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On the Lesser of Two Evils

Rachel Lucas has a very thought provoking post on the election, and says she understands now why people feel they can’t vote for McCain.  I can understand why people feel that way.  I swore a number of times after McCain took this position or that position that could never vote for the guy, but Obama’s success sobered me up on that count really quickly.  I also don’t think Rachel’s analogy between kids using pot and voting works quite neatly.

The reason is that the goal of a parent that doesn’t approve of kids taking drugs is to keep them from taking drugs.  There is a chance that the parents buying pot for their kids, so they have control over it, underestimate their ability to influence the behavior of their children.  They are essentially abdicating their responsibility with no strong evidence that they actually can’t keep their kids away from drugs, and I suspect you’d find a lot of these parents actually don’t have a problem with kids experimenting.

Except for the rare nail biting election, your individual influence over the outcome of an election is infinitesimal.  Elections are acts of collective expression, not an act of parenting, where a significant measure of responsibility and control over the child is maintained.  Either Obama or McCain are going to be taking up residence in the Oval Office next year.  There is no possibility of a different outcome that’s in the space of reality due to the collective nature of the process.  If an analogy to parenting is to be made, it’s a choice between your child dying of cancer, or having to undergo painful treatments that may or may not save their life.  The responsible parent would opt for treatment, because standing back and letting the cancer kill your child is not something a responsible parent would do.

We may not like the choice, but the outcome is decided.  Obama or McCain.  Take your pick.

23 Responses to “On the Lesser of Two Evils”

  1. Robb Allen says:

    You’re forgetting the third option – The only man who can save the constitution!!!!

    R0N P@u!

  2. Sebastian says:

    Maybe if he raises his own private army with all that money and just takes over :) His followers are certainly dedicated enough. Maybe I should be giving them ideas.

  3. Joe Huffman says:

    There are other options as well. You forgot or overlooked what Hillary has been thinking about–Bobby Kennedy.

  4. Sebastian says:

    Well, that’s a possibility, but so is your kid getting hit by a bus on the way out from chemo treatments, fitting with the analogy. Shit could happen, but it’s not the kind of thing you base your decision on, unless you’re Hillary.

  5. Joe Huffman says:

    Yeah, I know. You just tripped one of my filters by using absolute terms to describe the situation. I would have qualified things with phrases like “nearly certain” or some such thing. It’s just the way I think. When people say things like “always” or “never” all kinds of warning bells go off in my mind. I’m a detail type person and tend to distrust people that are careless with details. Not that I don’t have more than sufficient history with you to rid myself of that concern in your case, it’s just that this post tripped that part of me.

  6. Sebastian says:

    If I changed “in the space of reality” to “in the space of the probable” it would probably make it work. Though, I suppose you could argue that assassinations aren’t entirely improbable event.

    As an aside, an assassination would probably be the worst possible outcome for gun owners. Almost all the major gun control pushes have been the result of assassinations.

  7. Joe Huffman says:

    In the space of probable works just fine for me. Assassinations are considerably less likely than elections proceeding as planned.

    And keep in mind that not all assassinations involve firearms although in the U.S. that certainly would be the way to bet the way it would go down. The possibility of Harding’s death being a murder being a major case in point. But you are right, if some anti-gun activist were to be willing to “do anything” for their cause that would be one way they could achieve a lot of their goals–assuming they could blame it on someone without a connection to the gun ban movement. There have been suggestions that did happen in one case in recent years but that is a topic for another time in a more private place.

  8. Robb Allen says:

    Let me know when that conversation takes place – I’m all ears!

  9. Joe Huffman says:

    Maybe we can talk about it at Boomershoot 2009 or some other blogger get together.

  10. Carl in Chicago says:

    High crimes notwithstanding – if anyone at this point thinks there is a snowflake’s chance in hell for ANYONE save Barack Obama or John McCain to become president, they are fooling themselves.

    I love Ron Paul too, but he will not be the next president of the United States.

  11. Joe Huffman says:

    Automobile accidents and plane crashes are possible too. Heart attacks, strokes, and other natural causes bring the probabilities to significantly above the chances for a snowflake in hell–disregarding the probabilities of the actual existence of hell.

    If I were the betting type I would bet much better than even money that one or the other will be the next president. But I wouldn’t bet a significant portion of my life savings on it no matter what odds were given me.

  12. Sebastian says:

    I tend to agreed with Joe. Shit can happen. McCain isn’t a spring chicken either. I made the statement thinking more about electoral choices than thinking about happenstance beyond the voters’ control.

  13. Mark E says:

    Seb — “happenstance beyond the voters’ control”

    Isn’t Hillary a voter?

  14. emdfl says:

    Here’s a happy thought. Who would you rather have in office when all the anlog TV’s go blank come February 2009, obamor mccain?

  15. R.J. says:

    Obama. Then maybe that will kick-start the New American Revolution this country so desperately needs.

  16. Sebastian says:

    Not going to happen. I’m not even sure that’s just if he’s elected.

  17. Joe Huffman says:

    If there was going to be revolution in our country over us becoming fascist/socialist you would have seen it under the Wilson or FDR regimes. Editors being put in prison, people put in jail because in the privacy of their own home they explained why they wouldn’t buy government bonds, the Palmer raids, the internment camps and what happened? Someone refused to stand during the national anthem at a ball game, someone shot him multiple times in the back and the crowd cheered.

    I wish I knew for certain the conditions necessary to invoke a revolution but I think it probably involves widespread hunger or open oppression of a large percentage of the population.

  18. Carl in Chicago says:

    If this discussion has turned to one of revolutions, it wouldn’t hurt to remind folks that this is the one subject that scares the hell out of the people not comfortable talking about it. Use your judgement.

    Also, revolution requires critical mass, requires that all other options have been pursued, and has to be well thought-out. Revolution is NOT a few crazies running around causing mayhem and pointing to their ideologies to justify their actions. For example, McVeigh was not a revolutionary. He was a criminal.

    This paper is a great read on this issue. I highly recommend it to all here.

    http://www.anth.uconn.edu/faculty/handwerker/309readings/Polsby,%20Kates%201997%20Washington%20University%20Law%20Quarterly_%20OF%20HOLOCAUSTS%20AND%20GUN%20CO…pdf

  19. Carl in Chicago says:

    If this discussion has turned to one of revolutions, it wouldn’t hurt to remind folks that this is the one subject that scares the hell out of the people not comfortable talking about it. Use your judgement.

    Also, revolution requires critical mass, requires that all other options have been pursued, and has to be well thought-out. Revolution is NOT a few crazies running around causing mayhem and pointing to their ideologies to justify their actions. For example, McVeigh was not a revolutionary. He was a criminal.

    This paper is a great read on this issue. I highly recommend it to all here.

    (Ooops. Looks like Snowflakes didn’t like the URL)

    Google “Washington University Law Quarterly Polsby and Kates holocausts and gun control” That should get you to the site that hosts the paper.

  20. RAH says:

    If you are sincere in wanting to protect your rights volunteer for the campaign. Place signs , canvass for the candidate, make calls for the candidate.

    Do not advocate revolution on a website. Never think that it is better for the worse candidate to win because it may energize your side.That is a recipe for disaster and ensures that we get the government we deserve.

  21. Joshua says:

    Not to mention that revolutions, even when they succeed in regime change, have historically been a crapshoot at best when it comes to the new regime being any better than the one it replaced. For every George Washington there is at least one Oliver Cromwell.

  22. Steve says:

    I can’t understand why more people can’t see it. McCain is the Frog Boiler!

    What do I mean? There is an old allegory about how to boil a frog. It is said that if you drop a frog into a pot of boiling water it will immediately jump out.

    But if you drop a frog in water that is slightly warm and turn up the heat gradually then the frog just sits there and lets itself be boiled alive, without attempting to jump out of the pot, without even knowing that it is indeed being boiled alive.

    This allegory has been applied again, and again regarding the American people’s reaction to liberalism/socialism. And it is pretty clear who is who if you apply this allegory to this year’s election.

    So let’s vote for the candidate who will make the frog jump out of the pot so we can have a true conservative in 2012. Otherwise we will all get gradually boiled alive.

    After all it took Carter to get us Reagan.

  23. Robb Allen says:

    Steve,

    Also remember that frog boiling is a myth.

    I don’t want McCain in office, but it is pretty clear that Republicans will get hammered this year. I can’t say I blame the electorate, the Republicans aren’t worth shit any more. However, there’s a very real chance that veto proof Democrat majorities emerge in Congress. With Obama in office, there is nothing there to hold the Dem’s wishes in check. Nothing.

    If we could easily take the Senate back, I’d not give one whit if McCain made it or not, but an All Dem, All the Time government, the pot will sublimate.

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