Saturday, June 28, 2008

Jason Gatties proves that he is a class act

Jason Gatties, Libertarian candidate for the Lake Michigan College Board of Trustees, has asked that this weekend, in lieu of donations to his campaign, people please send their money to cyclone victims in Myanmar (or, for old farts like me, Burma). [h/t to Last Free Voice]

Funny, I can't imagine Barack Obama, John McCain, Bob Barr, Ralph Nader, or Ron Paul doing the same thing.

Oh, wait, I don't have to imagine it: they didn't do it, or anything remotely like it.

Unfortunately, some Libertarians could not resist using Jason's principled call to indulge in their own partisan fund-raising activities.

So Jason, I'm going to both listen to you and ignore you. I promise you I'll send at least fifty bucks to the relief campaign, but I'm still sending you the ten bucks I promised.

We're Americans. We can do more than one right thing at a time.

Think about what might have happened if all the presidential candidates had gotten together and announced that for one day they were turning over all their donation receipts to Myanmar relief.

That might be change I could believe in.

I'm not holding my breath.

Thanks, Jason, for setting a standard.


Waldo said...

How would one distinguish between one and another of several natural disasters going on in the world at any given time? Are the victims in Burma more deserving than those in Darfur? Are either more cases more deserving than flood victims in the American midwest, or, say, New Orleans, which has ceased to be interesting to the media or the government?

Such things as Mr. Gatties' gesture are thoughtful, and reflect well on the man, but they are still gestures.If gestures are praiseworthy, ought not Obama get some praise for canceling campaign events in Iowa and showing up to help fill sandbags? Senator McCain, by contrast, showed up and looked at flooding, then went off to raise money somewhere.

But if it's purely a matter of being a candidate and not spending the money one raises on winning, well, good on ya, Mr. Gatties.

Steve Newton said...

Do you really believe that Barack Obama and his campaign staff weren't aware of the public relations impact of the Iowa event. By one account I read (although I can't find it at the moment to give you the link) they spent $35,000 on local ad buys to publicize their candidate's forty-five minutes of filling sandbags.

Tyler Nixon said...

The gesture is certainly worthy, but as a zero sum proposition I would rather see my money fund a libertarian candidate anywhere in the U.S., than be a drop in the ocean of assistance going to a disaster recovery halfway around the globe.

I am pretty confident substantial U.S. tax dollars/resources have already flowed to Myanmar's recovery, have they not?

Jason Gatties said...

The point was, to bring attention to something I feel strongly about. Simple as that. I have the rest of the campaign season to raise money for my efforts. And my proposal has worked, as MANY people have emailed me today stating that they will in fact donate.

I feel for the people of Iowa, New Orleans, Zimbabwe & anyone else who is suffering. This was simply something that I personally wanted to bring to light and hoped some of my fellow libertarian activists would get involved.

If you would rather donate to the flood victims in it. I encourage that as well. If you want to donate to a good Libertarian candidate this it. This is just something I personally believe in and something I will continue to support.