We need to have a serious discussion about how we should vote if Ron Paul is not the nominee for the GOP. Between a likely outcome of either Obama or Romney, which is a more preferable outcome, and why?
Before I state who I'd rather have win - give me a second while I change my clothes...
/puts on flame retardant suit
Okay. That's better. Between Romney and Obama, I would rather have Obama win. Now, before I am labeled as a traitor and a hypocrite - hear me out.
There are at least five good reasons off the top of my head as to why we should all prefer this.
1) A divided, gridlocked government is certainly preferable to one that is mostly if not totally controlled by the Statist, militarist, hypocrite GOP (I think Republicans will probably end up taking control of the Senate as well as holding the House, or at least holding the House).
2) When the proverbial $#@! really starts to hit the fan under Obama - at least the dems and everyone can't say, 'See?! See what happens when you elect and institute free market policies?!'. Clearly, none of the policies would be free market ones, but we all know a Romney presidency will be painted that way, regardless.
3) The GOP establishment deserves the punishment of not having our votes and thus losing to Obama (while I wouldn't vote for Obama, I certainly won't vote for Romney) due to their heavy use of dirty tricks and treatment of Paul and Paul supporters... This will set in the reality that they need us, and that without us (independents, libertarians, constitutionalists, and old-school conservatives), they will rarely, if ever, win the presidency again. See my post 'Ron Paul Supporters are a Scourge on the Republican Party' for more context.
4) If the GOP wins, they will be encouraged to continue to do what they've always done.
5) It would make for good entertainment just to see the GOP establishment go apoplectic over a second term for Obama.
Remember, take this all within the context of Obama and Romney really being only inches apart. It's not like one is that much different than the other, anyways. Obama's rhetoric may be socialistic - but his policies are corporatist. Romney's rhetoric may be much more free-market, but his policies would be corporatist as well. They both support the drug war. They both support imperialism, militarism, war, and have talked about pre-emptive war with Iran and elsewhere (Syria, etc). They both ultimately support big, bloated federal government. They both support the IRS and income taxes. Neither has any plan for significant cuts, anywhere. They both support domestic welfarism and foreign aid. They both support the IMF and the UN. They both support bailouts. They are both owned and funded by the largest players on Wall Street and special interests. They both support the Federal Reserve. They both support massive deficit spending. They both support Keynesianism. They both support the Patriot Act, SOPA, and NDAA - deplorable violations of civil liberty.
NEITHER offer any real change and are mere inches apart on substantive issues.
Understand, I'm *not* saying we should vote for Obama. Absolutely not. What I'm implying is that you might think supporting and voting for Romney *over* Obama out of a more or less greater fear of Obama sounds like the best alternative between two crummy outcomes. Please understand that this sentiment is short-sighted and unproductive (and potentially destructive if the establishment GOP takes control of the executive *and* legislative branch - think of the Bush terms). This is exactly what the GOP establishment wants, and is far too often what it gets. Resist the urge. Try to look at the big picture and think of the long run.
So no, don't vote for Obama, but also don't vote for Romney. Vote third party (preferably Libertarian, since Gary Johnson, the LP candidate, will be on the ballot of all 50 states, and the LP is the largest third party in the US). Accept the very strong probability that Obama would win as a result of us voting this way - but realize the benefits of this happening.
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Write-ins (for Ron Paul) will be pointless. They will not be counted, only ignored. They certainly won't be reported. It might make you feel a little better, but practically speaking - a completely wasted effort.
Some advocate not voting at all - as some form of protest. This accomplishes (and has accomplished) nothing, in and of itself, and has been proven completely impotent in discouraging further Statism. One merely needs to look around to realize that our current state of affairs illustrates this fact. The vast, vast majority of Americans already have not been voting for decades, if not since the(se) United States were founded. What happens instead is that the Statists are simply *further* encouraged. They only see and acknowledge percentages of the *voting public* supporting either the 'blue' or 'red' version of oppression. It actually gives them a greater feeling of legitimacy, regardless of how invalid that feeling is (self-deception and rationalization play a big part here), and despite the fact that reality actually reflects a colossal rejection of the left/right false-choice dichotomy, along with the entire political system itself.
This is not to say that voting by itself can and will accomplish what we want - but voting is not mutually exclusive from other methods of achieving socio-economic change. See my post on 'Why Even Anarchists Should Vote'. But I digress.
Given the situation in the subject line of this post, I think as many of us (old-school conservatives, libertarians, independents, anarchists, et al) voting for Gary Johnson sends the strongest message, and pushes forward the future potential of a stronger foundation for a third party (especially while working at the same time to take over the GOP party apparatus). It will also at least shock both the Republican and Democrat tribes into realizing how much they are falling out of favor - and how truly fiscally conservative and truly socially tolerant ideas are becoming increasingly popular. This could incentivize them to move in our direction if they wish to retain their power in the meantime, and/or it could further legitimize the third-party option as a real alternative for many more Americans.
For all intents and purposes, during this election... 'right is worse'.
(This post was originally published under my old pseudonym, 'Sentient Void', at the Ron Paul Forums, on 07-27-2012)