Here in the Real World, It's Not That Easy At All

I don't exactly disagree with this bumper sticker (click to embiggen or order):

[Voting]

… after all, I'm a sorta-libertarian, like to think I live in the real world, and a registered Republican. Nevertheless, I'd stick a lot of explanatory notes at the bottom:

  • There are pretty good reasons for libertarians to not vote at all. As P.J. O'Rourke puts it, right in the title of his latest book: Don't Vote: It Just Encourages the Bastards. A longer winded argument is put forth in an essay by fellow Granite Stater Jim Davies: Five Reasons Not to Vote. My favorite:
    My third reason for not voting is that, relatively, it's dangerous--because the chance that one vote out of the 84 million cast will affect the outcome is much lower than the probability of being accidentally killed en route to the polling place. We all take risks every day, of course; but if you hold life precious, make sure to spend all your moments doing something worth while.
    If you don't find that reason persuasive, maybe you'll be grabbed by one of the others.

  • But if you're (like me) unconvinced by O'Rourke/Davies, what then?

  • In fact, I usually vote Republican. But I just couldn't hold my nose long and hard enough to vote for John McCain in 2008. Instead, I went with the big-L Libertarian, Bob Barr. Was this a temporary departure from the Real World?

    I don't think so. The official results here in New Hampshire were:

    TicketVotes%
    Obama/Biden 384,826 54.126897
    McCain/Palin 316,534 44.521428
    Nader/Gonzalez 3,503 0.492707
    Barr/Root 2,217 0.311828
    Phillies/Bennett 5310.074687
    Write-Ins 3,359 0.472453

    Had I managed to vote for McCain, the results would have been:

    TicketVotes%
    Obama/Biden 384,826 54.126897
    McCain/Palin 316,535 44.521569
    Nader/Gonzalez 3,503 0.492707
    Barr/Root 2,216 0.311687
    Phillies/Bennett 5310.074687
    Write-Ins 3,359 0.472453

    Call me nuts, but I don't see any reason for anyone to prefer the latter table to the former. Least of all me. Maybe if I were living in the "Real World", I would get some psychic jollies for voting for the guy who came in second, as opposed to the guy who came in fourth? Sorry, I don't see that happening.

    Like Instapundit, I would vote for a syphilitic camel over Barack Obama in 2012, but even in the real world, the camel doesn't need to be Republican. And, ideally, shouldn't have supported anything that rhymes with "Schomneycare" or "McBain-Rheingold".

(This post's title comes from Mr. Alan Jackson.)


Last Modified 2014-12-01 2:29 PM EST