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November 7, 2006

“Voting your conscience”
Posted by Teresa at 08:36 PM * 25 comments

From Scraps DeSelby, in the “vote today” comment thread:

If voting with your conscience means anything, it means voting with consideration toward other people, not just yourself. Your conscience isn’t the part of you that doesn’t compromise. That’s your pride. Your conscience is the part of you that wonders whether what you’re doing is making the world a better place.

If half the people who say they voted their conscience voted their decency and judgment first, their consciences wouldn’t have anything to worry about.

Comments on "Voting your conscience":
#1 ::: Randolph Fritz ::: (view all by) ::: November 07, 2006, 08:57 PM:

Bravo, Scraps. You've said something terribly important more clearly than I've ever seen it said before.

#2 ::: Sarah ::: (view all by) ::: November 07, 2006, 09:14 PM:

Seconded. I was writing up a post to that effect earlier today, but you've put it better than I managed.

#3 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 07, 2006, 09:24 PM:

Agreed, Scraps, although decency and judgment are components of conscience and so voting with the first two guidelines is voting with the third.

#4 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: November 07, 2006, 09:38 PM:

Right on, Scraps!

#5 ::: steve ::: (view all by) ::: November 07, 2006, 10:03 PM:

Absolutely Right. The "I got mine" attitude to voting that took hold in the late 1970's spawned the beast we are tryiing to slay today. Decency, compassion, a vital sense of fairness - these elements need to re-enter political discourse if there is to be hope of moving forward from here.

#6 ::: Michael Weholt ::: (view all by) ::: November 07, 2006, 10:03 PM:

I only met Scraps a few times but even so I always knew his brilliance was not merely the effect of light bouncing off that bald head.

#7 ::: Scraps ::: (view all by) ::: November 07, 2006, 11:18 PM:

I ought to have said "not just yourself", and "first" instead of "instead".

#8 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: November 07, 2006, 11:22 PM:

In Virginia Steel is edging out Webb, by about 7,500 votes. The Greens managed to get about 20,000.

Thanks guys. Way to go, helluva job your conscience was doing.

#9 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: November 07, 2006, 11:42 PM:

Scraps: So mote it be.

Terry: George Allen, isn't it? And a telling example of the results you get from self-indulgent protest vote/sending a message/voting your conscience/"no difference between the mainstream parties" political theories.

#10 ::: j h woodyatt ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2006, 12:02 AM:

I wonder how many votes for that Green candidate in Virginia came from Republicans whose only problem with Allen was that they didn't want to vote for a race bigot. If I had been a Virginia voter today, I would have crossed party lines in a heartbeat to contribute and vote for Webb. I bet a lot of Greens did so.

#11 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2006, 12:02 AM:

Cross your fingers. Webb may pull it off.

#12 ::: Nancy C ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2006, 12:46 AM:

the talking heads seem to think that they are neck and neck in VA, and that a lot of the provisional/absentee/not-yet-counted votes will be votes for Webb from the northern Virginia suburbs.

It looks to me like it's getting thrown to a recount.

#13 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2006, 01:10 AM:

Definitely going to a recount in VA. With all the electronic votes in, Webb is ahead by less than 3000 votes.

#14 ::: Paul Eisenberg ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2006, 01:32 AM:

In Illinois, the Republicans were more worried about the Green Party candidate than the Democrats, who ignored him. The Republicans spent some time to dig up dirt on the guy's past as a socialist and repeatedly blasted him.
Nonetheless, Dems coasted to victory in that race, and the Green guy has a respectable 10 percent.

#15 ::: Edward Oleander ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2006, 03:55 AM:

This was from the last thread, but I posted it there before I realized there was a better place for it...

THN: Shannon Chamberlain, Edward Oleander, it's surely possible to disagree with Scraps without calling him "undereducated".

Umm, Teresa, I was supporting Scraps... I think the re-election of Pawlenty in Minnesota today was a perfect real-world example of his logic in action. I agreed with his posts and DO NOT consider them un- or under-educated in ANY way. It was Shannon's (il)logic I was taking issue with... To me, her later post (#206) shows that she still is stretching Scraps' point well beyond it's reasonable premise and into an illogical zone that distorts what I believe he meant.

Update: It's pretty clear now that the Antichrist-in-waiting won re-election. He is coming on stage to make his victory speech as I type...

#16 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2006, 07:27 AM:

Ultimately, your vote is something you have to live with. One should treat voting as one treats any other act with moral consequences.

#17 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2006, 07:34 AM:

Edward, I apologize. I was wrong.

#18 ::: individ-ewe-al ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2006, 07:39 AM:

I quite literally don't have a dog in this fight, but. What I'm seeing in the Vote Today comment thread is people who voted straight Democrat yelling at people who voted mostly Democrat. (Anyone who voted mostly Republican, and is stupid enough to post to that thread, is probably also stupid enough to get disemvowelled.) I've heard of the American left being fragmented, but this is ridiculous. How is any leftwing political cause furthered by treating people who almost entirely agree with you as lacking in conscience, decency and judgement? Because that "almost entirely" is not an "absolutely, on every issue"?

#19 ::: Ledasmom ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2006, 07:54 AM:

Isn't the Green party on the ballot in Virginia a separate creature from the national Green party? I seem to remember reading something to that effect.

#20 ::: Bruce Baugh ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2006, 07:59 AM:

This is a digression, but while semi-awake, I put together bits about Scraps' education and talents and Wolfe's work and came up with the opening to The Urth of the New Sun: "My name is Severian, but you won't know about me unless you read some other books by Mr. Wolfe. He told some stretchers, but mostly he told the truth about me an' my travels, 'cept about my sister."

#21 ::: Geneva Geneva ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2006, 10:05 AM:

Hmmm, but sometimes the Democrats run such losers it's pretty much impossible to really vote your conscience. I hope Webb wins VA, but c'mon, what rock did they find that guy under? You can't tell me in all of Virginia there's not a good decent Democrat who didn't make horribly sexist statements in the past. Sure, it's the past and Allen said "Maccaca" just a few weeks ago, but still. This wouldn't be such a close race if Webb hadn't mocked rape victims in the past.

In other local races the Democrats were running people that we know are corrupt. In my state they were running a guy who handed state contracting deals to his friends at inflated costs. So I had to just not vote in those. The Democrats have an advantage now because many people are fed up with the war and the economy. But the Democrats have to capitalize on that by running good, decent candidates who can speak in public and garner good will. It's not enough to run people whose only recommendation is "at least he's not a Republican."

That said, I did have to vote Democrat in all the important races, because of the war and all the lives lost and international good will squandered. I just wish I didn't feel like puking after my vote. There are some decent people out there, I just know it, the Democrats have an obligation to find them and run them.

#22 ::: hamletta ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2006, 03:44 PM:


#23 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2006, 04:46 PM:

Ledasmom, yes, Parker is an Independent Green, a very conservative offshoot of the greens. The name probably pulled from Webb because people didn't know what the party actually was.

#24 ::: Scraps ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2006, 05:08 PM:

Bruce Baugh, you made me laugh.

#25 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2006, 07:10 PM:

And I was wrong. Allen conceded. He's got to have a political reason to do that.

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