreme and the examples of it I see nowadays make me sick.

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Re: Influencing state representatives other than your own
« Reply #22 on: July 03, 2017, 09:01:09 PM »
I never advocated for this behavior. I have only said that I wouldn't waste breath on decrying it.
No you are right, my response was a little misworded.

I get you donít think it is important, but some of us do, and these kinds of things will give democrats a bad reputation. Speaking up against doing things like calling other representatives and pretending to be someone in their district is important. Being silent is basically accepting it as being ok, and by extension advocating the continuation of it.

See, my take on it is that the people who are still supporting the Donald at this point have broken brains, they already think the worst of Democrats/liberals, and there's nothing that can make it better or worse. There is no way that Democrats can behave that will make Trump supporters respect us. So let's focus on policy and not worry so much about the .00000000001% of protesters who might be calling Representatives from out of the appropriate district.

I am no fan of Trump. I tried to support Bernie as much as I could, but I have to speak here.

I think anyone hyperventilating about RUSSIA, or not noticing the bullshit, from -all- sides, but especially on the left about everything Trump at this point in time has a broken brain. For the right, Trump is the MAGAist most American person that ever lived, or he's not a neocon piece of shit and not in the "in" crowd. For the left, no examination of how fake half of their points are. No allowing of any air to criticism of the kind of shit that makes anyone think that Trump is a good idea. Fucking assaulting people with bike locks? Allowing riots? White people need to STFU? "I'm with her?"
« Last Edit: July 03, 2017, 09:06:37 PM by Khanjar »

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Re: Influencing state representatives other than your own
« Reply #23 on: July 03, 2017, 09:20:25 PM »
Personally, I find this one of the most challenging of life's questions. I don't have a simple, easy answer/stance.

On the one hand, I'm a pretty "by the book" person. On the other, I learned to make exceptions, where the book is immoral, unethical, etc. I still prefer to start inside the lines. If a person's safety or life is threatened, though, I consider further.

If I wanted another's state rep influenced, though, I would use Facebook, letter to that region's newspaper, etc, to urge locals to call and write. That's inside the lines AND has a greater impact, so I would just do that.

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Re: Influencing state representatives other than your own
« Reply #24 on: July 03, 2017, 09:50:57 PM »
Here's a slightly different question, in the same vein, that's been on my mind lately. If I'm a person in a blue state whose health care access (for example) stands to be harmed because of the vote of red state representatives, is there any reason why I can't contact the red state representatives with my concerns? Not pretending to be someone in their district, but as a citizen of the same nation who is a stakeholder in the healthcare system (all of which is completely true)? I'm not naive enough to think they really give a shit, but why shouldn't I make my concerns known to people in power who may be contemplating action that affects me? Or perhaps inform them of my intention to donate to their political opponent? I myself would probably not be comfortable lying about my identity. Though if it were a question of losing access to desperately needed care (say, MS or cancer treatments or medications), who knows, maybe I would.

bender

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Re: Influencing state representatives other than your own
« Reply #25 on: July 03, 2017, 10:41:53 PM »
Nothing wrong with honest communication.  Inform them you will find their opponent.  Actually fund their opponent.  Start your own grassroots effort to inform people in that district.  But don't steal someone's identity.



bender

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Re: Influencing state representatives other than your own
« Reply #26 on: July 03, 2017, 10:55:48 PM »
I don't care what side you're on, impersonating someone else by using their name and address to influence representatives outside your own district is disgusting.  It's identity theft, plain and simple.  Why not open a credit card in my name while your at it.  That's a minor crime too and you could use the money to further your own political righteous cause.  It probably wouldn't be too much of a hassle for me since I can just call and dispute the charge, right?

Really this is totally wrong.  Would you do it to someone you know who lives in that district, or just strangers.  Maybe target the elderly for your next scam, as long as it's for the greater good.

I'm no fan of Trump, but this kind of behavior drives me away from the other side as well.

Now, come on, this is disingenuous.

Like those sputtering arguments against same sex marriage: "If a man can marry a man then what's next? A man marrying a goat!???!"
No, it goes to the core of democracy of one man,  one vote.

If you impersonate  someone else, you are taking more than your share of "the vote" (in a broad sense.)  You are making  yourself more important than me.

There are plenty of ways to maximize political influence such as donations, working for a cause, etc so do not lie about who you are. That is cheating. That is arrogant. That is despicable.

Thanks - this is exactly how I see it as well.  It's like diluting my vote. 

Question for those who condone this behavior:  Would you also be OK with voting in a district other than your own?  This is pretty easy to do (depending on location)and has a measurable effect.


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Re: Influencing state representatives other than your own
« Reply #27 on: July 04, 2017, 06:16:24 AM »
Here's a slightly different question, in the same vein, that's been on my mind lately. If I'm a person in a blue state whose health care access (for example) stands to be harmed because of the vote of red state representatives, is there any reason why I can't contact the red state representatives with my concerns? Not pretending to be someone in their district, but as a citizen of the same nation who is a stakeholder in the healthcare system (all of which is completely true)? I'm not naive enough to think they really give a shit, but why shouldn't I make my concerns known to people in power who may be contemplating action that affects me? Or perhaps inform them of my intention to donate to their political opponent? I myself would probably not be comfortable lying about my identity. Though if it were a question of losing access to desperately needed care (say, MS or cancer treatments or medications), who knows, maybe I would.
Of course that is ok, any single Congressman creates policy that affects us all.

It is the selfish behavior of lying about being a constituant that is wrong.


shawndoggy

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Re: Influencing state representatives other than your own
« Reply #28 on: July 04, 2017, 06:45:08 AM »
Maybe? But in the list of truly despicable acts in the world is it pretty far down the list in terms of impact on people's lives. I'll save my outrage for the institutionally condoned killing of black people, disabled folks being threatened with the end of their independence, and the continued oppression of the poor, thanks.

If the ends justify the means, what are the ends?  Is it using our democratic (small r republican) form of government to make a policy change?  Delegitimizing our form of government altogether?  Revolution?

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Re: Influencing state representatives other than your own
« Reply #29 on: July 04, 2017, 07:05:18 AM »
Maybe? But in the list of truly despicable acts in the world is it pretty far down the list in terms of impact on people's lives. I'll save my outrage for the institutionally condoned killing of black people, disabled folks being threatened with the end of their independence, and the continued oppression of the poor, thanks.

If the ends justify the means, what are the ends?  Is it using our democratic (small r republican) form of government to make a policy change?  Delegitimizing our form of government altogether?  Revolution?

First off I never said the ends justify the means. We have some poor reading comprehension going on in this thread.

And I don't know the answer to your question. All of your options are in the realm of possibility, though I would prefer evolution over revolution. For me, the end point is a government and a society based more on care and equality and scientific facts, and less on our current methodology of profit above all else. Our current way of keeping score is literally destroying our ability to live on this planet, so forgive me if I'm not too up in arms about the tactics some choose to embrace in an attempt to disrupt that.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2017, 07:06:59 AM by madgeylou »

shawndoggy

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Re: Influencing state representatives other than your own
« Reply #30 on: July 04, 2017, 07:17:36 AM »
First off I never said the ends justify the means. We have some poor reading comprehension going on in this thread.

And I don't know the answer to your question. All of your options are in the realm of possibility, though I would prefer evolution over revolution. For me, the end point is a government and a society based more on care and equality and scientific facts, and less on our current methodology of profit above all else.

Crap.  I've always thought my reading comprehension was pretty OK.

Anyhow, isn't the topic at hand pretending to live in a district you don't to influence policy?  I mean my comprehension skills are apparently lower than I thought, but it is right there in the title. 

So assuming I'm keeping up, isn't "equality" a bit of a red herring?  All I can think of is "All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others" when someone not living in my district comes to my district and pretends to be from my district to persuade my elected pols to bend to the pretender's preferred policy.  Presumably they are also being "real" in their own district and doing the same thing. 

Equality means respect for others, and it also means that it's possible to be on the losing side of an argument when more equal beings line up on that side of the argument than the other side.

But maybe I don't understand equality in this context (reading comprehenshun and all).  Could you define?

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Re: Influencing state representatives other than your own
« Reply #31 on: July 04, 2017, 09:43:37 AM »
I'm no fan of Trump, but this kind of behavior drives me away from the other side as well.

I get you donít think it is important, but some of us do, and these kinds of things will give democrats a bad reputation. Speaking up against doing things like calling other representatives and pretending to be someone in their district is important. Being silent is basically accepting it as being ok, and by extension advocating the continuation of it.

There are over 750 posts in that thread. There are countless posts about local, rules-abiding activism. One person said they use fake names from another district (which is not the same as identity theft), and that means all liberals are marred forever? I also would be shocked if zero Republicans did the same thing.

Nobody supported the strategy after it was posted, and multiple people spoke out against it or advised on different strategies:

Don't know if I have mentioned before but bears repeating:  You can call any Senator or Rep, just use a fake name and fake zip code.   I've contacted over 30 different reps and Senators using this approach.   Imagine if everyone did this.

I'm not a fan of this approach.  They're already claiming that they are getting fake calls as a way of delegitimizing the ones they are getting.  Be your best self.  Take the high road.

Luck12, not only is that a bad idea for image reasons, I don't think it works the way you think it does. I believe congressional offices check voter registration rolls.

I do believe that this thread is for ways to 'resist' within the current political framework. Don't get me wrong, that framework needs some changes, but when it comes to manipulating that framework, I don't know that this would be the place to discuss that, and would probably be better suited for somewhere else.

I totally agree with your anger Luck12. I think it helps to go to political marches and demonstrations.

Don't know if I have mentioned before but bears repeating:  You can call any Senator or Rep, just use a fake name and fake zip code.   I've contacted over 30 different reps and Senators using this approach.   Imagine if everyone did this. 

I understand the impulse. Everybody is affected by the collective House. That being said, I don't advocate doing this, and I have seen org leaders specifically tell people not to do it.

I have heard that one option to reach other reps is call on behalf of a specific person who can't call themselves for whatever reason. You would say, "I'm calling on behalf of XYZ in zip whatever, blah blah vote this way."

If people have constructive advice, feel free to share!

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Re: Influencing state representatives other than your own
« Reply #32 on: July 04, 2017, 11:12:59 AM »
Wonder why no one has answered my question from earlier?

Let me turn the question around for you. How shitty would our government have to be before you would consider using a fake name and zip code? For you to consider throwing a trash can through a window? For you to consider breaking a law in order to defend more vulnerable people?

If there is a point at which you would consider these behaviors, then maybe it's possible that other folks with less power are already there.

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Re: Influencing state representatives other than your own
« Reply #33 on: July 04, 2017, 11:28:54 AM »
Wonder why no one has answered my question from earlier?

Let me turn the question around for you. How shitty would our government have to be before you would consider using a fake name and zip code? For you to consider throwing a trash can through a window? For you to consider breaking a law in order to defend more vulnerable people?

If there is a point at which you would consider these behaviors, then maybe it's possible that other folks with less power are already there.

I'm no where near there yet.  But I'm pretty laid back.

iris lily

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Re: Influencing state representatives other than your own
« Reply #34 on: July 04, 2017, 02:06:32 PM »
Wonder why no one has answered my question from earlier?

Let me turn the question around for you. How shitty would our government have to be before you would consider using a fake name and zip code? For you to consider throwing a trash can through a window? For you to consider breaking a law in order to defend more vulnerable people?

If there is a point at which you would consider these behaviors, then maybe it's possible that other folks with less power are already there.
The 2nd Amendment exists for citizens to address really shitty government.

Here's another thought, sort of related to this discussion: I am not sure that ya'll, so full of righteous
 iNdignation and seeking justice, represent me or others in any crusade.  For instance, I will be one of the 22 million without ACA  coverage if changes take place and I am quite certain I dont want you speakong for me.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2017, 05:05:53 PM by iris lily »

bender

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Re: Influencing state representatives other than your own
« Reply #35 on: July 04, 2017, 02:13:43 PM »
Thanks for the details MJ.  I don't read that thread, so glad to hear it's an isolated person taking extreme and unethical measures.

Liberals are not marred forever, in fact I agree with many liberal and socialist views.  The thing I've experienced repeatedly that drives me nuts about liberals is when they are right and smart and others are dumb rednecks who don't know better.  Many liberals I see on this forum and in real life have a superiority complex. 

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Re: Influencing state representatives other than your own
« Reply #36 on: July 04, 2017, 04:23:04 PM »
Wonder why no one has answered my question from earlier?

Let me turn the question around for you. How shitty would our government have to be before you would consider using a fake name and zip code? For you to consider throwing a trash can through a window? For you to consider breaking a law in order to defend more vulnerable people?

If there is a point at which you would consider these behaviors, then maybe it's possible that other folks with less power are already there.

Wow.  I'm a long long long long long way from there. 

cheating / violence / destruction of property to defend the more vulnerable from... window owners?  How does throwing a trash can through a window ever "defend" a person from anything?  That's offense not defense.

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Re: Influencing state representatives other than your own
« Reply #37 on: July 04, 2017, 05:37:17 PM »
Wonder why no one has answered my question from earlier?

Let me turn the question around for you. How shitty would our government have to be before you would consider using a fake name and zip code? For you to consider throwing a trash can through a window? For you to consider breaking a law in order to defend more vulnerable people?

If there is a point at which you would consider these behaviors, then maybe it's possible that other folks with less power are already there.

I didn't answer earlier, because it's a non-starter for me. Essentially, there is no level of shittiness that would make me break the law to effect change. And that's not because I have a high tolerance for shittiness. It's not because I have a huge respect for the law. It's not because I'm not directly affected by shitty government policies or anything else like that. The bottom line for me is that defining a government as shitty is an extremely subjective measure, and that's it. Subjectivity has very little impact on my decision making. No matter how bad things get right now, no matter how much damage to people and the planet will happen as a direct result, everything that has happened has happened within the framework of the system. Sure, some things are slimy, immoral, unethical, and manipulative, but these actions still fall within the power the voters have intentionally given the politicians. If a bunch of shittiness can be done within the framework, one has to believe that they can be undone. Political actions of all kinds, on all sides, operate on an underlying assumption that flaws and all, this is the system to work within. If that assumption doesn't exist, if one doesn't feel that the existing system can do what it is supposed to, or that the system is irreparable, it's not politics that one is engaging in. It's revolution.

So I won't be the first one to change the game (especially based on a subjective feeling), because as soon as I did, I'm playing a different game and I lost the political one. At that point I can only 'win' if everyone else starts playing the game I started. While I get the feelings behind the question, it seems to me to be a bit off base. Sure, it's been made hard to exercise the power people have (in some instances), but it's never been taken away completely. I think enough of the system that that wouldn't stand. So feeling powerless is an understandable feeling, but it's just not accurate.
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jooniFLORisploo

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Re: Influencing state representatives other than your own
« Reply #38 on: July 04, 2017, 06:02:51 PM »
I would take bigger action where (1) I knew the issue to be harming people AND (2) I knew standard methods of voice/protest were being ignored, AND (3) I was highly confident of my action having the desired outcome.

madgeylou

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Re: Influencing state representatives other than your own
« Reply #39 on: July 04, 2017, 06:20:30 PM »
Wonder why no one has answered my question from earlier?

Let me turn the question around for you. How shitty would our government have to be before you would consider using a fake name and zip code? For you to consider throwing a trash can through a window? For you to consider breaking a law in order to defend more vulnerable people?

If there is a point at which you would consider these behaviors, then maybe it's possible that other folks with less power are already there.

I didn't answer earlier, because it's a non-starter for me. Essentially, there is no level of shittiness that would make me break the law to effect change.

We wouldn't have this country, or abolition, or female suffrage, or reproductive rights or contraception or disability rights or LGBTQ rights or the weekend or the minimum wage or about a million other good and decent expansions of human empower and dignity if others had shared your view.

I would take bigger action where (1) I knew the issue to be harming people AND (2) I knew standard methods of voice/protest were being ignored, AND (3) I was highly confident of my action having the desired outcome.

I really like your criteria, Joon. Number 3 is the real wild card.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2017, 06:23:10 PM by madgeylou »

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Re: Influencing state representatives other than your own
« Reply #40 on: July 04, 2017, 06:44:44 PM »
Wonder why no one has answered my question from earlier?

Let me turn the question around for you. How shitty would our government have to be before you would consider using a fake name and zip code? For you to consider throwing a trash can through a window? For you to consider breaking a law in order to defend more vulnerable people?

If there is a point at which you would consider these behaviors, then maybe it's possible that other folks with less power are already there.

I didn't answer earlier, because it's a non-starter for me. Essentially, there is no level of shittiness that would make me break the law to effect change.

We wouldn't have this country, or abolition, or female suffrage, or reproductive rights or contraception or disability rights or LGBTQ rights or the weekend or the minimum wage or about a million other good and decent expansions of human empower and dignity if others had shared your view.

Really? With the exception of abolition, all of the changes you mentioned happened within the current system. It almost seemed to me that you mentioned a bunch of decent stuff happening, and then by the mere existence of them, acted as if that process your point. It quite literally made no sense to me. So I'm assuming that either I wasn't clear, or I'm missing something in what you were trying to say. Would you mind clarifying what you meant with those examples, especially as it relates to using a subjective feeling as justification for acting unethically? I'm just not following.
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shawndoggy

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Re: Influencing state representatives other than your own
« Reply #41 on: July 04, 2017, 07:10:58 PM »
what keeps folks with opposing political views from using the same shitty tactics?

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Re: Influencing state representatives other than your own
« Reply #42 on: July 04, 2017, 07:31:47 PM »
I think the system is often used to suppress freedom and rights. i.e., It relies on people willingly subjecting themselves to existing laws.

Some laws have been changed only after a process like:

1. A critical mass breaks a given law (e.g., by being gay or smoking pot or having abortions or drinking raw milk or riding on the front of a bus regardless of skin colour)

2. The powers that be reassess, noting that now too many people have to be ignored or arrested

3. The law is ultimately changed

I've done a lot of work inside the system to change laws, while also taking direct legal action in the meantime. I love that work, and the outcome, and highly recommend it.

But I also see the effect of the abovementioned process, in various cases. And I'm really glad some people rose up that way too.

madgeylou

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Re: Influencing state representatives other than your own
« Reply #43 on: July 04, 2017, 07:44:17 PM »
Wonder why no one has answered my question from earlier?

Let me turn the question around for you. How shitty would our government have to be before you would consider using a fake name and zip code? For you to consider throwing a trash can through a window? For you to consider breaking a law in order to defend more vulnerable people?

If there is a point at which you would consider these behaviors, then maybe it's possible that other folks with less power are already there.

I didn't answer earlier, because it's a non-starter for me. Essentially, there is no level of shittiness that would make me break the law to effect change.

We wouldn't have this country, or abolition, or female suffrage, or reproductive rights or contraception or disability rights or LGBTQ rights or the weekend or the minimum wage or about a million other good and decent expansions of human empower and dignity if others had shared your view.

Really? With the exception of abolition, all of the changes you mentioned happened within the current system. It almost seemed to me that you mentioned a bunch of decent stuff happening, and then by the mere existence of them, acted as if that process your point. It quite literally made no sense to me. So I'm assuming that either I wasn't clear, or I'm missing something in what you were trying to say. Would you mind clarifying what you meant with those examples, especially as it relates to using a subjective feeling as justification for acting unethically? I'm just not following.

What I'm saying -- which I think is fairly obvious? -- is that all of those things were once illegal, and people bravely broke the law and did what they deeply believed to be right regardless of the law. Many people have gone to jail for all of the causes above, and had their heads beaten in and even gave their lives.

You asked for some examples: LGBTQ activism came directly out of riots at the Stonewall Inn. Suffragists chained themselves to monuments to protest their disenfranchisement. Margaret Sanger went to prison multiple times for talking about and distributing contraception. Bree Newsome was arrested after pulling down the Confederate Flag. Brave people have always broken shitty laws.

So for anyone to say "There's nothing the government could do that would ever make me break the law" just seems like madness to me. You would really just do whatever the law said, even if the law were horrible?


Edited to add that I just read Joon's post and she explains this super clearly. 
« Last Edit: July 04, 2017, 07:50:00 PM by madgeylou »

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Re: Influencing state representatives other than your own
« Reply #44 on: July 04, 2017, 08:44:56 PM »
What I'm saying -- which I think is fairly obvious? -- is that all of those things were once illegal, and people bravely broke the law and did what they deeply believed to be right regardless of the law. Many people have gone to jail for all of the causes above, and had their heads beaten in and even gave their lives.

You asked for some examples: LGBTQ activism came directly out of riots at the Stonewall Inn. Suffragists chained themselves to monuments to protest their disenfranchisement. Margaret Sanger went to prison multiple times for talking about and distributing contraception. Bree Newsome was arrested after pulling down the Confederate Flag. Brave people have always broken shitty laws.

So for anyone to say "There's nothing the government could do that would ever make me break the law" just seems like madness to me. You would really just do whatever the law said, even if the law were horrible?

Thanks for the examples. I was thinking a bit differently, and I'll address those a bit later (and I've got some thoughts on Civil Disobedience and how I don't put those in the same category, but I need to let that percolate a bit more). That being said, apparently the verbiage I used was too subtle or something. You appear to be responding to something I didn't actually say. You even quoted part of what I said, and then misquoted it later. I feel like you are responding to what you think I meant, instead of what I actually said. And the primary reason on why I hadn't answered your question earlier...well, you seem to have completely missed that too.

Essentially, there is no level of shittiness that would make me break the law to effect change.


That somehow became

So for anyone to say "There's nothing the government could do that would ever make me break the law" just seems like madness to me. You would really just do whatever the law said, even if the law were horrible?

But the very next line (depending on screen size I suppose)...

The bottom line for me is that defining a government as shitty is an extremely subjective measure, and that's it. Subjectivity has very little impact on my decision making.

So I was stating that the verbiage used in the question didn't really get to a root cause at all. What is a 'shitty' government? We are talking about dealing within (and possibly outside of) politics, laws and the like, and the words used are important. I know that people have seemed to forget that after this latest campaign (do you remember what Trump said before he back-pedalled and made it all about 'stamina'?), but for a start, using the correct words to make a statement, and listening/responding to what was actually said is a foundational aspect to all successful politics (resistance or otherwise), and anything else without that loses its efficacy fast (especially with me).

Interestingly enough, I had no idea about most of the examples you mentioned. Some stuff to research for sure. However, there was some kind of disconnect in my brain. I think it's still there, and rightly so, but I'll sleep on it. I think the main question raised in this thread was a weird hybrid of trying to game the existing system, instead of actually taking a stand outside of it. I'm also pretty sure I stand by my initial assessment on that. If one feels that within the confines of the system, things won't get done, then why bother working within the system at all?
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Re: Influencing state representatives other than your own
« Reply #45 on: July 05, 2017, 05:33:58 AM »
Well, the sleeping on it helped a lot. This other issue regarding reading, what I mean vs. what I say, verbiage and the like is besides the point, but the last comment I made had a couple of kernels that grew into something else.

I nailed my issue with it when I mentioned a hybrid approach. While I can understand those who operate within the existing framework, and I understand those who go the route of more extreme measures outside the framework, it seems to me that it's counterproductive to essentially erode that system. It seems easier to put this in an analogy this early in the morning, but I may write about it later without it.

Essentially, I'm envisioning the law and policies as a kind of house. The laws protect/affect all the people in the house. You've got those working within the framework (calling their reps, doing marches, etc) essentially banging on the windows, shouting, etc, doing what they can to get inside. You have those outside the framework, gathering on the lawn, bonfires, loud music, making themselves impossible to ignore until they get into the house. And then there is the hybrid approach. Those are the folks who are banging on the foundation of the house with sledgehammers and jack hammers, trying to bore a hole so they can get into the house. It may not have been pretty, but eventually they get in. But now there is a hole in the foundation. So they got into this house, got the laws they wanted passed, but in the process of doing that, they weakened the integrity of the house they are trying to get in. It becomes almost more academic, and one wants to get in on principle, without being concerned about the idea that the reason it's nice to get in is because of the structural integrity of the house.

Not a perfect analogy, but as I said...it's early, and it captures what I'm thinking.
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madgeylou

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Re: Influencing state representatives other than your own
« Reply #46 on: July 05, 2017, 07:57:08 AM »
Jordan, I have read over your last few posts a couple of times and I still don't understand what you are trying to say or the distinction you are trying to make.

Of course the judgment over whether the government is operating unjustly enough to make a person want to break the law to protest it is subjective. That was my entire point -- that, especially if you are in a group that gets treated extra-shittily by the government, I am not going to judge your methods of addressing those grievances, because I haven't walked in your shoes.

So ... I dunno, it feels like the discussion has run its course. As usual for political discussions, most folks just said what they thought without engaging with any of the ideas or arguments presented by the other side (me). But I didn't want to ignore your posts directed at me. Unfortunately I wasn't able to grasp your point.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2017, 08:02:49 AM by madgeylou »

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Re: Influencing state representatives other than your own
« Reply #47 on: July 05, 2017, 08:38:52 AM »


Of course the judgment over whether the government is operating unjustly enough to make a person want to break the law to protest it is subjective. That was my entire point -- that, especially if you are in a group that gets treated extra-shittily by the government, I am not going to judge your methods of addressing those grievances, because I haven't walked in your shoes.

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Re: Influencing state representatives other than your own
« Reply #48 on: July 05, 2017, 08:49:03 AM »
^ Some break laws to achieve what a majority see as "bad", some break laws to achieve what a majority see as "good." So, of course this matter is tricky, because it gets into "what is good? what is bad?" which is subjective, philosophical, contextual, etc.

I don't think we can assess the value of an idea solely by whether it was pursued inside or outside current law.

I think the topic of "what is good? what is bad?" is distinct from "is it ever okay to break a law, in an attempt to bring about what you believe to be good?" or from "is it okay to call in to a different region?" or from "is it okay to use a fake name?" or from "is it okay to steal another's identity?"

Each of those is a distinct topic, and perhaps worthy of its own thread.

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Re: Influencing state representatives other than your own
« Reply #49 on: July 05, 2017, 08:57:39 AM »
Jordan, I have read over your last few posts a couple of times and I still don't understand what you are trying to say or the distinction you are trying to make.

And I do believe that is part of the problem. I think I just missed whatever point or conversation the question was trying to create.

Of course the judgment over whether the government is operating unjustly enough to make a person want to break the law to protest it is subjective. That was my entire point -- that, especially if you are in a group that gets treated extra-shittily by the government, I am not going to judge your methods of addressing those grievances, because I haven't walked in your shoes.

And this is the crux of what I was talking about. I didn't engage necessarily with anything beyond that first question, because that first question was fundamentally flawed. And you see it, but maybe not consciously. Here you mentioned operating unjustly. That is a bit more specific, and actually useful, as opposed to some ethereal shitty feeling, which is a non-starter for rational conversation (for me). But the question remains how shitty does one have to be treated, or how shitty does a government need to be? How do you define 'shitty'? You can't. It's different for everyone, and useless for anyone. That was the point I was attempting to make. There can be nothing productive that comes from a conversation that starts from a place like this. Unless the productive thing is to start with a premise that can't be quantified or defined to show that you won't judge people who won't or can't rationally explain their reasoning. Personally, I hold people to a higher standard. I said that my subjective feeling of a shitty government is not a good reason to operate outside the law. And it's not a good reason from anyone else. I highly doubt that the examples you provided recruited anyone to their cause by saying "Oh, I'm doing this because the government is shitty to me". And rightly so.

So ... I dunno, it feels like the discussion has run its course. As usual for political discussions, most folks just said what they thought without engaging with any of the ideas or arguments presented by the other side (me). But I didn't want to ignore your posts directed at me. Unfortunately I wasn't able to grasp your point.

With the starting premise, I'm totally inclined to agree with you. There was no point in engaging without dealing with that first. I was attempting to create a place in which you could modify your question to reflect what was actually important to you in the discussion. Alas, I didn't quite get to that point.

I'm down to continue the conversation, and answer a question that deals with something more quantifiable. Something along the lines of one of the following:

What actions would a government need to take before you decided to operate outside the law to effect change?
What kind of policies would need to be implemented for you to operate outside the law?
What ethical boundaries need to be crossed for you to break the law, and how?
What effects legislated on other people will you not accept?
If you were to operate outside of the law, what would you do?

I just don't know what you were actually trying to ask, and I was trying to avoid putting words in your mouth, but here we are. I'm fine either way, though.

I think that we are actually pretty close to the same page, but without clarifying the beginning premise, I'm not certain if we were even in the same book, and it's just silly to continue without determining that first.

I hope that clarifies where I am coming from.

^ Some break laws to achieve what a majority see as "bad", some break laws to achieve what a majority see as "good." So, of course this matter is tricky, because it gets into "what is good? what is bad?" which is subjective, philosophical, contextual, etc.

I don't think we can assess the value of an idea solely by whether it was pursued inside or outside current law.

I think the topic of "what is good? what is bad?" is distinct from "is it ever okay to break a law, in an attempt to bring about what you believe to be good?" or from "is it okay to call in to a different region?" or from "is it okay to use a fake name?" or from "is it okay to steal another's identity?"

Each of those is a distinct topic, and perhaps worthy of its own thread.

Absolutely correct. We've got a general thread if we want to move it there, but I really want to figure out what topic we are trying to actually discuss, because it's not clear.
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