Lesser of Two Evils

So it’s looking like this will be an election where, once again, we’ll be stuck having to choose the “lesser of two evils” rather than a candidate that we really want.

It’s not a situation I like any more than others, but I think in our political system, where coalitions happen at the party level, outside the structures of government, this is going to be the outcome more often than not.  The coalitions will coalesce around a candidate that doesn’t make anyone truly happy, but that offers each part enough to keep them from leaving.  Huckabee appeals to evangelicals, but his support outside of them is practically nonexistent.   Fred Thompson appeals to small government conservatives, but with not much appeal to the monied conservatives or independents.

I think McCain’s rise from the ashes has a lot to do with the fact that each part of the Republican base can probably settle for him, even if no one really loves him.  That appeal, combined with his inexplicable (to me, anyway) appeal to Democrats and Independents, is a big part of why he’s doing so well.

I don’t really want a McCain candidacy in 2008, but it wouldn’t offend me to the degree that would keep me from voting in the election.  I don’t really see any way out of voting for lesser of two evils candidates, because our system encourages it, really.  I’m not sure it’s unhealthy for The Republic either.

10 thoughts on “Lesser of Two Evils”

  1. No Sebastian, it is very unhelthy for the Republic. In fact I think it has been one of the things that has led to the death of the Republic.

    I won’t vote for McCain. I will either “throw my vote away” by voting 3rd party, or I will vote for the Democrat opposing McCain.

    The way I see it, if McCain, or another RINO gets in to office my gun priviledges are gone. If a Democrat gets in, the Republican party is more likely to put up a fight against new gun control legislation.

    Yes, it’s a bloody priviledge currently. Tell me one other right that requires a background check, and the amount of registration paperwork required for gun purchases.

  2. I did the “hold your nose and vote R” thing in 2006. It doesn’t seem palatable this time. BUT.. the idea of a bunch of us sitting home and letting her win is even worse than compromising my principles.

    I guess there’s no law requiring you to be sober when you vote? I don’t want to hold my nose this time, maybe I’ll impair my judgement to where McCain or somebody feels like a good idea. Maybe I’ll take the day off and “pre-game”.

  3. I won’t count out Fred yet – though the likelyhood of him making it is low.

    If McCain, Romney, and Huckabee make it to the convention as the roughly equal candidates, Fred’s not dead, adn the first ballot deadlocks… There are people in each of the front-runners’ camps who will pull a lolcat and say “do not want” to the other 2. As long as Fred can continue picking up 2nd/3rd place finishes (though to be honest he probably needs to win a couple come Super Tuesday), he could benefit, come the convention, from being “the lesser evil”.

    A more realistic hope is for a McCain/Thompson ticket. Given the relationships between the two men, this is the most likely (IMHO) combination if McCain takes it. And then we wee what happens in 2012.

    Speaking of Vice-Presidency; who is Hillary going to pick? I can’t see Obama getting the nod after the vitriol flying between the two campaigns. Richardson’s politics don’t seem to be compatible. I suppose she could pick Edwards, and they can argue about who has the better hair… Unless a Clinton Crony needs a BIG reward. VicePresident Berger?

  4. I have been doing the “hold your nose and vote the lesser of two evils” since ’72. I have seen rights that were once unquestioned become questioned, then suspect, then stripped away. I have seen things done in this country that everyone used to say “never in America.” What has voting the lesser of two evils ever gotten us? I am thinking that now maybe the time to step out of the box, and find a better way. In any case, I won’t vote for McCain. The record of this man is too strewn with betrayals to ever trust anything he says. Yes, he served honorably in war, and for that we owe him our gratitude, but we don’t owe him the Presidency. The other candidates, both Republican and Democrat, are willing to take either a little more, or a little bit fewer of our rights. To me, there comes a time to draw a line in the sand, and here I draw it. Our rights, and those of our posterity, are not to be traded away. Henceforth, for a candidate to get my vote, he will need to recognize that fact.



  5. If I voted for Giuliani, Romney, or Huckabee, I’d have to kill myself afterward. If I pull the lever for McCain, I might be able to let myself off with a (barely) survivable wound.

  6. No Sebastian, it is very unhelthy for the Republic. In fact I think it has been one of the things that has led to the death of the Republic.

    Is it though? Lincoln was very much a compromise candidate who didn’t really make anyone happy. Teddy Roosevelt made people so unhappy they put him in the Vice President slot to neutralize him politically. They weren’t counting on Leon Czolgosz putting a bullet in McKinley. History is filled with compromise candidates that I’m not convinced are destroying the Republic.

    We don’t move the country in fell swoops, bits of foundations are laid, and then built upon. Roosevelt had three terms to construct the foundations for our modern welfare state, but it took succeeding Congresses and Presidents to make it what it is today. I don’t expect miracles from the political process. When evaluating candidates, I look at whether they will take us closer to The Republic I’d like to see, or farther away. Obama and Hillary will definitely take it in directions nobody who values liberty are going to like. They are statists down to their very bones.

    I do believe that Fred is the optimal candidate for pleasing all parts of the Republican Coalition, and moving the country in a direction that would please me, but unfortunately, he couldn’t campaign his way out of a wet paper bag. Romney is an empty suit with no principles except what he thinks will benefit his office… he can’t be trusted to do anything he says he will do, and no one knows what he’ll do once in office. Guiliani is a quirky authoritarian. Huckabee wants a Republic based on the bible rather than on liberty. Ron Paul is a kook and a poor vehicle for moving anything forward.

    That leaves McCain. Crappy choice? Sure. He’s pissed on every part of the Republican coalition at one time or another. But objectively, I can’t find any reason not to vote for him in order to keep Obama or Hillary out of the White House. He’ll put the right judges on the Supreme Court. He’ll kill terrorists. He’s been pretty good and consistent on fiscal matters. He’s been wishy washy on gun rights, and his views on the first amendment are atrocious, but it’s important to note than on a lot of key issues in terms of gun rights, he’s better than Bush. He’s always opposed the assault weapons ban, for instance. But what’s going to be most important for us gunnies in the next eight years is replacing the liberals on the court with more moderate or conservative candidates. Obama and Hillary won’t do that. McCain will. I think it’s important not to look at the little picture. In the big picture, a McCain presidency isn’t a disaster in my view.

  7. If last election was all about the war, this one is going to be about the courts. Is the court system going to continue to be a superFlegislature, or will it follow the law instead of making it. SCOTUS is the most visible symptom, but every level of the federal judiciary is at stake. Do you want the kind of judges that Hillary or Obama are going to appoint? (I’m not happy about the prospect of Huckabee or RomneyZs judges either. I reserve judgement on Giuliani)

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