I want you to quash a third reason offered [for voting for Nader]: they often say American politics are all about voting your conscience, that this is what democracy is all about, not this succumbing to political manipulations. [C]oming from Poland, I am more familiar with succumbing to political manipulations than democratic ideals, so please knock the s*** out of this argument too. Thanks.Sorry, Nina, I can't. I can't type a post arguing against the vote-your-conscience argument for voting for Nader. I can't not because it is a good argument, but because, of all the various arguments out there for voting for Nader, it is the one I hate so passionately as it completely robs me of my capacity to respond reasonably to it. Seriously and literally, it enrages me. Not because of its irrationality, which is plenty and relatively easily demonstrated, but because the argument is so unbelievably freaking selfish. Yes, I want to shout, democracy really is all about giving you a smug pious self-satisfied warm glow when you leave the voting booth.
I mean, if you believe that there really is no difference between Kerry and Bush, despite the various incisive arguments that can be made to the contrary, then, fine, vote for Nader. If you believe that the next four years wouldn't be different/better under Kerry than under Bush, then, fine, vote for Nader. If you believe your vote doesn't actually matter, then, fine, vote for Nader (or, more rationally perhaps, stay home). But don't freaking tell me that you recognize that Kerry would make a better President than Bush, but that Your Precious Conscience won't let you vote for Kerry and so you voted for Nader. Don't try to enlist me in your stupid little Delusion of Nobility. I mean, really, who the hell do you think you are? Who do you think you are, that the ephemeral ease of Your Precious Conscience is more important than the fates of those people who you believe would be directly affected by the different policies of the potential Kerry vs. Bush administrations?
Here at JFW, we are not fans of selfishness generally, but the most infuriating selfishness is the kind that tries to pass itself off as being The Honorable Thing For Those Who Care About Others. I'm sorry that you gotten yourself in the psychological bind where you will feel a little bit worse if you vote for Kerry than you would if you voted for Nader. Three words: Suck It Up.
Ugh. Now I'm stomping around the RV all agitated. Thanks a lot, Nina.