Perspective

Thoughts of a Catholic convert

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Thursday, November 01, 2012

I've voted ...

early and I voted for Obama again. Today I saw two radically different posts about voting. One was at Vox Nova, Don't Choose Evil, which championed not voting for either candidate because neither is, well, perfect. I think that attitude is a bad one for a whole number of reasons, many of which are expressed in the comments at this past dotCommonweal post. The other post I saw was at A Thinking Reed, Why I voted for President Obama (again), which could have been written by me (ok, if I was a better writer, maybe :).

Here's a bit of what Lee wrote ...

[...] the vision that the Democrats still represent, and that I embrace, is that government has a indispensable role to play in establishing the conditions for individuals to flourish. The Dems want to preserve and strengthen the welfare state; the G.O.P. wants to dismantle–privatize, federalize, “voucherize”–it. Democrats think collective action is necessary to fight climate change; most Republicans won’t even admit climate change is happening. Democrats think that some degree of regulation and redistribution is necessary to smooth the rough edges of capitalism and reduce inequality; Republicans decry this modest vision of a mixed economy–a vision more conservative than the one embraced by most center-Right parties in Western Europe–as “socialism.” Heck, there even now seems to be a debate about whether there’s a proper federal role for disaster relief!

Some progressives have argued that Obama is too compromised –too cozy with big business, too promiscuous in his use of deadly military force–to support. And these criticisms have merit. But what I haven’t seen is a plausible account of how an Obama defeat (which ineluctably means a Romney victory) would strengthen the hand of progressives in building the kind of society they want. (The Bush years, for example, were not exactly a high-water mark for progressivism.) ...


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