My son (who I made the mistake of teaching logic) argues that I should vote for Ron Paul for president. My response to him has been that I don't think Paul can win. My son responds that it shouldn't matter, and he points to the maledictions I have cast against those who engage in what I call "tactical voting"--the practice of limiting your options in an election only to those who are most electable.
I respond that, yes, I am against tactical voting, but at the same time some dark horse candidates are so dark that you can't even see them, and that I am thinking of going with Fred (Thomson, that is). Thompson may not be as conservative as Paul, but he is very conservative and very electable. My son's response is that I should vote for the person who is closest to my own views, no matter how electable he may be.
But my son, who is a philosophy major at UK and no mean debater, fails to see the logical consequence of his argument. If I am to vote for the person who most closely shares my views, no matter what his electability, then who should I vote for?
That's right. The person who shares my views most closely is myself. Now, admittedly, I am completely unelectable, but, according to my son's argument, that doesn't matter.
Therefore, I am the one I should vote for.
But this argument has a further consequence: if each person should vote for the person who most closely shares his views, then each person should vote for himself. So not only should I vote for myself, but everyone should vote for himself. Furthermore, my son should vote for himself as well. And, therefore, he should not vote for Ron Paul.
Those who live by logic must die by it.