How very ironic, that John Derbyshire, the author of the mathematical treatise Unknown Quantity should screw up a basic mathematical equation:
However, the main premise here—that you should support the candidate you most agree with, regardless of your estimate of his chances of victory, and that to do otherwise is contemptible trimming—is surely wrong.
If candidate A has positions I agree with 97 percent, but, in my cool estimation of the U.S. electorate & current political environment, only a 0.1 percent chance of winning; while candidate B has positions I agree with 67 percent, but a 40 percent chance of winning; should I support A or B?
Seems to me I could honorably, with a clear conscience, take either choice.
First, if Derb’s going to bring the math into it, then he obviously should support B, who has a 26.8 favorability product versus the .097 product for A. Of course, this means that he would have to support Hillary Clinton if he has more than a 29.9 percent affinity for her given her 90 percent chance of winning.
Really, most Three Monkey Republican voters should vote for Hillary, given the logic they cite in providing excuses for why they can’t support Ron Paul. If your primary concern is to vote for a winner, she’s your girl.
Anyhow, Ron Paul has a better chance of beating Hillary than a Republican who shares two-thirds of her positions and is indistinguishable from her on the major issues of this campaign.