As a consequentialist I regard voting in an election not as a symbolic act that would demonstrate my ideological purity but as one that could actually make a difference. At the same time, based on the concept of rational ignorance I also recognize that I’m contstrained by my average level of intelligence and my available time and information in my ability to make a perfect informed decision.
For example, I cannot predict whether the Democrats will end-up with 60 seats in the Senate or whether McCain will die in office or who McCain and Obama will nominate as Supreme Court judges or whether the socialization of the American economy will be even more drastic under a Democratic administration than under this Republican administation (will the Democrats consider taking the socialist road by, say, nationalizing insurnace companies and banks or saving the auto industry?) or whether the Republicans will reinvent themselves if they lose the election (they probably won’t).
What I do know is that if you agree that conservatism is the negation of ideology, the major current threat to those espousing this political philosophy has not been communism, fascism, socialism, or even multiculturalism and feminism, but the radical ideology of neoconservatism that as the editors of this magazine have pointed out again and again, has been responsible for an uncecessary, illegal, long, costly and bloody war that has damaged long-term U.S. geo-strategic and economic interests and endangered the freedoms of the American people (among many other things). That I know.
And I also know that John McCain has been a staunch supporter of this anti-conservative ideology and has promised to continue pursuing policies based on the same ideology. You could argue that he’ll be forced to readjust to the political and economic realities and to embrace a more realistic policies. Again, I can’t predict that would happen and I’m not willing to test it by electing him.
I disagree with many of the policies proposed by Obama, including the “internationalist” agenda that he shares with the entire Washington establishment. But it’s clear to me that Obama doesn’t subscribe to the radical neoconservative ideology and that his approach resembles that of the more “realist” foreign policies of George W. H. Bush and Bill Clinton. And since the presidential election is a zero-sum game — the only way to defeat McCain and his neoconservative allies is by electing Obama, that is what I’ll try to do on Tuesday.