Thursday, May 31, 2012

On Voting For The Lesser Of Two Evils


Hot Sam said...

First, the loose characterization of "evil" leaves much to be desired. Hyperbole at best and hysteria at worst. Hitler was evil. Stalin was evil. Romney and Obama aren't in the "evil" category - power drunk at worst and misguided at best.

As an artifact of our electoral process, you get only two choices for president. You can vote for Mickey Mouse as a write in, but like it or not you're getting Romney or Obama.

The president has checks, but he is still very powerful. The man who gets that job will shape policy for at least four years, and at worst through the courts, for a generation.

Maybe your vote won't matter. Living in Texas, it won't. But a like minded person in Florida is differently situated. A mere few hundred votes meant the difference between Thomas, Alito, and Roberts on the Supreme Court rather than people like Kagan and Sotomayor.

Sometimes not picking the lesser of two evils, if you see it that way, causes the most evil to befall us.

The Whited Sepulchre said...

As long as people think their only real choice is between the Crips and the Bloods, we're doomed.

Taking money by force from group A to give to your supporters in group B pretty much defines evil.

Saddling my child with 500,000.00 dollars in unfunded liabilities (so as to continue ridiculous levels of government employment) is evil.

There are plenty of 100% innocent people who have been on the receiving end of drone strikes who don't hesitate to look at us and say "evil".

In WW2, we sided with Stalin against Hitler. Turns out that Stalin killed more innocents.

Hot Sam, there comes a time when one has to stop supporting evil. It really is that simple. (And when time permits, check out Romney's Massachusetts judicial appointments !!)

CenTexTim said...

Whited, you and I have had this discussion before. We agree in principle, but disagree when it comes to tactics.

IMO the best way to change things is from the bottom up, not the top down. I vote for pretty much every Libertarian on the local and state levels, but at the presidential level I agree with Hot Sam that evil lite is better than regular evil.

If there was even the slightest chance that Gary Johnson would win he'd get my vote. But realistically, voting for him is a noble, futile gesture that's doomed to fail.

Grassroots is where it's at. Agree or disagree with the Tea Party, but look at the impact they had in 2010, and how they've influenced establishment republicans. Case in point: Dewhurst v. Cruz.

The trickle-down theory may be valid in economics, but it doesn't work in politics.

Hot Sam said...

Romney's appointments in MA are irrelevant. He had a liberal legislature to approve all those choices. The US Senate has a lot more Republicans and might be Republican controlled soon.

Second, the choice is still between Romney's judicial choices and Obama's, not just for the Supreme Court but for every federal bench, US attorneys, the EEOC, the MSPB, the OSC, the Fed Board of governors and every other quasi-judicial, cabinet level, and rulemaking body.

The identity of the president really does matter. Unfortunately, we don't get to choose whether we have these agencies, but we do get to choose how they are operated until we can get rid of them.

Dr Ralph said...

CenTexTim/Hot Sam - while we may not see eye-to-eye on a lot, I'd have to say we agree on the matter of choosing the lesser of two evils (though we may have to disagree on what constitutes "evil").

In the 2000 election, my wife, long time Democrat, decided Al Gore was not progressive enough to suit her tastes, so she voted for Ralph Nader. Quite a few people in Florida did likewise.

I'd be willing to bet that in the eyes of those Nader voters, Al Gore (no matter what *you* may think of him) would have definitely been the lesser of 2 evils compared to George W Bush. Especially looking back 8 years later.

Like CenTexTim said, if you want real change, work from the bottom up.

BTW - I've been redistricted out of my safe Democratic district and thrown into a strong Republican district, where my vote will be diluted. I make it a rule to vote Libertarian where there's no Democrat running. I suspect I'll be voting for a lot of Libertarians this time around.