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Isaac Morehouse: I'm voting for Bob Barr

Western Standard blogger Isaac Morehouse tells readers why he's voting for Libertarian presidential candidate Bob Barr.

Isaac Morehouse - November 3, 2008

I’m voting for Bob Barr. Not because I agree with all of his positions, not because I think he’s a great guy, not because I think he has a chance to win, and not because I think he would even make a good president.

I’m voting for Barr to do what economists call “signaling”. That is, rather than allowing my vote to be swallowed up in a sea of votes for major party candidates, and to add myself to the numbers who are basically giving sanction to the anti-liberty positions of both major candidates, I want it to at least send a signal to those who analyze elections that there are some who value liberty and limited government. Since Barr is running as a libertarian, he will be identified with limited government views. The higher percentage of voters who vote for what is seen to be a limited government choice, the stronger the signal sent to major party candidates now and in the future that they can win those voters by promoting less government.

I find single issue voting and “lesser of two evils” logic both morally and strategically weak. Here’s a great article by the late Leonard Read on why.

Finally, I would add that voting is not that important to me and I do it faithfully primarily because I find it entertaining. I do not think any great progress in the world will happen at the voting booth, and I don’t think the battle for liberty will be won by a politician. It is the hearts and minds of the people that we must win. The politicians will follow whatever is popular.

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Isaac Morehouse is the director of campus leadership for the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. He spends most of his time having fun with his wife and son at his home near Kalamazoo, MI, and contemplating philosophy, economics, theology, politics, music, sports and cigars. He blogs at The Shotgun, Michigan Students for a Free Economy, and at the The Prometheus Institute.