Politics As Usual

Defective Yeti wrote a piece about the election process here in the US. It was pretty funny but accurate in a frightening way. I posted a comment about it and then someone disagreed. Then I posted again, and finally found I had convinced someone I’m not a complete idiot. Who knew I had it in me?

ME: Well put. But on the otherside of this particularly funny piece is the idea that you really should be voting for the candidate that is best for the ENTIRE country (and by extension, the world). If you solely vote for the person YOU want, then you’re just turning the democratic process into a school yard popularity contest.

Granted, until the general election, none of this makes much sense. Obviously, by the time the primaries make it out west, most, if not all the viable candidates have dropped out. Hence the reason why our antiquated primary system should be put out to pasture. All primaries, in every state, should happen at the same time. Then, everyone could exercise their right to vote for the candidate of their choice (even if it isn’t the best choice, ie: Nader, Kucinich, Cthulu, or Gallagher).

Posted by E! at January 30, 2004 10:49 AM

JOSH: wait, E! hopefully, the person you are voting for IS the one you want *precisely because* you think that candidate is the best for the entire country. right? what you are saying seems to suggest that you should vote for someone who would be the best candidate for the entire country, even if you don’t like him… but, unless you have a dastardly plan for the country, why wouldn’t you like him then?

and… aside from the influence of the electoral college, elections are nothing BUT a popularity contest. it’s called the “popular vote.” the candidate that wins (electoral college aside) is the one that is most popular with most of the population (regardless of whether the voters decided for themselves or let a poll/fox news/etc. tell them).

unless, of course, this whole ridiculous notion of “electability” enters the fray, and i haven’t seen it summed up better than it was in the post that spawned this whole conversation. thank you, DY.

i blame any incoherence in this post on what my job has done to my brain.

Posted by josh at January 30, 2004 01:05 PM

ME: Electability? Popularity? I’m not so sure I buy it. But, for the sake of argument… people voting their “conscience” netted this country what in the last election? Bush.

I like Nader. I really do. But I didn’t vote for him. Not because he wasn’t electable but because voting for Nader would assure Bush would be elected into the most powerful position on Earth. The knew the election would be close and differences between Nader and Gore were almost negligible. I’d rather have Gore in office right now and I bet a whole bunch of the tree-huggers who wanted Nader are kicking themselves in their ozone-free asses right now because by voting for Nader, just enough votes were taken away from Gore to make it even closer. Then when Jeb handed Shrub Florida, our fate (as well as that of a bunch of third world nations) was sealed.

Great if you think an election is all about popularity… or about voting for the “dream” candidate that says all the right things (which we all know any candidate will be unable to ever deliver) but the real idea you should always keep in mind, at least from where I’m standing, is which is the lesser of two evils.

Let’s be perfectly straight about one thing: If I had a choice, I wouldn’t choose someone who wanted to be president. I’d choose someone who doesn’t have such low aspirations.

Posted by E! at January 31, 2004 12:12 AM

JOSH: well, yes, i agree with you. the guy that wins the popular vote is the one that says the stuff that makes the most people happy. doesn’t mean he’s telling the truth. and very much agreed about nader serving only to take votes from gore.

yes, the people best suited to run this country are too smart to put themselves in such a shitty position (lee iaccoca, back in the 80’s, asked “why would i take the pay cut?”). and also agreed about the lesser of two evils. i belong to the contingent that already knows who they’re voting for even though the democrats are acting like a bunch of headless chickens on crack. i’m voting for Not Bush.

Posted by Josh at January 31, 2004 10:53 AM