It’s My Vote
I began my show this past Saturday explaining that even though Rand Paul dropped out of the race, he is still on the Georgia Republican primary ballot and I’m going to vote for him. I’m also going to vote Libertarian in the general election, as always. I use my vote–my vote–to register my protest to the liberal-fascist center (a term I coined 20 years ago when I lived in the San Francisco Bay Area, though others have used similar expressions since.) Immediately upon making that statement on the air, I got these tweets…
@MonicaPerezShow your initial statements about your (protest) vote proves to me your opinion means nothing. Spew opinion then vote 4 losers
@MonicaPerezShow you realize that your protest votes & people’s protest by not voting arguably allowed Obama to get a 2nd term
Does Your Vote Count or Doesn’t It?
When Ron Paul was running for president both in 2008 and 2012, I voted for him. The reason was simple: his political views were closest to my own and his claims that he would employ them while in office were uniquely credible because they were backed up by his past behavior. The argument against voting for him proffered by many was that he couldn’t win.
It might be true that Ron Paul couldn’t win, but only because he was attacked by the establishment and blacked out by the media. In a no-media race between Paul and Romney in Virginia, Paul got 40% of the vote. Given Virginia’s proximity to DC and the clear Establishment-approval for Romney, 40% for Dr. Paul is close enough to qualify as a run for the money. In Iowa, despite widespread accusations of anti-Paul fraud, Paul earned 22% of the vote, close behind the front-runners Santorum & Romney, each of whom got 25%. Ron Paul did amazingly well against tremendous opposition forces. There were reports and evidence of fraud against Ron Paul’s vote count not only in Iowa, but also in Maine, Nevada and elsewhere, as well as allegations of widespread coercion of Ron Paul delegates. Republican politicians and pundits singled out Ron Paul as the only potential nominee who would not get their votes. I distinctly remember Dick Morris on Iowa caucus day 2012 saying, “A vote for Ron Paul is a vote for Barack Obama.”
Big Government Do-or-Die for the GOP
As it turned out, however, the votes for Romney were the votes for Obama! The Republican Establishment put up the one candidate who did not have the moral high ground in that single issue election, and it was no coincidence. According to modern Republicanism’s founding father Irving Kristol’s definitive, Neo-Conservatism: The Auto-biography of an Idea, the new Republican party would embrace a conservative welfare state which would be marked by things like mandatory health insurance and even socialized medicine:
The basic principle behind a conservative welfare state ought to be a simple one: Wherever possible, people should be allowed to keep their own money—rather than having it transferred (via taxes) to the state—on condition that they put it to certain defined uses.
It gets worse:
One wonders what would happen if all the money spent on Great Society programs had been used to institute, in however modest a way, just two universal reforms: (1) children’s allowance, as already described, and (2) some form of national health insurance? My own surmise is that the country would be in much better shape today.
The power that comes with Big Government is all they’re after…
Unless and until the Republican party is willing to overcome its book-keeping inhibitions and become a truly political party, it will be of only marginal significance which faction is in control, or which candidate it proposes.
Letting them scare us into validating their statist candidates with our votes is how the Big Government transformation of traditional conservatism continues to our dismay.
The Establishment argue that they choose so-called moderates like Romney to bring people together but that’s a lie. It’s simply Big Government do-or-die for this crowd. The truth is, Ron Paul was the one who could have been the great uniter, bringing together fiscal conservatives on the right, the war-weary from the left disillusioned by Obama, and civil libertarians across the board. It is in the American DNA to recognize the inherent justice in the compromise of the Founders: rather than use the government to serve some at the expense of others, use government to protect the rights of individuals and allow them to solve problems as they see fit. Rather than the cronyist compromise of Welfare & Warfare for All, Ron Paul offered the all-American individualist compromise of Liberty & Justice for All, and if Americans had voted their consciences (and the voting were fair and square), Ron Paul would have won.
So if “Ron Paul couldn’t win” not because he couldn’t garner enough votes but because the Establishment wouldn’t allow it whether by media manipulation or outright voter fraud, isn’t that reason enough to give up on voting “the party?” If they would never let a truly principled man-of-the-people win, then why validate their candidate with your vote?
If the Trump Phenomenon Is Real…
Paradoxically, voters this election cycle seem to have no problem reconciling the conviction that Trump could win with the claim that the Establishment is against him–a claim that in itself needs reconciling with the fact that the mainstream media gives him the equivalent of hundreds of millions of dollars of free advertising. There is obviously something funny going on here, but even if there isn’t–even if the Trump Phenomenon is what-you-see-is-what-you-get through and through–isn’t that in itself proof that an outsider can win if only the voting public had the courage of their convictions? And who can make the choice to stick to convictions? Only the individual–only the one person with his one vote.
The Saint Peter Test
That brings me to my final point. When I stress-out about what’s happening in the world and the evil perpetrated by an unaccountable power elite, my mother accuses me of a lack of faith. “God is up in his Heaven and all will unfold as it should. Why do you worry so much?” Maybe she’s right and I do have a lack of faith, but I do worry about this world and feel that we are here for a reason: to operate in this world as best we can, not to abandon it to evil by chalking it up to God’s Plan (though it may be!) Whatever meaning there is to life on Earth, I think part of it must be to do our best in the here and now, otherwise, why would we even be here? That said, however, I do have enough faith to worry about Judgment Day and whether or not my actions will pass the St. Peter Test. When it comes to voting the party line, here is specifically what I’m afraid of…
When St. Peter asks me to explain why I voted for evil, I’m not sure he’s going to fall for the answer, “Oh, you don’t understand–I voted for the lesser of two evils.” He might say, “There were others on the ballot–we always make sure there’s a good one on there, but hardly anyone ever votes for him.” “Oh,” I would have to add, “I thought it would be better to compromise my principles and try to game the system–after all, who wins is all that matters.” “You have it all wrong,” I’m afraid St. Peter might answer. “It doesn’t matter one bit who wins–the power-mongers are all evil as you know, and of course God is up in his Heaven and all will unfold as it should….Your actions are all we really care about. God has given you the ability to distinguish between right and wrong, the capacity to reason and the gift of free will. All you can do is use these tools to make your own choices. All we’re watching for is if you stick to your principles. That‘s the test. That‘s the whole reason you were there.” I just don’t want my Final Answer to have to be, “Oops.”
Every time I go down the road of whether or not to sacrifice an outcome so I can stick with my principles, I end up realizing that sticking to the principles results in the best outcome anyway. That’s why they are The Principles, because they result in The Good. If everyone voted their consciences in 2008 and 2012 instead of falling for the lesser-of-two-evils trap set by the power elite, we’d be celebrating a President Ron Paul instead of lamenting a President Obama.