Voting is perfectly rational

October 25, 2016 § 76 Comments

Voting in mass market democratic elections is not rational if it is viewed as a procedure by which we rank public preferences for candidates and choose candidates according to that ranking.

And it is not rational as a means to oppose evil in politics through a willingness to compromise, either as an individual or as part of a group effort.

But voting is perfectly rational from the point of view of our ruling class and their ruling ideology of liberalism. Because voting is a public liturgy in which a large portion of the populace personally endorses the legitimacy of our ruling class and their ruling ideology of liberalism.

Voting is perfectly rational as ritual act of doffing your hat to the king.

§ 76 Responses to Voting is perfectly rational

  • Roman Lance says:

    I once read a book by Father Felix Sarda y Sylvani called “Liberalism is a Sin”. He treats of liberalism pretty well. It had a big impact on my thinking for the last two decades.

    I highly recommend it.

    Also I love the way you write Zippy. Keep up the good work.

    God Bless.

  • josh says:

    Indeed, and if you look at the actual effect of elections, the crowd psychology leads people to triple down on their commitment to the ruling class. Not only that, but literally any policy can be pointed to as if it was the *result* of the opinions of one of the tribes. Don’t like guns? It’s the fault of *those* people. Don’t like Obamacare? Its the fault of *those* people! Certainly the same power structure couldn’t be *responsible* for both of these kinds of policies, the power structure just somehow magically transmutes certain people’s preexisting preferences into policy.

  • Aethelfrith says:

    What if November 8 passes and nothing happens?

    That is something that has been germinating in my mind for a little bit. When I hear of the Obama victory in 2012, I was slightly miffed (but not overly so–I was a non-voter, but I didn’t become a principled one until later).

    However, Obama’s policy moves notwithstanding, very little in my life actually changed. I still lived in the same city, worked in the same field, found another job in the same field, met people, left people, earned money, lost it, made friends, lost friends, sinned, confessed and more or less sought my own goals (at least, when I *had* goals). In short, Obama had very little to do with my day to day life.

    With the reality of the second Obama win’s paltry relation to my life cast as a backdrop, it makes me confused and not a little upset that in this current political cycle, I’m seeing relatives permanently cut each other off based on their preference of candidate, as well as seeing strangers on the internet do the same. Do life, reality, morality, goals and routine disappear because of some fallible process built by fallible men designed to install fallible candidates in office?

    It’s sick. It’s like watching people carry giant boulders over their head for no reason other than “everybody else is doing it.” And when the burdenless man functions better than the rest of the populace, he gets accused of being crazy.

    That’s all I have to say. I’m not going to share my opinions about the candidates because hearing Mike T tell me how wrong I am gets kind of old.

  • GJ says:

    It seems to me that voting is also rational when voters get the desired satisfaction from their act (‘I exercised some power and I had my say!’).

    Some people enjoy burning the incense, because for a moment they feel just a bit like an Ubermensch.

  • Tom says:

    Voting is to authority what masturbation is to sex.

  • Zippy says:

    Aethelfrith:

    Yes, one of the unsung benefits of voting is that it has a strong tendency to poison and destroy personal and family ties over disagreements about remote issues over which none of the haggling parties have any real say, and about most of which all parties are typically profoundly ignorant.

    Combined with social media it is hard to imagine a more potent toxic brew for further atomizing and alienating humanity from itself.

  • […] for the secularized masses: each dose makes them feel good about themselves momentarily while deepening addiction to and dependence upon our ruling class and their political philosophy, liberalism.  As time goes on the angst merely […]

  • Mike T says:

    That’s all I have to say. I’m not going to share my opinions about the candidates because hearing Mike T tell me how wrong I am gets kind of old.

    Just as your reflexive point-and-shriek is getting old here.

    But I stand by my assessment of Clinton. The danger she poses is not so much her liberalism as it is her personal character and that of the people she has surround her. There are liberals and then there are just rank scumbags and traitors. Sanders and Stein are the former; Clinton the latter. It is entirely rational to vote in this particular election because the choice is not just between Liberal A vs Liberal B, but The Liberal with Manageable Vice vs The Liberal Who Is More Corrupt than Most Third World Dictators.

  • Zippy says:

    Turning the importance of the outcome up to eleven doesn’t change an irrational act into a rational act.

    I am reminded of the folks who attempted to bypass the just war requirement for better-than-one-percent certainty, by turning up the gravity to nuclear.

  • Aethelfrith says:

    Just as your reflexive point-and-shriek is getting old here.

    Clockwork. Good night, ladies and gentlemen.

  • MMPeregrine says:

    Zippy,
    Fr. Saguto writes the following in this month’s FSSP Memento newsletter –
    “Almighty God is the sole source of all authority, whether it be in the Church, the state, or the family. Our Lord reminded Pilate of this truth during His trial: ‘Thou shouldst not have any power against Me unless it were given thee from above’. This means that those who govern are supposed to do so as representatives of God and His law. For this reason, the Church sanctions any system of government that is not fundamentally atheistic. The Church, then, is not opposed to democracy, wherein legislators are elected by a ballot of universal suffrage.
    Nonetheless, the modern notion of democracy is based upon a principle that the citizens of a nation are the ultimate sovereign power. This concept implies that, as legislators are elected by the people, they govern in the name of the people and as delegates of them. This idea is an error, and forms the basis of much of the social evil that we encounter in our modern age. In general, man now replaces God as the source of all authority, an arrangement that is taken for granted by nearly everyone, most Catholics included.
    The Church, in her magisterial authority which comes from God through Christ our Lord, stands squarely against this error, because the result is legislation that is drafted and passed solely according to the will of the majority of the people. That process may sound harmless at first, but it means that legislation follows the moral climate of a particular citizenry. Any objective standard of morality is destroyed. In such a system, what passes for right or wrong is no longer determined by the unchanging and timeless Word of God, but rather by what people feel is a good idea at any particular moment. Morality ‘evolves’ with the people or – to put it accurately – devolves.
    … Let us remember that no politician provides us with a means to heaven, and that our material and social comforts are to be considered ultimately as expendable if it means denying the effect that one word from our Lord can – and should – have”

    I think the above is very well written. It seems to me that Fr. Saguto accepts that voting is licit if understood in the right manner. I know you think differently, do you have any response to the above quote?
    I’m still trying to determine where I stand on this topic myself. I’ve read many of your posts from 2008 and 2012 but I’m still pretty convinced that voting in this upcoming election is the right act.
    Thank you.

  • Zippy says:

    MMPeregrine:

    I’ve responded to similar contentions before, for example with this parable.

    It is true that the Church has not condemned democratic governance per se, understood in a truncated sense as a formal procedure, and that the Church does not assert that some particular government structure is superior, qua truncated formal structure, to others.

    There is much less to this lack of condemnation than meets the eye.

    In the first place, it is far from clear that voting in a modern mass market universal suffrage liberal democratic election is reducible to mere formal procedure. (In fact I think it is rather obvious that it is not: that voting is much more fraught than the reductionist/truncated view supposes and is in fact a ritual act, which is why folks feel so passionately about it despite the manifest triviality, in a mathematically formal sense, of their own vote).

    But once we stipulate its reducibility to truncated formal procedure we are outside of where the Church has or asserts any special charism. The Church is no more expert (nor does she claim to be more expert) on Arrow’s theorem or dollar auctions or the sorites paradox than you and I.

    So either voting is reducible to formal procedure and provably irrational, or it is more than formal procedure and defenses of it which treat it as not-technically-condemned truncated formal procedure fall apart.

  • Zippy says:

    Simpler (though less rigorous) terms:

    If you contend that voting in the current year is mere truncated formal procedure, the fact that the influence of your own vote is below the real world noise floor of the formal process means that it is irrational for you to spend any personal resources whatsoever (driving, waiting in line, doing due diligence on candidates, etc) on it. So if you really believe this, you won’t vote. Actions reveal beliefs.

    If you don’t contend that voting in the current year is mere truncated formal procedure, you’ve just conceded the Iron Law.

  • Mike T says:

    Turning the importance of the outcome up to eleven doesn’t change an irrational act into a rational act.

    Voting in mass market democratic elections is not rational if it is viewed as a procedure by which we rank public preferences for candidates and choose candidates according to that ranking.

    From where I stand, this election appears to be dominated by a spirit of voting against Clinton with disagreement on where the votes against her will go. We live in interesting times. On the current path, we could very well see the entire liberal political system go off its rails.

  • Zippy says:

    And what power does reasoning coherently have to stand against “the spirit of voting against Clinton?”

  • vishmehr24 says:

    MMPeregrine,
    You say
    “the citizens of a nation are the ultimate sovereign power.”

    Belloc on the political theory of the French revolution:
    “a political community pretending to sovereignty, that is, pretending to a moral right of defending its existence against all other communities, derives the civil and temporal authority of its laws not from its actual rulers, nor even from its magistracy, but from itself.”

    It may be observed
    a) You use a vague and ill-defined term “ultimate sovereign power”. Notice Belloc is precise – “the civil and temporal authority of its laws ”
    b) Your usage “the citizens of a nation ” is ambigious. Are the citizens individually sovereign or only collectively so? Belloc is again precise-“a political community.”

  • PB says:

    Mike T: I agree that Trump is preferable but it’s not preferences that Zippy is criticizing here but a method (voting) of expressing a preference. The point being that whether you or I vote won’t make a difference in the outcome.

    I voted anyway but I’m not confident in my ability to rationally defend that action. Oh well. At least researching obscure local candidates was kind of entertaining.

  • PB says:

    Zippy: Sorry if this ends up as a repeat comment. I tried to post before and I don’t think it worked.

    Mike T: I agree that Trump is preferable but Zippy isn’t critizing preferences here but a means (voting) by which one expresses that preference.

    I think he’s very probably right. You or I voting doesn’t change the outcome. It could be argued that insofar as our votes are part of a collective they do matter but I suspect that there is no good metaphysical basis for this voting emergentism idea.

    Having said all that, I just mailed in my ballot today. The postal worker put a Harvey Milk stamp on it. Liberal democracy is pretty gay so I suppose it was appropriate.

  • MMPeregrine says:

    Zippy, good parable. Very funny. I also really like your posts titled To the Moon, Alice (3/25/10) and A Heap of Double Effect (11/6/08). Those two in particular helped me see your point on voting being irrational because it removes the passionate aspect that clouds most of my thoughts on the issue. However, what is more difficult for me to accept is your contention that the act of voting is synonymous with affirming liberalism. I’ve read a number of your posts on liberalism although I haven’t completely grasped them yet. I’m still picking the weeds of liberalism from my own mind like you say. I’m wondering if you’ve read Liberalism Is a Sin and if it has any impact on your own argument? http://ewtn.com/library/theology/libsin.htm (can be read for free here)

    But still, my position right now is that voting is itself a morally neutral act and therefore it entirely depends on what you’re voting for or voting against. For instance, I mentioned previously that Colorado has a referendum on assisted suicide which I plan to vote against and they have another referendum on centralizing health care which I also plan to vote against. It would be more complex if I were voting yes on a particular law that was mostly good but included some evil aspects. I’m still up in the air on whether or not I will vote for Trump and any other congressional seats.

    So I guess to clarify I should ask a question – how is the act of voting = personal affirmation of liberalism? If I could see your reasoning there then I would concede that voting is not only potentially a waste of time but is at best serious material cooperation with evil that we should avoid to the best of our ability. Basically, I plan to vote in two weeks but I would never in my life want to knowingly affirm liberalism.

  • Tom says:

    Uncoerced voting is, at a bare minimum, acknowledging that this is a proper aspect or object of government. So voting against same sex marriage is acknowledging that the definition of marriage is something up for discussion in politics.

  • MMPeregrine says:

    My parish priest encouraged all parishioners to fast for 9 days leading up to the election. I plan to follow this plea and hope others reading will join in as well. If you are opposed to voting in general then maybe you can at least fast for the intention that at least one person avoid formal cooperation with evil this election season.
    “But this kind can only be cast out by prayer and fasting” (MT 17:20)

  • MMPeregrine says:

    vishmehr24, the quote was not mine. It was from Fr. Saguto as referenced at the beginning of my comment.

  • vishmehr24 says:

    MMPeregrine,
    I apologize for the mistake. I still think that Belloc’s way of putting it is more precise and inoffensive even to those that despise liberalism.

  • vishmehr24 says:

    Tom is correct. Conservatives are forever saying Marriage is pre-political, but they submit meekly to putting the very definition of marriage to chances of courts and election.
    Thus, the idea that one must not participate in an election when one of the options being put is unacceptable. Since, one’s cause might lose in the election but by taking part in the process, one is obliged to suffer the loss and accept the unacceptable option. Which merely proves that the unacceptable was not so much unacceptable after all.
    This is the history of social conservative politics over past four decades.

  • Zippy says:

    MMPerigrine:

    how is the act of voting = personal affirmation of liberalism?

    As others have mentioned, voting is your personal affirmation that the choices placed before you, the process which produced them, and the philosophy behind it all (liberalism), are all legitimate. If those are not legitimate and nobody is holding a gun to your head then why are you voting?

  • Scott W. says:

    So I guess to clarify I should ask a question – how is the act of voting = personal affirmation of liberalism?

    More simply, around here liberalism doesn’t exclusively mean the typical Leftist. It includes the GOP whether they are Trumpets or #NeverTrumpers, libertarians, and most paleocons. In short, if you believe “just powers of a government derive from the consent of the governed”, you are a liberal.

  • Zippy says:

    MMPerigrine:

    I’m wondering if you’ve read Liberalism Is a Sin and if it has any impact on your own argument?

    I think I have read it before. At the very least I have read things like it, and I find them very wrongheaded.

    There is a tendency among traditionalists to frame liberalism as the overt rejection of God, or of teleology, or whatever. This tendency vastly underestimates the appeal of liberalism to committed Christians and other religious people.

    Liberalism is first and foremost a political doctrine: a view of authority and its legitimate exercise. People who think that liberalism is simply rejection of the Good, the True, and the Beautiful have, again, greatly underestimated their enemy.

    I’ve talked about this a number of times over the years, see for example here, here, and here.

  • vishmehr24 says:

    If liberalism be a sin, why doesn’t the Church teach it so?
    Perhaps it is just an error in political theory. Question: is the proposition by Belloc below guilty of the error or not?
    “a political community pretending to sovereignty, that is, pretending to a moral right of defending its existence against all other communities, derives the civil and temporal authority of its laws not from its actual rulers, nor even from its magistracy, but from itself.”

  • Zippy says:

    The doctrine “it isn’t wrong unless the Church teaches that it is wrong” is a false doctrine.

  • Alex says:

    As far as I know, the Church does teach that all authority comes from God. In fact, in the old calendar, this Sunday is the Feast of Christ the King, which comemorates exactly that.

  • Zippy says:

    Alex:

    Now watch for the equivocal pivot, wherein classical liberals announce that God’s plan for authority is its particular expression through the consent of the governed, etc.

    And they will really believe it as they say it. It is more of a motte and bailey delusion than a motte and bailey tactic.

  • Scott W. says:

    I briefly thumbed through Liberalism is a Sin when it was on the bookshelf at my adoration chapel. From my brief scan it was clear that what the author meant by liberalism was the belief that one religion is as good as any other and not really about political liberalism. I would chalk it up to a translation issue as the label for that doctrine I’m used to is “indifferentism”.

  • Tom says:

    Indifferentism is a problem, but in a way it’s applied liberalism; liberalism applied to religion.

  • “a political community pretending to sovereignty, that is, pretending to a moral right of defending its existence against all other communities, derives the civil and temporal authority of its laws not from its actual rulers, nor even from its magistracy, but from itself.”

    It’s rather vague. What does “itself” mean? The consent of the governed? If so, it’s wrong. But does he mean “From its existence as a distinct body of people already formed into a community”? Then…maybe?

    Context is needed.

  • Zippy. I voted early because there were local matters I wanted to vote on but as for the POUTS, I wrote in Al Davis (deceased owner of the Oakland Raiders) but now, I wish I had written you in.

    For me, it would be an absolute blast to have you run for POTUS and bring before the voters matters such as Usury and Property Taxes and Abortion etc – really, all of the crucial matters you discuss in here.

    Sure, you’d get less than 10,000 Americans to vote for you but just to have these matters discussed publicly in a rational manner would be bracing.

    O, I do have to admit that even my family (Catholics from the Piemonte area of Vermont) finds you impossible to understand even though they tend to be conservative.

    I REALLY riled them up when I sent them (and defended) your ideas about Property Taxes and they they thought I was being provocatively irksome by agreeing with your “insane” ideas.

    It’d be so damn cool to see you run for elective office and bring your smashing ideas into the public arena even though I know you yourself are prolly #NeverRun.

    In any event, I have learned SO much from you, Zippy. Thank you, you are a dangerous man who takes truth seriously.

    O, I just remembered, I posted links to your abortion/pro choice pieces on a Catholic Blog and they were summarily deleted which illustrates just how dangerous your attachment to truth is – it will not even be allowed on some Catholic Blogs because those ideas blowed-up the comfortable Catholic conservative coalition.

    Imagine!! Holding women responsible for their choice of an abortion.

    T’Hell kind of Conservative Christianity is that?

  • Zippy,

    You do tend to cause family chaos. When I pointed out that my vote statistically meant nothing and that it would make no difference if I voted at all, my family got extremely angry – “People DIED so you could vote! What if everyone thought like you! Would you teach your kids that!”. I had to hightail it out of there.

    See what you do?

  • King Richard says:

    I have not read all of the comments, so please forgive me.
    Mike T wrote,
    “…voting against…”
    Let us talk about objective actions, subjective goals, and Arrow’s Theorem for a moment, if you don’t mind.
    Adam lives in a blue house in a neighborhood with covenants. His daughter loves the color green. He has a neighbor that hates the color green. He needs permission from his homeowner’s group to repaint his house or his must pay a $1,000 fine.
    Scenario One –
    Adam’s daughter has been seriously injured in an accident and will be recuperating at home for weeks. She will be in the yard often for fresh air. Adam decides to paint his house her favorite color, green, to cheer her. He knows that by the time he has permission (if he can get it) it won’t be in time so he slaps the paint on himself right away.
    Scenario Two-
    Adam is VERY upset with his neighbor. He knows the homeowner’s group (where his neighbor has a position) will never permit it, so he paints his house green without permission to continue the fued.

    Query – in which scenario is it just that he pay the fine?
    Answer – both, of course.
    Regardless of your subjective goals, your objective actions remain the same.

    Objectively, you can not ‘vote against’ someone, you always ‘vote for’ someone. Yes, your subjective goal might be ‘…so that the other person loses’ but your objective action is to cast a vote *for* someone.
    And a vote is, in a very real way, your personal endorsement for the person you are voting for. You are objectively acting to give the candidate you vote for power regardless of your subjective goals.

  • PB says:

    King Richard: I don’t think Mike disagrees (though he can certainly correct me if I misstate his position). To say “voting against” does not necessarily mean that one does not realize that he is in fact voting for someone. Rather it is a way of identifying one’s primary reason for voting for someone. It is technically incorrect as a description of the act itself but is not really meant to describe that act not is it commonly understood as such.

  • King Richard says:

    Voting and Liberalism is a very interesting topic for me.
    Within Edan there is voting, for the Senate, the legislative body. The rules on voting and how the Senate itself votes are quite a large portion of the constitution. The Crown Prince calls it ‘the best misdirect in the entire document’.

  • vishmehr24 says:

    Zippy,
    “it isn’t wrong unless the Church teaches that it is wrong” is a false doctrine.”

    The disucssion was whether it is a sin and to believe something is a sin even if Church does not say so is scrupulosity.

    It is curious about your rewordings, reframings.

  • The disucssion was whether it is a sin and to believe something is a sin even if Church does not say so is scrupulosity.

    Do you know what a sin is? Or scrupulosity? Because the way you’re using both words implies that you don’t.

  • vishmehr24 says:

    I question whether liberalism is sin. Zippy changes sin to wrong. Does Zippy think sin is interchangable with wrong?

  • vishmehr24 says:

    malcolmthecynic,
    “What does “itself” mean? ”
    The political community itself.

  • Zippy says:

    vishmehr24:

    Does Zippy think sin is interchangeable with wrong?

    Veritatis Splendour:

    It is possible that the evil done as the result of invincible ignorance or a non-culpable error of judgment may not be imputable to the agent; but even in this case it does not cease to be an evil, a disorder in relation to the truth about the good.

  • Vishmehr,

    Then it’s a tautology and useless.

  • Wood says:

    Vishmehr24,

    Libertas Praestantissimum was very helpful to me when I was first thinking through my commitments to liberalism.

  • Aristokles Contra Mundum says:

    From my brief scan it was clear that what the author meant by liberalism was the belief that one religion is as good as any other and not really about political liberalism.

    It may have been better to give the book more than a brief page-through, as I believe you’ve misconstrued Fr. Salvany here. He clearly defines liberalism as having four key principles:

    – absolute sovereignty of the individual
    – absolute sovereignty of society
    – right of the people to make their own laws in independence and disregard of criteria beyond the popular will
    – absolute freedom of thought in politics, morals, religion.

    and argues that it is fundamentally rooted in Protestantism’s rejection of authority.

  • Zippy says:

    I’ll point out again though that it is very important – I cannot possibly over-emphasize the importance of this point – not to overstate the commitments which constitute liberalism and fuel its hegemony.

    Many Christian liberals have believed (and many still do believe) in the sovereignty of God and of natural law, while retaining their liberal commitments nonetheless.

    Their liberalism is a commitment to the idea that in politics (that is, in the exercise of authority in human affairs) the sovereignty of God and the natural law are legitimately mediated through the freedom and equal rights of persons.

    Furthermore, commitment to liberalism need not be categorical in order to be pernicious and wrong. The late Larry Auster and I first explored the importance of the unprincipled exception phenomenon back in the early ‘oughts at VFR. A commitment to liberalism as a default ‘live and let live’ posture toward authority sprinkled with unprincipled exceptions is precisely the engine which has driven liberalism’s dominance. See for example this recent post where I describe how this works.

    To overstate the commitments essential to liberalism – and there is definitely a self-defeating tendency among traditionalists to overstate these commitments – actually materially supports liberalism by erecting a straw man. It also greatly underestimates liberalism’s pernicious appeal and the means it uses to dominate all thought when it comes to authority in human affairs.

  • Aristokles Contra Mundum says:

    Zippy,

    I wasn’t necessarily endorsing Fr. Salvany’s definition, merely pointing out that Scott W.’s summation was incorrect.

    Incidentally, he makes the same point of your fourth paragraph, about the commitment to liberalism not necessarily being categorical, in the fifth chapter of his book (don’t take this to be demonstrating some stunning recall or deep affection for the book on my part, I just happen to have my notes readily available). I suspect you’re in greater agreement than you believe, though his definition is more expansive than your own.

  • Step2 says:

    …The Liberal Who Is More Corrupt than Most Third World Dictators.

    I agree that Clinton is corrupt; although not anywhere close to the extent you do, but please remind me which candidate has refused to release his tax returns, which candidate’s charitable foundation was legally required to stop incoming donations or be forcibly closed as a continuing fraud, which candidate has claimed he will “keep us in suspense” about honoring the election results if he loses, and which candidate has shown himself to be extremely fond of ruthless dictators and autocrats like Putin? Also, how manageable a vice is a personality that constantly craves attention and dominance and lashes out wildly at every perceived insult?

    Do life, reality, morality, goals and routine disappear because of some fallible process built by fallible men designed to install fallible candidates in office?

    It seems to me that most of the angst of this election is based on a strong sense of alienation, followed closely by resentment. In some ways this is justified and other not, but there is a strong sense of betrayal in matters of both domestic or foreign policy and that has translated to a much larger degree of discontent than normal. Even though I voted third party (again) this presidential election, the people I feel the most sympathy for are the #NeverTrump conservatives because they don’t have a political party anymore. Trump has hijacked the GOP and branded it in his own gaudy image and he would rather destroy it than let anyone else have it.

  • I agree that Clinton is corrupt; although not anywhere close to the extent you do, but please remind me which candidate has refused to release his tax returns, which candidate’s charitable foundation was legally required to stop incoming donations or be forcibly closed as a continuing fraud, which candidate has claimed he will “keep us in suspense” about honoring the election results if he loses, and which candidate has shown himself to be extremely fond of ruthless dictators and autocrats like Putin?

    When his tax returns came out it was discovered he did not break the law.

    The Clinton Foundation’s corruption is well-documented.

    His point about election results is eminently reasonable, in effect saying “Why should I accept results if they’re corrupt?”

    “Extremely fond of Putin”, besides being worded in as scary a way as possible, is far, far, far, far preferable to provokind a war with a “ruthless dictator and autocrat”.

  • Here’s the other question: How did Trump “Hijack the GOP”?

    Either people vote for him or not; if he’s more popular than the guys the GOP had previously been trying to push that’s hardly a hijacking.

  • Zippy says:

    Aristokles Contra Mundum:

    Understood.

  • itascriptaest says:

    I feel the most sympathy for are the #NeverTrump conservatives because they don’t have a political party anymore. Trump has hijacked the GOP and branded it in his own gaudy image and he would rather destroy it than let anyone else have it.

    I don’t. Many of the #Never Trumpers gave us Mitt Romney a man light years more despicable than Trump. Where were the principaled conservatives when John McCain sang “bomb bomb Iran”? Shouldn’t joking about bombing a country of 100 million people spark more outrage than Trump’s boastful statements? Even today Lydia McGrew persists in arguing that Mitt Romney is pro-life. These clowns deserve to be thrown into the ash heap of American politics.

  • Step2 says:

    When his tax returns came out it was discovered he did not break the law.

    His tax return was from 1995, a whole lot has changed in that amount of time. I’m less concerned about him breaking tax law and more concerned about where and who his various debts and investments are with.

    His point about election results is eminently reasonable, in effect saying “Why should I accept results if they’re corrupt?”

    There are typically only a couple of dozen instances each year per state of actual voter fraud, and while there is potential for a higher amount it would need to be in the tens of thousands to change a particular state outcome. There is no evidence to support such a wild conspiratorial claim and if there were such evidence it would have to involve the participation of Republican election officials who control 31 governorships and 68 of 98 state governments. Trump’s main accusation of voter impersonation is by far the rarest type of fraud so his call for poll watchers will mostly create extensive voting wait times or possibly involve actual voter intimidation. Obviously this intent is a type of corruption to depress voting in certain areas.

    The Clinton Foundation’s corruption is well-documented.

    Not always to the extent usually claimed, but yes there is way too much conflict of interest.

    Extremely fond of Putin”, besides being worded in as scary a way as possible, is far, far, far, far preferable to provokind a war with a “ruthless dictator and autocrat”.

    It is amazing to me that people think we won the Cold War by being timid every time the Kremlin was being provocative. When Clinton called him a puppet in the third debate you could see how angry Trump got about it, but he had a previous campaign manager and still has advisors with very close ties to Putin’s inner circle.

    Either people vote for him or not; if he’s more popular than the guys the GOP had previously been trying to push that’s hardly a hijacking.

    A successful hijacker uses their leverage to gain authority and that leverage is real. This is why the GOP leadership has done so little to disavow him – they have to appease his most fervent supporters of white working class males but they can’t win nationally without the other groups Trump has antagonized. Trump is already taking steps to keep his base loyal to him post-election rather than to any other group or person within the GOP.

  • donnie says:

    Many Christian liberals have believed (and many still do believe) in the sovereignty of God and of natural law, while retaining their liberal commitments nonetheless.

    Best example of this in my mind: Pope St. John Paul II.

    Also, on a somewhat related point, confirming Christian liberals in their error seems to have been the greatest lasting effect of the Second Vatican Council: marrying the sovereignty of God and the natural law to the liberal commitments of the modern age. Now the members of the Church are free to affirm that the law of God works through men in the form of freedoms and equal rights. All is well so long as there are a litany of unprincipled exceptions for abortion, contraception, euthanasia, etc.

  • vishmehr24 says:

    Aristokles Contra Mundum,
    How is “absolute sovereignty of the individual”–that would be libertarianism-consistent with – “absolute sovereignty of society”?
    And what is the sense of “absolutes” here along with absolute in “absolute freedom of thought in politics, morals, religion. “?

  • vishmehr24 says:

    malcolmthecynic,
    Pls ask monarchists at this site if this is tautological to them.
    “a political community pretending to sovereignty derives the civil and temporal authority of its laws not from its actual rulers, nor even from its magistracy, but from itself.”

  • Zippy says:

    vishmehr24:

    That authority arises from and in a community, and has as its telos the common good of the community from which it arises, may not be tautological. But it is a ‘motte’ proposition, and is invalid as a defense of ‘bailey’ negations of authority by liberals.

  • Zippy’s response seems solid anyway, but not for nothing…

    Pls ask monarchists at this site if this is tautological to them.

    …Why? I thought I was answering this question, not any various monarchists. For that matter, I’m not a monarchist.

    People pretending to be a part of conversations but refusing to actually take part in them is a pet peeve of mine. Really, if you have something to say, say it.

  • King Richard says:

    Step2,
    You wrote,

    “It is amazing to me that people think we won the Cold War by being timid every time the Kremlin was being provocative.”

    I am not sure what that has to do with anything, but the Cold War is both long over and was not won by antagonizing other nations for no reason.

    The idea that Russia is being somehow ‘warlike’ is ridiculous and an artifact of media coverage. It is akin to those videos of a Russian plane doing a fly-by of American ships: ignorant reporters breathlessly proclaimed the planes were on ‘attack runs’ which was breathlessly repeated by Americans on Facebook as evidence of a ‘provacative Russia’.

    No. As a military man I can assure you of two things:

    1) Modern warplane attack ships from over the horizon, not within their AA envelope and certainly not from 200′ away.

    2) It is a common courtesy for military planes of one nation to do a close flyby of friendly vessels to both confirm their identity and show that they are *not* carrying weapons. it is also a chance to have a little fun.

    That was why the sailors in the video were on deck, smiling as the planes flew by. rather than at battle stations.

    And yet I am still shown that video as “proof” of a ‘hostile Russia’.

  • Tom says:

    I would argue that this shows that most countries, including Russia and America, are hostile to the natural law.

    That doesn’t mean we’re going to start nuking each other right away. We’re currently content nuking ourselves.

  • vishmehr24 says:

    Zippy,
    And you are implying that I am engaged in motte-and-bailey as a liberal?

  • vishmehr24 says:

    malcolmthecynic,
    What I meant was perfectly clear. Belloc’s proposition is entirely denied by the monarchists. They do not think that a political authority in a community is derived from the community itself. They claim that the authority flows directly from god to the king.

  • Zippy says:

    vishmehr24:
    Of course authority derives from the community– in a sense. A father’s authority qua father implies the existence of his family and makes no sense without his family.

    You are battling with your own mind sprites, it seems to me.

  • Step2 says:

    King Richard,
    I agree the Russian flybys were not an attack but they were definitely harassment and provocative. If it had only happened once and at a relatively safe distance, I might buy the “common courtesy’ spin but it wasn’t. Those flybys were about as courteous as spitting in your face. There were 31 flybys over two days, and on the second day they reportedly had one instance where the plane flew within 30 feet which is crazy dangerous. Our host Zippy is a pilot and I would be only mildly surprised if he has playfully “buzzed” another vehicle or building in his plane, but I would be willing to wager large amounts of money he has never, ever made a pattern of menacing others in such a fashion.

  • Zippy says:

    Step2:
    I haven’t piloted a passenger aircraft for a few years now, but the basic rule in uncontrolled airspace (or at least Virginia airspace, which is technically all controlled – Hell, I don’t really remember) is to stay 500 feet away from any person or structure IIRC. I’ve landed a helicopter on private property before but only when prearranged. I don’t really have the ‘buzz them’ attitude, and maneuvers are fine as practice but after you’ve done a hammerhead style turn or two I don’t see the point in escalated thrill seeking. My motorcycle is a cruiser, not a crotch rocket (though not a touring bagger either — not that there is anything wrong with that).

    My view is that flyby’s are like Festivus ‘feats of strength’. Physical competitiveness among men can be both aggressive and friendly at the same time: “How are you, brother? Don’t f*** with me.” Usually the more ostentatious and repetitive they are, the more male insecurity they reveal.

    So you and KR are probably both right, with the caveat that I am almost completely ignorant about the incidents in question.

  • buckyinky says:

    @Zippy

    Any plans in the works for a voting FAQs? There’s something about the usury FAQs format that helped this modern muddle-headed mind understand better your arguments in other free-standing posts on usury.

    I plan not to vote on Tuesday, but mostly because I’m not certain what is the right thing to do, and seems best in such situations not to take any affirmative action. I am certainly in no position to explain to anyone why I am not voting, at least in terms of why they should not either.

  • buckyinky says:

    Actually, I just found a pretty good reason that I can easily understand. Google has determined that voting is one of those things that are Really Important to the National Conscience, important enough to make one of their preachy cartoons for it. That’s just about enough to count me out right there.

  • What I meant was perfectly clear.

    Well, I really didn’t think so, but okay.

    Belloc’s proposition is entirely denied by the monarchists. They do not think that a political authority in a community is derived from the community itself. They claim that the authority flows directly from god to the king.

    You’re proposing that all monarchists must believe in the Divine Right of Kings concept, yes?

    This was, if I have my history right, a very Protestant idea. If this were true, it would mean that monarchists must believe that monarchy is the only VALID form of government, correct?

    But I don’t think – and people can correct me if I’m wrong – anybody here thinks this is true. Zippy has pointed out several times that even the extraordinarily corrupt U.S. government has authority over us.

    How exactly does that work? Don’t really know. For my own life, I follow the pornography rule: You know authority when you see it. Zippy’s point is a good one too.

    It’s not a robust case for authority but it’s probably how 90+ percent of people in human history functioned pretty much every day of their lives.

  • Zippy says:

    malcolm:

    It’s not a robust case for authority but it’s probably how 90+ percent of people in human history functioned pretty much every day of their lives.

    For almost everyone who is on the Internet griping about authority, finding the local authorities is as simple as finding City Hall. vishmehr24 has disparaged this as the ‘city hall criteria’.

    The important thing to modern man, the source and summit of his political being, is finding and invoking the incantation which invalidates authority and grants him license to do what he wants.

  • Zippy says:

    buckyinky:

    Google has determined that voting is one of those things that are Really Important to the National Conscience, important enough to make one of their preachy cartoons for it.

    Participation in the ritual is crucial to maintaining liberalism’s legitimacy. That is exactly why we should vocally refuse to participate.

  • Step2 says:

    I’m going to have to eat those words about winning national elections so I’ll do it now and get it out of the way. You can win nationally with a base of white working class males if you can also get a majority of white working class women to support you.

  • Scott W. says:

    It also helps when your opponent’s whole platform is basically, “It’s my turn!”

  • Terry Morris says:

    “You do tend to cause family chaos. When I pointed out that my vote statistically meant nothing and that it would make no difference if I voted at all, my family got extremely angry – “People DIED so you could vote! What if everyone thought like you! Would you teach your kids that!””

    Yeah, and that’s not all people have died for. People also apparently died so that sodomites can “marry” and women can abort their babies, or otherwise contracept themselves out of existence. I’ve heard it all, man!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

What’s this?

You are currently reading Voting is perfectly rational at Zippy Catholic.

meta

%d bloggers like this: