November 6, 2006
This election is putting most classical liberals in a bind. We don’t really want to see the continuation of the borrow-and-spend behavior of our current one-party rule, but we likewise don’t want to see the tax-and-spend-even-more behavior of the Democrats. We don’t want to see the enforced-morality of the paternal state our current one-party rule is pushing, nor do we want to see the nanny-state version of people telling us to live our lives. We want the government out of our pocketbooks and our homes. Classical liberals have divergent issues on the Iraq war, to be sure, and that adds one more major question mark.
Many of us are soul-searching as to how– or even whether– to vote next Tuesday. Do you vote for the lesser of two evils? And is the lesser of two evils continued Republican control of Congress, or is it divided government? Is it more important to hold your nose and vote against your principals as a defensive measure, or is it better to just throw up your hands and stay home, knowing that your absence at the polls only contributes to the greater of two evils getting elected?
I don’t know how each individual person’s situation works, but I have a bit of an easy out this year. There is no Senate election this year in Georgia, so nationally, the only race I have to vote for is for the House. And I live in a “safe” Republican district, so I know that my vote won’t count. So I’m staying home tomorrow. My congressman, Tom Price, seems to be a nice guy. I’ve actually met and talked to him, but he’s not receiving my vote. He’s a first-term guy, and I keep looking at the votes he’s cast and one thing is clear to me. He values loyalty to the party line over voting for freedom. This time, I can’t bring myself to hold my nose and actively vote for a continuation of the Republican party rule.
But, of course, my congressman won’t read this blog, and certainly won’t know that I didn’t vote or why I didn’t vote. That’s but one reason why voting is a very poor way to actually try to “send a message”. So I’m going to draft a letter and fax it to his office tomorrow, so he knows that he’s lost the vote of someone who would be likely to support him otherwise, and why he lost that vote. If he finds himself asking why his margin of victory isn’t as large as he had hoped, perhaps my letter will clue him in.
Remember, folks, voting (or not voting) is very unlikely to actually effect any change upon the political system. It’s only the first step. If you really want to make a change, make sure your elected official knows exactly why you voted for them, why you voted for their opponent, or why you stayed home. “Sending a message” at the ballot box is easily misinterpreted, so you need to do something to make it more clear.
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