Why Do We Vote for Whoever We Vote For?

It seems to me that in every election cycle for the last, say, 40 years most people have voted against something (or someone) rather than for something (or someone). I’ve also heard it phrased that committed partisans vote for something;the non-committed vote against.

With all of the attack ads this election certainly seems to me to be shaping up as one in which we’ll vote for the lesser evil.

Here’s my question: does it have to be that way?

6 comments… add one
  • PD Shaw Link

    I guess it depends on whether one believes the President’s power to accomplish things is greater or lesser than the President’s power to screw things up. If one thinks the President’s power to screw things up is the greatest, then adopting low risk voting strategies makes the most sense (which President will do the least harm to ______)

    The formula may be different in the legislature. The power of a single legislator to do good or harm is minimal.

  • I think we should all vote on the basis of entertainment value. On that basis Bill Clinton was a great president, and Mr. Bush, still, a disappointment. Of course this leaves Nixon as a great president, too. Say what you will, Dick put on a show.

    In this current race we must ask ourselves, which will be more entertaining: watching Obama’s attempt at bipartisanship crash and burn by the afternoon of November 14th, or watching Mr. McCain’s memory fail.

  • PD Shaw Link

    michael, do we now know the real reason you exited yourself from this country?

  • PD:
    Yes. I came to Italy for the sensible, sane, stable politics.

  • Andy Link

    With a diverse population and only two real choices a “lesser of two evils” calculus seems natural to me. In a system with more than two viable political parties there exists, in theory at least, a greater opportunity to vote for someone.

    So to answer the question, no it doesn’t have to be that way, but it probably will be that way while we’re still alive and voting.

  • Larry Link

    Well, we could be in North Korea, Russia, or any number of other countries
    where the process of voting for leadership certainly has different meanings and of course out comes.

    Yes we cast our votes for one or the other, but neither is a singular entity,
    it’s really a package deal…it’s the contents and potential contents that we vote for in the end.

    Does the process have to be the way it is, my question is, has it ever been any different?

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