Wednesday, July 18, 2012

I propose a write-in campaign

First, read this post in full. If you don't want to, have a nice day. If you do, I'll wait right here.

Done? (Commenters will be required to give evidence that they've read the other post.)

On the basis of that post, I propose a write-in campaign for the coming presidential election.

Take the candidate you wish had a chance to win, and write in his or her name — on the back of your non-writing hand.

Then use that hand to hold your nose and, with the other hand, vote for the only candidate who can beat Obama.

Which, sad to say, is Mitt Romney.

That way, you can make a statement and a rational, adult, responsible and positive difference, at the same time.

You're welcome.


JG said...

How had I never read that original post? Excellent, excellent. I hate when people throw away votes on a surely-losing candidate and say it's because they'd rather "vote their conscience." Well, if your conscience is more of the Obama (and if he's done *this* much with the need to be reelected dangling before him, imagine what he'll push through unrestrained by that) then that makes sense. Otherwise, foolish, self-serving nonsense.

I particularly like your statement about the "lesser of two evils." Which is why much of this VP choice brouhaha has left me shaking my head. As Randy Alcorn put it last time around (referring to McCain/Obama) if your choice is between a candidate that is 95% pro-life and a candidate that is 2% pro-life, is that really voting for the lesser of two evils?

Randy Talley said...

Well said. My first job out of college was with a congressional campaign. That followed three years immersing myself in every aspect of campaining that I could. Basically, I didn't let school interfere with my education, but that's another story.

I learned a lot, and not just about how to run campaigns. I learned that some of my political heroes are pretty disgusting at a personal level. But that's true across most political philosophies. In that sense, you hit the nail on the head with #1 on your list of why NOT to vote third party (ooh! Proof I read the other article!).

Because a candidite who is both a deeply committed Christian and also competent in the political realm rarely exists, we need to (a) conform our political preferences to something biblical, (b) look at the most electable candidate that will at least attempt to steer things in that direction once in office, and (c) do what you said in this post.

I could go on way too much where this topic is concerned, but I care about your readership. :)

Anna said...

I laughed out loud after reading this. I have been debating not voting, or voting with one hand firmly clamping nose for some time now, but I think I might do the latter. I live in Texas so it's not like I'm in a swing state or anything. Back when I lived in New England it was almost easier to decide, in a perverse way.

Doug Hibbard said...

Last time around, I really thought about voting 3rd party. I bent to my father's wisdom and voted for the one almost viable candidate against the disaster.

The disaster happened anyway.

Out here in farm and flood country, you may want a better flood control plan, but you fill sandbags when necessary. If we have to fill sandbags with this election, maybe that will keep our homes intact until we can get a better river system. But it would be irresponsible to go dig a ditch upriver when the flood is here. Fill the sandbags now. Fix the rest going forward.

Although if Romney picks a stodgy, grumpy VP he might fall off the viable candidate list.

Benjamin said...

I dislike Ron Paul for a lot of reasons, and I dislike Romney for a lot of reasons (probably a lot MORE reasons). That said, I did the unthinkable (if you knew me, you'd know it's unthinkable) and voted for Paul in the primary (with photographic evidence to mess with the mind of a Paultardian friend of mine) as a statement, since he was the last-man-standing when it came time for the primary here in PA; meanwhile, I will be doing the other unthinkable and voting for Romney in November, for pretty much all of Dan's reasons in that other post. Statement made, conscience appeased, Obama (hopefully) dethroned.

Anonymous said...

I don't buy the "vote their conscience" rhetoric. I think people who use that as excuse are guilty of equating political purity with moral purity.

By definition, "political" (at least in our system of government) involves compromising with other members of society. As Christians, we should seek the well-being of our fellow Americans. We should vote for the candidate we think would move us in a better direction than the other candidate. To vote for someone who cannot win, or to not vote because a candidate is not sufficiently "pure", is to play an escapist game and does nothing to help other members of society.

DJP said...

So far, two comments rejected for thinking I didn't mean the second paragraph, which is fewer than expected.

Herding Grasshoppers said...

I wish it was as easy as getting a third-party candidate elected and - SWOOP! - everything would be grand. But your football analogy is the most compelling, in terms of explaining the reality of the situation.

We WILL vote. We WILL vote against Obama.

Julie G

Chris H said...

Here in Canada we have a pile of legitimate parties (not as many as in Germany or Israel, but more than two. If, as you say, people should not vote third party because they can never accomplish anything, then that leads me to believe you don't think having a third option is a benefit.

Do you think having only two parties is the best option? Do you think having more parties would be better? If the latter, how would you suggest more parties gain traction if you are also telling people it's irresponsible for them to vote for the third party? OR, are you simply saying, "This is the way it is, so do everything possible to get Obama out?"

Disclaimer: I'm curious, not advocating for multiple parties. That system has its own faults.

DJP said...

Honestly, I don't have a strong opinion on that hypothetical. Decades ago I voted third-party. Then I noticed that the gap is not just large, it is cavernous and unbridgeable.

So it's as you say: whatever might be or could be, what is is that there are two viable parties in the Presidential election, and I'm voting the non-Obama one.

I'd go farther. In America, there are two major national parties, period. One occasionally is friendly and supportive of distinctively Christian values and priorities.

Once again, it's the non-Obama one.

Marla said...

Great 2008 post Dan. I get a little tired of the constant 'I can't vote lesser of two evils', 'I must vote my conscience' from (mostly younger)semi-conservative complainers. I think you hit the nail right on -- grow up. We live in a fallen world. A guy can't score a touchdown if he doesn't have a team. I think I will re-post it a couple times closer to the election.

I remember the 1992 election very clearly. Those who thought voting for Perot was noble were delusional. They gave the election to Clinton. That is the reality, and we all have to live in reality.

Marie said...

I like to tell my purist friends that I ALWAYS vote for the lesser of two evils. There is never a perfect candidate. Never.

So, every election is, for me, a vote for the lesser evil.

I make no apology for that.

Seth said...

I think when people talk about a third party they aren't thinking threw what that would mean. Basically your talking about electing a President who would never have the support, even tentative, of half the voting population. So basically an even more unpopular deadlocked system.

I also think there will never be a candidate I totally agree with or think would be perfect to be President, unless I was voting for myself. No no, not the lesser of two evils, just the one I agree with more than the other guy.

trogdor said...

The left seems to get this pretty well - remember how the communists and other leftist parties refused to run candidates in 08 because they would only siphon votes from Obama? If the (openly) commie groups run candidates this year, that's probably a good sign that they anticipate a blowout win for not-Obama so they think it doesn't matter.

The place to go 3rd party is not Presidential, but smaller local elections first. Build it from the ground up, so that people who win at the higher levels have support when they get there. If you can't win local, county, state legislature, etc, how can you expect to do anything on the biggest stage?

Moon said...

I wish I could vote :(
I did read your other blogpost and for a second there I thought you were talking about this election until it said, so vote for John Mccaine.
I so wanted John McCaine to win that time, I was so mad he didn't do well during the debates. But that is history, and God is sovereign and He is in control.
But now, I so wish Mitt Romney would win. Seriously another 4 years with Obama and who knows what will happen.
But again God is Sovereign, and the way things are going in this country I would not be surprised if Obama won as a Romans 1 type of judgement on America.

Burrito34 said...

Dadgumit, Bro. Dan, you made just too much sense ;-). I read your other post in its entirety and I am forced to agree with you.

Just this morning I was thinking to myself, "well, Mitt can win without MY vote." I thought I'd just stay home that day in November but now I won't. But I will vote for Mitt one-handed, as my non-writing hand will be holding my nose AND a barf bag.

DJP said...

I feel for you. I think I've only had two presidential general votes where I cast my vote with enthusiasm, and not just enthusiasm because I was voting for not-the-other-guy.