Monday, October 20, 2008

The Spite Vote

It is not quite unreasonable to suppose that people tend to vote out of spite. Not unreasonable both as an empirical fact--I have, and I presume most people have, known people who vote for someone simply to spite the people who support that person's opponent--and as a normative supposition. In short, it makes sense for people to vote out of spite because one person's vote does not really matter, a fact which I suspect most voters, at someone level, believe to be true. Why not, then, if one is to vote at all, vote out of spite? It's quite as reasonable as any other reason.

So, for example, I do not want John McCain and Sarah Palin to win the election. I think their election would set the US on a bad path. And yet, when I see statements like the following, I'm inclined, at some level, to want a McCain/Palin victory:
In other words, the GOP, right now, is a mob-rule party. The party has assumed, with the adoption of the totem Sarah Palin, its most animalistic and base characteristics as its public image.
Especially when one commentator has this to say, after a learned diatribe about how people misinterpret Edmund Burke, about critics of the cause du jour:
Somebody should aks these conservative losers to justify their own very existence from the ideological premises they peddle. C---s.
I have edited the "C---s" but I'll let the readers, if I have any, use their imagination. Now, here's a further exchange on that blog:
[Blogger] I vigorously applaud the masterful mixing of the vulgar and the sublime in the above comment. Bravo!

10:22 AM
Anonymous Marius said...

Much appreciated, kind sir. But really, these people make for easy targets, with their fourth-rate intellects. It's shifty rhetoricians like Hitchens that are harder to shoot.

10:41 AM
Blogger Bob Fortuna said...

You just need a bigger gun.
Apparently, a "bigger gun" is needed to take aim at these "loser intellectuals" who lack the fortitude to understand Burke or to vote "progressively." I'm sure that "Bob Fortuna" was speaking metaphorically--after all, only right-wing nuts believe in using guns. Still, comments like these are apt to give spiteful glee at a Republican victory to people otherwise inclined to want Obama to win.

I will not change from my original purpose to vote for a third party candidate. But the temptation to vote from spite is ever present.

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