One More Political Thing

And since I’ve been writing so much about politics the last couple days, I want to say one more thing that’s on my mind.

Everywhere I look in the press, I see Democrat-friendly people complaining that the primary contest between Clinton and Obama is so divisive that Democrats will be unable to unite once one of them is finally nominated.

Okay, I’m sorry, but if you are partial to either Clinton or Obama (and, for my money, I’m highly partial to the latter) and you really think divisions between them or their respective supporters are so great that you could not in good conscience vote for the other one, then what exactly are you going to do come November? Vote for that lame excuse for a Republican, John McCain?

(In case you haven’t noticed, John McCain appears to have approximately one plank in his platform: “I’m a war hero, dammit!” I guess if you want a candidate who is completely out of touch with the interests of most Americans, including all those “red state” people, then sure, you could vote for McCain. I guess.)

Are you going to just not vote at all, because you have sour grapes over your favorite Democrat not getting the nomination? If so, then maybe you should go back to high school and re-take your civics class. Our system works when people participate, not when they stay home on election day.

If you plotted these three candidates on a political spectrum, they would form a skinny little isosceles triangle: Clinton and Obama over there next to each other with McCain off somewhere to the right. There’s no meaningful difference or division. I’d vote for either of those Democrats. I think Obama can think and clearly express more nuanced ideas than any public figure I’ve ever seen, but I suspect Clinton is just as smart behind closed doors. She just seems to be a little more embedded in the game of “politics” than he is. (McCain, on the other hand, seems to me like one of those cranky old anti-intellectual, let’s-just-go-blow-them-up kind of guys. No nuance at all.)

Would I prefer to vote for an atheist libertarian? YES. But none are in the race and there’s no way I’m going to vote for yet another old pandering white guy who claims to be a war hero. And the differences between the Democrats are negligible, in the grand scheme.

So what’s all this about a Democratic party that can’t unite under one candidate? It means we have to conclude that all (or substantially all) the supporters of one of those candidates will either stay home or go running to the arms of John McCain on election day. Really? Really? That’s ludicrous. And if you’re one of the people who would do either of those things, maybe you need to check and see whether you are really participating in politics or just playing the game of “politics.”

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