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"Out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks."

Lesser of Two Evils August 24, 2012

Filed under: Redshift Blueshift — camcat888 @ 12:34 pm
Tags: , ,

I’m hearing lots of this sort of talk lately:  “I don’t support the views of either candidate” or “my candidate of choice didn’t win the party’s nomination.”  These are platitudes used as justification for a refusal to vote in the upcoming presidential election.  I completely understand the disdain for the “lesser of two evils” philosophy, and there certainly is a time and place to keep your hands entirely clean.  Yet I submit to you that this November 6th is no such occasion.

 

People who abstain in these situations usually suffer from an overinflated sense of self-righteousness, a poor comprehension of the full implications of the “greater evil” or just a general lack of touch with reality.  I suppose some experience gratification at being able to say “well, I didn’t vote for him!” in the face of any predicament arising in the wake of an election.  Then again, when my spouse makes an unwise financial decision of which I did not approve, there’s no satisfaction for me in gloating, “I told you so” since I, too, am feeling the burn.  It comes down to analyzing the stakes…realistically:  what is to be gained versus lost by standing your ideological ground.  If you forget your homemade lunch one day and are stuck with a greasy hamburger or a byproduct hotdog, it may well be best to forgo lunch.  Assuming you object to those options due to health concerns, you can guard your digestion at the price of a few hours of tummy-growling.  If, however, you are in a long-term situation where normally “taboo” foods are your sole source of sustenance, your decision might be a bit harder.  In the one case, the consequences of abstention are merely brief discomfort; in the other, you’ll starve to death over your steeled resolve.

 

I will freely admit to being an avid Ron Paul supporter.  I donated to his campaign, sent emails, posted articles to my social media sites and voted for him in the primary.  Neither of the mainline candidates represent what I believe Paul would have meant for this country, and I don’t deny my frustration over the current political forecast.  It’s troubling to determine whether to vote for your true favorite – who has no viable chance of victory, or for the “lesser of two evils” – with a legitimate shot at success.  The argument can easily be made that when people speculate about “who everyone else will vote for,” the “means” and “end” are manipulated for a skewed result.  However, history has clearly shown that a majority of voters will choose from the names provided on the ballot and one of them is going to become president.  Remember, we must distinguish idealism from realism in order to cast a sensible, meaningful vote. 

 

Finally, I speak directly to my fellow Paulians when I acknowledge that our R and D options are far from ideal.  You and I shared Ron’s visions for returning this country to the limited government and spending intended by our Forefathers, but this just isn’t our year.  In reality, a big party candidate will win the election, and one has an agenda that will render America – as we know it – unrecognizable in four years.  Will you sleep more soundly knowing that by withholding your vote entirely, you avoided soiling your garments with the “lesser of evils”?  Will you observe the impending socio-economic collapse, the surge in homelessness and poverty, and the disintegration of individual liberties while commending yourself for refusing to compromise?  And what is ultimately to be gained by boycotting the party nominations and abdicating any voice you could have had in the matter?  In the words of a legendary rock band, “if you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.”  Your point will have been made, but America may die of starvation because of it.

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2 Responses to “Lesser of Two Evils”

  1. Sean Says:

    Not gonna touch the 1st sentence of the 2nd paragraph. Gonna let that one slide. [*winking emoticon*]

    But… okay. 3 things:

    1: “…observe the impending socio-economic collapse, the surge in homelessness and poverty, and the disintegration of individual liberties…”

    Which candidate are you talking about there? Seriously. That describes both. Neither will secure the border, neither will actually cut taxes, neither will even question the Fed, neither will balk at the prospect of offensive wars, neither will cut the deficit, or the size and/or scope of statism, or repeal any “anti-terrorist” liberty-stealing initiatives, both want globalism, both want inflation, both want corporatism, both want the debt-based, bank-backed, Keynesian economy, their levels of socialism vary by only a degree or two… but it matters that we vote for one of them?

    2: You say that, “…one [candidate] has an agenda that will render America – as we know it – unrecognizable in four years.” Are you old enough to remember the election of ’04? Or ’00? Or ’96? Or ’92? Or ’88? Because here’s the kicker: every single election this is said about a candidate. Every. Single. One. Hell, they said Clinton was the antichrist in ’92! But the truth is it doesn’t matter who wins. It just doesn’t. Things aren’t really, truly going to be that drastically different if either Obomney or Rama wins. The game of hyper-statism has only one, failsafe rule: Get them to hate the “other guy” and we can push whatever we want through their candidate. It’s a failsafe rule because…

    3: People ALWAYS vote for the lesser of two evils. That’s precisely why things are the way they are. You’re speaking to maybe 2% of the population – the rest are already on your side. But this is the way I see it: Democrats and Republicans, Obama and Romney, are on the same side. Bill Maher and Rush Limbaugh are on the same team. People who cherish actual liberty are on the other side. Their game is to have us fighting amongst ourselves, Red vs. Blue, while they hold hands and accomplish what they were going to accomplish in the first place.

    It’s the gay marriage vote all over again. You’re not just voting against what you think is wrong, you’re also voting FOR what you think government’s role ought to be. To put it another way – you’re not only standing up and saying “I think gay marriage is wrong,” you’re also saying, “I think government should have the power to take away this particular individual liberty for certain people.” One MUST think of everything this broadly. They reach as far into our lives as we let them.

    In the ballot booth you’ll not be saying “No” to Obama as loudly as you’ll be saying “Yes” to Romney.

    Sorry, mate, I don’t mean to take this out on you. I just have to question this mindset which is so prevalent. The question shouldn’t be “What are you gaining by abstaining,” but rather “What are you truly losing?” Your voice? A voice that says, “I want this flavor of authoritarianism over that one”? Will America starve to death with Obama at the helm? Will it not be anorexic with Romney?

    I simply think we can vote from either principle or fear. Either for what we believe or against what we’re afraid MIGHT happen. And as the “lesser of two evils” becomes more and more “evil” in each subsequent election, you’ll have no one but yourselves to blame. You said yes to it.

    We’ll be better friends eventually and friends can vent and give-n-take to friends this way. [*high-fiving emoticon… which doesn’t exist*]

  2. John Says:

    I will vote for the lesser of two evils as well…Romney, although I am gravely disappointed that Ron Paul is not even being given fifteen minutes of time to speak. Good grief, the man has more passionate followers than any other candidate on either side. I’m looking forward to seeing who will pick up his ideas and run with them. He deserves to be treated better by the GOP. He’s one of the few politicians I believed I could trust.


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