I’ve been bitching and moaning for a while about how I don’t really like either candidate. This bailout bill is the straw that broke the camel’s back. Neither of the candidates even said, “Well, maybe we should think about this…” let alone thought that the bailout was a bad idea. Both parties were all gung-ho to pass this as soon as possible. That is an amazing amount of money that has just been handed over to the federal government and there was only token debate about how much power was being given essentially to one man.
I’ve had it, but what to do? I, along with everyone else, have been looking at the voting options as a two horse race. It occurred to me today that that isn’t so. There are a handful of other parties on the ballot in Virginia, how does this platform sound?
“We defend America’s traditional civil liberties and personal freedoms as the foundation of a tolerant society. We believe in the protection of people from dishonest business through liability in the courts. We endorse a foreign policy of non-intervention, peace, and free trade as prescribed by America’s Founding Fathers. Unlike the two major parties, for whom the only debate is whether the government should be enormous or merely huge, we believe the size and scope of government must be substantially reduced. Individuals should have sovereignty over their own lives as long as they do not interfere with the rights of others.”
Guess what party that is? It’s the Libertarian party. It basically fits my sensibilities to a tee and I’m willing to bet it fits a lot of other people’s too, they just don’t know about this party. I’ve known about them, but I never really thought about voting for them. Why not?
Well, there is zero chance that any of their policies will ever get written into law. Zero. Things like real free trade (not what passes for that in all of the trade bills coming out of the congress) and the elimination of all of the unnecessary federal bureaucracy just don’t have any political traction and probably won’t any time soon. Other things like the abolition of the federal income tax are so big that the idea is a little scary. But that’ll never happen either.
As it turns out, that’s probably a good thing. Knowing that the huge stuff won’t get done is fine. Right now, I’d be happy with resistance to the crazy things that are going on right now. A Libertarian would not have voted to invade Iraq (see Ron Paul) and a libertarian wouldn’t have voted for this enormous bailout. it would be nice if someone was fighting for me instead of selling me out.
Of course the big reason I wasn’t going to vote for a Libertarian is because they weren’t going to win. Especially after the Nadar issue that got W elected, third party votes have been seen as throwing away your vote, at best.
This is the killer, the guy isn’t going to win, so why bother? Of course one of the other guys is going to win, so why bother voting for them? Especially if I don’t like either of them. Something struck me today, voting for these guys could actually make a difference, even if they don’t win. Counting votes is the only way people know that that outlook exists in the population at large. This vote will actually mean more than just another vote for the big two, it will show that someone does care about things that the candidates are ignoring. I believe that most of the people that don’t vote are sick of the big two. Politics is stupid, politics is inherently corrupt, etc. If people realize that there is another choice and vote that way, things can be accomplished. Even if I am the only one in my district to vote this way, it might get someone to say, “Libertarians, who are they?” That chance is worth a lot more to me than “throwing away” my vote on Obama or McCain.
So for me, this makes a lot of sense. If you are disgusted by the bailout and Iraq, a libertarian vote makes a lot of sense. A democratic vote may communicate your dislike of the Iraq situation, but it is also tacit approval of Obama’s financial largess to very wealthy people. If you want to say no to interventionist wars, bailouts, ever increasing debt, and government intrusions into things like sexuality, vote Libertarian. It’s gotta start somewhere, so I’m voting libertarian down the line…