Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Power Of "The Lesser of Two Evils"...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
-vs- Tyranny

"Voting for the lesser of two evils" amounts to compromising ones principles and values and ultimately rationalizing so that one can feel good about voting for a "littler" evil. Considering that "voting for the lesser of two evils" is still voting for "evil" does it make any logical sense to make that decision when there exits a different choice? One that could very well prove themselves worthy of America's trust, a person of integrity with a proven track record, a person with a vision of liberty and choice for all Americans.

Libertarian Party candidate for President Gary Johnson is just such a man. Yet because of faith in our corrupt and broken two party system a huge share of our electorate chooses to ignore a very viab;le alternative or simply remains ignorant of  of its existence. It has been said the definition of insanity is to continue to do the same thing over and over while expecting different results. It seems to me that pretty much describes American politics and the current state of our union points it our quite glaringly.

Many will say that a vote for Gary Johnson is a vote for Obama. That voting for Gary is throwing your vote away. I've even been told that voting for Gary is insuring a Obama win and thus endangering the future of my children and grandchildren. To which I reply; a vote for Romney isn't? The inevitable outcome of either a vote for Obama or Romney. Such is the value of a "vote for the lesser of two evils."

This morning I received an email from C. Jeffery Small with a link to his site, Small Thoughts for a Complex World™ . His article is scheduled to be published in Septembers issue of the Liberty's Torch and is another another informed and powerful statement on the election of 2012. What is at stake. The challenges Romney must meet and overcome if he expects to win.

It's Romney's Job to Win Over the Johnson Voters

In most presidential elections within memory, there seems to always be a sizable portion of the public voting against one candidate rather than voting for the other one. Or to put it in different terms, many people continue to find themselves in the unenviable position of having to choose between the "lesser of two evils." Occasionally, a viable third-party candidate gains traction as an alternative to what is seen as the status quo being offered by the Republicans and Democrats. This happened in 1992 with the independent candidacy of Ross Perot, and this year we are seeing signs of growing support for the Libertarian party candidate, Gary Johnson.

Without a doubt, this is a critical presidential election. After suffering four years under Obama's administration, many people have come to the conclusion that he must be replaced at any cost, even if it means voting for the lesser of two evils and supporting a suboptimal candidate such as Mitt Romney. Other people, taking a longer range view, are choosing to support Johnson who most closely represents their values and principles, understanding that his chances of winning this fall are slim, but hoping that a significant showing in this election will produce a more favorable crop of candidates next time around and ultimately lead to a better future. Those who believe that Romney's election is of paramount importance are fearful that a majority of Johnson voters will come from people who would otherwise vote Republican, possibly swinging the election in Obama's favor. One such person commented that should Obama win, it would be Johnson's loony supporters who will be to blame.

I don't have a strong quarrel with how people choose to vote in this election. As is the case every four years, this country is in an unholy mess and the state of political leadership is disgraceful, so making a serious choice as to how to vote requires a strategy and calculation that can be complicated for intelligent, thinking people. However, one thing should be made clear. If Romney fails to convince enough people to vote for him and defeat Obama, then the responsibility will rest squarely on his shoulders. It will be Romney's inconsistencies, waffling, record of past actions and his inability to adequately sell his current soft and unfocused message that will be at fault.

If Romney and the Republican Party cannot convince a large segment of smart, informed voters that it is in their best interest to cast their ballot for him rather than for Obama or for a third party candidate who has almost no chance of winning, then it is really disingenuous for anyone to try and shift that blame from him onto those alternate voters who are pursuing what they believe is their best available option.

In truth, it would be a fairly easy matter for the Republican Party to convert a great many of the Ron Paul, Johnson and independent Obama supporters into Romney voters. All they would need to do would be to adopt some of the policies and positions that this voting block heavily favors. But instead of considering that, the GOP continues to kick this constituency in the teeth as it has recently done by forcing the exclusion of Ron Paul from a convention vote through procedural tricks, and by adopting an extreme abortion position that is impossible for liberty-respecting people to swallow.

If the GOP wants the independent and libertarian-leaning voters to come into its tent, then they have to actually demonstrate that they support individual rights, free markets and personal liberty, through action as well as words. However, not only do they fail that, they demonstrate repeatedly that they support the exact opposite! Look no further to see why there is a growing shift towards a third party. Johnson is an ineffective campaigner. It is not so much his performance that is drawing voters his way, but the GOP itself that is pushing them, with great force, in his direction. I suspect that this recent convention tactic will further swell Johnson's ranks with disaffected Paul backers.

Everyone in the Republican, Libertarian and Independent camps agree that Obama must go. There is no need to push that message. Obama's every action automatically does it for us, and people not long ago convinced of this are a lost cause. But for those of you who have decided that the only serious path forward is to elect Romney, I would respectfully suggest that you should stop attacking individuals who are leaning towards supporting Johnson. These people have good reasons for their choice. Rather, you should be directing all of your focused energy and anger towards Romney and the Republican Party, demanding that they abandon their quest to impose their own personal vision of morality on everyone else, and instead adopt a program that truly embraces individual autonomy, personal responsibility, stands for the equal rights of all citizens, and supports a strict application of the principles that form the bedrock of our Constitution. This is the pathway towards naturally expanding the Republican base and defusing any harm that a third party might represent.

It is not looney for people to follow their conscience and stand up for their principles. What's looney is an organization like the GOP that expects to receive support from those that it overtly despises and attacks, and then whines when it fails to achieve the results it wishes.

C. Jeffery Small
August 25, 2012


I can't say there is much if anything Mittens can do that might change my position, but perhaps the article will strengthen the resolve of folks in the liberty movement and increase the strength that is growing in the liberty movement and the Libertarian Party.


  1. You're taking the "Evil" in "lesser of two evils" literally.

    Neither Barack Obama nor Mitt Romney are evil. It's a saying, and it's politics.

    We are all human and therefor fallible, so given the Founders' characterization of government as a necessary evil, all elections are a choice between the lesser of evils, and that includes Gary Johnson or any other human being.

    1. Of course you're right Silver, and I know and understand this fully well.

      So I shall put it this way... The decision to vote for a candidate whose principles and values, as well as the candidate's party platform most closely aligns with ones own is a valid rational decision.

      I'll leave it at that.

  2. It's not rational to think all others are irrational because they support some one you do not.

    1. Never said it was, if based on a rational thought process grounded in a valid rational analysis of the circumstances of the present situation. Your inference I do not understand this is what is irrational.

  3. I poll for Johnson, but who gets my vote in November will be a matter of does it remove Obama from office. I will not risk this country suffering under his presidency for another four years regardless. I love to see a strong showing for Johnson and I fully support his efforts, but in that booth it will be removal of Obama that is of utmost importance. Lesser of two evils maybe, but it will not be the greater of two evils ever.


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