Little more than a gaggle of hacks and geeks.

Whether or Not to Endorse Candidates

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Endorsing a candidate has become commonplace amongst those in the media. This hasn’t always been so. There was a time when, for the sake of at least appearing to be impartial, the main newsmakers would leave such judgments to the readers. Doing so also saved them from being marred as partisan, accused of being little more than a megaphone in the hands of the party establishment. So was the way of yesteryear.

At any rate, the media have decided to scrap the wisdom of their forefathers, wandering away from the trails blazed by those social critics who at least wished to be non-partisan. The media are now entrenched in partisanship. Whether it is the so-called “drive-bys” in the “mainstream media,” the gawking heads and policy wonks on talk-radio, or the henchmen in advocacy journals and ideologically partisan magazines, endorsements are commonplace. The worst part of the entire affair is that these endorsements rarely come as a surprise, being as predictable as the sunrise.

With all of this having been said, I am left wondering whether or not it would be in my personal interest to jump on the endorsement bandwagon or, for the sake of at least attempting to be impartial, I should stay on the non-partisan sidelines. A day rarely passes without emails or phone calls from friends and foes wishing to know who I am pulling the lever for in November. Some of them just assume, given my track-record, that I will be voting for similar candidates this time around. The former are asking too much, and the latter are grossly simplifying my thought process. In the end, both are left without an answer, being told that I am not sure whether I wish to publicly announce my choices.

It would be most reasonable to presume that the reason for this hesitance is my wishing to remain non-partisan, but this is not entirely true. While I am most certainly an independent, my rationale thus far has been, in large part, based upon my underlying presuppositions as a traditionalist Catholic. Issues aren’t so black-and-white anymore, and single-issue-voting is out of the question. But it would be the means by which to achieve the ends desired that most plagues me. Agreeing with a candidate on ends is cheap if the candidates means have little hope of bringing us there. On the other hand, a candidate who may not see eye-to-eye with you on ends may propose means that would bring us closer to achieving the ends longed for than the aforementioned candidate who does see eye-to-eye on ends. This process involves more than lip-service and sound bites; it requires the diligent discipline of discernment.

So let us get back to the question at hand. Should I publicly endorse candidates? Should I do so on my blog and my radio program? Should I send out, as I have for the past four years, another voter’s guide for listeners, friends, and family to use when going to the polls? Or should I stay on the sidelines, providing information to people I believe to be bright enough to make the difficult choices inherent within the democratic process? I presume that this, as with other personal decision, will require a decent amount of diligent discipline in the realm of discernment.


One Response

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  1. I still can’t believe you’re going to be writing in Bono…you know, he isn’t even a U.S. citizen, right? When you told me you were voting for Bono I was completely flummoxed.

    First you were talking about writing me in…and I was quite flattered…now I don’t know what to think.


    September 22, 2008 at 2:25 pm

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