Friday, October 31, 2008

Is it OK to vote for McCain?

The professor that taught me ecology at BYU has a very funny post about why it's okay for Mormons to vote for McCain.
In other news, the science journal Nature, for the very first time, has endorsed a political candidate. As have a huge number of Nobel Laureates.
Click on this link to find out if it's OK to vote for McCain...


JorgenMan said...

After the WALL-E post, I'm surprised that you would post an article like this. The author is quite accusatory and insulting to those whose political beliefs differ with his own, not to mention his oversimplifying and/or misrepresentation of every issue he addresses.

Tim said...

I'm not sure you got the point of the post.
It's a joke. It's meant to be funny. It's also meant to make fun...yes, of McCain, but more importantly, of those Republicans who always see the good in their party and the bad in the other, but never the bad in their own or the good in the other.
If a post like that was written by a Mormon about Obama, we would take it in stride. "Yes, maybe a good Mormon could vote for him, but not really."
I think the author realizes there are major problems with both candidates. He lives in Utah Valley. No doubt he's heard people say, "but Obama supports abortion," or "Obama wants to redistribute the wealth," or even "Obama's a Muslim."
So he decided to write an anti-McCain post.
Notice the talk about focusing on just one issue (clearly a reference to abortion).
And his reference about debt (point D) has a clear parallel with a big line Republican Mormons like to use--the Bible says individuals should help the poor. It doesn't say the government should do it.
Notice this line:
"I hope you will not judge your other Mormons (as small in number as they may be) who are going to vote for the war and this man who has been so supportive of it."
Read it again, and understand that he's speaking tongue-in-cheek. He's being funny.
The problem with WALL-E was that the author was 100% serious.
This guy isn't.

JorgenMan said...

First of all, I apologize if I'm coming off as hypersensitive. I'm not offended that you posted this; I'm just sharing my feelings on the article. I also tend to be much more critical of right-wing stuff than most Republicans, so maybe I'm just too critical. Let me clarify what I meant.

I realize perfectly well that the author is trying to be funny, but, whatever his intentions, the article does not say, "It's funny that some people think John McCain is flawless, because that's obviously wrong." It says, "It's funny that some people think you can vote for McCain and still be a good member of the church, because that's obviously wrong."

No matter how you go about it, when you start throwing around sarcastic straw-man arguments as evidence that people have flawed moral judgement, you're going to offend people. The article would have been much less offensive if it had not been written as a "humor" piece - if it had the tone of "I have some serious moral concerns about John McCain," as opposed to "Anyone with half a brain knows that it's morally wrong to vote for McCain."

I think the author brings up some legitimate concerns about McCain, but no McCain supporter is ever going to take them seriously because of the way they are presented.

If the article were written the other way around, it would likely contain statements like "I know that we are commanded to love one another, but don't judge Obama supporters just because he pals around with terrorists. I'm sure that it's entirely possible for a good Christian to vote for Obama, although I'm not sure how." I'd have to imagine that such an article would be somewhat aggravating to Obama supporters, and not because of their inability to see the sarcasm in such comments. I certainly wouldn't expect them to see it as all in good fun.

The author certainly oversimplifies matters to a comical extent, and makes some laughably poor arguments against McCain, but I don't think that's the type of humor he was going for.

Again, I don't want to make a huge deal out of this , but I think it's important to point out that trying to be funny doesn't always save an author from being offensive.

Tim said...

I guess I read it entirely different.
I think the author is saying, "You do this to my candidate, but look how silly it is when I do the exact same thing to your candidate."
I think it's a type of satire. I'm fairly certain the author believes that good people can vote for McCain. He's just showing how silly the Obama attacks are by attacking McCain in the same manner.
Swift in his classic satire called for all kinds of reprehensible things (eating babies, etc.) to make a point.
I think Steven's doing the same thing here. He believes good Mormons vote for McCain and has no problem with that--but he does have a problem with their attacks on Obama, and so he wrote this satire.
Maybe I'm reading it wrong, but I'd recommend going back and re-reading it as satire instead of reading it as an attack on McCain or those who support McCain.
It is most definitely an attack on those who say "good Mormons can't vote for Obama."
Your 3rd-to-last paragraph in the previous post is, I think, exactly what Steven's attacking--he's heard arguments like this, and this is his reply back. He's just showing how silly those arguments are by showing how silly they would be if someone used the same tactics to attack the other candidate.
If I thought Steven were being serious, I myself would be offended.
Then again, a number of people don't get the satire that I myself see, so maybe I'm wrong. But then again, I know the guy a little bit, and I'm pretty sure satire is more his style than a political attack would be.
Thanks for your comments, and despite what you think about the article, please realize that I think it's great satire, and I'd be offended if I thought it was serious.

Tim said...

An update: the author of the post admitted it was satire and said:
"I really do believe that good Mormons can vote either way."
I'm not sure he understood my double negative, though...