I have read with great interest the case for Libertarian candidate Badnarik by both Roderick Long (thanks for the plug, too!) and Keith Halderman, and the case for John Kerry by Arthur Silber, and I respect all these perspectives, especially because we are all similarly critical of the current political trends.
For the first time in my life, however, I'm profoundly unenthused and/or fully disgusted by the choices. I have voted for major party candidates in previous elections, and am not opposed to it in principle. And I have also voted for the Libertarian Party candidates, at times, just to register my protest, but the Two-Party system is so entrenched that the prospect of even a symbolic third-party challenge is virtually nil. In any event, after reading Bill Bradford's take on the LP convention and Badnarik, I just get the shivers seeing so many libertarians acting like politicians.
I must confess that my mind shifts among various levels of perversity: A part of me feels that George Bush deserves to be re-elected, only because his administration, more than any other current crop of politicians, ought to stick around and be held fully accountable for the disastrous policies they've instituted, though clearly we will all be paying the price for that. Another part of me feels that if Bush wins (as I predicted back in May 2004), it better be by a slim margin, and not anything approaching a"mandate." Lord help us.
On the other hand, if Kerry wins, I am not at all hopeful. U.S. policies in Iraq have now been institutionalized. Kerry gives no indication that he will change anything fundamentally, except, perhaps, his views, depending on which way the political wind blows. Granted, under these circumstances, it might be better to have somebody who is willing to change in the face of changing circumstances. But Kerry may be in the process of changing into a Neocon Newbie; in the end, he might also be positively Nixonian in his approach to the war, as I have argued.
Still, if current trends continue, Bush might very well lose this race. I've joked about pundits who fall back on soothsaying to predict the winner, but with the Red Sox winning for the first time in 86 years, and with the Redskins losing their last home game before the Election (a Redskins win/loss correlates with an incumbent's win/loss in every Presidential election since 1936), soothsaying is about as accurate at predicting a winner as is informed analysis.
Here in New York, of course, a Blue State by Definition that Kerry will Carry, my vote won't count one way or the other. I will go into the voting booth, vote defensively on a few local races and on various bond issues, and proudly walk out without having cast a single vote for President. As the old adage goes: It only encourages them.