32 votes

Rational discussion about what to do for the 2012 race for POTUS

Most regular users of the Daily P.Au.L are aware that I openly support Gary Johnson. That is beside the point with respect to this post. My intentions here are only to encourage rational consideration of the available options left for Paulites in the general election and to attempt to spark a healthy discussion with no name-calling or other actions stemming from anger, disappointment, spite, etc. I hope you will set the emotional nature of the current times aside and genuinely consider what I have to say.

Option 1 - Vote for Obama:


- Delivering the election to Obama is a method of punishing Romney
- Romney may be considered unelectable in 2016 given that Obama is much weaker than he was in 2008 and Romney may likely do worse than McCain did


- Our troops remain in Afghanistan until 2014 (at least - whatever happened to the recent 2024 extension? Is 2014 election year fodder?)
- We may end up engaged in more needless militarism in Iran, Syria, etc, putting tens of thousands of American lives at stake
- Indefinite detention clauses in the current NDAA will remain
- The UN Small Arms Treaty will likely be signed
- Draconian censorship laws will likely be levied against internet freedom
- Whistle blowers will continue to be treated like sub-human criminals
- The government will continue to grow at an alarming pace
- We will likely get stimulated again with the current economic outlook
- The War on Drugs will continue even in states that have put in place legalization/decriminalization laws
- The healthcare mandate will endure
- There will be no audit of the Fed
- Foreign aid will remain untouched or maybe even increased
- The Welfare State will likely continue to expand

Option 2 - Vote for Romney:


- Slight possibility that Romney would listen to Austrian solutions in another economic crisis (I doubt it though)


- Romney will be rewarded for his underhanded tactics used to attain the nomination
- Our troops remain in Afghanistan until 2014 - at least
- We may end up engaged in more needless militarism in Iran, Syria, etc putting tens of thousands of American lives at stake
- Indefinite detention clauses in the current NDAA will remain
- Draconian censorship laws will likely be levied against internet freedom
- Whistle blowers will continue to be treated like sub-human criminals
- The government will continue to grow at an alarming pace
- We will likely get stimulated again with the current economic outlook
- The War on Drugs will continue even in states that have put in place legalization/decriminalization laws (likely at a more aggressive pace than Obama. Romney equated drug use to murder in a speech aired on HLN earlier in the year)
- The healthcare mandate will endure
- There will be no audit of the Fed (I don't trust Romney's sincerity)
- Foreign aid will remain untouched or maybe even increased
- The Welfare State will likely continue to expand (Medicare promises)

Option 3 - Write-in Ron Paul:


- You get to vote for one of your heroes


- No one outside of your personal contacts will know you did so
- A write-in campaign has no chance at successfully electing Dr. Paul

Option 4 - Vote for Johnson:

Pros whether he wins or loses:

- The votes will be counted (to some varying degree depending on the state - I doubt there would be 100% vote flipping) which would send a clear message to the GOP that the Liberty Movement won't just fall in line based on political rhetoric and/or coercion
- 5% of the vote puts the LP in major party status for 2016 which would likely help to solve problems with gaining participation in the debates
- Johnson will not be the last LP POTUS nominee. Others after him may be more universally acceptable to the Liberty Movement, and major party status would give those potential candidates much firmer footing
- It will piss off both the Democrats and the Republicans (Johnson affects the duopoly candidates differently depending on the state in question)

Pros for the outside chance he wins:

- Afghanistan will immediately be drawn down
- Avoid war with Iran, Syria, etc, potentially saving tens of thousands American lives
- A budget with $1.4 trillion in cuts - enough to balance year one (more than the $1T proposed by Paul) - will be submitted to Congress which would likely lead to real cuts (not just baseline cuts)
- In the event of a financial crisis, no economic intervention will be employed thereby creating an environment for real recovery
- If Audit the Fed hits his desk, it will get signed
- The Drug War will end
- If the legislation passes, the 16th Amendment will be repealed, the IRS abolished, and a consumption tax implemented which would eliminate all federal payroll withholding (saving entrepreneurs a fortune), eliminate taxes on all used goods (clothes, cars, etc), and distribute the federal tax burden over everyone that interacts with our economy (illegal aliens, tourists, other visitors) not just the employed citizens.
- Religious influences will no longer be employed to provide collectivist, government benefits to straight couples while punishing the gay and lesbian community. Separation of Church and State should not have exceptions, and the only argument that exists is based in religion.
- Although Johnson is pro-choice up to independent viability of the fetus, he takes the same policy approach as Ron Paul in saying it should be left to the states, thereby negating the importance of his personal opinions on the issue


- If the legislation passes, some are concerned that the Fair Tax would create a new entitlement system due to the prebate that would be distributed to all US citizens. However, I would argue that collectivism is avoided because all citizens will receive it, and the prebate only represents the amount of tax that would be paid based on poverty level income (~$2000/yr) which is not nearly enough to survive on and provides a logical solution to the regressive nature of other consumption taxes
- Johnson said he may be willing to militarily intervene for humanitarian reasons in other countries; however, he said he would only do so with approval from Congress (giving respect to the process provided by the Constitution)


Did I leave anything out? Please discuss.

One last note: To illustrate the unreliability of emotion based decision making, please consider the following questions -

What percentage of people in prison (barring victimless crimes) are there because they acted out of emotion? I would venture to say greater than 90%.

What percentage of people in prison (barring victimless crimes) are there because they made rational decisions? Very few.

Did your parents ever tell you to "think before you act?" If so, why did they tell you that? Was it because making emotional decisions out of anger or other emotions can often get you into trouble?

Is the purpose of the Liberty Movement to gain liberty? If not, what is the goal? Given the above information, what is the most productive choice for Liberty with respect to the 2012 race for POTUS on a rational basis, neglecting emotion?

The factors stated above are what led me to where I stand now.

Thanks ahead of time for your genuine consideration and responses.

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Vote GJ - Take Over The LP - Back (R) Liberty Candidates

who should decide what a Republican Liberty candidate is - well chec there voting record and/or responses to issues of course. Also use C4L as a guide. The GOP is done people - but it will die slowly under the control of RINOs. The only thing that might save the GOP would be a financial crises that gets blamed on the Dems.

sharkhearted's picture

Nice post!


Norfolk, VA

Time to INVESTIGATE the investigators of 9/11. PROSECUTE the prosecutors. EXPOSE the cover-up.

Thanks shark...

I appreciate it.

Options 1 & 2 aren't real options.

I'd rather not vote at all than vote for Romney/Obama. Personally I am going to vote for Gary Johnson since he is actually running for President and is on the ballot in all 50 states. Kinda a no brainer!

You left out one of the best

You left out one of the best choices of all... Especially for a GOP protest vote... Imagine if a large percentage of Republicans showed up at the polls yet did not vote for a presidential candidate. These numbers are recorded.

I would have to see this as one of the hardest hits the GOP could receive. The records will show X number of republicans voted and Romney received x number of republican votes...

This is not avoiding the process.... Show up vote for all the Liberty candidates (Congress/local) just leave the presidential portion of the ballot blank or no vote (if applies).

This is also a way to stand on your values.... No need to hold your nose and still be heard.


that may be a decent strategy to approach hardcore Republicans that refuse to vote for anyone else but another R. I'm afraid that they would rebut with the excuse of that would be purposely delivering the election to Obama. That's the argument they use for everything else besides voting Romney.

Some may buy it though, if they could be convinced Romney = Obama, which we all know is the actual case.

This may be Doctor Paul's

This may be Doctor Paul's choice as well. He doesn't appear to be backing anyone.

We have all heard "a vote for anyone other than Romney is a vote for Obama"... I have not heard anyone claim a vote for no one is a vote for Obama! :)

Dr. Paul said that he was going to vote...

when he was on Leno. He said that he always has and doesn't intend not to this time.

I'm nearly positive that he won't vote for Romney and definitely not Obama.

Yes I heard him.... It

Yes I heard him.... It doesn't mean he will pick a presidential candidate... He may have been referring to casting a ballot. The one point he did make crystal clear was he wasn't endorsing anyone in the race.


He may write his own name in. He is and always has been principled.

edit: this was in response to a post below about who RP would vote for.

"What if the American people learn the truth" - Ron Paul

hmmm Texas doesn't allow

hmmm Texas doesn't allow write ins.... (Unless they have filed the paper work)... With him not endorsing... I would put my money on leaving it blank..

I say vote GJ, all of us RP supporters

ONLY to make sure the LP has sufficient numbers so that they rig the vote, which they will. We have to be on top of that and expose the fraud, it has to be priority NUMBER 1. How will we prove it, I don't know since the machines themselves are rigged so that not even the volunteers overseeing the election can notice it. A game plan needs to be devised and my advise to the GJ people is to allocate some resources to that aim but don't kid yourself into thinking that they won't flip votes provided our numbers are big enough. If GJ is sincere about exposing the two party system, this angle cannot be neglected as it is the very (fraudulent) foundation of the duopoly.

"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animated contest of freedom — go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, an

Not on Michigan ballot

so not an option for us. (unless he wins legal fight)

Writing in Ron Paul's name would lump him in with "nobody" and "mickey mouse" and all other write ins.

If a name is not on the ballot then it isn't really counted.

That's still up in the air...

There's still ongoing things happening in MI.

If he doesn't get on the ballot there, I 100% support your decision and would do the same if I were in that situation.

Yeah, I hope he wins the legal challenge


Don't know if it is true....

Don't know if it is true.... An article mention the Liberty Party has another guy with the exact name "Gary Johnson" and if they loose the case they will put him on the ballot...

Rational discussion is good

Thank you for your analysis.
I would suggest a similar pro/con treatment of the Constitution Party's nominee, Virgil Goode.
I would also point to a comment I just posted of concerns I have regarding writing in anyone's name for President: http://www.dailypaul.com/comment/2721827

I'm weary of Goode...

This is from Wiki (I've confirmed the sources listed there):

Goode has sponsored legislation to permit deployment of the U.S. Armed Forces to the U.S.-Mexico border. He voted in 2002 to authorize the Iraq War and in support of an $87 billion Iraq War supplemental spending bill.

Goode is an advocate of a federal prohibition of online poker. In 2006, he cosponsored H.R. 4777, the Internet Gambling Prohibition Act.

Goode voted in 2007 against a resolution opposing the increase in troop numbers in Iraq, saying that he didn't want to "aid and assist the Islamic jihadists who want the green flag of the crescent and star to wave over the Capitol of the United States and over the White House of this country" and that "radical Muslims" wanted to control the world and put "In Muhammad We Trust" on American currency.

Yep, that would rule him out in my book too.

He's not on my ballot anyway though.

The CP really is a shell.

This is even more exposed this year with the California AIP bolting from their CP and going it alone.

The CP tries to make noise in my state. They have only 117 members.

Im voting Johnson just so

Im voting Johnson just so those rats in the GOP can count how many vots they lost. Insuring that Democrats win by voting libertarian will force the idiot sheep in the GOP to put up an actual liberty candidate, or it will collapse the federal government, whichever comes first.

I appreciate the discussion - been seeking same

Please say more about this point:

- It will piss off both the Democrats and the Republicans (Johnson affects the duopoly candidates differently depending on the state in question)

Conventional wisdom is he hurts Republicans only.

For instance...

in Colorado and New Mexico, Johnson takes more from Obama. In other sates, he takes more from Romney.

That's according to polls that have been taken over the last couple of months.

That's not conventional

That's not conventional wisdom, it's MSM idiocy. His support will largely come from democrats. The same is true for Paul.

It's just a ploy to get us to feel guilty. If you look at his policies they align with the democratic rhetoric better than the republican rhetoric.

There will be pull from both sides for sure.

What is the Goal?

Regardless of what you want, the voting majority has decided to support a monopoly candidate for President this year. Short of a miracle, the White House will be occupied by either Obama or Romney regardless of what you say or do in the remaining few weeks.

So, your question should be, "What is your goal in terms of the Presidential election?

The write-in option does not seem to accomplish anything because only a small percentage of eligible voters vote. All of this apathy does not seem to help anyone. Non-voting is the same as a write-in in many states that would not recognize an RP write-in.

No third party candidate will become President in 2013 based on the intent of the voting majority this year. So what would voting for a third party accomplish?

I see third parties as valuable think-tanks or training grounds for candidates but useless for changing government in the short term. It would be great if people would wake up this year and begin to elect third party candidates, but that wish does not change the current situation.

The bottom line is that Americans have deceived themselves into destroying this country by either voting for enemies of freedom or by refusing to pay attention to election crimes.

As I read on another post, education will have to be our major goal before we will see success in changing government.

Consequently, you should base your Presidential voting actions on furthering the cause of education and forget about using your vote to influence a change in the Executive branch this year.

Of course, there are many legislative races that might produce valuable officials. But most people are not as interested in legislative races as they are the Presidential race.

Gene Louis
Supporting a Needed Tool for Government Feedback:
A Citizen-Operated Legal System.

I've narrowed it down between

I've narrowed it down between writing in Ron Paul or voting for Gary Johnson. Leaning more towards GJ. Can't vote for Obama or Romney. Too many reasons to list.

If ignorance is bliss, Washington DC must be heaven.

I applaud your attempt, but I have some suggestions.

#1 - remove the similar "cons" from both Romney and Obama. Highlight only those cons that are unique to each one. It makes seeing the differences easier.

#2 - group 1 & 2 together after considering them separately, to show the pros and cons of voting for "either" one of them. This is where you would put your "common cons" that you had listed twice before in their individual write-ups.

#3 - Include in the "cons" for writing in Ron Paul that in some states (perhaps find out which ones) this will cause your entire ballot to be discarded and not only will your write-in not be seen or counted, but neither will any other vote you cast that day. Also, note which states don't even have a mechanism to write-in so people from all of those states (those that will throw it away, and those with no way to do it) can consider other options.

#4 - cut the cheerleading for GJ. Yes, you support him. But leave your personal view out of it.

There's a problem when you list the same thing for both a pro and a con - that usually means it's at best a wash, or really a con, but you just want to explain it away or mitigate it so you stuck it under "pro."

I would leave the part in about repealing the 16th and abolishing the so-called income tax and IRS as a pro.

But to be intellectually honest, you have to put the consumption tax as a con - it would be a new tax. It definitely has cons about it. And it keeps current federal revenues neutral - there's nothing positive about keeping federal revenues where they are now. And there's nothing positive about giving congress a new taxing power even if you take one away. While they are a net trade off now or even maybe initially a net trade off money wise now, that doesn't mean it won't be worse after a few years.

I'd drop the part about the prebate applying to everyone excuse unless you want to turn this thread into a heated debate on the Fair Tax.

Saying it's not really bad because everyone gets it is over the top.

It turns EVERYONE into a welfare recipient. That isn't good by any measure of rationality that people here on the DP would go with.

You promised non-emotional discussion - leave your plug for the fair tax out of it then or reap what you have sown.

Good suggestions...

but I think the redundancy in the cons is noticeable (you noticed it) and serves to drive home the point.

I agree with #3, but it would be time-intensive. So, that may have to wait until later.

#4 - I don't see where I did any cheerleading. I feel like separating the abolition of the IRS and the 16th Amendment from what is attached to it - a consumption tax - would present a somewhat dishonest view because if one happens, the other follows. That's why I didn't speak of the Fair Tax by name in the pros; I simply highlighted the benefits of a generic consumption tax versus the current system. Since there are definite advantages, I logically decided to include it in the pros.

We would not be thinking rationally by assuming that no federal tax was an immediately achievable goal. While it would be a more heavily weighted pro to have no tax at all, a consumption tax is still a pro given the circumstances.

I included the prebate (which what makes the Fair Tax unique from other consumption taxes) in the cons because it is a con. People do become dependent on money provided by the government on a regular basis. They perceive it to be "free" money and, many times, spend such funds wastefully. However, had the proposal been a straight consumption tax, I would have had to list the regressive nature as a con.

It's really give & take on that issue. I broke it up the best I could while trying to point out the more subtle points.

Note: I did delete where I said I was a former Texas resident.

Yes, they are noticeable but separating them would make them and

the other cons stand out more - just easier to make a decision with.

Also, by grouping #1 and #2 together after treating them separately, highlights why either of those choices may have cons that outweigh either of their independent pros - thus leading the reader to option 3 or 4.

It's just a preference of style. That's all.

I understand you point on why you put what where about Johnson's tax plan. But I'd refrain from trying to explain it and just list it. That's why I got the sense of cheer-leading. Rather than a rational discussion without emotion, it makes it look like you are invested in a certain choice and are trying to push that one. That is coming across with your present method, and I'm surprised it hasn't generated emotional response on that issue yet. Maybe the topic is still too new. I for one would see that as the first place to open discussion, but I made it a point to take a different approach - at least initially.

Not coincidentally, I'm having serious misgivings about casting a vote for GJ. His tax plan is a big reason. I may leave that office blank this year.

I absolutely will fight the "fair tax" as hard as I fight the so-called income tax. Both are abominations in my book. Both lead to disaster in my opinion - neither solves the issue of excessive spending or debt. And neither is "fair." (even though both claimed to be designed to solve those problems)

When it comes to fighting for what is right, I do not self-impose limits of practicality. I fight for what I think is right, and if I hit a wall, only then will I accept a temporary compromise at less than 100% of what I was pushing for. And I will then regroup - re-direct and continue fighting for the rest.

But to self-impose a bad solution because you don't think you can get better is a recipe for getting exactly what you don't want.

Shoot for the stars and be willing to accept the moon for a time.

Shoot for low earth orbit, and you'll be lucky to safely crash land back on Earth.

I'll never advocate something I think is wrong because I might not be sure I can get what is right - right now. I will simply continue to try to sell what I think is right. I will be proven right eventually anyway. But to sell what I think is wrong damages my reputation and character later when I try to then convince people the way to fix the damage I just caused is to listen to me on this "new" idea. (my original one that is)

I understand where you're coming from...

regarding the tax situation - none of the above is the best option.

Personally, if we are going to have a federal government, my suggestion would be a tax apportioned among the States, paid directly by the States. For instance, 10% - or some other percentage - of each states tax revenue would go to the federal government. There would be no direct tax on the citizens. If a state could live within its means and decrease the tax burden on its citizens, under such a system, the federal government would also get a revenue cut; fiscal responsibility at the state level would have direct consequences on the federal budget.

I also have a proposal for decentralized banking.

I too prefer apportioned taxes. I wish they were the only method


They would serve as a natural check on government growth.

I never considered it as a percentage of state revenue though, that is interesting.

And I'd like to hear that banking plan. I have one myself.

I also have a plan for apportioned direct taxation at the state level. Politicos would hate it. And it isn't regressive.

The best part? It's voluntary.

How would it work? hehe - that's the kicker.

What you do is you divide the expected expenses, for various departments, by the State population - every man, woman and child.

You send everyone a "suggested contribution" bill which itemizes expenses that the money will be put to. Along with a financial report from the previous year.

People send in whatever they want.

They can send in their suggested amount, more if they like, or less if they like or can't afford more.

They can even opt to set up an automatic payment plan or draft either all in one payment or monthly installments.

Also, in addition to their "suggested" amount, you include other "suggested amounts."

These include amounts you would pay if say, anyone under 16 (or 18) doesn't pay because they can't work.

Include the same to account for what your part would be if anyone in a mental hospital or old folks home, or who is physically and mentally incapable of work didn't pay.

Now, here's the part the people won't like - they don't have to pay anything. But if they don't pay at least the suggested amount - they don't get to vote that year.

There's no other penalty.

You'd likely have to repeal the poll tax amendment, but the effect would be that people would be encouraged to pay if they can, they'd not be able to vote themselves someone else's money if they can't, and the government would have to PURSUADE and CONVINCE people that the things it is doing is worthy and legitimate and cost effective, or else people will stop paying.

There's likely a few other checks and balances you could throw in here, but that's the gist of it.

A truly CIVILIZED, not based on force, revenue system.

If a project or program is worthy and being run properly, it will get funded. If not - then government either won't get too big, or will be cut to compensate for lack of revenue.

You could even send separate "bills" and let people earmark their "contributions."

User fees could be heavily relied upon for some basic functionality of government.

In the end, most likely, State government would be just the basics, and local government would have only essential "services" at most - fire, police, perhaps parks and recreation etc.

You might still have government schools, but they'd be entirely local and funded essentially as any charity would - voluntary donations from the public. It's just that all of the public gets "asked" to donate once a year.