Here we are in the midst of another fun and frolicsome political campaign in America. And, as part of that campaign, certain well-known radio talk show hosts and religious leaders have urged their followers to vote for Hillary Clinton in the primaries. Because they want to see Hillary win? Of course not. Rather, because they believe that their preferred candidate has a better chance of winning against Hillary Clinton vs. another Democratic candidate (let's call him Barack; hypothetically, of course).
I struggle with this approach. On one hand, this is America. You can vote for whoever you want to vote for. But if, in fact, you support John McCain for president, then shouldn't you be voting for John McCain in the Republican primaries?
What's wrong with trying to sabotage the political process of the other side? Well, try this for starters:
Let's take a hypothetical situation. Let's say John F. Kennedy and John Kerry are both candidates on the Democratic ticket, and that Abraham Lincoln and Bob Dole are both candidates on the Republican ticket. You, as a Republican supporter of Honest Abe, fear John F. Kennedy. He's visionary, he's charismatic, and he just might win if he's the Democratic candidate. So you, as a Republican (or an independent who supports Honest Abe), vote in the primary for John Kerry, figuring that Abe can take Kerry without any problems in the general election in November. Let's assume that the same thing is going on on the Democratic side as well. Most Democrats support John F. Kennedy. He's a strong candidate. But Abraham Lincoln is a formidable opponent as well. So the Democrats all vote as Republicans (or independents) in the primaries for Bob Dole, figuring that JFK can take Dole without any problems in November.And if enough people think and behave as you do, we end up with a general election featuring John Kerry vs. Bob Dole. Who wins? Who cares? America loses. The two best candidates are not running for the highest office in the land.
This is not how the American political process was designed to operate. Our whole political process is intended to work when people vote for other people they want to win. And I would argue that you circumvent that process at every step of the way when you work to ensure that the best (or most formidable, if you'd prefer that) candidates are not represented in the general election. It's bad for America.
Am I off base here? Any thoughts?