You may have heard about the presidential election coming up on November 6th, 2012. According to the news it’s Barack Obama vs. Mitt Romney.
In reality, it’s Barack Obama vs. Mitt Romney vs. Gary Johnson vs. Jill Stein vs. a number of other candidates with access to less than 270 electoral votes (and thus, truly ineligible to win the presidency).
Many people will tell you that a vote for a third party candidate is a “wasted” vote. Others (like my Republican aunt, for example) will say that a vote for Gary Johnson or anyone else not named Mitt Romney is actually a vote for Barack Obama.
These people are idiots (but I still love you Aunt M!).
Find Out Who You Really Side With
I was doing some research for this post and I found a really incredible site: I Side With. The site asks you a bunch of questions and you tell them how you feel about the issues. You can give cookie cutter answers or get really specific, which I love!
For example, they ask “Should gay marriage be allowed in the U.S.?” You can choose “yes” or “no”, but if you select “Choose another stance” then you can pick “Take the government out of marriage and instead make it a religious decision.” PERFECT!!!
As comedian Doug Stanhope says, “If [government involvement in] marriage didn’t exist, would you invent it? Would you go, ‘Baby, this s**t we got together, it’s so good we gotta get the government in on this s**t…’”
I encourage you to take a few minutes to really answer these questions on I Side With and find out who you really agree with. Here are my results:
I was certain I’d agree with Gary Johnson, but even I was surprised it was 99%. It’s also interesting to see that Mitt Romney is only 41% and Barack Obama is 4%. If those two are my only options I’m pretty much screwed.
If you do take the quiz, definitely use “Choose another stance” as much as possible. I went back and took the quiz using only the generic Yes/No answers and while Gary Johnson was still 99%, Obama moved up to 62%. The more specific you get, the better your results will be.
How to Defend Yourself Against “Vote Waster” Idiots
If you decide to vote for a candidate other than Barack Obama or Mitt Romney, someone will inevitably tell you that you’re wasting your vote or you’re “essentially voting for [insert bad guy, Obama or Romney depending on their point of view]“.
Step 1: Figure out this person’s political party — Democrat or Republican. If you’re having this conversation then you probably already know.
Step 2a: If they are a Republican then say: “If the two options were Barack Obama or Joe Biden, would you pick the lesser of two evils or would you show your disgust with your options by voting third party?”
Step 2b: If they are a Democrat, change “Barack Obama or Joe Biden” with “Mitt Romney or Paul Ryan”.
Step 3: This idiot will not answer the question and say something like, “But that’s not a real choice because they have the same policies. Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are very different.” You can laugh on the inside because you knew what they were going to say before they did.
Step 4: Now you’ve got them. Share the following information.
Barack Obama and Mitt Romney Aren’t Very Different
If you just watch the news you’d think Barack Obama is FDR and Mitt Romney is Ronald Reagan. In reality they are very, very similar. Both of them:
- Support huge deficit spending (see Democrat and Republican budgets for proof)
- Support an interventionist foreign policy (see Obama’s record in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, etc. and anything Romney says about foreign military policy)
- Support the IRS and the income tax (with slight differences in how much to tax whom)
- Support a massive federal Department of Education
- Support the NDAA, allowing US citizens to be indefinitely detained without being charged with anything or having representation from a lawyer
- Support the precedent set by Obama that the president can assassinate anyone (including American citizens) if they are believed to be terrorists
- Support the PATRIOT Act and the intrusion of privacy that comes with it
- Support the TSA and your scans/pat downs at major airports
- Support the war on drugs like marijuana, even for medical purposes
- Support government intervention in healthcare (Romney wants to repeal parts of Obamacare, but still likes some of it along with Medicare, Medicaid, Prescription Drug Program, etc)
So when these idiots tell you that you’re wasting your vote on a third party, you know how to educate them and let them know that a vote for Obama is about the same as a vote for Romney. Hopefully you can convince them to consider actually voting for the person they agree with instead of blindly picking their favorite political party.
A vote is an endorsement of a person and his or her ideology. Voting for the lesser of two evils is still endorsing evil (even if it’s less evil than the other guy). If you believe both Obama and Romney are bad and that one of the other people on the ballot is good, the only logical decision is to endorse (vote for) the good guy or gal.
In 2006 there was a poll that asked “Would you describe yourself as fiscally conservative and socially liberal?” 59% of respondents said “yes.” It makes sense. People don’t care what their neighbor is doing as long as it doesn’t harm them or others, and they realize no one should spend more money than they make. These 59% of Americans might be libertarian without even knowing it!
The bottom line: I’m voting for Gary Johnson in November and I most certainly am not “wasting my vote”.
Readers: Now that I’ve completely disregarded any semblance of political correctness, let’s take it a step further. What were your results on the quiz and who are you voting for this November?