November 01, 2012
Romney is right to condemn the $5 trillion increase in the federal government’s debt during the Obama administration, but he’s curiously silent on his running mate’s voting record: Rep. Paul Ryan, the Republican candidate for vice president, voted to authorize the debt increases sought during the Bush and Obama years.
The case for Romney would also be far more appealing to libertarians and others who fear the size and scope of the federal government if he were not such a clone of George W. Bush on foreign policy. Hasn’t he learned that the hundreds of thousands of lives lost and the $2 trillion the federal government borrowed and spent on war and nation building in Iraq and Afghanistan have not made a single American one iota more free or safer?
Now back to voting. Can one morally vote for the lesser of two evils? In a word, no. A basic principle of Judeo-Christian teaching and of the natural law to which the country was married by the Declaration of Independence is that one may not knowingly do evil that good may come of it. So, what should a libertarian do?
If you recognize as I do that the Bush and Obama years have been horrendous for personal freedom, for the soundness of money and for fidelity to the Constitution, you can vote for former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson. He is on the ballot in 48 states. He is a principled libertarian on civil liberties, on money, on war and on fidelity to the Constitution. But he is not going to be elected.
So, is a vote for Johnson or no vote at all wasted? I reject the idea that a principled vote is wasted. Your vote is yours, and so long as your vote is consistent with your conscience, it is impossible to waste your vote.
On the other hand, even a small step toward the free market and away from the Obama years of central economic planning would be at least a small improvement for every American’s freedom. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. That is Romney’s best argument. I suspect it will carry the day next Tuesday.