Jef Rouner
248 Comments

Voting Third Party is the Electoral Equivalent of Sending Thoughts and Prayers

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Every four years we get together and play American President Idol, electing either a Republican or a Democrat. And, every four years this is when some fringe kook or two tries to tell us about all those parties outside the system, man. The ones who are really woke, as my white ass should probably not be saying, and aren’t corrupt by Big Scaryword.

 

This year we have the perennial Libertarian candidate, former Republican governor Gary Johnson, unique in the conservative side of the spectrum in that he is qualified for the job. He’s also great if you’re into more private prisons and less oversight of them, good old-fashioned Islamophobia, and an assortment of other ghastly ideas better described by the pen of Mark Ames. Oh, and his position on weed is actually slightly right of Hillary Clinton’s if you look at their actual platforms. Still, the right can and has and currently is doing worse off. Johnson has a possible chance to get on the debate stage this year, but unless the Republican elite decides to all jump ship from their own party, join Johnson, and leave Donald Trump standing alone in the flaming ruins of the GOP, Johnson’s odds of sitting in the Oval Office as anything more than a guest are just slightly higher than my own.

 

Then there’s the Green Party and Dr. Jill Stein, a woman who brings the illustrious elected experience of being a two-time Lexington Town Meeting Representative and who has decided she wants to be the new queen of vaccine fear-mongering despite being a doctor. In short, she’s completely unqualified, and she’s either dangerously misled or deliberately lying. She is also polling below 4 percent because of course she is.

 

Between the carnival of carnage that was the Republican primary choosing the form of Gozer the Destructor and the bitter hold out of Bernie Sanders to the end of the Democratic one, emotions on both sides got a little high. I’ve never seen so much announcing that people were voting third party, and every single bit of it is as bloody useless as the Republicans offering their thoughts and prayers to the victims of the mass shooting (does it really matter which one I name?).

 

In the beginning people ran for president, and the person who won got the top job, while the person who came second became vice president. The founders almost immediately realized that this system was absurdly naïve in practice since the loser was bound to be a little bitter. George Washington was elected largely uncontested, but his chief lieutenants, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, formed bitter rivaling factions in the government before Washington could even get his office chair adjusted to the proper height. Thus was a party system born despite being in no way foreseen by the framers of the Constitution.

 

By 1804 the Twelfth Amendment was passed, making the president and vice president a team and for all intents and purposes cementing the United States into a two-party system. Occasionally in times of great crisis new parties have risen to devour a dying old one and take its place, but otherwise two is what you get. By the way, that’s actual times of great crisis like the Civil War, not this panic is the new black breast-beating we do over freakin’ Twitter.

 

Now, the important word here is “majority.” In a three way race, that does not mean the person who gets 34 percent is the president, nor in a four way race does it mean the person who gets 26 percent is president. Majority means “more than half,” not “more than the others.” In these latter two scenarios, the president would be decided by the Republican-led House of Representatives. That’s the law.

 

Which is why voting third party is mostly an empty gesture meant to telegraph a person’s own virtue without actually involving real work. If Stein really wanted to do some progressive good or even pass her bonkers woo ideas, she’d be a Democrat or at least an Independent who works with Democrats like Sanders. If Johnson actually cared about letting you smoke weed hassle-free, he should have done something about it when he was a Republican in actual power.

 

Nothing Stein or Johnson say matters. At all. Their platforms are meaningless because neither of them will ever be called to do any of it or have to answer for the promises that they made to voters. Theirs is a consequence-free existence. Politifact is never going to check them on the Johnsonmeter or the Steinmeter like they did for Barack Obama and will certainly do to whoever wins this long-ass trudge to the future of the country.

 

Saying, “I’m voting third party” in an election year (side note: maybe get off your butts in the mid-terms once in a while?) is meant to portray someone as free-thinking or too personally virtuous to stain their hands with the evil that is the “establishment” candidate, whatever the heck that means. They aren’t sheep like the rest of us who do the popular thing. It makes the question of franchise about how good a person that particular voter appears. It’s a matter of conscience, apparently, though I question the conscience of people who are that concerned about proving they’re smarter and better than all the rest of us.

 

If you’re sick of the Republicans, vote Democrat, and plenty of Republicans are out and out endorsing Clinton these days. If you’re sick of the Democrats, vote Republican, like 11 percent of Democrats did in 2000, and who I blame way more than anything Ralph Nader ever did for that mess. If you want things to change, actually change, call your local headquarters for either party and volunteer. Get involved. Hard work in a thankless task for the greater good is an actual virtue. Learning how to bring people together to change the country is an actual virtue. Leadership is a virtue. Accountability is a virtue.

 

Voting third party, like praying, isn’t a virtue. It produces no tangible betterment of the world. It almost never produces any discernible effect at all. It’s a token gesture meant to imply the person doing it has literally done the best they could with the options available. But they haven’t, and they’ve missed an important point put forth in my favorite political film, Game Change: it’s not about you, it’s about the country.

 

Final note from a personal perspective. I voted for Barack Obama in 2008, and let me tell you an awful lot of folks have vastly forgotten many of the things Candidate Obama was saying in the warm glow of his actual presidency. I distinctly remember his plans for fighting terrorism on the campaign trail, and they were exactly what he actually did. He didn’t betray us.

 

I liked those plans, and as I stand here now in the foggy aftermath filled with some victories and a lot of bloodshed, I have to own some of that. I get to own the good things, too, like health care reform and the many, many ways he made this country a better place after a dark time, but the fact remains America is this big, complicated experiment where the guy who can end Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is also the guy who has made some children fear the sky and our fury.

 

My representative is Ted Poe, a hard-right anti-choice guy who also happens to be an astounding activist for rape victims. You know, unless they get pregnant. If he hadn’t been running unopposed in the Texas Republican primary I almost certainly would have voted in that primary to keep him, though I’m planning on voting for Democrat Pat Bryan in the general. If someone had tried to oust Poe on the Republican side, it likely would have been someone who still hates abortion, but also probably doesn’t care about rape victims either. This way, I still get at least something.

 

That’s politics, and more importantly, that’s America. It’s not a place built by storming out of the room in a moralistic crusade, and it’s certainly not a place where sitting on the side-lines free from any blame deserves virtuous acclaim. There’s a reason Hillary Clinton wrote a book called Hard Choices, and even Donald Trump recognizes that if his vision for America is to matter he has to actually get in the game on a team that can win. So did Sanders. You have three choices. The last one is “do nothing,” and voting third party for president is just doing nothing with a big old bowl of sanctimonious bullshit on top. Just like praying for shooting victims who need blood donations and cities that need lead out of their water.

  • triynko

    This article is completely full of shit. This is 2016. We have massive online communication channels to organize a third party vote and we’re doing it now. We’ve got four months, get ready. Sander’s Democrats and independents are THE LARGEST VOTING BLOCK, which means we will easily win a majority with any kind of coordination at all. FUCK THE DNC. No one is voting for Clinton or Trump this time around. #neverhillary

  • Mike Shipley

    Another apologist for the duopoly complaining that choices exist. Yawn.

  • Jeffrey Dean Root

    So why would I vote for Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump if they both pray to gods?

  • TheKit51

    I assume the “11% of Democrats who voted Republican” refers to the 308,000 from Fla. - a state figure rather than national. How do we know this and what supports that statistic? How many of those 308K votes were cast in error in the confusing ballot configuration, the so-called ‘butterfly’ ballot?

    Obviously, if we are to consider validating 3rd, 4th, ……., party elections, the entire presidential electoral process would need to be reconsidered constitutionally. However, other nations have successfully worked the issues with 3+ parties out. So could we, if we choose.

    I’m not voting for a 3rd party candidate despite powerful dis-trust of either two-party candidate. I’m voting against the candidate I despise compared to the candidate I do not like and do not trust. Neither of the two most touted 3rd party candidates is even remotely qualified for the job and I will not waste my vote. This is a great deal less than satisfactory in a Democracy.

    In a country where only 2/3 of eligible voters are registered, and voter turnout in presidential elections is surprisingly low all too often, the problems are more fundamental.

    Citizens must bear the responsibility for their government. We get the government we deserve. Citizens can drive change. But they cannot do so by treating politics as a team sport divided into a dualism of red opposing blue. We cannot do so by viewing the world only through blue or red lenses. That’s just another Civil War of a different degree than the first.

    We also cannot do so by engaging only in presidential and other federal elections, big name political brawls which the media extraordinarily dramatizes because it generates millions of dollars in advertising revenue for them. They omit other, equally important political electoral priorities, usually at the regional, state, county and local levels. Or they simply omit or underreport candidates and issues they find threatening to their best corporate $ interests.

    As a nation, We the People can only take our country back by becoming engaged in the political process. Not just with electronic media, but by getting out, working and advocating for candidates/issues of our choice, and not just playing the presidential lottery game, but working at grassroots levels. Local/state governments have as much, if not more, impact on our day to day lives.

    We also need to vote the total ballot. Yes, even when it is pages long. We owe it to each other to educate ourselves on the total ballot candidates and issues. Most counties publish a voter information summary that can be read in less than an hour, and the League of Women Voters and other non-partisan organizations also have information valuable to voters.

    If we choose to become and remain active participants in our own democracy, We.Can.Shape.its.Destiny.

  • agunrunner

    Donald trump is completely unqualified,to run the country but 40% of americans will vote for him,how did America get so uneducated by politics,the democrats also picked a poor canidate but at least she will not do any damage to america

  • SocraticGadfly

    Abraham Lincoln took the country into the Civil War on a moral crusade, refusing the Compromise of 1860.

    Otherwise, friend Perry has a good eff you: http://brainsandeggs.blogspot.com/2016/08/the-daily-jackass-voting-third-party-is.html

  • Gnomskalle

    If you don’t like republicans, vote democrat and if you don’t like democrat, vote republican. Then what the fuck are you supposed to do when neither represents your views or interests? Just sit there and go for the lesser evil. Do you have any idea how ridiculous that sounds. That is not democracy, that is forcing the vote. If people think a third party candidate represents them the best then they should make their voices heard and being forced to step in line. However if you are going to have more than two parties you have to have more than three to make the majority presidency work. Like here in Norway: we have a lot of different parties we can vote for, whoever are closer aligned to our own interests and those elected come together and form majority governments usually consisting of more than one party (as none can win it all on their own) ensuring that we don’t get this bat-crap crazy shit which is going on in the US at the moment.

    And remember: a vote for the lesser evil is still a vote for EVIL!

  • Dave Paisley

    You might want to clarify that you only need 50% of electoral college votes. Many presidents have won with less than 50% of the popular vote (Clinton with 43% being one, while Perot got 19%).

    • Jef With One F

      This is accurate, and I should have made that clearer. The damn thing is already 1400 words and I didn’t want to spend another 200 explaining the EC.

      • Dave Paisley

        For a third party to play spoiler, they would have to win at least one state with a decent amount of electoral college votes and the rest of the country would have to be split pretty equally between the two major parties. Pretty unlikely outcome (0.000001% chance really.) But if they really wanted to make it happen they would need to target one state that they could tip. Right wing party could go after some southern state - OK?, while a lefty party could go after…MA? Not easy to tip a state with a big enough population to make a difference.

  • jon pyzel

    We NEED a third party of consequence. That way, congress would HAVE to form coalitions to get things done-or NOT DONE, as is the current mood.

  • TrustQuest

    This article is ridiculous and just a ploy to continue brainwashing people to vote either D or R. This buffoon rationalizes that if you don’t vote D or R, then you are not accomplishing anything:

    “Voting third party, like praying, isn’t a virtue. It produces no tangible betterment of the world. It almost never produces any discernible effect at all. It’s a token gesture meant to imply the person doing it has literally done the best they could with the options available. But they haven’t,…”
    This is just how brainwashed people think. They try to make you believe that if what you do doesn’t change the country, then its worthless. Well, if the majority of the country is brainwashed and continue voting for idiot after idiot; if the voting process itself is a joke (ie the electoral college), then this fool believes you should not vote your conscious, but rather vote for one of the two idiots that’s going to win anyway.
    I don’t allow people to tell me how to think or act. I act based on what I think is right.
    NEWSFLASH: There are MANY more people running for President than the media allows you to see!
    Have you ever asked yourself WHY the media doesn’t EVER show ALL of the candidates? I mean, the sole purpose of the JOB is to INFORM the public! But instead, they feed you what they want you to know…and you buy into it and then form all of these allegiances and theories and clubs to support what THEY TOLD YOU TO! You even begin to hate and fight other people because they like one of the other ‘devils’. And yet, NO ONE seems to care, that their chosen candidate is a devil! They even say it themselves, that they’re “choosing the lesser devil”! As if there were NO OTHER candidates!
    Think for yourselves and research ALL of the candidates. Even though the electoral college is going to make the decision (whether the votes are there or not) anyway, you would have done what YOU feel is best for the country. You can’t help it if you’re surrounded by fools.
    I would suggest putting more people in place at the lower levels of government (who aren’t devils) and then helping them rise to the higher power. THEN we could change the ridiculous electoral college process and let everyone’s vote count. We could also begin getting LESS devils out of our government

    • Brad Thomas

      One of the best posts I have seen on this blog. Too many people aren’t willing to take the initiative and look up the information for themselves. I have noticed that many local offices go unopposed. Just by putting your name on the ballot for these offices or supporting someone to run for one of these offices, an impact can be made. It is very frustrating that many of the citizens are so mentally lazy, no critical thinking is used for who they elect to office.

  • jr248

    Third-party votes matter, obviously. A vote for Nader in 2000 was effectively a vote for Bush. A vote for Jill Stein in 2016 is effectively a vote for Trump. (Unless a Green Party voter would otherwise vote Republican, which is hard to understand.) Are Hillary/Dems and Trump/GOP the same? Mental health and competence aside, one is pro-choice, the other wants to make abortion a felony. One says climate change needs to be addressed, the other says it’s a hoax. One wants more funding for children’s healthcare and education, the other one wants further tax cuts. One wants a path to citizenship, the other wants to build a 2000-mile wall and organize a “deportation force” to eliminate 11 million undocumented residents. Saying that it doesn’t matter which one wins is … odd. How can anyone not have an opinion on which of those worldviews is the one they want represented in the White House?

  • JGISD

    Voting main party is the equivalent of voting for the status quo of big money controlling our politics.

    If you don’t live in a swing state, and the fix is already in where you vote, the intelligent thing to do is to elevate a third-party, so that Americans have more options in future elections.

    http://clearcongress.com/dont-live-in-a-swing-state-maybe-you-should-vote-third-party/

  • djsmps

    bullshit

  • Terri Wise

    For me, voting 3rd party would only be a protest vote if for no other reason than the fact that neither Johnson nor Stein is a particularly good alternative. I don’t see a lot of people standing up and praising them and telling us why they’d do such a good job. You know why? Because they wouldn’t.

  • Scott

    Another opinion piece villifying he 3rd-part voter…

  • Jonah Thomas

    “she wants to be the new queen of vaccine fear-mongering despite being a doctor.”

    You have been fooled by propaganda. Stein isn’t doing that at all.

    You might be right that nothing she says makes any difference to anything. Maybe the owners of the two big parties are totally in control, and they decide what the media will say, and what most voters think, and it is impossible to get any new idea into circulation without their permission. Maybe there is no possible way to revolt against them.

    I kind of hope you’re wrong about that. And I’m going to bet that you’re wrong about that, because what do I have to lose?

  • Jonah Thomas

    You got elections wrong.

    It doesn’t take a majority of votes to keep it out of the House. It takes a majority of electoral votes.

    So the following is improbable but legal:

    51% of the voters stay home.

    The other half vote:

    In the 11 largest states:
    13% Clinton
    12% Trump
    12% Johnson
    12% Stein

    In the other 39 states:
    49% Johnson

    Then Clinton wins the EC votes of the largest 11 states. Clinton gets a majority of EC votes. Clinton becomes president with 7% of the voters.

  • SoZesty

    This is where I disagree, both major parties have gotten so “majority” happy, that they include all extreme ends or try to. That considered America ends up with the lesser of two evils, as well as to parties that basically stand for nothing anymore. As their values, the ones all can agree on, are stretched so thin that the only identifier emerged is party book.

    So if people don’t start voting their values and ideals, you will continue in this flawed two party system. You point out your opinion regarding the candidates to the left and right, I really want to see them vetted and participate in the debate. Shutting them out is simply undemocratic.

  • Jeff Martin

    Mr. Rouner, what you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I’ve ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response was there anything that could even be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may Snowden have mercy on your soul!

  • I, Nudnick,

    So picking a VP candidate who pretty much despises everyone associated with his party and is very vocal about; speaks in a psuedo-political science professor English dialect, where the common man has to strain to understand him - you think Stein/Baraka will swoon a big chunk of popular & Electoral vote by Cult of Personality? Stein really wasted an opportune moment. At least with Nina Turner, there would have been some fruitful outreach to some on-the-line dems. Stein, IMO, is just looking to live the early 1970s college campus glory days. Congrats on swinging some Electorals to a niche candidate.

    • shandon

      Irrelevant. Idea to move antiwar and prorewable ideas and build long-term radical consciousness. Election is minor. As are personalities.

      • I, Nudnick,

        No. Sorry. But you’re wrong. If Trump has proven anything it’s that Personality with a Message counts. If you want your platform to gain traction, you have to sell it. And having a party which seems to thrive on bullying and name calling, not only with those who don’t agree or understand your partie’s intentions, but on your own supporters, as well, ain’t the way you do it. Stein is just incredibly vain and if you’re disappointed in how Bernie left his constituents, wait till Stein is forced to drop the other shoe.

        • shandon

          Don’t care about Stein per se. Long protracted struggle as climate collapses and current forms dissolve.

  • PDiddie

    Congratulations! You’re today’s Daily Jackass!

    http://brainsandeggs.blogspot.com/2016/08/the-daily-jackass-voting-third-party-is.html

  • Founder’sVoice

    THIS ARTICLE IS SO WRONG IN SO MANY WAYS.

    The founders intended the two party system to work because it would “co-op the fringe.” The voice of the periphery of the left and right would be heard by the two parties and they would moderate their platform to accommodate those fringe elements. This was a direct reaction to the instability of European parliamentary systems that were ineffective in governing and NOT responsive to the people’s voice.

    Unfortunately, this has not happened in this election cycle. It did not happen in Bush 1 V. Clinton 1. The result was Ross Perot and a Clinton Presidency. The real Voice of the Perot-ites was heard 2 years later with Newt’s revolution and finally Clinton had to make a hard turn to conservatism.

    This is why third parties matter. In fact, if you vote for Clinton in a Blue state or Trump in a Red State, you are WASTING YOUR VOTE. They will win those states no matter who the readers of this article vote for. Your voice will not be heard. Do not vote for one because you think they will win, nor because you want to vote the party line. Vote your conscience.

    If this means Green or Libertarian truly represents your views and values, vote that way. The more people vote third party, the more the major parties have to listen and then try to co-op that message.

    Real American democracy was supposed to work through influence. We cannot influence policy, laws and the direction of the country if we vote for the lessor of two evils. By voting third party in droves, it sends a message and will influence both parties towards what those third parties stand for.

    If either of the two large third parties win over 15%, each major party will have to take notice and moderate their platform, direction and vision for the country.

    Take a serious look at the Libertarian platform and the Green Platform. They stand for something other then power for themselves and their cronies.

  • bby

    Two things. 1. Less is more. I checked out after 2nd paragraph. Obviously written by agenda hire. 2. We will get more than 15% no matter how many anti Libertarian articles there will be. And then when 2 fools and a promise will debate, some creatures will sweat on live television.

  • muckeypuck

    Wow! A recruitment pamphlet from the borg. You will assimilate!

    Virtue is voting for what you think is right, not a lesser evil. The democrats were moving against their voters to anoint hillary. If they don’t give a shit about your vote, you think they’re gonna listen to your suggestions on how to make the party better? how do you think they’ll consider your suggestions? maybe let you all vote on it? lol

  • Matt

    in the richest and safest nation on earth throughout history, we still have

    30,000 gun deaths per year
    45,000 deaths from lack of healthcare per year
    up to 800,000 deaths from poverty per year

    which candidate who has a remote chance of winning do you think will do their best to ameliorate these issues? when we refuse to vote for anyone but our purist liberal candidates there are concrete consequences. we already learned this lesson in 2000 when al gore was “too establishment” and people didn’t vote because Nader lost. then Bush’s “lost decade” of economic collapse and domestic and foreign policy nightmares ensued.

    how many millions of preventable deaths do we need before we elect this perfect liberal Jesus? martyrs for the progressive cause? doesn’t sound very progressive to me…

  • Sam Brosenberg

    A third party that is actually serious about implementing change DOES have a path to the White House. It is just a long and difficult path, and all the third party people who are in this country today are too lazy to try it.

    For a third party to be successful, they have to focus on down-ticket elections. They need to run City Councilmen, Assemblymen, State Senators, Sheriffs, Judges, Local School boards. If they start winning local offices, then they can move up to state offices, and begin to undo the damage of gerrymandering that both Republicans and Democrats have inflicted. From there, they can move into Congress, and once they have enough seats in Congress to control a voting bloc they can force the other two parties to listen to them. If the Green Party controlled even 20% of the seats in the House, they would be able to use that voting power to put some of their ideas in place.

    However it’s too much work to try to lay a long-term strategy like the one I described. IT’s way more fun to show up every 4 years and whine about the two party system without actually having to do anything about it. Just like prayer.

  • Sam Brosenberg

    Excellent article, very well written with good points, made intelligently.

    Plus, the headline is basically the best thing ever.

  • Ron Geiger

    It is an unlikely scenario where a 3rd party candidate gets enough electoral votes to deny a majority to Trump or Hillary and throw the election to the House - but if that happens each state only gets ONE vote and 32 states are dominated by Republicans.

    Trump would become president.

  • Pastor Meh

    “Every four years we get together and play American President Idol, electing either a Republican or a Democrat. And, every four years this is when some fringe kook or two” wins those nominations. End of article.

  • Ron Geiger

    Anyone who considers Trump and Hillary to be the same thing are ignoring reality. Sure they both have to pander to Wall Street and some corporate interests - that is the only way to compete with a chance of winning in our system - but these candidates and these parties are 180 degrees opposite of each other.
    One party favors ending Medicare as we know it and sending you shopping for health insurance on the open market. Being healthy and age 60 I pay $700 a month. How much will a private insurer charge per month to risk insuring a 70 year old? 80 year old? How long will my retirement savings last if I am paying $1500 a month for health insurance? One party wants to increase our military budget beyond the already inflated $600 billion EVERY YEAR. ( China by contrast is $215 b and Russia $62 billion). One party wants to repeal Obamacare but in 7 years can’t come up with the “replace” portion of ‘repeal and replace’. One party wants to take away food stamps, the other party wants wages to rise so that no one even needs food stamps. One party wants to cut taxes on the wealthy, falsely calling them ‘job creators, the other party wants to lower taxes on the middle class. One party wants to end environmental laws, so that industry can pollute and save money, and this party is unwilling to even admit global warming is happening!
    Trump is stunningly uninformed, vulgar, thin skinned, and quick to anger. Hillary is amazingly experienced, intelligent, informed, and qualified.
    Still think they are the same? Wake up.

  • Joseph Brock

    You should get back to blaming Nader for the 2000 Florida Gore loss, not the Democrats. Pointing to Democrats who voted for Bush only shows that you don’t know Florida. Those “Democrats” were not liberals or progressives, but conservatives, mostly old “Dixiecrats” who never bothered to switch to the GOP. They were NEVER going to vote for Al Gore.

    Nader, on the other hand, deliberately campaigned in Florida and other contested states as election day approached and targeted “the left.”  See http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/4235065 .

    My own anecdotal experience was on election day on Miami Beach. At the main voting precinct, the Nader campaign dressed a man in a CHICKEN COSTUME, who was specifically goading Democrats standing in line to vote for Nader, calling them “chicken” if they voted for Gore. No matter how you slice it, that is deliberate targeting of potential Gore voters. So don’t tell me Nader isn’t culpable for what happened in Florida.

    And Jill Stein is doing the same thing. On Wed her campaign ran an ad in Florida during Rachel Maddow on MSNBC.

  • Terp92

    What’s fascinating to me about this writer is his failure to see the hypocrisy in his own ideas. He judges others without really understanding his own prejudices. That, and the special spelling of the name Jeff as “Jef,” which is indefensible.

  • DK

    Voting third party is not what’s equivalent to prayer; voting is equivalent to prayer.

  • Allan Finkelstein

    I would have thought that “Sending Thoughts and Prayers” were what we were expected to do by voting for Clinton…. I’m so confused !!!! Hahahahahaha….

    Sorry Bernie, But fear of Trump is Not a good enough reason, especially
    when you haven’t explained why you refused to Run as a 3rd-Party
    candidate yourself, when all polls showed YOU would have Won in a 4-Way
    race!!! After all… this is a revolution… and a revolution calls for
    Boldness and Resolve… You can’t make an omelet without breaking some
    Eggs!!

    • Anne

      That’s easy to say when you’re not the egg. Having “Boldness and Resolve” when your rights aren’t at stake- that’s not bold at all. It’s much braver to do what Bernie’s doing. He’s placing first the needs of those who are most vulnerable. He’s advocating for the candidate who will do the most good and the least harm.

      Deliberately breaking eggs-that’s deliberately doing harm. The assumption that you must do harm to do good isn’t true, and has been the justification for much cruelty in the world.

      • Allan Finkelstein

        #1) I have put the Social Security that I depend on to LIVE, on the line… that makes ME an Egg!!!

        #2) How’s that “Turning the other Cheek” bullshit been working out for you so far?? .. If it has, then you are part of the 1% and need to find another place to sell your nonsense… If it hasn’t, then time to brush up on your history and take your blinders off!!

        #3) Bernie Copped-out at the end when He should have stepped up… I take nothing away from him for what he accomplished up to then… but when he was most needed, he gave up and turned into another disappointing Hypocrite… I’m sure HE had HIS reasons.. and HE is entitled to Them… I, on the other hand, have a right to disagree… and it is MY life, and my family’s, that I’m fighting for… You said > “He’s placing first the needs of those who are most vulnerable. He’s
        advocating for the candidate who will do the most good and the least
        harm.” This is Your Opinion of what YOU THINK is his opinion…. He has never Explained WHY he dropped out except for “Fear of Trump.” I happen to Strongly disagree… Not all of us have a Congressional pension to rely on.. many of us have no other choice then to put everything on the line, and continue the fight!

        • Anne

          Hillary Clinton supports expanding and increasing Social Security. Donald Trump wants to privatize it. If that’s your issue, vote accordingly. However, if you’re willing to sacrifice your Social Security benefits for the greater good, bully for you. The rest of us need to keep ours.

          I’m not sure why you’re quoting Jesus or accusing me of being rich. I probably earn less than you (even if you’re living on Social Security). I’m an adjunct college teacher. As for telling me to “brush up on my history” while including cartoons that are anti history… you’ll have to sort out your own contradictions.

          That said-yes, Bernie’s disappointed you. Here’s another “hypocrite” to ponder:

          http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/noam-chomskys-8-point-rationale-voting-lesser-evil-presidential-candidate

        • Anne

          I posted a reply, but now it’s not here-forgive me if this is a repeat:

          Mr. Finklestein, if you’re willing to sacrifice your social security benefits, that’s your choice, but the rest of us need ours.

          I’m not sure why you’re referencing Jesus or accusing me of being rich. I probably earn less than you, even if you’re living on Soc. Sec. I’m an adjunct college teacher. As for your “brush up on your history” while including an anti-history cartoon…. you’ll have to work out your own contradictions.

          That said, yes Bernie has disappointed you. I’m sure he’s not the only one. I suppose you think Chomsky is another hypocrite:

          https://chomsky.info/an-eight-point-brief-for-lev-lesser-evil-voting/

  • Roo Mal

    I really love how that crazy Mark guy ignored the whole frigging article; that 51% of electoral votes is needed to win or the Republican House CHOOSES elections. its a MAJORITY. Not plurality. Therefore: Voting 3rd party is great way to let your political side lose; want Dems to win; vote Libertarian! Want Trump to win? Vote Stein. Easy. Logic. So easy sometimes. Everything else is totally horseshit and probably a paid Right Wing troll.
    OR: A really really priveleged leftist with NO skin in the Game, who cares if Trump wins; Ill start playing Pokemon or some shit; not a Minority, not in a Union, not Working Class; not poor, who gives a fuck! Jill Stein is SO Kewl!!
    The Right knows the ONLY way Trump wins is if Jill Stein gets 20% of electoral votes.

  • arabylilac

    THANK YOU!!!

  • RAHRICK

    story doesn’t mention a historical fact… Abraham Lincoln — who ran as a Republican during the era of Whigs and Democrats — was America’s last third-party candidate to successfully win the presidency.

    • Rebecca Herring

      The Whig Party basically ceased to exist in 1856.

  • VoxPopper

    Oh god/s not again. The author is the same person that wrote the utterly ridiculous article stating that Ghostbusters was a resounding financial success and anyone that disagreed with his readily disproved thesis must be a misogynist. Now he dissuades and ridicules anyone from looking to vote their conscience and against the status-quo.
    The less of two evils is still evil. It makes for a healthy democracy and a better republic to have more alternatives than what the establishment forces upon us.
    If voting 3rd party is thoughts and prayers, then only voting the major parties is the equivalent of selling your soul for efficacy.
    No one should be a tool of the establishment.

  • Michael Davolio

    Thse problem with third parties is that they like to start at the top. Find me a third party that wants to start by running City Council candidates across the country, and I’ll be impressed.

    • Sterling Ericsson

      Yeah. At the very least, they should try and field a candidate for their party that has more experience in governance than just a mayoral position in a town. Heck, I would hope for a candidate better than a State legislature member as well.

  • Anne

    The electoral college is the vote that matters. This article is inaccurate. The current Nate Silver polls-plus forecast has Clinton winning 48.7% of the popular vote, with 315.4 electoral votes and a decisive win. So, the writer stating that not having a majority popular vote sends the election to the House-it’s just wrong. This is Junior High material here. You should know better.

    Seriously, this takes two seconds of research.

    • Rebecca Herring

      That may be, but the election isn’t today. It is possible some of Hillary’s states could end up in the Trump column, or even to a 3rd party. I’m afraid the article isn’t as inaccurate as you think.

      • Anne

        You’re still misunderstanding. The writer bases his argument on the premise that a candidate must receive a majority of the popular vote or the decision will go to the House of Representatives. That’s not true. The decision only goes to the House if no one receives a majority of electoral college votes-a candidate must get 270 electoral college votes to win.

        16 candidates have won the presidency while still receiving less than 50% of the popular vote, including Abraham Lincoln. Only once, has no candidate received a majority of the electoral college-1824. John Quincey Adams was chosen by the House.

        My comment isn’t about whether or not Hillary will win, it’s about the writer basing an argument on a premise that is wrong.

        • Anne

          However, we shouldn’t be complacent. And those who are determined to vote for a third party-if they live in a state where the decision is close, especially if it’s a swing state-they need to weight their responsibility.

  • Seattle_bound

    Although a professional writer could offer a more clear, succinct wording, I applaud Jef Rouner for his precise and accurate explanation of how the Election process in the U.S. is actually designed.

    Many will disagree, but they are wrong. Many do not like the way this is set up, but it is.

    The ONLY way to change this is to abolish ALL political parties (which there are dozens of) and hold each and every representative responsible for their own promises, and actions in Congress once elected. The only want to do this is through campaign reform, and more importantly to change the way a bill is passed: Line Item Voting.

    Line Item Voting is simple enough. Rather than passing a 1,800 page Bill with multiple “desires” packed into it with one Yay, or Nay vote a bill will designed which lays out each change in a regulation or law as a singular item and the House or Senate votes one each and every one as they consider the entire bill package.

    A majority of 65% (on each item) will pass or fail. Everything that passes becomes a regulation or law. All others are off the table. A 50% to 64% vote margin can be put back on the table if chosen once the pro-supporters determine why the Naysayers voted it down and consider a compromise.

    If current Congress would agree to implement this for the good of the country this would end the sandbox tantrums, the tug-o-war, the finger pointing, and the Greed and corruption of today’s political system this would end the Party System (as we know it) for a system that works together for the good a Nation. We would see a government running efficiently, with faster legislation, and a Congress that has crystal clear transparency. Especially, if Congress . gov also lists a section that lists each bill (in plain language) with a link to each Representative or Senators voting record on it. No more blaming part of a bill for one vote choice. It really isn’t rocket science.

  • C.R. Mudgeon

    It would be nice if Democrats were any different than Republicans when it comes to skewing facts to create propaganda.

    Sadly, they’re both pretty much the same. #Republicrats Which is why 3rd party candidates are becoming more popular. And if the “left” (read as: new center right) doesn’t address the gaping economic divide in this country, 2020 is going to pretty much be ground zero.

    http://www.snopes.com/is-green-party-candidate-jill-stein-anti-vaccine/

    #TheJacobinsAreComing

  • stevetacitus

    “What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” (James 2:14-17)

    • Aaron Wilkerson

      “[Jesus] replied, ‘Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.'” — Matthew 17:20

  • Mark Rubin

    “Nothing [third party candidates] say…matters. At all. Their platforms are meaningless…” Then why bother writing this article?

    People who say they’re voting third party to follow they’re conscience are simply “concerned about proving they’re smarter and better than all the rest of us.” How sanctimonious, pot-calling-the-kettle-black and dangerously counter productive a view is that?

    “Voting third party, like praying, isn’t a virtue. It produces no tangible betterment of the world. It almost never produces any discernible effect at all.” How ironic, this snapshot type of historical accounting Where would Hillary be today had not the National Woman’s Party been formed a century ago and (per Wikipedia} and adopted “the strategy…to use publicity to ridicule and damage the Democratic Party and President Woodrow Wilson, to shame them into supporting suffrage. As for Trump, think Tea Party.

    The arc of history is tall and wide. The push and pull of insider vs outsider, major party vs. third party; mainstream vs independent/extreme…these seeming opposites and others are often necessary to effect change. Third parties matter, if only to move the party they are closest to further to what some may call their extremes. They help frame the debate, and in so doing over time help shape the country.

    Bernie had the common sense and political acumen to strongly encourage his “or busters” to work their tails off a vote for Hillary. For her to succeed, she may very much need their help. Hillary’s supporters would be well served to similarly invite the middle and left to unite in the short term. Instead, articles like this, and similar judgmental pronouncements by rabid Hilary supporters, run the risk of alienating possibly important partners. Much better to take the long view than to cast possible allies as part of a collective “other,” an approach that seems finally and thankfully about to be driving Trump’s undoing.

  • C.R. Mudgeon

    Evidently you are white and middle or upper class . And if you don’t understand what that’s got to do with anything, you are part of the problem.

    • Brad Thomas

      I guess I don’t fit the stereotype of a 3rd party supporter as a “white, middle or upper class man”. I live about 15 miles south of Wilmington, DE, a city dominated by Ds for over 40 years, and they have done NOTHING to help minorities. The Rs rarely run any candidates in Wilmington, and the Ds assume they will easily win local elections with a 2/3 majority in registered voters. This city is a crime- ridden, economic basket case. Similar situations around the US are a big reason why 3rd parties are becoming more popular.

  • Larry Kesty

    Great. So the answer is to vote for someone you truly don’t support. I guess that’s the new American way. With the way the media operates now, everyone just votes for who they are told to vote for anyway.

    • Adrian

      Unless there’s a candidate you support 100%, on each and every issue, then you’re already compromising your values. It’s a difference of degree, not of kind.

  • dawrongguey

    *Yawn* Typical liberal drivel suffering from a lack of imagination and a stale analysis of political activity that positions voting as the central means of enacting political will.

    Let’s look at Tx. Hillary would like to win tx, but fully expects to lose it. It’s within her campaign’s overall winning strategy to expect a loss in TX. Knowing this, what sense does it make for the progressive left to tow the line and vote dem on a federal level? Wouldn’t it be much more strategically sound to build a strong showing within a 3rd, more progressive party, so much so that its popularity forces the democratic party to lean leftward or risk being discarded by voters in midterm, state, and local elections and beyond? I fail to see how falling in line behind blue dog conservadems who uncritically support modern day slave patrols, mass deportation & imprisonment of brown people who are native to this continent, and a raging war machine that ravages countries in the middle east and Africa all while funding the same reactionary forces that they claim to combat. Yea it takes time and a lot of organizing-but that’s exactly what the left NEEDS to do, and asking people to vote for Hillary b/c she’s not Trump is not going to cut it. We need to build political infrastructure that includes political parties but is by no means confined to them.

    But that’s just within the realm of electoral politics. Where analyses like these really miss the mark is their framing of voting as the end all be all of political activity. How many times have we been in this same situation? Every time it’s a Democrat vs a Republican the dems play the same tune: THIS GUY will destroy us all, so vote for us- If it wasn’t Reagan, it was Bush. Oh wait, Bush wasn’t the devil, it’s actually Trump! Has any democrat actually stopped to think why the coalition of white nationalists, evangelicals, and capitalists has seemingly ballooned within the past five years and made Donald Trump the Republican presidential candidate? Of course they haven’t, or else they wouldn’t be dems- Democrats ignore the deep, systemic antagonisms of this country (primarily its anti-Black character founded through chattel enslavement that has merely changed forms through to the present, and the mass genocide of the original inhabitants of this continent who even today are denied their sovereignty and their descendents are criminalized because our presence destroys the illusion that genocide is complete) in favor of superficial, ineffective measures that do nothing to solve these structural antagonisms and emboldened the fascist, far right that has has always existed in this country.

    So fuck this spineless liberal. Organize, connect with your peoples any way you can whether that be through providing basic necessities, political and historical education, political demonstrations, or armed self defense.

    And remember, the best white allies go the John Brown route: Don’t use your vote as a weapon, use your fist or something heavier to fuck up any and all fascists (and we got no shortage of them here in Texas.)

    • JoseAmerica

      My, this must have taken you a while to type. Just know I read the first line, rolled my eyes, and ignored the rest.

      • Mark Reynolds

        Love the substance-ridden argument you’ve provided. Snark is cute but lazy.

        • JoseAmerica

          Imma just cede this self-aggrandizement contest to you now. Clearly, I’m out of my league.

      • jimfern

        Scrially, I read it the first time he cut-and-pasted it; this is, what, the fourth tlme? Dude, there is no need to paste the same diatribe four times in one thread! Each re-paste just devalues your monologue further.

  • OsborneInk

    “If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice”

  • CCinRI

    Congratulations Mr Rouner! You’ve absolutely made the case about the futility of the electorates’ current majority, Independents and Unaffiliated, voting their conscience rather than for More Of The Same, is as meaningless as faith in prayer, and isn’t sending a clear signal that our grossly corrupt political duopoly has been rejected. Win lose or draw, the 3rd Party is a force that’ll be relevant and viable in 2020 if Stein…or Johnson don’t win in November.
    Anyone believing the corporate-owned propaganda that only corporate-owned candidates can be elected is sadly naive, but Goebbels would be proud. Like JFK said, “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”, and the American people are on the edge of throwing off the Corporatists who’ve bought the government.

    • Adrian

      Arguably, those voting third-party to avoid Clinton, giving us Trump, would be preventing a peaceful revolution, thus making a violent revolution inevitable.

  • Brian Hard

    more patronizing and scare tactics from the desperate left.

  • Muriel Hogan

    Think of it this way. You are in some remote wasteland and your baby hasn’t eaten for 24 hours. You find a tiny gas station with a few foods available. Your baby is lactose intolerant. You ask the storekeeper for soy milk or almond milk. None. How about tofu? The storekeeper has never even heard of it. He has some baby cereal, and offers to let you prepare it in his kitchen. You refuse because it genetically modified. How about a banana? It has the sticker of an evil multinational corporation. Your baby is screaming with hunger. But you can’t sell out your sacred principles. You stomp out of the store into the wilderness and slam the door behind you.

    • Mark Reynolds

      So many fouls

  • Mark Reynolds

    Just want to clear this up, by the way, what he said about majority and the HoR choosing whomever they want.

    Jef Rouner’s claim:

    “Now, the important word here is ‘majority.’ In a three way race, that
    does not mean the person who gets 34 percent is the president, nor in a
    four way race does it mean the person who gets 26 percent is president.
    Majority means ‘more than half,’ not ‘more than the others.’ In these
    latter two scenarios, the president would be decided by the
    Republican-led House of Representatives. That’s the law.”

    That claim, that the HoR would decide who is president, is correct, in that they decide by electing who has the most votes, i.e. 34%. From archives.gov:

    “What happens if no presidential candidate gets 270 Electoral votes?

    If no candidate receives a majority of Electoral votes, the House of Representatives elects the President from the 3 Presidential candidates who received the most Electoral votes. Each state delegation has one vote. The Senate would elect the Vice President from the 2 Vice Presidential candidates with the most Electoral votes. Each Senator would cast one vote for Vice President. If the House of Representatives fails to elect a President by Inauguration Day, the Vice-President Elect serves as acting President until the deadlock is resolved in the House.”

    Let me repeat that part: the House of Representatives elects the President from the 3 Presidential candidates who received the most Electoral votes

    THE CANDIDATE WHO RECEIVED THE MOST VOTES

    In a 33/33/34 scenario like Jef mentioned, yes, the candidate with 34% would become President.

    Research harder, Jef. What YOU claimed ISN’T the law.

    And the icing on the cake is that your laziness makes your argument fall apart all on its own. Jef’s words:

    “…Majority means ‘more than half,’ not ‘more than the others.’ In these
    latter two scenarios, the president would be decided by the
    Republican-led House of Representatives. That’s the law.

    Which is why voting third party is mostly an empty gesture meant to
    telegraph a person’s own virtue without actually involving real work.”

    By Jef’s own admission the REASON voting third-party is “mostly an empty gesture” is based on the incorrect notion that a 34% “majority” of votes would NOT get a third party candidate elected to the Presidency. Well, Jef, you’re wrong, so it seems like voting third-party isn’t an empty gesture, mostly OR completely.

    Your arrogance has misled you, and you have misled others. Congratulations on being wrong as fuck and being so full of yourself you can’t even research and fact check yourself. A real service to your country, you are.

  • oldsoftshoe

    This whole tirade is predicated upon the idea that the immediate impact of your vote is the only impact. Voting is something that disappears with the morning dew. Voting for none of the above has a long term impact. It is a message from a voter in this election to voters in future elections. The two party system has narrowed people’s perspective to the immediate future and to the idea that any change that takes more than one step is impossible. Voting in the election for an increased chance that in two or three elections from now you will have a real opportunity to vote is unAmerican, because it means voting for a loser. Winning is everything to too many people.

    • DavidPatrick

      Voting for “none of the above” has about the same impact as writing your vote on your morning TP before you wipe.

  • Yeahuhuh

    Bravo! So rare I read something I totally agree with.

  • KayLeigh Rachelle Filley

    You forgot to mention the problem that neither Trump nor Clinton are qualified to be president.

  • Kyuuna Zaraki

    ABE LINCOLN WAS THIRD PARTY. HE did manage some huge changes to our lives way back when he was alive.

    • jimfern

      Not quite true. The other major party -the Whigs -had fallen apart a couple of years prior to the election. Lincoln’s party was the replacement. There were still only two viable parties.

  • Mark Reynolds

    Our system of voting not only creates a two party system, but doesn’t even fully represent the population. The entire premise that the two party system actually reflects all of America is absurd and naive.

    https://youtu.be/7wC42HgLA4k

  • Mark Reynolds

    Jef Rouner says Obama kept campaign promises, that everything he said is what we got. Knowing that is untrue (http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/promises/obameter/rulings/promise-broken/ and there’s six pages of them here), we’re supposed to take his opinion on this matter as fact.

    If you don’t like one of two parties, then you should vote only for the other of the two. What if you don’t agree with EITHER party? What if you’re not a southern, God fearing pro-lifer and you also don’t agree with the Democratic Party platform? Guess you should just pick one, to hell with what YOU believe. The only beliefs that matter are either Republican or Democrat, because Jef is a Democrat, and Jef is infallible.

    Insulting “third party” voters won’t win them over, that’s for sure. In no way did Lord Rouner here convince me to throw my hands in the air and vote for one of two political party candidates, both of whom I believe are terrible nightmares of people, by lumping all libertarians into his simple-minded stereotype of a group. This idiot thinks “the lesser of two evils” is a legitimate and respectable position to take, whilst flying over his head like the Starship Enterprise in warp speed is the irony that abandoning one’s principles in favor of a “safe” vote (as if you could even possibly do that when you disagree with BOTH parties) is beta as fuck.

    This clown’s entire argument hinges on disliking only one of the two major parties. “If you’re sick of the Republicans, vote Democrat… If you’re sick
    of the Democrats, vote Republican.” Well here’s a question for you, Bozo: who do you vote for when you’re sick of BOTH of ’em? Yup, some of us have the “kook” idea that both platforms suck. They’re both giant turds, they just have different colored t-shirts at political rallies. This is the kind of guy who thinks options are for losers. This is also the kind of guy who thinks it’s just fine to use force to make other people live how HE wants them to live. Leaving people alone is NOT an option for Mr. Rouner.

    Jef also can’t seem to grasp the concept of why there is a duopoly on our political system assuming that it’s only because Americans have outright rejected third-party platforms (because those platforms are objectively “kook”), a notion that is mostly incorrect. It’s only MOSTLY incorrect because it’s true only when considering that it’s a by-product of our system of voting. If Jef needs help understanding this, or if anyone else does for that matter, here is an entertaining yet informative video that explains it thoroughly https://youtu.be/s7tWHJfhiyo Don’t worry your little heart: it’s only six & a half minutes long.

    Oh, by the way Jef, you should actually read the material you linked to. Your “Islamophobia” bit falls apart immediately upon getting to the link’s destination. I’m really trying to help you out here. You would also do more for your credibility by not being so unabashedly biased. This piece is akin to studies whose outcomes are not the least bit surprising when you realize that they favor the very people that funded them (sorta like this! http://bit.ly/2aMDy7Z ) It’s beneficial as a die-hard Republocrat to maintain the status-quo and present supposedly damning information about third party candidates whilst conveniently ignoring the enormous elephant in the living room of the shifty, shady truths regarding your very own endorsed candidate. Even worse is the aforementioned ignorance of Obama’s broken campaign promises. Do you believe your own drivel?

    Jef is suffering from a bad case of petitio principii. “Voting third-party is a wasted vote because they won’t win.” And why won’t they win, Jef? “Because no one is going to vote for them.” Why not? “Because they won’t win.” This is so crazy pills I literally can’t even.

    Jef Rouner, you went full potato. Never go full potato.

    • Aaron Wilkerson

      Mark, how is that you miss that the flaws of Plurality voting reinforce the article’s premise? Posting this video argues against the option of a third party.

      You’re also quick to toss fallacies around, but ignore your own Nirvana Fallacy. You ask what one is to do if they don’t like either party. Do you think “sticking to principles” is going to change that?

      As the series your video find belongs to points out, the only way to resolve this problem is to completely overhaul our ballot system. Perhaps that may happen, but not in this election cycle, so talk of third parties is still unrealistic.

      So, take the fuel gauge concept and apply it to positions on issues instead of potatoes and realize that you don’t equally disagree with both parties and follow the largest bit of your principles. But don’t chuck insults around and post videos as back up that don’t even support your position.

      • Mark Reynolds

        They do support my position. The system ENCOURAGES a two party system, but it doesn’t REQUIRE it. It’s PEOPLE who cause this to happen, people who can’t think beyond the simplicity of black or white, and believe in the idea of negative voting (i.e. voting for someone just so it’s not a vote for someone else… or “lesser of two evils”). Within this system, which is a garbage system, a third party candidate CAN win. It’s dependent on PEOPLE to vote for them.

        But of course I get the same nonsensical argument every time: they won’t win because no one will vote for them, they won’t vote for them because they won’t win, because they won’t vote for them………….

        That kind of circular logic isn’t the fault of third parties. It’s not a reflection of their platforms. It’s a reflection of people who refuse to change their political paradigm, and the more people of that sort who support the duopoly parties that work incessantly to convince others to not think for themselves but rather vote against their conscience because “there’s no way a third party candidate could ever win” the more the problem increases. When people realize that they CAN affect the system by voting their conscience and stop listening to people who don’t even represent them in the first place change can occur.

        Think of it this way: there’s NO WAY a black man could ever get elected. No way no how! Too many racists in America! The SYSTEM ITSELF is racist! So don’t waste your vote on Obama, don’t waste your efforts on him! Put them towards a WHITE candidate who actually HAS A CHANCE!

        Same exact principle applied, and proven wrong because enough people voted the way they WANTED to vote. And it had an effect and it changed things.

  • Jacob Santillan

    Holy fuck this went over like a lead balloon…

    FWIW, at this moment, we’re the election tomorrow, I’d stay home entirely.

    I’d never have advocated anything like that ever before but this year’s election has been so distasteful to me I may very well do so myself.

    • DavidPatrick

      Hey. Are you THE Jacob Santillan? Misogyist MRA Douche Canoe Jacob Santillan?

      https://www.facebook.com/Jacob.SantillanIB

      • Jacob Santillan

        lol…

        You forgot Refined Right contributor (we go live at http://refinedright.com Aug. 8) but other than that, I disagree with exactly everything you said except for “Jacob Santillan”.

      • Jacob Santillan

        lol.

        You forgot Refined Right contributor (we go live at refinedright.com Aug. 8) but that aside, I disagree with exactly every point except “Jacob Santillan”

  • Dean

    Spot on!
    If we can’t get done in 4yrs what people fantasize about doing with one vote you get what’s is given to you.

    • dawrongguey

      *Yawn* Typical liberal drivel suffering from a lack of imagination and a stale analysis of political activity that positions voting as the central means of enacting political will.

      Let’s look at Tx. Hillary would like to win tx, but fully expects to lose it. It’s within her campaign’s overall winning strategy to expect a loss in TX. Knowing this, what sense does it make for the progressive left to tow the line and vote dem on a federal level? Wouldn’t it be much more strategically sound to build a strong showing within a 3rd, more progressive party, so much so that its popularity forces the democratic party to lean leftward or risk being discarded by voters in midterm, state, and local elections and beyond? I fail to see how falling in line behind blue dog conservadems who uncritically support modern day slave patrols, mass deportation & imprisonment of brown people who are native to this continent, and a raging war machine that ravages countries in the middle east and Africa all while funding the same reactionary forces that they claim to combat. Yea it takes time and a lot of organizing-but that’s exactly what the left NEEDS to do, and asking people to vote for Hillary b/c she’s not Trump is not going to cut it. We need to build political infrastructure that includes political parties but is by no means confined to them.

      But that’s just within the realm of electoral politics. Where analyses like these really miss the mark is their framing of voting as the end all be all of political activity. How many times have we been in this same situation? Every time it’s a Democrat vs a Republican the dems play the same tune: THIS GUY will destroy us all, so vote for us- If it wasn’t Reagan, it was Bush. Oh wait, Bush wasn’t the devil, it’s actually Trump! Has any democrat actually stopped to think why the coalition of white nationalists, evangelicals, and capitalists has seemingly ballooned within the past five years and made Donald Trump the Republican presidential candidate? Of course they haven’t, or else they wouldn’t be dems- Democrats ignore the deep, systemic antagonisms of this country (primarily its anti-Black character founded through chattel enslavement that has merely changed forms through to the present, and the mass genocide of the original inhabitants of this continent who even today are denied their sovereignty and their descendents are criminalized because our presence destroys the illusion that genocide is complete) in favor of superficial, ineffective measures that do nothing to solve these structural antagonisms and emboldened the fascist, far right that has has always existed in this country.

      So fuck this spineless liberal. Organize, connect with your peoples any way you can whether that be through providing basic necessities, political and historical education, political demonstrations, or armed self defense.

      And remember, the best white allies go the John Brown route: Don’t use your vote as a weapon, use your fist or something heavier to fuck up any and all fascists (and we got no shortage of them here in Texas.)

      • btrandolph

        I remember feeling passionate enough to write long tirades on other people’s blog posts. sadly, it was 1980 and blogs were still a decade or so away. I could feel that strongly because I was still in high school and free to live a life without compromise. it gets a lot harder to do that once you’re out in the real world, unless you don’t care if you don’t get any thing done and most people consider you an asshole.

        • dawrongguey

          Aww, sorry your glory days are just ghosts of yesterday and you feel the need to drag your impotent cynicism toward folks who don’t drink the kool-aid. You aint know shit about me or the work I do, so keep your tired mediocrity to yourself.

          • Whatevah

            That was an ugly and thoughtless remark.

          • dawrongguey

            This is me looking for any way this basic ass comment contributes to the discussion.

          • Whatevah

            Kind of like your basic ass comment above. Again, spending time going forward registering new voters, not arguing with self righteous entitled brats who think if they throw around a couple of profanities then they really must have the moral high ground. Buh bye.

            Oh, and if Trump wins I will add you to the list of people who will have to apologize to my son for aiding in having his rights taken away.

      • Dave Paisley

        Well that’s the most turgid pseudo-intellectual crap I’ve read in a long time. Congratulations on breaking my turgid pseudo-intellectual crapometer.

        • dawrongguey

          Wow, your type is really easy to read. You’re so level headed and rational bruh! I am in awe of your white guy philosopher king super powers.

  • Brad Thomas

    If third parties are so ineffective, why is there this sudden attack against them, when for years they were ignored by the great majority of people? I have seen more articles condemning third parties as a “wasted vote” and “fringe” in the last several months than during the previous 20 years. Sounds like they are being effective enough that the major parties are using fear to scare people into voting D or R. All the new ideas are coming from the third parties. The Ds and Rs are stale and out of touch with an increasing number of people, that is why more are looking to alternatives.

    • JOKER

      There’s a “sudden” attack/interest in 3rd parties bcos we have a lot more to lose if we let a petulant 6 year old crypto-fascist get his hands on our nukes, women’s rights, LGBTQ rights, rights of the minorities and the SCOTUS, this time around.

      • Mark Reynolds

        I like how two-partiers always argue against third party votes by remarking that the one of two candidates they don’t like is the devil.

        Third party people see BOTH of them as devils. Until you get that, you’ll never understand the concept of voting on principle and it being an act of good.

        • KCP

          You will never get a third party candidate because they all full of crap and never have an agenda, just a word salad. e.g. Jill Stein, Trump in Drag.

          • Mark Reynolds

            Explain harder

          • Dave Paisley

            Bzzzt. Burden of proof is on the accuser. I believe you owe us a cogent argument for why Clinton and Trump are literally devils.

          • eric rogers

            KCP that is the most ignorant thing Ive heard in many moons- jackasses are to be IGNORED!

          • Mychele Hillary

            I’d ask that you look at the Jill2016.com site and the Green Party platform.
            GP.org/platform
            And then if you still hold those views, so be it.
            But you seem to be someone who might comment w/o first reading.

          • Dave Paisley

            Lefty pie in the sky, with not one scrap of a chance ever being enacted.

            And why is the “Green Party” leader spending most of her time talking about vaccines and homeopathy?

        • Ethan Kennedy

          I think the key premise of Joker’s comment is precisely that not both candidates are “devils.” It’s not a moot point. It is the most fundamental point. On the contrary, arguments attempting to equate Hillary and Trump in their “devilishness” are largely nonsensical and often far beside the point: i.e. moot. Clearly there are gigantic differences between the two parties and their two candidates. It seems that when most 3rd party advocates are claiming the candidates are the same, they’re really saying one or more of the following: 1) I don’t care what the differences are; 2) I don’t KNOW what the differences are; 3) The similarities I’m pointing out are an ex post facto rationalization for what is really an unconscious/emotional response I’m having to the whole frustrating situation of American political life.

          For that matter, this editorial doesn’t hinge it’s argument on the “lesser of two evils” truism so much as explode it and thereby makes a great case for materially effective, practical participation in democracy, as opposed to merely rhetorical protest votes. The tone of the piece is somewhat snide, which can be off-putting if you’re of the viewpoint its arguing against.

          Finally, I’ll point out that Brad Thomas’ comment missed the point a little bit concerning the ineffectiveness of 3rd parties. The issue is to do with the sense in which 3rd parties are ineffective, according to the editorial. 3rd parties may very well have an effect on the election in that they can scatter the vote and send the election to the Congress. However, 3rd parties in this context are ineffective in that they will not actually be in any position to implement anything they publicly propose. There’s a lot that can be debated/unpacked in that last statement, but hopefully that clears up the basic confusion.

        • Auntie Warhol

          >Well, here’s the thing: third-partiers have a completely different mindset.

          In other words, they’re wrong.

          • Mark Reynolds

            Third partiers are wrong?

          • Dave Paisley

            No, just delusional about the effect they have. There’s a reason Sanders aligned with the Dems. I don’t care for him, but he made 1,000,000 times the difference Stein or Johnson ever will.

          • Fletcher Wilson

            Because he was and is one of the two Parties. How can you say we live in a true democracy. when all the media and others will only acknowledge just two parties. There are not just two people who are running for the presidency there is not 3, there is not 4. For the poor uninformed are more. If you do not know than try to do a search on it.Enjoy your delusion of a democracy. just to help you along.https://www.quora.com/How-come-there-are-so-many-presidential-candidates-when-there-are-only-2-parties-in-the-USA

        • Dave Paisley

          Did you even read the article?

        • Luis Aanndd

          You fully missed the point of the article. It’s not about them but that’s all they are thinking about

      • eric rogers

        You mean Hillary of course the ‘me’ “I’ and ‘mine’ candidate unless it comes to responsibility for all her problems in which case she’s the master of ‘you’, ‘they’ and “theirs’.

      • Mychele Hillary

        The same argument is trotted out every 4 years.
        You all might actually look up your own state electoral laws sometime and ruminate over how your party has already engineered unfairness ithis great nation’s ballot access while also sending our troops to fight and die for multiparty democracy in a land far, far away…. ( including making sure Saddam’s Baathist party was revived).
        Then you might also explore supporting alternative voting structures that would allow for third party participation without “spoiling,” or as I say, assuming your party somehow “owns” my vote! Examples are Instant Runoff, Ranked Choice, and Approval Voting.

      • Founder’sVoice

        The Clinton group are just as bad if not worse. They are supported by people who in their own countries rob all those minorities of their rights and in many cases their life.

        Both The Green Party and The Libertarian Parties will protect individual rights better. The message of the “individual is sacrosanct” will be heard if you vote for either of those two parties. Jill Stein is a much more presidential candidate than Clinton anyways.

    • JoseAmerica

      There’s no sudden attack. There’s just pervasive social media that amplifies those attacks.

      3rd parties have always been dumb.

      • Mark Reynolds

        Me waiting for Jose to substantiate any of his arguments/claims

        • thatgirlinnewyork

          I think you just substantiated it for him.

          • Mark Reynolds

            Lazy argument with no substance is lazy and has no substance.

          • thatgirlinnewyork

            Repeating oneself semantically and memes lack even more substance. But I guess that’s what all the kids are doing these days. No wondering they’re mostly unemployed.

          • Mark Reynolds

            Nevermind the several lengthy posts I’ve made on here, let’s just single out the ones that use memes. “Legitimate argument”

          • thatgirlinnewyork

            Never mind (two words, unless you’re Curt Cobain) that no matter the form, you choose to shout non-sequiturs at people commenting, which is what one does when they lack the nuance and desire for cooperation implied by espousing an opinion within conversation. Just keep hitting people over the head with both; it explains why you’re stuck trying to out-shout others behind a screen over having an IRL discussion, to which you can bring no meme. But you air quote fingers would be rendered exhausted.

        • JoseAmerica

          Meh. I mean you can go on thinking people are “attacking” you when they’re just pointing out how selfish you’re being. But whatever, there will be so few Stein true-believers by the end of all this it won’t matter.

          And in four years you can come back and wonder once more about why people are just so mean on the internet.

          • Mark Reynolds

            No one has made any solid case. You just keep saying “they’re dumb” and “you’re being selfish.” You never substantiate anything you say. I provide substance to my arguments and positions. You can’t claim the high ground here, either.

          • JoseAmerica

            Every comment you make substantiates my “you’re being selfish” argument.

            Thank you.

          • Whatevah

            Actually, so far your “arguments” are about how you see something the rest of us don’t. Not really sure how that substantiate anything.

      • Founder’sVoice

        Not true… They can wreck the big parties and become the major party..

        Know your history.. The Whig Party was once the second party..from Wikipedia - “The party fell apart because of the internal tension over the expansion of slavery to the territories. With deep fissures in the party on this question, the anti-slavery faction prevented the nomination for a full-term of its own incumbent, President Fillmore, in the 1852 presidential election; instead, the party nominated General Scott. Most Whig Party leaders eventually quit politics (as Abraham Lincoln did temporarily) or changed parties. The northern voter-base mostly gravitated to the new Republican Party. In the South, most joined the Know Nothing Party, which unsuccessfully ran Fillmore in the 1856 presidential election, by which time the Whig Party had become virtually defunct. Some former Whigs became Democrats. The Constitutional Union Party experienced significant success from conservative former Whigs in the Upper South during the 1860 presidential election.
        Whig ideology as a policy orientation persisted for decades and played a
        major role in shaping the modernizing policies of the state governments
        during Reconstruction.[5]” -
        Wikipedia

      • Scott

        As Lincoln’s election has shown…

    • Teresita Picos-Menendez

      experience, Ralph Nader and Ross Perot, can help one of them win, takes votes away, and this is an important race, obviously

    • supermouse35

      You clearly weren’t around for the 2000 election, then.

      • shandon

        Proudly voted for Nader.

        • Dave Paisley

          Have you had surgery for that yet?

          • shandon

            No, and have you figured out why nearly one in five Dems in Florida voted for W which was the real reason Gore lost, along with his inept failure to win his own home state, and his uninspiring campaign. You do know he was very pro military and likely would have gotten us into a war with Iraq or Iran or both? His rewriting history may impress his girlfriends, but not someone like me who watched his hawkish record on the Hill for 20 years.

    • BeePalm

      Effective only in their pulling votes away from the two main parties. I happily voted for Nader back when, but there’s no way I will vote for any third party in this election. I was all in for Bernie, but he is not the Democratic nominee. Reality bites, but it is what it is.

      • Founder’sVoice

        if you live in a blue state a Vote for Clinton is a wasted vote. She will win your state no matter what. If you vote for Jill Stein or Gary Johnson, you will send a message to Clinton to stop saying she is for the LQBGTQ people and then taking money from oppressive regimes who advocate killing those people.

        • I, Nudnick,

          Which regimes?

          • Founder’sVoice

            “The
            State Department formally approved these arms sales even as many of the
            deals enhanced the military power of countries ruled by authoritarian
            regimes whose human rights abuses had been criticized by the
            department. Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Qatar all
            donated to the Clinton Foundation and also gained State Department
            clearance to buy caches of American-made weapons even as the department
            singled them out for a range of alleged ills, from corruption to
            restrictions on civil liberties to violent crackdowns against political
            opponents. ” -IBTIMES

          • I, Nudnick,

            In other words, the same regimes that we, the American people finance, through our patronizing of businesses that thrive in petroleum products? Gasoline, heating oil, bike tires, food containers, Saran Wrap, fertilizers, faux fabrics, tons of medicine products, tons of homeopathy products, anything plastic on your TV, smart-phone, tablet, PC, Mac and so on….all made from listed countries’ oil exports. Or, at least a nice size chunk. Maybe we should be joining Hillary side-by-side in that pillory you wish to put her in? Maybe, we need to start protecting our own LGBT community more effectively, as well as crush the War on Women and minorities in THIS country first?

          • Founder’sVoice

            The only one major candidate who would ban oil purchases and petroleum purchases from these countries is Trump. In the thrid party realm, Stein.

            I do agree, ban all oil imports not from North America.. drill here and produce here…

            Clinton’s team including Tim Kaine’s group, is filled with Sharia promoting shills whose home countries promote killing gays and non-muslim Africans, yazidis and Christians.

            Wake up Clinton is not for minorities..she is for her own enrichment.

            BTW, by war on women, do you mean the Burka and Hijab and lack of voting rights in many of the countries listed above?

          • I, Nudnick,

            No. I mean the War on Women right here at home. Abortion rights being chipped away at, unequal pay, violent assaults upon up, harassment off and on the job, mysogyny, explosion of sex-slave workers….

          • Founder’sVoice

            Sounds like Bill Clinton’s legacy with the acquiescence of Mrs. Clinton. If you really care about women’s rights and equal pay for equal work, make your voice heard and Vote for Jill Stein.

            When Ivanka runs vote for her. She clearly stands for women’s rights too.

          • I, Nudnick,

            No. Jill Stein, while I agree with a lot of her platform, and even concede that she’s no anti-vaxxer, is only in it for the niche vote. She hasn’t earned my vote. If anything, she’s repulsed me. She’s only chasing Bernie/Millenial voters, most of whom are white & well off; and she chooses a VP who seems to be confrontational with anyone that gives him the time of day, or doesn’t. Her whole campaign and a lot of her constituents seem to have a mantra of getting in your face, if Heaven forbid, you say you like Hillary and you ask or point out genuine questions about Stein and the Green Party. Maybe her and Baraka’s ‘revolution-speak’ will entice some, but I already heard that nonsense 35 years ago when I listened to ‘Black Nationalist’ on Black Ben the Blacksmith by Richard Pryor.

          • Founder’sVoice

            then vote for Johnson and the Libertarians. the individual is sacrosanct with Libertarians regardless of gender, race, creed, color or religion. Exactly as the Constitution, Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights intended it.

          • I, Nudnick,

            He’s too right-wing on some issues. I like him, but he smacks of Rand Paul who believes that the Highest Office in the Land should do nothing, except collect taxes and let the states handle whatever problems arise in their “territory”. Especially, human rights issues.

        • BeePalm

          I’m in a supposedly blue state, but we have a R governor who beat a female D. I am taking NO chances. Will vote D as will Bernie. He’s a lot more knowledgeable re political ins and outs than I am as he has devoted his life to working in it. I am not as concerned over LGB, etc rights as you are.They have made huge strides. I’m more concerned about issues that affect the whole country and possibly the world. We cannot have a mentally unstable narcissistic con man in the position of leader of the free world. FYI that was my take on him before he even considered running.

    • Jae Cho

      The establishments are scared that the bernie movement has momentum and that their corrupt two party oligarchy schemes aren’t working anymore since the 99% are awake! Free from their brainwashing/manipulation! The establishment (corporations /wallstreet/big banks) are afraid, very afraid!

      • Whatevah

        Um, what does that even mean? And if you vote for Stein, and Trump wins what are you going to say to my LGBTQ friends who will lose their rights? And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. If you care about preserving rights and economic equality, take a closer look at the Dems, and then look at all that we lose if Trump wins.

        • Jae Cho

          Your kind of thinking is going to hand over the whitehouse to trump. And do you even know how our government works? President alone cannot change any laws without the Congress approving them, ever heard of checks and balances? Don’t buy in to “if you don’t vote for hillary, trump is going great to win” if trump wins it’s all the morons voting for corrupt corporate drones like killary clinton.

          • Whatevah

            No, it won’t because I truly didn’t understand the comment. Now that is been explained, I see we’re on the same side. Voting for a third party is suicidal in this election

          • Rebecca Herring

            Did you even think about that reply? Trust me, if Trump wins, it’s because more people voted for him than anyone else, and it makes no difference in the intelligence of the voter, or lack thereof; it’s just the total number of votes, distributed appropriately among the States.

            The reality is Hillary, faults and all, is the only candidate who really has a chance (and right now, a very good one) of beating Trump.

        • Robin Mitchell

          We CANNOT vote against our own best interests and in this case, allowing the Repubs to win is NOT an option. Vote for the party (I can’t believe I’m saying this) because if we split our vote the Repubs will win & our country will be in yet another war-against women, against minorities, against Social Security/Medicare/Medicaid, against the right to Choose, against education, against our national parks system, against countries where we have no business sticking our noses. If you vote Repub. they will gut our national parks, gut Social Security/Medicaid/Medicare. They’ll probably cut school lunches & privatize schools like they’ve done prisons. If you can’t bring yourself to vote Dem.
          At least vote for somebody—anybody.
          People have died for the right to vote. Don’t dishonor them by sitting home moaning about the way things are.
          If you think you’re just a drop in the bucket remember this, drops are what make up oceans.

          • Whatevah

            Oh. Then we agree. Thanks!

    • I, Nudnick,

      I imagine it’s because they take electoral votes away from the main two. What kills me about this, is that at least in regagards to the Greenies - they’re strictly One Trick Ponies; in that they never vote in the mid-terms. Strictly presidential. Pretty irresponsible and dangerous, IMO.

      • shandon

        Idea to create larger collectivist forvr. Stein now is tactical tool.

        • I, Nudnick,

          I don’t even know what that means, buddy.

          • shandon

            Of course not.

          • Dave Paisley

            Well, she’s a tool, for sure.

      • CBC Listener

        But that’s my point. Voting for a third party DOESN’T “take away electoral votes”. What it will more likely do is give a state’s electoral votes (since that’s what determines the winner) to the candidate least in common with the voter’s intent. Popular vote means nothing, as was the case in 2000, and a number of occasions before.

        • I, Nudnick,

          A lot of states require their Electorals to vote by pockets of the population, correct? I’m personally for popular vote. The two main different ideologies are so spread out in this country; sticks & city alike, that the fear of unbalanced favoritism is moot.

          • CBC Listener

            There are two. Just two. Maine, which has never split its electoral votes, and Nebraska, in which Obama won the congressional district that Omaha is in…once, in 2008 In every other state it’s winner-take-all. And even in those states, the two “at-Large” electoral votes, reflecting the state’s representation by its Senate seat, are still awarded in whole. So Obama carved out one vote of Nebraska’s 5 (3 congressional districts and 2 Senate seats, the number that determines a state’s electoral votes).

    • jakesgranni

      There is no sudden attack, but it is important for people to understand, the same argument for nader in 2000 is relevant for 2016. We were told there was no difference between bush and Gore, and those that “wasted” a vote for nader, helped put bush in the W.H. The stakes are even higher now. We have trump running for president. We are being told there is no difference between trump and Clinton. Seriously??? Supreme Court, environment, education, global warming, reproductive rights, marriage equality, voter restriction, our standing in the world. Come on!!!!!! If you think there is no difference between Clinton and trump, you are not paying attention.Waste another vote and help elect trump.

    • CBC Listener

      As others have noted, as well as the article itself, third parties have only successfully changed the political landscape when the Whigs imploded, with the assistance of the South, and Republican Abraham Lincoln won the Presidency. In all other cases, the presence of a third party had the effect of giving a victory to the party that represented the opposite of those who voted for the third party. It happened, recently, when Ross Perot’s presence helped to give Clinton his win, and Nader’s run made GW Bush the winner.

      So, see? If you support Stein, who more or less reflects a progressive agenda, and vote for her instead of Clinton, you’re effectively voting for Trump. Conversely, a vote for Johnson is effectively a vote for Clinton. Is that what you want? Because with the State-by-State, first past the post system we have, a third time party needs to attract more than either major party candidate to win a state’s electoral college votes, and anything less is a wasted vote, as it doesn’t count in the grand scheme of things.

      • Founder’sVoice

        not true… more young people who would usually vote for a Democrat are attracted to the Libertarians because they are not social conservatives. Libertarians embrace the notion of live and live. I think more the Clinton voters hear their message, the more likely they will vote Libertarian.

        I think trump has destroyed the Republican party and the Clinton Machine has done the same to the Democratic party. Hence, we may see 1 or 2 new parties arise from this ridiculous choice the two major parties gave us this year. Basically-Dumb and Dumber.. no offense meant to-

        Directors:

        Peter Farrelly,

        Bobby Farrelly (uncredited)

        Writers:

        Peter Farrelly,

        Bennett Yellin
        |
        1 more credit »

        Stars:

        Jim Carrey,

        Jeff Daniels,

        Lauren Holly

        • CBC Listener

          Okay. So we might argue about the details, but it still won’t change the outcome.

    • Elaine Forrest

      why because if enough people vote 3rd party in a close race then an idiot like trump might slip by like bush slipped by gore. if 3rd party votes had taken a side them gore might have won or it would have looked less like bush bought the hanging chad votes.
      yes all politicos are devils that includes 3rd parties. but voting 3rd party i exactly like abstaining, so just abstain. and then become active in getting like minded people together to actually change the big party of your choice to be more useful to the people not to themselves as a political power.

    • TheKit51

      Because the alternative Democratic campaign of Bernie Sanders and the continuation of his revolution scares the daylights out of the Dems, and the disgust mainstream Reps, have for Trump suddenly brought into question the ‘tradition’ of a two party system among a large number of potential voters, including the largest voting bloc, the Millennials. So the two parties are trotting out every argument conceivable against 3rd party candidates instead of merely pointing out that third party votes are not viable unless they reach the required 50%+1 majority level required to win.

  • Micki Allen

    Wow. Well, I suppose that this self-righteous fringe kook has been duly chastised by Mr. Rouner, but to tell you the truth his snark is really just more of the vainglorious finger-pointing he accuses third-party voters of employing. And, while I can only speak for myself, it seems to me that he makes a lot of faulty assumptions.

    In actuality, as a self-proclaimed Libertarian, rather than “telegraphing [my] own virtue,” if I decide it’s worth the headache and hassle to admit my political views, I tend to be a beacon for derision from both Republicans and Democrats alike, as well as simulated sympathy from Independents, as in, “Ohhhh, you’re a Libertarian. So your political leanings are somewhere between Colonial Williamsburg and the Lost City of Atlantis?” In fact, I tend to piss everybody on both sides of the aisle off; which believe it or not, is NOT fun to do.

    I like to think that my years of support for the Libertarian Party involves real work, but I’m not clear about what Mr. Rouner considers “real work” apart from his snide comment of “side note: maybe get off your butts in the mid-terms once in a while?” Does volunteering, joining outreach teams, getting signatures for ballot issues, or donating hard-earned dollars to local and state LP candidates and causes count?

    Mr. Rouner questions “the conscience of people who are that concerned about proving they’re smarter and better than all the rest of us.” Again with his assumption that Libertarians are all sanctimonious blow-hards. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not smarter or better than any particular person. Does being exasperated with the status quo and getting “off your butt” to do something about it really that maddening? What’s wrong with voting your conscience? What else are you supposed to vote with? Because I promise you, even *facts* according to politicians are relative.

    Mr. Rouner also implores “if you want things to change, actually change, call your local headquarters for either party and volunteer. Get involved.” Yes, well, that’s the problem, isn’t it? Mr. Rouner wants to limit my actions to the two-party system I’m already involved in trying desperately to change.

    He suggests that if I’m “sick of the Republicans, vote Democrat, and … [or] sick of the Democrats, vote Republican.” Well, Mr. Rouner, I’m sick of BOTH. And therein lies the conundrum. What’s a gal like me – one who supports marriage equality AND free trade – to do? My guns (clutch the pearls!) are important to me. My children’s futures are important to me. My rights and freedoms are important to me. Legalizing medical marijuana (gasp!) is important to me. My politics are all over the spectrum which is why being limited to Reps and Dems is a “choice” I can live without. As a wise man once said, “Give me liberty. I can handle the rest.”

    And finally, Mr. Rouner declares “voting third party for president is just doing nothing with a big old bowl of sanctimonious bullshit on top.” And here, we’ll just have to agree to disagree. I understand that voters on both the far left and the far right will be perennially frustrated by third-party voters. But, to quote Mr. Rouner himself, “That’s politics, and more importantly, that’s America.”

    • sukoshi supeshi

      seems like you used an awful lot of words just to say “i missed the point completely.”

      • Mark Reynolds

        Just because someone disagrees with you doesn’t mean they didn’t understand you. If that’s the case, though, then…I dunno…explain harder?

      • Micki Allen

        I apologize for using too many words for your taste.

    • DavidPatrick

      Libertarians were a white supremacist party formed by Birchers. Their platform in 2016 includes a “freedom to discriminate” line.

      So where’s your white hood lady?

      • Mark Reynolds

        Oh wait. You’re serious.

        • Sam Brosenberg

          That shouldn’t be surprising to anyone. When Gary Johnson accepted the official nomination of the Libertarian Party, he spoke about the importance of the Civil Rights Act in his speech, and they booed him almost off the stage.

      • jimfern

        Actually, he is right. 2016 platform states: “ince governments, when instituted, must not violate individual rights, we oppose all interference by government in the areas of voluntary and contractual relations among individuals. People should not be forced to sacrifice their lives and property for the benefit of others. They should be left free by government to deal with one another as free traders; and the resultant economic system, the only one compatible with the protection of individual rights, is the free market.”

        Libertarians believe individuals should be free to practice business however they see fit, without government interference, and the free market will take care of any consequences. This is an irresponsible ideology that would negatively impact minoritues living in majority-run areas.

    • Racheal Balliu

      Amen sista!

  • blubegonia

    I wish people understood fractions: one-third is never a “majority” (fifty percent).

    • Mark Reynolds

      Okay. Lemme help you out here.

      33% + 33% + 34% = 100%

      33/100 + 33/100 + 34/100 = 1

      34/100 is not a majority, but it is first past the post, and that’s the system of voting used in America. The majority “lost” as 2/3 didn’t vote for the winner, but the winner got more votes than the other two, and that’s what matters in FPTP.

      • JoseAmerica

        That’s how it works at the state level, where 34% could conceivably take all the electoral votes of a given state.

        But if a candidate fails to receive a 50+% of the electoral college, the election is decided by the House of Representatives. FPTP refers to electoral votes.

        • Mark Reynolds

          I addressed this in another comment here. You should probably be more thorough in your reading.

          You are wrong. Here. Read.

          http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/electoral-college/faq.html#no270

          • JoseAmerica

            It’s cute you think I have the patience to read the 5 paragraph diatribe of a disaffected Green Party supporter. Typically I just assume the wifis addled your brain like Dr. Jill says they do.

          • Mark Reynolds

            What’s “cute” is that you’re lazy and think you’re better than others and argue against them when you don’t even know what it is you’re arguing against.

            You won’t do any research into the topic you are arguing against, yet somehow you have a superior position because reasons.

          • JoseAmerica

            Yeah, “research”. How ’bout you head to Vegas and put all your money on a 3rd party candidate winning even a single electoral vote and get back to me on November 9.

          • Adrian

            You’re closer to the truth, but still wrong. Each state gets one vote. A simple majority is required to win, even in the House.

            Even if your incorrect understanding had been correct, it would still have been incorrect, just for a different reason. 34+% (really, one third plus one) doesn’t guarantee a win in a three-way race, even when only a plurality is needed. It is just the minimum possible to win. The vote could be split 40-34-26, and the candidate with 34% would still lose. You can’t win if you don’t at least carry your share, but you can still lose even if you do.

            And the last time we had a third-party candidate who got greater than zero electoral votes was 1972. John Hospers (I) got exactly one electoral vote. It wasn’t a close election, but if it had been 269-268-1, and the election went to the House, while technically possible for him to have won as one of the top three recipients of electoral votes, there would have been no reason for him to actually have won. Since three electoral votes is the minimum number a state (or DC) can have, getting only one means not even carrying an entire state.

            Currently, only ME and NE don’t use a winner-take-all system of allocating electoral votes. To win one vote, you need a plurality of votes in one congressional district. Not even a majority in the district, let alone the state. So, in what scenario should a candidate who won only one congressional district be elected President? Even if every state (and DC) split their electoral votes, that would still be an absurd result. He wouldn’t have a plurality of the popular vote. He wouldn’t even necessarily be in the top three of the popular vote, nationally.

            The only scenario where the third-party candidate winning in the House wouldn’t be cause for riots would be in a near three-way tie. 180-179-179, perhaps plus or minus a few points. In that scenario, it could feasibly go to the third-party candidate.

            However, reality being what it is, 33 states currently have GOP majorities in the House, so, realistically, if it goes to the House, it will go to Trump, barring some extraordinary circumstance. If they were to break with the party, they’d go for the winner of the popular vote. There is no way the candidate who came in third place in the electoral college, and, at best, third in the popular vote, wins. They would be within their rights to elect him, but I don’t think that would matter to the voters who rightfully felt cheated. They have to go home to their districts, and most of them will want to try to get reelected in 2018.

            Also, a third-party candidate is not necessary for the election to be sent to the House. 269-269 ends up in the House, too, with no third party in play. And even if it were 269-268-1, that one third-party elector would be no more responsible for the election going to the House than would the 268th elector for the second-place candidate. 270-267-1 is just as good as 270-268-0. Getting third place doesn’t give you any great claim to the presidency. Certainly not enough to overcome both party loyalty and the popular vote.

  • Kristján Birnir Ívansson

    If enough Americans voted thrid party maybe then a such president got elected over republican or democrat, but financial power of democrat and republian is much garter than thrid party, thus pepole are eather pro-democrat, pro-republican or flip flop between the two, as the those parties can bobard the public with capain aids on regular bases. unlike thrid parties which might not have finacial power to adwert a lot. Even if the thrid part might have more in common with the voter than big two.

  • HermesSimplex

    so voting third party makes you either a hipster douche who is broadcasting themselves as above-it-all or a senseless voter who can’t do math. got it.

    and if it’s change we’re looking for, we should vote the opposite as we usually do, volunteer, write our congressman, the good ole fashion way?

    so let’s play out one example of change i want and my options for getting it. let’s say i think the Electoral College (where votes are not proportionate to population and winner-takes-all in each state) is a ridiculous way for a modern democracy to vote. you know… broad, institutional change. how do i go about changing that? per your suggestion, i should go from the bottom-up. write a letter to my Republican congressman, maybe get enough signatures so that he introduces some lukewarm legislation that instantly dies in the House. (which has happened almost 700 times over the years). but hey, he tried! i tried!

    or you can try for top-down change. assume it’s a close election and states vote along party lines (thanks again, Electoral system!). now assume that Johnson gets just one state (New Mexico, Utah, Colorado, etc) that prevents either major party from getting majority of electoral votes. it goes to the House for a vote, for the first time in 150 years. what is the public reaction if a GOP controlled House elects Trump, who neither wins the electoral votes or the popular votes? in my opinion, that scenario, however remote, represents a far greater chance for institutional reform than donating $20 to the DNC.

    people aren’t voting 3rd party because it’s cool or virtuous. they’re voting third party because they believe the only wasted vote is voting for someone you don’t even believe in.

    • supermouse35

      And here, ladies and gentlemen, we see the difference between common sense and ridiculous idealism, writ large.

      You should have stopped after your first sentence. Because yes, you did get it.

    • Rebecca Herring

      You are completely forgetting the extreme damage a Trump Presidency will cause. Notably, he or his Vice President, Mike Pence will nominate 2, 3, or even 4 Supreme Court Justices, some of whom would likely replace a more Liberal Justice. That is something that could set Progressives back for decades.

      Change comes from the bottom up. That may include writing letters to your Congressman, but it really means electing Progressives to your City, County & State Legislatures and start changing them.

      • Mark Reynolds

        You are completely forgetting that Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are both hot garbage candidates and some people don’t want to vote for either piece of hot garbage.

        • Rebecca Herring

          No, I am not forgetting that. You just refuse to realize that one of those pieces of garbage WILL be elected President, and that there are significant differences between them. I just hope to God you don’t live in a swing state.

          • Mark Reynolds

            Wait, I’m sorry. I forgot to ask (which is a mistake on my part): do you have precognitive abilities? If so please forgive my hubris in believing the future isn’t predictable by some random person on the internet.

          • JoseAmerica

            If you can’t see that either Clinton or Trump *will* be elected, you are living in a delusional fantasy world. Or maybe Portland, Oregon.

          • Mark Reynolds

            JoseAmerica’s Facebook profile picture

          • sukoshi supeshi

            congratulations on apparently recently figuring out how to post images with your comments. please keep doing it. it’s so neat.

          • Mark Reynolds

            It’s cute when someone doesn’t have anything to refute a position in an argument so they resort to challenging something else entirely non-related to shift attention and focus away from the fact that they have no rebuttal.

          • sukoshi supeshi

            trust me, i didn’t need an explanation as to why you post so many images. keep at it, little guy.

          • Mark Reynolds

            Of course it’s convenient to completely ignore every lengthy post I’ve made. But that’s a fault of mine, not you, I suppose.

          • Not Sure

            This Portland Berniecrat is voting Hillary!

          • Rebecca Herring

            Actually, some precognitive ability is really pretty easy.

            I predict:

            No one will hit 100 home runs this season. I feel confident in that prediction even though many MLB players will have more than 100 at bats between now and the end of the season. After all, isn’t 100 at bats all that is needed to hit 100 home runs? And many of those MLB players have a head start, even a hefty head start.

            Wait, what’s that? No one has come close to 100 home runs even with much much more than 100 at bats? OMG, you see how it is done!

            Gary Johnson is the highest polling 3rd party candidate, and he’s currently polling below 15%. So Mark, let’s make it easy for you: show me the candidate that polled under 30% right after the conventions (ie: now) who won the Presidency,

          • Whatevah

            Sooooo, will you still be saying that on November 6th?

          • Joe Culver

            As long as we are willing to choose “bad” over “worse,” there will never be any meaningful change.

          • JoseAmerica

            Not true. The best a 3rd Party can hope for is that their policies are incorporated into the platform of a major party. Which has happened to a great extent with the Greens subsumed by the Democrats.

            It’s not “bad over worse”, you also can make “bad” better over time. Which is precisely what is happening.

          • dawrongguey

            *Yawn* Typical liberal drivel suffering from a lack of imagination and a stale analysis of political activity that positions voting as the central means of enacting political will.

            Let’s look at Tx. Hillary would like to win tx, but fully expects to lose it. It’s within her campaign’s overall winning strategy to expect a loss in TX. Knowing this, what sense does it make for the progressive left to tow the line and vote dem on a federal level? Wouldn’t it be much more strategically sound to build a strong showing within a 3rd, more progressive party, so much so that its popularity forces the democratic party to lean leftward or risk being discarded by voters in midterm, state, and local elections and beyond? I fail to see how falling in line behind blue dog conservadems who uncritically support modern day slave patrols, mass deportation & imprisonment of brown people who are native to this continent, and a raging war machine that ravages countries in the middle east and Africa all while funding the same reactionary forces that they claim to combat. Yea it takes time and a lot of organizing-but that’s exactly what the left NEEDS to do, and asking people to vote for Hillary b/c she’s not Trump is not going to cut it. We need to build political infrastructure that includes political parties but is by no means confined to them.

            But that’s just within the realm of electoral politics. Where analyses like these really miss the mark is their framing of voting as the end all be all of political activity. How many times have we been in this same situation? Every time it’s a Democrat vs a Republican the dems play the same tune: THIS GUY will destroy us all, so vote for us- If it wasn’t Reagan, it was Bush. Oh wait, Bush wasn’t the devil, it’s actually Trump! Has any democrat actually stopped to think why the coalition of white nationalists, evangelicals, and capitalists has seemingly ballooned within the past five years and made Donald Trump the Republican presidential candidate? Of course they haven’t, or else they wouldn’t be dems- Democrats ignore the deep, systemic antagonisms of this country (primarily its anti-Black character founded through chattel enslavement that has merely changed forms through to the present, and the mass genocide of the original inhabitants of this continent who even today are denied their sovereignty and their descendents are criminalized because our presence destroys the illusion that genocide is complete) in favor of superficial, ineffective measures that do nothing to solve these structural antagonisms and emboldened the fascist, far right that has has always existed in this country.

            So fuck this spineless liberal. Organize, connect with your peoples any way you can whether that be through providing basic necessities, political and historical education, political demonstrations, or armed self defense.

            And remember, the best white allies go the John Brown route: Don’t use your vote as a weapon, use your fist or something heavier to fuck up any and all fascists (and we got no shortage of them here in Texas.)

          • Founder’sVoice

            yes..this is the point..but don’t believe Clinton will adopt Bernie’s platform once elected. If you want that kind of change..Vote Green Party and especially down ballot.. the congressional candidates will hear your voice..think Newt Gingrich and all those Perot voters.

          • Rebecca Herring

            Actually, I vote “good” over “bad & “worst” in the Primaries, I also have no problem voting “good” in the general election so long as it has the best chance of preventing “worst” from winning. Unfortunately, if “bad” is the only candidate that has a chance of beating “worst,” I have to vote “bad.”

            Gary Johnson isn’t even polling 15%, Jill Stein is faring even worse so far. Honestly, I’m not sure I’d like Johnson and Stein hasn’t won anything above the city level. It would amaze me if either wind up polling as well as Perot in 92. And all Perot did was tip the election to Clinton.

          • Founder’sVoice

            The only swing states that matter are going Clinton because the republican parties in those states will not support Trump. Colorado, Ohio, Florida….. Clinton wins in an electoral landslide..

            So voting for Trump or Clinton is a wasted vote. If you want your voice heard..Vote for Stein or Johnson.

          • Rebecca Herring

            I think you are making many unwarranted assumptions. A lot can change between now and November. You forget Trump actually WON the Republican nomination without much help from the Republican Party. You forget that Wikileaks says they have more on the Democrat Party they can release.

            And clearly you are not voting “for” anybody; you are voting against the establishment, period. Otherwise, you would note tell me to vote for Stein OR Johnson. You would only say to vote for ONE of them and make the case why I should (which, BTW, requires a lot more than voting against the establishment).

        • DavidPatrick

          You are forgetting that anyone so dumb to think Hillary Clinton is “hot garbage” is a brainwashed, inbred right wing douche canoe, @deepdownimnot:disqus .

          • Mark Reynolds

            Nice ad homenim, @DavidPatrick:disqus. Any more inaccurate generalizations and assumptions you want to make about me because I disagree with you? I’m curious to see what other personal attacks you can make without providing a single ounce of substance to your “argument.”

        • Whatevah

          Sorry, but no. SCOTUS, LGBTQ rights, reproductive freedom, 20 million newly insured, the last goes on and on and one of the so called garbage candidates is on the right side.

          Oh, and no way would I ever do anything that would put Trump anywhere near the nuclear codes.

          And no, it’s not fear mongering, it’s the differences between the so called garbage candidates.

      • Anne

        I agree. It’s really basic. Vulnerable people will suffer under Trump, and will continue to suffer for decades under his SCOTUS appointments. He is anti-civil rights, misogynistic, xonophobic, racist, etc. And that’s just what happens inside our country. He’s actually asked, “Why can’t I use nuclear weapons?” He wants Japan and South Korea to have nuclear capability-he want MORE nuclear weapons in the world. He wants to back out of NATO. He admires tin-pot dictators. This is a man who could start WWIII.

        • shandon

          Trumps America First is reasonable,others like Andrew Bacevich have intelligent models. Too bad Trump is an idiot on ego trip. Hillary is intelligent warmonger on ego trip.

          • Anne

            Putting the “warmonger” comment in context:

            Has there ever been a presidential candidate who’s held national office who wasn’t responsible for military action? Sanders, for example, voted to authorize supplementary military defense spending in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2006, 2007
            and 2008.

            Has there ever been a U.S. president who left office without blood on his hands? Even Jimmy Carter-his regime financed and sent weapons to support Indonesia’s
            attack on East Timor-over 200,000 people were killed.

            Did you vote for John Kerry in 2004? Did
            you vote for for Obama in 2012? Clinton’s record is Obama’s record-she was his Sec. of State. Her Senate voting record was near identical to Kerry’s. At least Clinton regrets her 2002 Iraq vote. Kerry does not.

            I’m not disagreeing with the ethical stance against war, but that fact is, our country spends more on military defense than the rest of world combined. We’re smeared in blood. Clinton is no more or less responsible than most of our political leaders. If she’s the only one labeled a warmonger, some introspection is required.

          • shandon

            We have to have a sea change. The conventional wisdom about national security makes no sense with the end of the Cold War. NATO should transition into a regional organization that is a forum to raise concerns but not force the US or any one nation to go to war over disputes caused by often irrational or unstable regimes like the Baltic states or Turkey. And the looming confrontatiions with China in the SE Asia region are absurd from the US POV.

            Yet Hillary helped design this new Cold War type confrontatiion, which is really just a continuation of Japanese-Chinese rivalry. Since neither China nor Japan are threatening the US territory with military force. let them fight it out. Our strategy should be to take economic and even immigration actions against any of the Asian nations(including the Koreas and Japan) which engage in unfair trade or currency practices. But war? Not a cost effective solution in 2016 or in the future.

            Let’s phase out these bases and carrier forces. The US budget deficit will have a marked improvement, and we can do those infrastructure projects we need. Trump may be right on trade and even on rethinking alliances, but he’s too irrational to lead anything other than his sketchy companies. And Hillary is the Goldwater of 2016. Well, she was a Goldwater supporter, and her dad was in the John Birch Society.

          • Anne

            Hillary Clinton was 16 years old when Goldwater was running. The fact that she was influenced by her parents when she was still a child… holding that against her?Oh…. forget it. There’s no point continuing this conversation.

          • Anne

            The “America First” thing is not reasonable. It’s an ungenerous isolationist slogan that is an extension of Trump’s “me first” thinking. As far as ego trips-anyone running for president has a healthy ego. Trump is a narcissist-which is far beyond ego.

      • Founder’sVoice

        Sorry, we have already seen the damage of this current group of demagogues. With millions of displaced persons in Syria, 500,000 dead. Iraq in ruins. Christian and Yazidi genocide, Libya a home to ISIS…Russia in Ukraine, China flexing its muscles, and All Clinton can do is talk about putting more American coal and oil workers out of a Job.

        How about putting Middle Eastern Oil companies out of a Job… And binging back American energy and American Jobs!

      • shandon

        The breakup of America and monopoly corporate lords devoutly to be wished.

    • DuckingGold

      No, he’s right, they vote third party because they’re absolute morons.

      • Mark Reynolds

        Solid argument you got there

        • sped teacher

          Best meme ever!

    • JoseAmerica

      “people aren’t voting 3rd party because it’s cool or virtuous”

      Yes, that’s precisely why they do it. You’re basically saying that your principles matter more than the lives of actual people who stand to suffer in Trump/GOP administration. And you feel it’s really important that people know that about you.

      Lemme guess, white dude, right?

      • Mark Reynolds

        1) Claiming to know why other people do things does not make your assumption truth
        2) Assuming vote for third-party is vote for Trump is logical fallacy. A vote for X is a vote for X, not Y or Z. Otherwise it would be a vote for Y or a vote for Z.
        3) Want to claim more moral high ground while you stereotype people based on their ethnicity?

        • JoseAmerica

          But, for real. White dude, amirite?

          You can just admit it, Mark.

          • Mark Reynolds

            But for real, it has no impact unless you’re racist, amirite?

            You can just admit it, Jose.

          • JoseAmerica

            You tell me.

          • supermouse35

            It’s not racist to point out to someone else that their attitudes and statements clearly reflect their privilege. 99.5% of the 3rd party voters I have ever met are exactly what JoseAmerica said you must be: white (straight) males. They are voters who feel 100% entitled to get exactly what they want whenever they want it, and everyone else be damned. They actually believe they can bust the 2-party system into pieces with a few hundred thousand votes, and to hell with the fact that they are jeopardizing the lives and rights of millions of women, African-Americans, Hispanics, Muslims, LGBTQ citizens, and just about any other group you can name who isn’t protected by the almighty privilege of the white (straight) male.

            You go ahead and enjoy your little dream of destroying the country’s current and deeply, deeply entrenched political system. The rest of us who actually have something to lose will be out here fighting for our lives, but don’t let us disturb your sweet, sweet, stupid fantasy.

          • Whatevah

            And be prepared to apologize to those whom you’ve helped take away their rights. That is the consequence of a Trump victory enabled by third party votes.

          • Mark Reynolds

            Oh lord. Racial privilege. Want to make any more generalizations about me because of my race while you’re in racist land?

        • Whatevah

          See the 2000 election. Nader took votes from Gores. If Bush hadn’t become President, there would have been no invasion of Iraq. That’s just the reality.

          • Founder’sVoice

            Only the invasion of your rights and privacy by the progressive statists now in control of the White House. The current Democratic Party has more in common with the Soviet Communist Party than it does with the party of FDR/Kennedy or LBJ.

          • Whatevah

            Lol. That was hilarious. Tell me, was 911 an inside job.

          • Founder’sVoice

            Only if you consider Clinton’s negligence while canoodling multiple interns while in the oval office and thereby leaving Bin Laden un-killed an inside job…….because there was clearly a job involved… 😉

      • Founder’sVoice

        No one who votes third party is going to get Trump elected. they are going to send a message to the losers, the republicans, that this is what they need to do to win the mid terms. the Republican party will become more Libertarian if more people vote for the Libertarians this go around.

        Clinton will still win in an electoral landslide. The day after she is sworn in, the republicans will start impeachment proceedings.

    • Peter Marinari

      Thank you for encapsulating 3rd party votes in this fashion. I appreciate it (especially knowing by doing so you were wading into unfriendly waters).

    • Ibbleschitz

      Lincoln was a third Party candidate. The GOP was born in Ripon Wisconsin and replaced the Whigs. the real problem is making everyone “chose a side” as if it were a coin. H. Ross Perot might have won in ’92 John Anderson made a decent go of it in 80… the thing is we need a really good Third Party, Johnson’s close, but just a touch off. would he get much done in this Polarized political Climate? NOPE. would he influence down ticket races? Nope. but if he won, it would send a clear message to the other two parties to get their stuff together and pay attention to the people make up our great country.

      • Rebecca Herring

        Lincoln was NOT a third party candidate. The Whig Party had effectively ceased prior to the 1856 election. Perot didn’t come close to winning in 92. He barely made 20% of the popular vote and no electoral votes.

        If he won? That’s up there with if pigs fly.

      • Whatevah

        Wow. I’ve been paying attention for years. I’ve volunteered in every election. I voted for Bernie in the primaries to get the Dems to stand up and take notice. And they did.

        Yeah, have fun with that. I’ve wasted too much time on here. Better to register new voters then this.

    • chrisgranner

      Changing the role of the Electoral Collage is a monumental change that will take years, and hundreds of millions of hours of hard, thankless work. Hard to do that kind of thing by yourself — have to get a bunch of people together and work long & hard & maybe a constitutional amendment is possible. But it’s kind of a weird example of something you “can do” without voting for a major party candidate. You actually have less chance of making that change in a presidential election cycle than a third party has of winning the presidency. Politics is hard & thankless. but things ARE do-able. Look at what Obama accomplished, against implacable opposition: we now have A health care system. No third party will ever do anything like that…until it replaces one of the two parties.

    • Whatevah

      Hope you are willing to apologize to my LGBTQ friends and family when their rights are taken away under a Trump presidency.

  • Marti Salvato

    Boom. Although I suspect that you’ve mostly done a Preach—>>Choir piece, the snark quotient alone is worth sharing. Worth reposting.

    • Pieter B

      Definitely quality snark.

  • single payer

    This article is (to use the author’s words) a big old bowl of bullshit……..
    Jill Stein 2016

    • kylejack

      If Jill Stein manages to win some electoral votes the election will be forced to the House where the Republicans will install Trump. Then he’ll abolish political parties and jail Jill Stein as a dissident.

    • RANGERFAN_WA

      Yeah, that’s about the level of discourse I see from most Jill Stein fans.

    • ExiledV2

      Not bullshit. It’s math. If you can’t understand the math, you can’t be helped.