The Only Losing Move is Not to Play

The thing R-leaning people need to understand is that mail-in voting is just easier to manipulate than in-person voting. I’m not talking fraud, necessarily, though mail-in voting is also easier to manipulate in a fraudulent way too. But that’s not what I’m speaking about here.

Never underestimate the friction of having to get a warm body before a poll worker. It’s significant. In fact, GOTV for in-person voting is considered a critical part of that game. We all know how that works, and how to play. But this game is different.With mail-in voting, its easier for activists to get legit votes from people who don’t give a shit, and who are easily influenced on-the-spot, by promises of free shit, or just a good salesman. That’s fundamentally why I oppose it. You should have to give a shit enough to go wait in line yourself. Social media brings another whole bunch of dynamics that make it easy for activists to generate votes from people who otherwise were going to find better things to do on election day.

The problem Republicans have is the Dems are much better at playing this game. The GOP just whines that it’s unfair or unethical and refuses to play. They are beating you at the mail-in ballot game. Yes, there’s probably some fraud in there, but I do believe the Dems own the mail-in game even if you don’t count fraud, because it plays to their strengths.Your only choice is to change the game so they can’t use those techniques, or play along with them, and be just as shameless. You’ll have to work harder, because they have some structural advantages that you don’t. But if you want that overnight vote dump to look more realistic, you have to play. This is the opposite of War Games: here the only losing move is not to play.

PS – I’m looking at heading in a new direction for the blog, but I just don’t have time anymore. I used to make time come hell or high water, but that gets tiring. But we’re headed into dark times, and I feel like we made a horrible mistake moving to social media. I can’t easily be silenced here, except by Verizon pulling my business-class FiOS. I own all my servers. I used to get people asking me why I self-hosted. I’ll bet you aren’t asking that anymore!

30 thoughts on “The Only Losing Move is Not to Play”

    1. Probably. One of the reasons I stopped, other than not having time, is that search traffic to blogs was way off, as the blogging community was becoming more commercialized and interested in manipulating Google for clicks This happened even before social media really became dominant. And that did change things a lot for non-commercial players like me, who was never going to move to do this for a living.

      1. Poland may have the right idea. They just passed a law that prohibits social media sites from deleting any post or disabling any account unless it the post is in violation of Polish Law. The fine is HUGE (Over $2 million dollars).

        Who would guess that a former Eastern Block country would understand Free Speech more than the US! I suppose after so many decades without it they seem to value it more than we do.

  1. Totally agree. Mail-in voting sounds great in principle, but as you said has lots of pitfalls. Not sure if we can ever turn back the clock though. Gotta figure out how to game the system for ourselves.

    We are entering dark times indeed. I believe the Federal Dems will use the VA Dems playbook once they take power. Go hard early and often. We’ll see if the courts save us – I won’t count on it.

    1. Mail ballot drop boxes are often poorly secured, and poorly watched.

      If people wanted to cause trouble, they’d probably be an easy target for arson.

    2. We have had mail-in only voting in Utah for several years now. I have never liked dropping off my ballot in the mail (so I never have), but I don’t particularly like dropping my ballot off in a ballot drop-box, either.

      There’s absolutely no chain of custody, and absolutely no guarantee that my ballot will be private. I have also observed that if I need help with anything, there’s not a poll worker I can conveniently talk to — but if I had to have help with a mail-in ballot, it would require a phone call, and getting a new ballot would be a nightmare. (I have never needed help with a ballot, either in-person on via mail-in only, but I do not look forward to the day where I do need help.)

      And these are just some of the problems that make mail-in ballots nightmarish. I haven’t yet figured out how I’m going to do it, but I’m going to push for in-person paper-only ballots in Utah. I really hope the rest of the Country will follow suit.

      (Oh, and don’t get me started on electronic voting machines. As someone who’s done a lot of web software development, I’m terrified of them.)

  2. Let’s face it, this is the start of the North American Banana Republic. I heard a supposedly conservative talk show host state that the only way to solve this problem is online voting, what a moron. The democrats play dirty and the republicrats never stick together. Hell, they can’t even get dead people to vote, and the democrats have been doing it for 60 years. Like Jerry said in “Casey Jones”, “trouble ahead, trouble behind”. The college educated morons have put an imbecile and an idiot in charge, can’t wait for them to reap what they have sown.

  3. Democrats are better at playing the game because they promote policies which are supported by a majority of Americans.

    1. Half the people that voted for biden couldn’t tell you how many times zones there are in the continental US, let alone what their policies are. Unless you count free stuff for everyone a policy.

      1. Today we learned half the people who voted trump will support domestic terrorism just to keep a failed candidate in office.

        1. One man’s terrorist is another mans freedom fighter.

          I hope you can let go of your money, guns, and car. buckle up!

          1. Ah yes, it’s only terrorism when the other side does it. Y’all are worse than Chicken Little; you said the same thing when Obama was elected yet we still have all the guns we had before he took office.

            1. More guns actually, I’m thinking you don’t live in Seattle or Portland but that’s what’s headed your way, like it or not.

              1. Considering Portland and Seattle happened under Trump’s watch, you’re not making the point you think you are.

                1. Nice try, but Trump has never been the mayor of those cities or the governor of those states. The obligation to protect those citizens lies with their elected democrat leaders, hence the total failure to do so.

                  1. Bad try on your part. Imagine the mental disconnect needed to cite something occurring under the trump administration and then saying “this is what will happen when trump is gone”. Did you pull a muscle trying to jump to that conclusion?

                    1. Or you could address the facts, but like your new hero said, “we choose truth over facts”. Bye bye.

                    2. Why is it difficult to imagine? In the very same day that Trump protesters were rioting in the Capitol, there was yet another Antifa riot in Portland.

            2. There’s a lot of truth in that, though. How many months of “mostly peaceful” protests did America have to endure — protests that resulted in a couple dozen deaths, a couple billion dollars damage to businesses, and demands that the Democrats win the election, or we’d get even more of this?

              Yet when the Right has a “mostly peaceful” protest, it’s “terrorism” and “a destruction of democracy”. Not that I endorse this, though; however, there’s been an assumption that the Right is always nice, and seldom engages in destruction (and a good illustration of this is to compare the disaster areas of the aftermath of Democratic Party protests to the cleaner-than-before aftermath of Republican ones). This riot has demonstrated that the Right can be pushed beyond a breaking point, too.

              As for us being “Chicken Little” — yes, we still have the guns we had before Obama took office — however, it wasn’t as though Obama didn’t try to move the needle on the issue. It’s clear that if he were able, he would have taken them all away.

  4. I am mostly off social media.

    Thank you for posting again. It is nice to see the options I want to see (and a few I don’t) with out all the noise and the worrie that it will one day simply be gone.

  5. Republicans were able to claw back the CA House seats they lost in 2018 this past November, how? The CA GOP basically said “adapt or die”, and got in the mud with the Democrats as they harvested ballots and did the same stuff that the other side has perfected over the last few cycles.

    The difference between the left and right in this country is the right is still complaining about the shady stuff the left does to win elections (unconstitutional fiat by partisan hacks, harvesting, borderline bribes) and trying to work within the system because of this ideal of how things should be. Meanwhile the left, who’s ends of a utopia with “perfect equity” always justify the means, will do whatever it takes to win.

    It also doesn’t help that folks like Mitch arguably would prefer being in the minority, he gets all the perks of selling off his votes with none of the accountability that comes with being in the majority.

    1. Cali’s GOP’s tactics are a great example of what we need to do in this new environment.

      1. I know it’s Machiavellian, but I wonder if the GOP outright cheating in a few close races might actually lead to some good. It would not surprise me one bit that if a few close house races go to Rs in 2022 after ballots “appearing” from R leaning areas, suddenly things like voter ID or limiting mail in voting to absentee ballots suddenly get a strange new respect.

  6. I know I’m too big on Old Stories, so here’s a recent one:

    My wife and I both voted by mail-in, but dropped our ballots in a county drop-box with a sheriff’s deputy watching the process. I voted (dropped my ballot in the box) approximately three seconds before my wife. Mine was recorded as received about 36 hours later. My wife’s was never recorded as received at all.

    Given that it was known that most mail voters would be D-leaning, with female voters still more likely yet to be D, I figure someone in the chain checked names on the envelopes and shit-canned as many female ballots as they could. Because literally, my wife’s ballot had to be laying right on top of mine in the box.

    1. It always drives me nuts when the Democrats insist that it’s racist to demand voter ID when voting, and that there’s no fraud involved.

      I still remember visiting my wife at her place of work years ago in New York, on election day, and one of her co-workers complaining that he showed up to vote, but his signature had already been filled in.

      Yes, he got a provisional ballot — small comfort that is, because at that point, even if it’s counted, it will only be cancelling out, at best, the vote that had already been made in his name — but it’s doubtful that it was even counted in the first place.

      The irony is that the places that need these laws the most — Chicago, New York State, and Philadelphia all come to mind — are also the places that are least likely to put in these reforms. A secondary irony, though, is that some places (Utah in particular comes to mind) have gone the route of “Let’s make things less secure!” anyway.

  7. “You should have to give a shit enough to go wait in line yourself.”

    First stipulating that for many years I spent many an election day standing at the polls from maybe 6:00 AM to maybe 9:00 PM or later, I have to ask, why?

    A little virtue-signaling here, maybe? Wouldn’t our political druthers be rendered even more valid if we were required to self-flagellate while we walked several miles to the polls?

  8. “…people who don’t give a shit, and who are easily influenced on-the-spot, by promises of free shit, or just a good salesman.”

    You knew it couldn’t be too long before I came up with an Old Story, right? ;-)

    I’m old enough to remember when, to get your vote, pols had to do something for you. Everyone who was street-wise had a “fixer”, and for the working class, fixers accomplished what the rich folks could pay attorneys to do for them. Anyway, we didn’t just vote for bullshit “ideologies”. (Maybe that’s why I was so eccentric I actually expected gun-rights candidates to deliver something for us; memorizing a few words of the gun rap didn’t cut it, for me.)

    Anyway, when I started voting at 22 — back in the days when you had to be 21, but I was away in the Army that year — I remember being instructed to vote straight-ticket or close to it, because our fixer’s people would be watching, and dawdling in the voting booth, probably splitting your vote, would be noted and might count against you the next time a favor was needed.

    One time we all gave blood anonymously for our fixer’s son, when he was in the hospital, and the fixer put in a lot of time ferreting out who the donors were. Then one of the guys had a federal beef, and the fixer went to work for him so hard, that ultimately the POTUS interceded personally on the guy’s behalf.

    But anyway, remembering being encouraged not to dawdle in the voting booth, reminded me that there never was a time when a political dynamic didn’t influence the way voters cast their votes.

  9. You can’t fix the problem with voting procedures. The stakes are too high so people are going to try to cheat. You have to have serious consequences like prison. But that isn’t going to happen because the DoJ is corrupt. So you can try to reduce the stakes. The libertarian way of doing this, limited government, is a proven failure. The other way is partition into more homogenous countries which will remove the fear that the other side is out to kill you when they gain power.

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