Since I commute a reasonable distance to/from work, I took advantage of early voting on Saturday. I waited in line approximately 75 minutes, which was very close to my limit, given the choices before me. It helped that the sun filled the evening sky and the temperature hadn’t dropped. I had one point of indecision going in, although I had a strong inclination how I planned to vote. Without further buildup:
President: Bob Barr (Libertarian)
Senate: William Redpath (Libertarian)
House: Myself (libertarian)
I realized several years ago that I could never vote for Sen. McCain. I voted for him in the 2000 Republican primary, a vote I stand behind because I think President John McCain circa 2000 would’ve been better than President George W. Bush. I even advocated for a Kerry/McCain ticket in 2004. (I no longer stand behind that opinion.) But I’ve lost all respect for John McCain because I’ve finally seen the politician rather than the marketing campaign. Acknowledging his military career and sacrifice does not require me to assume those equal competent civilian leadership skills. So, he was never under consideration.
I considered Sen. Obama after initially rejecting any possibility of that. I might’ve been able to cast a vote for him if he hadn’t shifted from bad economics to insane economics as he sought to wrap up the nomination. Maybe he’ll cast that idiocy aside. I’m not confident of that.
In recent months I considered voting for Sen. Obama as a vote against the probable Supreme Court nominations from a President McCain. With the choice of Gov. Palin as his running mate, McCain forfeited any benefit of the doubt about his calm, reasoned approach to judicial nominations. As the polls suggested the race was still close, I thought I might have to vote Obama against my preference.
In finally deciding, I disregarded any consideration of polls, although I’m aware of them. Sen. Obama’s recent pandering on all matters of the economy made a vote for him impossible. I fear he actually believes the insanity he’s spewing. Civil liberties matter, but economic liberties matter, too. I can’t endorse a race from one brink to another.
My vote for Barr does not imply that I support him. Okay, so it does imply that. I considered that and decided the benefit offset that problem.
I do not think Barr is a libertarian. After reading this reason interview with Barr, I’m convinced he’s learned the language. I perceived his answers to be forced. He knows what to say and when, but he doesn’t necessarily believe them. Maybe that his personality interfering. Maybe he is a libertarian. It doesn’t matter because he won’t win. I voted to signal “libertarian” and to encourage continued ballot access. (The matching funds, I could do without.)
For Senate I couldn’t endorse former Gov. Jim Gilmore. He’s a rabid social conservative. Also, as evidenced by his nonsensical “abolition” of property taxes on automobiles, he has no sense of responsible or limited government. If I care about reducing taxation, I’m not fooled that you shift taxation from counties to the state.
I couldn’t vote for former Gov. Mark Warner, either. Either he’s pandering in matching Democratic nonsense on economics or he really believes his policy proposals. I find the latter hard to believe since he built a large business. Regardless, I don’t want to find out. And I’m not voting to increase the Democratic majority in the Senate.
When I began researching this year’s election, I realized Virginia had a Libertarian running for the Senate. I expected to be disappointed and perhaps embarrassed. (Think Michael Badnarik.) Then I read through William Redpath’s campaign site. Anyone who repeatedly references the Cato Institute probably has the right idea. Redpath has no chance of winning, of course, so it’s a no-risk vote in that sense. But anyone willing to push for the Flat Tax and not wrap it around social conservatism (i.e. Steve Forbes) receives the benefit of the doubt. I made this choice readily.
For the House (Virginia’s 11th District) the same logic applies for the Democrat (Gerry Connolly) and Republican (Keith Fimian), although the only third party candidate represented the Independent Green party. No thanks to that. Here I almost voted Republican to push for an offset of Democratic gains. But Mr. Fimian’s campaign site offered only the vaguest rhetoric, with no actual governing principles. Since even a useless blowhard like outgoing Rep. Tom Davis could hold the 11th District for more than a decade, I decided against a vote for any future incumbent¹. So I voted for myself as a write-in candidate. Keep your fingers crossed on my chances.
There are no ballot initiatives or bonds to vote on this year, so that’s it. I would’ve voted “no” to any bonds or taxes, “no” to any further theft of rights, and “yes” to any further protection or expansion of rights.
¹ If I should win the 11th District, this logic does not apply to future incumbents. Naturally.