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Old 03-10-2020, 08:17 PM
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Vote for the country or vote for yourself?


Position A: I will vote for the candidate who I think will make my personal life better. It doesn't matter what the cost is to others to make that happen. If everybody voted like me and the candidate won (both Electoral College and popular vote), then that means the majority of people would be better off. Isn't that what makes the country better?

Position B: I will vote for the candidate who does what is morally, ethically, and fiscally right for the betterment of the country as a whole and its place in the world, regardless of its benefit or cost to me as an individual. If everybody voted like me and the candidate won (both Electoral College and popular vote), then that means that the country as a whole would be better off, not just benefiting a majority at the expense of the minority. Isn't that what make the country better?
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Old 03-10-2020, 09:27 PM
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If you slaughter your neighbors and take their property, YOU might be better off but the nation isn't*. No, greed is not the highest virtue. Bettering yourself by fucking-over others may fit some religious ethics but I won't have it.

* Unless your neighbors are Scientologists. In that case, go ahead, cleanse the genepool.
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Old 03-10-2020, 09:29 PM
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I vote for the country - that being said, I can't recall ever facing a voting situation in which my own personal life or employment/school/etc. was seriously at stake one way or another.
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Old 03-10-2020, 09:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CookingWithGas View Post
Position A: I will vote for the candidate who I think will make my personal life better. It doesn't matter what the cost is to others to make that happen. If everybody voted like me and the candidate won (both Electoral College and popular vote), then that means the majority of people would be better off. Isn't that what makes the country better?

Position B: I will vote for the candidate who does what is morally, ethically, and fiscally right for the betterment of the country as a whole and its place in the world, regardless of its benefit or cost to me as an individual. If everybody voted like me and the candidate won (both Electoral College and popular vote), then that means that the country as a whole would be better off, not just benefiting a majority at the expense of the minority. Isn't that what make the country better?
I will start off with a Position A attitude but realize at some point that my greatest happiness tends to involve Position B approaches, or at least the intersection of the two.

Or vice versa, which I think is how it actually happened for me: I started off with a Position B attitude and came to realize that what was best for the plurality was the realization of what was best for me as an individual (in the long run, yes, but selfishly ALSO yes).
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Old 03-11-2020, 01:47 AM
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In a small election, where my vote is likely to be decisive, I might feel a duty to my family to vote in their best interest.

However, in a large election, where any individual vote is very unlikely to be decisive, I have the opportunity and moral duty to be altruistic; to adhere to the Golden Rule whose formulation goes back to ancient Egypt, ancient Greece, and the early religions. I won't lose individually, since my individual vote is too small to matter, but acting together humanity can win for humanity.
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Old 03-11-2020, 02:04 AM
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President Kennedy "ask not what your country can do for you ask what you can do for your country"


It may help to consider the Trump supporter who stated that the Coronavirus was 'Fake News!', spread by the evil Democrats.

Also that Trump (who cut health services) is 'concerned' about Coronavirus - because it may hurt his election prospects.

What sort of President do you want?
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Old 03-11-2020, 02:37 AM
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Pretty fundamental to classical republican theory is that those who exercise political power must exercise it for the common good, and not for their private or personal good. This goes for everyone who exercises any amount of political power, large or small. And a vote is a form of political power. Your office as a voter is no more conferred upon you to advance your personal interest than Donald Trump's office as President is conferred on him to advance his personal interest.
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Old 03-11-2020, 02:45 AM
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Country, unless is a small local election where it would affect me or my family directly.
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Old 03-11-2020, 04:06 AM
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I don't vote for myself - I'm comfortable, middle class, haven't suffered greatly in any recession. I should be a conservative, but I'm not.

I vote to help people less fortunate than myself.
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Old 03-11-2020, 06:43 AM
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I was thinking about this question when Bloomberg was still in the running.

Trump versus Bloomberg. Hmm...the guy who is horrible in a lot of ways but hasn't promoted the violation of black folks' civil liberties in his policies. Or the guy who can pass as an OK leader but blatantly and proudly violated black folks' civil liberties for years.

The white liberals who I consider my friends pleaded with me to go with the latter. "It's a no brainer!" they told me.

I shrugged my shoulders at first. When they kept insisting, I rolled my eyes. Finally, I told them when my black ass gets stopped and frisked, I'll be blaming them, not Bloomberg. They backed off a little when I said that.

You can increase my taxes by 100% if you've got a good plan for addressing societal ills. If taxing me extra at the register for my Funyuns and Little Debbies can help pay for Medicare for all, go for it.

But if your policies are going to result in me and people like me being victimized by the police? It isn't a no-brainer. Your platform could otherwise be perfect and the other guy could be evil incarnate, but it won't matter. I probably will not vote at all if those are my only choices.

It's very frustrating when you say something like this and a bunch of comfortable white folks (it's always comfortable white folks) scold you from their comfortable white people perches.
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Old 03-11-2020, 07:35 AM
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Tom Wolf ran for governor of Pennsylvania in 2014, declaring his support for medical marijuana. His opponent, incumbent Tom Corbett, was a strong opponent of medical marijuana.

I worked my ass off urging people to vote for Wolf. Longstoryshort he won and stood by his promise, so I have my medical card today. Had MMJ not been an issue, I'd have still voted for Wolf, although I wouldn't have campaigned for the guy.
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Old 03-11-2020, 08:04 AM
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I see voting for the country as voting for myself. I'm a blue collar guy with about 20 years to go before retirement but not at all certain that I'll be able to retire comfortably. I see much of the country in the same position. I see people 15-20 years younger than I am worried that they may never be able to get out of student loan debt, and I see people 15-20 years older than I am worried about medical debt. Many people I know are, well, okay, but I know few people who can go to bed at night feeling like they've got it made. A vote for them is a vote for my interests as well.
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Old 03-11-2020, 09:41 AM
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I don't think those are the only two options. Essentially voting is like ethics by proxy. Some people might be a deontological type, voting for the man who lives up to certain ideals and "rules for being a good person". Others might vote as a utilitarian for the person who they feel will do the greatest good for the greatest number, regardless of the candidate's personal ethics (this is why the pro-life movement voted for Trump, as far as I can tell). Both of these strategies are sort of orthogonal to the "country vs self" argument.

Also, almost everyone will deny voting out of pure self interest, but their definitions of "voting for the country" would differ, too. For example, a libertarian might say the country would be a better place if immigration were less restricted or not restricted at all, while a Trump Republican would say that limiting immigration would be best for the people that are already here. And what about foreign policy? Someone might be opposed to bombing poor children in the third world with no thought of whether that is best for America or themselves. It's just best that we don't bomb children, no matter where you live.

Finally, we're all pretty good at convincing ourselves that what is best for ourselves is what is best for the country or the world as a whole. Billionaires who oppose wealth taxes always make the case that it would destroy America or go against our values, not that it would slightly constrain their lifestyle, though do we really believe it's the former and not the latter conviction that drives their opposition?
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