General Question

NecroKing's avatar

The better Choice?

Asked by NecroKing (328points) August 29th, 2008

Obama or McCain who do you think would be the best for the U.s cause right now, I don’t know who’s worse.

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69 Answers

JackAdams's avatar

I don’t know who is better.

August 29, 2008, 3:12 PM EDT

wrestlemaniac's avatar

I have my own opinions and I definitely pick McCain, definitely.

trudacia's avatar

Thankfully, you’re too young to vote.

Darknymph's avatar

I like Obama, best we would bring this country to greatness.

aneedleinthehayy's avatar

I haven’t seen a single bumper sticker for McCain up here in Connecticut.

wundayatta's avatar

I’m always surprised when people don’t know. Is it that politics is something you only think about every four years? To me, the choices are almost always very clear. In general elections, I never have to think; just pull the D lever (that’s a metaphor, we don’t have mechanical machines any more).

It’s only in primaries where my choice could be an issue.

I just don’t understand how anyone could be an independent. The differences between the parties couldn’t be more clear. How do you stand in the middle? How can you not know? I am truly mystified.

dalepetrie's avatar

For me, the choice is crystal clear, I’ve been an Obama supporter since day one of his candidacy. Why? Here’s your answer:


That lays out his ideology. He essentially believes we can do better with a pay as you go, bottom up economy than we have done with a borrow and spend trickle down economy. He’s pro choice. He believes in miliatry hostility as a last choice. He’s a great communicator, a great orator and knows how to compromise and work across party lines. He runs on almost exactly the platform I’d run on myself if I ever ran for President.

But if you’re vehemently pro-life, if you believe that tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans and businesses will result in more jobs and greater economic growth…essentially if you buy into the Bush philosophy, McCain is your guy.

EmpressPixie's avatar

I’m all about Obama. However, since the election coverage has really started picking up, I’m even more about him because I’m starting to be all about Michelle Obama – she’s amazing.

delirium's avatar

Thank god you can’t vote. This isn’t exactly what I would dub as the groundwork for educated decision making.

flyawayxxballoon's avatar

Definitely Obama, no question about it, for more reasons than I can list right now.
Even though I can’t vote…

aidje's avatar

Neither. They’re both terrible.

Politics is more than left and right. That’s how. There’s more to it than two extremes and the continuum between them. It’s not black and white, and it’s not even shades of gray.

wundayatta's avatar

@aidje: I guess we should give examples: specific policies and whatnot, and see if we can find something that’s in the middle.

tabbycat's avatar

Obama absolutely! My reasons? I can’t add anything to his excellent acceptance speech last night. You should go back and take a look at it.

cwilbur's avatar

@daloon: while the differences between the parties are substantial, the similarities are amazing, too, and neither one even comes close to actually doing what I think ought to be done. That’s why I’m not enrolled in either party.

For instance, I think one of the most important traits in a President or governor is character. No executive is going to agree with me completely, and any executive is going to have to make tough decisions and compromises, and so I want to know that when push comes to shove the President is going to make a decision based on what’s right for the country rather than what’s convenient or what feathers his and his cronies’ nests. This is not something that breaks down along party lines: I wish I could be certain that the Democrat would always have integrity and character, while the Republican was always a crook. Or even vice versa: it would make deciding much easier. But given a choice between a man of integrity and character who disagrees with me on many issues and a crook who pays lip service to what I believe, I’ll go with the man of integrity and character every time.

So I evaluate the candidates, and I ask myself, when he has to make a hard choice, how is he going to do it? Is he going to seek political advantage and profit, or is he going to do the right thing? (Assuming they’re contradictory, of course.) Will he be able to do something unpopular—such as Truman’s integrating of the armed forces—despite the fact that it’s unpopular, because it’s the right thing to do?

Our last few Presidents have been brutal failures in this regard: Clinton, governing by poll and misdirection, and Bush, governing by profit and revenge. So what I’m looking at here is, which one of these two actually has character? McCain lost my vote, if it was ever his to claim, when he backpedaled on torture: he had the moral authority and responsibility to speak out against the Bush administration, and didn’t, presumably for fear of censure from the party. Obama talks a very good talk, but it’s hard to evaluate whether he will follow through—and he’s backpedaled on a few issues himself.

So I’m probably going to wait until closer to the election, when we’ve seen more of the character of these two candidates, to decide—although right now the options for me are pretty much voting for Obama or writing in someone else.

dalepetrie's avatar


I think you’ve got a great way of evaluating the pros and cons of various candidates, but here’s one thing I’d say to anyone who says Obama has backpedaled. Make sure that it doesn’t just “seem” that way. I’ve been following Obama since day one, and I haven’t really seen him backpedal, the only exception really for me is FISA, and I can understand why he was forced into that decision. But what happens is, the media portrays his very complex and nuanced positions in a way that can be boiled down to a sound byte. Like “he wants to get out of Iraq in 16 months,” whereas he ALWAYS said, “we must be as careful getting out of Iraq as we were careless going in,” and that any decisions would be made with respect to the advice of his commanders and in light of what was happening on the ground. But no, most people just heard 16 months and assume he’s going to yank us out of Iraq come Hell or high water, and then when he re-iterates what he said before, people say “oh, he’s shifted.” So be very careful in assuming he’s actually shifted, because 99% of that is partisan bickering, the McCain camp trying to mischaracterize his opinions to make it look like he’s a flip flopper (because think about it, every single Democrat who’s run for the office in 4 decades has had the flip flopper label hurled at him by the Republicans).

wundayatta's avatar

@cwilbur: I thank you for saying that. I’d like to react to your emphasis on character. I guess I’d have to say that I find policy is tied up with character. A person who supports the wrong policies (wrong in my opinion, anyway), is necessarily of bad character. So, for me, policy comes first, and that, generally, is a dem vs rep issue.

Even if character were an issue for me, I don’t see how I could evaluate it. I don’t get a chance to meet the candidates personally.

Anyway, thanks again for telling me how you can be in the middle. I can see how, if this were an issue for someone, it would be hard to decide.

Darknymph's avatar

Wow I’m surprised at this thread.

NecroKing's avatar

I stand by what I say.

trudacia's avatar

@Necro, you didn’t say anything… But wrestle did… Are you getting confused?

winblowzxp's avatar

If Obama is really serious about being Commander in Chief, then I think he needs to brush up on his terminology. He’s said that he wants to send a couple of combat brigades to keep security, but we already have a couple of brigades there. I’d bet that he really meant battalions.

wrestlemaniac's avatar

Well I support McCain, but you know what they say, count your chickens before they hatch, and Necro , not Negro, (it’s insulting) stated that he didn’t know who was worse. and if you saw the DNC yesterday Obama called Bill Clinton the President.

SeekerSeekiing's avatar

I’m voting for O’Bama…

I respect McCain’s years as a POW…I believe he thinks he’s right.
I have many reasons for voting for Obama…some of which are…

I have a friend’s in the Army——men and women. I looked up McCains voting record and found on veterans and military family’s issues. He voted against veterans’ health care in favor of continuing tax breaks for the wealthy. He voted against more funding to allow better health care for the National Guard and Reserves and their families. He recently voted against increasing the GI Bill to ensure combat veterans and their families can obtain competitive education after serving their country. That bill was sponsored by Barack Obama. And it passed despite a Bush veto and McCain’s lack of support.

I have a friend whose husband came back with the signature wound from Iraq—closed head injury…He’ll never walk again—they are working on seeing and talking. Within 30 days of him getting to the states, they got a letter saying he was no longer in the Army——cause he couldn’t serve. He had 30 days cobra coverage on insurance——for his wife who was 7 months pregnant. And he could go into any VA hospital——all of which were far away from where his family was.

I wish we weren’t in Iraq. But we HAVE to take care of the kids and their families who are dying and getting hurt over there!

Obama, during his 1st term joined the Veteran’s Affairs Committee. It’s not a highly seen committee, not a glamorous, nor a powerful committee. But it is HUGLY important to soldiers, and John McCain is not a member.

Obama didn’t come from money. He grew up sometimes poor, sometimes middle class. He did community work on the SOUTH side of Chicago. I want someone who understands how hard it is for the middle class right now.

His Passion, he has a chance of inspiring us. He has already inspired many young voters…we need everyone to be plugged in. I think he will be a unite-er.

He voted against going into Iraq….from the beginning. Yes, he voted for the money after we went in—he didn’t want our kids going in naked! And still they almost did, I myself bought some Kevlar vests to sent to friends over there.

Obama will be good for the Middle-East conflict. Folks in Afghanistan are in awe of the fact that there is a black man with a real chance at being the next US president. It’s relevant because it does-away with the stereotype the MIddle-East has of America being run by rich white racist men! The US world image is extremely important to our security——and we need a face-lift. America’s #1 export to places inhabited by people of color-are bullets, bomb, and tanks; it’s getting serious, folks. Changing the stereotypical view of America by other nations can only help us.

He’s good on diplomacy…and we’ve been in a drought for 8 years. McCain, is not known as a diplomat. He’ll carry on the BushWars.

This may not impress you, but it does me. He took drugs and admits it. Bush can’t admit to doing anything wrong. And most folks under 60 and about 30 have tried something. But it takes a big man to admit it. It takes honesty—and not politics as usual. “I did not have relations with that drug!” or “I didn’t inhale?” I WANT a President who can admit mistakes.
Ok, ok, I’m going to winddown…

He want to capture Bin Laden.
He’s for tax credits for the middle class and taking some away from the top 5%
Tax relief for middle class home owners.
Bringing American Business back and starting new fuel and energy business here.
Getting free of dependence of foreign oil
he amended NAFTA to protect American workers and strengthen environmental protections
Provied Flex-ex training accounts for American workers.
Double funds for basic federal research
Start long term research and development of workable tax credit
Invest in GREEN technologies, right here at home
Takes challenge of Global Warming seriously
Keep internet tax free
He’d overturn “Kentucky River” classifications of Bush’s NLRB
Hunt down/shut down predatory lenders…
He’ll sign the STOP FRAUD act to stop fraudulent lenders.
He’ll make ACCURATE loan disclosures a mandate.
Close bankruptsy loophole for mortgage companies
Make Credit card companies improve disclosure of rates…
Protect US working folks form unfair bankruptcy laws
BAN ALL BONUSES for bankruptcy companies
Create prison work incentives for those coming back into society
Quadruple Head Start funding
Have accountability in public schools
invest in plans to reduce dropout rates in school
Expand college outreach programs
Create teacher service scholarships
REQUIRE all public schools to be accredited. I graduated from a nonaccredited HS. Gib headache….
Repeal Bush tax cuts for top 1%—which helped lower middle class living standards…
Encourage diversity in media ownership,,,

Is that enough? I can come up with more????


willbrawn's avatar

McCain, he stand for the same values as I do. And that’s what I think the country needs. Obama is a smooth talker. And that rubs me the wrong way. I have a strange feeling about him.

wrestlemaniac's avatar

Same there is something, fishy about him.

SeekerSeekiing's avatar

I agree, Wristlemaniac, there is something fisy about WillBrawn——hahaha, just joking…it was too near to pass up!

Darknymph's avatar

SS you could be a politician.

Darknymph's avatar

and he was talking about obama, but it was funny.

seVen's avatar

McCain will be my vote , why? Because he is Biblicaly proof, and I test everything by it.

SeekerSeekiing's avatar

No, I’m too transparent and honest to be a politician…besides, I blush easily.

SeVen, where exactly is McCain’s name in the Bible? Bush was voted in because of his ‘Christian’ buzz words. Then a closed door office meeting was leaked out and he was calling his Christian base the “Nutters.”

NecroKing's avatar

I’d be a perfect politician.

wrestlemaniac's avatar

the heck you’d be.

aidje's avatar

I’m not saying that there’s not a “middle” in between left and right. What I’m saying is that there’s far more than that.

wundayatta's avatar

@aidje: libertarians? greens? that sort of thing? I hope you’re not talking about Lyndon Larouche. Do the communists still run a candidate? The SWP? The Wobblies?

I’m afraid that in a two party state, all that is fairly irrelevant. The parties fight to win with their base in the primaries, and then they try to take the most middle ground as they can. That positions you best to get the 50%+ that you need.

dalepetrie's avatar


wouldn’t you think people who were supporting McCain and wanted to convince others they should support him would, after you posted that brilliant post which not only relates some of Obama’s actual actions to how they affect people you actually know, but also provides a laundry list of great reasons would then want to say something a bit more intelligent than they’re voting for McCain because there’s something about Obama that rubs them the wrong way? Amazing.

Bri_L's avatar

did anyone see when McCain was on Leno and Leno said “I will give you a million dollares if you can tell me how many houses you have”

His reply ” ......I spent 5.5 years in a prison cell…”

I get that and respect that. That, in itself, does not qualify you to be president. It isn’t a free pass. If it were there would be more people eligible.

And if your waiting for a Politician who isn’t a smooth talker, it will be a long wait. I can mean they are dishonest. But It can also mean they are articulate and intelligent. His scholastic history would speak to that.

In the end we are kind of stuck in a two party system that gives us only two options. I know that technically isn’t true but, at least for now, realistically, that is where we are at.

I am going with Obama right now.

I can’t take another DC grown politician.

winblowzxp's avatar

There’s a long way until November, when it counts. Both candidates have ample time to screw up big…that could lead to an interesting election, and turnout for third parties especially now since we know who the running mates are.

aidje's avatar

I’m not talking parties. I’m talking spectrum. Example: McCain and Obama are both for big government. I don’t like either of them, because I’m for small government. But I am in no way in the middle of them.

I think that government should be small, liberty should be preserved, war should be defensive, and tax is legal theft and should be limited as much as possible. That doesn’t place me in the middle. It places me on the whacked out fringe, sad to say. There is no way I could put my support into the two-party system. That only perpetuates the problem. I’d rather not vote. Hence third party candidates.

dalepetrie's avatar

we should all vote our conscience.

aidje's avatar

Yeah, that’s what I’m trying to say. :-)

Darknymph's avatar

Oh politics give me headaches.

Judi's avatar

I test everything Biblically and I support Obama. Jesus talked about the real test in Matthew 25. look it up. There is a real problem trying to decide who “God’s” candidate is. I think that if Jesus were here, and you asked him who he supported he would turn the story around and tell you, “I’ll deal with government and leaders. The real question is what have YOU done for me lately? How is YOUR heart?” There were two political opinions in Jesus day. The Pharisee’s who stuck to the letter of the law and struggled to keep peace with the Romans and the Zealots who wanted to have a righteous war against the Romans. They tried to get Jesus to take a stand and he answered, “Render unto Cesar what is Cesar’s and Render unto God what is God’s.”
I can respect you as a Christian even though I choose to take a different Bible verse into the ballot booth than you. I do take offense when you imply that because I am from a different party I may not be biblically founded.

galileogirl's avatar

God gave us all the ability to think and make good decisions. I don’t know that I would necessarily vote based on “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats” because that that day has not yet arrived. When it does we will be beyond voting..

However ”‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me” doesn’t exactly sound like the Republican party platform

As far as referring to Clinton as President Clinton, former presidents are given that honorific as a matter of etiquette, and always have, just as retired generals should continue to be called General-look it up.

Judi's avatar

I agree galileogirl, But it talks about how we’re acting now and I hope I can act (and vote)more like a sheep than a goat.

galileogirl's avatar

What’s the difference between sheep and goats? They are both God’s creatures and they have value to human beings. The only difference I can see is that sheep need a better environment with lots of green pasture for sustenance to fatten on. But when things are bad and there is very little to forage on, the goat can survive and do well.

Judi's avatar

If you read the Bible verse, you will see what Jesus said is the difference between sheep and Goats.

galileogirl's avatar

I know what the difference is between sheep and goats and I bear no ill will toward either. My opinion is based on personal experience. I use my God-given good sense and don’t need a multi-translated passage from an oral history with an anti-Capra bias.

Judi's avatar

I don’t know what anti-capra means?

aidje's avatar

It means anti-goat. “Capra” is the genus of goats.

Seriously, guys; watch it, or I’m going to have to call the Metaphor Protection Society.

SeekerSeekiing's avatar

There are drawback to both goats and sheep. Sheep follow blindly, yet are easy to control. Goats roam and become aggressive and butt the heck outta you.

I say let’s be informed people.

wrestlemaniac's avatar

wow what have I missed.

galileogirl's avatar

McCain/Obama discussion morphed into a discussion of livestock LOL

wundayatta's avatar

@aidje: you sound like a Libertarian. Not quite the wacked out fringe, but close. ;-)

The Libertarian candidate (I forget his name) ran a rather higher profile than normal campaign this year.

In your case, however, it probably doesn’t make sense to vote. If you do vote, it’s a protest vote, and won’t affect the Presidential election one bit. Unless you vote for Nader. Although, in your case, it still wouldn’t mean anything, but you shouldn’t be able to stand Nader, since he’s all about government regulation and oversight.

Oh. Ron Paul. Yeah, I hope he is still on the ballot, because he should pull more votes from McCain.

dalepetrie's avatar

Believe it or not, Nader is projected to pull more votes from McCain than from Obama. This is because he gives Dems who don’t want to vote for Obama somewhere to go other than to the dark side. But Dems who are completely against McCain winning know the stakes are too high to vote for anyone BUT Obama. You’re simply not going to get voters who might vote for Obama except that Nader is in the race.

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wundayatta's avatar

@dalepetrie: you’re saying there are more Hillary dems who want a non-Obama alternative to McCain than there are greens and far-progressive types who want a candidate who really stands for what they believe in?

Could be. I don’t have a handle on the Hilary folks. I mean, I’m one of them, and I could not conceive of voting for McCain, or, indeed, any Republican I know of.

aidje's avatar

My point is simply that it’s not all a clean left-right continuum, so your original statement doesn’t really make any sense (you said “I just don’t understand how anyone could be an independent. The differences between the parties couldn’t be more clear. How do you stand in the middle? How can you not know?”). This “clear difference” that you mention is really irrelevant, since neither of them is even close to what I find myself to be able to support in good conscience.

You’re correct, though; I do adhere to a lot of libertarian ideas. I’m not a Libertarian, though I might be considered a libertarian (note the different between uppercase and lowercase—I’m also a lowercase republican, but that, in itself, doesn’t mean that I support the Republican Party or John McCain).

You mention Ron Paul; I like him, but he’s no longer on the ballot, and according to the write-in rules for my state, there’s no point writing him in. Whoever I vote for (probably Barr or Baldwin), it won’t be “stealing” a vote from anyone, because I wouldn’t have voted for them to begin with.

But let me get this straight: you think that unless someone supports a two party system, they should have absolutely no voice at all?

dalepetrie's avatar

@daloon – I’m not saying there are more Hillary dems who want a non-Obama alternative than their are greens and far-progressive types that stand for what they believe in.

I’m saying the later category finds anyone BUT Nader to be unacceptable, and they won’t vote for Obama OR McCain, and therefore in terms of impacting the race, they simply do not.

However, I’m saying that unlike in 2000 when some of those who wish the Dems were more progressive thought they could have their cake and eat it too (avoid a Bush Presidency but still register their dissatisfaction with the Democratic party), they got burned, big time. Now I don’t fault Nader for 2000, that was Bush, his Supreme Court Cronies, Jeb, Katherine Harris and Choice Point Technologies who outright stole that election. But anyone who really truly thinks of McCain as a dangerous threat to our Democracy, which often would be a green thinking person, is going to say they’d rather err on the side of caution this time.

But Nader being in the race allows people who lean left but who don’t like Obama (and in every election there are people who lean left but who don’t like the Dem) an alternative to voting for the Republican. Polls bear this out…when Barr and Nader are included in polling, Obama’s lead over McCain is invariably wider.

wundayatta's avatar

@aidje: No, of course I don’t think they should not have a voice if they are independent. I’m just saying that, as a practical matter, they don’t have a voice, and if the political scientists I’ve heard present on this issue are correct, they never will have a voice. A two party system is considered a mature democratic system. All the parties with too little support have been weeded out, either marginalized, or joined the major parties as a practical matter to have a say.

It’s not an issue of supporting a two party system. It’s an issue of realizing that if you want to make a difference, you’ll work within it.

For years, I worked hard for political causes that are the opposite of yours. I bet we couldn’t find a single issue to agree on, except for elimination of drug criminalization laws. And these days, maybe we’d agree that the military branch of the federal government is too large.

I was a Jesse Jackson democrat, and a McGovern Democrat, and a Nader supporter, although, when it came to being strategic, I voted Democratic.

But I don’t have much to do with these organizations any more, because at the age of 52, I’ve decided it’s better to work on what’s possible, than on what will actually work. Even though what’s possible will fail, too. Oh I don’t know. Maybe it’s better to stick it out for what will work.

aidje's avatar

It’s true that there’s no way anyone other than Obama or McCain will win the election. But that’s not the point. If I vote for Obama or for McCain, all I will be doing is consenting to the status quo. That doesn’t accomplish anything in my book. All I can do is hold fast to my vote and use it as I please, rather than giving it up in support of ideas with which I do not agree (there are plenty of other people to vote for those candidates already). If more people actually voted their conscience rather than trying to be on the winning team (even though it’s a team they don’t like), eventually there would at least be a tiny peep of dissent. All I can do is my part.

Plus, I’m still young and foolish, and hope to remain thus for a long time yet. :-)

dalepetrie's avatar

I have a unique perspective on this. Re daloon’s comment, in almost every Presidential election there was someone running whom I liked better than the 2 choices I had, but for me, often one choice was palatable but not perfect, while the other was anethema to my values. For example, let’s say the Democrat I agree with on 85% of the issues, and of the issues on which I agree, I feel the Democrat goes far enough only 10% of the time. For the Republican candidate, I agree on the issues 5% of the time, and think that of that 5%, they go far enough 10% of the time, but I completely disagree with 95% of what they do and think it goes too far 100% of the time. Now enter a 3rd party candidate, I agree with him on 98% of the issues and think he goes far enough on them 98% of the time. Now if I were REALLY voting my conscience, I’d vote for the 3rd party candidate. But knowing that by not voting for the Democrat, I’m diminishing that candidate’s chances, and increasing the chances of the person with whom I’m at odds, essentially, I’m giving up a good, but not great thing for the purposes of saying “it could be better”, at the expense of consenting to a truly awful thing. So, as long as there is not 3rd party candidate who is viable, I will be a Democratic voter, even though I’m to the left of the party.

Now, the interesting part of this however is that I live in Minnesota. In 1998 we elected Jesse Ventura as an 3rd party candidate for governor. Though I have come to think Jesse is too conservative on economic issues and is too much of a whiner to survive in the political realm, what I liked about his approach was that nothing was off the table. I agreed with him at least as much as I agreed with the Democrat, if not more, and he even said things like, “why shouldn’t we consider legalizing drugs and prostitution…I’m not saying we SHOULD do it, but other countries do it successfully, why should it be completely off the table for even a discussion.” But I never thought he could win. Our Republican was not someone I wanted anywhere near elected office ever again, unfortunately he’s now our State Senator, Norm Coleman…a man so tied to Bush that once he was elected he was known far and wide as Bushboy, and there was even a website devoted to him called But now he seems to be moderate, and the problem is, he’s one of those slimy pieces of shit who goes along with whatever the prevailing attitude is. He came to power as mayor of St. Paul as a Democrat, but when the Republican leadership told him of their plans to take back the country from Clinton, after Newt’s Republican Revolution, they converted him in a heartbeat (the guy was a radical Vietnam war protestor in the 60’s for Christ’s sake!). The Democrat just wasn’t exciting…Hubert (Skip) Humphrey III, grandson of Hubert Humphrey who really had little but a family name and the fact that he was a generic Democrat to run on. And we knew Norm, and Skip was winning.

But a week before the election, something happened. Polls started to show that Ventura was increasing his numbers, meanwhile Humphrey’s numbers were declining, and Coleman’s were staying the same. This trend continued, and it began to seem like not enough people are going to vote for the Dem…and maybe other Dems are thinking what I’m thinking…we like Jesse better. Suddenly, come election day, what seemed a week before to be throwing one’s vote away, began to seem like the only way to keep the corrupt Republican slime out of office. I switched my vote to Ventura. He won.

So, 3rd party candidacies are not impossible. This year it won’t happen, so I’d say if your vote for Obama could make a difference in keeping McCain out of the White House, and you think the dangers of a McCain White House are worse than the dangers of an Obama White House, then even if you’d rather vote for Nader, bottom line, you’re not going to vote for Nader no matter how much you want to. Now if Obama’s numbers fell through the floor and Nader’s numbers went through the roof, even I’d switch, and I’m as pro Obama as they come. But you have to realize that the impact of your vote is a lot greater than just showing dissent when there are two diametrially opposed candidates, one or the other is going to win, and one is far closer to your ideal than the other…idealism is great, and hopefully some day it will result in a Ventura like game changer on a national level. But few are going to cut their own throats this time around for the sake of idealism.

aidje's avatar

What you say makes perfect sense, and I agree completely. The problem is, I don’t like either of the candidates at all. So the percentages aren’t so friendly. McCain scares the heck out of me, but so does Obama plus a Democratic Congress. It’s a clear lose-lose for me, not a goodenough-lose.

wundayatta's avatar

@aidje: interesting your comment about being young and idealistic. Does idealism always necessitate an unstrategic approach to a problem? Or is it youth that takes the idealistic approach, because they are less familiar with all the problems that can go wrong?

When I was in my 20s, I was anti-big oil, and in favor of price controls. In those days, I didn’t know what the market response to price controls would be (a drying up of supply—hmmmmm—could that be a bass-ackwards approach to conservation??? food for thought). Nowadays I would not support a price control approach. I think the market works in some cases.

Other things I’ve lost: in those days, we were in the shadow of Three Mile Island, and concerned about meltdowns, and waste disposal, and shoddy construction. Now nuclear looks attractive as a more green way to provide energy. Sure, the problems of waste disposal and safety still are there, but the risks seem more palatable compared to global warming.

What I’ve not lost: environmentalism, egalitarianism, anti-racism and anti-sexism, and pro-worker (except that workers seem so reactionary these days), and pro-cooperativism.

I’d say my idealism is still there, but that it is now much more cognizant of factors I was unaware of back in my 20s.

dalepetrie's avatar

@aidje – and that’s completely fair. And therefore you are someone who would NOT vote for Obama, period. I think there are normally 3 types of Nader voters. Those like you who wouldn’t vote for either candidate…that’s probably the majority of his support and they will never go away, and indeed it’s people like you who are the reason Nader runs every 4 years. Then there are those who would vote for McCain over Obama if those were the only 2 choices, but who really don’t want to vote for McCain but find Nader a palatable protest vote. Then the vice versa of that is those who would vote for Obama over McCain, but who really don’t want to vote for Obama. In this election year after what happened in 2000, group 1 still exists as does group 2, but group 3 does not, because even if there were a slight preference for Obama over McCain, they’re not going to want McCain there, period. And of course it varies from state to state depending how clsoe the polls are.

aidje's avatar

I was actually kind of joking with the comment about youthful idealism. I just can’t stomach either of the “main” candidates. I don’t think that taking a minority opinion is “unstrategic”—it’s simply taking a minority opinion. It’s not a question of strategy. Truth is, no matter what I do, Obama has my state. There is nothing I can do that will change that, whether I want to or not. So in a way, being in the minority actually makes my vote a little louder. I can either add a drop to an ocean (the two main candidates), or I can add a drop to a cup that really could use some more drops. I only have one drop, and to throw it in the ocean that I don’t even like — that would be a waste.

I’m in the minority, and there’s nothing that I can do about that other than vote with integrity.

wundayatta's avatar

@aidje: yes, in a state where one person is guaranteed the win, it is not wasting your vote to cast it for a fringe candidate. I’ve done that.

dalepetrie's avatar

I’ll second (or third) that statement.

galileogirl's avatar

From today’s lesson plan-One of the basic concepts of democracy is the ability to compromise.

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