Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Vote, for no-God's sake

In a blatant effort to throw around the weight of this blog's popularity, which is greater than that of my own blog, I'm going to repost something I wrote in February about why you, yes YOU, should vote today. In the spirit of bipartisanship I've decided to cut the more blatantly pro-Obama material that I wrote at the time, but you know I'm thinking it. :)

If you need to ask -- I voted Thursday, with my six year old son enthusiastically in tow.

It happens every four years at about this time: some people (and I won't name names here) start proudly announcing the fact that they don't see any point in voting. Why? Well, a variety of reasons, generally including several of these points:

  1. No candidate has exactly what I'm looking for. I don't respect any of them, and I conscientiously refuse to vote for someone whom I don't respect.
  2. The two candidates both suck. I won't vote for the lesser of two evils.
  3. If I refuse to vote, then maybe politicians will get the message that they should offer better candidates, because there aren't any that I can get behind now.
  4. One person's vote is so inconsequential that I have a greater chance of being struck by lightning on election day than I have of personally affecting the outcome of the election.

I'm going to hit each of these points in turn.

1. No candidate has exactly what I'm looking for. I don't respect any of them, and I conscientiously refuse to vote for someone whom I don't respect.

As Donald Rumsfeld might have said, "You go to the polls with the candidates you have, not the candidates you might want or wish to have." Let's say you've decided to sit out every election until you finally encounter the candidate who's a left-handed green-eyed atheist libertarian who will institute the flat tax and can sing classical opera. I can guarantee you that you, my friend, will be sitting out every election of your entire life.

But let's say a candidate finally comes along who's a right-handed green-eyed agnostic libertarian who will institute some kinds of tax reforms (not the exact ones you want) and plays the tuba. And let's say the other guy in the race is, hmmm, Fred Phelps. Are you really telling me that you're going to sit out on principle because you only like southpaws?

There are a lot of people in the world who could be running for president, but only a few of them are. The stronger you make your qualifications that are required to get your vote, the more you are guaranteed to be disenfranchised from the process. Which brings me to...

2. The two candidates both suck. I won't vote for the lesser of two evils.

Oh, I see. Then you won't mind if the greater of two evils wins. Suppose you've been kidnapped and imprisoned by a sadistic dictator, and he gives a choice between being punched once in the face or being slowly and painfully flayed alive for four hours. Would you say "Ah, who cares? Both things are evil, so either way I'll get hurt. Pick whichever one you want." I don't know about you, but in that situation I'd be saying "Punch me in the face, please!"

In the first place, I don't buy the fact that both candidates are evil. Like committing to a lifelong relationship with a person of the opposite sex (or same, if that's your thing), I guarantee that you will never find a person who is without flaws. When confronted with these flaws, you can either say "Sorry, imperfect match detected; no votes for you" or you can take the bad with the good and pick the person who is clearly the best available, warts and all.

In the second place, even if both candidates represent a net dislike for you, that still doesn't mean that your choice is irrelevant. Again, do you want to get punched once or flayed for hours? Easy choice: pick the outcome which is best for me.

3. If I refuse to vote, or write in "Mickey Mouse" on my ballot, then maybe politicians will get the message that they should offer better candidates, because there aren't any that I can get behind now.

Yes, of course they will. And then everybody will magically receive a million dollars and a pony from the sky.

Look, I hate to say this, but a vote is not a treatise on the state of our nation. If you want to send a message, start a blog. A friend of mine likes to say that voting has very low bandwidth: each person gets to transmit only one bit every four years. There's not a lot to resolve there about what your vote "means."

Most people in this country don't vote most of the time. There are countless reasons why somebody might not vote. Maybe all the candidates are too liberal. Maybe all the candidates are too conservative. Maybe the voter only supports left-handed green-eyed atheist libertarian candidates who will institute the flat tax and can sing classical opera. Or maybe the voters just couldn't muster the energy to get off their lazy asses and transmit their one bit this year.

When you're looking at election results, do you hear those messages? No. The ONLY information transmitted in the election is: "X voters voted, one candidate won by Y percentage points." That's it. Maybe you get more information out of news coverage and interviews, but that is true regardless of whether people vote or not.

If the greater of two evils wins, what's the strongest message that got sent? "Most people prefer this candidate to the other one. He must have done something right." Then, guess what happens four years later? Both candidates try to be more like the guy who won. Over time, the landscape drifts in the direction that people push it. Not voting, and even voting for somebody that you already know isn't going to win, rarely has an effect other than that of bolstering the person who wins.

4. One person's vote is so inconsequential that I have a greater chance of being struck by lightning on election day than I have of personally affecting the outcome of the election.

Sure. This one is true. But there's a significant fallacy involved.

Clearly there is little chance that the margin of victory will be a single vote, so the chance that YOUR vote is going to make the difference is very, very remote. Conceivably if you just stayed home on election day and didn't mention it, your influence on the election would be pretty much invisible.

But that's not all that people do when they announce "I'm not voting because my vote doesn't matter." They're not only choosing not to vote; they're also proclaiming that not voting is a better option. In doing so, they are, to some extent, influencing others who might agree with their own positions to do the same. And by convincing like minds to also not vote, this is spreading a "don't vote" meme across a broad population. The act of not voting may not influence the outcome, but the meme certainly does.

This isn't an academic issue; the use of memes that say "do vote" or "don't vote" has been used very effectively by special interest groups. For instance, one of the reasons that the religious right has been so successful at gaining disproportionate influence in government is that they have organized communication channels, mailing lists and church announcements and such, which mobilize their congregants to vote. This is a big message that DJ Groethe of the Center for Inquiry drove home for me once, showing materials such as Mind Siege, which end-times crackpot Tim LaHaye uses to frighten fundamentalists into voting (and also sending money). The basic message is that if YOU PERSONALLY don't take action IN THIS ELECTION, then the fags will make gay marriage mandatory for everyone and the evilutionists will jail all dissenters.

Strictly speaking, this isn't the truth. But the effect that this message has is very real. And likewise, sending the inverse message to people -- that voting is stupid and a waste of time -- ALSO has a genuine effect on overall turnout. Memes have a ripple effect. Maybe your vote won't sway the election, and maybe your message about not voting won't sway the election either. But people who are persuaded not to vote also have this tendency of replicating the meme and encouraging other people not to vote.

So, in fact, I choose to believe that my attitude about voting -- in addition to my vote -- makes a difference. It's a straight up Prisoner's Dilemma decision: "cooperate" and vote for the best alternative you can locate, even if it's inconvenient, or "defect" and stay home. Though your vote may not count, everyone who agrees with you and stays home will practically translate to one half of a vote for whoever they believe to be the worst candidate.

On the other hand, few things delight me more than hearing somebody whose position I disagree with say "I don't think I'm voting in this election." Sure, I'd prefer that they decide to vote for my candidate instead, but given that a complete reversal is a semi-rare event, I want to encourage them to continue "protesting" the opposing candidate by not voting for him. "Go, dude!" I say. "Keep registering that protest and not voting! Refuse to vote for your former party because because the candidate is not a crazy enough apocalyptic dominionist! That'll show those jerks who's boss! And if necessary, I hope you continue to not vote for as long as it takes, even if it's your whole life, until you get exactly what you want."

So in conclusion, don't just vote: convince those with whom you agree to vote. And make sure that the people with whom you disagree are good and surly about their candidates this year.


  1. Excellent post. I especially liked your point on voting for the lesser of two evils. It had not occurred to me that allowing the "greater evil" to win creates future candidates even farther removed from your own interests (I know. DUH!). Now I'm REALLY glad I voted.

  2. Here here!

    I know AE cannot support specific candidates, and I will not try to force the issue.

    But does anyone reading this think that this "I'm not going to vote for the lesser of 2 evils" really has any traction after Florida 2000? Do you really think Al Gore would have been the same kind of President as Dubya?

    A couple hundred non voters showing up, or a couple hundred Nader voters pulling the lever (or punching a chad) for Gore would have won Florida, and the election for Gore.

    So vote.

    /* now here is where I get all right wing nutjoby */

    Too many Americans have died for you to have the privilege of voting. Staying away from the polls is akin to urinating on their graves. Vote!

    /* end of right wing nutjoby rant */

  3. I think Shilling (Spelling) should be able to write a response ;).

  4. I've given this stance on this blog once, but I think it bears repeating.

    Americans: Do you have any idea how the rest of the world looks at you? Do you have any idea how much we would love to respect you and your ideals, but can't for some reason or another?

    Do you have any idea how much putting Obama in office would restore your street cred with the UN, the EU, the... fucking everyone?

    You don't live in some isolated shell and get to go 'America is great!' America was great, but America isn't the only nation on the planet and we all have to get along.

    I mean, even the Muslim extremists (and I get to say this, I live in a Muslim country) would love Obama as president. They get to fatwa his ass cause he's an apostate.

    For the love of god. Pun intended. Vote.

  5. I had the great privilege of sitting down to an intimate dinner once with a very powerful man who was the then-CEO of a large, international company that is quite well-known. He was old-school fiscal conservative Republican. And we had the discussion about "why vote?" To him, one thing mattered: Which candidate will give me the most flexibiliy to control my own finances and the finances of my company--without interference.

    Not much else mattered to him. Social policy wasn't high on his list. If you were poor and couldn't afford medical treatment--well, you'd probably squandered your opportunities and deserved whatever you got in life. It wasn't his obligation to save your worthless life.

    While I may be summarizing our dialogue to a high degree, this is what his stance boiled down to--as much as I can honestly recall. Oddly, despite the fact that this makes him sound like quite a Scrooge, the truth is he was quite charismatic, hospitable, funny, and even charming. It was an extremely enjoyable dinner. And I have to admit that I, personally, "liked" this guy, despite our widely divergent worldviews.

    What he taught me was that I need to take stock of my priorities in life and then ask myself "What do I really want?" What is #1 on my list? What is #2? What is #3? And so on down the line. Somewhere in my life, something is most important to me. And somehwere in your life, something is most important to you.

    Figure out what that is--and then vote on that issue or those issues.

    You're not going to find what you want in one package when there are only two real options available. But these are two very different options--and that's coming from me, a person who has no faith in the character of anyone who wears the label "politician."

    Whether they're honest or upstanding or not--they actually DO have agendas. And they actually WILL try to exercise those agendas. And they have differences--significant differences in how they want to achieve those agendas. If you can't sit down and determine who you most agree with in this situation--I can't imagine you're really trying very hard.

    Really? There's NOTHING that matters to you that either of these guys is planning to affect once he gets into office?

    I find that truly hard to fathom. And if you don't ask for what you want--you're going to get whatever is handed to you. Period.

  6. Kazim: some people (and I won't name names here) start proudly announcing the fact that they don't see any point in voting.


    I couldn't agree more. I've never bought that whole "I refuse to vote for the lesser of two evils" nonsense.

    My presidential elections were two years ago and I made sure I voted, even though I wasn't in a great situation. We have a bunch of parties but it's a de facto three-party system so my choices were a douchebag conservative intellectual(think Bill Kristol, only nerdier, more religious and way more pretentious) from a party that's basically an arm of the Catholic Church; a lunatic ignoramus(think Hugo Chavez and Ron Paul's love child) from the fringe hippie wing of a somewhat decent and liberal party; and a mediocre candidate from the corrupt party that ruled us for 80 years through electoral fraud.

    In this case, it really made little difference which one won(all three stood inside a CATHEDRAL and vowed to keep abortion illegal, 'nuff said) so I decided to do a "protest vote" which I guess was only slightly less stupid than a protest abstention. I voted for my dream candidate: a woman who's VERY pro-choice, pro-equal rights, pro-science, pro-separation of church and state(hell, even pro-legalization... um, not that that's a high priority of mine) and was a MacArthur scholar. AND, she kinda looks like Enya... sold!.

    I knew she had no chance but I thought maybe if she got enough support we could start the ball rolling on a liberal movement or perhaps in the future form a coalition with the center-left major party so they could get more of their candidates in office. Well, in the end she got like 2.5%. Did I waste my vote? I dunno. It was actually not a bad showing apparently, considering they had pretty much no money. Also, the party got enough votes to qualify for registration. And they won four party-list deputies(semi-proportional representation, hell of a thing). It's not much but I like to think of it like this: if I, my brother and others like us hadn't voted, the party would've been denied registration for lack of sufficient support and would have to be dissolved and they'd need to start all over again from scratch. Now at least they're official and they got their foot in the door in the lower chamber of Congress. So there's that, I guess. What? don't look at me like that, I'm too young and idealistic, don't take it away from me.

    Christ, sorry for rambling, I just felt like sharing an electoral tale. =P Now, this is neither here nor there but:

    Kazim: "Like committing to a lifelong relationship with a person of the opposite sex (or same, if that's your thing)"

    Uhhh, the hell?. That has to be the most awkward phrase ever. You could've stopped at person(or just said "with someone"). There was really no need to specify "opposite sex" then gawkishly tag "or same if you're into that" as a lame afterthought.

    Don't you have any gay friends?. What happened, Mr. Glasser? I thought you were a liberal. I thought you were cool. =P hehe

  7. Don't you have any gay friends?. What happened, Mr. Glasser? I thought you were a liberal. I thought you were cool. =P hehe

    1/3 of the Atheist Experience lineup is now gay. They are all my friends. Gay rights is an important issue to me.

    The wording was kind of a joke, but I think if I stopped at "person" then it might not quite be clear that the commitment to which I refer is romantic in nature.

  8. tracieh wrote:
    "To him, one thing mattered: Which candidate will give me the most flexibiliy to control my own finances and the finances of my company--without interference."

    Some of us view the free market as the best economic system, not because it provides for the most wealth, or the fairest distribution, or whatever, but simply because it's the idea of freedom applied to our labors.

    We don't favor freedom of speech just because a society with free speech works better (it may be true that societies can work better with speech restrictions, like Singapore). We favor freedom of speech because it's the ideal of freedom. I view economic freedoms along the same lines.

    That's not to say that I'm callous to those who need help, just that I don't think it's the proper role of government to force me to do it.

  9. kazim wrote:
    "1/3 of the Atheist Experience lineup is now gay."

    Did somebody switch teams?

  10. 'it may be true that societies can work better with speech restrictions, like Singapore'

    No. Wrong. Absolutely false.

    Singapore is suffering under the restrictions of lack of free press and free speech that plagues much of Asia. As part of my university requirements last semester I took a class in defamation. When I was in the library looking through defamation case law I found something extremely startling.

    Do you have _any_ idea how many libel/slander cases the Prime Minister of Singapore started? It's in the order of double digits. This is THE PRIME MINISTER OF SINGAPORE. Not the Singapore Government. Not the Judiciary. No. The man. Lee Kuan Yew. Sued. Other. Citizens. For. Defamation. While. He. Was. In. Office.


    I despise what my country (Malaysia) has done to freedom of the press and freedom of speech.

    We essentially have none.

    If you say something the government doesn't like, they arrest you without habeas corpus and can hold you indefinitely without trial.

    If you print something they don't like they pull your printing license, then arrest you without habeas corpus and then hold you indefinitely without trial.


    Being outspoken about the issues I care about seems like a lost cause sometimes.

    P.s. Russell is totally the one into guys. =P

  11. I may be taking on the role of Captain Obvious, but, in keeping with the point about letting the greater evil win, you also have to ask by how wide a margin the greater evil may win.

    For liberals living in red states and conservatives living in blue states (if any happen to be reading this blog), remember how W claimed he had "political capital" in 2004, because that win was indisputable?

    If you are the minority in your home state, don't let the majority party own your state. Let the politician know that dissent is still alive.

    I guess the reason I'm mentioning this is also because, after seeing the recent study on the number of atheists and agnostics in America, I realized that there are a lot more atheists in the world than I had previously thought. I grew up in the bible belt and just assumed they weren't there because we weren't speaking up for ourselves.

    This is a case where anyone, regardless of religion, should speak up, if for no other reason than to give an accurate view of who the American people really are, and what exactly they believe...To give a voice to the minority.

  12. This is probably going to be too long for a blog comment, but I'll go until I hit a character limit.

    Russell, I have to say that you have made some decent arguments between several poor arguments. That would be fine if you weren't using such a straw-man non-voter.

    "It happens every four years at about this time: some people (and I won't name names here) start proudly announcing the fact that they don't see any point in voting"

    How fucking dare you. I know you disagree with me on the issue, but you could at least have the honesty to frame things with some modicum of attempt at honesty. The topic came up, and I gave my position. There is no semblance of pride involved. When surrounded by people asserting, in no lack of pride themselves, that everyone must vote, the one who disagrees is cast as audacious?

    Even if I did proudly assert my position, what would be wrong in that? Why shouldn't one take pride in evaluating their options, listening to arguments, and coming to a reasoned decision that suits them?

    Also, start naming people who say that nobody should vote. Who has asserted that their decision should apply to everyone?

    As for your counter-arguments:

    1. A pathetic straw-man to say the least. Do you really think that there are a significant number of people wrtiting candidates off for such minor issues? Your hyberbole doesn't hide the fact that you consistently assume that a non-voter's dislike of candidates is due to insignificant and trivial factors. This is simply not the case.

    It is perfectly reasonable for someone to set minimum qualifications that a candidate must have to earn their support. Going along with your ridiculous analogy, I see both candidates as hand-less, blue-eyed, christophilic facists who will do nothing to taxes and play the kazoo - poorly. Your adoration of Obama, and the Democratic party in general, has (through your bias or mine) caused me to see each of your arguments as asserting that Obama is somehow really close to what I want. He isn't. Not by a long, long shot.

    It is not that neither candidate is perfect, it is that neither is even adequate.

    2. Again, a pathetic straw-man. The candidates are not so different as a punch and a flaying. It is more akin to being told that you'll be flayed for five hours, but you get to choose the color of the weapon.

    Neither candidate is truly evil. They just aren't good. I refuse to vote for the proverbial lesser evil, but that may change when there's a significant difference. When Kim Jong-Il runs against Clinton, I'll probably vote Clinton. As it stands, we have candidates with, in my view, minimal differences in their level of harm.

    3. I generally wouldn't use this argument, but I'll address the flatly incorrect counter-argument that you give.

    Non-voting has changed things. Have you somehow completely missed the candidates increasingly focusing on non-voters? Have you not seen them tailor their campaigns and platforms to increase their appeal? Both parties are putting a greater emphasis every election on reaching out to non-voters, listending to them, and trying to address their priorities and concerns. You are just dead wrong on this one.

    As for myself, I do consider not voting to have an influence on the political market, but I have no optimism for change that suits my reasoning. It is not among the reasons I do not vote; it's simply one of the effects.

    4. I have two arguments against this. First, how many non-voters have you heard say "Well I don't vote because so-and-so said it was worthless"? I do not think that giving honest reasons for not voting has a significant ripple effect. Any memetic effects it has are probably positive. If soeone hears reasons that others don't vote, assesses them in conjunction with their own priorities, and decides that they won't vote, so what? How is this a bad thing? We should be encouraging people to constatntly re-evaluate their positions with reason. Voting is one of the few practices where so many reasonable people want others to follow suit regardless of their positions. Many people are fine with those who vote for bad reasons as long as they vote. A more respectable position from voters would be to tell people to honestly weigh their priorities and positions, research the candidates, and come to the conclusion that suits them. If it's a vote for your guy, great. If it's for the other, great. And if they decide that no vote is right for them, also great. I find it hypocritical how so many skeptics dogmatically assert "Vote!" How often do you honestly just order someone: "Stop believing in gods, no matter who you are. Just be atheists," in a fasion so similar to your position on voting?

    Also, assuming that the meme plays out exactly as you say, so what? It is not my responsibility. If someone is stupid enough to quit voting because they hear me say I don't, why should I care? I've never claimed that not=voting is a better option, simply that it is the better option for me. As you recently heard me say, if you have a preference and wish to enact it, vote. As I do not have a preference, I'll not vote.

    If I don't see any significant benefit to one candidate over the other, why should I be concerned if this meme influences the election? "Shucks, my part in this meme resulted in one outcome that I care no more for than the other."

    I think you should look at your rampant dogmatism to voting, the way in which you assert people to take the action regardless of their reason, and your assertion that this is what is best for everyone else. Then compare it to my saying that I don't vote as a personal decision, and my lack of command that others should follow suit.

    Consider these things and tell me which position holds more pride and which has a semblance of dignity.

  13. I would like to second the point about the difference between Gore and Bush in 2000. I have had actual discussions with people who seem to imply there would have been little difference no matter which one was elected, I find this unbelievable.

    Does anyone really think Gore would have took us to war in Iraq? I certainly don't think so! Aside from the geo-political consequences of that fiasco, we've lost thousands of American lives and many more thousands of Iraqi and other lives, not to mention the many more permanently injured both physically and mentally from this disaster. No difference?! The world would be a very different place based on who was elected.

    And I would also like to take this opportunity, since his name has been brought up, to say that I found the moral relativism displayed by Shilling during the last Non Prophets sickening. I'm really glad Matt put him in his place.

  14. I was astounded that in Denton County I had the option to (early-)vote on a paper ballot, which I gladly exercised, as did most voters, I noticed. Few of them stuck with electronic voting when paper was an option. I definitely wasn't looking forward to trying to figure out how to vote for a write-in candidate on one of those machines. It was much easier to physically write in "Cynthia McKinney/Rosa Clemente" in the appropriate spot.

    Of course, all those paper ballots are counted by optical scan, which are electronic, but at least there is the proverbial "paper trail" afterward.

    As for the rest of the ballot, for the judicial races I voted straight Libertarian, and for the rest of the races I voted D's where I could or left it blank when it was an R running unopposed.

    I'm confident that 100% of my candidates are going to lose. But I voted anyway.

    I really liked that Steven Colbert had the actual Socialist party candidate for President on the Colbert Report to shoot down McCain's red-baiting of Obama. If we lived in a healthy democracy, Mr. Moore would also be on CNN and sharing the debate podium with Mr's McCain and Obama, along with Cynthia McKinney and Ralph Nader.

    Re: Gore and Florida; When investigative journalists did their own exhaustive recount, it turns out, actually, that Gore did win Florida, all by his lonesome. Gore started doing better in the polls when he moved his rhetoric closer to Nader's. The Supreme Court, by judicial fiat, ushered in what Michael Moore called a "very American coup".

    The Democratic party didn't produce FDR from its own inertia, they had to compete in the "marketplace of ideas" (much as I detest that phrase) with such competition as populist Huey Long, who forced FDR to move further left than even FDR wanted to go; Also, the campaigns of Eugene Debbs were still within living memory of many voters, and there was a militant labor movement struggling through the depths of the Great Depression.

    I have gone in my life from being a clueless Reaganite-Republican teen to a flirtation with Libertarianism to mainstream Democrat to Red/Green Euro-commie with Anarcho-syndicalist streaks; But I've been an atheist all throughout (except for a brief spat of spastic, embarassing religiosity smack in the middle of graduate school at Rice U. that I blame squarely on Postmodernism utterly scrambling my brains for a time and weakening my rational defenses against nonsense).

    I'd been an atheist for a long time, but it took a long time for me to get comfortable and secure in my atheism, where I am today, if that makes any sense--sorry for drifting OT a little here at the end.

  15. In defense of Russell, Shilling, I must say that Russell's four listed objections to voting are not straw men. They accurately represent the lamest, most common reasons a lot of people give for not voting. They may not be as thought-out and nuanced as your reasons. But Russell's article was not exclusively addressed as a reply to you, but to the bulk of non-voters in general.

    I think you're quite mistaken in your conclusion that there's little difference between McCain and Obama in the "level of harm" they'll cause. McCain, for one, would certainly continue the policies of Bush that have led America to be loathed globally. And he'd pack the Supreme Court with a clear majority of far right wing ideologues, threatening church/state separation for decades to come.

    But it's your choice. If you have good reasons for refraining from voting, then I can respect that. Russell's point is that most people don't have good reasons, just feeble excuses.

  16. I realize that Russell is addressing non-voters in general, but his arguments are still against the weakest forms that he can find. He points out a valid reason for not voting and goes on to attack only the least credible and weakest forms.

    The best examples are the first two points. He minimizes the disconnect some feel with the candidates to an extent that does make it into a straw-man argument. He attacks the point as if there is a candidate who is really close, but not exact. This is rarely the case for those who dislike both candidates. He also assumes far too large a difference between evils in the second point.

    I see differences in the areas that each candidate will harm, but I think the net harm would be pretty equal. This has a lot to do with my priorities. I don't give a damn how other countries view the U.S. government. I give a damn about how policies impact me. Neither of these assholes is up to scratch in that department.

  17. Shilling, how the frak do you square the Supreme Court argument alone with your contention that there is no real difference between the R's and the D's when voting for President? Surely you are not contending that both Obama and McCain would appoint judges with the same basic outlook and priorities?

    I don't pretend to understand your personal politics exactly, but I'm assuming you would be in favor of judges who would (for one relevant example) support a healthy separation of church and state in principle? Do you think this would best be accomplished by putting more Scalia's on the court, or more Ginsberg's?

  18. Curt:

    >Some of us view the free market as the best economic system, not because it provides for the most wealth, or the fairest distribution, or whatever, but simply because it's the idea of freedom applied to our labors.

    My comment that you quoted was not intended as a slander on the CEO--it was truly his expressed opinion. And I also did not intend to imply that everyone who supports free market or republican ideology must do so for the same reasons. If that was unclear, thank you for the opportunity to clarify.

  19. You seem to have left out the "I'll vote for a third party on principle" or "I'll vote Libertarian to have those ideas put on the table." What? I guess you can say putting their ideas up to be laughed at might be a good thing, but unless the political system changes to where third+ party candidates are actually viable, voting for Nader or Kookie-Barr makes zip sense, especially if you think that if (for example) Barr would actually have a chance of winning, you would not vote for him. Heard this excuse in an interview, and I could not understand it at all.


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