Matt Carberry (kingpin248) wrote,
Matt Carberry
kingpin248

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The exercise of the franchise

Two months ago, in a cool dark place away from light, I wrote that I intended to cast my vote for John McCain and Sarah Palin in the upcoming Presidential election. Well, my ballot is in, but my mark went into the box for Bob Barr and Wayne Allen Root. It was quite an abrupt last minute change of heart.

Upon arriving home from nearly four weeks out to sea and a day of duty, priority number one was to take care of business at what's effectively my polling place - the New London, Connecticut post office. Before I left, I flipped on CNN, and Barr, the Libertarian candidate, was live in studio doing an interview. He parroted the normal Libertarian position, but his response to the last question caused me to take note. When asked what he'd do after the election, he said he'd go back to practicing law, writing, and staying active in politics. He went on to say that even if he didn't win, maximizing the number of votes was vitally important, because it would inject the libertarian viewpoint into the public debate. Barr followed up this point with historical evidence - sixteen years ago, Ross Perot's showing at the polls helped pave the way for the Republican Revolution two years later, even though Perot didn't carry a single state. I remembered that my mom was one of the many who voted for Perot in '92.

CNN then joined live coverage of a Sarah Palin rally in Ohio. I had it on mute most of the time, but the quotes shown across the bottom of the screen were telling. Palin was speaking about the traditional Republican ideals of government being in the way, and that we'd see more of that under an Obama administration. I shook my head and muttered, "she just doesn't get it." While she and Senator McCain might be genuinely interested in slashing and burning the Federal establishment, being for small government isn't the same as being for Constitutional government. The size of the government does need to be drastically reduced, but Republicans are just as interested in using Washington for their own ends as the Democrats. Neither side wants to return to the Constitutional limitations on Federal power envisioned by our Founding Founders.

I wasn't comfortable with either ticket, and as the days have ticked down to Election Day, I've gotten more and more uneasier with supporting the Republicans. New York is an unquestionably blue state, so my vote wouldn't be likely to affect the outcome. I was considering not voting for President at all, until I watched that half hour of television this morning. So it was that I arrived at the post office, pleased to discover that I'd been sent not one, but two absentee ballots. (One was dispatched directly to Connecticut; the other came by way of New Hampshire. Big props to the Suffolk County Board of Elections.) And I voted for Barr and Root, and for Republicans the rest of the way. As an aside, that put me flipping the U. S. House seat, and returning incumbents to both the State Senate and Assembly. I feel confident that I haven't wasted my vote, and am happy that I had the chance to cast it.
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