Archived Story

Don’t waste your vote

Published 8:33pm Saturday, November 3, 2012

Earlier this month, Barton Hinkle of the Richmond Times Dispatch all but endorsed for president not Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (and certainly not President Barack Obama, given Hinkle’s conservative views), but rather New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson. He suggested that any other vote is a “wasted vote.”

Huh? I thought voting third party was a waste.

Mr. Hinkle based his editorial on the fact that replacing Obama with Romney would not end Obama’s policies. While Obama has exacerbated Bush’s increase in debt, to solve our overspending problem Romney’s budget actually would waste as many tax dollars as Obama would on Medicare.

Medicare, along with defense, are the two cost drivers of our $16 trillion national debt. At least Obama would cut defense. If stopping the overspending is the goal of a voter, Hinkle says voting for Robamney — as the two candidates are called because they’re clones of each other on policy — is “a wasted vote.”

What’s not a wasted vote is a vote for Gov. Gary Johnson. If he gets just 5 percent of the popular vote, the Libertarian Party in 2016 will receive tens of millions of dollars from the pool of funds voluntarily set aside on the presidential check-off on individuals’ tax returns.

That money would ease access for Libertarians onto the ballots in four years, so the Libertarian Party would have ready money for the TV ads without which a candidate can’t get sufficient name identification to have a chance of getting the 15 percent in the polls required for invitations to the debates.

And as long-time GOP operative Roger Stone wrote, if Gov. Johnson were to get into the debates with Robamney, “all bets are off.” That’s when Americans would have a chance to elect a candidate who would not represent a wasted vote.

Since 43 percent of spending is funded not by received revenue but by borrowing or the insane printing of money by the Federal Reserve, that’s the percentage of government waste that must be cut in order to bring the budget to balance.

Having turned New Mexico’s budget from a billion-dollar deficit to a billion-dollar surplus, Gov. Gary Johnson has the experience to right our fiscal ship.

Don’t worry that a vote for Gov. Gary Johnson will facilitate the reelection of Obama. Obama can’t pass anything that statist as long as Congress remains under the control of the opposite party, the Republicans. But if Romney gets elected, he’ll have no check on a pliant Congress that will share his party label and potentially defend his worst causes, such as instigating war with Iran, disregarding constitutional abuses like the warrantless spying of the Patriot Act or replacing ObamaCare with a reform insufficiently market-oriented to offer any improvement over that imposed by the Democrats.

The Republican brand will be more ruined by Romney than it already was by Bush. Risk four more years of Obama, while liberty continues to build to give us a better candidate in 2016 — maybe even Gov. Gary Johnson.

Charles Frohman is a consultant for Gov. Gary Johnson’s Libertarian campaign for president and was a 1984 graduate of Nansemond-Suffolk Academy. Email him at

  • Cfroh

    Glad so many enjoyed my column on wasting ones vote on Romney, thinking he’d change anything Obama’s been doing. To see Barton Hinkle’s Richmond Times Dispatch article that inspired my piece, here it is:

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  • FreeRoy

    Thanks for that excellent piece, Mr. Frohman!

    Gary Johnson has already gotten my vote. He’s the only candidate who’s on the ballot nationwide, and who does not want to put citizens in jail because of what they smoke or what they do in their bedrooms.

    His strong record for cost-cutting and efficiency, while he was Governor of New Mexico, proves that he can do the same on a Federal scale.

    Vote for Freedom — Vote for Johnson! See .

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  • GeorgeWhitfield

    Gary Johnson is a breath of fresh air in this Presidential election campaign and a clear choice to restore America to peace, prosperity and liberty. I voted for him by absentee ballot. Live free, vote free.

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