Thursday, November 09, 2006

Which is better: to stay steady in your ideology and vote for candidates whose views align with yours...

or to choose candidates who you perceive to have integrity, and vote for them even if you disagree with some of their positions on the issues?

Candidates are people, so of course they are fallible. But ideologies can fail us too. Strict ideologies can't adequately address every situation. For example, conservatism advocates small government, but conservatives hailed No Child Left Behind as a fix for our broken school systems. There are many other examples of government interference in daily life that self-identified conservatives have hailed, especially in times of national crisis or recession. The same is true the other way around, with liberals and contradictory policy.

I just don't see politics as choices between right and wrong. It's a game: what policy is best for society? What candidate will most effectively advocate that policy? How can we balance the interests of everyone?

Ever since I've been old enough to care about politics, Republicans have been in charge. The reversal on Tuesday may prove that the system works; people were unhappy with the way things were going and demonstrated their discontent at the polls.

So I'm going to reserve judgment of the new leadership until they produce something to judge. The answer to my question above is this: blind commitment to either -- ideology or candidates -- is foolish.

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