Are we fixed on seeing a glass half empty?

Steve,

  On reflection I admit that with either Newsom or Gonzalez the burden
of government in San Francisco is likely to grow at least somewhat, so
I suppose the "lesser of two evils" language may be somewhat warranted
-- although I don't think the city is as screwed as many on this list
seem to believe.

  When you consider climate, location, natural beauty, man-made beauty,
and virtually unsurpassed cultural opportunities, I still think SF is
one of the best places to live in the world. Free Staters are going to
have to make some waves in New Hampshire the likes of which have
scarcely been dreamt of in the 30+ years the LP has been around to get
me to move out there.

  But I digress. The main point I was trying to communicate in my
previous message is that applying the "lesser of two evils" language
too frequently may lead libertarians to become overly cynical and
pessimistic. Eventually this can undermine the person's will to vote or
to participate politically at all. If all the choices and all the
likely outcomes are "evil," what's the use in having anything to do
with any of it?

  Of course this is a tempting mental framework for some people, because
it provides a rational justification for political laziness and
non-involvement. That's why we as activists ought to seek to recognize
the patterns of speech that lead to such conclusions and discourage
them as a bane on the health of our party and our movement.

Yours in liberty,
              <<< Starchild >>>

  If the latter, would it be fairer to speak of them in terms of the
"greater of two goods" rather than the "lesser of two evils?"

If your choices were:
   A. cut one of your toes off
   B. cut two of your toes off
Is it more appropriate to call A "the lesser of two evils" or the
"greater of two goods", given that both are much less painful than
cutting a leg off?

I agree that in the real world we constantly must choose between evils.
And I don't see how inaction can absolve the individual of
responsibility or how it can "send a message" as it is
indistinguishable from disinterest, a state of the population which the
powerful are more than happy to accept.

-- Steve

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I see and think that's a good point. I think the problem is more a
matter of misperceived symbolism of a vote. There is a notion that a
vote implies confidence, support, and trust instead of what it means in
practice, which is simply preference.

-- Steve

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