Ok, this post doesn't have much to do with investments per se, but since election day is coming up, it might be a good time to discuss politics and political strategy. If you are reading this blog, you are most likely a libertarian.
Some libertarians think you should try to choose the best candidate for each open slot. Some believe that you should only vote third party. Some think that you should only vote for certain races and certain people. Some libertarians even think that you should not vote at all.
I come down in the third category. I can understand the position of not voting at all and sometimes I do that, but I don't necessarily agree that you are going against principles by voting. It is true that if nobody showed up to vote that nobody would be elected. Of course, the candidates and their families will always show up. But I don't think you are endorsing the system just because you are playing the game that has been set up, even if you disagree with it.
I agree with Murray Rothbard on this one. If you were in jail (let's say it was for a non-crime) and you got to vote on what was for dinner or who your warden would be, wouldn't you do it? You could stand on principle and not vote because you didn't commit a crime and shouldn't be in jail, but that doesn't really change the situation. Wouldn't you at least like to get a good meal and a warden who might treat you decently?
With that said, I don't think you should be voting for the lesser of two evils, unless one is dramatically less evil than the other. In other words, you really shouldn't vote in a lot of cases. Unless you have a good third party candidate (unlikely) or a really good Democrat or Republican (highly unlikely), then it is better to leave your ballot blank or write in your own name.
Let's say you have a Republican who says he wants lower taxes and less spending (where have we heard that before?). If this person doesn't offer any specific spending cuts, you can be pretty sure that he/she is not going to vote for lower spending. These people tell you what you want to hear. They will say anything to get elected.
That is the key to voting for candidates. Only vote FOR candidates and not AGAINST candidates. Only vote for candidates that can offer specifics on how to reduce the size of government. If you aren't hearing anything substantial, then don't vote in the race. Vote for and against the state amendments if you have them. If there is nothing worthy to vote for or against and no worthy candidates, then stay away from the election booth.