Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

“I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.”     Thomas Jefferson

November 6, 2006

Plans for the Mid-Term Election

by Brad Warbiany

This election is putting most classical liberals in a bind. We don’t really want to see the continuation of the borrow-and-spend behavior of our current one-party rule, but we likewise don’t want to see the tax-and-spend-even-more behavior of the Democrats. We don’t want to see the enforced-morality of the paternal state our current one-party rule is pushing, nor do we want to see the nanny-state version of people telling us to live our lives. We want the government out of our pocketbooks and our homes. Classical liberals have divergent issues on the Iraq war, to be sure, and that adds one more major question mark.

Many of us are soul-searching as to how– or even whether– to vote next Tuesday. Do you vote for the lesser of two evils? And is the lesser of two evils continued Republican control of Congress, or is it divided government? Is it more important to hold your nose and vote against your principals as a defensive measure, or is it better to just throw up your hands and stay home, knowing that your absence at the polls only contributes to the greater of two evils getting elected?

I don’t know how each individual person’s situation works, but I have a bit of an easy out this year. There is no Senate election this year in Georgia, so nationally, the only race I have to vote for is for the House. And I live in a “safe” Republican district, so I know that my vote won’t count. So I’m staying home tomorrow. My congressman, who seems to be a nice guy, and who I’ve actually met and talked to, is not receiving my vote. He’s a first-term guy, and I keep looking at the votes he’s cast and one thing is clear to me. He values loyalty to the party line over voting for freedom. This time, I can’t bring myself to hold my nose and actively vote for a continuation of the Republican party rule.

But, of course, my congressman won’t read this blog, and certainly won’t know that I didn’t vote or why I didn’t vote. That’s but one reason why voting is a very poor way to actually try to “send a message”. So I’m going to draft a letter and fax it to his office tomorrow, so he knows that he’s lost the vote of someone who would be likely to support him otherwise, and why he lost that vote. If he finds himself asking why his margin of victory isn’t as large as he had hoped, perhaps my letter will clue him in.

Remember, folks, voting (or not voting) is very unlikely to actually effect any change upon the political system. It’s only the first step. If you really want to make a change, make sure your elected official knows exactly why you voted for them, why you voted for their opponent, or why you stayed home. “Sending a message” at the ballot box is easily misinterpreted, so you need to do something to make it more clear.


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5 Comments

  1. Do you think that if eventually everyone thought that way, we might lose that right? It sends no message, the ones elected don’t care if they have a mandate, they care only that they are elected. If it came to a coin toss, the perks are worth it.
    Vote your conscience!

    Comment by VRB — November 6, 2006 @ 7:41 am
  2. I too live in a “safe” Republican district. My congressman is running against four opponents: a Libertarian, a moderate Democrat, and a liberal Democrat.

    I can live with the current incumbant, the Libertarian, or the moderate Democrat. I wound up deciding between the Libertarian candidate and the current congressman. The Libertarian, unfortunately, supports increasing the minimum wage, doing something about “outsourcing”, and supports taxpayer funded stem cell research and taxpayer funded abortions. What the Libertarian has going for him is his opposition to the War on (some) Drugs, opposition to the Federal Marriage Amendment, and he’s a supporter of the Fair Tax.

    I wound up voting for my Republican congressman because the Libertarian was wrong on the issues and besides, my congressman won’t be up in DC too much next year because he’s running for governor. Therefore, he can’t harm too much because he won’t be doing his job; I’m afraid his opponents would actually do their jobs.

    Comment by Kevin — November 6, 2006 @ 8:41 am
  3. Kevin,

    How can a Libertarian support the minimum wage and taxpayer funding of anything ? Does the Libertarian Party in Louisiana pretty much stand for nothing anymore ?

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — November 6, 2006 @ 9:25 am
  4. VRB,

    I am voting my conscience. I cannot, in good conscience, vote for either candidate.

    Comment by Brad Warbiany — November 6, 2006 @ 9:43 am
  5. Doug,

    The Libertarian Party of Louisiana is either Democrat-light or Republican-light. It depends on the year, the election race, and/or the candidate. They believe in winning over everything else.

    Comment by Kevin — November 7, 2006 @ 9:06 am

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