It took me over a week to find a scanner with a bed large enough to scan my over-sized ballot. But on Sunday evening, I launched it into the electronic electoral stream.
The scanner search gave me time to consider how I was going to vote for president. The Nevada ballot gave me five options.
- Virgil Goode, Independent American Party of Nevada
- Gary Johnson, Libertarian Party
- Barack Obama, Democrat Party
- Mitt Romey, Republican Party
- NONE OF THESE CANDIDATES
I put "NONE OF THESE CANDIDATES" in the same category as my sentimental favorite -- the Libertarian Party. Voting for either would simply be a bit of peevishness.
There are only two real contenders. The nominees of the major parties. And that is where the real action is.
Several days ago, I called this election "critical." Kim of Boston, a frequent commenter on these pages, demurred. He identified three truly critical issues (dramatic global military pullback, entitlement reform, and tax reform -- to create a sustainable fiscal path), and pointed out that neither candidate will do any of the three.
I agree with Kim that those are three of the country's most critical issues. And it is true that neither candidate has been very forthcoming on how he will address them.
But there is more than a dime's worth of difference between them. To cadge a phrase from the 1968 George Wallace.
Starting with their political philosophy of the role of government in American life.
From four years of experience, we know that Barack Obama instinctively sees every social issue as political and potentially the responsibility of the federal government. Some people mistakenly refer to him as a socialist. He is not.
He does not advocate the public ownership of the means of production -- with the exception of the wrong-headed taxpayer bailout of General Motors. (Where the tax money of single mothers without benefits were used to protect the pensions of auto workers -- an important special interest group to the president. After all, single mothers do not have money to donate to campaigns.)
His views are more accurately labeled as corporatist. The means of production remain in private hands, but the government determines the policies the producers must follow. Of course, it is also a system where the government attempts to pick economic winners.
And does it very badly. After twelve years of Bush-Obama economic policies, I am ready for a change.
Mitt Romney is not a libertarian. But he appears to be serious about addressing the nation's pending fiscal car wreck.
There is little that the federal government can do to right the economy. But much can be done to make matters worse.
The Bush-Obama tack of relying on Keynesian economics was doomed to fail. Until the federal government's fiscal situation improves, no one in the market is going to believe there is a stable economy in America's future.
That it why is was gutsy for Romney to add Paul Ryan to the ticket. Ryan is willing to talk as an adult with the American people. If we do not take steps now to address our blossoming entitlements deficit, everything else the federal government does will be for naught.
And Romney has proven himself to be a capable leader as the American people have come to know him better. The president is the head of the executive department. He needs to be competent. We have already seen the results of amateurism with our last two presidents.
Is he the perfect candidate? Hardly. His call for increased military spending is wrong headed. It is time to let the Europeans pay for their own defense of their economic pipeline.
But, he is the best candidate.
So, I have voted.
Having done my part as a citizen, I can sit back and wait for the results (and not trouble these pages with more politics -- for a bit). As it turns out, I will be doing my sitting in The States.
Note -- The very nice people at the Washoe County Clerk's office just sent me an email that my ballot was received and accepted. An amazingly efficient process. Other than the step about finding a scanner.