Tuesday, November 6, 2012

How to put your PRESIDENTIAL vote to good use today

I had originally intended this blog to be a mostly political blog, but that obviously didn't happen. In fact, I meant it to be a blog I posted to daily or at the very least - weekly - but that didn't happen, either. Anyway, I wanted to post a quick political blog today since it's erection... err.. election day.

Now if you know me you know I'm a hardcore Libertarian and libertarian. Both in philosophy and realpolitik (I am a registered member of the Libertarian Party after all and have helped on a few local campaigns). Obviously my choice for president is Gary Johnson since Ron Paul isn't on the ballot (more on that later). But the point of this blog isn't to try to persuade you to vote for Johnson because of his politics, but rather, to help fix the political system.

So many people I know - Democrats, Republicans, independents, apathetics and everyone in between - complain about the political system and the two party system (or "two party dictatorship" as I call it). Most people want to see reform, but no one wants to actually step up to the plate and make it happen. This isn't surprising - after all - talk is extremely cheap. So I'm calling out EVERYONE that's ever complained about "the way the system works" and challenging them to put their vote towards a good cause that actually WILL help reform the system: simply vote for Gary Johnson or ANY third party PRESIDENTIAL* candidate (hereafter referred to as "Johnson/3rd party").


Think about it: if you live in a hardcore red or blue state where it's absolutely certain that the red or blue candidate will take that state then what do you have to lose in casting your presidential vote for Johnson/3rd party? I live in New York - probably tied with California for the bluest blue state in the union. If you're a Democrat what do you need to vote for Obama for? He's already won. Why not help your fellow man out by voting for Johnson/3rd party?

If you're a Republican living in a blue state and you want to vote for Romney to stick it to Obama, I hate to tell you, but that's a futile vote. Since Romney has no chance of winning New York, California, Illinois, etc. wouldn't your vote be better served helping out the third party?

And of course vice versa is true as well - don't vote for Obama in a red state like Texas.

Now if you have adamant philosophical disagreements with Gary Johnson, Jill Stein, Rocky Anderson, Virgil Goode, et al, that's understandable. This blog isn't meant to convince you at the last minute why any of those people are politically better for president than the candidate of your choice (some of them I vehemently disagree with myself). I'm just trying to show you how you can "be the change you want to see in the world."

Call it a pity vote if you want, I don't care, but the point is your vote would be better served going towards a third party presidential candidate than the two party establishmentarians. Every state has their own ballot access laws obviously, but for the most part a third party receiving 5% of the popular vote is a big deal; 10% is a huge deal; and 15%+ is earth-shattering. If we can get these third parties just 5% of the vote it's likely going to help them out in your state and nationwide as well. We can finally get third parties included in the debates. It can start perpetual motion and lead to long-term change down the road. I'm not an idiotic naive "Occupier" who believes they can create revolutionary political change overnight. I know it's a long, arduous, tedious battle and every little bit helps.

So if you live in a state where the presidential candidate is already decided why not help reform the system by voting for Johnson/3rd party?

Now if you live in a "swing state" (or "purple state" as I like to call them), by all means vote for Romney or Obama IF you truly believe they are the right person for the job. DON'T vote for one just to stick it to the other. If you're a "revenge voter" then why not vote against the establishment by voting for Johnson/3rd party?

*NOTE: I'm specifically talking about the PRESIDENTIAL ballot because it carries the most weight at the national and state levels as far as leading to ballot access reform. Personally I would recommend voting for third parties across the board from dog catcher to school board members to state assemblymen to congressmen and senators, but that's not intended to be the point of this blog.

THE RON PAUL QUESTION

Now I KNOW what you're thinking: "But Chad, you're a huge Ron Paul fanboy - why aren't you voting for him?" Well that certainly is a tough question, a good one though. And yes I'm a big Ron Paul fan and if he had run as a third party candidate he absolutely would get my vote. But unfortunately he didn't so he won't be on the ballot. I'm sure he might qualify as a "certified write-in candidate" but it's just not the same. A write-in vote for Ron Paul definitely does send a message, however, a vote for Gary Johnson (or even Constitution Party candidate Virgil Goode) is a very close substitute. Ron Paul is retiring from politics after this election so all votes cast for him will be a one-day-only event. A vote for Johnson/3rd party will carry on towards reforming the system. But if you can't bring yourself to vote for Johnson/3rd party because of your political/philosophical beliefs and you're 100% voting your conscience by voting for Ron Paul, then by all means cast a write-in vote for him. I can respect that.

P.S.

My personal prediction for this election: Romney beats Obama in the POPULAR vote, but Obama beats Romney in the ELECTORAL vote. Subsequently liberals forever shutup about changing the presidential election to a popular vote rather than the Electoral College (sheyeah right).

18 comments:

  1. I wish they would do away with the Electoral College. It was formed in a time when there were far less people with far fewer options for transportation and communication. I just don't think it's necessary anymore.

    Besides, what's the point of holding an election if the Electoral College can vote how ever they want? Annoying!

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    1. The Electoral College forces candidates to campaign for the entire country. If it were simply decided by popular vote all candidates would have to do is campaign at major metropolis cities. New York City, Albany and Buffalo together have about the same total population of the rest of the state - what's a candidates incentive to bother with the rest of the state?

      Additionally, cities and urban areas tend to vote Democrat in general. If we went to a popular vote for president it's quite likely we'd never have a Republican president again. Now if you're a Democrat you probably don't see anything wrong with that. But you have to admit that's just not fair.

      The Electoral College does INDEED create "a level playing field".

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    2. But as you say New York State is very likely to go blue anyway, so with the Electoral College none of the candidates cares about ANY area in your state. National politicians don't care about your vote; they care about the voters in the five-ten states that are considered to be "in play" at any particular moment.

      Abolishing the electoral college means that your vote will count even if 51% of your neighbors disagree with you. Youtube educator CGP Grey has an excellent video on the electoral college here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7wC42HgLA4k that explains the issues well. Also highly recommended is his series on voting methods in general, and why our current system of "first past the post" is about the worst system imaginable.

      http://www.youtube.com/course?list=EC7679C7ACE93A5638&feature=plcp

      The Electoral College is an obsolete vestige of federalism designed by committee in a very different era, and the sooner we get past it the better we'll be. If it takes a Romney popular vote win alongside an Obama electoral college win to make Bush voters realize that, I'm all for it. (Although I think this is very unlikely to happen.)

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    3. If the electoral college was eliminated and we decide the president by popular vote there would never be a republican president again. The entire country would be run by the metropolises.

      Also, by that logic why not get rid of the House of Representatives? It's the exact same principle: the states with the bigger population gets more say in government.

      The electoral college could only be eliminated via a Constitutional convention. Democrats who have been whining about this for years could've easily done just that in 2009-2010 when they had both houses but they didn't. That tells me it's all just talk.

      The Electoral college is here to stay. You're stuck with it, deal with it. Or move to a purple state where your vote has more weight.

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  2. Interesting, I don't quite see the scenario in which Romney takes the popular vote and loses, though I suppose a weak weak turnout in California and New York for Obama could make that occur.

    In so far as the Electoral College, marginalizing individuals in states in which I might vehemently disagree with their social stance on issues is dangerous. Already California and New York have a hefty say in how the presidential election turns out, making the so called swing states so hyper focused. On the flip side the fly over country being so squarely Red zone does the same. What we truly need is a representative electoral college system in which states need to deliver a specific majority or the votes are then divided up specifically, therefore not devaluing the votes of some in the presidential election. Whereas forcing the pigs of the two party system to have to put their games everywhere and consequently making it easier for third parties to compete.

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    1. I find debating the Electoral College is a futile argument since it would take a Constitutional change to make that happen and changing the Constitution is no easy task. Despite all the murmuring about calls for Con-Cons I don't see one happening. And if the Democrats were serious about going to a popular vote for the presidential election they could've easily put a Constitutional amendment together back in 2009 when they had the house, senate and presidency.

      So I don't get too hung up on hypothetical discussions of what COULD happen maybe someday if the stars are aligned properly. Let's concentrate on what we have.

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    2. Not hung up on it, just think that would be the most appropriate change. A popular vote, that is when I pack the kids and move to Antarctica to become a penguin farmer.

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  3. Chad, I am a constitutionalists. I believe in the strict reading of the Constitution. I believe in limited government, as prescribed by the Constitution. And,I believe that government should be small not only in size but also in scope and in power. I'm voting for Romney. With that said, The other day, I read an article written by Wayne Allyn Root, aka Mr. Libertarian. He said, Mitt Romney is the only sane choice for Libertarians. What's you're thoughts on Mr. Root?

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    1. He's certifiable. He left the LP a while ago and is now a water carrier for the GOP. Let's not make him the face of the LP or "libertarians" in general. Gary Johnson is our guy, and a pretty good one, so let's talk about him.

      Romney is no champion of limited government. A vote for him is a vote for Obama. You'll see no significant change under a President Romney other than you might actually start to see the news cover the wars again.

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    2. Chad, I would much rather vote for someone like Gary Johnson, instead of Romney. But, the reality is someone like Gary Johnson isn't going to get elected. Not, until we get the money out of politics. The problem is special interest groups. Special interest groups are the ones dictating to the politicians on both sides of the isle.

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    3. And you "sanely" believe that Mitt Romney is going to get the money out of politics? If you are voting based on needing to be associated with the winner, then simply vote for Obama, the news tells you he is up 48% to 47% based on some of the worst mathematics exercises imaginable.

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    4. @Pat,

      No, Romney isn't going to get the money out of politics. The two party system is broken. It needs to be fixed, and fixed soon. We need to get back to the roots of this great country. We can't afford 4 more years of Obama's socialist agenda.

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    5. Brando you missed the entire point of this post. You can't say the system's broken so let's just keep doing what we're doing hoping it'll fix itself.

      INSANITY IS DOING THE SAME THING OVER AND OVER AGAIN EXPECTING DIFFERENT RESULTS!

      "Money out of politics" is just an idiotic meme. That's NEVER going to happen and people who say this have no idea what they're talking about. Until you BAN lobbying and make all political posts unpaid positions you're never going to "get money out of politics." C'mon man, wake up.

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  4. Chad,

    You're 100% right!
    It's not going to fix itself. It's going to take you, me, and the every other hard working American to fix it. It's starts with removing lobbing and special interest groups.

    Like, I said before I am a constitutionalists. I'm pissed off about the direction our great nation is heading in. We're moving further, and further away from our roots. The roots that paved the way for our great nation, its freedoms, and its liberties. Our Constitution, and our Bill of Rights are being hijacked by these lobbing and special interest groups.

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    1. That's circular logic. If lobbyists and special interest groups influence the government (and are in essence THE government) then how are we going to get the government to voluntarily end lobbying and special interest groups? You're delusional if you think either of those things are ever going to end because politicians are part of the very same special interest groups. They have zero incentive to get them out of politics.

      Additionally, do you write or call your congressman, senator and even state representatives about EVERY single issue they vote on? No. We leave that to SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS to do that for us. It's an exact replica of the political system. We the people don't have the time, knowledge or means to vote on every single issue so we elect politicians to do that for us. Then we "elect" special interest groups to talk to politicians for us because we don't have the time, knowledge or means to do that ourselves either. It's never going to change.

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    2. According to the original intent of the Founding Fathers, these founding documents are the foundation of our Liberty and the Supreme Law of the Land.

      The sole purpose of government, as stated in the Declaration of Independence, is to secure our unalienable rights given us by our Creator. When Government grows beyond this scope, it is usurpation, and liberty is compromised.

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  5. I'll say it again, Our Constitution, and our Bill of Rights are being hijacked.

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    1. They have been for 100+ years, where have you been?!

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