Monday, 8 December 2003

My vote in 2004

Why bother going through the whole pretense of a campaign? I already know how I’m going to vote in 2004, more or less.

Assuming Howard Dean, Dennis Kucinich, Carol Moseley-Braun, or Al Sharpton is the Democratic nominee:

  • If I’m living somewhere my vote has even a marginal chance of being pivotal: George W. Bush (but only after drinking myself into a stupor).
  • If I’m not: whoever the Libertarians put up.


  • Whoever the Libertarians put up. I’m sitting it out if it’s a race between two statist ninnies who at least aren’t going to get us nuked. (Yes, whoever the Libs put up probably would get us nuked. But this is a protest vote. Plus, I won’t have any moral guilt if the guy who wins actually does, in John “F” Kerry’s immortal phrase, “fuck things up.“)

In other words, I will only vote strategically if, as seems likely, the lunatic fringe captures the Democratic nomination. I generally prefer my lunatics to be the warmongering types who strike the fear of God into terrorists and their sympathizers, rather than the touchy-feely types who inexplicably made it through med school (which reminds me—I just busted my ass for five years to get to be called “doctor.” $20 says Dean didn’t write a fucking paragraph to get his M.D., yet the damn AP will call him “doctor” but me—nu-huh. Wassup with that?).

How I plan to vote in subsequent races:

  • 2008: Condi.
  • 2012: Condi.
  • 2016: Ah-nold.
  • 2020: Ah-nold.
  • 2024: Chelsea.

Now I can retire from blogging! Woo-hoo! Peace out. Now excuse me while I watch Ron Moore’s Battlestar Galactica.

I’m kidding, I think.

Thursday, 8 July 2004

The benefits of not being pivotal

My advice to Dan Drezner: move to Mississippi (or Utah or Massachusetts), where your vote won’t matter anyway. (Of course, the cynic might say that the likely prospect of massive voting fraud in Chicago makes Dan’s vote not much more likely to make a difference.)

Having said that, casting even a meaningless directional vote for Michael Badnarik is going to be tough, for reasons explained by Jacob Levy* (via Will Baude), even though—if push comes to shove—I’m slightly more inclined to write in “Stephen Harper” (q.v.) or “Condi Rice” than vote for either Bush or Kerry in the event I don’t vote for Badnarik.

* Badnarik gives me the same “he’s going to get us all killed” feeling that Howard Dean did, discounted somewhat by the factor that at least Badnarik isn’t a few thousand Iowa caucus votes shy of having a decent shot at the White House.

Tuesday, 19 October 2004

Moving in mysterious ways

Steven Taylor writes:

[I]t is a mystery to me as well as to how any voter could be undecided at this juncture.

I think there are essentially two classes of undecided voters: the uninformed undecideds, who (more likely than not) will probably stay away from the polls in the end, unless some element of the political zeitgeist manages to work its way into the cerebellum; and the informed undecideds (probably a smaller category), who are essentially ambivalent between the choices on offer in this presidential election, but who will probably vote nonetheless.

Ironically, even though I know with almost absolute certainty my vote isn’t going to be pivotal in this election, I’m still vacillating between three options:

  • Voting for Bush, because (a) I don’t want to spend the next four years hearing Democrats whine about Bush not winning the popular vote again and (b) despite his screw-ups, he’s the only serious candidate dedicated to sticking it out in Iraq.
  • Voting for Kerry, because (a) Bush deserves to be punished for his screw-ups, (b) gridlock might lead to more fiscal discipline and none of Kerry’s promises being enacted into law, and (c) my current colleagues probably expect me to vote for him, and I need all the help I can get when it comes to landing the tenure-track job here.
  • Voting for Badnarik, because even though he’s a complete and total lunatic and completely wrong on Iraq, it would send a (marginal) directional message to both parties that they can’t take libertarian votes for granted.

There’s more on this theme from the lovely and talented Jane Galt.

Update: Additional thoughts (on Badnarik, at least) abound from Will Baude and Will Wilkinson, both quasi-inspired by Matt Yglesias, while Carina of An Inclination to Criticize supports the “honking bozo” Badnarik.

I previously posted on this theme ten months ago, and that post has much to recommend it… even if I did not quite predict John Kerry’s descent into Deanesque moonbattery at the time.