Writes Dylan Hales:
“One year ago the political prospects for left conservatives looked great. The vast majority of the country had turned against our disastrous occupation of Iraq. Americans from all over the political spectrum were enraged at the jackbooted federal police raids on private consumers of medical marijuana and the Supreme Court’s corporate welfare seal of approval via the Kelo decision. Discontent with illegal wiretapping and warrant less searches were on the rise and working class Americans were openly contemptuous of “free trade agreements,” and other sovereignty busting, international institutions. Best of all those folks concerned about all of these issues had a real candidate, in a real party, with a real chance of building a movement around the principles of limited government, decentralized power, and individual liberty.
As I have said before the success of Ron Paul’s campaign had less to do with any money bomb or internet trends than it had to do with with the fact that the Texas Congressmen represented REAL opposition. While the elite media and congressional pushovers rolled over and played dead for the neolibs and neocons, the average American was boiling over with rage at the cabal of power mongers and wealth addicts at the helm of the dying Republic. Dr. No gave a voice to this, the anti-political movement of all anti-political movements, and he took it as far as the duopoly would allow him to go.
Had Ron Paul chosen to run on a third party ticket, deciding who to vote for this year would be easy. There simply is no one like “Dr. No,” for an anti-imperial, decentralist, voter.
But Dr. Paul did not run third party, and a man as unique as Ron Paul has no heir apparent. So what is a left conservative to do?
This leaves me with two choices. The man I voted for in 2000, Ralph Nader, and the man Ron Paul endorsed, Chuck Baldwin.
I will not make an argument against either man, though they surely do exist. There are no perfect candidates and flaws can be found with both to be sure. I am especially wary of certain fragments of the coalitions these men have built, but politics makes strange bedfellows and you must make allies where you can find them.
On the major issues it is a wash. Simply put I agree with both men more often than not, and where there are differences they are negligible.
At the end of the day this decision comes down to electoral realities and strategic possibilities. The anti-imperial, pro-civil liberties, pro-constitution base is not on the right. It is on the left. Chuck Baldwin is on fewer than 40 ballots. Ralph Nader is on 46. The cards that have been dealt may not be fair, but they are what they are.
Eight years ago I cast my first ever ballot in an a Presidential election for Ralph Nader. I did it without regret or remorse. Eight years later I will do so once again.
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