Saturday, June 28, 2008

What a waste....

I just finished spending a week of evenings at our county fair. I’m not sure how long a person can survive on Lemon Shake-Ups and Elephant Ears, but know from experience you can make it at least 7 days. I’m sure there are people who believe that spending three dollars for some lemon seeds and sugar in a glass of water, or four dollars for an ounce of fried dough dragged through a bowl of cinnamon and sugar might be wasteful, but it sounded like a good idea at the time, and it did sustain me for a week. And if I was wasting money, at least it was my own.

While I have a lot of family and friends that are active in 4-H, my main reason for attending the fair every night was to work the booth that was promoting our local, state and national Libertarian candidates. (I just happen to be one myself.) Whenever we set up a booth, we always manage to attract a diverse crowd with diverse opinions. Some friendly, some not so friendly, but usually interesting and always welcome.

This year we found a lot more interest in the national ticket than usual, Libertarian Presidential Bob Barr in particular.
Apparently a lot of voters are dissatisfied with the choices the other two parties are offering. But we also heard a lot of the same concerns voters have expressed before. Inevitably, at every event, at least one person tells us that they like a lot of our ideas, but they feel that voting Libertarian would be wasting their vote.

Now admittedly, Libertarians are seldom favored to win, but voting shouldn’t be like betting on a horse race, and if choosing the winning candidate was the only criteria for deciding whether or not your vote was wasted, then about half of the votes are wasted in every election.

I became convinced several years ago that the only way to waste a vote is to use it voting for something that you don’t want. Say, for instance, that you want lower taxes, but you vote for a person or party that continues to raise and create new taxes. That is a wasted vote. Or say, for instance, that you want government that isn’t quite so intrusive in your private life, but you vote for a person or party that continues to expand government. That is a wasted vote.

If you waste three or four dollars on some less than healthy fair food, you can probably recover by purchasing one less gallon of gas and walking 15 or 20 miles. Wasted votes have a longer lasting effect, and they’re a little harder to get over.

But we can get over it. We just need to stop wasting our votes voting for something we don’t want. And this November would be a good time to start.

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2 Comments:

Blogger Travis said...

I completely agree that voting for something you don't believe in is a waste. Why would people see this as a good way to do their civic duty? I was recently talking to my father and he basically said that he didn't feel like voting for a third party would do any good since the candidate probably won't win. Not with that attitude. That's the stigma that needs to be changed in the US. The founders did not set up a two party system. We should do our duty as Americans and vote our own beliefs .

9:52 AM  
Anonymous Brian said...

Rex:

I agree with your posting. Over here in Ohio we have been hoodwinked by the Ohio Republican Party for over 15 years and now look at the shape we are in.

Unfortunately Ohio voters have forgotten their core beliefs. It’ not about parties, it’s about core beliefs. There is certainly the possibly that a future Libertarian Party could abandon Libertarian ideals, and if that day came there should be a migration away. It is more imperative today to move past party politics and start looking at the core beliefs or at a minimum the actual positions of the candidates when we make a decision; can anyone really say what Obama or McCain really stands for. I know I could vote for a democrat that believed in limited government and free markets, but unfortunately this will never be the case, and sadly the RP is going the way of the DP.

I make no bones about it, I am traditional conservative, and I fully support the LP. I see the LP as our best chance of bringing together a group of people that are committed to the US Constitution, freedom and liberty, free and open markets, and limited government. I know my beliefs don’t fully comport with yours and likewise yours with mine, but at least through these central ideals we can make some head way and turn away from the track of collectivism the major parties have brought us down.

Bottom-line, I am a citizen of Ohio first, and then the United States. I bear no allegiance to any party.

8:38 AM  

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