Thursday, October 30, 2008

Holding fast

I haven't blogged much lately due to general business at home and work. I have also had ample discussions lately with various friends whom I respect greatly on our differing opinions. One of the most common debates I've had has been with people who intend to vote Republican to "stop" Obama. Here is part of my response in one of these:

I reject casting a vote out of fear or as a defensive move. I want to vote for something. Even a vote against Obama is still a vote for something. So what are people voting for with McSame?

My issues with the Republican party are less idealogical and more practical. They say the "right thing" but do the "wrong thing" and they have proved it time and again over the last eight years. Voting for McSame is voting for a party that:
is supposed to be for limited government but has expanded the size and power of Federal gov't more than ever.
is supposed to be for fiscal restraint but has ballooned the largest Fed budgets in history.
is supposed to be for "law and order" but illegal immigration has gone unchecked and they mostly discuss the best plan for amnesty.
is supposed to be for free market capitalism but they have been using tax money to bail out failing companies left and right. They were silent when the Supreme Court took away our property rights, which has long been held as a cornerstone of individual liberty and economic development.
is supposedly morally conservative but when they had majorities across the board, did they defend marriage by defining it or scale back abortions? Did they scale back gov't spending on sex education or abortions or the perverseness that is the NEA? No!
claims to be a friend to Israel but ends up giving three times the amount of money to Israel's enemies than they do to Israel -and I don't doubt that Bush and the others use the aid given to Israel to bind their hands in defending themselves. The Republican platform generally looks good on Israel but still expresses support for "the vision of a Palestinian state".

The Republicans espouse Christian moralist viewpoints but have not delivered on anything. I don't like being lied to!!! And I'm not going to reward their lies with my support.


Percussivity said...

If Obama wins I will enjoy asking everyone I know who voted McCain how it feels to know they wasted their vote... of course that enjoyment will be reduced somewhat by the fact that my nice fat tax return is to be short lived. Good bye Bush tax cuts, hello spreading the wealth.

The Irascible Neufonzola said...

I think new CP converts such as yourselves are feeling a bit defensive, probably because people still in the GOP are annoyingly harrassing you with accusations of vote-wasting. For the record, as someone who is, well, unlikely to punch Chad for either Obama or Baldwin or Barr (who is it then! McKinney?), I do not feel you guys are necessarily wasting your votes.

And I don't feel I am wasting mine at all. If your conscience says you have to cast a vote for a person who makes your heart flutter and sing, that's fine, and you are aspiring to a purity of politics that is noble (although "purity of politics" has a sense of contradiction to it). High fives all around, and all. Your reasons listed in here sound like excellent ones, for you to vote for the party you've joined.

But it is a case of "for thee, but not for me". You reject casting a vote out of fear. This is fine, but I don't see a moral problem with taking an action as a practical measure to prevent a less desirable action from occuring. I do unpleasant things to avoid extremely unpleasant things all the time. I mow my lawn, which is unpleasant, to prevent the wrath of the city/neighbors, which would be more unpleasant. I go to work, which is generally not all that much fun, to avoid being broke, which would be significantly less fun. I'm not choosing to mow my lawn because I love it. I'm mowing "out of fear", by your definition. Mowing is the lesser of two evils, and I'm fine with that logic.

And my politics aren't particularly Christian moralist...I find myself somewhere between the Libertarians and the CPers myself, and while my views on social issues are pretty CP-oriented, social issues are in my opinion something largely irrelevant to the federal government in general. I do not consider abortion a social issue to be compared with having the ten commandments in plaques in courtrooms or changing the pledge of allegiance...the latter examples I don't care one whit about, the abortion issue is one that involves criminal murder of innocents and has nothing to do with religious preferences or religion in general.

One parting shot. If you are optimistic that a chunk of vote going CP/Libertarian is going to "send a message", consider what great and dramatic message was sent in 1992, when Perot as a third party candidate took almost 20% of the popular vote. Yes, that worked really well. The CPers stand to take significantly less than 20%, I'd be very impressed if they take 10%. If Perot's role in 1992 is hardly remembered and quickly fading into irrelevance, what exactly will a handful of third parties taking fractional percentages and zero electoral votes in 2008 accomplish in terms of "sending messages"?

Not to be a Negative Nancy...

The Angry Coder said...

I think that a handful of votes can be very significant- especially in a close race, which this is likely to be. To be honesty, I have perfect peace with the idea of Missouri being the deciding state and my vote being a deciding factor in an Obama win. My hopes are that the Republican "strategists" will quit making decisions on polls around the idea of 'electability' and start making them around the ideas that they allegedly stand for. If a truly conservative candidate is not 'electable', it's probably because people need to be educated on the platform. The whole election process has become a mass appeal to desire, not to thought. So to that end, I hope that one vote does make a difference!

The Irascible Neufonzola said...

You have great hope, and indeed the Audacity of your Hope is most impressive.

I don't contest that the vote could have definite significance in the short term in denying McCain a win and handing a mandate to Obama. Particularly in a close state like MO. But what is the significance beyond that? How is it backed up by history, specifically? The most recent example I can consider is Perot, who had a significant impact on the actual election but next to no impact on the political future of the nation.

The idea that once the Left is fully in power, the true Right will return to its roots and sweep back into power with a mandate from the people is over optimistic. Once in power, the Left will consolidate and expand it. Enfranchising felons, giving voting rights to illegal alien residents (or giving them citizenship to accomplish the same), stocking the lower courts and the Supreme Court with the worst kind of judicial activists, redistricting...once in power, it will be very, very difficult to get them out, especially as the lower classes realize they can simply vote themselves money and benefits, a final deathknell for democracy.

Your analogy of the man speeding over the cliff, either in a car driven at maniacal speed (Obama) or a car puttering along still towards the cliff (McCain) is a bit dramatic, but I can accept it. The fault in the analogy is that the country will end up in one of those cars. Either the fast one, with precious little hope of kicking on the brakes before it careens over the cliff, or the slow one, that may just offer us enough time to turn it around before it goes off the cliff. Voting third party, assuring that the country gets into the fast car, so to speak, is kind of like sitting in the back seat of the fast car, sulking and saying "if everyone would have listened to me, we wouldn't be about to go over a cliff". All very true, but everyone isn't going to listen to either you or me. The country still goes over the cliff, you just get the luxury of sitting in proud contempt in the backseat, as it hurtles through into the chasm, because you didn't vote for that car.

The Angry Coder said...

Now Neuf, don't put me into your box, presuming to know how I will 'feel' under any circumstance! Even if the bus gets slowed down, the next election will present "the most important choice of President in the history of the US"... again. We will repeat the same action over and over, getting the same results and, eventually, crashing on the rocks at the bottom.

If as you say the power gained is not released, of course, then there is but one recourse for this nation. That power will only be broken by violence.

The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. -Thomas Jefferson

The Irascible Neufonzola said...

"the most important choice of President in the history of the US"

Isn't that the truth. It's marketing to sell news programs, that's all. The Koolaid drinkers believe it, but I've long since accepted that any election in my lifetime is statistically unlikely to be the most important in the country's history.

No real intention to presume your feelings, my apologies. Perhaps "you" should have been replaced with the explicitly generic "one".

But along those lines I am genuinely optimistic about this country. We endured FOUR terms from an extremely liberal, semi-socialist leader (FDR) whose speech in 1944 advocating a Second Bill of Rights is incredulous in its unreasonable advocacy of real, complete socialism, not just the baby socialism they advocate now. In a sense my opinion is that there is no cliff, only a slow decline, which we've gone down and back up many times.

You mention that if power is not released, bloody revolution is the natural next resort. However, my concern is that power is not being held onto by a tyrannical minority, but the liberty-minded individuals that use to make up the majority are being supplanted by a growing majority of those who would cast off their fathers' and grandfathers' hatred for communism and embrace the handouts tossed to them by Government.

Revolution against a government preferred by the majority of its citizens is a very, very dangerous (and morally questionable) thing.

The Angry Coder said...

Plurality is not morality. Anyways, I don't perceive that the majority of American's truly support an Obama/super-left Dem vision of the US.

FDR was different in that he wasn't okay with killing babies, tolerating and appeasing our enemies or redefining marriage.

The Irascible Neufonzola said...

"Anyways, I don't perceive that the majority of American's truly support an Obama/super-left Dem vision of the US."

This is true I think too, at least at this point. And next week I think we will see a united minority take power over a splintered, factionalized majority. You feel confident it is for the best that this occurs, and while I don't really agree on that point, my optimistic side hopes you are correct!

The Angry Coder said...

I am posting something now just to get the last word. Yadda yadda...

A Pilgrim's Porridge said...

Wow, that was very entertaining. It is was also essentially a 9 Comment consolidation of all of the conversations I have had with my Christian friends the last month.

Both strong perhaps nobler than the other (wink, wink).

Just a joke, I promise - I don't want to reopen a sealed can of worms.

I commented this on my page but I thought you might find it as true as I did:

Percussivity said...

I refuse to read all of this on the principle that... well I just don't want to. If either you could throw in some British humour and make it worth reading then I would consider it.

The Irascible Neufonzola said...

Ask and ye shall receive!

Thoughts on Patriotism and Love of Country

The Angry Coder said...

Neuf- On further reflection, I think Perot's contribution was great. The Republicans lost the proverbial battle but won the "war". (Okay, "the war" is never realy over, but bear with me.) Clinton won in '92 but not many people really supported him. Republicans started to rack up victories at local and state levels, culminating in the Republican Revolution ( in '94. This was a massive shift towards conservatism- the populace expressing their discontent with the incumbent Democrats. Had Clinton not been in office, this latter victory may not have been as great. The Republican majority in the US Congress and at state and local levels persisted, but slid, until 2006 when the Dems took over congress, largely due to conservative frustation with the Republicans not delivering and shadiness in the White House and over Iraq.

My point is, Perot set the stage for all this to happen. Had conservatives not got 'fighting mad' over Bush sr's loss, there likely would not have been a Republican revolution and we likely would be far more to the left than we are today.

Pilgrim- that's an awesome article! It's scary to think that these major crowds are indicitive of a lesser people and somehow signify a devolution of thought in American society. I suppose soon enough "we" wil be asking for a Ceasar.

The Unabashed Blogger said...

To me a victory is to not vote Obama, period. I am sick of watching and listening to people vote for Obama just because they think that's what they should do because that's what their families/friends/ethnicities are doing. Yet, if I were a minority and this was the first real chance to have a black man in office, I would probably vote for him too. I can't blame them for their motives, only their ignorance.

Obama may very well be our first black president...I wonder if we'll have another one anytime soon after he "socializes it up" in Washington for 4 years.

The Angry Coder said...

Someone made the comment to me that Obama would be an even worse president than Carter. If that turns out to be the case, then an Obama presidency is something that the 'black community' may never live down. I'm sure there absolutely has to be much better candidates- even if they still trend to the left- among black Americans.

Anonymous said...

Thought provoking. Currently, I am considering exercising my right not to vote. This may actual be a true scenario of a wasted vote. I'm turned off by the marketing of candidates. It is not about their position or their platforms anymore. I hear a radio ad with excerpts from an Obama speech. ALL it says is the American people need change, and can bring change to Washington. For me, neither Obama or McCain are changing anything. They are both sticking to party lines which, last I checked, is not change when you do the same thing you've done for many years. My bottom line with this election is God will still be God, sinners will still be sinners, people will still need salvation, the Bible will still be true, the rapture will still happen when it is suppose to, the abomination of desolation will still take place. In my opinion, the sooner Christ returns the better. I'm ready to spend face to face time with Jesus. I'm ready to do whatever it is Christ wants me to do in eternity future.

Wasn't it Einstein who said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. For me, this election is the definition of insanity. We will vote as we have voted over and over again, and we will expect a different result. I think in 2012 we will find ourselves in the same dilemma if Christ has not returned. I might still vote, but I will not partake in the insanity. No matter which candidate I vote for, I'll expect the same results.

The Angry Coder said...

I just can't seem to get the last word around here...

That is an awesome quote! That's the main reason I am rejecting the "we've got to stop Obama" mentality and am embracing a new paradigm of voting for something I actually believe in. I would, however, encourage you to cast a vote- any vote- even if you write in 'Jesus Christ'. I think that would make more of a statement than just not voting. It will be a good day for the remnant of the earth when Christ is on the throne!

The Unabashed Blogger said...

Amen to that!

The Angry Coder said...