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Belief, action and political view

2008-10-17 13:18:47.174762+00 by Dan Lyke 6 comments

I'm linking to Mark Hershberger's "Why I'm Voting For Obama" because Mark and I have some very different views about some basic ethical and moral cores, and in that essay and the subsequent conversation I had a few revelations about my trying to understand what I'd seen as unreconcilable contradictions between belief and action. Mark manages to articulate his beliefs in a way that's helping me to understand him.

[ related topics: Politics Ethics Writing ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2008-10-17 19:26:40.779946+00 by: TheSHAD0W

[rant] Despite their apparent differences in philosophies and promises, I sincerely doubt there would be any substantial difference between the performances of McCain and Obama were they to achieve office. Ethically and morally, both are IMO corrupt; and I shall vote for neither. [/rant]

#Comment Re: made: 2008-10-17 21:57:20.554857+00 by: Mark A. Hershberger

TheSHADOW: That's an easy belief to fall into, but things aren't so simple. Suppose there is another terrorist attack: do you expect a McCain administration to respond the same as an Obama administration?

It is true that in many ways their actions will be constrained, but they have room to choose different advisors and, from there, different choices will be made.

Assuming that it doesn't matter who gets elected -- that virtually the same things will happen with Obama or McCain -- seems a bit of stretch to me.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-10-17 22:32:01.925587+00 by: Dan Lyke

Yeah, Shadow, I used to hold roughly that view, but I think that coming up on 8 years of Bush the younger have convinced me that there are shades of evil, and that the old Cthulu joke isn't funny any more: We've had the greater evil.

Which, I think, goes back to how my politics have (d)evolved generally: I no longer think a fair and just world is possible, I see society as a détente between groups of potentially violent people, and carefully navigating that as a set of compromises that best suit me, while protecting the hell out of those close to me, is the only way to view the political and cultural system.

It's not that I don't think Obama isn't evil, it's that McCain is more evil, and I'd rather ally myself with the sorts of people who are pandered to by Obama than are pandered to by McCain.

So, yeah, I'm with Mark. I don't believe that they're interchangeable enough to risk a McCain presidency, especially since that means risking a Palin presidency.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-10-18 00:25:46.266438+00 by: TheSHAD0W

If there's another terrorist attack? Yeah, as a matter of fact, I *do* expect the same reaction from either administration.

Robert Heinlein said that it was difficult to decide whom to vote for, but easy to decide whom to vote *against*. I'm voting against both of these idiots.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-10-18 04:25:52.33049+00 by: JT

Before it was Obama/McCain, back when it was Obama, Clinton, and a handful of others, I watched a college student question Obama's views on abortion. His question was pretty simple, along the lines of "I've been a strong pro-life supporter, and your views are pro-choice. How would you convince me to vote for you?"

Obama's response was basically that this person should find a candidate that supported his views better if this was an important issue. That's when I started paying a bit more attention to Obama. I've listened to the debates, although I didn't like Joe Biden until the VP debate, I was still supportive of Obama. I've only had two elections to vote in so far, however I feel this time like I'm voting for Obama instead of against someone else.

I'm tired of voting for the lesser of two evils. He may not be 100% perfect and support every one of my views, but he seems to be a catalyst for change, and I think change is definitely what we need.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-10-18 19:40:11.040381+00 by: m

I am not very happy with either of the candidates. That said, there are many differences between the candidates that clearly make one preferable to the other. Obama lies less, a lot less. Not only in quantity but in quality as well. His lies are more shadings of truth than the saying of things that are not so.

I am tired of the appeal to the LCD of humanity. Obama at least presents an attempt at reasoned discourse rather than sound bytes. Forest Gump may have an appeal to a significant proportion of the population, but the world I live in doesn't run on the mechanisms and logic of fairy tales.

I am tired of stupid. Eight years of Bushian leadership is more than enough. I don't know whether he is a puppet, nonverbal, or just a terrific actor who gives a wonderful impression of being a moron. I would like an executive that I don't have to be ashamed of when he opens his mouth.

People moan and groan about taxes. Only those who are the direct recipients of Bush largesses are better off now than they were when Bush came into office. The reductions in tax rates are offset many, many times by the effects of inflation when the true rate is considered.

I don't believe that we have seen any more than the beginning of the economic pain that will result from the economic policies of this (mis)administration. Governments cause pain in ever so many more ways than simple direct taxation, and this administration has managed to keep the damage it has done out of the common knowledge in part by focusing people on only one issue and ignoring the rest.