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Maricopa County Libertarian Party

Gary Johnson, the Lesser of Three Evils

August 25, 2012 - 10:45pm
Nick Coons by Nick Coons


People always advocate voting for the Libertarian candidate over the Republican or Democrat by claiming that one should not vote for the lesser of two evils. No doubt there's little difference between Romney and Obama (or any other Republican and Democrat candidate that's gone head-to-head in the past), but where is the line drawn between "good" and "evil" by those making this claim?

A libertarian (small "l") is one that supports the non-aggression principle and everything that this principle logically concludes, including statelessness. This doesn't mean small government or "limited" government, it means no government, since all government rules through aggression (see Are You an Anarchist, or a Statist Thug). The claim that one should not vote for the lesser of two evils implies that there are degrees of evil, and that the only candidate that someone should vote for is someone that is not evil at all (otherwise they'd simply be the lesser evil, which, as the claim goes, is someone not worthy of a vote).

The question then becomes, how can one determine if a candidate has no amount of evil and is therefore someone for whom they should vote? Suffice it to say that people have different views on morality, and I don't intend to get too involved with that here (besides, I've already done it here). While most people don't delve into this consciously, most would probably agree that initiating aggression or threatening to initiate aggression against someone is evil. This means that all taxation is evil. All support for government, in fact, is inherently a support for aggression.

Logically, this means that any politician that supports any function of government (and that means all politicians, because there are no anarchist politicians) is evil to some degree. Gary Johnson wants to eliminate the income tax and replace it with a national sales tax, which is swapping out one form of violence-supported-theft for another. Even Ron Paul supports import taxes, a form of violence-supported-theft, and thus a form of evil.

Isn't voting for a third party, then, simply choosing the lesser of three evils? Is that somehow better than choosing between the lesser of two evils? As the saying goes, choosing the lesser of two (or three) evils is still choosing evil. In terms of voting, the only way to avoid supporting or endorsing evil is to not vote for anyone. So how do we make change for the better? I'll write another article in the near future with my thoughts on that, but I can assure you that it has nothing to do with voting.

Related Content:

The Republican Party Fails to Embrace the Paradigm Shift - Jim Iannuzo
Quartzsite, Mayor Foster, and Ron Paul - Nick Coons
Can We End the FED? - Nick Coons

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