Thursday, October 25, 2012

The myth of "throwing your vote away"

When I get asked who I am voting for, and the name I say is not one of the two expected, the response is inevitably, “So you are throwing your vote away?”
            This is a myth. In reality, a vote for a non-major party candidate actually does much more than a vote for either of the major-party candidates.
            The truth is, I live in Utah, and as a Utahn, my vote for president was thrown away the day I registered to vote in this deep red state. I know all my electoral votes are going towards Mr. Romney. I knew this the day the man became the Republican nominee. If you vote in Texas, the Dakotas, or Idaho you had similar knowledge. Likewise if you live in New York, Massachusetts, or Oregon you have known for the past four years your electoral votes would be under Mr. Obama’s name. 
            In which case, why not vote for someone who actually stands up for principles you agree with, as opposed to someone whose opinions are based entirely on politics and not principles?
            Sure if you live in Nevada, Ohio, or any other state feasibly close to “swinging” go ahead and vote for the guy you agree with 50% of the time over the guy you agree with 30% of the time just because “he’s better.”
            But if not, take a stand for someone you really believe in. Really, what will do more? If Utah goes Romney 75% to 25%? Or Utah going Romney 55%, 25%, 20% with 20% going to Gary Johnson, the super fiscally conservative anti-war candidate?  No one would say backgammon or anything else over Utah going strong Romney. Yet if any politician sees a large portion of the electorate going to a non-major party, they will notice and start changing to gather that demographic.
            Perhaps you actually believe in Romney/Obama, in which case vote for them. Yet you are likely kidding yourself. Essentially if you believe in anything strongly you likely do not agree with them. The major-party candidates’ views are made to appease (appease not please) the largest segment of the electorate as possible. Almost none of their stances are based on principles.
            You say “I believe in limited government and reducing the debt so I am voting for Mitt Romney.” Yet if you really believe in that, do not vote for a guy who says he will balance the budget in 8 years1, vote for someone like Gary Johnson or Virgil Goode who actually believe in balancing the budget now. A sizable electorate voting for Gary Johnson will do more to get Washington to start cutting than any number of votes for quasi –fiscal conservative Romney.
            Maybe you care about the environment, then vote for someone who will take radical government action to fix the environment, such as green party candidate Jill Stein. Or if your concern is getting out of foreign wars, why would you vote for a man who sponsors clone attacks, involved us in wars in Libya and Syria (in a limited manner), and still has us in Afghanistan? Send a clear message to Washington, that you want to get out of Afghanistan now and vote for Gary Johnson or Rocky Anderson.
            Basically your vote in the presidential election can count, even in Utah, if you are willing to jump outside the box of “mainstream” and vote for someone you actually agree with. 

1.Romney claims he will balance the budget in 8-10 years. The LA times says he will in 28.
"Come on our website. You look at how we get to a balanced budget within eight to 10 years. We do it by getting — by reducing spending in a whole series of programs." 
   Los Angeles Times,0,2393874.story 

No comments:

Post a Comment