September 4th, 2012 // 12:19 pm @ Oliver DeMille
I got a lot of responses to my article on why everyone should vote. Most were in agreement, and readily shared it on social media. Of those who took exception, the concerns they expressed boiled down to two main thoughts:
1. What about Ron Paul?
2. But Romney’s not really for limited government!
Both have real merit.
1. What About Paul?
First, I think Ron Paul is a great man, and I have been a fan of nearly all his suggestions and policies since I first read a book by him clear back in, I think, the 80’s. He is right about so many things. I have a few disagreements with him too, but less than with the two major candidates.
As you will note from my article, my main point was that everyone should vote, and if you don’t like the main candidates then write in a name. If this is your plan, I think Ron Paul is an even better write-in than those I suggested in the article (mostly tongue-in-cheek, as I did not want to promote a particular candidate per se). My point was to vote, but to be aware that a write-in vote is more for being able to argue your case for good government over the next four years than for actually swaying the election. A vote for Ron Paul does just that.
If you want to sway the election, do two things: first, already be a voter in a swing state, and second, vote for one of the main candidates. If you don’t meet these requirements or don’t want to vote for either major candidate, by all means, write someone in.
2. But Romney’s not for Limited Government!
Second, presidential politics always come down to imperfect votes. If you want a perfect candidate, look to your House of Representative election and get a candidate that is truly ideal to your wants. If there isn’t such a candidate, you’ve got two years to help find one and help him/her get elected.
That said, for those who don’t think Romney is much of a limited government candidate, I have two words for you: Barack Obama.
President Obama has shown that he is a committed big-government president, and the next four years under an Obama Administration will be a massive move to bigger government, more regulation, etc. If you want the bigger government choice, vote for Obama. If you want a possibly limited, but definitely more limited than Obama, government, I have two words for you: Paul Ryan. We need major fiscal responsibility, and soon. If that’s what you want, you have two choices: Romney/Ryan, or a write in candidate to make a statement, but not actually derail the Obama candidacy. That said, there is a great American tradition of protest voting.
If you are in a swing state, your vote could decide the election. Do you want bigger government? Vote Obama. Do you want a growing government in the Bush/Bush style, possibly better but maybe not, but not massive growth Obama government: vote Romney/Ryan. Do you want real limited government: get seriously involved in getting the right House of Representatives in, now or in 2014, and decide whether Romney/Ryan is a good start in your mind or if a protest vote that says “Reagan or Bust” is better.
Oliver is dedicated to promoting freedom through leadership education. He and his wife Rachel are raising their eight children in Cedar City, Utah.