What you are claiming is that YOUR principles are more important to you than other people. If other people suffer, sucks to be them, but you are sticking to YOUR principles. Well, aren’t you special. When I listen to my conscience, I find I don’t have principles that come before hurting other people, or hurting the planet. Doing the right thing when no one is watching is voting for someone who wants to help people and the environment, even if they aren’t your absolute favorite person.
At the very least, every voter should look at the two major party candidates and carefully evaluate them on all issues important to the voter. If they actually do appear equally bad or good, then go ahead and vote for whoever you want. But if one of the major party candidates is better than the other, the fact that somewhere you can find one person who is better does not negate your DUTY to vote for the better candidate with a chance of winning.
It would seem that what Webb calls people of conscience…want to vote for whichever person in the whole country who would make the best president. If everyone of conscience actually did that, then they would be voting for numerous different people. Why should they limit themselves to someone actually running for the office? That would always leave the actual election to those who pick the best candidate running likely to get elected. Webb misses Shirky’s main point. No one gets exactly who they want. No one. Whoever we vote for is still a compromise…unless we write in Mr. Perfect…but Mr. Perfect won’t win, so what’s the point?