HomeCivilizationShould You Vote for the Lesser of Two Evils?


Should You Vote for the Lesser of Two Evils? — 3 Comments

  1. I disagree.

    1. You can never get what you want by voting for what you don’t want.

    2. It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don’t want and get it.

    3. You can only influence a politician with your vote by actually being willing to cast it for somebody else. To take the current election as an example, suppose that guns are your most important issue, either because you think there should be more gun control or less. Both presidential candidates can be lukewarm on their respective sides of the question (and they are), because they have no fear that their respective constituencies are going anywhere. A hard-core gun-right guy voting for Obama? Somebody who wants to make guns harder to get voting for Romney? Not gonna happen.

    4. I submit that both parties have failed us. Both have racked up unconscionable amounts of debt when in power. Both have gotten us into and continued futile, expensive, enemy-making wars. Etc. Choosing between then does nothing to fix the basic structural problem, which is that a political duopoly stinks. They vote themselves millions of public dollars to run their conventions and primary elections and establish ballot-access rules that keep others out.

    5. Therefore, the best long-term strategy is to cast your votes for third-party candidates–whichever ones most closely match your perspectives. The most important long-term structural reform American politics needs is to break the two-party system, make third parties viable. That takes votes.

    I explain how I’ve decided on this year’s presidential vote in more details here:


    Besides, my alternative to voting for Johnson would be to abstain from voting for anybody. I can’t vote for either Romney or Obama. Both of them want to continue spending us into fiscal meltdown. Both of them want to continue killing people overseas in our name. Both of them want to continue to expand the power of the executive branch. Both of them want to expand the continuous unwarranted surveillance of citizens. Both of them want to continue the insane drug war. Both of them want to continue corporate welfare. Both of them are enemies of the second amendment. Neither of them supports legalization of online poker.

    All of those things are absolutely abhorrent to me, and on most of the precepts that are most important to me, they’re both just completely fucking repugnant. So I guess this puts me in the category you describe at the end of your next-to-last paragraph.

    • Good rant, Bob. And yes, that puts you in the “both are equally bad” category, so in your case, it makes sense to vote for the third party candidate who has no chance.

  2. I appreciate your reasoned post David, and I agree wholeheartedly with your logic. I would add that perhaps even more important than who we vote for in elections is who we vote for at the grocery store, the gas pump, our cell phone provider, etc.. Monied interests owns most of the political landscape anyway, so if we want it to change, we have to change them.