If You Want to Live in a Symbolic Country, Cast a Symbolic Vote
The throwing of tea into Boston Harbor on December 16, 1773 was a SYMBOLIC gesture. Important, but SYMBOLIC.
The clash between the Minutemen and the British Army at Lexington & Concord on April 18th, 1775 was REAL…it was not “symbolic”. The time for symbolism was past. On April 18, 1775, somebody deciding to ride on down to Boston and throw tea into the harbor would have been WASTING THEIR TIME (not to mention tea). Worse, they would have been turning their back on their countrymen!
With me so far? Good, because those time/tea wasters are exactly who this post will be about. In today’s terms, those time and tea wasters are 1 issue voters. What might their 1 issue be? Anything from gay marriage, to legalizing marijuana, to resentment over “their candidate” not getting the nomination, substitute one for the other and the result is the same. For example:
“I am voting for Obama because his position “evolved” to my position on gay marriage. He can burn this country to the ground. He can take away some of our most basic freedoms. I don’t care that there are more people adding themselves to the disability rolls than getting actual jobs. Why? Because I can marry whoever I want, by golly!” Their one issue is all they need to pull that lever. Screw everyone else (and screw them too, because they may gain one thing, but will lose much much more).
Again, you can take “gay marriage” and substitute it for any number of things if you want. Marijuana, social justice, race/gender, health insurance (don’t fool yourself, health insurance and health CARE are not the same thing), abortion, etc.
“My candidate is not the nominee, so I am going to write his name in..or just not vote.” [translation: “I am taking my ball and going home because I didn’t get my way.”] My “one issue” is this case- is my EGO!
What if the Founding Fathers had felt like the “one issue” voter in example #1 (a real issue) or #2 (a bruised ego)? What if they decided as a result to “symbolically” declare our independence? Or worse still, what if our Founders allowed themselves to be BOUGHT OFF by their “one issue” being resolved??
Note: two months before the battles of Lexington and Concord, the British Parliament passed the ‘Conciliatory Resolution’ which ended the taxation on tea for any colony that satisfactorily provided for the imperial defense and the upkeep of imperial officers (an easy bar to clear). Then AFTER the Revolutionary war had already started, they repealed the tax on tea altogether (Taxation of Colonies Act 1778).
Those fighting for our freedom KNEW that these acts by Parliament were merely intended to put the genie of freedom back in the bottle…and they fought on. Why? Because if they had stopped fighting based on a few concessions, or because they felt good just “sending a message”, then within a short time, the British would have crushed the resistance…maybe forever!
Now we have people who say of Barack Obama: “What if he wins? We’ll just win the White House back in 4 short years!” And so they intend to “send a message” by not voting for the one person who has a shot at actually defeating Obama!
Benjamin Franklin would say to the “message sending, one issue” voters of today, what he said to those whose courage was wavering in 1776:
“We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately”.
Obama is picking everyone’s ONE ISSUE off one by one…and if he succeeds, we will ultimately all hang separately! Your nominee of choice being listed by you in the “write in” section of your ballot assures that you are ok with hanging separately, because it says that you know how dangerous Obama is, but you just don’t care enough to do anything about it.
Look, is Romney my candidate of choice? NO. This election is not about me though, and I have to set my own wants aside on that “one issue”. I can focus my attention on ways to harness him, because, unlike Obama, he isn’t setting about to rule this country by executive fiat. Someone who respects checks and balances is better than someone who resents them, and that is the point. I can and will hold Romney’s feet to the fire. I can’t do that to Obama, because he simply does not care. He is a selfish ideologue who lacks a moral compass (or, worse still, has a “moral compass” that points straight to Hell).
Your symbolic vote for someone other than the one who can actually defeat Obama (or decision to “symbolically” NOT vote) is the equivalent of dumping tea in Boston Harbor on April 18, 1775…even as your countrymen took to the field. Your selfish vote for your “one issue” is not fighting for our country…it’s placating your ego. Four more years of Obama will see his vision of a “Fundamentally transformed United States” either fully realized, or so far along it will be impossible to reverse without bloodshed! You’ve got a chance to stop it in November, 2012…don’t blow it!
They tell us, sir, that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot? Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable–and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come.
It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace– but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death! -Patrick Henry