1.11.18

REJECT THE FALSE BINARY.

No, Eric Zorn, I will not stop complaining about the candidates for governor and make a choice!

Here is his characterization of the two major party candidates.
They’re both staggeringly wealthy men who decided that governor ought to be an entry-level job and set out to buy the office for themselves. They’ve spent record sums trashing each other’s character and competence in a relentless barrage of TV and online ads, to the point that you feel like staying home and hiding under the covers on Election Day.

But in truth, neither of these candidates is evil in his heart. Neither is in this race for personal financial gain. Both believe their policies will restore Illinois to financial health and, ultimately, bring prosperity and safety to our communities. Both are rich enough to be independent in office, not beholden to special interests, insiders or party bosses.
But don't you deplorables dare get uppity and exercise your freedom of choice.
Some of you will cast protest votes for third-party candidates, as though such votes will make a statement anyone will hear, much less heed. And as though such candidates would still look good had they been battered by tens of millions of dollars worth of attack ads.

The rest of us who go to the polls will be choosing a governor. We’ll be sucking it up and selecting one of two dramatically contrasting paths forward offered by two manifestly imperfect candidates.
That argument only works to the extent that voters think a vote for one of the Other than Democrat, Other than Republican candidate is a futile and stupid gesture.  Put another way, it's accepting the ad populum fallacy (Everybody else is choosing the lesser of two evils, I might as well suck it up and choose a lesser evil.)  Feel free to vote your conscience or not vote at all, dear reader.  You still have the right to criticize, or to suggest doing things differently.

Voters do not have to embrace the suck.  And when sufficient voters refuse to embrace the suck, even the pundit class notices.  Fifty years ago, Richard Nixon's mandate was dubious in the minds of Our Intellectual Betters, because although he won a majority of the electoral votes and a plurality of the popular vote, Humphrey plus Wallace garnered more popular votes than Nixon did.
You may not like this choice. You may wish that different candidates had emerged from the primaries, ones with different baggage, more experience and smaller egos.

But it’s the choice you have. And it’s a stark, important one.
Neither of the above is also a choice.  Exercise it if you wish.

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