Going to the polls today

Patrick Nielsen Hayden’s voting for Obama in New York:

I know perfectly well that Obama, for all his idealism, is well inside the “centrist” consensus on how America ought to conduct itself in the world. He was against the Iraq war from the start, and that means a lot to me, but he’s also not someone who’s going to make the kinds of radical changes to American foreign policy that I would make on Day One if I were in charge. He’s not an insurgent; he’s the standardbearer for a faction of the country’s political elite. I believe that, on balance, this particular faction happens to comprise many of the the smartest and most conscientious individuals from within that elite. So I’m supporting Obama and his train, people like Samantha Power and Robert Malley and Lawrence Lessig, just as a peasant might cheer for an aristocratic faction made up of reasonably decent individuals against other factions made up of out-and-out thugs. Not because the peasant doesn’t know the game is rigged, or doesn’t have the wit to imagine a better world. But because incremental change matters, and because the right incremental changes can lead, like water flowing downhill, to bigger and more profound ones.

Also, while I am a radical in analysis, I am an incrementalist in practice, because life is short.

And all that said, I don’t loathe Hillary Clinton. I’ll support her against any of the Republican candidates, certain against John McCain, a man whose basic foreign policy position is War With Everyone, Forever. And I think if she’s the nominee, she can beat McCain. I have a lot of reservations about some of the people she’s liable to bring in her wake, and the thought of a “Clinton Restoration” makes me tired. But the particular variety of frothing hostility she inspires in a lot of people makes me more inclined to support her, rather than less. And if she should become the nominee, two words will constantly remind me why I should get off my ass and vote for her: “Supreme” and “Court.”

You should, as they say, read the whole thing, even if you’re not voting today.

…and if you need any more convincing, Obama has the vital XKCD endorsement.

UPDATE: That’s what I’m talkin’ about! All love to my Nutmeg Souljaz.


4 thoughts on “Going to the polls today

  1. eric

    Ananth liking obama pretty much sums up why I like obama. Not his reasons, just that ananth could like him. It’s gotten to the point where his actual politics are secondary.

    EVERY election has been about “change” and how “we need to clean up the mess the current batch has made”. Thing is, the people running are almost always card-carrying members of the current batch. Obama seems sincere. Completely agree with Hayden on what that actually gets us.

    Hawaii doesn’t vote for another week, but this will be my first primary.

  2. Steve

    For future reference, should you ever find yourself at a party with him, he and his wife Teresa both have the last name Nielsen Hayden.

    I voted this morning, but didn’t get a sticker. I still love democracy, but I wanted a sticker.

  3. eric

    My apologies to slick and his wife. I didn’t feel like clicking back to look up the other words I couldn’t remember.

    My apologies to hilzoy since I will quote that post repeatedly over the next couple of weeks and probably fail to give credit where it’s due. That was pretty amazing. Thank you blogosphere.

    My apologies also to you dear reader, Hawaii actually has a caucus (not a primary) and it’s in two weeks (not one).

    And Steve, I’m sorry you didn’t get a sticker, but you did get an invisible badge of honor. Which is nice.

  4. eric

    if you needed more convincing, I just read a Wired story that based on contributions, Microsoft supports Hillary and Google, Obama. ‘Nuff said.

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