On elections

Jonathan asks,

Are you planing on endorsing a candidate in either primary? It is easy to point out flaws and inconsistencies in the candidates especially when you come from an “outside the box” political perspective like we do. But how to turn our criticism into positive influence when we are at the polls, is a much more difficult task.

Endorse? No. To me, endorsement implies broad agreement, and the ability to take pride in supporting the candidate. I might be able to endorse someone like Tim Ryan were he running, but no one in the current crop (at least, not any of the major candidates).

However, I do plan to vote, and I haven’t decided for whom yet. I confess that I’ve been ignoring the race as much as possible thus far, out of strenuous opposition to this odious new development, the two-year Presidential campaign.

My general philosophy on voting has changed since the days when I always voted for third-party or write-in candidates. I used to view voting as a way to express my own political beliefs, so that anything other than near-perfect agreement with the candidate was a betrayal of my principles. I don’t believe that anymore. I’ve come to realize that with a few exceptions, we don’t elect leaders. Change happens in the people’s minds, in the communities, first, and only once that happens can we put enough pressure on the politicians to make them go along with it. Now, the question I ask of a candidate is not, “Are his/her positions progressive enough?” (they’re not — it’s the nature of the beast), but “Will he/she help to solidify whatever progress we’ve made in people’s minds, or undo it?” Whoever is elected, our task is the same: keep changing people’s minds, keep putting that pressure on.

How this applies to life issues is complicated, and will need to be the subject of several posts.