Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Why I'm Not Voting for Romney or Obama

As those who have known for while awhile know, I've been self-identifying as a Libertarian since a road-to-Damascus moment about how there is no moral difference between nonviolent ownership of "assault weapons" and nonviolent marijuana smoking when I was in high school. Although I was too young to vote in the 2000 presidential election, I voted for the Libertarian Badnarik in 2004.

In 2008, I voted rather reluctantly for John McCain. I can't remember why--either something the Libertarian candidate that year did got on my nerves or perhaps there was something about Obama I really didn't like and I didn't want to risk helping Obama win Georgia. Although I'm drifting away from Libertarianism (more because I support government spending on education, science, and infrastructure), my views are sufficiently different from the two major parties that I'm not inclined to vote for either of them and I'm not going to vote for hard-leftists like the Greens.

However, although I haven't voted yet, I'm probably going to vote for Libertarian Gary Johnson. Although I have spoken out in favor of Republicans Jon Huntsman and Ron Paul, here's why I'm not interested in supporting either candidate.


One thing I didn't like about Obama back in 2008 was the whole cult-of-personality thing that coalesced around him, with him being "the one" who would bring "change." I'll give Obama credit that he tried to make a joke out of it rather than use it for some more sinister purpose, but that did rub me the wrong way.

One of the big reasons I didn't like him in 2008 was the born-alive controversy in Illinois. This isn't a matter of abortion in the first trimester or so of pregnancy when the fetus doesn't really have much in the way of a brain. If there's the possibility the fetus can survive outside the womb, it must be fairly far along. See this. This isn't even abortion anymore.

Although I shed no tears for Gadhafi and have flat-out recommended Obama claim credit for Gadhafi's death to look tough on foreign policy, Obama has claimed the U.S. contribution to the overthrow of Gadhafi did not require congressional approval. I do not believe that to be the case.

Obama does not oppose indefinite-detention provisions that violate the Fifth and may infringe on the First amendments.

And then there's Gunwalker.


For starters, Mitt Romney flip-flops when it's politically convenient. I have no beef with changing one's opinions based on new evidence--after all, that's what science is all about--but the timing of Romney's changing views on issues like gun control and abortion smell.

It's not like Romney opposes the indefinite detention of U.S. citizens either. If someone is killed in battle and is a U.S. citizen that's one thing, but if they're arrested, that's something else. The U.S. Constitution specifically says people can be charged with treason for making war on the U.S. and that's how to handle American members of AQ who are taken alive.

Mitt Romney also opposes online gambling, using downright nanny-state arguments in favor of keeping the ban. I don't gamble for money, but I don't care if anyone else does. If someone causes their family to suffer because they can't control their gambling, that's unfortunate, but it's not justification for the government to ban everyone from doing it.

Romney vowed to fight marijuana legalization "tooth and nail." Considering how Colorado has greatly benefited from "medical marijuana" and several states are voting on legalizing marijuana this fall, we might well have a major state-federal clash. Considering how the GOP claims to support state and local control, the federal government being aggressive on this issue is rather hypocritical.

I'll get to why I support Gary Johnson later, since I generally believe in providing positive solutions rather than just complaining.


  1. voting for Johnson = placing vote in trash can which given your views Matt is a defacto vote for Obama. He will not get enough votes to even change a party platform so you would be equally well served writing in Mickey Mouse if you wanted Mickey Mouse to run the country

  2. If Georgia were a close race this year, you might have a point. However, to my knowledge it is not. Romney is probably going to win Georgia.

    And although I don't like Obama, I'm not exactly intimidated by the "a vote for Johnson is a vote for Obama." Someone who wants a tyranny needs an outside enemy and it's in the GOP leadership's interest to crush dissent by making Obama into much worse than he is.

    Furthermore, even though Johnson isn't going to win Georgia, an increased turnout for him may have effects down the line. Your "he won't get enough votes" argument may not hold, especially given the lengths Romney went to court Paul delegates at the GOP convention.

  3. Welcome to the Johnson camp my friend! I came to the same conclusion as you pretty much - I vote for my principles, not for a party, and Johnson is the only one who said he will increase personal liberty, decrease the size and cost of government, and support veterans and imporve infrastructure.

    As for the vote being wasted - has voting for the Demicans or Republicrats really made a difference either way? It's that swallows your pride, vote for the lesser of two evils crap that got us in this mess in the first place!

  4. As a side note, this is Garry Johnson's Platform

    THE FEDERAL RESERVE SHOULD BE TRANSPARENT and its actions held to the same level of scrutiny as any federal department.

    Block grant Medicare and Medicaid funds to the states, allowing them to innovate, find efficiencies and provide better service at lower cost.
    Repeal President Obama's healthcare plan, as well as the failed Medicare prescription drug benefit (Bush).

    Fix Social Security by changing the escalator from being based on wage growth to inflation. It's time for Social Security to reflect today's realities without breaking trust with retirees. (I didn't know he wanted to keep Social Security).

    Stop spending on the fiscal stimulus, transportation, energy, housing, education, and all other special interests. The U.S. must restrain spending across the board.

    Eliminate the costly and ineffective military interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan; limit defense spending to actions that truly protect the United States.

    Reject auto and banking bailouts, state bailouts, corporate welfare, cap-and-trade, card check, and the mountain of regulation that protects special interests rather than benefiting consumers or the economy.
    Restrict Federal Reserve policy to maintaining price stability, not bailing out financial firms or propping up the housing sector.
    Eliminate government support of Fannie and Freddie.
    Reduce or eliminate federal involvement in education; let states expand successful reforms such as vouchers and charter schools.
    Legalize, tax, and regulate marijuana, rather than wasting money on an expensive and futile prohibition.
    Eliminate needless barriers to free trade and make it easier for would-be legal immigrants to apply for work visas.

    All parents should have an opportunity to choose which school their children attend.
    Putting educational funds in the hands of the people who use them gives parents and students a vote as to which schools are best and which need to improve.
    Our children deserve the chance to succeed educationally, but the same old way of thinking won't cut it. It's time to free individuals and states from burdensome federal mandates and regulations so they can pursue the right educational strategies for their students.

    ALTHOUGH IT MAY SOUND DRASTIC, THERE ARE practical reasons why it should be considered.

    The Department of Education grants each state 11 cents out of every dollar it spends on education. Unfortunately, every dollar of this money comes with 16 cents of strings attached. States that accept federal funding lose five cents for every dollar spent on education to pay for federal mandates and regulations, taking millions of dollars out of the classroom.
    Schools should have the authority to decide how best to spend educational dollars. Without federal regulations and mandates, schools could choose to purchase new computers, better lab equipment, and maintain after-school sports and music programs even during times of tight budgets.
    Once citizens and their local representatives have the freedom to decide how their educational funds will be spent, they can consider innovations that will drive student choice, educational competition, and better results.

    The PATRIOT Act should be repealed, which would restore proper judicial oversight to federal investigations and again require federal investigators to prove probable cause prior to executing a search.
    Habeas corpus should be respected entirely, requiring the government to either charge incarcerated individuals with a crime or release them.
    The TSA should take a risk-based approach to airport security. Only high-risk individuals should be subjected to invasive pat-downs and full-body scans.

  5. The TSA should not have a monopoly on airport security. Airports and airlines should be encouraged to seek the most effective methods for screening travelers, including private sector screeners. Screeners outside of government can be held fully accountable for their successes and failures.

    Life is precious and must be protected. A woman should be allowed to make her own decisions during pregnancy until the point of viability of a fetus.
    (I also didn't know he was in favor of abortion).

    Stem cell research should only be completed by private laboratories that operate without federal funding.

    Government should not impose its values upon marriage. It should allow marriage equality, including gay marriage. It should also protect the rights of religious organizations to follow their beliefs. (or gay marriage)

    AMERICAN MILITARY ACTIVITIES IN AFGHANISTAN SHOULD END, our troops returned home, and the focus of our foreign policy reoriented toward the protection of U.S. citizens and interests.

    AMERICA CAN ACHIEVE OUR FOREIGN POLICY GOALS without sacrificing American values.

    AMERICANS WERE PROMISED IN THE 1970'S AND 1980's that hefty enforcement budgets and tougher sentences would lead to less crime and drug abuse.

    OVER A MILLION AND A HALF AMERICANS were arrested last year on drug charges, and nearly 40% of those arrests were for marijuana possession alone. Does this make sense?

    BEFORE WE CAN GET SERIOUS ABOUT REDUCING the harms associated with drugs, we have to accept that there will never be a drug-free society.

    It should be easier for a potential immigrant to get a work visa. Potential immigrants should pass a background check, and then be issued a Social Security card, which would allow them to pay income, payroll, and all other taxes workers pay.
    There should be a two-year grace period for illegal immigrants to attain work visas so they can continue contributing to America and begin taking part in American society openly.
    Immigrants with temporary work visas should have access to the normal procedures for gaining permanent status and citizenship, and should be able to bring their families to the U.S. after demonstrating ability to support them financially.

    Legalizing marijuana will reduce border violence and illegal immigration significantly, decreasing the U.S.-Mexican drug trade by 70 percent. Without a monopoly on the marijuana trade, Mexican drug cartels will have vastly diminished incentives to violate U.S. law and risk capture.
    Streamline the legal immigration process to reduce illegal immigration and allow the U.S. to know who enters the country and for what reasons.
    Enforce a 'one strike, you're out' rule for immigrants who circumvent the streamlined work visa process.

    ACCESS TO THE INTERNET MUST NOT BE taxed. (Refers to the lawsuit with states suing Amazon over not getting sales tax revenue.)

    TREAT 2ND AMENDMENT RIGHTS AS THE INDIVIDUAL constitutional rights they are.

    Many argue that the 2nd Amendment doesn't really apply to individuals. Would those same people suggest that rights to free speech, association or religious freedom don't apply to individuals? (DC vs Heller 2008)


    From the United Nations to city council chambers across the nation, gun rights are constantly under attack from those who believe, mistakenly, that restricting our right to own firearms legally will somehow make us safer.

    GOVERNMENT-RUN HEALTH CARE SIMPLY WON'T WORK. Competition and Price Transparency WILL work.

    OUR CURRENT MEDICARE AND MEDICAID SYSTEMS ARE unsustainable and must be reformed.

  6. In New Mexico, when the state took responsibility for Medicaid, costs were reduced by 25% and services improved. Removing unnecessary federal mandates would have allowed even greater savings.

    Federal assistance for those who cannot afford essential health care should be provided through simple block grants to the states, where innovation will create efficiencies and better care at less cost. (Still giving money to states)

    Cap and Trade schemes, tax subsidies, and government efforts to steer us to one energy source over another are inherently inefficient, disrupt the market, and ultimately impose costs we cannot afford.

  7. Also, I thought the partial birth (live birth thing) was because the federal/state government paid for hospital care for pregnant mothers and fetal care in the case of children being born. If the bill passed, the mother would have to pay for the child care on their own even though intensive care would be needed. Adjust the definition or let premature babies die?

  8. Re: the live birth issue, I haven't heard that. I was under the impression the "live birth" bill was drafted due to the horror stories about babies that survived late-term abortions and were deliberately allowed to die.

    1. Well, that is a scary story, but untrue; just is about insurance companies trying to skirt paying for babies in the preemie ICU. Just trying to keep you informed. Garry Johnson allowing for abortion up until the baby is full term is scary too.

  9. Do you have a citation that they were lying about the babies left to die?

    About Gary Johnson's position on abortion, this article says that he is pro-choice until "viability."

  10. For the record, "viability" does not mean "birth."

  11. While I agree with your concerns about both President Obama and Governor Romney, and with all due respect most of these issues (except perhaps for indefinite detention) are not major ones this election. The major ones are expanding healthcare coverage to cover the uninsured, control entitlement spending, reduce the deficit, improve the economy, and dealing with nuclear Iran. On the basis of these issues I'm come (reluctantly) to support the President, largely due to Obamacare, which allows the US to join all other industrialized countries-including free-market bastions like Singapore in allowing the overwhelming majority of the population to be covered (especially since the whole "its a mandate not a tax" thing's been ditched and thus constitutional). While I support the Ryan-Wyden Plan and raising the retirement ages and cutting benefits for both Social Security and Medicare as the Republicans advocate I feel that is a battle that can be fought another day.

    As for Governor Johnson, while I respect his honesty and especially his stance on the failed war on drugs, I feel his opposition to student loan programs (which he expressed in the debate last week) for example will not help American education.