Monday, March 21, 2016

No Good Choices

Back on “Super-Tuesday”, I did not do something.  I deliberately did not vote.  Oddly, I felt good about my choice.  I have voted in abstentia or in person in every local, primary, or national election for the last thirty plus years.  I have voted from Afghanistan, Korea and Germany.  Two primary reasons for my choice; first, my vote would not have changed the outcome; secondly (and sadly), there were no good choices. 

This dilemma reminds me of an interview conducted with retired US Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North, shortly after the Iran-Contra scandal.  In it, North told Pastor Bill Hybels that, “the really tough decisions are when you face two bad choices -- or two good choices -- and you have to make a choice.”   

An example of two bad choices.  Let’s say I am running late for work (in the Army we hold “formations” each morning to gain accountability of all assigned soldiers).  I would have the choice of speeding to make it on time, or obey the speed limit and miss formation.  It is a tough decision when there are only bad alternatives from which to choose.  When it’s a lose-lose, or no-win situation, when it is the lesser of evils, it is a tough decision.  If I end up getting a speeding ticket, it is bad.  If I am reprimanded for being late, it is bad.  If I end up getting a ticket and a reprimand for being late, then it is really bad.

Now two good choices.  Now let us say I have won a seven night, all expenses paid, vacation package for my family.  We can choose skiing and touring Europe or the Hawaiian Islands.   Skiing on world-class slopes, fresh-air, beautiful mountains, touring castles and cathedrals

-- or --

gentle breezes, fresh fruits, fragrant plumeria, snorkeling, and riding the waves.  Even though it is a win-win situation, it is still a very tough decision.   Imagine coming back from Hawaii with a nice tan, some macadamia nut chocolates, fresh pineapple, and a lifetime of memories; and then wondering for the rest of your life if that fresh powder and mountain chalet would not have been even better.  Even when there are only good alternatives to choose from, it is still tough to decide. 

One good choice, one bad choice.  Let’s say, just for the sake of illustration, that I have the choice between Heaven and Hell.  It is not a win-win.  It is not a lose-lose.  It’s a no-brainer.  When the choice is between good and bad it is just plain easy to decide.  Yet, unbelievably, some choose not to believe.  Never mind that example, that is a different column, but you get the idea.

When it comes to presidential politics, America is in a bad place right now.  If one does believe, there is a good choice they are certainly part of a small minority.  This election seemingly guarantees that the majority of Americans will be unhappy with the results. 

How did we get to the point where there are no good choices?  In short, the Republican Party is reaping what they have sown – weeds.  Nasty weeds.  The Republicans’ failure to stop the last seven years of Obama’s out of control spending, unconstitutional edicts, insane foreign policy, and overreaching legislation that has created the disaster Republicans now face.  No establishment candidate is acceptable.

Although it may be, Obama is to blame for putting America on a crash course, the Republican lawmakers’ failure to restrain, let alone stop the impending disaster rightfully earned them the absolute fury of all but Bob Dole, Karl Rove, Mitt Romney and other establishment class beneficiaries.

Even though Trump and Cruz are unacceptable to the aforementioned Republican ruling class, between the two of them, they have garnered 1,101 of the 1,429 delegates, fully 77% of the total delegates pledged to date.  Obama has done for them what he has done for gun sales. 

While the left looks less contentious, their predicament is no less muddled.  They are forced to choose between a self-avowed socialist and a woman whom an ABC News poll found is most frequently associated with the word “liar”.   The FBI and Justice Department may soon get the opportunity to make it “convict”.  Nonetheless, the “liar” is leading.

My bumper sticker this election season – “Don’t blame me, I didn’t vote for any of them.”


Tim Turner said...

Colonel, it may seem like nit-picking, but black text on a dark grey background is very hard to read. I enjoy your posts, but please choose a more readabe color-scheme in the future.

As for voting in the primaries, I'm in California. We're a late voting state and solid democrat, lately. So a non-leftist vote could hardly have less meaning. But I still vote. And I vote for the guy I beieve in. Maybe it's easier when he's already lost. It's a vote of principal that says, "Hey? Maybe there are still some of us out here? We've already nominated some yahoo, but, look! Here's another vote!"

Ann Barnhardt believes this is all Kabuki theater because the American Republic is already gone. Thus, none of this matters because we're voting for statists, narcissists, puppets or power-mongering liars.

So I appreciate the sentiment behind, "Don't blame me, I didn't vote."

A guy is in the voting booth about to mark his preference when suddenly a man points a pistol at the back of his head. "Alright, asshole!" the man says. "Who are you voting for - Hillary or Trump?"

"You're right," the guy says. "Go ahead and shoot."

For at least 60 years there have been jokes like this, jokes like yours and the idea that "those politicians" aren't doing what we want. Probably longer.

To paraphrase Reagan and some other guy: "We're always a generation away from losing freedom." And. "We always have to teach each generation why socialism doesn't work."

We didn't do it this time around. We didn't spank, we didn't teach history and we let schools and government teach - or at least pretend to teach - values, instead of facts. said...

Thanks Tim - acknowledge the color scheme issue....I screwed around with it for quite a while - when I used a light color on the web site the mobile version was unreadable -- and vice-versa.

Your voting booth joke had me laughing -- it is almost that bad.

The recent events in Europe and Obama channeling his inner-communist down in Havana will only help Trump.

Agree wholeheartedly on your Gubmint schools comment.

Bless you brother!