Monday, June 9, 2008

The State of Democracy

From CNN this morning:

In a CNN poll released Friday, 60 percent of Clinton supporters said they would vote for Obama, but 17 percent said they would vote for McCain and 22 percent said they would not vote at all if Clinton were not the nominee.
How sad is that? My candidate didn’t win the nomination. So I’m going to stomp my way out of the sandbox, walk right past the voting booth, and go home. My guy (or gal) didn’t win, so, in effect, I’m going to disenfranchise myself and sit back to watch while the country goes to hell in a handbasket because my candidate didn’t get the nomination. They all probably got sand on their lollipops, too.

Let’s assume these poll figures, with a margin of error of 7.5 percent are correct, across the board for Hillary’s 18 million primary voters (a stretch, I know, but let’s have some fun with it). So, 22 percent of 18 million is 3.96 million voters sitting on their hands while the rest of the country votes. Check that. That’s 3.96 million active voters; voters who actually went to the polls this year, deciding to sit it out; sitting it out with the regular folks who rarely, if ever, vote. Nearly 4 million more inactive slobs who can’t get off their duffs to go vote. Add their stomp out of the sandbox reason to the litany of other reasons people don’t go to the polls, topmost of which being Don’t Care.

Sad, sad folks.

And another 17 percent, or 3.06 million say they’ll vote for McCain because Hillary didn’t win the nomination? There are that many bitter, vindictive active voters in the Democratic Party? OK, no surprise there. But where’s the commitment? If any number of voters affiliated with any party say they’ll defect, in effect casting protest votes, because their candidate didn’t win, does it do any good? More sandbox politics. Since you won’t build the sandcastle I want, I’ll go with this other group and build roads through your environmentally-sensitive sandbox corners. Is this politics or is this kindergarten?

Then there are folks like me, who are political schizophrenics. Here’s how I voted in the past four presidential elections:

2004 Ralph Nader
2000 George W. Bush
1996 H. Ross Perot
1992 Bill Clinton

Yes, a fine assortment of fruits and nuts there. Am I helping fan the flames of democracy, with this voting record? Absolutely. At least I voted.

Who will I vote for this time?

I hesitate to put it here, because of the off chance it’ll attract more fruits and nuts, or at least cause people to wonder if I was there during the Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

2008 Ron Paul

Why? So I may continue my political philosophy, best summed up by The Simpsons’ Krusty the Klown:

Don’t Blame Me, I Didn’t Do It!

In other words, I didn’t vote that bum into office. I selected the fringe candidate who had no chance whatsoever of winning – because he had no chance whatsoever of winning.

Am I just as guilty in damaging democracy as the Democrats I decry? Yeah. But part of me thinks this:

I Voted for X Because I Knew He’d Lose!

sounds better than this:

I Voted for X Because Y Didn’t Get the Nod!

And at least I went out and voted.

1 comment:

Brian said...

Wasn't that Bart