A quick rant to my Friends. With all due respect (and for some there is much respect due) to those intending to sit out this coming presidential election, or voting 3rd party , out of 'principle' or in an effort to 'vote my conscience', those positions are not principled or conscientious, and I'll go so far as to say that they are in fact Unprincipled and Unconscionable.
There is more to being principled than ticking off items on a checklist of do's and don'ts... as if principles could operate in isolation and without regard to their wider purpose and context - Principles are an aid to thought, not a substitute for it! - to attempt to be principled, without being Prudent, is to be unprincipled (more on that to follow in next post) To make a choice that looks no further than your comfort zone in the ballot box, is in reality simply a more pleasant way for you to spend your time voting (or not), an easy escape from dealing with the principle purpose of your principles - and to neglect that wider, long-term perspective, is in fact being UnPrincipled, and there is no 'act of conscience' in taking the easy way out of anything.
If you are looking at the ballot as a choice between someone you think is worth voting for, and someone who isn't, and voting that way - that is not being principled. Elections are not about casting your vote, or even electing a representative - those are only means to an end. The end is to preserve and protect our Rights and the rule of law - elections, representatives, even the Constitution itself, are only means to that end.
And if we've allowed the times to become so sorry that we can't, in good conscience vote for someone (or party), because you don't think that they'll further those ends, then you must use your vote as a means of obstructing the candidate you think will do the most harm to your rights and the rule of law.
As foul as I personally find Romney's politics to be, there is no comparison between his big govt inclinations and Obama's intentional malice to our Individual Rights, Property Rights, the Constitution and the Rule of Law. That must be acted against, and the most effective means of doing so is not to be found in sitting out the election, or wasting, and I do mean wasting, your vote on some 3rd party candidate that has no chance of obstructing Obama's pursuit of a second term.
'You mean vote for the lesser of two evils?'
You don't vote for the lesser of two evils - ever! - when you can't vote for someone, you vote against the worst of the most likely evils, using the most effective weapon at hand for stopping the greater evil - the candidate most likely to be able to defeat them. That ain't gonna be a third party candidate - not yet - and sitting the election out damn sure isn't going to do a thing to slow Obama's plans.
The fact is that Romney/Ryan is simply the most effective tool available to thwart the greater danger to our nation, which a second Obama administration poses.
Electing Romney isn't going to solve anything, IMHO, but electing him in place of Obama buys us time, time we can use to try and revamp the GOP, or maybe replace it or maybe even work to scrap the two-party system (which are all short term solutions, but a start).
But we need time, and we as much of our Rights as we can manage to hold on to, to do that.
We won't buy ourselves any time by doing anything that would enable Obama to stay put. And to stand by and allow that, even enable that, without doing everything you could to prevent it, would be deeply, deeply, unprincipled and unconscionable.