Jay Burns wrote a comment on my post about Bob Barr, the LIbertarian presidential candidate:
A vote for Barr is a vote for Barak Obama, assuming he wins the nomination. What Libertarians must ask themselves is if they are willing to hand the election over to the Democratic Party in order to stand on their principles and get the candidate that most closely matches their views.
To which I say:
Yes, it almost certainly is a vote for the Democratic candidate, either way. The only way that would not be true is if another leftist party, such as the Green Party, picks a very popular candidate.
I’m not sure if I am completely ready to vote for a non-Republican for President, but over the last few years I have been telling myself that I need to vote according to my conscience, not according to political strategy. Just when I think I have the courage to actually do so, I wince at the thought of a Democrat in the White House again.
Jay Burns wrote:
It might be worth it.
And I say:
Yes, that’s what I think–with a strong emphasis on the might.
He gives two reasons that it might be worth it:
1. To show the Republican party how disconnected they are from the base of the party. If you don’t know what I’m refering to, please comment and I’ll go into further detail.
2. A viable third party candidate will never be established if we don’t start showing a legitimate vote of support.
I certainly know what you are referring to in #1. And I’m pretty much ready to do it. I am very disappointed that we still have abortion on demand in our country. I am very disappointed that the Republicans are only slightly more fiscally conservative and fiscally responsible than the Democrats. I have put lots of time and energy into supporting the Republican Party as the “lesser of two evils,” but I think I am ready to choose a better alternative. At least, I think it is worth a try. And then when I die I can face my Maker with a clear conscience about my voting practices.
The main reason that we haven’t had a Third-Party President for so long is that pundits and the media keep telling us that we are wasting our vote if we vote for one. Because we are programmed that such a candidate cannot win, one never will. You win by getting votes, and you won’t get votes as long as pessimistic people think that their votes are wasted on the candidate that they actually prefer.
Jay burns concludes:
There would, however, be consequences to such a vote. Damage would be done in the mean time. Are we really willing to take that chance right now?
To which I say:
And that is why so many people lack the courage to vote according to their principles. They aren’t willing to suffer (possibly a lot) in the short term in order to make the right changes in the long term. As disgusted as I am right now with the Republican Party, I think I am willing to take that chance now.
It’s just not enough for me to hear “Well, at least things won’t be quite as bad with a Republican in the White House” anymore. I want something better than second-best. I don’t want to waste my vote on a default candidate that I can live with rather than cast it for the candidate that I think would be better for the job.