T-rev's Blog

32 2008-11-03 00:00 A word about the upcomin'

The other day I was talking to my mom about the presidential election. I asked if she thought a person ought to vote for the candidate they believed to be best or for the lesser candidate who stood more chance of winning. Her stance--or at least her reasoning for it--was the pragmatic one: that a vote for anyone other than the two major party nominees was a vote wasted.

I have been leaning the other way. There is a lot I like about both MPNs (major party nominees). Obama is very inspirational and has some good goals. (Of course, his strategy for reaching those goals is debatable.) McCain is an American hero and seems very principled, not one to go along with the crowd. (A McCain-Lieberman ticket, or Lieberman-McCain would have been totally awesome to think of, a bipartisan pair of rebels.) But I really can't back either one of them wholeheartedly.

I've never affiliated myself with a party, so I had never participated in a primary until this year, when I decided on principle I needed to go vote for Ron Paul. I thought it was "my one chance" to vote for him, assuming at the time that I'd take the pragmatic route and pick one of the two MPNs later.

But now I think I will write in Ron Paul. The line of reasoning that it's a waste to vote for other than the MPNs assumes too much. Basically, it assumes that we know from the polls who's going to win. But if we already know that, then my vote is wasted anyway, as far as actually deciding the winner of the election. Even from the pragmatic standpoint, I might as well use my vote for something else, say, helping legitimize a third party.  Or making a statement.  Or just taking a stand.  (Or, heck, electing the right candidate.)

I say down with the defeatist attitude of picking the lesser of two evils. Everyone should vote for someone they can really get behind. Actually, everyone should vote for Ron Paul.

The reason our government is a mess is that we have two dumb political parties that are too alike and don't do what they say they stand for. If you are voting for just another Democrat or Republican, you're part of the problem. It is your fault. So don't do it anymore.

Now, it would be disingenuous of me to deny the partial validity of my Mom's point of view. I guess if you live in a state where the race is close, it's easier to see my stand on principles as a wasted vote. The winner of my state's electoral votes is supposedly a foregone conclusion, so I don't have to worry as much about "making my vote count".

But I say again, it doesn't have to be this way. The only reason it has been this way is that everybody says, "well, everybody is going to do this, so I might as well do it too." Maybe tomorrow everyone will vote their conscience. It could happen.

Anyway, specifically about Ron Paul:

Faithful, consistent, principled.

He was a flight surgeon in the Air Force.
He is an obstetrician who has delivered more than 4000 babies.
Still married to his wife; they have five kids.

He has served in Congress since the 1970s. (Between 1984 and 1997 he returned to his medical practice.)
In all that time, his record is consistent (these points from ronpaul.org):

The man practices what he preaches, and I think he has it right.  Ron Paul.

So, update: I'm told that I, the uninformed citizen, actually do not have the option to write-in my vote in this state. I have also learned that Ron Paul has endorsed Chuck Baldwin of the Constitution Party. That's good enough for me.


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