Meandering Thoughts on Today’s Election

I doubt I can put anything I’m going to write in a coherent fashion, so I’ll just post it. I’m not thrilled with either Obama or McCain, or their parties, for various reasons that probably don’t matter in the grand scheme of things. I’m honestly tired of voting out of fear and intellectual bullying based on the logic of "Not voting for one guy is essentially the same as voting for the other." I decided I’m tired of that kind of bullying. Yesterday the thought occurred to me that this is sort of like asking "Would you rather eat rat poison, or a box of thumb tacks?" I would probably respond "Neither. I’d like pizza." Under a two party system, the questioner would then respond something like "Well, I think you should eat the rat poison. If you vote for a third choice, then that’s the same as voting for the box of thumb tacks." That is obviously ludicrous, yet people fall for it in each and every election. I decided this time around I’m not voting out of fear, and I’m surely not voting for one candidate that I don’t really care for based on fear of what the other guy *might* do if he wins. No doubt by the end of today either McCain or Obama will be the President-elect, but I’m sorry, I jumped off the two party train and wrote Ron Paul on the ballot. I felt that all I could do was register my disagreement in the only way possible. Based on past history, New Jersey will probably be about 60% or more blue, so nobody has anything to fear from my vote.

Yesterday a discussion broke out among my coworkers. I can remember several years ago when I would take disagreements personally. If I supported one candidate, and another person supported the other, I would take it personally. I decided I’m not going to do that anymore. I am not afraid of ideas. I have some reservation about the consequences of those ideas, but I think a true scholar should follow the truth wherever it leads. This can sometimes lead to an interesting journey with a lot of rabbit trails, but I decided I’m not going to fear ideas.

One observation that I would like to make is that most people do tend to agree, at least on the "ground level" on what the problems are. For the most part, people agree on the solutions. Where we tend to part ways is in which personalities or systems can best provide those solutions. I posted my choice of writing Ron Paul on the ballot this morning in a few places on the Internet. I got responses from other "3rd Party" people of their having voted for Chuck Baldwin, or Bob Barr. Some said that they voted for Baldwin because he was endorsed by Ron Paul. In consideration of my vote, I took into account even though none were likely to win, I should vote for the man best qualified to be the Chief Executive and Commander in Chief. I’m not sure that, even if either possessed the proverbial "snowball’s chance in hell" of being elected, either Barr or Baldwin could be head of the Executive Branch or Commander in Chief of the military. To be honest, I don’t know if Paul could be either, but he seems to have chased his philosophy closer to it’s logical conclusion. This is probably why no 3rd party will ever get enough votes, because those of us who are starting to identify with the 3rd parties still can’t agree on which particular party or personality can provide the solutions that we may agree on.

Philosophical and political disagreements aside, part of my discomfort with voting for McCain and Obama has to do with my 3rd party reasoning. McCain is a Navy veteran and has been a POW. Go Navy! Heh. But, does he possess the executive and military leadership required of the job? Obama was a "community organizer". I have no idea what the heck that is, but it doesn’t seem like it translates well to executive and Commander in Chief type responsibilities.

In any case, no matter who wins, those stupid campaign commercials should stop playing tonight. Sometimes they do for whatever reason continue for the next week, but at least I’ll have a few months reprieve from campaign BS until the NJ Governor’s campaign starts ramping up next year. Then the year after there will be House and Senate elections again, then we’ll get a two year break until until the 2012 election.

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