Re: ZOG vs. COG (was Latest Supreme Court Ruling: US v. Lopez)

From: Brian Manning Delaney (
Date: Tue May 23 2000 - 15:22:05 MDT

Lee Daniel Crocker wrote:

>>> The choice is not difficult at all if you don't
>>> fall for the idiotic and dangerous idea that you
>>> have to vote for someone with a chance of winning.

>> The choice is indeed very difficult, if you
>> don't fall for the idiotic and dangerous idea
>> that voting for someone with no chance of
>> winning achieves anything positive.

> Hmm. A vote is an expression of preference. If
> I choose to express my preference for a minority
> candidate, that preference is duly recorded and
> reported, and the total of these votes may well
> influence the particular positions of major
> candidates in the future. I would consider this
> a "positive" result, while I would consider no
> one ever hearing my real opinions because I
> chose to lie about them to be one of the unheard
> masses who voted for a popular candidate to be a
> "negative" result. Do you have a different
> evaluation of those outcomes?

Indeed, not only do I have a different evaluation of the
outcomes of the two options you mention, but I believe these are
not the only two that should be considered.

There's so far very little evidence that the small number of
people who have voted for a third party candidate in a U.S.
presidential election have altered the actual policies of any of
the major candidates, at least in recent times. It's altered
rhetoric to some degree, sure, but very little else.

In any event, the first question about the purpose of voting is
about the nature of the problem we seek to solve with our vote:
is it formal, or substantive? That is, is the problem the (de
facto) two party system, or is the problem that there is a
PARTICULAR candidate we want elected who is better than those of
either of the Big Two parties?

You seem to think it's the latter. I think it's the former. (I
also think the latter is a problem; and you probably also think
the former is a problem to some degree.)

> It is contrary to the goals of the voting process
> to suggest that one should deliberately lie
> about one's preference. What
> is the benefit of voting for a winner?

This isn't under discussion (you mean "_having_ voted for a
winner?"). We're talking about the pre-election decision about
voting for someone you would LIKE to see win, and who you think
has a significance chance of winning.

> Do I win something?
> Money? Bragging rights? No, I win a
> shitty government.

Not always.

In my view, the goal is 1) to elect the best of the viable
options, with respect to particular issues that matter
(stem-cell research, etc.); and, FAR more importantly, 2) to
elect somone who will increase the odds that the two-party
system will (eventually) break down, in order that the
conditions for the solution to the SUBSTANTIVE problem will
finally come about.

> A vote is a moral duty because it affects how an
> agency of force chooses to exercise that force
> against the people.

Or against people who want to exercise force against people....

> A voter who chooses to
> shirk that duty by hiding his true prefence
> among a sea of conformity, despite there being
> no possible benefit to him or anyone else in
> doing so, is not worthy of respect.

Hm.... okay, well, I suppose there's little point in discussing
this further then.

Good luck (See Hegel's _Phenomenology of Mind_ for more, in a
highly theoretical vein, on the formal/substantive question),
(Off email for a few days)

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