The American Conservative…

The American Conservative… October 9, 2012

is, surprisingly, conservative. It actually allows a diversity of opinion and is not just a search for heretics and a bullhorn for herding the masses into lockstep with Movement Conservatism (crony capitalism and warmongering with an Evangelical-flavored veneer) like FOX. Here’s a fun little piece by some guy whose politics I don’t completely track with (I don’t support Johnson), but who gets that the problem is not Left vs. Right, but our Ruling Class vs. the Rest of Us:

In his memoir If You Don’t Weaken (1940), Oscar Ameringer, witty and humane radical from the erstwhile hotbed of American socialism, Oklahoma (it really was!), professed a “rule of never voting for a presidential candidate who had the slightest chance of election. The ballot is too precious lightly to be thrown away on candidates selected and financed by the ‘angels’ and archangels of the two historic old parties which have managed my adopted country into the condition it is in today.”

Oscar’s statute remains sound. We are facing in 2012 the worst Democrat-Republican twosome since, uh, 2008? 2004? 2000? I detect a pattern.

A state’s electoral votes have never been decided by a single popular vote, so as history is our guide your vote for president does not matter.

Choose not between two evils: the candidate of crony capitalism and war with Iran or the candidate of crony socialism and smug anti-Catholicism. Groove instead to the old Prohibition Party hit: “I’d rather be right than president/I want my conscience clear.”

Strategic voting is for Board of Education or City Council elections in which you and your franchise actually matter. As a citizen, you can play a role, even an essential role, in the affairs of your place. But as a subject of the Empire, you count for nothing. You’re not even a brick in the wall in our quadrennial king-making charades.

So cast your ballot to satisfy your conscience. Obey the injunction of John Quincy Adams (whose son, Charles Francis Adams, bolted the Whigs to serve as Martin Van Buren’s running mate on the 1848 Free Soil ticket): “Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.” That might serve as an epitaph to Ron Paul’s congressional career.

Vote for the Doomed Quixotic Candidate of your choice, but vote!

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  • Hit the nail on the head with that one. I’ll have to familiarize myself more with The American Conservative.

  • 1940 huh. Interesting. I found that date to be very, very interesting.

    • Mark Shea


      • ivan_the_mad

        He meant to write that he found that date to be vewwy, vewwy intewesting, because it was the year of Elmer Fudd’s debut.

      • I don’t know. Just that it’s the same thing we’re hearing now. There’s an odd ‘it’s always been that bad/it’s never been this bad’ push/pull in the whole debate. And I found it odd that some of the comments I’ve read about the whole ‘pox on D.C.’ trend are no different than that written all those years ago. Are things really that much worse? Have they always been that bad? You know. Just got me thinking.

  • Patrick

    Are we really supposed to vote? I was thinking of only voting on the local ballot measures and skipping the public offices.

    “Groove instead to the old Prohibition Party hit: “I’d rather be right than president/I want my conscience clear.”

    Better version, with a tip of the hat to Alice Roosevelt: “I’d rather be tight than president/I want my tumbler filled.”

  • Timbot2000

    The American conservative, in addition to the usual stable of paleo- and libertarian-conservative writers, also features voices of the thoughtful left such as Tom Elgelhart, and the late Alexander Cockburn. In other words, me who. like Burke, can truly be conservative BECAUSE they are liberal, and truly liberal BECAUSE they are conservative!

  • CJ

    There isn’t even a doomed third-party candidate that I want to vote for this time out. As of now, I don’t inted to vote for POTUS at all.