If I could put money on it, I would bet that Barack Obama will be a two-term president. When he takes to the podium at his victory speech, no matter what the numbers are, he will interpret his win as the American people's unwavering stamp of approval of everything he signed into law during his first term. And he will look forward to another four years of expanding government in ways he sees fit. When all is said and done, conservatives will probably blame it on Ron Paul's supporters for not coming around.
"I hope you're happy," they'll spit. "Because you Ron Paulians were too stubborn to vote for Newt Romney, you cost us the election. Thanks to you, we're stuck with Obama for another four years." Of course, this will come on the heels of months of angry muttering about how a vote for a 3rd party (be it Ron Paul or Gary Johnson or whomever) is a vote for Obama.
Boo hoo. You can blame us if that's what makes you feel better. Personally I'd put most of the blame on the people who actually voted for Obama (even though, as an aside, I don't understand how anybody could still support him a since he did a 180 on basically all the important things he campaigned on), but I'd also say that the Republican establishment deserves a little blame, too. Because for all the conservative media, for all the millions of dollars at its disposal, for all its advantages over third parties in the electoral process, and the upper hand that come merely by having incumbents all over the country to trumpet its case, it still couldn't come up with a candidate who could successfully sell his story to enough Americans eligible to vote. In 2008, Obama won with less than a third of all voters casting their vote for him- more people than that chose to stay home.
In truth, we're against Obama just as much as any republican. The difference is that we understand that electing Romney isn't going to be any better. Whether or not you believe it's true doesn't matter to us. Save your crying and your whining about the Constitution and your Don't Tread On Me flags and pretending to want limited government and all the rest of it. If you're going to elect an establishment politician like Mitt Romney, you know you're not going to get any of that, so why even bother showing up?
So long as your primary goal is just to get the democrats out of office, we, the people who want real liberty, are not going to play ball. This, I believe, will be the bittersweet victory for liberty in 2012. It will be the year that those of us who want personal and economic freedom for all people; who want an end to war; who rail against centralized power; who hate politics and politicians; who want to keep every cent of what we earn, to give away, invest or spend as we please- will make ourselves known. And we're here to stay.
To be sure, the liberty movement is still in its infancy, but it's undeniably more popular right now than it ever was. Now, we actually have libertarian TV shows (Stossel and Freedom Watch), which virtually unheard of just five years ago. More to the point- we now have the numbers to hold one of the major political parties hostage. Dare I say, we would rather see the next 50 elections go to the democrats than vote for an establishment republican candidate in whom we do not believe. Because (and this is important) if we don't get the option of voting for a liberty candidate, then we honestly don't care who wins. Gone are the days of us settling for the lesser of two evils. We're over it. We've lived through enough elections to know that it doesn't even matter. If voting Republican means turning our backs on our principles, we won't do it. We know we have nothing to gain by it, we've already accepted that you'll blame us, and we just don't care.
Thus, I have two messages to deliver. The message to the republican establishment is this: you will lose elections unless you start putting candidates out there who have a genuine interest in reducing government. So long as you keep alienating us and calling us unelectable, we're going to see to it that your cookie cutter one-dimensional paid-for yes-man candidates are also unelectable. We'll cast our votes against them and we'll do it with a smile.
The message to the American public is this: Elections are not contests to see who's most popular. They've become contests to see who's less unpopular. So long as you agree to hold your nose to vote for incompetent lying people whom you don't actually want to win, those are the only kinds of candidates the establishments are going to put in front of you. This is true no matter your political affiliation. Know in advance that it's going to take more than one election cycle to properly communicate this. Hell, it might take a dozen. But if you don't take a stand at some point and start withhold your support from these parties that care nothing about your welfare, you may as well stay home and accept your fate- that your country will be governed by the worst among us and you didn't have the strength to try to stop it.