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The 7 - Current Events & Politics - Sean Penn vs. the South Park guys
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Mr. Boffo
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#1 Posted on 16.10.04 2016.56
Reposted on: 16.10.11 2023.46
I know this was brought up in Movies, however that didn't seem like the right place to discuss people's opinions of it. And since I would like to discuss it, I made this thread here in Politics.
At issue is this: Sean Penn's letter to Tre Parker and Matt Stone regarding an interview they gave where they said that there's "no shame in not voting" "if you don't know what you're talking about". Mr. Penn expressed great anger with that POV.

And I'm not sure why. As a voter, I'd much prefer that those people who don't know enough to have an educated opinion not vote. Because the alternative is them voting for who they think looks better in his tie.

It also seems that Sean Penn seems to think that if people do take the time to become informed, they'll agree with him. Only the most zealous believers would say that everyone who disagrees with them is an idiot. It seems to me that people who disagree with me just have a different POV then me. And no amount of "education" is going to change their mind.
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bash91
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#2 Posted on 16.10.04 2037.44
Reposted on: 16.10.11 2037.53
    Originally posted by Mr. Boffo
    As a voter, I'd much prefer that those people who don't know enough to have an educated opinion not vote. Because the alternative is them voting for who they think looks better in his tie.


Quick, define educated.

Now, define how to determine that the education is satisfactory without resorting to any sort of even remotely subjective testing.

If you can do that, we have something new to talk about. Otherwise, I'd say we've already done the topic of stupid voters to death here. (The W)


As for Sean Penn, eh. He's made some good movies. He's made some bad movies. Politically, he's on the opposite end of the spectrum from me on most social issues so I generally ignore his politics unless absolutely forced to discuss them.


Tim
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#3 Posted on 16.10.04 2120.30
Reposted on: 16.10.11 2122.49
Suggesting that someone who doesn't bother to at least know what they are voting about "stay home" isn't the same as suggesting legislation banning people from voting who don't meet a certain standard.

If I may -

If you don't know the name of the Vice President, maybe you shouldn't vote.

If you are basing your vote on the fact that one looks better in a tie, or is taller, or other superficial standards, maybe you should stay home on election day.

If you can't even be bothered to read your Election Guide before voting, maybe you shouldn't.

If the first time you have even heard of a candidates name that you are voting for is when you read it on the ballot, perhaps you should give it a miss.

If you are voting for someone only because of the letter next to their name, their position on the ballot, or by random selection, you should probably not waste your time.

Yes, all of these people have the RIGHT to vote. But that doesn't mean that their voting is good for the country. I would rather have a low voter turnout, and a higher percentage of people who care enough to learn about what they are voting for, than a "high" voter turnout any day.

As for Sean Penn - he is an idiot. Yes, he got one thing right - everyone should take the time to educate themselves. But to assume that everyone who educates themselves would be of the same mindset is moronic. And if you are counting on the uneducated and misinformed to vote for you so that you will carry the day, maybe your ideas aren't all that great to begin with.

(edited by Pool-Boy on 16.10.04 1921)
OlFuzzyBastard
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#4 Posted on 16.10.04 2219.38
Reposted on: 16.10.11 2221.17
    Originally posted by Pool-Boy
    As for Sean Penn - he is an idiot. Yes, he got one thing right - everyone should take the time to educate themselves. But to assume that everyone who educates themselves would be of the same mindset is moronic. And if you are counting on the uneducated and misinformed to vote for you so that you will carry the day, maybe your ideas aren't all that great to begin with.


Of course, nothing in Sean Penn's letter indicates in any way that everyone who has an educated opinion would agree with him. In fact, despite the fact that Sean Penn's politics are quite well known, the letter no way even hints that one should cast their vote for John Kerry.

    Originally posted by Sean Penn
    To Trey Parker and Matt Stone,

    I remember a cordial hello when you guys were beginning to be famous guys around Hollywood at some party. I remember several times getting a few giggles out of your humor. I remember not being bothered as you traded on my name among others to appear witty, above it all, and likeable to your crowd. I never mind being of service, in satire and silliness.

    I do mind when anybody who doesn't have a child, doesn't have a child at war, or isn't or won't be in harm's way themselves, is encouraging that there's "no shame in not voting" "if you don't know what you're talking about" (Mr. Stone) without mentioning the shame of not knowing what your talking about, and encouraging people to know. You guys are talented young guys but alas, primarily young guys. It's all well to joke about me or whomever you choose. Not so well, to encourage irresponsibility that will ultimately lead to the disembowelment, mutilation, exploitation, and death of innocent people throughout the world. The vote matters to them. No one's ignorance, indcluding a couple of hip cross-dressers, is an excuse.

    All best, and a sincere fuck you,

    Sean Penn

    P.S. Take this as a personal invitation from me to you (you can ask Dennis Miller along for the ride as well) to escort you on a trip, which I took last Christmas. We'll fly to Amman, Jordan and I'll ride with you in a (?) 12 hours through the Sunni Triangle into Fallujah and Baghdad and I'll show you around. When we return, make all the fun you want.
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#5 Posted on 16.10.04 2223.56
Reposted on: 16.10.11 2224.25
    Originally posted by Pool-Boy
    I would rather have a low voter turnout, and a higher percentage of people who care enough to learn about what they are voting for, than a "high" voter turnout any day.

    (edited by Pool-Boy on 16.10.04 1921)

Whatever you do, don't move to Australia then. We have to go to vote. Once you're 18 you have to register. If you're registered, you have to at least turn up to the polling place and get your name marked off and get your ballot paper/s. If you don't there's a fine (I think $50).
bash91
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#6 Posted on 16.10.04 2238.12
Reposted on: 16.10.11 2238.20
Ok, let's take this in sections so I don't skip anything.

    Originally posted by Pool-Boy
    Suggesting that someone who doesn't bother to at least know what they are voting about "stay home" isn't the same as suggesting legislation banning people from voting who don't meet a certain standard.


Technically, you are correct. Of course, what you're advocating is de facto the same thing. Under our current system, no matter how you slice it, preventing people from voting is a reprehensible act. It doesn't matter if they meet your arbitrary standard or not, they are entitled to vote.

    Originally posted by Pool-Boy
    If I may -
    If you don't know the name of the Vice President, maybe you shouldn't vote.

    If you are basing your vote on the fact that one looks better in a tie, or is taller, or other superficial standards, maybe you should stay home on election day.
    If you can't even be bothered to read your Election Guide before voting, maybe you shouldn't.
    If the first time you have even heard of a candidates name that you are voting for is when you read it on the ballot, perhaps you should give it a miss.
    If you are voting for someone only because of the letter next to their name, their position on the ballot, or by random selection, you should probably not waste your time.



Come on, we've been here before. Why is it a waste of your time? If I, Joe Average citizen, want to take the time to exercise my civic duty and right, who are you to say that I shouldn't be able to because I don't meet your arbitrary standard. Those oh so reasonable statements you make bear a striking resemblance to the poll tests that were used to disenfranchise the "wrong" kind of voters. You complained the last time we did this that you knew the history of voter disenfranchisement and intimidation through the use of poll tests and taxes. If that's the case, why do you keep making the same argument for suppressing the vote.

    Originally posted by Pool-Boy
    Yes, all of these people have the RIGHT to vote. But that doesn't mean that their voting is good for the country. I would rather have a low voter turnout, and a higher percentage of people who care enough to learn about what they are voting for, than a "high" voter turnout any day.


And here's the crux of your argument. People who aren't like me shouldn't be allowed to vote. It doesn't matter that they may be paying taxes, or serving their country in the armed services, or in the Peace Corps, or volunteering at the local mission, or working three jobs to try and put their child through college: they don't meet the standard so they shouldn't be able to participate in the decision making process. Suppressing the vote or the right to vote is never a good thing.

You make the argument that their, the "un(der)educated, voting is bad for the country as a whole, prove it. Give us hard concrete evidence to support the position. Give us names, locations, proof that the "educated" would have done something differently and it would have been better for the country. Otherwise, it is just more of the same old racist and elitist position that I criticized you for the last time we tackled this issue.

Tim
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#7 Posted on 16.10.04 2256.58
Reposted on: 16.10.11 2257.39
When Ballot Initiatives like Prop 66 here in California, which will result in the release of 26,000 felons from our prisons, redefine the law so the burglary, gang offenses, rape, and more will no longer be considered serious offenses, are projected to win in a landslide because some rich people with relatives in prison managed to convince the uneducated and uninformed that it is "Three Strikes Reform" that is going to be "tougher on sex criminals," then yeah, I think that is proof enough that the uninformed should not vote.

There is a difference between banning someone from voting and suggesting that maybe they shouldn't. They are entitled to, yes, but that doesn't mean I can't think they are a complete fucking moron because they can't bother to learn about what they are voting for. I may not agree with OFB, but at least he knows what the fucking issues are, and CAN name the Vice President...

You call it an elitist position, and maybe it is. Because I think I certainly AM a better voter than those who cast a ballot, and DON'T do so to make this country a better place. Who DON'T have a clue about the judge they are voting for. Who DID buy the BS line on the TV commercial. Who JUMP everytime a BS politician says that "people will die" if this doesn't pass.

(edited by Pool-Boy on 16.10.04 2058)
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#8 Posted on 16.10.04 2258.00
Reposted on: 16.10.11 2259.01
(deleted by CRZ on 17.10.04 0341)
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#9 Posted on 16.10.04 2259.23
Reposted on: 16.10.11 2300.31
(deleted by CRZ on 17.10.04 0341)
Mr. Boffo
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#10 Posted on 16.10.04 2304.17
Reposted on: 16.10.11 2305.44
    Originally posted by OlFuzzyBastard
    Of course, nothing in Sean Penn's letter indicates in any way that everyone who has an educated opinion would agree with him. In fact, despite the fact that Sean Penn's politics are quite well known, the letter no way even hints that one should cast their vote for John Kerry.

      Originally posted by Sean Penn
      Not so well, to encourage irresponsibility that will ultimately lead to the disembowelment, mutilation, exploitation, and death of innocent people throughout the world. The vote matters to them. No one's ignorance, indcluding a couple of hip cross-dressers, is an excuse.


It could just be me, but it sounds like he's saying that if you don't vote, you're basically keeping the current administration in power, which will lead to those things. "disembowelment, mutilation, exploitation, and death of innocent people throughout the world." I don't think he thinks that what's on tap if Kerry gets elected.
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#11 Posted on 16.10.04 2309.09
Reposted on: 16.10.11 2309.28
    Originally posted by Merc

    Whatever you do, don't move to Australia then. We have to go to vote. Once you're 18 you have to register. If you're registered, you have to at least turn up to the polling place and get your name marked off and get your ballot paper/s. If you don't there's a fine (I think $50).



Wow, that's kinda cool actually.

Does this give you an incentive to know about the things and people you vote for or does it make you just go in vote randomly and get it over with to save you $50?
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#12 Posted on 17.10.04 0151.19
Reposted on: 17.10.11 0151.44
    Originally posted by bash91
    Ok, let's take this in sections so I don't skip anything.

      Originally posted by Pool-Boy
      Suggesting that someone who doesn't bother to at least know what they are voting about "stay home" isn't the same as suggesting legislation banning people from voting who don't meet a certain standard.


    Technically, you are correct. Of course, what you're advocating is de facto the same thing. Under our current system, no matter how you slice it, preventing people from voting is a reprehensible act. It doesn't matter if they meet your arbitrary standard or not, they are entitled to vote.

    And here's the crux of your argument. People who aren't like me shouldn't be allowed to vote.



No, it's not the same thing at all. One is a law and the other is simply his opinion. Unless I missed something bgi somewhere, I didn't read anywhere that people who don't match his standards shouldn't be allowed to vote.

I don't think that people who don't use turn signals when driving should be allowed to drive. Am I sayung I think that there should be a law against it? No.



    Otherwise, it is just more of the same old racist and elitist position that I criticized you for the last time we tackled this issue.


Whoa. You jumped all over this guy for having a reasonable opinion before? Nothing he's said here has anything to do with not allowing certain people to vote. If you guys have gone into this before, maybe that argument is clouding your interpretation of what's being said here. If you look at this objectively, nothing's he's said has been out of line. It's simply his opinion, and unless the communist party comes out of nowhere in this election (hey, maybe Kerry and Bush will split the votes!) then opinions are cool.

I can also give an example of someone who's an uneducated voter. I voted once because I believe some BS that it really WAS my duty to vote (freedom to *choose* is the first part of a demorcracy, and if you take that away, what's the point of an election anyways?). I knew nothing about the people involved, took a 4 minute crash course on it by asking people at work who they were voting for, and ended up voting for a guy who ran on the platform of raising the taxes for my restaurant. Do I wish I had stayed home that day and kept my dumbass voice quiet? You're damn right I do. I ended up hurting the whole process because my dumbass vote cancelled out the vote of someone who actually took the time to learn what was going on and had an educated, *useful* opinion on things. If you have to make a choice, isn't that worse for democracy, to have someone's vote taked away from them for no good reason at all?


Tribal Prophet

(edited by CRZ on 17.10.04 0356)
Merc
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#13 Posted on 17.10.04 0545.02
Reposted on: 17.10.11 0549.16
    Originally posted by Cerebus
    Does this give you an incentive to know about the things and people you vote for or does it make you just go in vote randomly and get it over with to save you $50?

Naturally you still have the people who are really into the poltical scene and can tell you why this party is better than the other. I keep semi informed, but I tend to switch over when the politicians come on TV. A friend of mine voted for "The Fishing Party" in the senate because it was easy.

You can always take the chance that you won't get found out too. There are about 88 000 people in my electorate, with 10 polling places. Each place has a huge book with everyone's enrolled name and address. When you show up, they put a pen line next to your name. I would imagine this system is by no means flawless.
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#14 Posted on 17.10.04 0820.55
Reposted on: 17.10.11 0821.00
    Originally posted by Cerebus
    Wow, that's kinda cool actually
No it's not. People a free to make a decision not to vote in this country, just like they make a decision as to who to vote for. Nothing good ever came from compulsory voting. Besides, it smells a little too much like the 100% turnours in the elections of Saddam Hussein, Kim Jon Il, etc.


As far as Sean Penn; he's just pissed that "Team America" makes a great deal of fun of the "listen to us we are smarter than you" anti-war liberals.
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#15 Posted on 17.10.04 0827.15
Reposted on: 17.10.11 0829.01
    Originally posted by Pool-Boy
    There is a difference between banning someone from voting and suggesting that maybe they shouldn't. They are entitled to, yes, but that doesn't mean I can't think they are a complete fucking moron because they can't bother to learn about what they are voting for. I may not agree with OFB, but at least he knows what the fucking issues are, and CAN name the Vice President...


You're deliberately missing the point here. I'm criticizing you because you keep suggesting, opining, or whatever other term you choose to use that it is a "good" thing when people don't vote because they don't meet your standards and I can't stomach that position even in jest. I've consistently agreed that there are problems with voter education and participation in this country but those problems aren't solved by suggesting the disenfranchisement of a segment of the populace.

    Originally posted by Pool-Boy
    You call it an elitist position, and maybe it is. Because I think I certainly AM a better voter than those who cast a ballot, and DON'T do so to make this country a better place. Who DON'T have a clue about the judge they are voting for. Who DID buy the BS line on the TV commercial. Who JUMP everytime a BS politician says that "people will die" if this doesn't pass.


No maybe about it, it is an elitist position. It's also a fundamentally authoritarian position. I strongly suspect that at least some of those on the other side of the question in the proposition you mention believe that it is a good thing and not the abomination that you describe. But, because they don't meet your standards since they disagree with you, they're morons and shouldn't vote. It's that aura of infallibility and presumption that makes the position you're advocating even more difficult for me to stomach.

    Originally posted by Tribal Prophet
    No, it's not the same thing at all. One is a law and the other is simply his opinion. Unless I missed something bgi somewhere, I didn't read anywhere that people who don't match his standards shouldn't be allowed to vote.


You missed my point and the previous thread. Given what he's written before, it's not inconsistent for me to assume that his position in regards to un(der)educated voters would remain the same. I was careful to note that he wasn't proposing legislation and was instead arguing for a position in which we shouldn't let, or have, those who aren't "educated" vote. I find it problematic, as I've indicated before, to even allow the suggestion that the vote or the right to vote should be suppressed remain unchallenged

    Originally posted by Tribal Prophet quoting me
    Otherwise, it is just more of the same old racist and elitist position that I criticized you for the last time we tackled this issue.


Whoa. You jumped all over this guy for having a reasonable opinion before? Nothing he's said here has anything to do with not allowing certain people to vote.


You elided the part of my post wherein I explained that line of reasoning so I'll say it again. Suggesting that people shouldn't vote because they don't meet an arbitrary standard of education or preparedness or any other standard you care to name is not a morally or ethically defensible position. Historically, that exact same line of reasoning was used to justify denying the vote to various segments of the population because they weren't quite "educated" enough to make good decisions.

Reasonable people may and should disagree, but I'll never agree that it is a reasonable position to tell people that they shouldn't vote because they don't meet an arbitrary standard of education. I've said it before and I'll say it again, Suppressing the vote, or suggesting that the vote should be suppressed, in never a good idea.

    Originally posted by Tribal Prophet
    I can also give an example of someone who's an uneducated voter. I voted once because I believe some BS that it really WAS my duty to vote (freedom to *choose* is the first part of a demorcracy, and if you take that away, what's the point of an election anyways?). I knew nothing about the people involved, took a 4 minute crash course on it by asking people at work who they were voting for, and ended up voting for a guy who ran on the platform of raising the taxes for my restaurant. Do I wish I had stayed home that day and kept my dumbass voice quiet? You're damn right I do. I ended up hurting the whole process because my dumbass vote cancelled out the vote of someone who actually took the time to learn what was going on and had an educated, *useful* opinion on things. If you have to make a choice, isn't that worse for democracy, to have someone's vote taked away from them for no good reason at all?


The universe consists of paired dualities and the converse of freedom is duty/responsibility. Arguing that don't have duties and responsibilities because you're free is effectively arguing that you shouldn't be free because you're not worthy of freedom. You may want to support that position, I can't. Again, I'll never agree that taking the vote away, or suppressing it, or suggesting that people shouldn't vote, is a reasonable position.

Tim
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#16 Posted on 17.10.04 1336.44
Reposted on: 17.10.11 1338.02
About all I have to say is - suggesting that all people, no matter how uninformed they are, are qualified to vote, it indefensible to me. It may be their "right," but I am sorry, I can't imagine a world where suggesting that those who don't actually know what they are voting for stay home is wrong.

And if you DO carefully read that other thread, I did suggest "a test," but only as a suggestion. I still maintain that some people are just not equipped to handle the responsibility of voting. Where that line gets set? Impossible for me to say. But I think it is safe to say that if you don't even know the name of the VP, chances are you aren't taking the responsibility seriously enough.

But these threads are different. There I was discussing a theoretical way of selecting our government. Here I am simply agreeing with the suggestion that the morons "volunteer" to stay home on election day. I can understand a little moral outrage about the first position, but to take such offense at this thread? That is a little overboard. Supporting a decision not to vote isn't exactly evil...
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#17 Posted on 17.10.04 1359.14
Reposted on: 17.10.11 1403.35
    Originally posted by Pool-Boy
    About all I have to say is
You've posted four times in this thread, eight times in the other thread. I would suggest that everybody's pretty clear on where you stand on these issues.

On the off chance anyone is dying to hear ME repeat MYSELF, feel free to go reread by sole contribution to the other thread (The W).
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#18 Posted on 17.10.04 1622.51
Reposted on: 17.10.11 1623.46
Sean Penn's letter didn't say that everyone should vote including the ingnorant/uneducated. His biggest complaint is that rather than people (like Parker/Stone) say "you don't know what you're talking about, so don't vote", they should be saying, "you don't know what you're talking about. Here's a pamphlet, go get informed, and then vote." Sean Penn wants everyone to vote, but he also wants everyone to be informed when they do, and whenever someone says that they support the uneducated not voting, he'd rather they go out and educate those people. If 100% of the population is educated, then 100% of the population can vote, and we don't have any of these arguments.
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#19 Posted on 17.10.04 1652.01
Reposted on: 17.10.11 1655.57
Its nice in this country where we get an option to vote, both Sean and the South Park boys have to the right to say what they want. Its good. I just think telling people are not to vote if you don;t know is lazy. If you don't know and you do want to vote, watch the debates, go to both parties's websites and get informed. I just feel they are being lazy and as much as I love South Park, I'm not going to see Puppet Sex.
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#20 Posted on 18.10.04 0053.24
Reposted on: 18.10.11 0054.02
    Originally posted by Grimis
    No it's not. People a free to make a decision not to vote in this country, just like they make a decision as to who to vote for....

You're still free to do exactly that, just you have to turn up and exercise your right not to vote. I have no strong opinion either way, but to liken it to Saddam et al is a bit extreme.
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