The Wasted Vote Syndrome
October 29, 2000

Published at Free Republic and Missouri League

Bill Clinton just may be the most reprehensible scuzzbucket ever to stink up the Oval Office. If elected, Al Gore will probably be worse.

Enough said?

Evidently not. As was the case in 1992 and 1996, I am drawing all kinds of heat from Republicans for not supporting their candidate. (I am supporting Harry Browne of the Libertarian Party.) They accuse me of (a) indirectly supporting Al Gore and/or (b) wasting my vote on someone who has no chance whatsoever of winning.

Bush supporters constantly tell me that "he may not be perfect, but at least he is better than Al Gore." As if that were some kind of achievement! Al Gore can make just about anyone look good. If you support the lesser of two evils, you still support evil.

Republicans talk a good game about big government being evil. Yet, if the record of the last 20 years is any indicator, they have aided and abetted an absolutely staggering growth in government at all levels. We have had Republican presidents and/or legislative majorities for 18 of these years. Every agency that Republicans say they hate is larger, costlier, and more heavy-handed than ever. None is on George W. Bush's chopping block. The issue in this election is not the size of government, but who will be a more competent bureaucrat-in-chief.

If you worship at the altar of Ronald Reagan, the following may appear blasphemous. It is frequently argued that government grew in the 1980s because of a Democratic House. Yet, for six of his eight years in office, Ronald Reagan had a Republican Senate. If the House steps out of line, the Senate's duty is to say, "We don't think so!" This did not happen. Oh sure, Reagan may have "slowed the growth of government." No matter how slowly something grows, it grows nonetheless.

The cornerstone of the Reagan legacy is supposedly the 1981 Kemp-Roth tax cuts. These were followed by the three enormous tax increases. (Two came under Reagan. A third came under George Bush. Bob Dole was the go-to guy in the Senate on all three.)

The Bush legacy consisted of nothing but tax increases (thus breaking his most important campaign promise) and larger government. After 12 years of Republicans in the White House, taxes were higher than ever, and government was larger than ever. (Is it any wonder Perot, a big government guy in his own right, was so popular?)

Supposedly, there was another revolution in 1994, when voters sent Republican majorities to both houses of Congress. Six years later, the American people are still taxed, regulated, and intruded upon to a degree that is downright criminal. The President cannot make laws or spend money without the approval of Congress. The last three congresses have been all too willing to collaborate with the man they would like you to think is the president from the bowels of hell. Federal court appointments have been a non-issue, as Republicans routinely rubber-stamp Clinton nominees. (The Senate has abandoned its "We don't think so!" duties in this department, too.) Clinton, unlike Nixon, stuck around to be impeached. Even then, the Republicans did not convict the bum.

The defining moment in the election of 1996 came in the debates, when Bob Dole looked into the camera and told God and the American people that, if Clinton were elected, government would grow at 20 percent, whereas if Dole were elected, government would grow at only 14 percent. In other words, Bob Dole felt that Bill Clinton had not given America enough socialism.

There is no such thing as pure evil. It almost kills me to say this, but in 1993 and 1994, Bill Clinton may actually have done some good. With his limitless belief in big government, he turned the wrath of millions of Americans against Washington and its ability to do far more harm than good. Such indignation may not have been seen since 1861. Many thought we would finally turn the socialist tide when we elected a Republican congress in 1994.

Socialism is either a good thing or a bad thing. If it is a bad thing, you must eliminate it as rapidly as possible. Even if it has been entrenched for decades, you need be proactive in bringing about its demise from day one. Just because your guys preside over socialism does not make socialism a good thing. Why are Republicans so accepting of what the Democrats have wrought when Republicans preside over and enlarge it?

Insanity has been defined as doing the same thing over and over, and expecting different results. When you get right down to it Republicans continue voting Republican for three reasons. Either they (1) really do like big government, (2) have not been disappointed often enough, or (3) are afraid of wasting their vote.

It is this "wasted vote" syndrome that probably frightens them more than anything else. You only waste a vote when you vote for what you do not believe in. Would you attend a church that routinely preached what you felt to be heresy? Would you continue to patronize a business that ripped you off time and time again? No? Then why would you vote for a candidate whom you know would spend two to eight years doing things that you know in your heart are wrong?

Some people would vote third party, but they "do not agree with everything that party stands for." My question to them is: "Are you married?" If yes, my next question would be "Do you ever disagree with your spouse?" If yes, the next obvious question would be: "But you do not sue for divorce the minute a disagreement arises, do you?" Then why do you insist on absolute agreement with a political party that appeals to 90 percent of your beliefs?

I have been a registered Libertarian for eight years. I do not agree with everything the Libertarian Party stands for, but I do agree with 85 percent of it. I agree with it enough to vote Libertarian and to commit time and money to the Libertarian cause. I believe in limited government, pure and simple. Since the parties that have a chance to win recklessly expand government, I see no point in continuing to support them.

If Al Gore wins, I just may be burned in effigy for persuading so many people to vote Libertarian. But guess what? The wrath of conservatives will be focused on Washington again, much as it was in 1979-80 and 1993-94. If George W. Bush wins, taxation will continue to be oppressive, there will be no regard whatsoever for our constitutionally guaranteed rights, every federal agency that Republicans say they hate will grow larger and more costly, and Roe v. Wade will still be the law of the land. Yet, this will be just fine with all the dittoheads out there.

Just as those who glorify Communism dismiss it as "fascism with a human face", Dubya-ism will be written off as algorismo with a human face. Mainstream conservatives have no problem with the excesses of the leviathan state, as long as their people are at the helm. They don't care how much damage George W. Bush does in the areas of medical care, social security, education, etc. It doesn't matter how many people he imprisons in his campaign to enforce gun laws more vigorously. (The NRA's presidential candidate thinks the thousands of unconstitutional existing gun laws have not been sufficiently enforced by Bill Clinton.) Dittohead Republicans do not care if the Constitution is trashed, as long as it is Republicans who do the trashing.

The two major parties continue to fiddle while America deteriorates into a Sweden with missiles. This year's election is not a referendum on the direction America is heading. Instead, it will merely determine the velocity of our bobsled ride toward tyranny.

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Freely Speaking: Speeches and Essays by Doug Newman

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