Voting Fourth Party

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Most of the
people that I know are not happy with the political choices they
have for President this year. I hear lots of talk about voting against
one guy or the other, but not so much talk about voting FOR anyone.
There is one man, however, that a great many people wish they could
vote for and that is Ron Paul. His supporters have their news page
set to pick up all stories about him, they go to rallies thousands
of miles away to support a man who is not even in the running anymore,
and his support is not waning, in fact, it is growing.

Recently, Ron
Paul held a news
conference
and suggested that people vote for a third-party
candidate. Notably absent from his side, was the third-party candidate
Bob Barr, the Libertarian Party candidate. Despite the snub, Ron
Paul still stood up for Barr and others in an effort to stop the
insanity. If you want change, then you have to change the way you
vote. Repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results
is the definition of insanity.

I spent the
day reading articles about Ron Paul's historic speech. I found it
strange that the pundits, who once ignored Ron Paul completely,
suddenly were terribly interested in his opinions. It seems that
as soon as Ron Paul says something that might affect the anointed
ones, they must report. Would Ron Paul's words make his supporters
more or less likely to vote for McCain? Obama? Who will this affect
more?

Meanwhile,
the comments from Ron Paul supporters were all about which third-party member to vote for, who should they support now? Reading between
the lines it appears that his supporters are still loyal, only now
they are not sure how to remain loyal.

If we are to
accept that voting for the lesser of two evils is still a vote for
evil (and I do accept that premise), then why throw your vote around
willy-nilly? Voting for a third-party candidate simply because they
are a third-party candidate makes no sense. You still have to use
your mind in this election. You still have to choose a candidate
to vote FOR.

At this point
in this article I had intended to tell people that wish to vote
for Ron Paul to do so by writing his name in on the ballot. I have
bad news. Research revealed that in most states, a candidate must
jump through a bunch of legal hoops to have their names counted
as a write-in. The supposed argument is that you are never actually
voting for a candidate, just a slate of electors who will go to
the Electoral College to vote for your candidate and if those electors
are not registered ahead of time, then in fact, you are not voting
for anyone.

However, some
states have managed to do away with all that nonsense. This is a
nice page
that breaks down the rules state by state, but as rules are constantly
changing, I ask that you please check the rules for your state and
not rely on the information in that link. My question is, if some
states can allow you to vote for whomever you wish why can't they
all? What is so difficult about allowing the American people to
pick the person they want to be President? Why is this so dangerous?

Every year
we get these huge get-out-the-vote drives that are designed to legitimize
a system and to make you think you have a choice. If you knew you
did not have a choice you might balk a little. So they pretend to
give you a choice between a statist and another statist and do everything
in their power to prevent you from hearing the non-statist point
of view and if you dare to learn of it on your own, they will stop
you from being able to vote for your particular candidate. They
are good at it.

This year I
find myself with a huge dilemma. I typically vote Libertarian, but
this year I cannot. I do not like the candidate. I choose not to
support that candidate. I also do not like the other third-party
candidates. If I vote against a guy, then I am telling the guy I
voted for that I like him. That would be false and I do not want
to send that message. If I similarly vote Libertarian no matter
who the candidate is, then I am telling the Libertarian Party that
I do not care who they choose, but I do care. I do not want this
year's candidate to be President. I initially thought I would just
write-in Ron Paul and feel good about myself. It turns out, much
to my chagrin, that my state has one of those laws that will not
count write in candidates unless the candidate filed certain papers
and has not already lost a primary. (They call it the sore loser
law. But if the people later discover they like the loser better
than the winner, where is the harm in letting them choose?) So if
I vote for Ron Paul, it will be counted as a "write-in"
but not as a vote for Paul.

I have gone
over this multiple times. Do I support the Libertarian Party even
though I do not support the candidate? That goes against my principles.
Do I choose any other third party to send a message? Again, that
goes against my principles. I choose not to vote against people
but to vote for them. Therefore, I am left with the decision to
write in the name Ron Paul. I think he would make a great President.
I know my vote will not count as a vote for Dr. Paul, but it will
be counted in the generic category of "write-ins." When
they show the total of people in my state who do not like the choices
they were given I will be among them. And that is the message I
truly want to send with my vote. I do not accept your chosen few.
I am an American and as so I believe I have the right to vote for
whom I choose.

Perhaps if
enough people also wrote-in their vote, these draconian write-in
laws will be removed. In Delaware, for example, (correct me if I
am wrong) if you write in a candidate, that vote will count, period.
I think we all have that right.

I thought about
not voting at all because I do not want to legitimize the system,
but those non-votes are simply seen as apathy. I am not apathetic.
I am passionate: Extremely passionate for liberty.

So this election,
I will be making a statement. I will vote for the man I believe
to be the best candidate, I will do my best to expose a corrupt
system that prevents most of us from making a real choice, and I
will sleep well. If you feel the same way, I ask you to join me.
Even writing in "none of the above" sends a message. I
ask you to think about the message you wish to send with your vote.
If you want change then change.

Peace.

September
13, 2008

Sandra
Hamilton [send her mail]
is a retired attorney.

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