I am planning on voting for Bob Barr, the libertarian candidate, in the upcoming Presidential election. I am not crazy about Bob Barr the candidate, but I must say I love the platform.
Voting for Bob Barr, at least in my case, is making a statement. I do not like Barack Obama's ideas and viewpoints, as he is very liberal. But I also do not like Jon McCain's viewpoints (See post below). What do some/most voters do when they do not like either candidate? They either decide they are not going to vote or they vote for the "lesser of the two evils."
First, allow me to adress the second option, and why I think this is a horrible mentality that must change. People will tell you that third party candidates simply "take away votes from this or that candidate." That argument will come up every presidential election, but is essential that this advice be ignored. Here is a personal example: A few months ago I said I will vote for Ron Paul instead of Jon McCain. In response to this comment, someone said to me that "this is not the year to make a statement" and that it is a "pure numbers game" and "a vote for anyone other than Jon McCain is a vote for Obama." When it gets down to it, how silly is this argument! My vote was never FOR Jon McCain, and it definetely is not a vote for Barack Obama! My vote is not intended for Jon McCain, someone who does not believe the same things as I do, and is certainly not conservative. My vote is not for him, so it is hard for me to believe these candidates are "taking away" votes from McCain. Why is McCain entitled to my vote? It is important to note that our political system will not change if people who are not happy with a candidate and STILL chooses to vote for them. The precedent they are setting is one of indifference to those individuals opinions, as politicians and parties will figure they have your vote no matter what because the only other alternative is a more conservative/liberal candidate. Do not let someone tell you a vote for a third party candidate is a wasted vote; it has more value than you know.
I really do think that everyone should vote. It is an extremely powerful right that is given to us. A vote is your voice, and if you are not happy with how things are going in politics, it is even more important that you do vote. If you do not like either of the mainstream candidates, i urge you to look at the third party candidates. You do not have to agree with all their views, as this will rarely happen as I'm sure you have seen. But please, above all, vote.
Now I would like to go over a few of Bob Barr's Positions:
He respects the constitution.
He wants to drastically cut government spending. The USA now has over a 9 trillion dollar debt. The budget is not balanced, and the national debt continues to increase daily.
He is pro-privacy: he wants unlawful government intrusion to end. He obviously opposes the national ID card.
He is against the Iraq war and views the invasion and occupation of Iraq as two huge mistakes. Hundreds of billions of dollars and thousands of American (and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives) have been lost in Iraq.
Is pro-property rights; does not believe the government should be able to confiscate private property and sees it as a serious attack on individual liberty.
Tax Reform beginning with immediately lowering government spending.
Foreign Intervention: America has hundreds of thousands of troops deployed overseas with over 700 permanent military bases. Bob Barr wants to bring the troops home and end this foreign intervention that makes us financially worse-off as well as makes America less safe.
For more information check out his campaign page http://www.bobbarr2008.com
To sum it up, vote! And do not let anyone tell you a vote for a third party candidate is a "wasted" vote.