Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Principle vs Practicality

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a depressing post entitled "2010/2012 Election Warmup" which detailed my thoughts on voting this year.  It shouldn't be wholly depressing, since things are looking up for the GOP (AKA the Generally Obtuse Party) this year.  But I realized that we were looking at settling for Republicans this year if only to stop the Democrat monolith.  And that was even if a Scott Brown or Olympia Snowe  slipped through.

Naturally, the reaction was either "welcome back" from the usual suspects to some frustrated, vomit-tinged comments from the Soapster.  So then I open my email and the Libertarian candidate in the Ohio governor's race (I'll probably be voting for John Kasich myself, but here's his site: http://www.mateszforohio.com/) is in the list.  Naturally, it's a scathing indictment of the idea of settling for one of the two parties.  And that was sort of what I had suggested in that prior post.

So let me clarify some points.

The battle of principle vs practicality is one we fight every day.  If we all lived solely by principle (and the creeds, mottoes, etc. that accompany it), a lot of us wouldn't work, others would do some really stupid shit, and most of us would hurt for cash (thus enabling the nanny state).  I know I'd dedicate my life to not working, just writing and playing music, and creating stuff of questionable financial value (and then end up vegging and partially abandoning my kids to someone who wanted to spend time with kids).

But as a practical matter, I have a responsibility to take care of them, and financially support both them and myself.  And I understand that society doesn't function without some compromises of that nature, i.e. we compromise to deal with the practicalities in surviving in this world.

And there is where we find ourselves again this year.  We have to choose where to compromise to keep the federal government from becoming a monolith.  if this means electing someone whom we agree with 60% of the time (on the important thing) to keep out someone who is the very antithesis of our political philosophy while ignoring the third party candidate who is our political soulmate, so be it.

Now there are exceptions.  If it's a politician who has perpetually screwed us (my idiot Senator Voinobitch), or a Scott Brown Republican, or my perennial favorite bitchfist, John McCain, there's no way I'd ever vote for a bastard like that again.  Better to burn out than to fade away.  But I'm willing to give anyone who doesn't have a track record of sucking a chance.  Even if they're not perfect.  As long as they appear to be leaning the right direction for their position, then I'm willing to consider them.  Then they have to earn my vote again.

So I'm not likely I'll ever "waste" votes.  But I will send a message with every ballot I cast.  And that message  is that I will give you a chance, but you can never take me for granted.

1 comment:

Toad734 said...

By all means, vote for the third party candidate...I can't wait until the Teabaggers have their own party.

I voted for Nader and all I have to show for it is 2 lousy wars, 9/11, the largest financial disaster since the Great Depression and a trillion dollar deficit.