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Old 10-04-2012, 16:12   #105
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 8,088
Originally Posted by whoflungdo View Post
I get number 2 and have seriously considered it myself. However, how can ANYONE that wants limited/less/smaller government/Liberty vote for Obama and claim it's pragmatic?
What does a pragmatic libertarian intend to accomplish by voting third party? He knows that party won't win, right? The only things he can hope for are that:
  1. The Republicans lose the election, because if they win it'll just cement the fact that they don't need to implement any libertarian principles in their platform
  2. It is clear that if even a fraction of the votes that went to the third party went to the Republican party, they would have won the election.
(I'm using Republicans and libertarians here as the more relevant example, but it has played out on the Democrat side too.)

Primarily though, the Republicans have to lose. I'm in a swing state. I have to take care of problem #1. There was a time when voting for somebody like Obama would be troublesome to me. I don't care about that anymore. Pragmatism rules now when it comes to politics. Romney needs to lose, so Obama needs to win. If a vote for third party is a vote for Obama, then a vote for Obama is two votes for Obama. (Yeah that sounds weird, but take it up with the folks who keep telling us that a vote for a third party is a vote for Obama)

If I wasn't in a swing state, I'd vote Gary Johnson. Who knows, I might even do it here, depending on the outlook on election day, because if problem #1 is in the bag, #2 can be addressed.
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