Saturday, May 17, 2008

A Wasted Vote?

The primary season is finally almost over and now some real decisions will soon be made. Who will Obama pick for his VP? Who will McCain pick? When will Hillary finally quit? But the most perplexing question is, Who does a conscientious conservative vote for in this election?

Last week Bay Buchanan appeared on Fox News’s “Hannity and Colmes” and she included her own very deep reservations about John McCain. To paraphrase, she said she goes to bed at night wondering how she can honestly vote for McCain. Judges, she says, McCain will nominate good, conservative, constitutional judges. But she wakes up the next morning, opens the paper and discovers 10 new reasons not to vote for him. Well put.

Many self-proclaimed conservatives, Sean Hannity not the least of them, have been naming off the reasons for conservatives to still vote for McCain: He’s not Obama, he’s promised to cut taxes, he’s promised to nominate conservative judges, he’s promised to secure the border, he’s committed to winning the war in Iraq. Of course, these are all campaign promises. Nothing in McCain’s record, besides his unwavering support for our disastrous venture in Iraq, suggests that he will do any of those things.

After recently hearing Congressman Ron Paul speak in my hometown, I began to think again about the possibility of voting for a third party candidate. I had not actively thought about the option for some time. I had gotten so used to the fact that McCain was the “presumptive nominee.” I don’t expect Dr. Paul to leave the Republican Party again for the Libertarians. If funds were any indication of their nominee, Bob Barr should walk away with the prize. Pastor Chuck Baldwin recently won the nomination of the Constitutional Party and he looks like a promising candidate of secure principles.

I realize that there are many people, perhaps more than we suspect, who sympathize with some of our third parties. But people are not particularly interested in voting for them. They are very rarely included in presidential debates and are the recipients of a virtual media black-out. Some consider voting for a third party candidate as a wasted vote. Why should I cast my vote for one of them? They have no chance at winning, some say.

With reasoning like that, I might think 2008 would be a great year for third party turn-out. What worse candidates could we possibly have this year? My own father put it well recently, “There are 300 million people in this country and these are the best 3?” While I expect my old man to pull the lever for the Old Man, I am not content to just vote for someone who might be the winner. With these 3, soon to be 2, there will be no winners. In my very unpolished opinion, casting a vote for any of these remaining candidates is a wasted vote.

Don’t like the Iraq War? McCain won’t end U.S. presence anytime soon and neither will Hillary if she miraculously wrestles the nomination away. Obama suggests that he might bring the troops home but I am not betting on it. Don’t like the idea of national health care? Obama promises it and McCain says he opposes it but if a Democratic congress sends the legislation to his desk, don’t expect McCain to grab his veto pen. Like the Supreme Court justices that Bush nominated? None of these jokers were excited about them despite what McCain says now.

So who does a conscientious conservative vote for in this election? Well, not McCain, that's for sure. As said earlier, Chuck Baldwin has received the Constitutional Party nomination and the Libertarians convene May 22-26. We'll see where the chips fall, but is it a wasted vote on a third party candidate?
A vote for one of the major two parties is a wasted vote.

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