One of my biggest criticisms of Barack Obama is that he appears to view the world and the country as he would like them to be, and he makes decisions from that perspective. While that is a noble way of looking at things, it is not practical, because the world and the country are what they are, not what any one of us might want them to be.
Some people I know seem to be in that mode of thought as we approach the coming election. They say they don’t like the choices before us, that they can’t see themselves voting for either of the major-party candidates, and that out of their frustration or to just “make a statement”, they may vote for the Green Party or Libertarian candidate, or write in a candidate — or worse yet, simply not vote.
[Note … If you haven’t read my Introduction To USAparadigm.com blog post and the Home Page of USAparadigm.com, I strongly urge you to do so. This and all subsequent posts will make more sense to readers familiar with that introductory information.]
For whatever it’s worth, I don’t “like” either of the major-party candidates — one of whom, under our current system [not what I might like the system to be], will win the 270 Electoral College votes needed to become our next president. When I cast my ballot [which I most definitely will, because it is not only my right but my duty as an American citizen and as a Christian], it will not be because I want that specific candidate to be my President. It will be because, given the realistic options available to me at this time, and given the pivotal nature of this particular election, the person I vote for has the greatest potential of creating an environment 1) with which I can identify from an idealogical / worldview perspective and 2) that includes a sustainable fiscal path to a better future for generations that will follow mine.
Let’s just look at this logically from the perspective of fiscal responsibility and two idealogical perspectives [abortion and marriage]. On fiscal responsibility, the dominant mindset of the party with which one candidate is aligned is essentially that anything they think is desirable for the government to do for people should be done regardless of the costs. On ideology, this party supports abortion for any reason at any point during a pregnancy, and marriage being defined as any relationship that legislators or judges [who are appointed, not elected] think are currently, or in the future may be, appropriate. If you think my descriptions of these positions are more extreme than that party endorses, or would endorse, just look at the current trajectory to see that these two extremes are the ultimate end points on the path that party has chosen.
The party with which the other candidate is aligned is no less compassionate than the other party toward those among us who are less fortunate than others, but from a fiscal perspective, it takes the position that the needs of all citizens, regardless of their economic status, their race, their ethnicity, or whatever, must be balanced — and that providing benefits to less fortunate citizens must necessarily be done in a fiscally responsible way. Idealogically, this party supports abortion only in situations where a choice must be made between the life [not the “health”, an extremely open-ended term when used in this context] of the mother and the life of the unborn child, and marriage as between one man and one woman. Just as with my comments about the other party, if you think my descriptions of these positions are more extreme than this party endorses, or would endorse, just consider the internal “fights” they’ve had on exclusions and wording details to see that these two end points represent the basic philosophy.
At a very minimum one, almost certainly two, and perhaps as many as four [particularly if that person serves two terms], Supreme Court justices will be appointed by the president we elect this November. The Court, currently with only eight members, is about as ideologically split as is possible in today’s environment. Just two, and certainly four, new justices who lean toward either ideological camp will shift the overall position of the Court heavily to one or the other side of the spectrum bounded by these camps, and it will remain there for at least a generation. Given the accelerating tendency of the Court to “legislate from the bench”, its to-be-determined-soon makeup will have a huge impact on our nation’s ideological framework.
This consideration alone is worthy of potentially being the key reason to vote for the major-party [Democrat or Republican] candidate you either support and want to win, or consider the “least bad” of the two. The impact on each of these two candidates of a vote for any other candidate, or a decision to just stay home and not vote, is impossible to predict in this election. It is quite possible that we may see one of the highest voter turnouts in American history, and that alone would make almost all historical statistics useless as predictors of the outcome on Election Day. The probability that what I referred to on the A Major Paradigm Shift Well Underway page at www.USAparadigm.com as the Trump/Sanders Phenomenon will bring millions of new voters to the polls is at least as high as the probability that disillusionment over the available choices will cause millions of Americans to either vote out of desperation for candidates with no chance of winning [Green Party, Libertarian Party, write-ins, etc.] or just stay home and not vote.
This table may be useful in following my logic on this: Decision Logic For Voters.
The current system is not going to change between now and the upcoming election. We must make our choices based on what is realistically before us, not on what we think the system should be. This is a time, perhaps more so than at any other time in American history, when every person who is eligible to vote should do so — because the outcome of this election will either solidify the trend of the past seven and a half years and accelerate our path in the current direction, or at least potentially produce directional changes that can avoid what lies ahead if we continue on our current trajectory.
Every voter should think very carefully before casting his/her ballot. This is not a time for casting votes that do nothing but voice dissatisfaction with the current system [or for not voting]. Electoral College math is what it is, and “making a statement” votes — or not voting — can, and likely will be, wasted votes. I hope what I have written here illuminates this thought process.
Charles M. Jones
2 thoughts on “Come, Let Us Reason Together …”
Agree with your statement.