Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Tantrums at the Table

I’ve heard more than my share of friends who, disenchanted with the current state of politics and government in our United States, have made noises about not voting in the general election. For the most part, they are people who abhor Mr. Obama, but can’t bring themselves to vote for McCain either. So, like the child throwing a tantrum because he doesn’t like the options presented for lunch, they plan to sit in their seats at the dining table, arms crossed, and just let the election lunch proceed without them.

What bothers me most about this stance is that they seem to think this is a principled and scrupulous way to solve the dilemma. It isn’t. It is childish.

Life presents options. We must then choose and live with our choices. Our options may not be all that we wished, but they are the options we have. Either option presents problems, but that does not mean we can get away without choosing. NOT voting, NOT choosing is not really a responsible option. It is a coward’s way out. I say Man Up. Make your choice. Life is tough and we don't always like it so eat your peanut butter and move on. 

I can at least feel some respect for someone who votes for a third party candidate on principle. That is at least making a choice, even if it is off the main menu. A third party voter is much like the diner who must give the waiter all manner of special instructions for whatever sandwich he is ordering. “Could I get that with mayonnaise on the side, and can you trim all the extra fat from the roast beef, and while you are at it, can you substitute steamed vegetables for French fries?” As annoying as this is, at least it constitutes a taking positive action toward a perceived good, rather than a reactive shrinking away from (or worse, and resigned acceptance of) a perceived evil.

At any rate, I have said all along that we get the president we deserve, whoever that may be. For good or for bad, we as a nation have had the President we deserve for the last 8 years, and we will deserve the next one just as much. 


Tom said...

Hoo rah! well said.

Anonymous said...

I couldn't disagree more. I am under NO obligation to choose. Sitting one out is a choice. Who says I have to vote?

Now, as a Christian, I have to submit to the authority of the office, but I do not have to participate in the vote if I believe that there is not a worthy candidate.

Unfortunately the party bosses believe the way you do. They expect that if I am a registered Republican, I need to eat what is served. BS!

Now, having said that, one must distiguish between a non-vote as a vote of no confidence and a non-vote that is an effort to keep oneself pure from the world. The former is ok by me, the latter is childish. For me, I have not decided on McCain or a third party, but I will vote.


Dubbahdee said...

You are under no obligation, in a legal sense. You will not be jailed or prosecuted for voting - that is true. No law requires you to vote.

Not voting is absolutely a choice. it's just a weenie-ass choice.

The fact is, the system is what it is. We have two parties of consequence. True, they are pitiful, and often downright disgusting. And yet, to say that they can produce nothing whatsoever of any value at all is something awfully close to sour grapes. I don't believe I will vote for Obama, but I also don't believe that he will ruin the country if he is elected (nor will he save it for that matter). He has much to recommend him. I will likely vote McCain, but I have no illusions about him either. I would rather have a better choice, but there it is.

Third party? Sure. But I haven't seen one of them that I have much more confidence in. That's fine. You go ahead and have the waiter fetch you some extra soy sauce, and cook your candidate up with no msg.

But dammit, pull up your big boy panties and fill out the effing ballot. A NON-vote of no confidence is a smoke screen for not having the balls to make a choice because you can't have it "perfect."

There. I just wanted to see if maybe I could make you disagree more. How'm I doing? ;-)

Anonymous said...

If someone is waiting for perfection, they are on the wrong planet.

The "the system is what it is" makes me want to courageously not vote! @#$* the system!