Missed Opportunity: Don’t Waste Your Vote!

Part 2

In Part 1 on this subject, I discussed why John McCain is on his “Farewell Tour” of the US rather than out campaigning: he doesn’t clearly stand for ANYTHING. If you have come this far, then maybe you are asking yourself what can be done less than two weeks from the election.

I asked myself that same thing, but before I go into the answer, I will give some background. You see, I am a man without a party. Hanging on the wall in my office is a picture of Ronald Reagan. In my wallet is an ACLU card showing that I have been a member since 2001. In the back of my trusted Moleskin notebook is a copy of the Constitution and Declaration of Independence which I carry with me to every meeting I have. This combination of items is a shock to most people the first time they hear it and confuses some. As I see it, my political views are very simple: I want the government out of my wallet and out of my bedroom. Unfortunately, the Democrats and Republicans don’t match up with EITHER of those things much less both.

Trust the governement to decide non-objective law
Trust the government to decide non-objective law

The Republican Party was allegedly the party that stood for controlling and shrinking the government. Eight years of spending like drunken sailors shreds any notion of that being true. The Democrats on the other hand have had plenty of opportunities to stand up against things like illegal warrantless wiretaps or a railroaded “Patriot” Act and have stood idly by while pretending the Fourth Amendment didn’t exist; so much for the Liberals defending rights.

So since the Democrats or the Republicans don’t have a scrap of similarity to what I hold as values, I will look elsewhere. I am an Objectivist and cannot say that I am a Libertarian, however if I take a look at the Libertarian platform and plans, they dovetail nicely with my convictions regardless of how they got there. The plan can be summed up as “Smaller Government, Lower Taxes, More Freedom”. It hits me like a breath of fresh air.

The argument that I hear a lot on this subject is that people are afraid of wasting their vote on a third party. In 2000 I voted for Bush and ended up staying up for two days without sleeping glued to the TV trying to find out who won. When it was decided, I felt like I was going to vomit. You see, no matter who I voted for we were in for an awful Presidency. I call it the election hangover. In 2004, I listened to Kerry’s promises of endless handouts and spending and then choose John Edwards as his running mate. I knew Edwards as not only a frightening social engineer but an awful human being. It was clear there was no way I could vote for them. Instead I voted for a fellow named Michael Badnarik whose views very closely matched my own. The next morning, I knew that I had stood up for what I believed in rather than accepting my two awful choices. No election hangover. Most people are willing to accept values that are not their own in a candidate with the justification that it was the best of two evils. I am finished with that. I will vote for what I believe in and not give a tacit endorsement to this system that guarantees that you will only be able to choose between two bads handpicked by the lowest common denominator in the country.

The good news is that your option isn’t anything that requires you to accept my position on voting. Instead, I am telling you not to waste your vote. Before you think that is a contradiction, recognize that there is not one reasonable poll suggesting that McCain has a chance to win. A vote for him does not tell the Republican Party anything about why they lost or what they should do in the future. It is wasted plain and simple.

On the other hand, a vote for Bob Barr sends a consistent message: the party has lost its way, but the path is well marked for how to get back on it. If a principled person wants to have his or her voice heard in both political parties, they should vote for Bob Barr. A vote for Barr will be counted as a protest against the Bush/McCain’s (or even Obama’s) big spending policies.

I mentioned in the first half on this subject that both McCain (+$92B) and Obama (+$292B) are planning on massive expansions in spending. Bob Barr’s plan calls for a $200 Billion CUT in spending from present levels. His answers on individual rights and property rights are very clear – keep the government out. Tell your party what direction to go rather than stumble around for the next four year to end up with another patsy.

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5 thoughts on “Missed Opportunity: Don’t Waste Your Vote!

  1. If I had more faith in Bob Barr’s relatively recent transformation from “Social Conservative Kool Aid Drinker” to the “libertarian thinking, Constitution first, personal religious/social mores second” candidate -perhaps I could do another protest vote to gain the victor’s attention.

    It didn’t work in 1992 as Clinton had no need to pay attention to me. He knew that the Bush I voters would never vote for him and since Perot and the same cast of third-party/independents ran again in 1996. If it weren’t for Newt and Company’s work, the hangover would still haunt me today.

  2. Well said Russ. I figure my only hope is to follow the ideas and not the man. I can’t ignore his past, but I can “forgive and remember their names”.

  3. Since a vote for Barr won’t matter in light of an obvious McBama win, it isn’t necessary to vote for the man. As the LP’s candidate, advancing their numbers isn’t a bad long term strategy, per se.

    Short term: the situation is hopeless despite what the Obama Hordes claim. McCain may crash and burn, yet again.

    Long term: Compounding the current global markets overhaul is the various military tensions that continue without abatement. Neither candidate can help these situations. In fact, chances are good they will only serve to promote further despotism.

    Solution: There isn’t a solution to these problems. The best thing that can be done is to flee from these people as fast you can. Legitimizing the roles they are campaigning for is a major waste of time, to say the least.

  4. Dan,

    Nice post. Hopefully you’ll spend more time in our discussions at ablankpaper.com.

    I have spent a lot of time thinking about Bob Barr as a candidate, and who knows? I might still vote for him. It’s hard though, as Russ said, to ignore that he’s either a late bloomer or less than sincere.

    SM

  5. Agreed Scot. I suppose my tie breaker is that a decent showing by Barr sends a louder message to the Republicans than it does to the Libertarians. No – I don’t want the LP to trot out more Bob Barrs which I suppose is a danger. But even small gains in percentages will show the Republicans that they have lost their way.

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