Saturday, November 03, 2012

Putting your purpose into action - When acting 'on principle' is unprincipled behavior - part 2 of 2

Putting your purpose into action
Ok, so yesterday we established that Principles are an aid to thinking, not replacements for it, and that voting for a candidate that 'reflects your values', rather than voting for the candidate that has the best chance of either preserving your rights, or of harming them less, is in fact unprincipled and unconscionable, that,
"... to vote for A candidate, without taking into consideration the dynamics of the race itself, the realistic chances of your ' best candidate' to either win or affect the overall race, and the consequences of the election going to one or the other of the most likely winners, and what effects the likely winner might have in that office, then you have divorced your principles from the purpose they are principally supposed to serve - how your state and the nation will be served by the person who is elected - which renders your actions, unprincipled."
So... so what then? So how do you figure out the actions you should take, in order to best serve your proper purposes in voting? It's surprisingly simple to do. Figuring out 'how' hasn't changed all that much in the last few thousand years, it involves thinking the issue through, and realizing that:

Nichomachean ethics, 8
"... We must consider it, however, in the light not only of our conclusion and our premisses, but also of what is commonly said about it; for with a true view all the data harmonize, but with a false one the facts soon clash."
When you are properly putting your principles into practice, your data - in this case the ramifications of your vote - will tend to be in harmony with each other, to integrate well. When not, not. When they clash, such as when your own narrow self regard begins to take precedence over the purposes of your vote, then you begin to be faced with one uncomfortable truth after another, and you begin to search excuses, each one more of a stretch than the last, such as with:
"Don't tell me my vote is a vote for Obama, it's your two party system which your voting for the lesser of two evils, that's caused all the problems!".
Poppy-cock. If you do not use your vote in the most effective way possible to oppose the greatest threat to our liberties and to the government that was established to support them, then you are aiding that threat - your vote for a third party, IS a vote for Obama, and/or for McCaskill and for Jay Nixon... & co., etc.

Whether or not our 'Two party system' is the best system is another question entirely (and one that should perhaps be pursued further, soon), but right now, here and now, the two party system IS the system we have. And under this system, ideally, you have a candidate to vote for which you believe to have principles you consider to be important, there is a place for those beliefs in our current system, that is the purpose of Primaries - and in those earlier elections you should work to convince your fellows to see the merits of your judgment. But afterwards, you must do better than behaving like a sore loser if your candidate does not win. You cannot wish the loss away, and you must not elevate your disappointment to a higher position than the purpose of the election itself - that would be unconscionable.

If your fellow voters did not agree with you, nominating instead a candidate you disliked, then, depending upon how much you dislike the candidate, you might not be able to vote for that candidate, but that does not mean that you do not vote! At the risk of re-repeating myself, You do not vote For a candidate, rather, you cast your vote in order to affect the system of governance, and if you cannot vote for a candidate that has a reasonable chance of competing, then your vote should be cast against the one you think will do the most immediate damage during their term of office.

Does that mean that you should vote for the lesser of two evils? NO. You do not vote for the lesser of two evils - ever! - you vote against the worst of the likely evils facing you, using the most effective weapon at hand for stopping the greater evil - the candidate most likely to be able to defeat them.

Then, if you care for principle, if you strive to be principled and are a conscientiousness citizen, then you continue working to eliminate all of those evils you can (and you can say 'continue', right? You can continue because have already been actively working Against those things you disapprove of, right? What with your being principled and all? Good to hear).

The winner of this election will be determined by the ideas held in the minds of the people participating in it today. The winner of future elections, will be determined by the future knowledge of the electorate - if you want to be able to, with good conscience  vote for someone who does agree with you, and has a reasonable chance of winning, it's not elections you need to win, but minds.

And to win minds, minds capable of understanding why it is that today's candidates are inadequate, as are those policies and ideas they represent, we need time. I am not casting my vote to make things better - no candidate can do that, only you and I can - I'm voting to stop, or to at least slow down, what is making things worse.

In this election, with today's ideas in the minds of today's electorate, we don't have the option of voting For someone, only against; which brings us to the election we have to vote in, in just a few days time. Sooo... starting with the top of the ticket, oppose the greater threat to your liberties,

  • for President of the United States of America, I'm voting against Obama, by way of Romney's 'X'.
  • For the Missouri Senate, I am voting against Claire McCaskill, by way of Todd Akin's 'X',
  • and for Governor of Missouri I am voting against Jay Nixon, by way of Dave Spence's 'X'.
What's more important though, is should they win, then after this election, I will immediately continue to, ramp up even, doing what I can do to educate people on what ideas our system is based upon - exposing in the process why the current system and their popular candidates - Romney included - are cancers upon our body politic.

In case you didn't realize it, no, I'm not here to be a cheer leader for Romney, but a voice raised against those ideas which Obama represents.

But if they're both cancers, why vote for one over the other? Because the one is like an inoperable brain cancer, and the other is relatively treatable, like prostrate cancer. Still deadly, but a more manageable risk.

Why is Obama a greater electoral evil than Romney, etc?
I continually get comments such as "How can you vote for Romney? How is he worse than Obama?" Especially with his soph-revealing statements such as:
"Mitt Romney said Sunday that he likes parts of ‘Obamacare’ and will keep key provisions involving pre-existing conditions and young people. “I’m not getting rid of all of health care reform. Of course there are a number of things that I like in health care reform that I’m going to put in place,” he said on NBC’s “Meet The Press. “One is to make sure that those with pre-existing conditions can get coverage. Two is to assure that the marketplace allows for individuals to have policies that cover their family up to whatever age they might like.”"
Pardon me, but for those conservatives who were caught by surprise by this, I'm having a hard time working up the sympathy for your surprise that Romney would have sympathetic thoughts for aspects of Obamacare. Please. If it wasn't apparent at least four years ago that he was comfortable with the idea of government being involved in your healthcare, you never opened your eyes in the first place. He's not a conservative, at least not in the sense of someone seeking to conserve the concepts and principles which this nation was founded through and upon.

Never was.

He is not a solution to any conservative issue, he is simply the one left standing that is less of a threat to our lives than the other likely option we are facing in Obama. Many of us tried to elect someone else in the primaries. We failed. That wasn't just due to the GOP or the RNC. The problem is deeper and more widespread than that.

To ask "How about that! How can you vote for this guy?" is to ask the wrong question and so miss my answer, which is: I am NOT voting For Romney, I am voting in opposition to Obama with the candidate most likely to unseat him, which is clearly Romney. If there were a three-way tie going, I might consider that third party, but there is no, and so I will not.

When I say this, it's usually followed by some variation on 'Why should I assume Obama is going to be worse than Romney?'

My answer is that if you pay attention to essentials, you shouldn't have to assume anything, look at what and who they support, and what drives those actions.

  • Mitt Romney is someone who believes that government should be used to take an active role in improving people's lives. That, on the Federal level, is anathema to me. It will not work. In the isolated cases of 'success' they are prime examples of What Is Seen and What Is Not Seen. Does his latest revelation on healthcare change anything? No, nothing I didn't already know and expect.
  • Obama is someone who believes that government should be used to take an active role in transforming the beliefs and actions of Americans by using govt's regulatory power to forcibly alter our everyday actions, sentiments and beliefs. He believes in using the power of government to dilute our rights to our property and to our ability to live our own lives, to which we slowly become unaccustomed to having done to us. Those actions, combined with a Federal takeover of our schools and what is not taught in them, combine to undermine the Rule of Law and the sanctity of our Rights, transforming Americans, slowly but surely, into anti-Americans. The regulatory state even as its cost dwarfs that of our tax burden, it is its means of intruding the state into our lives through its ever present nudging of our lives, is the political means of spreading 'pod people' amongst us.
If you doubt that, then you have not read any of the many books where Obama, and the many people who believe as he does, where they openly state just that. If you don't believe me, pick up a copy of "The Second Bill of Rights" by Cass Sunstein, President Obama's hand picked 'Regulatory Czar'. A good summation can be found here,
"... The Second Bill of Rights may rest on a logical fallacy, a primitive economic theory, and a silly ethical claim, but it is instructive nonetheless. Sunstein's treatment of the problem of how to use the judiciary to enforce welfare rights shows what a radical departure they are from the rule of law, how they introduce arbitrariness into government policy, and how, ultimately, the contradictions and incompatibilities generated by welfare rights undermine the very idea of rights itself — for when "rights" conflict, the state must decide whose "rights" are to be respected, but, since it has been stipulated that both of the conflicting parties are in the right, the state's decisions must be on the basis of something other than right.

Sunstein's work represents a return to the governmental theories of absolutism — of power, rather than of right. Welfare rights are incompatible, not only with property rights, but with law and with the very concept of rights. Professor Sunstein, meet Louis XIV."
You will be hard pressed to find a more fundamentally anti-American book out there, and he is putting his ideas - the eradication of private Property Rights, and the replacement of Individual Rights with Collective Rights, aka: Entitlements; those benefits, privileges and restraints, bestowed like gold plated chains around our necks each day by our lawmakers .. see the SSA, Medicare, FCC, EPA, DOE, DoEd, NLRB, FDA, EIEIO, for reference.

The Real RINO Threat
If you are looking for why a Romney presidency is better for our long term goals than another Obama presidency, look no further than who they will put in power in their regulatory agencies. Romney will no doubt put wonks in place to keep the agencies 'running smoothly', but Obama is putting people in them who are of like mind with Sunstein, and who are not just keeping the regulations up to date, but who are purposefully using them to transform the ideas, beliefs and customary structures of American life, and so replace the system, Liberty, which gave rise to them.

Conservatives are continually making the SCOTUS argument as a reason to vote for Romney, and while Romney's nominations would no don't be less bad than Obama's, there's a danger in focusing too much on the SCOTUS appointments, because it makes the SCOTUS seem like the real goal.

It is not. Don't get me wrong, it's nothing to sneeze at, and another Obama term would undoubtedly put harmful 'justices' upon it. But the ProRegressive Left has long looked to the Constitution and the SCOTUS primarily as being aids or obstacles to establishing an administrative state in their stead; once they have their powers secured, the Constitution and SCOTUS will be annoyances only. We are very nearly at that point now.

The SCOTUS is going to be of little concern if the administrative regulatory agencies manage to get much more power... and that is the full focus and concern of this administration - just look at what they they say and what they do!

Obama, his administration and the agencies under his control, have shown themselves, time and again, to be absolutely opposed to, the Rule of Law (do you recall the EPA imposing the rules the congress voted down? Or ICE imposing the immigration rules that congress voted down? Or the FCC imposing NetNeutrality rules that the congress voted down? Etc.?), they have shown themselves, time and again, to be intent upon dissolving any and all remaining private property rights, they have shown themselves, time and again, to be intent upon promoting Collective Rights, over Individual Rights as such.

Romney, while the typical proRegressive republican who believes that govt can 'help you' by making better decisions for you, is not deliberately and ideologically opposed to our culture, our system of government or to free enterprise as such. His administration will undoubtedly continue the erosion of our Rights, believe me, I have no illusions about that (and it has been the norm over the last century), but under his administration, that erosion will occur incidentally or accidentally, rather than with the force, intent and momentum of intentional malice which the Obama administration has shown itself to wield.

What formally began in Obama's first administration, will quite possibly be completed in a second administration, the final relegation of the Constitution to the ceremonial status of the Queen of England, through elevating the regulatory agencies over it; and congress itself is not likely too far behind.

If you are hoping that there is anything more than a Republic In Name Only left in place after another four years of Obama... I think you're whistling in the wind. But if you are more worried about a Republican in Name Only, than a Republic In Name Only, you are about to get what you so richly deserve.

What about a 3rd party candidate?
At this point in time, a 3rd party candidate has zero demonstrable chance of securing even a significant 3rd place in a presidential election, let alone 2nd or third. There are times that voting 3rd party might be wise, Perot in '92 for instance, as a statement that violating a pledge of no new taxes (Bush 41's 'Read my lips: No new taxes!', was unacceptable. But despicable as he was, Clinton was no Barack Obama, and that 1992 vote ushered in a conservative congress. It was a valid option, one which I took, for the foreseeable future.

But, in case I need to remind you, it was not without cost - Monica, ChinaGate, LippoGate, the first World Trade Center bombing, Mogadishu, the allowed rise of Osama Bin Laden, the attack on the USS Cole. All of that was unforeseeable in 1992, yet that pales against what IS foreseeable today - just imagine what we cannot imagine yet. Elections do have consequences, and sometimes they suck. And those consequences are not always foreseeable - but when you can foresee  clearly, dire consequences from one candidate winning, more dire than what you can foresee arising from the election of their opponent, you must vote against them.

Such a choice today - to sit out the election, or to vote 3rd party - in this election, can only be made in utter, self blinded denial of the consequences, it is a denial of an impending evil, and such an action would be unconscionable.

With electing Romney (and I'm still disgusted typing that), we wheedle some more time from fate, time put back on the clock which we can, must, use to try our best to right things with. This is less a vote for a President, than a bid for more time, time to help inform your friends, neighbors, family and co-workers, time to wake up We The People, not with something so ephemeral and unreliable as alarm (and Obama's already done that), but with knowledge and understanding of what America means, so that they will again be capable of choosing a President who will support and defend the Constitution of the United States, rather than ignoring or dispensing with it.

What's the alternative, throw up our hands and yell 'Wheee!' as we head over the cliff?

No thanks. If we're going down, I'll go down fighting, throwing those punches that have at least some chance of landing on our real opponent, ignorance.

And I've got news for anyone that thinks Electing Ron Paul, Gary Johnson, or anyone else of the like would change things - it could not, and would not. Many of us tried to elect someone else, anyone else than Romney, in the primaries. We failed. The problem is deeper and more widespread than a single candidate. Romney didn't win just because of the GOP or the two party system, it was due, at the very least, to the knowledge and awareness of the people who make up the electorate. We have the system we have, because over the last 150 years, our understanding of the meaning and purpose of Law, Rights, Liberty and Govt have been fundamentally transformed.

No elected officials, no matter how many, are going to change that. If we swept all offices and branches of govt with Founding Fathers grade classical liberals, who would go in and rip every code and law out of the books back to the mid 1800's... We The People, the sovereigns in this nation, would haul their asses out the next term and demand that their goodies be reinstated.

We The People are what must be changed... no political change of any import is going to happen until that!

All political fights at this point in time are holding actions, the real work MUST be done in the minds and understanding of your family, your friends, your neighbors and your co-workers.

Fail at that, fail at all.

To succeed, to have even a hope of succeeding, we need more time, and for the time being, that means using your precious vote, your responsibility to your own Rights, to elect those who will harm them less than the next most viable candidate is likely to.

And make no mistake, if you do not vote to oppose the greater evil, you are using your vote, either by casting it where it can have no effect, or simply by casting it away, to aid in ushering in the greater evil.

This Tuesday, please, don't waste your vote; cast your vote where it will have the greatest effect, by casting it against the greatest threat to our liberties - don't lay down, don't retreat, don't throw it away - Fight!


Corey Stinson said...

This is not a remotely compelling argument.

Van Harvey said...


I can see you gave that the deepest consideration you are capable of and I tremble at the thought of your follow-up... will it be "Oh YEAH!"? Or maybe "Nuh-UH!"?

The mind reels.

BTW, as you might note from the "- part 2 of 2" in the title, and the opening paragraph, the argument was in Part 1.

Please. Be gentle.