I’ve been kind of bummed to see first Kucinich and then Edwards drop out of the race. There’s been a debate online among Billy Club members about whether voting for the candidate you like best is tantamount to wasting your vote and opting out of your social obligation to help decide between the two front runners; or whether voting for the lesser of two front-running evils is still supporting evil. (Being proper northern Californian progressives, of course we have to make out like this is about moral imperatives instead of about just trying to make the best guess you can with extremely limited and imperfect information.)
I’ve been siding with those who think that a primary election is a time to vote your conscience, because it’s the best way to try to get your views represented in the party’s platform, but that a general election is a time to get pragmatic and vote for the one of the two major candidates you dislike least even if there’s a third-party candidate who matches your views perfectly but doesn’t have a prayer of winning.
But with Edwards out of the race I’m out of candidates to vote my conscience with. Clinton and Obama both seem like decent enough people and okay choices and I’ll support whoever gets the nomination, but they both seem a little too much about feeling good about the idea of change and not quite enough about the unpleasant realities that will have to be faced in order to make that change come about. Of course, that’s a big part of why they’re the front runners and Edwards is out.
But hey, either one is so much more decent than any of the Republican candidates. Even the one the press calls a maverick because he’s gone so far out on a limb with his party as to take a stand against the use of Nazi torture techniques.