07 September 2008

Keeping schtumm

[Deep sigh]

I get email asking why I don't give my opinions and preferences regarding the US presidential election in general and the individual candidates in particular. That happens all the time, but is increasing – presumably because we are getting closer to the election.

Now I am also getting additional earache from people who want me to nail my colours to the mast regarding Sarah Palin. A significant subset of these ask why have been too cowardly to support or refute Julie Heyward's comment on 29 August.

To be clear: I do have very strong opinions about the individual candidates, but do not feel that this is the place for airing them. That is the legitimate activity of those who will vote, and who will live with the results. If I felt that expressing mine was likely to change anything, then I might well do so anyway ... but it won't. I don't kid myself that I have any influence.

In any case, as I have said too many times already, to think that who occupies the presidency (or vice presidency) decides the future of the US, never mind anyone else, is to get cause and effect mixed up. The person who ends as president or vice president is a result, not a cause: s/he shows what a majority of the US voting population feels, and is therefore a signal, not a cause, of what will happen next.

I don't suppose this will stop the flow of demands that I endorse/condemn one candidate or another, but there you go ... at least I can now point them to this answer.

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