Sunday, October 21, 2012

Wasted Votes Vs. Wasted Time

I live in Texas. 
Mitt Romney is going to carry Texas by something like 9% - 15%. 
That's what's going to happen this year. 

Some Texans will still go to the trouble of voting for Obama, and a vote for Obama isn't a wasted vote.  Their Obama votes still send a signal that they tolerate certain giveaways, particular forms of graft, Middle-Eastern wars, and Prohibition. 
You can say the same for a vote for Romney. 

The election isn't decided by number of votes.  It's decided by which states are carried by each candidate, and their collective Electoral College totals. 

If a Texan voted for Barack Obama in 2008, he sent a signal about his preferences, but had no impact on the election.  If ZERO Texans had voted for Obama, it would've changed nothing.  Texas went for John McCain.  Therefore, 38 Electoral College votes went to McCain.  None went to Obama.

If a Texan voted for John McCain in 2008, he sent a signal about his likes and dislikes, but had no impact on the election.  McCain carried Texas, but lost the Electoral College vote.   

That's what's going to happen this year.  Mitt Romney is going to carry Texas.  As best I can tell, neither Obamney campaign has spent any money here except to raise more money to spend in states that are close.  There are almost no Romney or Obama bumperstickers on Texas vehicles this year.  (I honestly think both sides are embarrassed, but I don't have a dog in their hunt....) 

Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming are the states where Romney is so far ahead that there's absolutely no chance of Obama carrying those states.  Those places are redder than my neck.  Georgia, Indiana, Missouri, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee and Texas aren't quite as lopsided, but Obama wins there would be considered a miracle. 

The states that still matter are Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, Ohio, Iowa, New Hampshire, Colorado, and Wisconsin.

So if a voter in a truly "Red" state votes for Obama, is he wasting his vote?  Well, that depends on why he's voting for Obama.  If he's a civil libertarian, he's possibly voting for the party that's supposed to be better on civil liberties, but hell, look at Obama's record.... massive drug raids, domestic spying, Patriot Act, deportations, and allowing corporations to run up massive debts on your bar tab.  He's been horrible.  IMHO, Barack Obama has been our worst president on civil liberties since Nixon. 

I don't think this hypothetical red state voter is necessarily wasting his vote in Texas.  But he is wasting his time.  Yeah, he's sending a signal, but it's a weak one.  There are better uses of his time than sending out a weak transmission that he prefers one Statist over another.  He's using a shovel instead of a bulldozer.  He's drinking from a thimble. 

If you are a Texas (or any other reddish state) civil libertarian, there's really only one way to send a strong signal that you're tired of the domestic spying, the Patriot Act, raids on medical marijuana dispensaries, kids having their lives and educational opportunities destroyed for owning trifling amounts of weed, NDAA, indefinite detention, Monsanto in the FDA, Fast And Furious, and all the rest, I hope you'll consider voting for Gary Johnson. 

Is Gary going to carry Texas?  Hell no. 

Is Obama going to carry Texas?  Hell no. 

That's not the point. 

Please stop voting for the lesser of two evils, and please stop wasting your time.  Send your signal in favor of Gary Johnson.  Hit the link to see Gary's positions on every issue that matters. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A few thoughts on the "wasted vote" argument.

1) I believe the major problem with our country is the two party system. Any vote for one of those parties therefore, in my opinion, is a wasted vote. Those voters are lying and playing into the system that is literally designed to diminish democracy.

2) I'm not ruining the election for your candidate who is a Democrat or Republican. Your parties have been ruining my candidates' chances for generations. So, if I want to vote for Gary Johnson or Jill Stein, don't tell me that I'm taking votes away from your candidate. Your candidate does everything he can to destroy my candidate's chance at even getting a fair shot. I hope I do screw up your candidate's chances, maybe that will get his attention to the things that I think are important.

3) The only wasted votes are those made in non-swing states for either two major party. If some of those "lesser of two evils" voters voted the way they wanted, then it would increase the national percentage of votes toward third parties and those parties may now get public funding and recognition. A voter in Texas is wasting a vote for either candidate, they are not wasting a vote when they case it for a third party candidate.