Subject: Voting in 2012
The following article is scheduled to be published in the September
(now October) issue of Liberty's Torch, Brad
and Barbie Harrington's Cheyenne, WY newspaper, where their motto is:
"Defending your individual rights, whether you like it or
Well, you can't beat that!
It's Romney's Job to Win Over the Johnson Voters
In most presidential elections within memory, there seems to
always be a sizable portion of the public voting against
one candidate rather than voting for the other one. Or
to put it in different terms, many people continue to find
themselves in the unenviable position of having to choose
between the "lesser of two evils." Occasionally, a
viable third-party candidate gains traction as an alternative
to what is seen as the status quo being offered by the
Republicans and Democrats. This happened in 1992 with the
independent candidacy of Ross Perot, and this year we are
seeing signs of growing support for the Libertarian party
Without a doubt, this is a critical presidential election.
After suffering four years under Obama's administration, many
people have come to the conclusion that he must be replaced at
any cost, even if it means voting for the lesser of two evils
and supporting a suboptimal candidate such as Mitt Romney.
Other people, taking a longer range view, are choosing to
support Johnson who most closely represents their values and
principles, understanding that his chances of winning this fall
are slim, but hoping that a significant showing in this
election will produce a more favorable crop of candidates next
time around and ultimately lead to a better future. Those who
believe that Romney's election is of paramount importance are
fearful that a majority of Johnson voters will come from people
who would otherwise vote Republican, possibly swinging the
election in Obama's favor. One such person commented that
should Obama win, it would be Johnson's loony supporters
who will be to blame.
I don't have a strong quarrel with how people choose to vote
in this election. As is the case every four years, this
country is in an unholy mess and the state of political
leadership is disgraceful, so making a serious choice as to
how to vote requires a strategy and calculation that can be
complicated for intelligent, thinking people. However, one
thing should be made clear. If Romney fails to convince enough
people to vote for him and defeat Obama, then the
responsibility will rest squarely on his shoulders. It will be
Romney's inconsistencies, waffling, record of past actions and
his inability to adequately sell his current soft and unfocused
message that will be at fault.
If Romney and the Republican Party cannot convince a large
segment of smart, informed voters that it is in their best
interest to cast their ballot for him rather than for Obama
or for a third party candidate who has almost no chance of
winning, then it is really disingenuous for anyone
to try and shift that blame from him onto those alternate
voters who are pursuing what they believe is their best
In truth, it would be a fairly easy matter for the Republican
Party to convert a great many of the Ron Paul, Johnson and
independent Obama supporters into Romney voters. All they
would need to do would be to adopt some of the policies and
positions that this voting block heavily favors. But instead
of considering that, the GOP continues to kick this
constituency in the teeth as it has recently done by forcing
the exclusion of Ron Paul from a convention vote through
procedural tricks, and by adopting an extreme
that is impossible for liberty-respecting people to swallow.
If the GOP wants the independent and libertarian-leaning voters
to come into its tent, then they have to actually demonstrate
that they support individual rights, free markets and personal
liberty, through action as well as words. However, not only do
they fail that, they demonstrate repeatedly that they support
the exact opposite! Look no further to see why there is a
growing shift towards a third party. Johnson is an ineffective
campaigner. It is not so much his performance that is drawing
voters his way, but the GOP itself that is pushing them, with
great force, in his direction. I suspect that this recent
convention tactic will further swell Johnson's ranks with
disaffected Paul backers.
Everyone in the Republican, Libertarian and Independent camps
agree that Obama must go. There is no need to push that
message. Obama's every action automatically does it for us,
and people not long ago convinced of this are a lost cause.
But for those of you who have decided that the only serious
path forward is to elect Romney, I would respectfully suggest
that you should stop attacking individuals who are leaning
towards supporting Johnson. These people have good reasons for
their choice. Rather, you should be directing all of your
focused energy and anger towards Romney and the Republican
Party, demanding that they abandon their quest to impose their
own personal vision of morality on everyone else, and instead
adopt a program that truly embraces individual autonomy,
personal responsibility, stands for the equal rights of all
citizens, and supports a strict application of the principles
that form the bedrock of our Constitution. This is the pathway
towards naturally expanding the Republican base and defusing
any harm that a third party might represent.
It is not looney for people to follow their conscience and
stand up for their principles. What's looney is an
organization like the GOP that expects to receive support from
those that it overtly despises and attacks, and then whines
when it fails to achieve the results it wishes.
C. Jeffery Small
August 25, 2012
To this, let me add a few additional comments.
I really do understand the argument being made by those who believe
that Obama must go — at any price — even if
it means voting for someone as sub-optimal as Mitt Romney. I too am
troubled by the concerns that, given a second term, Obama may attempt
to decimate our military strength,
further destroy our
economy, continue to expand the powers of the
executive branch, and make additional disastrous appointments to
Supreme Court. The consequences of any of these
actions would impose a heavy cost on each of our lives and further
weaken the country as a whole. And yet, while acknowledging the
potential burden to be born, I nevertheless think this remains an
extremely short-sighted view of the future.
For as far back as my political memory extends (which is to the early
1970s), every presidential election has been framed in terms of fear.
Voters were warned that the "other" candidate was enormously
dangerous, and if elected, would do immense harm. Therefore, even
if "our" candidate was not perfect, it was still crucial to
support him. In other words, every election has been sold to the
alert and intelligent voter as one where it was necessary to set aside
their principles and vote for the lesser of the two evils
— but of course, just this one time! And the next thing you
know, fifty years have passed while sitting on one's hands.
How successful has this strategy been? A simply survey of the current
state of our country and culture documents the results. On balance,
the lesser-evil has ultimately led to precisely the same place
that the greater-evil was promising to take us. What we
inevitably get is an ever expanding government of increased programs,
regulations, spending and power, which confiscates more and more of our
personal wealth and property while curtailing our right to determine
and direct the course of our own lives. Democrats who once promised to
uphold our civil and social rights now violate them with abandon while
Republicans who promised us fiscal restraint gleefully tax, spend and
regulate us into oblivion.
When you stand back and take in the big picture, what becomes obvious
is that the idea of a lesser or greater evil is nothing more than a
sham. There is only evil which must always be identified for
what it is and opposed at every turn.
I wrote the article above before the Republican National Convention
(RNC) was held. During that convention, delegates were asked to vote
on certain rule changes that were designed to make it much easier
in the future for the party to exclude delegates of which it did
not "approve". Watch the following video which highlights how this
issue was handled by the RNC.
The fix was in! The RNC preordained the outcome of the vote and
incorporated the desired result into the teleprompter script which
was then dutifully parroted by John Boehner. The Republicans accuse
Obama of totalitarian aspirations and yet here is a clear example of
stealing the vote worthy of any tin-pot dictator. This is a clear
and naked example of evil in practice. You wouldn't give these folks
access to the keys to your liquor cabinet, so how could you possibly
entrust the country and your future to any of them?
This is only one example of many that repeatedly demonstrate that the
current makeup of Republican Party is thoroughly corrupt, and it should
be clear that nothing good can come from offering them your support.
It hasn't in the recent past, and there is certainly no magic with
Romney to suggest anything different today.
Principles are statements of fundamental truths, used to guide one in
making proper choices. When evaluating a politician, it is important
to not only gauge the specific positions that they take, but to also
judge the character of the person making the promises. Are they
honest, and do they possess the integrity to act consistently with
respect to the principles they articulate? It is my hope that everyone
will give this serious consideration before deciding how to cast their
vote in this election. Politicians are not going to begin to value
and demonstrate these qualities until voters once again make them the
coin of the realm.
The choice in that regard rests with each of us, and the message we
send resides in how we use our vote. Do we continue to double down on
the losing proposition of lesser evils, or do we instead begin today to
change the rules of the game and withhold our support from any and all
candidates who do not earn it by pledging respect for our sovereign
individual rights and also demonstrating the character necessary to
stand up and defend them unwaveringly?
The future awaits the actions that we take today.
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