COLUMN: Justify your vote

Don Norvell

“Hannity and Colmes” is a good show.

Nothing is more entertaining than watching someone to the right of Attila the Hun argue against someone to the left of Joseph Stalin. Even when there is no news that day, they get my heart racing by putting the divinely beautiful and divinely brilliant Anne Coulter on the air.

I have watched the show semi-regularly since my senior year of high school. The one thing I always admired about both of them is they have strictly adhered to the same respective positions on issues, to the point that I know which sides they’ll take before they say a single word.

A little while ago, they were arguing about narcotics … again!

As expected, Hannity wanted more laws, stricter enforcement, etc. while Colmes supported legalization.

I had a revelation.

Hannity shows great faith in the individual when he defends the right to keep one’s own money, opposes regulations which limit the use of private property and protects the Second Amendment. Strangely, all of that faith disappears once drugs enter the equation.

Conversely, Colmes has no faith in the individual to handle his own finances, develop his own land or even defend himself, but all of that lost faith magically appears when someone wants to enter an altered state of consciousness.

This is not the standard accusation of flip-flopping – e.g., a politician is pro-life when running for senator but pro-choice when running for president. Flip-flopping on an issue is easy to catch and always exploited by the opponent.

This column is about philosophical flip-flopping. Such a flip-flop can easily go unnoticed and is very rarely exposed by political opponents.

During the Elian Gonzalez mess, Democrats wanted to deport an illegal immigrant for the first time while Republicans wanted to forsake the immigration laws they previously wanted to enforce more strictly. Both sides changed philosophies for political expedience.

The sad truth is that political parties and most individuals do not think when constructing an ideology. One’s view on an issue is often emotional. When debating, a person will invoke any suitable philosophy and promptly decry that same philosophy when a new issue is introduced.

Opposing ideologies are enough to leave us with an incoherent mess of laws. Electing irrational politicians to write our laws only exacerbates the problem.

Incoherent laws also make judges’ jobs more difficult, and judges are not always chosen for the best reasons.

Everything from Supreme Court rulings to the beliefs of the average elector creates the babbling, incoherence we call a legal system. This system is supposed to respect our rights, establish justice and all those other things we love so much.

On this Election Day, I encourage everyone to write down how they vote and take some time to ponder the reasons for these votes.

Can you justify all of your votes with coherent principles?

Don Norvell is a physics graduate assistant and a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].