The Eclectic One

…Because labels are a poor substitute for thinking

Politics, compromise and choices

Posted by Bill Nance on September 6, 2008

My friend JayG has an interesting post about why he’s planning to vote Republican this year.

We disagree about politics, but we’re pretty like-minded in terms of principles. I would say one of my fundamental principles is that I want to be left alone. A principle I think most Americans agree with, including Jay.

Unfortunately, no one is actually going to do this. The Republicans have been lying their asses off about this issue for 30 years. They promise freedom from interference while simultaneously chipping away at civil liberties, snooping into my bedroom and trying to regulate what I do with my own body.

At least the Democrats don’t pretend to be all about freedom from government while simultaneously restricting the hell out of us. They make no pretense of being for small government, which is at least honest. Nothing pisses me off more than liars and hypocrites.

This is the kind of thing that’s prevented me from joining a political party. I have so many fundamental disagreements with all of them that I’d wind up in a party of a few thousand like-minded people scattered across the country. You can’t get elected to City Council with those kind of numbers, much less congress or president.

Jay’s big issue is guns. It’s a big issue for me too. I was disgusted by the Brady Bill, which did nothing to prevent crime, but banned dozen’s of popular hobby-shooting weapons and prevented people from obtaining even replacement magazines for guns they’d owned for years. All the Brady Bill did was make legally owining guns a pain in the ass. It’s unintended consequence was to cost the Demorats the House and Senate, dictate policy to states in violation of the 10th Amendment, and  further polarize the political climate. Nice going Sarah Brady -Bitch.  (My contempt for the lies of Sarah Brady knows no bounds. To quote Lissa, “Every time Sarah Brady cries an angel gets its wings.” I love that line. And I’d love nothing more than to make her cry every day.)

But guns aren’t the only issue on the plate. And this year, given the Heller decision, it’s even less so. What I’m left with, what every American is left with in every election, are choices about where to compromise. Almost always, unless your just plain too stupid to read, candidates are going to take have positions which contradict something that’s important to you. This is why most Americans wind up voting against someone nearly every election.

As Paul Tsongas said about energy: pick your poison, it’s gonna hurt no matter what. It’s the same way with voting.

I don’t like the Democrats’ position on guns. It’s a big deal to me. But there are other things a lot more important in the grand scheme of things. Single-issue voting is a bad idea. Even if you get what you want, you miss the forest for the trees.

This year I’m concerned about national security, the economy, energy, continuing encroachment of extremist religion into politics, and healthcare, in that order. There’s more, but those are the big ones.

To me, those issues are vastly more important to the future of this nation than my ability to enjoy a hobby about which I’m very enthusiastic. I love firearms. But I can live without the ability to have a large capacity magazine for my pistol. I can’t live with more torture in my name, continued screw-ups in Middle-East policy which directly affect my family’s safety, more discrediting of our international standing and straining of relations with allies whom we need, an energy policy which is focused primarily on continued dependence on fossil fuels, and an economy which only serves the top 1% of the population and royally screws everyone else.

I could go on and on, but that list is more than enough to convince me.

Four more years of the worst governance in the history of the United States, with a Vice President who believes that the earth is 10,000 years old, wants to ban all abortions by federal fiat, considers gays and lesbians to be unworthy of civil rights and wants to impose abstinence only education in our schools is NOT a good thing. Sarah “secessionist” Palin is George Bush with tits. If you don’t think that’s important, you’d better look at the age of cancer-survivor John McCain.

It would take a truly horrible candidate on the other side to make me even consider voting for John McCain this year. Jimmy Carter? Sure, I’d vote McCain. But Barack Obama is no Jimmy Carter. Not by a long shot. He may or may not be a terrific president. He may or may not produce great new policies. But it would be hard to imagine one of the brightest, most savvy politicians in the country, along with a V.P. who has the among the best national security and foreign relations credentials in American history doing a worse job than John McCain and Sarah “secessionist” Palin.

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