Independents of America, Disunite!

Although I had the title (more or less) first (well, okay, not that it’s very original…), the Feb. 16-22 issue of The Economist continues the irriation of Stanley Fish–if, that is, he read the piece, “A Declaration on Independents.” Back in January, as you will recall, Fish had nothing good to say about us political independents. But as The Economist trumpets:

Independents are back from the wilderness and ready to determine the outcome of the presidential election.

Of course, you might want to consider the case against voting all together (and here and here). The case goes beyond whether you are simply dissatisfied with the current field, which relatively speaking is not all that bad. Liberal Michael Kinsley, for instance, is miffed that the Republicans pulled the “dirty trick” of putting up a decent human being as its presumed nominee (he’d prefer Rush Limbaugh). National Review tends not to say bad things about Sen. Obama, but maybe that’s just because they love to see the race be against Sen. Clinton and “Mr. Right.” (Although as I write this the evening political news is on in the other room, and I can’t help hearing one dopey statement versus another; for instance, “The Mr.” is going on about how if you are really pro-life you’d be in favor of throwing women and doctors in jail. Maybe you could make a case against voting just on the persons….). No, the argument against voting goes much deeper than that. Example: Ask yourself, which Goldman-Sachs candidate do you prefer and why? You get the picture.

Reminds me of Wendell Berry’s “Questionnaire,” which I found online here.

  1. How much poison are you willing
    to eat for the success of the free
    market and global trade? Please
    name your preferred poisons.

  2. For the sake of goodness, how much
    evil are you willing to do?
    Fill in the following blanks
    with the names of your favorite
    evils and acts of hatred.

  3. What sacrifices are you prepared
    to make for culture and civilization?
    Please list the monuments, shrines,
    and works of art you would
    most willingly destroy.

  4. In the name of patriotism and
    the flag, how much of our beloved
    land are you willing to desecrate?
    List in the following spaces
    the mountains, rivers, towns, farms
    you could most readily do without.

  5. State briefly the ideas, ideals, or hopes,
    the energy sources, the kinds of security,
    for which you would kill a child.
    Name, please, the children whom
    you would be willing to kill.

And, as we pondered earlier, your vote might not count anyway–and not just due to party rules that have affected Florida and Michigan.

So as interesting as this election season seems to be, you might think about going a little deeper in your considerations. I’m trying….


  1. To Vote or Not to Vote | Peripatetic Praxis

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