Election 2005: not good, but not horrible
Mood: a little depressed, but ok
Posted on 2005-11-09 08:39:00
Tags: election activism
Words: 311

So, the big news is obviously that Prop 2 passed by a wide margin - 76%-24%.

Before my analysis and thoughts, a message to those of you who didn't vote for whatever reason: I understand that situations come up on Election Day and that we're all busy people. But when you don't vote, you're letting other people speak for you, and in Texas, that's not necessarily a great idea :-) You may argue that your vote wouldn't make a difference, since the margin was so wide, but if it had passed with a narrower margins we'd see stories about how it was a close vote and did more poorly than expected instead of Ban on gay marriage passes by large margin statewide (screw the Stateman's registration...grr...). So, if you're not registered to vote, please do so - it's easy to do. And if you couldn't vote for whatever reason, just plan ahead next time and vote early or request an absentee ballot. Both are pretty easy to do.

Anyway, so, yeah, that sucks. On the bright side, Travis County was the only county in which it was rejected, which makes me happy I'm living here (at least of anywhere in Texas...)

Here's why I not as upset as maybe I should be: I know that we're on the right side of this issue, and I am fully confident that in the end we will win. It may be 10 years, it may be 50 years, but at some point gays being married will be like interracial marriages today. So, screw you, Texas, but we're in this for the long haul.

Anyway, the news was good from other parts of the country - Democrats won the governor's race in New Jersey and Virginia, and Maine rejected a measure to repeal antidiscrimination laws for gays (after voting anti-gay in 1998 and 2000). So that's good, at least.


Comment from omega697:


Sometimes I hate this state.

I emailed Rick Perry to let him know that in 50 or 100 years, he will be the Strom Thurmond, the "bad" guy, etc.

In retrospect, I should have told him to f*ck off and die, too. Oh well, another time, I suppose.

Comment from wildrice13:

There will surely be an opportunity... :P

Comment from gregstoll:

Yeah, me too. Although I'd be careful about the death threats to the governor...that might attract some unwanted attention...

Comment from wonderjess:

my friend emily said austin should just secede from texas. and may I just say, the state of austin would clearly be the best state ever.

we read a book called "Tides of Consent: How Public Opinion Shapes American Politics" (James Stimson) recently for a poli sci class.

Most of the "ends" of politics are noncontroversial. It is the means, what government ought to do, that usually produce disagreement. Because ends are usually not controversial, support for them is usually not measured...But occasionally, ends themselves generate controversy...Cases that come to mind are issues that pit traditional values supportive of inequality of various kinds, rooted in the old order, against a new assertion of equality. This happens when we are in the midst of real value change. Three such controversies have been prominent in American politics in the last half-century...[talks about race, gender, homosexuality]...

What all these controversies about the ends of political life share is a distinctive life history. At first, there is near unanimous support for the values and beliefs of the old order. Then comes a period of value change, where people rethink previous views (and some of those people are replaced by a newer generation not rooted in the old order), which leads finally to a new quasi-consensus on equality. If we could witness the whole process, it would resemble an "S" curve: low support for equality, followed by a trend to increasing acceptance of rights, followed by a leveling out at a new higher level of belief in equality...

What all of these have in common is that they pose questions about preferred outcomes, making no reference to policies or actions that might produce the outcomes. What they also have in common is trend, a pattern that turns out to be quite rare elsewhere...Each shows no sign of reversal, other than year-to-year zigs and zags probably attributable to sampling fluctuation, the minor misestimation in each survey due to the role of chance in sample selection. The process that would produce such trending is permanent opinion change. (33-36)

I like that permanent opinion change part.

Comment from abstractseaweed:

At first glance it appeared that Austin had relatively high voter turnout, so I plotted [% in favor] vs [% voter turnout] to see whether there might be a correlation. Would have been interesting, but there doesn't appear to be. Austin is very clearly an outlier.

Comment from amorphousplasma:

You... are... a dork.

And Austin is clearly the coolest city in Texas. Would that I had gotten a job there!

Comment from gerdemb:

Even though I didn't want it too, I knew the proposition would probably pass. What surprised and disappointed me was by how much. I agree though that in a few years (hopefully not too many) the majority of people will see this differently. I think it will be like the segregation of the 50s and 60s--no one can imagine supporting it now, but at the time it seemed defensible...

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