This from PJMedia’s own Vodkapundit (and fellow Coloradan) Stephen Green: The Libertarian Case for Mitt Romney. Excerpt:
I have a Libertarian friend who’s likely to vote for Gary Johnson, but is open to supporting the GOP — if someone can convince her why Romney should get her vote. With just five weeks left, I suppose it’s time for somebody to make the libertarian case for Mitt Romney.
Before we begin, a few words about the actual Libertarian Party candidate, Gary Johnson. Johnson is almost everything you’d want. He’s a solid libertarian without being weird about it — and you know exactly what I mean. He doesn’t come with the baggage of Ron Paul’s cult of personality. Best of all, Johnson has real executive experience as the governor of New Mexico. And he won’t be elected president of these United States in a millionty-billion years.
In fact, he’ll be lucky to break one-half of one percent of the popular vote.
Mr. Green makes an excellent point here, one that deserves to be hammered home: A vote for a third-party candidate for President is actually worse than a wasted vote; it’s a de facto vote for the guy you dislike more. Illustrations: Ross Perot likely caused G.H.W. Bush the 1992 election by draining some of the fiscal conservative/libertarian vote, and Ralph Nader almost certainly cost Al Gore the Presidency when he siphoned of Florida votes from the left to hand George W. Bush that state, and with it the White House. (Were I Ralph Nader, I wouldn’t be showing my face around Florida any time soon – not even now, twelve years later.)
For better or worse, the United States has a two-party system. Take this election: Either Mitt Romney or Barack Obama (it is probably belaboring the obvious to state that I prefer the former) will be taking the oath of office in January 2013. Nobody else will. Not Ron Paul, not Gary Johnson, not Joe Snuffy, the current Third Assistant Dogcatcher in Leaf Springs, Mississippi. A voter concerned about the ballooning size and scope of the Imperial Federal Government but not a social-issues conservative – like yr. obdt. – might consider voting for Gary Johnson.
But Gary Johnson will not be President. He will not get one single solitary electoral vote.
I say again: Gary Johnson will not be President. He will not get one single solitary electoral vote. A vote for him, or for any other third-party candidate, is not just a wasted vote. It’s a petulant misstep, a deliberate step in the opposite direction of where you wish the nation to move.
Mr. Green concludes:
I’ll leave you with one last thought from one of libertarianism’s accidental founding fathers, Robert Heinlein. In Stranger in a Strange Land, Jubal Harshaw has some words of wisdom for his friend Ben Caxton. Ben, a columnist, is considering writing a piece that will bring down the administration of Secretary-General Joe Douglas. But Jubal cautions Ben to
“Look at Douglas and ponder that, in his ignorance, stupidity, and self-seeking, he resembles his fellow Americans but is a notch or two above average. Then look at the man who will replace him if his government topples.”
“There’s little difference.”
“There’s always a difference! This is between ‘bad’ and ‘worse’ — which is much sharper than between ‘good’ and ‘better.’” [Emphasis added]
We don’t get to choose this year between “good” and “better’” — have we ever enjoyed that choice? But we do get a sharp distinction this year between “bad” and “worse.”
I’m going with “bad” because I’m not sure we’ll survive another term of the worst.
I find nothing there I can disagree with. Not a word.