By Daniel Bein
During the 2008 election season I have often found myself fantasizing about a world in which the 2008 Presidential race is a heated contest between front runners Chuck Baldwin and Ralph Nader. If this pleasant fiction were instead reality, I could scarcely complain if either man took the White House. Unfortunately, this is not the case, and we are instead left with the same old choice between two utterly disastrous candidates.
John McCain, the hawk of all hawks, is easily the more revolting of the two, and despite Obama's liberalism and undying devotion to the big government war machine, he is far less dangerous than McCain. Even with a Democratic congress at his beck and call, Obama is not a neoconservative, and it is precisely this group (for which John McCain is the poster child) that must never be allowed to inhabit the White House again. McCain is also a narcissistic hot head who shouldn't be allowed to make decisions which effect the lives of millions.
So the principled voter is left with three choices: third party candidates, a write in which may or may not count, or abstaining. I will be at the polls on the fourth and will not refrain from casting a vote against the abysmal two party system, so abstaining is not an option. And since South Carolina doesn't count write ins, I won't make what would otherwise be the most satisfying choice and write in Ron Paul. So my only option is to choose the best third party candidate.
Bob Barr and Cynthia McKinney can be dismissed straight away. McKinney is wrong on far too much and Barr is both an egomaniac (and potential Republican mole) who has had an overwhelmingly negative effect on the Libertarian Pary. By selling out to him the Libertarians have ruined their chances of becoming a vehicle for the liberty movement that Ron Paul launched with his insurgent campaign for the Republican nomination.
So that leaves Constitution Party candidate Chuck Baldwin and independent candidate Ralph Nader. A friend of mine has argued that principled conservatives should vote for Chuck Baldwin and principled leftists for Ralph Nader. While I agree with this logic, as a self professed "left conservative", I like aspects of both men and have had a very hard time choosing between them. Chuck Baldwin is right on the majority of the issues, and his commitment to small government is more to my liking that Nader's affinity for government solutions such as universal health care, whereas on social issues I lean towards Nader and am not a fan of Baldwin's fundamentalism. But Baldwin's decentralism almost negates this, and the decision remains difficult even after weighing the pros and cons.
So I must agree with Dylan that since Nader has access to more ballots (and with Justin Raimondo that he is the most vocal opponent of tyranny and empire in the race), a vote for Nader is the best way to make a statement against the American military-industrial empire. For this reason Nader just barely edges out Chuck Baldwin for me. In a saner world, where one of these two men had a chance of winning, I would not be unhappy with either. Both would be a good choice for those committed to sending the message that empire and excess will not be tolerated.