Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Party or person?

How often have we heard someone say "I vote for the person, not the party." This may be okay in local-level city or county elections, but in national general elections the philosophical difference in national and foreign policy agenda is so profound that it would be naive to vote "person" rather than "party." As our party approaches a final decision between the candidacies of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, it is understandable that supporters of one or the other candidate are feeling emotional and partisan (within the Democratic party).
We are still at the point in the political process where voting for "person" is appropriate. All of us by now have a favorite.
But once a Democratic candidate is chosen, then we must change our focus back to voting "party."
I have actually heard people say that if their preferred candidate (Obama or Clinton) is not chosen for the nomination, they will stay home from the polls or, even worse, vote for the other party. I have received emails from people saying the same thing.
As my wise old grandmother used to opine, if they opt out of voting Democratic in the general election they will be cutting off their nose to spite their face. By their absence from the polls they will be giving a vote to an agenda that will be "more of the same." By voting for the other party, again they will be giving a stamp of approval to an agenda which is anathema to their best interests.
In short, primaries --- NOT general elections ---are the time to vote "person."
When the general election arrives in November, we will be voting, not for a person, but for an agenda that will affect us, our children, our grandchildren, world peace, and the environment.
To quote Jean Paul Sartre: "Not to choose IS a choice."


Amy Morton said...

Good post, Tina. There is so much at stake in this election. This afternoon a friend who is is sort of an independent was talking about the war-and the fact that she has a son-as THE issue that will drive her vote this cycle.

Paw Paw Bill said...

Since Tuesday’s Democratic Primary results in North Carolina and Indiana, Hillary Clinton’s campaign has taken some subtle new turns. Is she making nice in order to help unify the party or go out on a high note? She and I are both old enough to remember all too well the catastrophic 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago, riots in the streets, name-calling and finger-pointing from the podium and the VIP seats. Then, of course, nominee Hubert Humphrey lost narrowly to Richard Nixon, while some Democrats stayed home to nurse their anger and unspeakable disillusionment (1968 was, after all, also the year of the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert Kennedy). Some people even think Sen. Clinton is now running for Vice President. Others believe she is the last person with any interest in being number two anything. Nonetheless, if she served eight years as President Obama’s Vice President, she would still be younger than John McCain is now.

Tina said...

Good points, Bill. Really I would be surprised if Clinton ends up running for VP with Obama. We'll just have to see how it all plays out. Yes, I am old enough to remember the 1960s too...the political decade from hell. Still haven't gotten over those assassinations.