On voting strategies

Phillip Smith has a good discussion piece up at StoptheDrugWar: Third-Party Candidacies vs. Voting for the Lesser Evil
It’s certainly a topic worth talking about — there are a few races out there this time with third-party candidates that have strong drug policy reform views, so what do you do?
My view?

  1. If you’ve got a third-party candidate that’s doing the right thing, vote for them. The fear of the “Nader” effect is overblown, in my opinion, and it’s good to keep the third party door open.
  2. If you’re in one of those rare situations where you have someone in Congress who really supports drug policy reform (Hinchey, Frank, Paul) vote for them, regardless of party.
  3. Otherwise, when it comes to Congress, vote Democrat. This is not an endorsement of the Democratic party as much as it is an understanding that the current version of the Republican party is exceptionally dangerous to freedom in our country. There are two additional factors: a Democratic Congress is more likely to pass the Hinchey amendment (stopping the feds from harassing medical marijuana states); and a Democratic Congress means that Mark Souder loses his subcommittee chairmanship.
  4. When it comes to state and local races, vote for the person that is best on drug war and freedom issues regardless of party.

Certainly, the Democrats, as a whole, have not acted responsibly in the drug war — in some cases they’ve been atrocious, with their “me, too!” approach to the drug war bandwagon. And it’s quite possible that in two years, or four years, I’ll be advising you all to vote Republican.
But now, there are too many reasons for advocating for split government, and for sending a strong message that government based on fear, lied, demonization, and restricting the freedom of Americans is unacceptable, whether it’s the Drug Czar’s activities or government wiretapping of U.S. citizens.
While the following doesn’t specifically mention the drug war, it’s relevant and important, written by the excellent conservative blogger John Cole at Balloon Juice:

We need to get rid of the authoritarians, we need to get rid of the big-spenders, the religionists and the gay-bashers, the liars, con-artists, crooks, and thieves, and we need to start over. I really look forward to the day where I have the high ground on tax related issues because my party is not spending us into bankruptcy. I look forward to the day when my party, when faced with difficult scientific questions, turns to the experts (rather than turning on them) instead of Sen. Inhofe and James Dobson and Randall Terry. I look forward to the day when my party once again has enough of a moral standing that we should even be allowed to discuss human rights and torture in foreign regimes. I look forward to the day when we can, with a straight face, argue that we are the party of small government — after, of course, we get rid of the religionists who are trying to dictate who we can love, who we can sleep with, who gets to determine what we watch on tv, and who gets to determine our end of life decisions. I look forward to the day when it is once again the Democrats who look crazy.
But for right now, it is the GOP that is out of touch, out of control, and drowning in its own hubris. It is time to throw them an anchor, and it looks like there are a lot of people lining up on the docks to do just that.

I’m ready to help throw that anchor.

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