To my Libertarian and Constitutionalist friends and readers I say – don’t delude yourselves – a vote for Virgil Goode or Gary Johnson IS a vote to re-elect Barack Obama, and a vote to give his destructive policies four more years to corrode the soul of this country.
Yesterday, I predicted that if we conservatives worked like our candidates were three points behind, and got every voter who wants to fire Obama to the polls on Election Day, Mitt Romney and the Republicans would win, and win big. (If you missed it you may read yesterday’s column here)
The response I received to my optimism about the results of the election was positive, but a certain percentage of people read the column and said something along the lines of, “The Republicans have let me down too many times, I’m going to vote for former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, even if it means re-electing Obama.”
Vote for Gary Johnson, even if that means handing the election to Barack Obama and leaving control of the Senate to the Democrats?
As the old Louis Armstrong song put it, “That's what the man said.”
Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson and his partisans have even resorted to making “wasting” their vote a rallying cry for the final weeks of the campaign, with Johnson recently saying, “I’m asking everybody here, I’m asking everybody watching this nationwide to waste your vote on me.”
Could Gary Johnson or Constitutional Party candidate Virgil Goode throw the election to Obama?
Consider these facts and then judge for yourself.
In the key swing state of Virginia, former Congressman Virgil Goode, whose popularity in rural Virginia led him to victory running as a conservative Democrat, an Independent and as a Republican, has qualified to be on the ballot as the Constitution Party’s candidate in 29 states. Goode is currently pulling enough votes in Virginia to cause some commentators to speculate he will tip the election Obama's way.
Former Republican Gary Johnson has become the Libertarian Party candidate, despite running in the Republican primary elections and demanding to be included in the televised Republican primary debates.
Johnson will be on the ballot as a Libertarian in at least 47 states, plus the District of Columbia.
In states like Missouri, Indiana and Arizona, where there are close Senate races, Libertarian candidates are pulling votes from solid conservative candidates, like Todd Akin, Richard Mourdock and Jeff Flake, who are locked in races that could determine control of the U.S. Senate.
This is not really a new phenomenon – it has been going on since the 1950s when William F. Buckley, Jr. began arguing that conservatives should take over the Republican Party and others, such as author Ayn Rand, argued for a separate movement.
The good news is that the “Buckley generation” and its inheritors have pushed the GOP, with a few stutters along the way, steadily to the right. Conservatism is now where all the energy is in the Republican Party.
Conservatives have more reason now to be optimistic than they have had in the past 50 years. The rise of the Tea Party, the election of small government constitutional conservative office holders, such as Senators Rand Paul and Mike Lee, and presumably Ted Cruz, mean our agenda will have a new generation of effective and attractive advocates on the national stage, and most importantly, in Congress where they can actually legislate on that agenda.
The bad news is that many libertarians pride themselves on being destroyers, and when they lose a primary or otherwise don’t get their way, rather than cinching-up their belts and selling themselves and their ideas harder, they try to “teach” Republicans a lesson by causing them to lose.
This is a bad way to sell your ideas in the best of times, it is dangerous to the future of the country this election. Four more years of President Obama will take generations to undo – if the economic damage and institutionalization of a culture of dependency can be undone at all.
If you are a freedom-lover and a constitutionalist, don’t waste your vote on Gary Johnson or Virgil Goode. Join the movement to beat Obama, and however grudgingly, cast your vote for Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, and the Republican candidates for Senate and Congress. There will be plenty of opportunities to advance the cause of constitutional government when Obama is gone, but very few if he stays.