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I don't normally talk about politics, but I was quite surprised to see an ad on Facebook with a picture of Derek Webb (an ex-member of Caedmon's Call) on it. The ad suggested that the right decision may be to NOT vote.
I read the linked article and he's not saying that you shouldn't vote, but that if you have serious misgivings about both candidates, choosing the "lesser of two evils" is not the Christian thing to do.
One of the points that Derek makes is, "By voting, especially when based on just one or two issues, you’re giving your ‘yes’ and ‘amen’ to that party’s entire platform, which likely goes far beyond the statement you’re trying to make on these few issues."
I would agree with that. Far too many people vote based on a couple issues that they're interested in with little regard to other (often larger) issues. One of the key assumptions of a democracy (which we don't actually live in) is that the people are intelligent and informed. Unfortunately, reality is far from this ideal and the number of people who vote with that sort of logic bothers me.
I remember watching some exit poll interviews in 2004 asking a young lady why she chose to vote the way she did. Her answer was, "The economy hasn't been very good so I thought it was time for a change." That's absurd. Most people grossly overestimate the influence that the president has on the economy, not to mention that it can take years, if not decades, to see the effects of a President's economic policies.
Thinking that simply voting for the other party is going to cure our economic woes or that every economic problem is caused by the current president is sheer stupidity. I'll tell you that I'm much more infuriated by people voting for stupid reasons than not voting at all.
Posted 11/03/2008 10:42 PM in Christianity, Politics, Ramblings | Total Comments: (9)
Link To This Blargh
ok, i feel a little better...
Submitted by caroline on 11/04/2008 01:04 PM
One vote for another
If one informed vote can cancel out a totally absurd one (for the worse of two evils), then I support the informed vote. Politics is all about deciding on the best compromise of a candidate, as our two-party system will never produce someone we'll agree anywhere near a 100% on. If those one or two issues are important enough for "single-issue" voters, opting out of the decision is abdicating one's civic responsibility in my view (electoral math be darned). But if it gives my comment any context, I'm a regular Republican who voted today for Obama. Make a choice.
Submitted by Dan on 11/04/2008 04:33 PM
one of the priveleges of voting is the ability to cast an abstain which equally fulfills your responsibility. you're right that an informed vote could cancel out a absurd vote, but the vast majority of votes are not informed and if you are not informed then two wrongs don't make a right.
Submitted by filbert on 11/04/2008 08:14 PM
I just went and read the article you linked to by Derek Webb. His main focus seems to be the (possibly single-issue) Christian voters who feel conflicted about trying to decide between candidates who represent some degree of moral compromise. Violating one's conscience is never recommended or a good thing, but single-issue Christian voters tend to feel that not voting for the litmus-test candidate violates their conscience, so that ultimate decision can really depend on how that conscience voter prioritizes the issues. At any rate, uninformed voting's kinda sad (considering how many terrible local judges are retained because people who don't know any better simply vote yes to everybody listed), but that's whatcha get when the ones who could've informed themselves of the relevant issues of the day stayed home with the ~50% of Americans who traditionally have opted out of the process.
Submitted by Dan on 11/04/2008 09:22 PM
i love the last paragraph of the article- right onto my fb. thanx!
Submitted by eunjin on 11/05/2008 00:34 AM
Right. Abstaining, just like voting, should be the result of an informed decision, not because someone is indecisive or lazy or apathetic. Unfortunately, there are so many issues and so many offices to consider, that staying informed can be quite a task in itself.
Submitted by filbert on 11/05/2008 01:12 PM
It isn't easy staying informed -- even when every option outside of judgeships could easily fit on one side of a Cook County ballot sheet -- so it's a good thing there are vetting surrogates like the Tribune (an actually conservative paper) to check up on local bar recommendations and get position listings compiled for every major candidate. Thankfully, most local candidates have no real bearing on issues like abortion or the Iraq war, but reading through the Tribune endorsements and candidate comparisons online was very helpful in making my office-by-office decisions. (Down with the Chicago Democratic machine!)
Submitted by Dan on 11/05/2008 02:56 PM
Bar recommendations in the Tribune... I like the potential double entendre there.
Submitted by filbert on 11/05/2008 10:07 PM
And for something totally different...
David Ansen of Newsweek claims that while Role Models is definitely more formulaic, it is also a whole lot funnier than Zack & Miri. Just something I had to share.
Submitted by Dan on 11/06/2008 11:36 AM