06 January 2008

In which I do not endorse a presidential candidate

So I usually don't talk about politics here. And for the moment, this blog will refrain from endorsing a presidential candidate. This is mainly because I haven't thought too hard about the presidential elections, because the Pennsylvania primary isn't until April and the nominations will probably be decided by then; the election that really matters for me is the general election, and I don't want to get too attached to a particular candidate right now since they may not be in the general election. (Here's an interesting interview with William Poundstone on different methods of voting, via Slashdot.)

But it occurs to me that one thing that we should be against in a presidential candidate is pigheadedness of the sort that George W. "Stay The Course" Bush has shown. New information becomes available, and this is something that any presidential candidate -- well, really any president -- should take into account. They should not become wedded to their positions if new information becomes available. (By the way, I'm not saying that I want a president who decides what to do based on opinion polling that tells them whether they'll be able to keep their jobs. I want someone with principles -- but these principles should include a willingness to change their mind.) I don't want to go so far as to say "path-dependence is the scourge of history", but I'll say it inside quotes.

4 comments:

Michael said...

I admit at this point I'm simple I'll vote for just about any Democratic over any of the Republican candidates.

Bush and the Republicans have got us into a needless war; increased the debt to give the rich tax breaks; campaigned on bigotry against gays, women and African Americans. I also believe we cannot afford another Republican on the Supreme Court.

It amazes me how badly he has governed; I never thought anyone could do so much harm so fast.

Isabel said...

Well, I agree, but this is supposed to be a mathematical blog.

michael said...

Sorry you should remove my post.

Joseph said...

There is the minor problem that the Other Side in the War on Terror regards changing ones mind as a "sign of weakness." I recall that Osama bin Laden cited the US retreat from a pointless war in Somalia as a reason to attack.

In other words, it really is necessary to simulate being stupid.