Voting By The Numbers
I've been having an ongoing verbal argument with a friend for several years about voting. He thinks that not voting or voting for a third party candidate (i.e. NOT a Republican) is the same as voting for the Democrat. I realize it's not election season but we were talking about this again the other day and I finally had to put it all down in writing. Thanks to Vox for providing the math lesson on this one, I've adapted his examples.
Submitted for your amusement, here is the email I sent to my friend:
I just wanted to clear this up, we've talked about it off and on for a long time but I wanted this in print so you can see it.
Candidate A is a Democrat
Candidate B is a Republican
Candidate C is a third party candidate.
Candidate A has 99 votes
Candidate B has 99 votes.
The next voter votes for Candidate C.
How many votes does Candidate A have?
Let's put it this another way:
I live in a small town with 101 people.
50 people vote for the Democrat
50 people vote for the Republican
I decline to vote. Who wins? Did I vote for the Democrat by not voting as you contend? Please explain.
Same small town scenario with 100 people.
50 people vote Democrat
49 people vote Republican
I decline to vote or write in some other candidate. The Dem wins but did I vote for the Democrat by not voting? Please explain.
Not voting for one party is not a vote for another party. The math doesn't work that way. If I find the Candidate A and Candidate B both so abhorrent that I cannot ENDORSE, VOTE, SUPPORT, GET BEHIND, CHOOSE, SUGGEST, or RECOMMEND how is not voting for either of those choices a vote for the person who is furthest from my views? It does not give them an extra vote as the examples above demonstrate. Not voting for someone means not voting for someone. Why is this so hard to understand? You're supposed to be much better at math than me, remember?
When you VOTE for someone, you are making a pronouncement that you want that person representing you. I didn't want McCain or Obama representing me. I didn't want Schwarzenegger or Bustamante representing me either. I knew one of them was going to win but it's absolutely impossible that by NOT voting for McCain and Schwarzenegger that I voted for Obama and Bustamante. They received NO extra votes because they didn't get mine. 1+1= 2. By your logic, 1+0 =2 because if the Republican didn't get that extra vote, then my non-vote goes to the Democrat which would be 1+0=2.
I got so tired of hearing... "But a third party person won't win!" Ron Paul is a Republican. Tom McClintock is a Republican. They aren't third party candidates. What bothers me most is the people saying that people like McClintock and Paul are spoilers when really, they are the ones upholding the ideals of liberty and conservative government. You voted for McCain and you voted for Schwarzenegger TWICE! You voted for that NON Republican TWICE! That means you gave your consent to be governed by a non-Republican, gay marriage, pro abortion, anti-gun, big government supporter who just so happens to have aligned himself with the Republican party just because he's a member of the Republican party. It can almost be excused that you voted for him the first time, but the state was already in chaos when you voted for him the second time yet you SUPPORTED him again knowing he was doing further damage to this state. Why would you do that?
Why would you vote for McCain who admitted he doesn't even really understand economics to represent you as the leader of the country in a time of economic trouble? Sure, he could surround himself with advisors who know economics, but how would he choose them if he doesn't understand it enough to begin with. He voted for the bailout. I don't care if he regretted it later, he voted for it as a United States Senator. SHAME ON HIM. Had I been supporting him up to that point, I would have withdrawn my support right there because it's clear he doesn't understand economics OR the Constitution of the United States of America which he is already sworn to uphold. Clearly he's a failure at his sworn duty, why would you vote for him for president? Because Obama is worse? How much worse and in what way? No doubt Obama is out to destroy this country but he didn't get my vote. I didn't support him. I didn't walk in to a voting booth and cast a ballot in favor of him. In the California and Federal elections, I voted for the person who I could actually support the policies of. I voted my principles. I voted my conscience. I voted for what I believed was right. Furthermore, both Ron Paul and Tom McClintock are committed, demonstrable Christians. Schwarzenegger clearly is no such thing and McCain seems to take a stab at it but I haven't seen much evidence of a deep, abiding faith.
You continually tell me I'm STUPID for voting the way I do yet I was right about Schwarzeneggar and I know I would have been right about McCain. The things Ron Paul was saying in the primaries are now coming to pass but no one wanted to listen to him because they didn't want to believe him. They wanted to (as you always say) BELIEVE THE BIGGER LIE. That's what you did by voting for McCain and Schwarzenegger (twice). You believed the bigger lie that somehow they could turn things around. Our governor has certainly made things worse.
I haven't even talked about you voting for George Bush twice. He was never a conservative. He hardly ever did one thing in office that is in line with conservative values. He could have done a lot more against abortion than he did. He could have used the bull pulpit. He could have done more for gun rights (he supported a continuation of the "assault weapons ban") and he approved budgets that were the largest non-military domestic expenditures this country has ever seen! Other than his initial reaction to 9/11, I can't say there are too many things that Bush did that I ever agreed with. I voted for him the first time; that was my mistake. I did not vote for him the second time. I saw my error.
In short, I cannot and will not give my support through voting to people who are bent on destroying this country through bad economic policy and stripping away our liberties by interfering more and more in our lives every day, growing government to outrageous levels and making us and future generations pay for it by continually loading us with more and more debt. If you want to continue to think that my lack of support for Republican candidates who do those things is a vote for the Democrats who do it more then there is nothing I can do to prevent that, but whatever you decide to think, it would be dishonest of you to continue to say that I really haven't thought it through and I don't know what I'm talking about. You can continue to disagree with me on this subject but you aren't going to change my mind, you can't change the rules of math and you can't change the fact that both parties are running us down the road to destruction.