That's not a true statement. Situationally, there are times it's better to paint everyone with the same brush based on the behavior of "a select few," and other times when it isn't appropriate. It is prudent to avoid people dressed in certain ways in downtown Detroit at 3 AM. Is it more likely that an individual isn't going to mug you than that he is? Yes, even in very high-crime neighborhoods. But it's still not a smart risk. On the other hand, it's not appropriate for the police to frisk that individual without cause because of the way he looks. And the example I cited above - it's not ok to fire a bunch of potentially uninvolved people because of a widespread office problem; however, it may be appropriate to withhold bonuses for a year, reduce employee awards, or cancel company events or perks. The Hall of Fame is not a right, nobody has a contract that entitles them to entry unless they are found guilty of a specific infraction. The Hall of Fame is a perk - like being trusted, or being rewarded by your boss. If the writers don't want to trust or reward anyone, that's their right. And given the circumstances, it's entirely reasonable. PED use isn't "the behavior of a select few," as you state in your most recent post. It was extremely widespread. Good players, old players trying to hang on, AAAA players trying to make the leap - all kinds of guys were using. And it wasn't always obvious who was and who wasn't. So if you want to take an ethical stance against PED use, as a HOF voter, the only way to guarantee you aren't voting for any of them is not to vote for anybody. This is a statement with which very few voters would disagree. Most obviously want to avoid voting for users but prefer to guess, as made clear by the low vote totals for Clemens, Bonds, and Big Mac and higher totals for the guys who went in, Biggio, etc. But realistically, most of those guys would have to admit there's a decent chance that one or two - or more - of the guys they voted for did use PEDs, at least experimentally, during their careers. They're willing to take that risk to enshrine deserving candidates. But if they REALLY wanted to avoid voting for PED users... they wouldn't vote.
I've said before that I'd vote in Bonds, Clemens, and Mac in a heartbeat. I think more than half of the league was using, and these guys were still the best. They deserve to go in the Hall. I wouldn't vote for nobody. I never put the guy on a pedestal, or said what he was doing was noble, as you suggested earlier. I'm simply explaining his position, and as far as it goes HE IS RIGHT. It's that simple. If he refuses to vote for a PED user, he can't vote for anybody. That's just the reality of the state of baseball through the '90s and '00s. And since the Hall is a privilege, or a bonus if you prefer, and not a right or contractual entitlement, deciding not to risk voting for any PED user is fully within the rights and obligations of a voter. It's a defensible position, and from where I stand it's a much more defensible ballot than most people have made it out to be. If we could all just agree to essentially ignore PED use and vote for the guys whose numbers say they deserve to get in, that would be my perception of the ideal solution. But in a reality in which it looks like Roger Clemens, about whom nothing has ever been "proven" either, will never be voted in by the BBWAA, it's ridiculous that we will put in a cast of guys - Thomas, Biggio, Maddux, Glavine, Thome, Pedro, Johnson, and more - at least several of whom likely did use PEDs during their careers. I can't help thinking that the ballot with only Jack Morris looks a lot more reasonable to me than all the ballots who list Frank Thomas and not Mark McGwire. Thomas was just as big a guy, if not bigger. Yet we just assume he didn't use, in a culture that supported and hid users. I'm not saying he DID use; I'm saying there's no way for me or anybody else outside his inner circle of friends, family, and teammates to know. To vote for one and not the other seems capricious and frankly indefensible. Vote for both or vote for neither, I don't care. But this random guessing is a load of BS. You've said that yourself, but the analysis you get from that statement doesn't make any sense.