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Obama 2012

Why I'm 'Wasting' My Vote on Gary Johnson

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Filed: AOS (pnd) Country: Canada
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'Always stand on principle, even if you stand alone.' -John Quincy Adams

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http://dailycaller.com/2012/10/26/why-im-wasting-my-vote-on-gary-johnson/2/

Even though I’m paid to be a political philosopher, there are few things I dislike more than talking about American politics. When it’s not depressing, it’s infuriating. I’m angry about my president killing foreign and American people at his discretion; I’m angry that we continue to ruin young people’s lives, destroy communities, and spend billions of dollars fighting a war on drugs that can’t be won; I’m angry that our government subsidizes big banks, big agribusiness, and big pharmaceutical companies while the rest of us struggle to make ends meet.

And I don’t like to be angry. Accordingly, I prefer to spend most of my time thinking about happier things: my family, my friends, my work. Even the new season of “Dexter” is cheery stuff by comparison.

So it takes a lot to get me to hold my nose and find my way to a polling booth. But this year, there’s someone running for president for whom I’m positively happy to vote: former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson, who, after an abortive and little-noticed attempt to secure the Republican nomination, is now running as the candidate of the Libertarian Party. He’s the only person running for president who opposes bombing Iran; he’s the only candidate who supports marriage equality as a fundamental constitutional right; he’s the only candidate who supports the immediate repeal of the PATRIOT and National Defense Authorization Acts; and he’s the only candidate who’s serious about fighting crony capitalism. I’m also pretty sure he’s also the only candidate who’s crowd-surfed at a campaign-related event. That seems like it ought to be worth something.

Of course, Johnson is running as neither a Democrat nor a Republican, which means that he’s almost certainly not going to win the election. And so, people tell me, I’m wasting my vote. Sometimes they’re even angry about it. How dare I waste my vote when so much is at stake in this election? A vote for Johnson might as well be a vote for that other guy, and we all know what a disaster it would be if he wins, right?

I don’t buy it. The idea seems to be that even if I like Johnson’s policies I should suck it up and vote for the lesser of two evils because 1) it matters a great deal whether Obama or Romney wins the election, and 2) my vote plays an important role in determining which of these two outcomes occurs. But both of these claims are flat-out wrong.

Regarding the first, it’s worth bearing in mind that differences in rhetoric do not always add up to differences in policy. Republicans talk the free-market talk, at least during primary season. But a different story emerges when we look at the actual policies they tend to produce. Sure, there are differences of degree. Obama would probably be a bit better on the war on drugs, immigration, and civil liberties (but still pretty awful, especially on that last one), while Romney might be a bit better on tax policy and, I don’t know, looking presidential. But taken as a whole, the policy positions of the two major candidates are close to indistinguishable. And it’s not an accident. It’s essentially a permanent feature of our first-past-the post political system, which gives candidates every incentive to cater to the whims of the median voter precisely because they feel safe that their more conservative (or more liberal) base will vote for them rather than waste their vote on a more radical but unelectable third-party candidate.

As for my vote making an important difference, let’s get real. I live in California, where Obama is currently polling about 16 points ahead of Romney. No matter what I do, Obama is going to get California’s 55 votes in the Electoral College. My vote simply doesn’t matter even for which way my state goes, let alone the election as a whole. And while California might be an extreme case, one recent study put the odds of a randomly selected voter anywhere in the United States making a difference in the outcome of the election as a vanishingly low 1 in 60 million. If you live in a swing state, they might be as high as 1 in 10 million. By contrast, your odds of being struck by lightning sometime this year are a relatively realistic 1 in 1 million. Bottom line: it will almost never, ever be the case that your vote (or lack thereof) makes the difference between victory and defeat for your candidate.

So is a vote for Johnson a wasted vote? Maybe, but only in the sense that all voting is a waste of time. Personally, I like to think of it a different way. If your vote doesn’t have any real impact on the outcome of the election, then it’s voting for someone you don’t actually believe in for reasons of strategy that’s the real waste. I’m voting for Gary Johnson because he stands for principles that matter to me, and because I want to express my support for him, and those principles, in a semi-public way. If this be wasteful, make the most of it.


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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Brazil
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So is a vote for Johnson a wasted vote?

if one is voting that way in a state solidly obama or romney, no - it can send a message.

however, if it's a tossup state, it's the same as a vote for obama.


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if one is voting that way in a state solidly obama or romney, no - it can send a message.

however, if it's a tossup state, it's the same as a vote for obama.

Oh bullshit. So glad to see that people continue to be brainwashed by the D & R spectacle out there. It's hilarious.

You could have the Democratic and Republican candidate running the exact same platform and people would still buy into the same BS media fed voodoo on third-parties.

The truth is; which people don't like to admit, is that if the votes for third-party candidates hurt a primary candidate then the problem isn't the third-party vote at all. It's the weakness of the primary candidates.


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Oh bullshit. So glad to see that people continue to be brainwashed by the D & R spectacle out there. It's hilarious.

You could have the Democratic and Republican candidate running the exact same platform and people would still buy into the same BS media fed voodoo on third-parties.

The truth is; which people don't like to admit, is that if the votes for third-party candidates hurt a primary candidate then the problem isn't the third-party vote at all. It's the weakness of the primary candidates.

while there may be some grain of truth in your last paragraph, i'd liken voting 3rd party in this election to wetting their very dark blue jeans - it might give that individual a warm feeling for a while, but no one will notice.

Edited by charles!

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Ukraine
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I am also. I cannot vote for either of these political hacks who will do nothing and propose nothing that has any possibility of changing anything. I simply will not participate in that. I AM a citizen and I DO believe, as does my wife, that if we do not vote we will lose our right to do so. So I WILL vote, I WILL vote for the man that could make this country what it can be and he will not win.

We cannot change ANYTHING in this country until we fix the foundation and the foundation is the revenue (TAX) system. The current system has been sabotaged with decades of social engineering. We ned a solid, reliable revenue system that cannot be tampered with, manipulated for the benefit of one group or another and provides a source of revenue which can be counted on...in other words our country needs a steady, reliable "job" on which to plan expenses. Anything else is like replacing the curtains while the foundation crumbles underneath. ONLY GAry Johnson offers any possibility of that. Obama and Romeny both offer more manipulation, neither of their plans have the possibility of working. Without steady, reliable income, nothing else can be done


VERMONT! I Reject Your Reality...and Substitute My Own!

Gary And Alla

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I am also. I cannot vote for either of these political hacks who will do nothing and propose nothing that has any possibility of changing anything. I simply will not participate in that. I AM a citizen and I DO believe, as does my wife, that if we do not vote we will lose our right to do so. So I WILL vote, I WILL vote for the man that could make this country what it can be and he will not win.

We cannot change ANYTHING in this country until we fix the foundation and the foundation is the revenue (TAX) system. The current system has been sabotaged with decades of social engineering. We ned a solid, reliable revenue system that cannot be tampered with, manipulated for the benefit of one group or another and provides a source of revenue which can be counted on...in other words our country needs a steady, reliable "job" on which to plan expenses. Anything else is like replacing the curtains while the foundation crumbles underneath. ONLY GAry Johnson offers any possibility of that. Obama and Romeny both offer more manipulation, neither of their plans have the possibility of working. Without steady, reliable income, nothing else can be done

Why don't you just write in your own name?

Same outcome, right?


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Voting for the candidate that you believe is best for the position is not wasting your vote even if he has no chance of winning. There is no point in voting for someone who you don't want to be in office. However, I find it hard to think that you actually believe that Gary Johnson could right all of the countries wrongs, hence he is still a compromise. Perhaps a compromise better suited to your way of thinking, but a compromise none the less. And there is no one man or woman who meets the criteria of everyone in the country. Never has been, never will be.


R.I.P Spooky 2004-2015

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I don't think any vote is a waste.

If everyone who DIDN'T like Obama or Romney actually voted for a 3rd party candidate, it'd be pretty amazing to see. However, since most people realize their other candidate doesn't have a chance, they go the "easy" way and vote for someone they don't actually support.

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Ukraine
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Why don't you just write in your own name?

Same outcome, right?

True. What about all the skeletons in our closet? Would they come out? Some of them are not even dead yet. Alla has some in there that are still alive and moving!

No, no, I will just stick with Gary Johnson


VERMONT! I Reject Your Reality...and Substitute My Own!

Gary And Alla

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Voting for the candidate that you believe is best for the position is not wasting your vote even if he has no chance of winning. There is no point in voting for someone who you don't want to be in office. However, I find it hard to think that you actually believe that Gary Johnson could right all of the countries wrongs, hence he is still a compromise. Perhaps a compromise better suited to your way of thinking, but a compromise none the less. And there is no one man or woman who meets the criteria of everyone in the country. Never has been, never will be.

I do not know why you would believe I think Gary Johnson could "right all the wrongs" Where does this nonsense come from? Can't anyone just have a discussion without throwing everyone into some extremist corner?

Gary Johnson supports ideas that would fix the FOUNDATION of our country and ALLOW other changes to be feasible. The guy that pours the foundation of the house doesn't build the whole effin' house! But without a solid foundation what is the point of someone else framing it or putting a roof on it?

Funding is the foundation of our government. The other two candidates are more than willing to play with the funding to benefit themselves and everything else is left meaningless

When someone, anyone, with those ideas is elected then the rest of the men and women of congress will pay attention and chane our system of funding and taxation. Until that happens, nothing else CAN happen. Period.


VERMONT! I Reject Your Reality...and Substitute My Own!

Gary And Alla

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vote third party or don't vote at all.

a hard choice because i'm in virginia. my ten year old literally cried the other day because of all the mitt romney signs he saw..he's very worried about healthcare and my little sister. a one party system playing dress up as a two party system is a hard thing to explain to kids.

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Thailand
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I do not know why you would believe I think Gary Johnson could "right all the wrongs" Where does this nonsense come from? Can't anyone just have a discussion without throwing everyone into some extremist corner?

Gary Johnson supports ideas that would fix the FOUNDATION of our country and ALLOW other changes to be feasible. The guy that pours the foundation of the house doesn't build the whole effin' house! But without a solid foundation what is the point of someone else framing it or putting a roof on it?

Funding is the foundation of our government. The other two candidates are more than willing to play with the funding to benefit themselves and everything else is left meaningless

When someone, anyone, with those ideas is elected then the rest of the men and women of congress will pay attention and chane our system of funding and taxation. Until that happens, nothing else CAN happen. Period.

I think you just want to vote for him because his first name is Gary.


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I do not know why you would believe I think Gary Johnson could "right all the wrongs" Where does this nonsense come from? Can't anyone just have a discussion without throwing everyone into some extremist corner?

Gary Johnson supports ideas that would fix the FOUNDATION of our country and ALLOW other changes to be feasible. The guy that pours the foundation of the house doesn't build the whole effin' house! But without a solid foundation what is the point of someone else framing it or putting a roof on it?

Funding is the foundation of our government. The other two candidates are more than willing to play with the funding to benefit themselves and everything else is left meaningless

When someone, anyone, with those ideas is elected then the rest of the men and women of congress will pay attention and chane our system of funding and taxation. Until that happens, nothing else CAN happen. Period.

I wasn't replying to you, I was making a general statement. You believe that Johnson's ideas's would fix the foundation. The majority will disagree with that, but that's fine. The important thing is to exercise your right to vote as you see fit.

The guy that pours the foundation for a house is generally a subcontractor of the one who who puts together and oversees the project until completion. Like the CEO of a corporation delegating authority to his management team.


R.I.P Spooky 2004-2015

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I think you just want to vote for him because his first name is Gary.

You know, that is as good a reason NOT to vote for either of the major party candidates as anyone should need. :lol:


VERMONT! I Reject Your Reality...and Substitute My Own!

Gary And Alla

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