A matter of conscience

November 4, 2008

A small-l libertarian’s voting dilemma:

Barr isn’t the sort of candidate I’d pull the lever for in any other circumstance. But I don’t live in a swing state where voting for the Libertarian is effectively the same as a voting for Obama (who—for me anyway—fails the libertarian lesser-of-two-evils test).

The political leanings of my fellow New Yorkers has effectively reduced my vote to a protest anyway. So I might as well cast my vote in a way that most accurately reflects my political philosophy.

Which is why, this year, I’m holding my nose, voting Libertarian, and hoping that, somehow, McCain wins.

Someone has to stand between your wallet and the Democrats in Congress.

He hopes McCain wins, because that would be preferable to an Obama presidency, but, because New York will go overwhelmingly for Obama, his vote doesn’t really count, so he feels free to lodge a protest vote instead.  Whew!

For all the passion this time around, there’s still a lot of that “hold your nose and vote” stuff, especially on the Republican side. I’ve talked to quite a few conservatives and libertarian-leaning people who haven’t known quite what to do. A win for Mark Souder would be preferable to a win by Mike Montagano (for the wallet reason listed above), but they can’t stand Souder enough to vote for him. But this is a close race, so a protest vote wouldn’t be as safe to cast as it would be in New York. If enough disaffected Republicans vote Libertarian, it could be enough to help Montagano win. So those who vote their consciences could be in the uncomfortable position of securing the office for the person whose policies they’d least favor.

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