Saturday, October 18, 2008
For some who read this, the phrase, "None of the Above" may bring back memories of the 1985 Richard Pryor movie, "Brewster's Millions" (okay, just me then?). Of course, I am actually talking about the upcoming election and my intent to vote 3rd party. As I don't expect a 3rd party candidate to actually prevail over either of the 2 major party candidates, "None of the Above" is appropriate.
What insanity is this? You might ask. Aren't you effectively wasting a vote by not voting for a candidate who has a real chance of winning? I also understand that, to some, this may seem like a protest vote only made to make a statement, and not in good conscience. I made the point before that it is impossible to "waste a vote" as long as your vote is cast based on your understanding of the issues and your candidate's ability to represent you on those issues, and I will not belabor that here.
The purpose of this article is to further explore the concept of voting 3rd party and my rationale for doing so. I will start by exploring the alternatives:
A Vote for Barack Obama
I would like to be clear that Barack Obama represents possibly the opposite of everything I look for in a candidate for President. He is a family man, and I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt that he is doing what he feels is best for his country. His stance on the issues that are important to me (no matter which side he is on at present) do not represent mine at all. He is running his campaign on the premise that Big Government needs to step in to cure the ills of society, because the "unwashed masses" do not have the will or the know-how to do so for themselves. His views generally reflect a basic lack of faith in the American people. Despite his statements that, "We are who we have been looking for", he seems to be more interested in getting "we" to vote for his administration so they can step in and socialize everything. This is tantamount to limiting the liberties of Americans, not protecting it. Barack Obama's worldview flies in the face of the vision of our founding fathers which are described in our Constitution and Bill of Rights. These men saw the damage that absolute government control could do, and sought to limit government instead, leaving the administration to focus on protecting the liberties of it's citizens, nothing more
A Vote for John McCain
While John McCain is a fine individual as well and has served his country admirably during his time in the military and as a Senator, he is not anywhere near conservative enough to be compared with the likes of Ronald Reagan, as much as those in denial and McCain himself would like us to think so. No matter how many times McCain squeezes out the phrase, "My friends" he in no way reminds me of Reagan, and in fact I resent the fact that he thinks anyone would be taken in by it. Reviewing his voting record makes him soft on some key issues as well. The most glaring to me is his historically weak stance on illegal immigration. He has consistently voted for softer borders, and in 2006 supported a bill basically granting amnesty to 12 million illegal aliens. While he has more recently taken a harder line on this issue with tough talk about securing our borders, he still makes statements alluding to his belief that amnesty is fair and the best thing for America. This is significant because this reveals a little about his worldview, which apparently holds less respect for our country's sovereignty as I believe it should. His choice of Sarah Palin for V.P. certainly peaked my interest for a time, but what is exciting about McCain's campaign is Sarah Palin, not John McCain, who is running for the highest office in the United States.
In recent history, like before the primaries, John McCain was far from the favorite in conservative circles and I think many breathed a sigh of relief when his campaign lost it's viability and he seemed done this go around. Those reservations many held about McCain still hold true today. This man has not changed in the last 8 months, so while many may think I am foolish for voting 3rd party, the worst I can be accused of is holding to my principles.
You may have picked up a bitter tone in my description of McCain, and I think the reason for that is, while he may be more Conservative than Obama and arguably the lesser of 2 evils, he is less genuine than Obama. Shocked? Please allow me to explain. With Obama, you get what you ask for, everything is on the table. People who support Obama do so because they hold to the same beliefs that he does, that the government has a responsibility to rescue us from ourselves and act as a "nanny" for Americans. Conservatives will not vote for him because they know exactly where he is coming from and what he intends to do and disagree with him. The problem with McCain is, we really have no idea what to expect from his proposed administration because what he says today is not consistent with what he has done while in the Senate, nor is it consistent with what he was saying before the primaries. Add to that the utter failure of many self-described conservatives in the administration to demonstrate any real level of conservative principle and you can call me fed up.
With all of the talk of party loyalty and the fear of the Republican Party falling out of power, I would like to take some time to explore what a McCain administration would do to conservatism and the Republican Party vs. 4 years of an Obama administration.
Conservatives have endorsed McCain, not because of his record, or because they are confident in his ability to promote conservative views so much as because he has the right label and the only alternative is Obama. If he is elected, McCain, a "maverick" with a reputation for reaching across the aisle, will likely be a very effective President; not because he will have any real influence over what is likely to be a filibuster-proof, overwhelmingly Democratic Congress. On the contrary, he will agree with them more than disagree and tons of legislation designed to support a very liberal agenda will pass. When these policies fail, and they will, McCain and Republicans will catch the blame and 2012 could become very interesting for Hillary or even Obama again, who will be able to talk about how "look where 12 years of a Republican President has gotten you".
An Obama administration will set out to do exactly what we could expect. Ultra-liberal policies the likes we have not seen since the Carter administration. We will all get taxed to death as we sit and watch just how ineffective and disastrous the socialist utopian dream really is. Just like the Carter 4 years ushered in 8 years of Reagan conservatism, these events would likely do the same. Americans will get exactly what they asked for in Obama and I predict they will decide it isn't all it was cut out to be.
So I argue that, while 4 years of McCain would not only be a violation of conscience, it would also hurt the conservative cause more than help, while an Obama administration would force conservative citizens and representatives to wake up and demand proper representation rather than settling for the lesser of 2 evils.