First, the spoilery details:
My Vote: I will not be voting for either major candidate in either the presidential election or the Missouri Senate election. You probably don't particularly care about anything else.
My Prediction: Regardless of how effective a president he is/was/will be, Barack Obama, as the first African American president, will go down in history as a heroic figure. Conversely, those opposed to him will be remembered as villains. I tend to believe that's why the Republican nomination field was so weak -- who wants to be remembered as Dixie Walker to Barack Obama's Jackie Robinson?
If Obama is not re-elected, if we fire our first African American president, then future generations are going to ask why. And, I don't think Mitt Romney is or has provided a satisfactory answer. So, I think Obama will will by a more comfortable margin than the polls or other metrics indicate.
More below the fold...
We'll be fine
It has been interesting to watch people, many of whom I respect, fretting about the difference between Obama and Romney, living and dying by the poll numbers, etc. As far as I can tell, regardless of who wins, we'll be fine.
Of course, by "fine," I mean the following things will continue apace:
- The unborn will remain outside the protection of laws.
- We will continue the imprison and kill people without a trial on the president's say-so that they are terrorists.
- The economic system will continue to be skewed to favor those who are already wealthy, and be more difficult for the poor.
- The deficit and debt will continue to grow.
- We will pretend that the breakdown of families is not a problem.
- We will not seriously address climate change.
- We will continue to throw our military into conflicts abroad on dubious justifications.
- We will blame the other party for whatever of the above we're concerned about.
So rest easy.
Why Not Obama
I've seen more than a few posts about how freaking obvious it is that Barack Obama is the only possible choice to vote for.
Below, are some reasons why one might not be able to resist:
- Not excited about increasing legal and cultural support for abortion
- Not satisfied with rate of recovery of the economy.
- Does not share vision of individual and the federal government, lessening impact of local governments and non-government institutions.
- Distaste for reflexive blaming / demonization of the rich.
- Concerned about increasing debt.
I think it's possible for a reasonably smart person to hold one of these positions, and thus not support Obama's re-election
Why Not Romney
In fairness, I'll list reasons why one might not support Romney:
- Distaste for reflexive demonization of the poor
- Concerned about even more interventionist foreign policy
- Distaste for notion that providing health care for people who can't afford it is some terrible affront.
- Taking him at his word that he will not prioritize life issues.
If you are voting based on the notion that one party has a monopoly on virtue, or the other party has a monopoly on vice, I would ask you to take a step back and reconsider whether your support for one party or the other is giving you blind spots. As the response to the hurricane showed, both parties have capable and competent public servants. Other incidents demonstrate that both parties contain hypocrites and corruption. Let's not pretend that virtue just happens to correspond with a particular position on the optimal size of the federal government.
If you are motivated to vote for "the lesser of two evils," remember that the primary effect of that is to turn you into the type of person who votes for evil
If you believe one party or candidate has better ideas, or is better equipped to confront the problems we face, and you feel moved to vote for him on that basis, go ahead and do so.
In the end, how you treat the poll workers and other people in line to vote with you will probably have a greater impact on the world than what you do inside the voting booth.