(Not so) Lucky me. Apparently I get THREE votes in November!

Gary Johnson

We all expect higher quality products to cost more, don’t we?  So if votes are the currency of elections, it only makes sense that there’d be a clearance sale on 2016’s pathetic crop of presidential candidates. Sure enough, it seems that I’m privy to a Vote-For-One, Get-Two-More-Free SPECIAL OFFER!!!

So how did I get so lucky? Well, it’s a little complicated, but I think I can explain. It starts with me deciding to cast my vote for Libertarian Candidate Gary Johnson. (Vote No. 1) Yes, he’s kind of goofy, he doesn’t always know what libertarian actually means, and his isolationism is practically ridiculous. But on the positive side of the ledger, Johnson was a successful and popular two-term governor who’s for limited government and he understands real-world economics.  If he’d been among the original crop of 2016 Republican candidates (as in 2012), I would have given him fair consideration … and he would NOT have ranked at the bottom. (The deep cellar spot was reserved for Donald Trump—by a lot!) Honestly, where push comes to shove, I’d expect Johnson to govern pretty well. That’s not something I can say of any other presidential candidate on this year’s ballot.

But see, here’s the thing with that vote for Johnson… apparently it’s supposed to go to the Republican candidate because I voted in the Republican Primary. Unbeknownst to me — I failed to read and understand the GOP User Agreement before checking the Republican box — if you’ve voted Republican in past elections, you must continue to vote Republican in perpetuity. (Note: The Democrats have the same kind of deal.)

Now no one can physically force you to vote Republican… and strangely enough, you are allowed to vote for the Democrat. But what you are NOT allowed to do is vote for a third-party candidate, otherwise the Binary Directive Provision in the User Agreement kicks in. Thereby, as punishment for failure to maintain party loyalty, an additional Republican-betrayal vote will be awarded to the Democratic candidate. (Vote. No. 2) I agree this seems like an odd way to enforce party discipline, but If you doubt me, just think of all the times you’ve heard, “A vote for anyone other than Trump is a vote for Killary!” When so many people repeatedly say the same thing it must be true. Must be.

The Binary Directive is actually a little tricky, however, as it relies heavily on the Lesser-Evil Justification Rule. This provision assumes that the wayward voter will always view the scorned Republican as ultimately preferable to the Democrat. However, if someone put a gun to my head and said, “We are going to kill you, all your friends and family, and your cat, unless you vote for either Trump or Hillary,” I would swallow hard and choose Hillary. Here, the Perversity Addendum to the Lesser-Evil-Justification Rule comes into play. And once this happens, the only way to honor the Binary Directive is to award a third vote to Donald Trump! (Vote No. 3) Phew!

(All of this would work the same way, but in reverse if, say, you were a disaffected Bernie voter who’s supporting Jill Stein.)

So there you have it … three votes for one citizenship. Unfortunately, I’m only sort of okay with one of them and the other two make me want to puke. I can only hope that this is truly a once-in-a-lifetime offer.

Jim Carroll

Jim Carroll is a freelance writer and marketing consultant living in Eufaula, Alabama. During a communications career spanning nearly 30 years, Jim has worked as a radio deejay, producer and commercial copywriter; a newspaper journalist and editor; and a marketing communications manager and creative director for a major direct mail advertising company. A libertarian-leaning conservative, Jim’s first published work was a ‘letter to the editor’ of the Columbus (Ga.) Ledger- Enquirer at the age of 11 in support of President Richard Nixon. Apart from The Bible, he lists Milton Friedman’s "Free to Choose," and Stanley Milgram’s "Obedience to Authority" as the greatest literary influences in his life. Jim is a 1985 graduate of Auburn University.