Hi Kosh! Here we go!
First; the title of your blog is not an inclusive one. It does not say “Why others should vote Democrat”, it refers only to why YOU are going to vote Democrat. You maintain consistency with that idea throughout your responses to various comments made on this blog by again and again stating that you want a reason why YOU should cast your vote anywhere else than to a Democrat; and you want that reason to use only the premises that you have iterated here. No new premises are allowed to be introduced.
Your opening paragraph stays with three specific reasons why YOU will vote Democrat. Yet, right in your very first “Reason,” you change from “I” to “we”. This implies that you are expressing reasons for anyone/everyone to vote Democrat and NOT just reasons why YOU will vote democrat.
Then later on, right in your blog, you go back to using “I” when you state:
”If you want me to withhold my vote from any Democrat, you have to tell me what good that will do.”
“I don’t care if I am theoretically soiling my hands by the very act of voting for horrible people, because keeping my hands clean is not my biggest priority.”
“I want to know what to DO.”
Now sir, this hand-dandy jumping back and forth between the generic “we” and the specific “I” is, not only confusing, it is against YOUR own doggone rules! You state, at the end of section 2:
“If it is your case, make it. Not in comparative terms, in absolute terms.”
……..so what is your definition of “absolute terms? You also listed a number of comparative terms just above that! You said:
We can be reasonably sure we'd see certain differences, such as:
• A difference in the makeup of the Supreme Court
• Differences in where the tax burdens fall. Romney is unlikely to increase taxes on the wealthy (all he claimed in the debate was that he wouldn't decrease them but they're historically low now), Obama is likely to increase them
• Differences in how much renewable energy is supported compared to fossil fuels, with resultant differences in global warming and oil dependence
• Differences in the economy as a whole, because the more tax policy and government programs are skewed toward helping people lower on the economic ladder, the more business will be created
• Differences in the economy as a whole in terms of different approaches to how to balance austerity and the deficit
• Differences in support for social programs for those without resources in general
• Differences in support for college/university education, which is critical for American competitiveness
• Differences in how minority populations are treated, including support for or opposition to the Arizona approach to defining who it's reasonable for police to stop under what circumstances
• Differences in womens' (sic) rights, including support for the Lily Ledbetter law, abortion rights, etc.
• Differences in support for gay rights
• Differences in the availability of health care and nursing home care for the poor and elderly
• Differences in environmental policy in general. Whether or not you think Obama is an environmentalist, he's certainly more of one than Romney is
• Differences in military spending. Romney is supporting spending the Pentagon is actually not requesting
Since every one of the items on your list has no specific claims as to what Obama would do or what Romney would do, merely that there would be “differences”, you are yourself using comparative terms and not, as you demand commenters do, specific terms.
Oddly enough I have less problem with that than you might think. Y’see Kosh, you doing that points up the fact that there is much more to be said on this whole topic – and the premises you’ve given here – than fits within your parameters.
There is, with both your essay and other discussions on this matter, certain underlying, though unmentioned, assumptions. To me, the chief amongst those is the one that takes it for granted that your vote and the votes of those others who would like to vote Green on principle, will actually tip the scales in Obama’s favour if you vote for him – to block Romney – and ignore your conscience……. to ”get your hands dirty” is how I think you phrased it.
I may be looking in the wrong place, but I see no huge numbers of people who have any desire at all to vote for Jill Stein. Let’s do a bit of very rough arithmetic. Your population is a tad over three hundred million. I will assume that 2/3 of that population is eligible to vote (the actual number are not important as I want to show a ratio of proportion rather than an actual head count).
If your elections go as ours here go, then about half of eligible voters will do so. So we’re at approximately one hundred million votes. If we assume that exactly half of those - fifty million votes - will go to each of the major parties, then any vote for a third party will have an effect on the outcome.
BUT….. I know that there has never been an election that is so close. So (using licence granted to me by your own self making certain assumptions), I make the assumption that the race will not, this time, be so close.
Now the Green Party, again if history is repeated, (another assumption) will not get more than a handful of votes. NOT enough votes to change the outcome. She has never gained even one one-thousandth of the votes given to either major party.
This tells me that votes given to Greens won’t change the outcome of the election one little bit. Not an iota. So if your conscience tells you to vote Green, go ahead and do so. You WILL NOT be handing Romney the presidency. You won’t be effecting the outcome of the election at all.
However, votes given to Greens – or any other non-major party – will need to be considered by whatever party wins the election, after the election. Any trend of voters towards Green policies will likely have an effect on the policies that other parties initiate, and how they’ll initiate them, since such a trend will be a red flag to major parties as to what policies the more progressive of the electorate are moving towards favouring.
Proportionately, a vote which might be only one of 5,000, for the Greens will have thousands of times the power of a vote for a party that could possibly get some 50,000,000 votes.
So there you have it. Contrary to your contentions, I aver that the votes of the few who would prefer to vote Green, but will vote Democrat, WON’T change the outcome of the election one little bit. There just isn’t any reason to think that there are sufficient of them to do so.
If you want to make the claim – that you already have – that your vote is so important to the outcome of the election that voting Green would alter that outcome, (Romney could win) then YOU must put up numbers – or other “specific facts” – to support your claim. Remember the rules of debate state that it is for you to make your case…… NOT for those who doubt you to prove you wrong.
I see only an arrogant over-importance placed on your own vote and that of the few who might, like you, want to vote Green. Face it man, your one little vote will be lost among all those other Democrat votes. If you really want to make it count for something, stay with your principles.
SO GO AHEAD AND VOTE YOUR CONSCIENCE! You’ll feel better about yourself. You’ll encourage the development of a 3rd party from no viable voice to possibly getting a voice in future elections. And you avoid the dilemma of choosing between two evils. A win/win for you!