I'll just come right out with it: I voted for the Libertarian presidential candidate, Gary Johnson (or more specifically for his 11 electors). Now, you can go ahead and say it. Rob, you threw your vote away or my vote for Johnson is really a vote for President Barack Obama.
Here's the deal: Gov. Mitt Romney will win the state of Arizona and with it the 11 electoral votes. Real Clear Politics gives Romney a five-point advantage over President Barack Obama in Arizona.
Nate Silver's 538 blog gives Romney a 97 percent chance of winning the state. So, my vote for Johnson has no bearing on the outcome of who will become the next president.
But, there's more to my decision than that. I've decided to vote for my principles, not a party. And no matter what you might say, that's never a throw-away vote. Reason magazine's David Boaz said:
‘… I am generally guided by the fact that in 40 years of voting I've never encountered an election in which my vote would have made the difference, and by the principle that it's better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.'
I've voted on and off since I was 18 years old in 1996. That year I voted for Bill Clinton. I sat out the 2000 election, voted for George W. Bush in 2004 and John McCain in 2008.
I've regretted all those votes and honestly, I'm tired of regretting my votes. I've voted Republican with the hopes they would actually follow through with their stated beliefs -- beliefs in smaller government, fiscal responsibility and freedom. The reality is the current Republican Party doesn't represent any of those things.
The National Debt increased nearly $5 trillion under President Bush. He pushed for, and signed, the Patriot Act—a bill that disregards the 4th Amendment, making it easier for the government to spy on you.
After some initial reluctance, Bush also pushed for, and helped create, the Department of Homeland Security (a huge federal bureaucracy) and signed into law the Medicare Part D prescription drug program which cost taxpayers $68 billion in 2010 alone.
President Bush did nothing to shrink the size of government. Neither will Gov. Romney. That's why I can't vote for him.
Another reason I can't vote for Romney is because there is no discernible difference between President Barack Obama and him. Their tax policies only differ in wording. Neither one has a plan to shrink the size of government even with the threat of ‘automatic' cuts looming.
Their plans for government are similar. Romney has said he wants to repeal Obamacare, while crediting Romneycare for bringing down the rates of the uninsured in Massachusetts. Then, after he said he would repeal the nation's newest health care law, Romney admitted he would keep certain parts of Obamacare.
Where the candidates truly differ is on social issues such as gay marriage and abortion, but neither would be in a position to change anything regarding those issues. From a practical stand point those differences don't matter either.
In this election, I've picked my candidate. His name is Gary Johnson.
I'm not doing it to change the world. But, I also refuse to support a candidate because I really want to vote against the other one. As Boaz pointed out, that's a true wasted vote.
Only when more people agree and start voting for their beliefs will things finally change.
Rob Hunter is Bruce St. James' sidekick weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon. He also co-hosts "Rob & Mark," Saturdays from noon to 3 p.m.