My Response to Clint Taylor
The question for me is not whether I prefer Bush to Kerry. I already know that I do, for many (although not all) of the reasons that you outlined. Rather, the question is would I rather SAY and THINK TO MYSELF that I voted for Bush or that I voted for Badarnik.
Why is the last question the way I choose to look at it? Because I am incredibly certain that my vote WILL NOT SWAY THE ELECTION and if it did, it would be tossed out in a recount. Single votes do not matter - groups of votes do - and my voting third party will not affect enough other people to make a noticeable difference in this election - even in a state as close as Ohio.
Additionally - my voting third party has an added bonus in that I am more likely to succeed at convincing Kerry Ohio voters to not vote for their candidate and switch to Bush, because I will be more likely to portray myself as a neutral relatively unbiased observor. I have already used this tact to switch quite a few votes from Kerry to Bush.
Now, going to the second question - which would I rather SAY I voted for after the election. I will not outline my issues in not voting for Bush - you already know them (war on drugs, increase in government spending/entitlements, protectionism, stance on gay marriage). However, there are additional reasons that we have not mentioned that could sway my vote either way. First, Badarnik is a little too isolationist for my tastes. Second, I want to give the president "moral support" for many foreign policy stances that I find courageous. Finally, saying that I voted for Bush has much more comedic effect on those whose opinions I find simplistic than saying I voted third party. On the other hand, there is something to be said about voting for somebody who you agree with on almost all the issues (Badarnik). Also, if Bush ends up losing, I'll have the satisfaction of knowing that I least cast my vote for a candidate that I believe in. Finally, it is very important to me to vote for at least one libertarian an election cycle - it just so happens that in this election, the only liberterian on the ballot is running for president.
I have not made up my mind yet on how I'll vote, but I'll make a decision tonight after seeing Team America for inspiration.
All the Best,