The fallacy of voting on “principle”

by Ed Berry

EXB150I agree with this public comment by Glenn Wehe today:

The ‘fools’ that elected this fool (Obama) were mostly either already dead, voted multiple times, voted in multiple states, or did not even exist in the first place.

But I take issue with this public comment by Glenn Wehe on Sunday:

Personal note to Ed Berry:
Ed, take a chill pill.  Blaming folks for our losses because they voted on principle and not party…. is like blaming your doctor when he tells you have cancer.  The cancer in the GOP must be cut away or it will not ever heal.

Wehe’s view is at the heart of why Montana elected Democrat Jon Tester to the US Senate in 2006 and again in 2012, elected Steve Bullock as our governor in 2012, and, in a more complicated way, why we did not elect Republicans Derek Skees and Sandy Welch to State Auditor and Superintendent of Public Instruction, respectfully.

Wehe’s view is the reason we have Obamacare, new liberal Supreme Court justices, an out-of-control federal budget, and an emboldened Obama who is quickly moving to control Americans under NDAA and the United Nations.

My position is clear:

When you produce results directly opposite to your “principles” there is something wrong with your hypothesis of operation.

I don’t differ with Wehe on core “principles,” but I strongly differ with him on how to advance his core principles. You don’t advance your “principles” when you vote for Libertarians in the final election!

 says in his article How We Got Screwed by Non-Voters, Libertarians, and “Principled” Conservatives:

If it were not for Libertarians and people voting third-party on some mutation of a principle, then there would not currently be as big a perception that conservatism and Libertarianism is so wildly unpopular when the other option is socialism.

At this point I would like to extend a hearty congratulations to Libertarians and non-voting conservatives: my friends, you’ve contributed to your Libertarian and conservative dreams now having no chance of ever being realized.

Read more: http://politicaloutcast.com/2012/11/how-we-got-screwed-by-non-voters-libertarians-and-principled-conservatives/#ixzz2CFi0sxeM

2 thoughts on “The fallacy of voting on “principle””

  1. Dear Dr. Ed,

    Would you agree with me that part of the problem with this country, specifically in Congress, is that people do not uphold their oaths? Well here's a comment from that political outcast article you linked to:

    "Take responsibility for your own screw ups. SOME of us have taken an oath to the Constitution, not the president. Romney stated up front that he would violate the Constitution. I'm not violating my oath to vote for some sleezebag that won't even attempt to follow the Constitution. At least in four years YOUR party can try again. Maybe YOU can get it right the next time."

    The GOP was born in tyranny (I can safely say from a conservative perspective, devoid of all considerations of race, that Abraham Lincoln was this country's absolute worst president. Obama is a playful piker by comparison. A common fallacy for the people living in each era is to think that theirs is the one that will either be the worst or the greatest, or both. Pure delusion!) and it will be that way until the day it implodes under its own weight. It is immoral, corrupt, and bloodthirsty.

    I personally voted for every Republican at the county level (the ones I can trust, but also the ones, in theory, who I can keep in check, and not just with my vote; the government must fear it's people, when it doesn't, there is the start of tyranny; this applies equally to both parties; Obama or Romney do not have real cause to fear any constituent, let alone a bunch of hayseeds from Montana; they would gladly use any excuse, any pretense of fear, to do away with more of our rights, however), as well as for Tim Fox (a man who has done something to earn my vote) every one else on the GOP ticket got a big fat middle finger.

    And if you think that makes me a traitor of some sort you have lost sight of all perspective. It is the local level that IS important, and it is the local level that SHOULD BE important. Any consideration beyond that is where the true vanity lies, that this country can be changed for the better (it can always get worse, that is the second law of thermodynamics, metaphorically) by one man at the top who has next to no accountability and all the motivation in the world to maintain the status quo regardless of what his principles may have at one time been. There may be some men with enough integrity to resign or take a bullet in the head before going down that road (those are the only three options so far as I can tell), but Romney is not one of them.

    Denny Rehberg is a coward and an enabler and if he is never heard from again it is a far better thing than an oath breaker such as he deserves.

    If four more years of Obama and six of Tester is what it takes to snap you and your fellow short sighted, long winded old geezers (Yes sir, you got us into this mess, so get off your goddamn pedestal) out of this game you have been playing for more than a century now, then so be it. Personally, I have serious doubts that it will.

    And even were you able to accept this save for one thing: your worries that other, more moderate Montana and nationwide Republicans will just keep doing the same thing as well and never snap out of it, your fight IS and SHOULD BE with them. The only fight men with weak spines can win is against men with absolutely no backbone. I can feel mine right now, it is flexible, but it is strong. So I will continue to allow people I did not vote for and do not like to win, because, yes, I am standing on principle. You will never convince enough people with this stubborn outlook to change it. Which is why you should focus your attention on the idiots that keep nominating people we will not, and told you even before you nominated them that we would not, vote for. Face it, we have you over a barrel. You don't like it, but all you do is whine about something you can not change.

    "If you can't beat them, join them" are not words to live by. But that is exactly what any one who compromised on Romney did. That is why I have more respect for the people that actually liked Romney and voted for him than the ones who harped on him for two years leading up to his nomination and then suddenly jumped on his bandwagon. It is revolting and it needs to be called out.

    I am not normally one to abuse my host, but you really were asking for it.

    Henry Moore

  2. @1, Dear Henry,
    Thank you for your comment. You have made a valuable statement for your position. I welcome rational debate and I do not consider your comment "abuse" because you have made your point well, without ad hominem attack. With this "Thank you" so you know I appreciate your challenge, I will be back.

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