Why it doesn’t matter if your candidate wins
First, let me just say that in spite of the fact that I have strong personal feelings about who I don’t want to be President (yes, you read that correctly), I won’t be discussing that here. In fact, this will probably be my one and only politically-focused blog post of 2012.
And, oddly enough, the point I’d like to make is this: The winner of this election proves nothing. As helpful as fact-checking is, this election has absolutely nothing to do with which side is more truthful, or more importantly, which vision of America is right.
Whether you are voting for the elephant or the ass (words chosen for their alliterative qualities), it’s okay to be happy if your guy prevails, at least until reality sets in. However, don’t for a moment begin to think that winning validates anyone’s political ideals. Even in the unlikely event of a landslide, the winner cannot honestly claim he has a mandate. It only means that he was better at playing the game (and, ironically, perhaps better at obfuscating truth).
The Truth is “out there”
The presidential election (or most elections, for that matter) is not about truth, or the validity of anyone’s political, economic or social agenda. We know by now (although people keep falling for this) that what a politician says more than likely has very little to do with what he actually accomplishes (or sometimes intends to accomplish). Bush, for example, wanted a small government, and ended up creating a monster (aka the USA Patriot & Homeland Security Acts, not to mention the deficit). I won’t even begin with Obama. You could put it this way: “Whatever happens in the campaigns stays in the campaigns.” Reality happens after the election, and truth is not in the campaigns, it’s “out there,” somewhere.
In the current election, truth is perhaps a scarce commodity. On one hand, we have a president who, for lack of a better term, lies. On the other hand, we have a candidate who believes one day he’ll be god over his own planet. To be honest, I’m not sure which is worse, someone who knowingly tells untruths, or someone who is just deceived (okay, for the record, I believe Mormonism is inherently and intentionally deceptive, but I won’t get into that now, so don’t ask). Perhaps this is a bit more blunt than you’re used to, but I have never been described as politically correct.
What’s at stake
Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that this election is not incredibly important. I honestly think another for years in the direction we’re going could be the ruination of the country, at least as we know it. There are those analysts who have already predicted the failure of the USA, and we’re heading down that path. As some have said, what we are really dealing with are two very different visions for what America should be. One side still believes in the Constitution as written and believes that America has the resources and therefore an obligation to the rest of the world. The other side would like to see America take more of a back seat role, and takes a more liberal view of the Constitution. Then there are the social aspects. The great divide is philosophical, not geographical.
I don’t know why I’m telling you this, you know the differences, if you’re paying attention.
Bottom line, the election is important, and I would encourage all conservatives to vote (yes, that’s a little joke). However, let me say this again: The side that wins the election is not necessarily the side that is right. The fact that more people have been conned one way or the other (face it, political races are confidence games) will not determine which vision is better for America. And, it won’t change how you or I think about the issues.
I will continue to believe what I believe regardless of who wins. As the Avett Brothers sing,
When nothing is owed or deserved or expected
And your life doesn’t change by the man that’s elected
If you’re loved by someone, you’re never rejected
Decide what to be and go be it
(“Head Full of Doubt, Road Full of Promise”)
I do hope that a particular candidate wins, but not because I think he’s great; it’s because I believe he will better represent my political philosophy, and I know that whether or not this becomes reality remains to be seen. “My guy”—that is to say, my candidate du jour—has won many times. He (sometimes she) has also lost many times. And, Presidents all do some good and some bad. I happen to think Clinton did some good things (as much as I dislike and distrust the man), and that Bush did some bad things, as much as I liked him personally.
If the side I vote for wins this time, I realize there won’t be paradise on earth—just perhaps it won’t go to hell quite so soon. And, I realize that winning doesn’t validate what I believe; it just means there may be a chance to turn things around. Losing, oddly enough, may validate my beliefs better than winning, but I’m not that desperate to be validated. Winning could mean a lot of things, but it can’t make me (or you) right.