Monday, November 5, 2012

Voting for Survival

In "The Politics of Happiness" on the Idea Explorer blog, I summarized why this year's election is likely to be disappointing, no matter who wins. Despite those reservations, it's clear that there's more hope of making the necessary changes with liberals rather than conservatives in power.

The reasons should be obvious. Today's conservatives generally hate change, value the concentration of personal power, are willing to put faith ahead of facts, and don't want to accept responsibility for how their actions impact anyone outside of a very selective group that they are willing to treat as equal in value to themselves. Liberals tend to be the opposite in each respect, which makes them more inclined to make the changes needed to avoid the hazards we face.

There is, of course, a continuum between these two extremes, and most of us lie near the middle. A properly functional political system will tend to serve this group the best. Unfortunately, that won't be good enough to avoid massive casualties in the years ahead, because it necessarily favors the growth in consumption that is the root cause of those casualties, and because some people in the population are still okay with sustaining casualties (as long as they're not one of them). Sadly, our political system isn't even that functional: What should be a bell curve of politicians that is conservative at one end and liberal on the other, instead is biased toward the conservative side.

I voted for Democrats across the ballot in this election because there is a chance that they might be open-minded and responsible enough to consider doing the right things, while Republicans were most likely to tow the conservative line and proudly drive us into oblivion. Hopefully, enough others will too.