Campaigns/Elections

Voting in Public

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The American Conservative asks 18 contributors who, if anyone, they plan to vote for this year. As you'd expect, given TAC's ideological eclecticism, the magazine received a wide range of responses, some more sensible than others. To my taste, Scott McConnell makes the best case for Obama, Kara Hopkins makes the best case for McCain, John Schwenkler makes the best case for Barr, and Gerald Russello makes the best case for staying home. I won't describe Daniel McCarthy's call for writing in Ron Paul as the "best case" for that position, since he's the only one arguing for the idea, but it's worth reading as well.

For an election forum with an explicitly libertarian slant, stay tuned for reason's forthcoming survey, which will appear on this website later this week.

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  1. I do find it funny – though not surprising – that both the article in favor of Obama and the article in favor of McCain speak more to why you shouldn’t vote for the “other guy” than they do espousing the virtues of the candidate they are voting for. I also will be voting against a candidate this election…

  2. “I won’t describe Daniel McCarthy’s call for writing in Ron Paul as the “best case” for that position, since he’s the only one arguing for the idea, but it’s worth reading as well.”

    With Barr’s campaign performance writing in Ron is a perfectly viable option. This has turned into a throwaway year, which was expected from the start. What’s the current payout on the Obama-McCain exacta anyway?

  3. I also will be voting against a candidate this election…

    All of them? I’m increasingly in a “a pox on both your houses” kinda mood.

  4. aT this stage of the election, everyone i know is turning off the station when reporters try to interview mccain and his promoters. we all feel the same way, he is a lying stumbling idiot with a woman who is a head case for a running mate and we are republicans. This time we are all voiting democratic.

  5. Ron Paul is on the ballot in Montana and Louisiana, and is available as a write in candidate many other places, including California, where he is a registered write in candidate with pledged electors. In other states voting for him would at least be counted as a ‘write in vote’ on par with any other write in vote as a ‘none of the above’ option.

    I never felt good about Barr, and now that I have the opportunity to vote for Ron Paul in California and have it counted, I no longer have any question where I will cast my vote: for Ron Paul.

  6. Like my idol, I think voting isn’t cool. So I plan on staying home and getting trashed on Listerine.

  7. TAC is the only right-wing site on the internet worth reading. The only one I’ve found, anyway.

    The difference in the quality of thought there vs. NRO, the Weekly Standard, or ther other prominent conservative sites is night and day.

  8. Too bad. I remember when NR was actually pretty good. Of course, I was also more conservative back then…

  9. everyone i know is turning off the station when reporters try to interview mccain and his promoters. we all feel the same way, he is a lying stumbling idiot with a woman who is a head case for a running mate and we are republicans. This time we are all voiting democratic.

    Congratulations on your collectivism!

  10. Reading the one by Peter Brimelow reminds me want an insufferable douchebag he is.

    “We’re a white, Anglo-Saxon Protestant nation” is pretty much his argument. What is this, 1789?

  11. I’m finding people who are normally democratic are not too keen on the democratic nominee.

    I would assume they were racists but the majority are of hispanic descent.

    Of course, they’re not too keen on the republican either.

  12. Nevermind, that Steve Sailer guy is even worse.

    The country is going bankrupt, and whats the biggest issue this year according to him?

    Affirmative Action!

  13. Uh, I’m Hispanic and trust me, I know plenty of others, some of my family included, that don’t like blacks. Whites don’t have a monopoly on racism.

  14. I’m venturing to guess even if they don’t like blacks they dislike the Party of Tom Tancredo more.

  15. I’m so glad I sent in an absentee ballot. I only lost a couple of days of information gathering, and I get to sit out the most hair raising part of the election.

  16. “After four years exploring the far ends of the liberal imagination, the Republic might not recognize herself”
    Please. The idea of a constitutional republic has been 3/4 of the way replaced by the idea of unrestricted democracy. The federal government interferes in every aspect of every individual’s life. This same government has taken a role in the world that would have been unthinkable even a century ago. The Republic, long ago, was left unrecognizable.

  17. Okay, regarding the last post, not “unthinkable” but definitely not accepted in any form by the vast majority of citizens.

  18. I had to switch to vodka.

  19. BDB,

    Not really. I’m literally the only member of my immediate and extended family that’s voted other than Democrat since I have been eligible to vote. Yet this year, there’s at least five of my family members, three of which I would describe as racist, that voted early for McCain. One even went straight Republican because he “wanted to send a message to the Democrats.”

    Now to be sure, myself having a political discussion with most of my family members is like masturbating with a cheese grater. Slightly amusing, but mostly painful. However, I could at least see WHY they were so ardently Democrat in the past. The little Republican swing, is rooted solely in the fact that there’s a black man as the Democratic nominee. At least that’s my opinion on my family.

  20. Well, the fact that John McCain is in trouble in every southwestern state (even, recently, Arizona) seems to suggest otherwise. But we’ll know in a week.

    It is unfair to John McCain, though. He’s been very supportive of hispanics, it’s not his fault a certain section of his party went apeshit about mining the border or what have you.

  21. I’ve always liked TAC. Any magazine that publishes Fred Reed is worth reading now and then.

    You might say that [not voting] is ineffective. But what effect does voting have? It gives them what they need most: a mandate.

    Lew Rockwell shoots and scores.

  22. BDB,

    I agree about the unfair part. Though, with only a couple exceptions, I don’t know anyone who votes rationally.

  23. Even if only 10% of the eletorate vote, it’s a mandate. The winner says that the oens who don’t bother are content witht he direction the country is going.

    Not voting would only work if no one voted, and that is impossible since the old ladies manning the voting stations always vote.

    It’s better to vote for someone wierd and throw a monkey wrench into their calculations than not vote at all.

  24. You might say that [not voting] is ineffective. But what effect does voting have? It gives them what they need most: a mandate.

    Funny, I don’t remember Rockwell saying that when Paul was running…

    Also, how is this true if you only vote third party?

  25. Interesting how seemingly about half of the contributors were voting for Obama and like 2 were voting for McCain “reluctantly.” Maybe I just don’t know enough about TAC or perhaps they put intellectual cred before conservative policy, but still…McCain would at least veto the Democrats’ excessive spending, and the Democrats in Congress would move to block further McCain wars. I’m just a little confused by conservatives crossing over for Obama – it just doesn’t make any sense to me at all. (I’m not a conservative, by the way.)

  26. Lew’s case for not voting was, in my opinion, far stronger than Russello’s. Why the snub?

  27. *sigh* If the best cases to vote for someone are because you don’t like the other guy, we’re in deep doody. There ARE more choices than the “top two”. If you don’t like one, don’t just vote for the other, seek out a candidate that matches your ideals!

  28. Russello had more specifics about why the alternatives on display are so rotten.

    Rockwell did have a good line in “You might say that this is ineffective. But what effect does voting have?” Unfortunately he undercut it with his next sentence, the dubious “It gives them what they need most: a mandate.” They’ll find a “mandate” whether or not I cast a ballot.

  29. I disagree, Nick.

    I think McCain and the Democrats would make a deal.

    They’d give him his guns, and he’d sign the bills for their butter.

    During the Delay/Frist Congress, they gave Bush whatever he wanted on foreign policy, and he didn’t veto a single spending bill.

    I think it would be the same this time.

  30. Then McCain could talk about how sweet and buttery bipartisan government is.

  31. I would assume they were racists but the majority are of hispanic descent.

    Hispanics can be racist, too.

    Unless you mean only white people can be racist. Because that would be racist, no?

  32. Jesse Walker | October 28, 2008, 12:52pm | #
    Russello had more specifics about why the alternatives on display are so rotten.

    Rockwell did have a good line in “You might say that this is ineffective. But what effect does voting have?” Unfortunately he undercut it with his next sentence, the dubious “It gives them what they need most: a mandate.” They’ll find a “mandate” whether or not I cast a ballot.

    Bingo! As discussed downstream the option of not voting is always available but the candidates don’t respond to it. The media speaks of “low voter turnout” and “get out the vote drives” but not so much “a resounding vote of ‘no confidence’ in any of the candidates”.

    Now, if ballots had a “none of the above” box, that would be I suspect your true mandate.

  33. Kara Hopkins and I agree. I’m not proud of it in any way, but as I do not have a candidate I actually like, I vote for deadlock.

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