It was 1991 and Edwin Edwards was running for reelection as the Governor of Louisiana. Edwards' corruption was legendary and he had faced multiple trials and indictments. Now in 1991 he was running against David Duke and bumper stickers and signs went up reading, "Vote for the Crook. It's important."
Well this time around John McCain is running against either Barack Hussein Obama or Hillary Clinton. Either one is as bad as David Duke. Obama is a Farrakhanite with a Muslim background, membership in a racist church and is backed by the Soros wing of the Democratic party. Hillary Clinton is a dogmatic far left wing activist with a socialist agenda that would turn America into the EU before she was done.
Vote for John McCain. It's important.
I am not a fan of McCain and I am not going to write in praise of him. I think McCain is a deeply flawed politician, I believe he will be even worse than Bush in every respect in which we are critical of Bush, I also believe that to paraphrase Churchill on Democracy, McCain is the worst of all possible candidates, except for all the rest. And the problem we are dealing with here is democracy.
The game was played and now near the end we're down to three choices. To for the worst candidate, to vote for the next worst candidate or to sit out the game entirely.
Choice One -
Some people have indeed suggested voting for the worst candidate, for Hillary or Obama in order to wreck the country enough to insure a Republican victory in 2012. I'm sure the first part of that would be easily accomplished, but people are significantly underestimating both the amount of unrepairable damage that either of them would do in four years and the ease of moving them out. I'm sure the Republicans will have Congress in 2012 if only because the public likes some balance. But presuming an easy victory in 2012 is delusional. Hillary has served two Senate terms in New York and her husband before her served two Presidential terms. If we learn from history, that means once Hillary is in office, she'll be there for eight years and her VP will be an incumbent in the next race with good odds of turning 8 years into 16. Only one Democratic incumbent has lost an election in the 20th century and that was Jimmy Carter and he was running against Ronald Reagan. Those are not good odds.
That means betting on a Republican White House in 2012 with some ideal candidate is the equivalent of betting your savings at the blackjack table in Vegas. Go look back at the Clinton era and decide if you really want to risk 8-16 years of that again on the belief that a Democratic President won't be able to pass his agenda as well McCain will, something Bill Clinton managed to do quite well. And remember that with Obama still in the race and gaining, that might actually be the best case scenario if a Democrat wins. They don't make horror movies any scarier than that. Anyone counting on the Republicans generating an ideal candidate in 2012 when they couldn't do it in 2008 and beating a Democratic President need to start thinking straight because they're engaging in wishful thinking.
Choice Two -
Sit out the race and stay home entirely. It's not an unrealistic choice, I doubt a lot of people feel up to touting McCain and it's easy enough to just tune out the election until it's over. Political fatigue and electoral shock are reasonable excuses for just giving up. But make no mistake, there's nothing righteous about it. Not voting for McCain does not mean being better for it, it means taking yourself out of the contest and letting the Democrats have one more vote they don't have to contest, one more free ride.
Not voting for a bad candidate does not make you a good person. Democracy is not about voting for perfect candidates, it's about choosing the lesser evil. There are no perfect candidates, there are only less imperfect ones. McCain in many ways will be a disaster but voting for him means choosing to moderate the harm that Hillary or Obama would do with the harm that McCain would do. Triage is the overriding reality of democracy, we do our best to vote for the one who will do less harm to our freedoms, our struggle and our country. And that man, for better or worse is undeniably, John McCain.
Not voting in the name of self-righteousness is the piety of fools because there is no righteousness in bringing harm to the country through commission or omission. Doing the right thing means minimizing the harm that will come, rather than sitting on your hands and doing nothing.
Choice Three -
Voting for McCain. No it doesn't feel good but when politics feels good, that usually means it's not going anywhere. There won't be anything good about going to the voting booth and supporting McCain except knowing that it's an unpleasant duty discharged.
McCain is a bad candidate but then again what Republican President in the last half-century hasn't been? Eisenhower, Nixon, Ford, Reagan, Bush Sr. and Bush Jr have all made their tremendous messes, some of them deliberately blurred by conservatives out of sentimentality. All of them have brought us closer to the problems we face today, the loss of individual freedoms and the Islamic terrorist threat. McCain will be no different. But as bad as they were in many ways, remember LBJ, Carter and Clinton and just how much damage they did. Now imagine Obama or Hillary as the fourth member in that deck of cards or imagine that one of those three had never been elected President. That's the power we have right now and that's why it's important to vote for John McCain.
There is no harm that McCain will do that Obama or Hillary will not do far worse. Betting on a Republican victory in 2012 is a case of optimism cutting its own throat and inaction is also a choice, a choice to let the Democrats win.
I am not a supporter of McCain. I am a supporter of managing harm by aiming for the least harm. Vote McCain to minimize harm. Do anything else to maximize it. I know it's not what people want to hear but uncomfortable truths are the only way to deal with reality.
Vote McCain. It's important.