Never A Wasted Vote
Constitution Party candidate Chuck Baldwin recently published an article entitled "A Wasted Vote," in which he expounds the virtue of voting on uncompromised principles, viz. voting for Chuck Baldwin, as opposed to casting one's vote for what Chuck calls "the evil of two lessers."
Here, I would like to offer an addendum to Mr. Baldwin's points; I have a couple of observations of my own with regard to the old "wasted vote" argument I often hear when I make it clear to well-meaning McCain and Obama supporters that I do not intend to participate in perpetuating the American two-party duopoly this November:
1. In the grand scheme of things, in a national election, one's vote is insignificant. That's right, your vote is insignificant. The notion that a single individual's vote might sway a presidential election one way or another is completely out of touch with reality. In reality, an individual's vote has virtually no say over who gets elected president. With that in mind, on an individual basis, why would one not vote for a candidate one actually wants to be president, as opposed to a candidate one imagines has close to a 50% chance of winning and who kinda sorta represents one's ideals, or who is perhaps a little better than "the other guy"?
2. Voting for a losing candidate has ramifications beyond the immediate outcome of an election. In other words, winning isn't everything. Granted, as per the above point, the impact your vote will have is an infinitesimally small one, but nonetheless it will have an infinitesimally small impact. The support third-party candidates receive is duly noted by the Democrats and Republicans. Votes garnered by "far left," third-party candidates--Ralph Nader, for example--are incentives for the Democrats to "move left" in an attempt to obtain those votes the next election cycle. Likewise, votes garnered by "far right," third-party candidates--Chuck Baldwin, for example--are incentives for the Republicans to "move right" in an effort to secure those votes. On the opposite side of the coin, if you cast your vote for an establishment candidate, you are essentially assenting to the status quo via the voting booth. You are sending a message to the Democrats or Republicans that you accept the candidate, however lukewarm or otherwise terrible, that they have presented to you this election cycle, and that you will complacently vote for more like him or her in the future.