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The “Wasting Your Vote” Myth

June 8, 2012


A pundit claims Romney will win Wisconsin because polls put Obama at 50%, Romney at 38% and 12% undecided and “the undecided always vote against the incumbent.”  The assumption, therefore, is that they will vote for Romney.  Hmmmm….

I hear people complain that we need a third party.  Well, there are actually 18 or so other parties, the problem is that people accept the myth that you waste your vote if you don’t vote for the Dem or Rep.  How sad and how untrue.

A wasted vote is one cast for someone you don’t want.  I love the bumper sticker, “What if they held an election and nobody came?”  If the undecided gave someone else, Paul, Johnson, whoever, a good run, no, their candidate won’t win, but it sends a message.  Say millions vote for Ron Paul as they want to and Obama wins as a result.  For an election cycle or two the Republicans will start to get the message and put up more acceptable candidates.

Who is that candidate?  Personally, I’d like someone like Ron Paul who was a bit younger.  Someone who recognizes it was business-as-usual that got us here and only something radically different will get us out.  As much as I like Newt Gingrich, I suspect he’d revert to Business-as-Usual, too.

Does that person have to be conservative?  Maybe not.  Freedom is not on the table, though, so with that and the Constitution as the only must-preserves, shake it up. World presence and world dominance IS on the table.  The only answer I see is much smaller government; how we get there is the question.

Can America be radically repositioned without sacrificing freedom?  Paul’s plan is one way; I suspect there are more.

I’ll be looking very hard at Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party candidate.  I liked him in the debates, I like his views for the most part (some regulation is necessary, and he appears like he’s been taking advantage of the Legalize Pot act before it’s implimented).  He hasn’t got a hope in the hot place of winning, but I see two wins:  I can sleep at night and I can complain about whoever wins without feeling guilty (I voted for Bush, was glad I did for 9/11 and wasn’t all that impressed thereafter. No Child Left Behind has been the country’s worst education program ever, and while I agree certain provisions of the PATRIOT Act are necessary, many are not.  Hard to complain when I voted for him, though).

Vote your conscience.


One Comment leave one →
  1. June 11, 2012 12:29 pm

    As with many things, I suspect it’s a short-term/long-term thing. Yes, in the long term an increased third-party vote might send a message and lead to some changes, but in the short term it IS still wasting a vote since no third-party candidate has a real chance to win, and a lot of people don’t like backing a losing horse even if they aren’t too fond of the horse in the lead. Or something like that.

    I was hoping that with the advent of the Internet there could be a real groundswell in third-party activity, presenting more affordable ways to campaign and get a message and platform out there, and shake up the process. And it has, to an extent, but nowhere near what would be required to change the two-party domination we have. And the closest we get are still things like Americans Elect, which was itself backed by big corporate players looking to influence politics even further by bypassing the two parties to select their own ticket. No thanks!

    All that said, I would probably vote third-party myself (probably Dr. Jill Stein, the Green candidate) this November if I didn’t feel that this election weren’t so critical for the future. I don’t have a lot of faith in Obama to turn things around, certainly not on his own–but I have total faith that the GOP would dig the hole even deeper if they win, and I’d love to not bequeath my kids 20 more years of this non-recovery or worse.

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