In 2008 you may recall I wrote a Ticker with an almost-identical topic line.
This, along with my repeated insistence that one cannot vote as a Libertarian for Gary Johnson, as he is simply not a Libertarian (despite his claims otherwise), hs led certain self-proclaiming "libertarian leaders" to predict (repeatedly) on social media that I would be annoucing an endorsement for either Mitt Romney or Obama.
Let's make this clear for the 99th and last time for those screaming hyenas who also are not Libertarians, as they refuse to profess one of the most-important aspects of balloting, and indeed one that is present on all Libertarian convention ballots I've seen or heard of: "NOTA", or "none of the above."
Such a vote (or it's more-forceful equivalent in voting for Cthulu or Beelzebub) is not only your right in any election, it is your duty when the candidates put forward are unacceptable to you.
Let's be perfectly clear: Political parties are private entities. They are, as the name implies, nothing more than a collection of people who claim to share "common ideas." A party in the truest sense; a collection of individuals.
That collection of people is personally, collectively and on a joint and severable basis responsible for the candidates it puts forward on the ballot.
If said party puts forth a doofus you have a responsibility not to vote for him or her, irrespective of who else is on the ballot and thus who may win as a consequence.
Mitt Romney has a number of critical strikes against him that cannot be overcome, as one's actions are far more important than words. He signed and supported with his acts and signing statement a ban on "scary looking" weapons in Massachusetts, along with high-capacity magazines. By doing so he proved he has no respect for the fundamental purpose of the Second Amendment, and this standing alone makes him unfit for office.
He has also put forward along with Ryan a clear statement that he will not reduce government spending in his first year in office, with only vague promises on a forward basis. He continues to claim that he can get the deficit under control but there is no evidence on the table as to how he believes he can do this. Ryan's budget is mathematically fraudulent and Mitt is smart enough not to come out and say that's what he intends to use, as doing so would immediately prove up that fraud. Nonetheless he has put forward no specifics and nothing that anyone can critique in detail, or analyze.
Most-importantly he has refused to address the two intertwined and critical issues that bedevil our economy and public policy -- health care and government spending, along with the military budget and energy. Those two "paired issues" are 80% or more of our fiscal challenge; without them we cannot succeed, while with them the remainder is trivial enough to ignore. The simple fact of the matter is that when it comes to Health Care "someone" has to eat over a trillion dollars a year, and there are two "someones" who can -- you (e.g. Granny) or the medical industry. One results in bankruptcy of virtually every retiree and over-50 year person in the nation and possible civil war or even revolution while the other results in immediate recognition of the economic Depression that we have been lying about for the last four years. The latter course of action, even though it leads to immediate and serious short-term pain, is recoverable. The former is not.
Therefore, to each and every person who says that "Romney is a Republican, I am a Republican, and you must vote for him to evade Obama having a second term" I retort: You, personally, jointly and on a severable basis, are responsible for that douche-nozzle being on the ballot. If that's the best you can do then you and your party deserve to lose.
As for Obama, he's a documented, proved liar. He is shockingly more Second Amendment friendly than Romney, but the difference is marginal in that his rhetoric is identically hostile while his actions have been less-so. In every other area he is virtually identical in form and fashion to Romney -- both support the health industry at the expense of the public, both support unsustainable and thermodynamically bankrupt energy policies (differing in style but not ultimate outcome), both therefore are committed to military spending and debt we cannot afford and both therefore have ruinous foreign policy positions.
There are those who argue that one or the other candidate is preferred on the premise of Supreme Court appointments that may occur in the next term. But there's no evidence at the bar for this; witness Roberts who tortured the English language to find a way to rule PPACA was constitutional, despite the fact that it clearly was not as a direct tax, if you followed his alleged reasoning. And who appointed Roberts? There is no evidence at all to suggest that a justice appointed by Romney will be another Anton Scalia, despite the screaming from the right that this is the case.
As for Gary Johnson, go read up above through the linked articles. He's unsupportable -- period. That the Libertarian Party nominated him at a national level simply proves that the so-called Party of Principle is nothing of the sort. This is a man who preaches "balanced budgets" but can't even run his own campaign on a cash-flow positive basis, who claims he "balanced New Mexico's budget" as governor but in fact added to the public debt and thus cheated exactly as did President Clinton, who claims he will massively cut federal spending but in fact increased spending in all major categories as Governor at a rate that exceeded population growth and left the state's population with more per-capita debt than when he took office.
I'm far more interested in someone's actual record and acts than claims and on his record Gary Johnson gets an F-, exactly as do Romney and Obama.
In short, Johnson's record is not Libertarian at all! There are a number of people who like him because he's for legalization of pot which would be fine if it was driven by the principle that you own your own body and thus have the absolute right to choose what to put in it, but that is not something he has ever elucidated -- and thus you must conclude he doesn't believe that. You have to go back to first principles; you either believe that each adult owns their own body or you do not. There is no gray, there is no wiggle room, there are no ifs, ands, buts or maybes. It is this first principle from which the Declaration's statement that each person is endowed by their Creator with the right to Life, Liberty and the pursuit (but not guarantee of attainment) of happiness comes from.
Shockingly, the largest difference between the two "big" candidates is in the color of their skin and the so-called "credible third-party choice" is a butt-hurt Republican who has managed to get a bunch of screaming harpies to support his blatant and outrageous hypocrisy with their own.
This, of course, does not mean you shouldn't vote at all. There are serious candidates on the ballot in many national, state and local races. In many states, including Florida, there are State Constitutional Amendments that you must participate in, as they will impact your life. There are Federal Congressional candidates that are worthy of your support, such as Calen Fretts in Florida and Kerry Bentivolio in Michigan. And there are state and local races that are of critical importance, whether it be your county sheriff, assemblymen and women or state representatives and senators.
All of these races are very likely to have a material impact on your life in the much-more immediate sense, unlike the Presidential race, which likely will not.
As such it remains my considered opinion that if you're in Florida you should look at Tickerguy's Guide to Constitutional Amendments, and consider those views when voting. You should carefully consider the record of your state and federal representatives and senators, and vote for those who you believe will embody your Constitutional Rights, if you can find such candidates.
But when it comes to your ballot for President, I remain convinced that the only proper vote is as follows, and I will be headed to the polls to vote my ballot thusly come morning:
Where We Are, Where We're Heading (2013) - The annual 2013 Ticker
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