Wednesday, October 22, 2008

"Sure, his ideas are crap, but I can tell he really believes what he's spewing..."

As I continue trying to avoid delving into topics explicitly dealing with the impending presidential election - an abyss that it is all too easy to drown in, and which plenty of others have already sacrificed themselves to in my stead - the following post has been draped with a thin veil of anonymity. -Ed.

In the course of a recent political debate with a regular interlocutor of mine, I became aware of a previously unrecognized polarization in the spectrum of theories of what should be valued in choosing a candidate to support. On one hand there is my own position, which is that one should vote for the candidate whose policy proposals one most agrees with, in the understanding that, even if none of those policies are successfully implemented, making the attempt to realize them is the most logical action toward securing one's interests.

My friend, however, took a position that I don't agree with, but can't criticize as logically unsound: he says that, all else being equal, he would vote for the candidate whose policy proposals seem most likely to be actualized, even if he disagreed with their motivating principles. His reasoning was that he could not trust a politician who campaigns on a platform that the candidate him- or herself must be aware is impracticable; it is nothing more than disingenuous, political posturing to win votes.

The core difference that I see this polarization deriving from, is over the question of whether one takes a basically optimistic or pessimistic view of human intentions. I dunno... am I just a pollyanna?

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