How I Vote, 2016 Edition


In 2004, I wrote a post about picking the lesser of two evils, wherein I articulated some support for Libertarian Party Presidential candidate Michael Badnarik. I still like this quote from an interview he did (though I can’t find the original reference):

“If you vote for the lesser of two evils, and your candidate wins, you still get evil. If you don’t vote for liberty, you will never get it.”

Another analogy Badnarik used in a television interview was something like the following. Suppose you were in prison and you could vote for your fate. Given the following odds:

  • Death by Electric Chair — 50%
  • Death by Lethal Injection — 45%
  • Freedom — 5%

Which would you vote for? Would you vote for Electric Chair because it was the most likely? Hell no, you’d vote for Freedom, even if it has a less likely chance of winning.

This analogy seems all the more appropriate today as my fellow Americans and I are poised to make a choice between two candidates widely viewed as bad for our country: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

Meanwhile, I also found a post from November 2006 I had written called “How I Vote.” While some of the references I made in that post aren’t relevant anymore (and I thus remove it), I’m including the general logic I’ve been following since. It basically goes like this:

  1. If there’s a Libertarian running, unless there’s something in their voter statement that turns me off, I vote for them. This is because the Libertarian platform generally appeals to me and a third, strong political party can only benefit this country.

  2. If there’s an incumbent running, vote against the incumbent. I tend to think politicians should be changed often, just like diapers, and for exactly the same reason.

  3. If there’s still a choice left, then I’ll do the research. Because I always vote absentee, it’s really easy to do that research. Note that in Washington State, absentee is the only way you can vote except during Presidential elections.

If I follow my own logic:

  1. The Libertarian ticket for President is Gary Johnson and Bill Weld. Looks good so far, but I’m reserving judgement for now.

  2. The one thing the last several years has taught me is that there is no real difference between Republicans and Democrats except for the special interests they pander to. As a result, I consider candidates from both parties to be incumbents and not worth voting for.

  3. If it turns out that my conscience doesn’t align with Gary Johnson and Bill Weld, then I’ll vote for someone else that does.

You might say I am “throwing my vote away” by choosing to vote for someone who isn’t a Republican or Democrat. Personally, I want my vote to have more of an impact. And I prefer voting for Liberty versus the lesser of two evils.


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