What’s in a Vote?
May 28, 2008 § 19 Comments
I really don’t know.
Superficially I know, of course. To vote is to choose to add one to some tally, just as to fire a gun is to choose to pull a trigger on a loaded weapon.
But those aren’t morally interesting descriptions. I am much more interested in the answer to questions like “What is a vote for Barack Obama?” and “What is a vote for John McCain?”
I tend to think it is something like “choosing that Obama become President and carry out some omnibus list of things he has promised to carry out, and which I am morally certain he will in fact carry out unless something unexpected thwarts him”.
There of course will be things I am unsure that he will carry out, unexpected things may happen (like a dog knocking the victim down before the bullet hits). That is the nature of every act, really.
I don’t know what the nature of a vote is. But I am concerned that a great many people do not seem to care about the question, or think it irrelevant, or assume that it has a straightforward (and not coincidentally permissive) answer.