I find Obama likable when I see him on TV. He is a caring husband and father, a thoughtful speaker, and possessed of an inspirational biography. On stage, as he smiles into the camera, using words to evoke some of the best sentiments within us, it’s hard to believe certain facts about him:
Obama terrorizes innocent Pakistanis on an almost daily basis. The drone war he is waging in North Waziristan isn’t “precise” or “surgical” as he would have Americans believe. It kills hundreds of innocents, including children…
Obama established one of the most reckless precedents imaginable: that any president can secretly order and oversee the extrajudicial killing of American citizens…
Contrary to his own previously stated understanding of what the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution demand, President Obama committed U.S. forces to war in Libya without Congressional approval, despite the lack of anything like an imminent threat to national security.
Now, at Lawyers, Guns, and Money, David Watkins responds that the so-called “voting as moral approval/endorsement” is deeply flawed:
The moral purpose of democracy is not to keep my hands clean and feel good about myself, no matter how much politicians and other demagogues claim otherwise. The moral purpose of democracy is the reduction of abusive power in the world. Unfortunately there’s a lot of it, and democracy’s pretty clearly an insufficient tool to address it, but that’s no reason not to use the tool, when and where you can.
Americans (and voters elsewhere), what does your vote mean to you? Do you find yourself voting against the greater evil, or do you see your vote as a moral endorsement of a candidate, for whose actions in office, if elected, you are partly responsible? Do you have electoral dealbreakers? Is choosing not to vote justifiable?
Note: We’re working on turning this conversation into a pre-election episode, so we’d welcome your comments. Wonkistan, after all, is more than Amanda and Ivan; it’s all of us.