Jessica Hagy says it well (as usual):
not to be a troll here, but… (famous last words, right? i do enjoy this site though, Hemant.)
it seems not only religions want to tell me how i’m wasting my life. i’m an atheist and skeptic with the motto “question everything,” and so i do:
is my faith in democracy misplaced? if there isn’t a candidate that proposes the type of change i would like to see, is it enough to consider ‘incremental change’? is the electoral system we have in fact democratic? is act of voting a more meaningful “action,” as opposed to the act of not voting as “inaction”? is it even ethical to vote? is the state — is federal government — pertinent to my personal happiness? is the government as an institution worthy of things like ‘patriotic duty’ or even patriotism in general?
i’m just saying, these are the questions i wrestle with. for me, it’s a similar process to evaluating other matters of faith like the kind ordinarily discussed here.
is my faith in democracy misplaced?
“It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government…except all the others that have been tried.” – Winston Churchill
Find me something that works better and I’ll support that.
if there isn’t a candidate that proposes the type of change i would like to see, is it enough to consider ‘incremental change’?
Incremental change is better than no change. It isn’t rational to vote for neither candidate if in fact you do prefer one to the other.
is the electoral system we have in fact democratic?
No, we don’t actually live in a democracy, technically the US is actually a Republic. I’m not kidding, look it up. People are constantly going on about how much they love democracy when they don’t even live in one…it is quite amusing. But I wouldn’t worry about it, the difference is not in ideal but in setup, when you get down to it.
is act of voting a more meaningful “action,” as opposed to the act of not voting as “inaction”? is it even ethical to vote?
Hey, if you’re making a statement by not voting then more power to you. I personally think that if you not vote on purpose then that’s just as much of a statement as voting. If you don’t vote because you are uninformed or lazy then that is just lame.
Still, inaction is not good. If you dislike the current process then work on change it. Be an activist, vote for a thrid party candidate, whatever. Don’t sit there thinking you’re all helpless and complaining and expect us to care, because you aren’t.
is it even ethical to vote? is the state — is federal government — pertinent to my personal happiness?
Whether or not it is ethical to vote is actually a very interesting point that I’ve researched from a political science standpoint. There’s something called the “Swing Voter’s Curse” that makes it irrational to vote if you are uninformed
Yes the federal government is probably pertinant to your happiness, to the extent that living in a safe environment with reasonable taxes and being able to keep your job, and not having us go into a great depression, is pertinent to your happiness.
Good, and I’m glad that you do that. Political ideologues are oftentimes just as bad as religious ideologues. I never accept anything unless I see sufficient rational evidence for it. I think that it is rational to vote for Obama for the following reasons:
1) I may dislike his economic policy, but McCain is not any better
2) His foreign policy is much better thought out and informed then McCain’s. I could write pages on why this is, just take my word for it right now.
3) Sarah Palin bugs the heck out of me and clearly has no idea what she is talking about.
4) Obama has a better record on supporting privacy
5) Obama has a better record on preserving social liberties then McCain, which is also important to me.
6) Obama’s speaking skills are far, far superior.
7) Obama’s leadership capabilities and organizing abilities have been shown to be much, much stronger.
So even if Obama DOES have drawbacks, he is sufficiently better than the alternative to make it a good idea to vote for him.