OT - Gas to hit 4.00 - Vote for Ron Paul - dropping out?

Nicholas Leippe nick at leippe.com
Thu Jun 19 13:30:34 MDT 2008

On Thursday 19 June 2008, Chris wrote:
> On Thu, Jun 19, 2008 at 9:04 AM, Levi Pearson <levi at cold.org> wrote:
> > Campaigning for sure losers and educating people
> > about their platforms (hopefully in a less obnoxious manner than you
> > do) is helpful, but actually voting for sure losers is not.
> That may be true if your timeline is one election cycle.  But people
> often change their minds more slowly than that, in which case voting
> your conscience, cycle after cycle, regardless of the "sure loser"
> status of any given candidate, is a rational choice.  Movements are
> birthed more slowly than two, four, or six year election cycles, and
> sometimes people won't open their minds to all the campaigning in the
> world until they see that enough others are putting their votes where
> their mouths are.
> > Voting for the viable candidate that you agree with most is what makes
> > the most sense, whether you agree with them very much or not.
> Viability may make sense if you believe elections are *only* about
> resolving the current election cycle's popularity contest.  Otherwise,
> limiting your options to only the present cycle's most "viable"
> alternatives is nonsensical.

Very well put.

Eying only the next cycle is, IMO, too short-sighted. Thus my opinion that it 
is best to always vote for who you actually would rather have in office, and 
to _never_ cast a vote for someone that you'd prefer not to be in office, 
regardless if he is one of the only two most likely to win this time. If it's 
going to be bad either way, show that you don't agree with either by voting 
differently. If everyone did this, then momentum would build towards change. 
Doing otherwise only reinforces the status-quo.

I see the point--that given the outcome will be one of A or B, and even though 
you prefer the impossible outcome of C, if you do have a preference between A 
and B, then vote towards your preference between the two. But the trade off 
is thus: how strong is your preference between A and B, compared to your 
preference between A and C and between B and C?  Would you rather start 
making progress towards making C a real possibility in the future, or would 
you rather put zero effort towards helping C from ever happening at all and 
continue to merely apply your influence to choose between A and B in the 
near-term? If you really want C, even if you can't have it now, IMO putting 
_any_ support at all behind A or B is working _against_ C in the long term. 
Why would I want to do that?

If the difference between A and B is severely significant, then maybe you want 
to forfeit your long-term influence to influence a near-term problem. I can 
grant that viewpoint if you feel that strongly about A vs B. But for me, 
keeping my eye on the long term goal, no matter how far off it may seem, is 
the better use of my efforts--especially when doing otherwise is 
counterproductive to the long-term goal, making it even more difficult.

More information about the PLUG mailing list