Voting Third Party

I couldn’t watch the Sunday morning talk shows. Abetted by major media, both campaigns are doing their best to make sure we all vote based on emotion rather than reason. The leading stories are mostly about how crazy is Trump today? … and the underlying message is how lucky we are that Clinton has this election sewn up …. as long as no one is foolish enough to vote for Trump, stay home or Horrors!  vote third party.

Though Gary Johnson’s Libertarian ticket is polling about 8%, the media is concentrating on attacks against Jill Stein’s Green Party which is only polling about 4%. Why? Probably because Johnson will likely attract antiTrump Republicans while Stein is actively seeking to latch on to disappointed Sanders supporters.

So many folk cite Ralph Nader as the reason that Al Gore lost to George Bush, conveniently forgetting that the media roasted Gore relentlessly, that Gore ran a lackluster campaign, that Gore lost his home state, and that the Florida Supreme Court gave Florida to Bush. Some polls claim that Nader took more votes away from Bush than Gore, but just as the media wanted everyone to believe that Al Gore claimed to invent the internet, they want us to believe that he only lost because some people voted for Nader.

On TomDispatch and Informed Comment, former Army Colonel and conservative historian Andrew Bacevich takes time away from criticizing American geopolitical blunders to long for serious candidates to make those blunders. In, The Decay of American Politics – An Ode to Ike and Adlai, Bacevich observes:

So while a Trump presidency holds the prospect of the United States driving off a cliff, a Clinton presidency promises to be the equivalent of banging one’s head against a brick wall without evident effect, wondering all the while why it hurts so much.

Bacevich identifies money, identity politics, and belief in a pseudo-reality as the reasons behind our current pseudo-election. But despite a litany of complaints against Clinton, he defers to the establishment playbook wherein Trump is a fate too horrible to be imagined.

And Bacevich doesn’t mention Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). Though Clinton and Kaine half-heartedly oppose aspects of the sweeping trade agreement, Obama still hopes to push through and sign the TPP after the election, and needs only 51 votes in the Senate. Many pundits think a Trump victory would probably kill the TPP, (as would a Stein or Johnson victory). A Clinton victory is no guarantee of anything.

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