Election 2012: Why I Refuse To Choose Between the ‘Lesser of Two Evils”_Featured_, Politics Thursday, September 20th, 2012
It’s Presidential election season. And, this time, I refuse to choose between the “lesser of two evils.”
I cautiously voted for Pres. Obama in 2008. He didn’t have much experience back then. But, like most people, I gave him the benefit of the doubt. Now that there are public records on what kind of President he is, I can make a bettercalculated decision. For the most part, he did not deliver on his most important promises. He did have some accomplishments that deserve to be acknowledged. But in some crucial issues, he did the opposite of what he has promised.
HOWEVER, my main issue with him is this: the way he exercised his power on the branch of government where he has the most power–Executive Branch–ran counter not only to the U.S. Constitution but also against my own basic moral intuition.
The Executive Branch of the U.S. government is where the President has the most power. The President is the Commander-In-Chief. So far, President Obama has demonstrated that he is the kind of leader who will not hesitate to kill and violate the U.S. Constitution in the name of the bogus “War on Terror.” Aside from his shoddy politics, cozy treatment of Wall Street overlords, shielding the Bush administration and the CIA for their war crimes, direct assault to civil liberties, poor record on transparency, and aggresive prosecution of whistleblowers, his continuation of Bush’s War on Terror and rampant disregard for human life of his Lethal Presidency and expansion of secrecy, are just some of the main reasons why I cannot, in good conscience, vote for him in the coming election.
But don’t get me wrong. I’m not that naive to consider Mitt Romney as an option. My position is more nuanced than that.
Lately, I’ve been doing a lot criticisms on Pres. Obama on my Facebook status updates. Some of my FB friends think that I am being too critical of Pres. Obama. Yes, it’s true. I’m more critical of Obama because he is the President. I hold him to a higher standards because I have voted for him before. Some suggested that I vote for Romney and see what happens. I believe choosing between the two is a false dichotomy. I reject the illusory choice of the “lesser evil.” One person’s “Lesser Evil” is another person’s “Effective Evil.”
But I am not here to sway people’s votes one way or the other. That would be silly of me. I don’t have that kind of influence. Actually, I don’t care who people vote for. I don’t have any party affiliation. I don’t even label myself as a “conservative”, “liberal”, “progressive”, “libertarian”, or what have you. I think that people have already made their decisions anyway. If there’s an agenda behind my highly-charged political rants, it is not to sway, but to inform. So that come election time, people will vote for their candidates, or not vote, with their eyes wide open on as many issues they can handle.
On Integral Civics
Incidentally, Terry Patten posted a blog on Integral Life entitled “The Integral Case for President Obama.” In it he laid out his case on why “integral evolutionaries” should support the re-election of Pres. Obama. I have a lot of agreements with his reasoning. But I have also some disagreements. Below are my responses to Terry which I’ve re-posted here.
Terry Patten said in his article:
“But let’s not underestimate how much our higher-order thinking and our post-conventional subculture depend upon a foundation of traditional civil law, order, and a functioning marketplace! Please consider if there’s some ungrounded arrogance in your willingness to cast aside participation in our existing institutions. Is inviting breakdown and chaos truly a wise move? Doesn’t it run the risk of allowing the most regressive and violent impulses in our society to break forth? I would argue that our integral responsibility is to hold a difficult balance between preserving what works in our existing structures, while also pushing the edges and opening spaces for the new and higher and better that’s yearning to emerge. Our world-out-of balance will probably create chaotic “windows of opportunity” for more fundamental systems redesign without us hastening the breakdown. In the dance of “creative destruction,” I would err on the side of a more constructive type of creativity.”
In my own estimation, the above paragraph is where Terry showed his real bias (integral or otherwise). What is this bias? Well, it’s clear to me, in his own words, that he favors “constructive type of creativity” over “creative destruction.” Ok, fine. Fair enough. Normally, I also have that bias and I’d rather see a constructive type of creativity within a system. But what if the system is broken beyond patch-up repairs? For more context on this perspective, see CHRIS HEDGES: “HOPE” SPEECH (UNEDITED) and this interview with Noam Chomsky over at RT.