Voting for lesser evil can prove difficult when such evil has become too great in its own right. Columnist Conor Friedersdorf from ‘The Atlantic’ writes how he will vote third party:
I don't see how anyone who confronts Obama's record with clear eyes can enthusiastically support him. I do understand how they might concluded that he is the lesser of two evils, and back him reluctantly, but I'd have thought more people on the left would regard a sustained assault on civil liberties and the ongoing, needless killing of innocent kids as deal-breakers.
There are folks on the left who feel that way, of course. Some of them were protesting with the Occupy movement at the DNC. But the vast majority don't just continue supporting Obama. They can't even comprehend how anyone would decide differently. In a recent post, I excoriated the GOP and its conservative base for operating in a fantasy land with insufficient respect for empiricism or honest argument.
I ended the post with a one-line dig at the Democratic Party. "To hell with them both," I fumed.
… There is a candidate on the ballot in at least 47 states, and probably in all 50, who regularly speaks out against that post-9/11 trend, and all the individual policies that compose it. His name is Gary Johnson, and he won't win. I am supporting him because he ought to.
… If I vote, it will be for Johnson. What about the assertion that Romney will be even worse than Obama has been on these issues? It is quite possible, though not nearly as inevitable as Democrats seem to think. It isn't as though they accurately predicted the abysmal behavior of Obama during his first term, after all. And how do you get worse than having set a precedent for the extrajudicial assassination of American citizens? By actually carrying out such a killing? Obama did that too. Would Romney? I honestly don't know. I can imagine he'd kill more Americans without trial and in secret, or that he wouldn't kill any. I can imagine that he'd kill more innocent Pakistani kids or fewer. His rhetoric suggests he would be worse. I agree with that. Then again, Romney revels in bellicosity; Obama soothes with rhetoric and kills people in secret.
To hell with them both.
I’ve written many times that “If you don’t vote your conscience, why should your representatives?”. The political transgressions appear far more grave than in the past; their existence due, in large part, to a perceived immunity from backlash. Such worrisome traits are then buried under election rhetoric by both parties, who offer up their best argument for victory by pointing out the impending consequences of their loss! Is that any way to run a country?
The trends and precedents mentioned show that elections are not about one president, per se, but the ratcheting effect of government power over time, achieved by a duopoly perpetuated by two opposing camps; very similar to one another but containing just enough variation to entrench the cycle. My hat is off to the system designers. It’s a tough nut to crack. And getting nuttier by the day.