Wasting Your Vote

On “Ask a Libertarian Day”, Matt Welch and Nick Gillepsie addressed the issue of whether a vote for Gary Johnson is a wasted vote:


In 1992 and 1996, I voted Republican and was happy about it. In 2004 and 2008, I voted Libertarian was even happier about that (I lived in Texas, so it didn’t matter anyway). The only vote I’ve ever felt I wasted was in 2000 when I voted for George W. Bush. We don’t need to get into that again.

2012 is a little different. I’ll be voting in a swing state and there’s every chance the election will be close. So, in this case, voting for Gary Johnson could swing the election. And I’m sure a number of you also live in swing states like Missouri. So this election will be a real decision.

The question is not whether a protest vote is worth four more years of Obama. The question is whether four year of Romney will be that much better that it’s worth not voting Libertarian.

Comments are closed.

  1. Nexus

    I live in a swing state (Ohio). So lets see…I can vote for big government statist, crony capitalist A or big government statist, crony capitalist B. And if I don’t vote for A or B then I’m ‘wasting’ my vote ‘not being a grown-up’. This is why I feel like I’ve been kicked in the nuts every time I leave the voting booth.

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  2. InsipiD

    In a swing state, voting for someone other than Romney is the same as half of a vote for Obama (it didn’t go in favor of either Obama or Romney, but damages the one you really prefer more). In a non-swing state, one that’s sewed up either way, a vote to a third party doesn’t hurt anything other than the post-count “mandate” declared by the winner.

    From a libertarian standpoint, the voter needs to take into consideration personal freedoms in addition to the economic ones emphasized by this video. If big government is the standard agenda of the day, at least vote for the one who is most likely to leave you alone. Maybe the Republican party can be rescued by strong involvement by libertarians. As the British say, slowly slowly catchee monkey.

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  3. Dick Fitzwell

    I guess it’s easy for me to say that you should always vote for the candidate who best represents your beliefs–I live in MS. I don’t really have to deal with those tough choices.

    I told a conservative friend the other day that I was going to vote for Gary Johnson. He told me that I was throwing away my vote. I say bullshit! I’m tired of focusing on the two most popular candidates and then choosing the 2nd worst one. Fuck that! I’ll vote for whomever I think is the best candidate and my friend can vote for the douche. Or the turd sandwich. Whichever.

    Like I said, living in MS allows me to take a principled stance. I can’t honestly say that I would still vote the same way if I lived in a swing state. You guys have a more difficult decision to make.

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  4. Mississippi Yankee

    As Dick Fitzwell has stated here in Mississippi a 3rd party vote isn’t going to change anything, well not in the Grand Scheme anyway.

    The part I can’t understand is why would someone vote 3rd party to begin with. Does one gain some smug satisfaction by this act?

    If you’re not happy with the present 2 party system shouldn’t you have been working at building and strengthening an alternative? Stamping your feet at this point just seems to me to be a whole lot of whine with very little cheese.
    And it further fortifies my belief ‘scratch a libertarian find a utopian’.

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  5. Kimpost

    If you’re not happy with the present 2 party system shouldn’t you have been working at building and strengthening an alternative?

    Isn’t voting third party just that?

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  6. Dick Fitzwell

    The part I can’t understand is why would someone vote 3rd party to begin with. Does one gain some smug satisfaction by this act?

    That is an odd question. Do you get some smug satisfaction by voting for who you think would make the best president? Or is that not a criterion for you?

    If you’re not happy with the present 2 party system shouldn’t you have been working at building and strengthening an alternative? Stamping your feet at this point just seems to me to be a whole lot of whine with very little cheese.

    Alternatives are there. You just have to want to find them. If you want to continue the R vs D cage match every four years so be it. To me, more choices are always better. Voting for a party irrespective of the candidate is like doing all of your shopping only at Wal Mart year in and year out and not caring that there may be a better deal at Target. And, yes, that goes for Libertarians, too.

    I’m not complaining about the system. I think it’s great that someone like Gary Johnson can run for president and try to earn as many votes as he can. What I do have a problem with is when someone belittles or insults my decision just because I don’t vote the way they want me to. Double fuck that! It sounds to me that you are the one who is whining and stamping your feet.

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  7. Mississippi Yankee

    If you’re not happy with the present 2 party system shouldn’t you have been working at building and strengthening an alternative?

    Isn’t voting third party just that?

    That’s my whole point. NO, waiting until election day to support a 3rd party candidate IS whining.

    What I do have a problem with is when someone belittles or insults my decision just because I don’t vote the way they want me to. Double fuck that! It sounds to me that you are the one who is whining and stamping your feet.

    Dick Fitzwell

    Hurting your hurty little feelings was NOT my intention, my question was where has your support for Gary Johnson been all year? Have YOU been supporting the candidate in any tangible form before now?

    I thing Gov. Johnson is a fine man and nothing he says is disagreeable to me. And sadly New Mexico has slide a bit left since his departure. But FOR THE RECORD, Mitt Romney was not my first choice for the nomination. In fact I did support, both physically and financially, Herman Cain and Rick Perry.

    I am not a republican, what I am is a conservative. I’m also cognizant of the fact the (D) and (R) 2 party system in deeply entrenched in this country. It will only be fixed from the inside (IMHO). This is why I am totally against election day theatrics.
    Do the work. Things will change.

    Disclaimer: no animal or feeling were intentionally hurt during the composing of this comment

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