My blog contains a large number of posts. A few are included in various other publications, or as attached stories and chronicles in my emails; many more are found on loose leaves, while some are written carelessly in margins and blank spaces of my notebooks. Of the last sort most are nonsense, now often unintelligible even when legible, or half-remembered fragments. Enjoy responsibly.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Can a Republican Vote for Obama?

With all the current political happenings, we now have daily examples of people switching from the Republican candidate to the Democratic candidate because “Obama represents a sliver of hope. McCain represents none at all” (Bacevich, The American Conservative). Over the last several days Christopher Buckley, writer and son of the famed National Review conservative William F. Buckley, announced that, “for the first time in my life, I’ll be pulling the Democratic lever in November” ( While the heavy-hitting conservative Wick Allison, editor-in-chief of D Magazine, said, "My party has slipped its moorings. It’s time for a true pragmatist to lead the country” adding “Barack Obama strikes a chord with me like no political figure since Ronald Reagan” (

So yes, you can be a Republican and vote for a Democrat. This is especially true when one side is represented by “a Great Communicator in the mold of Reagan, John F. Kennedy and Franklin D. Roosevelt, a leader who can inspire Americans to work together on the problems of the 21st Century” (Jeffrey Hart, former Nixon and Reagan speech writer, and the other is, according Bill Kristol, founder and editor of the political magazine The Weekly Standard and regular commentator on the Fox News Channel, running "a pathetic campaign" ( Or, to paraphrase Douglas W. Kmiec, Caruso Family Chair and Professor of Constitutional Law at Pepperdine University, who served as head of the Office of Legal Counsel (U.S. Assistant Attorney General) for Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, sometimes you just have to switch parties to vote for the better candidate (

But why? Why would a red-blooded conservative living in the US of A want to vote for Obama? Well, don’t do it because David Brooks, conservative columnist and pundit, formerly of National Review, called Sarah Palin a "fatal cancer” ( or that Joshua Trevino, co-founder of RedState, said, "Do I believe in John McCain? Not as much as I used to. Do I believe in Sarah Palin? Despite my early enthusiasm for her, now not at all. Do I believe in the national Republican Party? Not in the slightest -- even though I see no meaningful alternative to it” (, and don’t vote for Obama because people like David Friedman, the son of late conservative icon and Nobel economist Milton Friedman, have endorsed him (, or even because Christopher Hitchens says to vote for Obama because “McCain lacks the character and temperament to be president. And Palin is simply a disgrace” (

Don’t even vote for Obama because Andrew Sullivan, author of The Conservative Soul, says that Obama “could transcend” ( our problems, or because Frances Fukuyama, one of the key founders of the Reagan Doctrine, agree that "Obama is the only one of the candidates who can escape the polarization" ( and find real solutions. And don’t vote for Obama because Larry Hunter, supply-side economist who helped is credited with writing the Republicans' 1994 Contract With America, said "I am enthusiastically supporting Barack Obama for president" (

Instead, vote for Obama because in your heart, you know he’s right.

Bacevich, A. (2008) The Right Choice?: The conservative case for Barack Obama. The American Conservative. March 24, 2008.


David Friedman said...

To describe me as having "endorsed" Obama is a bit of an exaggeration, as you can see by checking my blog. What I have said is that I think he is the least bad of the candidates (back when Hilary was still running), and might turn out better than that.

But I'm not betting on it, and I don't plan to vote for anyone for President this year.

Brian Hamilton said...

You can’t expect anyone to believe that. Having decided that almost all politicians are, well, politicians, we all vote for what we believe to be is the least bad candidate. Moreover, if someone was to decide what your "least bad" was based on your previous mentions of it (not in relation to the 2008 presidential election) they would see your "Efficiency as the Least Bad Solution" in Hidden Order (p. 224) and the "Laissez-Faire in Population: The Least Bad Solution” and realize that it is indeed your de facto endorsement.

Most people intrinsically realize that when you exclude the other choices as more bad, it places the least bad as the best option.

So you indirectly said that Barack Obama is the best candidate for President. I simply took the Webster definition of "endorse as to approve openly _______; especially: to express support or approval of publicly and definitely ______" and filled in the "least bad," and thus, your best option.