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2008 Presidential Thread

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  1. 1. Who are you voting for in 2008?

    • McCain
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    • Obama
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    • Barr
      3
    • Other
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    • Not voting
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I believe there are a lot of issues on the ballot in my state this year, and I'll probably be voting against most/all of them. One is a restriction on the interest rate banks can charge for payday loan defaults. Any restriction is simply going to reduce the number of banks offering payday loans, screwing over the responsible people who want such loans and can pay them back on time. They also want to build a state-run casino. Nobody in their right mind could vote for that, but I won't be surprised if it passes.

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I believe there are a lot of issues on the ballot in my state this year, and I'll probably be voting against most/all of them. One is a restriction on the interest rate banks can charge for payday loan defaults. Any restriction is simply going to reduce the number of banks offering payday loans, screwing over the responsible people who want such loans and can pay them back on time. They also want to build a state-run casino. Nobody in their right mind could vote for that, but I won't be surprised if it passes.

1. Nobody in their right mind would vote for that.

2. Over half of those voting voted for the above.

3. Therefore, over half of those voting are not in their right minds.

Conclusion: We're in one hell of a society. :P

Edited by NickS
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There is a much bigger picture.

Exactly. Anyone waiting around for the opportunity to vote for the 'greater of two goods' is in for a lifetime of disappointment. Every election is a choice between the lesser of two evils and this one is no exception. But which is more evil? The one that rigidly adheres to a set of evil principles? Or the one that seems unprincipled, undisciplined and void of any real political ideology? I say the former.

In my mind, leaving the choice for president blank is a bad idea. A 'Non' vote is a sign of indecision, not the other way around. It will not succeed in sending any kind of message and will only serve to marginalize Objectivists more than they already are. If you want to send a message to republicans, vote libertarian. If you want to send a message of total disgust, do as someone else has mentioned, write in John Galt, or David Odden for that matter. But vote 'for' someone.

Edited by fletch
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Exactly. Anyone waiting around for the opportunity to vote for the 'greater of two goods' is in for a lifetime of disappointment. Every election is a choice between the lesser of two evils and this one is no exception. But which is more evil? The one that rigidly adheres to a set of evil principles? Or the one that seems unprincipled, undisciplined and void of any real political ideology? I say the former.

That's surely debatable. The only candidate in this race I'd call "evil" would be Chuck Baldwin. Other than that, I think everyone else still have their pros and cons. If you look at it like that, it's simply a matter of prioritizing certain values and issues, and making a mental matrix to pick which candidate's set of mixed principles and baggage is right for the job.

Like, if the economy is Issue #1 for you, you'd find out who's economic policy is the best and add that weight to each candidate accordingly. Disclaimer: I'm not saying it's right or wrong to have the economy for your number one issue, it's just an example. What issues are the most important in this race is something we can debate heavily on somewhere else.

In my mind, leaving the choice for president blank is a bad idea.

I agree. Also, this comment made me think of something. To simplify the situation into a model, let's assume we only have ten people. If nine of them didn't vote, then all ten would be at the mercy of the last one who did. That person would have the most power, because they alone would get to choice who to give our government too.

Do we really want that kind of decision to be made by a small number of people?

A 'Non' vote is a sign of indecision, not the other way around.

I agree with you here too. Indecision could be a number of things, it could be pure apathy, pure ignorance, pure confusion, or a combination of any of these things. It could mean you are blinded by anger too make a choice, or too disgusted by what's available and too exhausted to look deeper into it.

A voting machine doesn't know what these things are. A vote counter doesn't know or care why you didn't vote. You didn't say anything, so you voice is irrelevant to the decision. Back to what was said earlier, who are you sending a message too? Because whoever it is, they aren't going to be able to hear something out of nothing. Might as well send a spirited 10 page arguement on a paper with invisible ink.

Edited by Mammon
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I agree. Also, this comment made me think of something. To simplify the situation into a model, let's assume we only have ten people. If nine of them didn't vote, then all ten would be at the mercy of the last one who did. That person would have the most power, because they alone would get to choice who to give our government too.

Do we really want that kind of decision to be made by a small number of people?

If there is a one party system then there no decision being made. This election in particular is becoming more and more like a Crips vs. Bloods election, meaningless unless you are a Crip or a Blood. Neither Crips nor Bloods give a damn about individual rights when committing their crimes, and neither do McCain or Obama.

The whole point of having a gov't at all is to delegate power to only a few people. If "fewness" is a bad thing is gov't invalid? If the 10 person electorate were evenly divided then one or two people decide the election. Are close elections less valid than landslides?

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Indecision could be a number of things, it could be pure apathy, pure ignorance, pure confusion, or a combination of any of these things. It could mean you are blinded by anger too make a choice, or too disgusted by what's available and too exhausted to look deeper into it.

A voting machine doesn't know what these things are. A vote counter doesn't know or care why you didn't vote. You didn't say anything, so you voice is irrelevant to the decision. Back to what was said earlier, who are you sending a message too? Because whoever it is, they aren't going to be able to hear something out of nothing. Might as well send a spirited 10 page arguement on a paper with invisible ink.

I don't think it is that serious if you don't vote. If you live in California or New York and you vote for McCain it doesn't really matter because those states will more than likely go to Obama anyway. You are in the minority.

Edited by dadmonson
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That's surely debatable. The only candidate in this race I'd call "evil" would be Chuck Baldwin. Other than that, I think everyone else still have their pros and cons. If you look at it like that, it's simply a matter of prioritizing certain values and issues, and making a mental matrix to pick which candidate's set of mixed principles and baggage is right for the job.
An Obama victory will almost certainly include a democrat domination of congress as well. There have been three other democratic presidents in recent years whose party controlled congress by wide majorities as well: Roosevelt, LBJ, and Carter. We all know how much damage those three caused to liberty and capitalism. Even Clinton in his first two years with a democratic congress tried to jam socialized medicine down our throats. So, yeah, the idea of Obama, Reed and Pelosi running the government for the next few years is not something I can support. So I will hold my nose and vote for McCain.

Divided government seems to work best. Bush is another example. It was the democrats taking control of congress that finally forced him to change tactics in Iraq. Obama would not worry me as much if there was still republican control of congress. They might actually force him to explore for more oil, lower taxes, cut spending, and balance the budget. But total democratic control in times of economic crisis could bring the New Deal II. There would be no exploration into what brought about the economic collapse, it would be laid at the feet of the free market...again. Democrats have already laid the groundwork by pointing the finger at deregulation and greedy corporate CEO's. McCain, not bright enough to realize he is dooming himself in the process, goes right along with them.

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To paraphrase Mammon I think voting in this election is highly "irresponsible". Why sanction any form of evil?

@ Clockwork If I am correct and we are entering a depression and the government keeps responding the way it does, and especially if Obama is elected things are about to get very dark, very quick. It may soon be time to actually look for that gulch in the mountains.

If you don't like the mainstream candidates, why not vote libertarian? Why not vote for somebody else who represents your values, or at least represents them slightly more than either mainstream candidate?

Sure, your guy will never get elected, but you do send a message. You affect the numbers, and those numbers help tell mainstream parties when to change. Case in point, the libertarian party is on the radar and growing. If tons of people went out and voted libertarian, and it got 12% of the vote instead of 3%, you can bet mainstream politicians would notice they have a large group to 'mine' for votes by appealing to their issues.

Edited by Arkanin
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I previously stated that I would vote for McCain in a previous thread because I felt that Obama was the greater threat. I still believe this, however in light of recent events (the bailout ect.) I’ve decided abstained instead.

Not that my vote would have counted for much anyways, Obama will easily take Washington; damn hippies. I think Obama will win and will go on to be the worse president since FDR. I sometimes wish I were alive at a different time.

Edited by Rearden_Steel
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McCain, not bright enough to realize he is dooming himself in the process, goes right along with them.

This is what I find so very discouraging about this election. McCain could have taken a different approach on this entire economic crisis. He could have advocated free market solutions and he could have created a stark contrast between Obama's statism and freedom. Of course, McCain did none of this. Now he is going to lose the election because all he really offers is a weaker, warmed-over version of the Democrats' statism. Had McCain done what he should have, perhaps the American people still would have chosen socialism in this election. However, McCain would have done America and the entire world the service of demonstrating that we had the option of selecting a different course of action, rather than the disasterous one that is being pursued currently. That would have made the benefits of freedom apparent to all. McCain did none of this and now he has squandered the opportunity of a lifetime.

Edited by gags
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Obama stated last night that healthcare is a "right." Huh? Where is that in the constitution?

Nowhere, of course.

Given the "issues" both candidates misfire on health care, education, taxation, and the economy, in my opinion. It all boils down to continuing the sorry status quo.

McCain taxing business so he gan give individuals a tax credit for health insurance is a big crock. He won't get my vote.

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I have never voted in a Presidential election before, so I really should take that into consideration, now while I'm sitting on the sidelines, I'll read up on the local issues, vote, then sit back down.

This past weekend, my Sunday paper had a sample ballot in it. I like to go through each item, do my homework and mark how I plan to vote. Then when I get in the booth, I can just run down my list and get to work. If you don't get the paper, check your paper's website or other sources. You should be able to find a sample ballot for your area.

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I just wanted to say once again that I really like Sarah Palin despite her contradictions, I think she is a good person for the most part, and I don't think that I've ever thought about any politician (and by the way one of my uncle's used to be mayor of my home city, so that isn't an understatement). It would be nice if she was running for president. But that doesn't make up for McCain's major short-comings so I still can't vote for him in good conscience.

Personally, I really like Sarah Silverman. For those of you who don't know, she's an american comedian.

What do I like about her, and why I would love to meet her?

She's funny and clever on stage, and she seems smart and honest. Of course, I don't know her personally, so I couldn't tell you the second part for sure. She's kinda hot, too.

Why I would never vote for her? (if she ran for office-she isn't, I'm just making a point here)

She's a die hard liberal, and I dissagree with most things she stands for, as a result. (in both practice and principle)

Now, how about you check out my example above, and then tell us why you like Sarah Palin, and why you would like her to become president, by answering the same questions I did. Then we can have a conversation based on reality rather than appearance or your emotions.

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This is what I find so very discouraging about this election. McCain could have taken a different approach on this entire economic crisis. He could have advocated free market solutions and he could have created a stark contrast between Obama's statism and freedom. Of course, McCain did none of this. Now he is going to lose the election because all he really offers is a weaker, warmed-over version of the Democrats' statism. Had McCain done what he should have, perhaps the American people still would have chosen socialism in this election. However, McCain would have done America and the entire world the service of demonstrating that we had the option of selecting a different course of action, rather than the disasterous one that is being pursued currently. That would have made the benefits of freedom apparent to all. McCain did none of this and now he has squandered the opportunity of a lifetime.

Couldn't the same thing be said about Obama, Clinton, Romney, Bush etc.? They all could have, in a pure physical sense, taken the same course of action you describe. No one would've shot them for it. What would make John McCain, or the republican party, as it is in 2008, more qualified to deny their nature and go against statism than Obama and the democrats to do the same thing, and even Hillary Clinton or Giuliani (if they could still come in as an independents, I don't know if there's a time limit). Why, out of these four for instance, would you pick the one with the longest record in american politics to be your potential savior?

What is discouraging is the ease with wich mainstream republicans disposed of Ron Paul, the only person offering an alternative(for better or for worse), despite his early popularity, especially online. All they had to do was keep him off TV in key states, once the race started, and he was out. That is discouraging to anyone who is hoping for a better candidate down the line: the presidential elections are settled early, behind closed doors, and with most pressure groups dividing their contributions between the two parties lately, the few candidates made available to the public stand for exactly the same things, economically.

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I've enjoyed the reaction I've gotten from certain "bring out the vote" types when I tell them I will probably be voting "abstain" for the presidential election. Even if you tell a hardcore Obama supporter you are voting for McCain it won't upset them as much as saying that both canidates are fundamentally identical and you won't vote for either. Refusing to vote for either canidate attacks some type of premise that I havn't fully identified yet, but I think whatever it is it is important, and this reinforces my planned decision to vote "abstain".

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[...]check your paper's website or other sources. You should be able to find a sample ballot for your area.

I did just that. I found it on one of my newspaper's website. Real easy for a guy like me to get a handle on it too, being completely unfamiliar with such things. So I, too, will be making my ballot, if I'm able to determine which vote is the best move to make in my self-defense. So, if I'm going to be voting on these local election matters, but abstaining from the Presidential Election part, what do I check in that case, is there a "None of the above" option? (I wonder how one would cast what I read of what's called a protest vote? I think that's one way to) Thanks for the information, Kell.

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To be honest, I am not sure. I've never abstained. :P Ask one of the volunteers at the polling place if it's unclear or if you have questions. It could be a matter of just voting on the issues/candidates you want to, then not marking anything in the Presidential section?? And it probably varies by state or municipality, so probably best to ask at the polls.

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I have been a McCain/Palin cheerleader for the past month or so, but I am gradually coming back to the conclusion that McCain and Obama offer the same basic principles. The primary difference between them is that Obama knows that he is a socialist, but McCain thinks that he is a capitalist. As many (but the not Feds) have learned from the current economic crisis, decisions have immediate and long term consequences, often in direct opposition to each other (for instance, CRA initially helped the lower echelon earners purchase homes, but now has made home-ownership further out of reach than ever before).

The choice between Obama and McCain has near term consequences, such as, if Obama/Dems win, nationalized health care, higher taxation, higher incentivization of unemployment, an activist SCOTUS unconcerned with original intent, and probably some pretty draconian infringement of first amendment rights (if his campaign is any indicator, and it is). If McCain wins we will still see continued unprecedented gov't intervention in the markets, more welfare for the growing unemployed rolls, and a general lack of philosophical basis for governing.

Short term, a McCain presidency is IMO the lesser of the two evils. But long term, it is likely that McCain's compromising embrace of a mixed economy will lead us further down the slippery road to socialism, while Obama's naked socialism will quickly erode what's left of our economic vitality. If McCain is at the helm in 2012, his failures will be blamed on the remnants of his capitalist ideals, and more people will fall in line with the socialist mindset, especially if they are dependent on gov't at that point. If Obama reigns, and fails, as he must, there will be a clearer picture of what is really wrong in the mix of capitalism and socialism, and we may have enough of a capitalist nature left to climb our way out of the pit. Obama may then end up being the better option.

The question then is who to vote for. If you vote for Obama given the preceding rationale, you are giving him a mandate, and absolving socialism of blame (after all, you have sanctioned it). If you abstain, it can be taken as either a hatred for both candidates, or as an inability to choose your favorite. These are two diametrically opposed conclusions, so if you're trying to make a statement, don't abstain. If you vote for an alternative candidate your support could be confused with actual support for the likes of Nadir, Babar, McKinney or Keyes (didn't he already lose to Obama?).

Given all that, I believe the answer is to write in a candidate. That will send a message that none of the candidates is worthwhile. To whom does it send a message? To whomever might be willing to mount a viable third party challenge based on the principles of individual rights. But who to write in??? Ron Paul? Myself?

John Galt?

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The question then is who to vote for. If you vote for Obama given the preceding rationale, you are giving him a mandate, and absolving socialism of blame (after all, you have sanctioned it). If you abstain, it can be taken as either a hatred for both candidates, or as an inability to choose your favorite. These are two diametrically opposed conclusions, so if you're trying to make a statement, don't abstain.

Given all that, I believe the answer is to write in a candidate.

This sounds more along the lines of a protest vote, that I became interested in finding more information about. Abstention, as such, like not going to the polls, or sending in a ballot, not voting period, does, as a poster said earlier, appear that either you are not informed enough, too lazy to go out vote, refuse to vote, can't choose the best move in your self-defense, etc. So a number of conclusions can be drawn, but with a protest vote, it may become clearer which of those, I think. The electronic video screen polls are the ones I'll be using, so I don't see a way of "writing" in a candidate, but I wonder what I would be able to press on the screen, "None of the above"? or something like that. At least that shows some degree of unhappiness with the choices. Right now I think there is of some considerable difference between the actions. Abstension can be viewed as a protest vote too, but I never in my life voted until two Novembers ago, and before that I really didn't concern myself at all with elections, and was too uninformed anyways, so I thought that I'd not vote. I'm doing the same thing now, abstaining, but with different reasons, and I'd like those reasons to be able to be conveyed somehow, if possible.

So this leads me to think now, that it's a matter then of finding the best way or proper way to abstain in the upcoming election.

From the Wiki on a protest vote:

A Protest vote is a vote cast in an election to demonstrate the caster's unhappiness with the choice of candidates or refusal of the current political system.

That appeals to me, depending on what it is that you can cast. So if there is an option for the "None of the Above" I think it can be viewed as abstention but also as a form of a protest vote.

Edited by intellectualammo
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They should have a write-in function, with a touchscreen keyboard.

OK. Then when others had mentioned writing in "abstain", perhaps that's the proper way to abstain in this election, to me. So this type of action, then, also can be considered a form of a protest vote. Thank you for the information.

I just watched a video of a demonstration on voting, and it looks like there is a box you can check or rather press that says "Write-in" on it. Now I just have to find out whether writing "abstain", a fictious character, or whatnot is the proper form of a protest vote for me. I never saw the "write in" box before I think, because I voted straight D in the election two Novembers ago.

Edited by intellectualammo
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For those planning to not vote on certain races (while still going to the polls):

In most cases you can simply skip the race in question. This is certainly true on paper ballots that I've used.

However, that leaves the minor risk that someone will come along and "help" you fill out your ballot--yes, this is election fraud I am talking about. I would avoid this by using the write-in option (if available) to put in "Neither" or some such.

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They should have a write-in function, with a touchscreen keyboard.

From around the 1930s til 1991 in mexico one party won all elections (nad I mean all elections, local, state and federal). At the time you voted by crossing the logo of the party you wanted (I don't recall whether the candidate's anme was written there or not), with a separate paper ballot epr election (ie one for president, one for the senate, one for governor, etc). But there was a line at the bottom where you could vote for a write-in candidate.

Since all elections were fixed it made no pracitacl difference. As protest lots of people wrote-in Cantinflas (a very good comedic actor), or Batman, or a corporate mascot (the bear from a bread company was very popular). It made not the slightest difference.

The government dind't stop rigging elections until 1) the ruling party split and 2) the people really, really demanded it. In 1991 some opposition candidates were elected to Congress for the first time.

But America is different. If you could get a lot of people to vote in the local polls but cast an invalid or blank vote for president, then you might get noticed.

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