09 November 2016

Rachel Maddow punches down

In Florida, Donald Trump ran ahead of Hillary Clinton by not quite 120,000 votes. Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate, won just over 206,000 while Jill Stein, the Green nominee, collected just over 64,000 votes. You know what that means. It's time again for diehard Democrats to denounce third parties. Let's let Rachel Maddow of MSNBC speak for this group as a whole. In her wrath last night, she said: "If you vote for somebody who can't win for president, it means you don't care who becomes president." As someone who voted for neither Trump nor Clinton, I can tell her to go [mouths F-word] herself. If you believe one candidate is the one who should be president, how can voting for that candidate mean you don't care who becomes president? If there's a "don't care" element involved, it's that I don't care how many other people vote for other candidates. Your choice, ideally, should be the candidate you think best qualified, regardless of how many other people think so. If you have any responsibility to those other voters, it's to convince them to vote as you will, for the reasons you will. But by Maddow's logic, you only care about who becomes president if you vote specifically to prevent the worst candidate from taking office, which you can do only by voting for the other strongest candidate. I did not want Trump to become president, but since we don't elect presidents through elimination rounds I had no obligation to vote against him, much less vote against him by voting for Clinton, whom I did not want elected either. The idea that I have a paramount duty to block the worst candidate from winning by sacrificing my vote to the second-worst candidate goes against the spirit of liberal democracy, which does not (or should not) presume a "worst candidate" but rather encourages each person to vote according to his or her conscience and intellect. But for Democratic partisans like Maddow it's always the year 2000, and it's always the fault of the relative handful who vote with integrity despite the odds, as they're supposed to, and not the fault of the multitude who voted for her bĂȘte noire. She'd rather blame thousands than millions, and you know who does that?

A bully.


Anonymous said...

"She'd rather blame thousands than millions, and you know who does that?

A bully."

So anyone who blames brownshirts for the rise of Hitler is a bully? Interesting.

Frankly, I think "bully" has become yet another liberal trigger-word. As far as I'm concerned, a bully is a person who uses physical intimidation. As the tired old saw says "sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me."

I think anyone voting for a third party candidate is a fool because the person running for the office as a third party candidate only does so to assuage their own ego. Otherwise, they'd put their time and effort into growing their party by running for local office, rather than jump right for the oval office.

Samuel Wilson said...

I think it qualifies as a kind of intellectual bullying to blame people for the election of someone they didn't vote for -- that'd be like blaming the Communists instead of the brownshirts for the rise of Hitler -- but if that strikes you as a misuse of the word let's agree that it's just plain stupid. I was trying to be ironic anyway, since Maddow is the sort of opinionator likely to denounce all opponents, to her right at least, as bullies.

Somebody has to be president, but that somebody shouldn't have to belong to one of the two major parties, and I think voting third-party is a more explicit way of showing disapproval of the major-party nominees than not voting. But do you really think that Johnson and Stein were less egotistical than Clinton and Trump?

Anonymous said...

No more bullying than to claim, on a grade school playground, that so-and-so has cooties. Anyone bullied by a lie is going to claim that anything and everything is bullying. And quite frankly, at this point, I am so sick and tired of just about everyone whining about being bullied that my response is the response I used to hate: "Grow a set and stand up for yourself."

The Syrians have only themselves to blame for not standing up to Assad the moment he put himself in power. The Mexicans have only themselves to blame for allowing the drug cartels to get so big and for putting up with a bloated, corrupt, unresponsive government for the past 4 or 5 decades. WE, the American people, should NOT be put in a place where we either have to deal with the problems of foreign lazy cowards. Nor should our humanity be called into question because - - - who the fuck cares? Let species that deserve to go extinct go extinct. Why save the dodo birds so someone else could club them out of existence?

Anonymous said...

My point, I guess, being that I understand a physically weaker person claiming they are being bullied by someone of superior physical abilities - someone they can't successfully defend themselves against physically. But when it is merely words involved, it isn't a matter of "can't defend yourself", unless you're mentally retarded. It is a case of "I don't want to have to defend myself so someone just make this person go away." In EVERY case of such bullying, you ALWAYS have the option of simply walking away or closing that web page. But such people want to be able to voice their opinion without having to be "bullied" by someone else's opinion and that is, quite simply, bullshit.