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Obama-Biden Vs. Romney-Ryan: Choosing the Lesser of Two Evils
Well, my friends, it is again that time that comes once every four years when the political circus we call a United States presidential election rolls across this great nation of ours, squashing our hopes and dreams while turning us against one another like it is 1861 all over again. Is it just me or do these things seem to be becoming even more heartbreaking with each passing election? Everyone I know is saying they are having to choose between the lesser of two evils.
My liberal friends are not really happy with what President Obama has accomplished in the last three and a half years but are certainly not ready to jump ship in favor of Mitt Romney. My conservative friends seem to feel they ended up with a candidate who does not really represent their views all that well but are willing to settle for just about anyone to get Barack Obama out of the White House. In other words, rather than voting for the best candidate, most people are voting against who the worst candidate.
The sad thing is everyone, regardless of which political party they support, seem to feel that in the end it does not matter who wins. Nothing substantial is going to change regardless of the outcome. This really is no reflection on the candidates. It is simply the dynamic of a two party system where both sides work hard to ensure the other side gains no ground -- even if that means political gridlock and to heck with what the people want.
For the first time since Ross Perot ran as a third party candidate in the 1992 Presidential election, there is a third party candidate that is beginning to attract a lot of attention this time around. That candidate is former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson. He has entered the race as the Libertarian presidential nominee with Judge Jim Gray as his running mate.
With stances on some issues that vary greatly from the other candidates such as favoring the legalization of marijuana and supporting gay marriage, Johnson has been making a name for himself based on his record as the man who balanced New Mexico's budget and created a budget surplus while creating new jobs, lowering taxes and vetoing more legislation than all other state governors combined. But with most national polls not even mentioning him, can Gary Johnson have any real effect on the election?
Is it still just a matter of choosing the lesser of two evils or are there viabale options in 2012?
In 1992, Ross Perot did not manage to win a single electoral vote, but he did win almost 19 percent of the popular vote. Some exit polls indicated that had they believed he had a real chance of winning, 35 percent of voters would have voted for him. Would he have actually won had all those voters decided to go ahead and vote for him? It is hard to say, but it certainly seems like a possibility.
Now, twenty years later, when presented with another third party candidate with grassroots support who offers a true alternative to the mainstream candidates, will voters choose to make a difference or simply surrender to the same fears they have fallen to before. Among my friends, the fear of the "greater of the two evils" winning is probably strong enough to keep them from voting for Gary Johnson though many on both sides say he is the best choice.
So what's the bottom line? Politics as usual, my friend. More of the same ol' Mitt. Or Obama. Does it really make a difference?