October 8, 2011

NYET! My New & Improved Default Voting Position


When it came to voting in elections I once spent a lot of time “weighing my options” . I would research this and read that. I’d study the “non-partisan” handbook that came in the mail outlining the pros and cons of all the issues, candidates, and referendums on the forthcoming ballot. I’d discuss issues with friends and associates and sometimes even debate those same issues at meetings and forums. I’d dig into the background of candidates, and always ask “Qui bono” when it came to new measures, projects, taxes, fees and other effluvia attendant on a democracy.

This process has now been filed under, “It seemed like a good idea at the time.” It led, in retrospect, to a lot of wrong votes that also “seemed like a good idea at the time.”

My new default voting position is much simpler, much more relaxing, much more efficient, and has a greater likelihood of being correct than my previous efforts. It has the added benefit of being capable of being stated in very simple terms.

My present default position is: “If voting yes on this measure or candidate will result in ceding more power to, or giving more money to, the government or any element of the government, vote NO.”

That means, in its purest form to "vote NO" on anything or anyone if it is in violation of the first principle of no more power or money. After all, politics is only something we do to get to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

These days it seems to me that in life one achieves the most happiness by saying “Yes.” Yes to the day. Yes to the world. Yes to life. Yes to the cute puppies. Yes to the ones worthy of live. Yes to God. Yes to the whole wide and wonderful universe. Even, God forgive me, Yes to "Yes to the Dress."

Once upon a time it seemed to me that one achieved the most happiness in politics by saying “Yes.” Yes to “new, previously undiscovered ‘rights’.” Yes to the funding of projects that would make the city a better, bigger and brighter place regardless of the plainly visible fact that all the other previous public projects made it a more dismal sinkhole. Yes to man with his hand out for a handshake and a hand out who was going to make all God’s children happy with just a few more of my dollars. Yes to the bond issue that would guarantee a new bridge and road right after ten years of expensive study on how it would impact the sex lives of rhinos and snail darters. Yes to affirmative unction. Yes to this or that or the other thing that would, at last, bring on that great getting up morning in America where all would be equal and the grunting sows in the government somehow, mysteriously, much more equal than others.

In the end all I could see and hear from all this yessing was a country flushing itself and its future down the crapper, and the refrain from an ancient Tin-Pan Alley ditty that goes,

“When you ask him anything
He never answers “No.”
He just yes-yes’s you to death,
And then he takes your dough,
And tells you ‘Yes, we have no bananas....”

I give and I give and I say yes and yes and don’t even get a banana? I think it’s time to try another way; to give another answer: “NO,” or to be colorful and transnational about it all, "NYET!" I don’t think I am at all alone in this. Indeed, I think NYET is the wave of the future.

I admit that there may be times when NYET requires nuance; requires something a tad less than an adamantine attitude. One may, when it comes to electing human beings, be required to judge which candidate is likely to grab for less power and to grub for less money. That is always a sad moment when dealing with politics but, absent armed insurrection, it seems something that is unavoidable given the offerings placed on the plate for citizen consumption.

Nevertheless, having a clear and simple default position of saying NYET to more power or more money seems to me to be a sensible stand to take. It’s not only the right way, it’s the Reagan way. Nancy, that is: “JUST SAY NO.”

Posted by Vanderleun at October 8, 2011 4:29 PM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

This has been my policy for a long time. When I read the ballot propositons each election time, if it involves spending more money, I vote NO. If it involves saving money, I vote YES. Needless to say my NO votes over the years far exceed the YES votes.

Posted by: CBDenver at October 8, 2011 5:40 PM

This has been my policy for a long time. When I read the ballot propositons each election time, if it involves spending more money, I vote NO. If it involves saving money, I vote YES. Needless to say my NO votes over the years far exceed the YES votes.

Posted by: CBDenver at October 8, 2011 5:40 PM

grunting sows

What are you sir, some sort of sexist. What happened to the surly boars?

For the rest, yes, some things are simple at the core. Why worry as to precisely *how* you will be robbed, just say no? Or at least, "I'm thinking, I'm thinking."

Posted by: chuck at October 8, 2011 5:58 PM

Groucho sang it best...

Posted by: Julie at October 8, 2011 6:28 PM

CBDenver—actually, that extends further. If you can't parse it, vote no. If it sounds like a good idea but you can't figure the secondary and tertiary effects, vote no. If it sounds good but you haven't done research to find out if it's going to do what it says it does, vote no.

I have actually voted Yes on propositions. Sometimes that amazes me because I have so many qualifiers.

Posted by: B. Durbin at October 8, 2011 8:39 PM

I've been a no-voter my entire voting life: Voting NO since 1980.

Posted by: Jewel at October 8, 2011 11:43 PM


Simple, and too the point. If more people voted Nyet, we'd probably still have a lot of government.


I said nyet nyet Soviet, Soviet Jewellery

Posted by: pdwalker at October 9, 2011 8:04 AM

Julie, you hit the one I was going to add. Besides voting no to spending and power grabs, I also vote no if it isn't written so that it is easily understood. The health care bill being longer than the Bible sent me over the edge.

Posted by: mary at October 9, 2011 9:17 AM

I figured this out many, many years ago.

Posted by: Moneyrunner at October 9, 2011 6:37 PM

Default position: NO!

Nuanced position: HELL NO!


Posted by: Mark Alger at October 10, 2011 2:26 PM