Why I “Threw My Vote Away”

According to many folks, I “threw my vote away” today. I voted for the Libertarian candidate for President Bob Barr.

Why?

The quotes below, from Bob Barr’s final video push to his supporters and undecided voters, sums up most of my perspective (emphasis mine):

[P]oll numbers … are at record levels for the Libertarian party, and it’s because of … the message that … positive movement to shrink the size, the scope, the cost, and the power of the Federal Government really is possible.

[S]ome folks say “well, you know, the lines are just too long.” Doesn’t matter!!! I don’t care if you have to wait in line for five hours. It is that important … to show America that we’re tired of the status quo two party monopoly system that has done so much damage to this country.

Government is too big, too expensive, too involved, and too intrusive. If we are in fact, as the founders intended, a constitutional republic of aggregated states, then we should behave as such, and not as a single monolithic state. The two party system has played a lead role in the corruption that has seeped into politics and governing over the decades. National elections today are not about issues, problem-solving, tough choices, and deep thinking. National elections are about 30-second commercials, 90-second answers to debate questions, special interests, and who can spend the most obscene amount of money. National elections today are about getting elected, and nothing else. This should make you sad and/or frustrated. If the two parties agree to this sort of insane behavior (be that agreement explicit or implicit) the voters lose. In my opinion, there desperately needs to be an alternative.

Since I live in Massachusetts, my voice doesn’t matter all that much. Our 12 electoral college votes are going for Obama whether I vote for Obama, Barr, or my left testicle. I took this (sad?) fact as an opportunity to hopefully help third parties get a leg up for the next time around. All the better if it specifically helps the Libertarians (he says, raising his CATO Institute coffee tumbler). If I lived in a state that actually had a chance of going one way or another, I would have voted for Obama. Obama seems exceptionally smart, clueful, and sharp – and we really need that now; he seems to genuinely have a je ne sais quoi that might help move the country in a useful direction; and Palin absolutely scares the shit out of me.

Let’s hope that whoever gets elected tonight does some good for the country and doesn’t fuck things  up too much more before 2012…

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