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

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.

  • Pants up don’t loot

    Here is another irrefutable fact that is not up for debate!!!

    1. When the candidate that you are voting for has no mathematical chance of winning the election your vote is wasted that is a fact based on logic and common sense. No third-party candidate has ever won a single electoral vote of the required 270 to win the White House. Ross Perot got 0 and Gary Johnson and Jill Stein both got 0. It is mathematically impossible for any candidate other than a Republican or a Democrat to win the White House in the United States of America.

  • Pants up don’t loot

    The fact of the matter is no third-party candidate will ever win the White House!! That is a fact you pathetic third-party voting losers!!!!! My candidate Donald Trump won the election with 306 electoral votes while Gary Johnson and Jill Stein both got less than 3% of the popular vote and 0 of the required 270 electoral votes to win the White House. I have had many long conversations with many third-party voters and they are basically clueless retards when it comes to politics and don’t know what the hell they’re talking about. Mark it on your calendar’s, take a screenshot or put it in the back of your memory because one thing I can personally assure you of his long as you are alive no third-party candidate will ever come close to winning the White House ever!!!!

    Grow up losers.

  • Adam Faigen

    I think it was best said like this: When you told 3rd party voters that they actually voted for Trump: it is like telling a vegetarian that if they don’t like McDonalds they must like Burger King. It is asinine. Hillary was the lesser of two evils, yes, but not THAT much less evil; she, too is a war monger (hello; she was secretary of state for a few years..) not to mention almost as racist as Trump : not a joke. http://downtrend.com/71superb/top-ten-examples-of-hillary-clintons-racism-the-media-chooses-to-ignore

  • Duncan_McFarlane

    Having a system where you only get a choice between two parties both of which are funded by big banks, big firms and the super rich is like not having a proper democracy

  • Ryan Buckner

    Jill Stein is pro vaccines, so you lie. Typical of a Hillary sheep. So your argument is that of a loser. Jill Stein is just as qualified, if your lie about her made her unqualified, then, the fact Hillary says video games cause violence in society makes her unqualified. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x1udjd2Aq3E Bitter hold out? He said from the fucking beginning he would run until the end. Stupid. Pretty sure more than two parties existed back then. Until Lincoln won. She was a democrat. Look at why she left. Your party is corrupt. Not like she wouldn’t be willing to work with Democrats as a green. Or does Hillary not plan to work with Republicans? Hmm? See the faulty logic there? Yawn, what you say doesn’t matter. Retarded to assume any third party voters didn’t vote in the mid terms. Did you? Did everyone you know who is voting democrat/ for Hillary vote in the mid terms? You’re one of the idiots who assert we aren’t thinking and all that, hence why we call ourselves those things. Voting for the lesser of two evils or corruption contradicts conscience. Plenty of Republicans would vote third party too. So your argument there is moot. Same with Democrats. Oh good, you admit democrats costed Gore the election. How many times did someone refute the Nader myth before it sunk in for you? Bernie is third party. Independent. So quit your lying. Majority of Americans are now Independent. Does Pat Bryan support Bill Clinton the rapist? Or Hillary the rape enabler who defended a child rapist back in the 70s? Only 9% of Americans voted for Hillary/Trump in the primaries. Over 100 million normally don’t vote. PERIOD. So to say don’t vote…that’s alienation. If those 100 million voted for Jill, she would win.

  • Randall Lee

    I like it when my betters tell me how to vote.

  • Raymond

    This person says…

    “Saying, ‘I’m voting third party’ in an election year 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.”

    He’s basically saying that he is incapable of comprehending the strategic value of voting for anyone who isn’t going to win, this time. Doesn’t even consider the possibility that the issues *you* care about can, in fact, be granted greater legitimacy for future growth by lending your support now. He’s saying that you should abandon any foolish thoughts of making things better and just let yourself sink into the mud, and that the only possible motivation for not supporting criminal behavior is vanity. He’s literally trying to paint “personal virtue” as something to be disposed of when things become difficult and that he doesn’t even really understand what virtue means. Really?

    He goes on to say…

    “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.”

    Who the hell is Jef Rouner to question anyone’s conscience that he hasn’t actually spoken to or to assign frivolous motivations to their exercising it? His use of the word “apparently” is a direct admission that he has no interest, and therefore hasn’t examined any data, about what those questions of conscience might be. He sounds like he would have been a royalist during the American revolution. “Come on guys. You with your fancy ideas about democracy and self-rule are going to get us in trouble with the King. He’s not such a bad guy and this tea is delicious!!!”

    Then he goes on to smear Stein and Johnson, as if any of their foibles comes anywhere close to the epic baggage the two front-runners are carrying. Okay, I’ll admit Johnson is probably just as stupid as Trump is, but at least he doesn’t publically declare that people’s value should be judged based on their race, sex, religion, or country of origin. Or stand in front of her supporters and recount the harrowing story, multiple times, of how she landed in Bosnia under sniper fire and had to run to the terminal to escape being killed when the video showed her calmly inspecting troops and doing photo ops with girls clubs on the tarmac like Hillary did (this being just one lie in a list so long it staggers the mind, bearing in mind that I’m dismissing the boilerplate Benghazi, Whitewater , Bill, Email nonsense). Being a veteran, this one is especially galling to me. It’s called “Stolen Valore”, where someone pretends to have placed themselves in harm’s way to enhance their esteem in your eyes.

    Yeah, why should my conscience interfere with her ambition to power? It’s not that I’m “smarter than the rest of us”, it’s that I *am* better than her insomuch as I care more about my fellow citizens than I care about sucking up to powers who view us as nothing other than consumers.

    Here’s how the super-ultra-rich get things done: they make sure that no matter who wins, they benefit. They groom and support people who can present themselves as leaders of the largest factions, regardless of ideology, while making sure their ultimate loyalties are to them. Primarily through money and blackmail. Perhaps Trump can’t be bought, but he certainly knows on which side his bread is buttered, and that as the CEO of the country, how to make it even butterier.

    They also fund think tanks, and pretty much anyone with an audience, who’s willing to create high-minded sounding arguments for corporate conformity. We’re talking billions and billions of pay-offs for traitors to humanity. I know I’m not quoting the exact numbers here, but I’ve read several reports that were along the lines of something like 50 companies spent 30 billion dollars lobbying congress, which then granted them more than 6 trillion dollars in benefits. And I’m expected to cooperate?

    No, Jill won’t win, and I’m not even sure I would want her to. But if Hillary’s margin is slim enough, the bean counters at the DNC are going to have to be asking themselves if it’s wise to keep drifting farther to the right at the risk of losing the next one. If you live in a swing state, then for god’s sake, vote for Hillary. If not, send a message. Tell the DNC you ARE a voter and that they have to earn it. Gatherings in the streets are easily ignored and soon forgotten. Votes are not. Which do you think is the more effective protest?

    I see this as Jef’s attempt at victim blaming. “you’re just asking to be assaulted if you don’t think like ‘the rest of us'”. Whoever, in his mind, “us” is.

  • Shannon Morris

    Yeah, when attempting to persuade, it’s always good to start off by calling people “fringe kooks”. By the time I stopped reading due to lack of interest in anything else you had to say, I actually felt MORE like voting for a third party.

  • idic5

    SIGH…. Let’s first start off w/ a couple sayings, the first from Chris Hedges, ‘ I do not fight fascism because I will win, but I fight it becasue it is fascism’.

    2nd, from Confucious: ‘ A long journey starts with one step’.

    How about this — vote your values, your priorities . It is is absurd to vote for someone you oppose. It is morally and rationally foggy at a minimum. When the millions of votes are tallied at the end of the day, CLinton and the system will think that those votes are for going to war over a cyber hacking episode , or in the ramping up of surveillance to increase the security of our state, for example.

    There is no ‘ Well, I just didnt like the other guy’ box on the ballot, so the system has no way to id this. And when we get lots of stuff we dont like, such as continued corporate cronyism , pay for play, unhinged military spending, endless war, and reckless foreign misadventures, the continued march towards a 21st century police state and the movement towards climate catastrophe , people will point to YOUR VOTE.

    You should have stuck your conscience , and your thoughts and prayers. At least you can look at your kids and sleep at night , sort of.

  • Aaron Bergmans

    If they have no chance in winning, how is it no different than not voting (which you told us was our third option). Sounds like somebody’s scared of Third parties….

    • Pants up don’t loot

      LOL you are absolutely right Republican voters like myself are afraid of candidates that get somewhere between 1% to 3% of the total popular vote and 0 of the required 270 electoral votes to win the White House. Brainless retards like you make people like myself that understand politics and the way that the world actually works laugh out loud.

  • fatcat65

    “Hard work in a thankless task for the greater good is an actual virtue.”

    As in like, oh, I don’t know, supporting a third party candidate?

  • Brandon Leger

    Voting, in and of itself, is the democratic equivalent of sending thoughts and prayers, since it has no practical effect on politics at all; it transmits no real information to the politician who won about desired policies and that politician is under no obligation to rule in the way you hoped. Voting third party is just an attempt to set up a new church because you’re dissatisfied with the prevailing orthodoxy. It actually has more of an effect since it transmits the actual information that there is a segment of the population that doesn’t accept the oft touted “political mandate.” It undermines the legitimacy of the ruling elite in some small way.

  • jimbelushi wishlist

    a lot of assumptions in this article. I live in texas, meaning it doesn’t really matter what I do- the republicans will win. Someone tell me why I SHOULDN’T vote third party if I’d like to see a viable third party candidate someday? I’m quite disillusioned with the major parties and I don’t feel like my primary votes matter. i’m okay with a symbolic vote to give 3rd parties a chance some day.

  • NgNsNb

    Aleppo?

  • Eric Siegel

    It’s hard to take seriously an article that doesn’t even get basic facts about our electoral system right. You don’t need a majority of the popular vote to win (just ask Bill Clinton, or George W. Bush, or any one of dozens of US Presidents, about that). You don’t even need to *win* the popular vote, let alone get a majority (GW Bush again). You need to win a majority of the *electoral* vote, which depends on states. You can lose a lot of small states by extremely large margins, win a few big states very closely, and there you goo – an electoral majority with barely more than 40% of the popular vote. The article goes downhill from there.

  • Tim O’Brien

    All Johnson has to do is win enough electoral votes so that nobody gets to 270. His home state of NM and (depending on how The Donald and Lucrezia Borgia divvy up the rest) ANY other state would probably do it. True, getting even just two states is a tall order — precisely because winning the election at the state level (with only a couple of very small exceptions) requires only a plurality of the popular vote to get ALL of its electoral votes. But if he did manage to pull that off, the next POTUS would then — per that 12th Amendment — be chosen by the House of Representatives. Given the composition of the House and the political landscape, that would more than likely put a third President Johnson in the White House.

    • Pants up don’t loot

      Your pathetic little theory just shows what a retard you are!! Gary the brain-dead moron got Around 3% of the total popular vote and 0 of the 270 required electoral votes to win the White House. America is a two party system you brain-dead idiot and no third-party candidate is ever going to win the White House in your lifetime or the next.

      Grow up.

  • mrtapeguy

    Voting 3rd party this year – and more important than the actual vote is the movement that has called for alternatives to the two major parties and an end to the corrupt Commission on Presidential Debates. Change has to start somewhere but fear mongering from party loyalists and those who believe the sky will fall if the “other guy” wins are pulling out all the stops. This isn’t a sprint – it’s a marathon.

    Sanctimonious bullshit? Physician, heal thyself.

  • Daniele

    This article, though it makes some good points, is also a bit insulting. I do believe that you *can* vote third party—based on real differences in values—in states that aren’t close, if you truly want to—yes—vote your conscience, and make sure Donald Trump doesn’t become President.
 Also, the fundamental problem we have is that nobody knows there is such a thing as election reform already in place in some localities. It is called ranked-choice voting, aka instant runoff voting, which allows you to rank your choices. So there would be no “my vote doesn’t count”, or “I’m causing the person I don’t want to win by casting my 3rd party vote” conundrum. Maine is the only state right now that has it on the ballot. Check it out here: ‪http://www.rcvmaine.com/

  • Brian Lederman

    No one is entitled to my vote except for me. It’s interesting that the
    only thing Democrats and Republicans can agree on is the stifling of
    competition.

    http://lwv.org/press…/league-refuses-help-perpetrate-fraud

    • Pants up don’t loot

      Third-party voters are retards that should stay home on election day because their candidate is never going to win it is a mathematical certainty.

      Grow up.

  • Brian Lederman

    No
    one is entitled to my vote except for me. It’s interesting that the
    only thing Democrats and Republicans can agree upon is the stifling of
    competition.

    http://lwv.org/press…/league-refuses-help-perpetrate-fraud

  • Marlin Earl Bynum

    This article is not true. There are many good a valid reasons to vote for third parties.

    1) Major parties will move left and right based on where the votes are going. Look at Hillary Clinton, a centrist, right leaning, moderate who has run to the left, because of Bernie Sanders. While I don’t believe she will, in the end, stay to the left, she has had to, at least pretend to be left leaning.

    2) A protest vote. A person’s vote is a sacred thing. Why would one waste it on a candidate that they don’t believe in? Because the major parties put out lies like those in this article. America is built on protests from the Tea Party in Boston to the March for civil rights and the votes of thousands of Americans against the corruption of the two major parties.

    3) to speak one’s truth. If the two major parties do not represent a person’s beliefs, ideas and philosophy, why would we vote for them? Because they are simply using scare tactics of the other guy is worse.

    3) third parties have to maintain a minimum percentage of votes to remain on the ballot from election cycle to election cycle. The major parties are simply using these lies to suppress third parties and the voices that they represent. This article shows the true separation of these people.

    If you want our votes, then change into parties that represent us, choose candidates that we can believe in, and finally change the world into the place we desire.

  • Jeremy Sagaribay

    What do you mean by Islamaphobia? Gary Johnston is the most pro-immigration candidate on the ballot this year! This article is a completely inaccurate attack on 2 great candadites!

  • Randall Haugen

    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.

  • tom1963

    The playing field is a known entity. Johnson and Stein will get votes…no, not votes that belong to other candidates because that concept has ni validity.

    Trump and Hillary need to work for other votes if they fear they won’t get enough.

  • tom1963

    Obviously third parties matter to me…they almost always get my vote.

  • frightwig

    When you first mention Stein, and the only thing you can say to dismiss her is, “she wants to be the new queen of vaccine fear-mongeriing despite being a doctor,” while linking to the Slate smear job, then we’re done here.

    NEWS FLASH: Stein says that she supports and encourages vaccinations, and both President Obama and Hillary Clinton have also expressed reservations about mercury levels in vaccines. OMG! Democrats are ANTI-VAXX!!!!!

    If you want people to vote for Clinton to Stop Trump, you might try giving people good reasons to be excited to actually vote FOR CLINTON. Or is that really too hard?

  • surrealistodefierros

    More bullshit.

  • Nattie Roman

    As this writer states, a vote for
    Hillary is a vote for war. http://thebea.st/1W9xyYm
    You can read some of these articles and see why. She has always
    favored war over peaceful resolution.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jeffrey-sachs/hillary-clinton-and-the-s_b_9231190.html

    https://www.thenation.com/article/a-voters-guide-to-hillary-clintons-policies-in-latin-america/

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/10/06/emails-show-qadaffi-son-offered-talks-but-clinton-ordered-top-general-to-not.html
    And make no mistke, these wars are about oil, not terrorism.
    http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/09/15/assads-death-warrant/
    Her foreign policy has been widely praised by Henry Kissinger, the
    most infamous living war criminal. She in turn has called Kissinger
    her mentor. The detils of his murderous policies are too numerous to
    wrote about – but you might focus on Laos and Cambodia. And
    Hillary enthusiastically has supported supplying arms to the Saudis,
    who have used them to kill thousands of civlians in Yemen.
    https://theintercept.com/2016/02/22/saudi-christmas-present/
    This while her Foundation was receiving $25 million from the Saudis.

    My feeling is that morally a vote for the lesser of two
    evils is still being an accomplice to evil.

  • markpkessinger

    I was a Sanders supporter who now intends to vote for Hillary. None of my original reservations concerning her as president have gone away, and it has taken a great deal of deliberation and soul searching to come to the decision I finally made.

    For me, it comes down to this:

    The choices of Hillary and Trump are not the choices I ever wanted, but they are, as a matter of political reality, the choices I have. Regardless of what I do, or of whqat any other former Sanders supporter does, in November, either Trump or Hillary will be the next president. That’s the reality — nobody ever said I had to like it. But, in light of that reality, do I think HIllary would be a better president than Trump? The answer is a resounding YES — by an order of magnitude!

    I have lived in NYC for the past 33 years, and have thus had a ringside seat, courtesy of the local press, to Trump’s antics. I sincerely believe he would be an unparalleled disaster for this country. And so, I will vote for HIllary. As Martin Luther once famously said, “Hier stehe ich. Ich kann nicht Anders.”

  • Mike McConnell

    The part about having to win a majority not a plurality is wrong. Clinton won a plurality and became president in 1992…no need for the HoR to make the decision.

  • Ivan

    If we are so close to the brink, if the odds of the unthinkable actually happening, what makes you think that voting in either HRC or DT will fix the country? For the first time we really see how deep the corruption is, not in the system, but in us as a society. Where this is the best that we can come up with? This is not the lesser of two evils, it’s the more tasty of two poisons. If we want to change the country, we need to be honest with ourselves. This is a government by, of, and for the people. And if this is where we are, WE are to blame. Not “the media” (you watch it, you believe it, even when they know you are being manipulated. Why?) Not big money lobbyists or scotus. The corruption is in us. This election shows us that we are like geese being force fed, and we love it. We love being outraged. We love being titilated. We love the fact that horrible people are horrible and we are better than them. But at the end of the day, WE are responsible for the government that we choose. And THIS election is what we have chosen. It doesn’t matter who wins, the country is already content with being divided. With being fearful, with being distrustful, with hatred. We don’t want to be honest and admit that WE are the problem.

    I’ll say it. I say I believe in women’s rights, but have been guilty of misogyny, and even worse. I am not proud, I am ashamed and trying to fix it.

    I’ll say I believe in equality for all, but distrust those who look and act differently than I do. I am not proud of that fact. I am ashamed and am trying to fix it.

    I’ll say I believe in hard work and discipline and pulling yourself up by your bootstraps, but I am one Lazy SOB. I am not proud of that; I am ashamed and am trying to fix it.

    Let’s stop blaming and scaring and threatening each other. Let’s stop trying to point the finger at our leaders saying look at how horrible these people are. Let’s say, how could I have let my community, my country get this bad? And what can I do to fix it? Because it doesn’t matter who wins. As long as WE THE People are not honest with ourselves, and put the onus of change on our 3l3cted leaders, there will be little chance that things will just “improve”

  • TooUnPlexity

    Because of the electoral college, most states will go for one candidate or the other by a large margin. If you live in any of these states like NY or Texas, then voting for either of the two parties will not change a thing. It is a wasted vote. This article claims that a third party vote is wasted because it doesn’t change anything. But, in most of the country, a third party vote is the only vote that makes any kind of progress toward a better system. We need more third party voters, not less…

  • Sumibraxis Dei

    Ok, this cunt is jabbering out of his arse… This is exactly the kind of disempowering garbage, Americans don’t need. This country was founded on third parties, and to assume otherwise is asinine, and to suggest otherwise is blatantly retarded… Like this author

  • nomilubin

    Ok, yeah, agreed. Wish thoughts and prayers didn’t have to be so trashed, though. You don’t have to be a Republican to believe prayer is powerful. You also don’t have to be a gun fanatic or even pro-gun.

    • Raymond

      Would you mind demonstrating this power of prayer? If you could please record it and put it on YouTube I’d appreciate it. It’s too late to take advantage of the one million dollars that the Amazing Randi was offering for any proof of the supernatural, but I think you’d make a fortune on clicks if it can be authenticated.

      • nomilubin

        A belief cannot be proven, just as a disbelief cannot be proven. That’s why they call it belief.

        • Raymond

          Agreed. But I’m not asking you to prove your belief, I’m asking you to demonstrate the power you believe prayer has. Power implies some kind of energy that can be harnessed and directed. It doesn’t matter if belief is the cause or not. I just want to see the effect and I’ll decide for myself if I can believe it.

  • Laura

    Excellent!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you…shared everywhere. To vote third party is to throw the poor, the elders, women, social security, medical care, LGBT and our supreme court to the wolves…..do third party voters really think their “principals” are more important than the people that will suffer if Trump wins!!!! How could their self importance be worth trowing our country back to the stone age 🙁

    • Raymond

      You want to talk about suffering people and principles? How about the suffering of all of the prisoners that Hillary created with her support of the crime bill? How about the suffering of people who were denied food and shelter after she supported gutting welfare? How about the million+ dead after her support of the Iraq war? How about the suffering of the people in Libya and those who will suffer now that it’s become a terrorist haven? Her desire to kill people there was described as ferocious. How about the people suffering in Haiti after she oversaw it’s reconstruction? Hundreds of millions of dollars were collected for rebuilding homes. So far I think less than 30 have been built. She hired her brother to rehabilitate the roads there. Bang up job. How about the suffering yet to come in all the countries where she promoted fracking? And how about the suffering of the citizens of Saudi Arabia? They’ve beheaded more people there for religious reasons than all other terrorist organizations put together. Yet she and her staff celebrated after she arranged a $1.5 billion dollar weapons deal with them. How about the suffering of children in South Sudan where she arranged waivers for their military to keep using child soldiers, a practice that’s normally considered a crime against humanity. She’s a psychopathic, racist, warmongering corporate puppet. Trump may not be any better, but he’s going to put an ugly face on the things our government has been doing for decades. Without some slick talker like Barry lulling us to sleep with his charm, people might actually catch a glimpse of the truth and be motivated to put a stop to it.

  • You, sir, are an idiot. You have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about, and the only reason I bother to tell you is because some nice person on my flist thought you wrote an article with actual research.
    I will disabuse him of that notion and call it a day.

  • Sean

    It’s also like thoughts and prayers in that it’s mostly harmless and getting mad at people for doing it really says more about your own insecurities than the “badness” of the action. Grow up.

  • Keersten Kassab
  • Spit-Burn

    The reason why the two party system continues is because There Is No Alternative. Why is there no alternative? Why, because of the two party system!

  • Icabod

    “If you are part of a society that votes, then do so. There may be no candidates and no measures you want to vote for … but there are certain to be ones you want to vote against. In case of doubt, vote against. By this rule you will rarely go wrong.”
    Robert A. Heinlein

    Have decided who I’m going to vote against.

  • Sabih Raza

    Vote Jill Stein – winning comes in many forms; first and foremost getting your voice heard if you want a democracy – without that, you just lost everything. Green is your party, but they can’t vote for you. 🙂

  • libertarian

    It would be nice to vote for someone who you would be proud to have representing our Nation.

  • libertarian

    If you are not in a “swing state” your vote isn’t going to mean anything anyway. Might as well voice your displeasure with the 2 major parties – there is no harm in it. If third parties make a credible showing, maybe it will spur the two parties to nominate candidates that do not have 70% negative ratings in national polls. How do you punish the DNC for their outrageous undermining of a fair process?

  • jmillsintacoma

    This writing displays a shocking ignorance about politics and the American process. It’s a cenotaph to silliness.

    First of all, we elect presidents state-by-state, and most states are already lopsidedly one-party due to decades of better organizing by one party. So, WA, OR, CA, and NY are states where Trump has essentially a zero chance to win. In fact, in those states, Johnson, the (L) is more likely to win than Trump because for anyone other than Hillary to win would take a meltdown of biblical proportions; if that happened, Johnson might get a huge chunk of her votes, Trump never will.

    Similarly, Johnson is more likely to win in Texas, ND, Alabama, Alaska, ID, Kan and Mississippi, than is Hillary. Again, a Trump loss could come only from a tectonic failure. If Hillary wins, say, Texas, that would portend a sweep of such gigantic proportions that any vote for Trump anywhere would be irrelevant. Such a historic failure on the part of the Trump campaign would more likely throw votes to Johnson than Hillary in these solid “Red” states.

    So, just looking at the reality of “winning,” in most states the outcome is a “done deal,” except for the outside chance Johnson might pull off an upset.

    Secondly, this whole missive views politics as a one-shot deal where only this year’s election matters. But, sophisticated political activists know that this year, like last year, is about next year. To change political thinking requires years and years of pressure. The Ls are having fun this year ONLY because of all the years before when people “threw away” their vote building the LP from nothing. It took 70 years of activism to pass women’s suffrage; that’s a lot of years of losing votes. But, if you don’t start sometime, you never win, ever.

    Nothing is quite so sad and depressing as those who vote for someone they don’t truly support. I have many, many friends who “really wanted Nader to win,” but voted for Gore to “assure” Bush didn’t win a second term. Sad. Really sad.

    Can there be a more wasted, worthless vote than those who voted Gore only to assure a Bush loss? Well, maybe – if you vote Hillary to “assure” a Trump loss, or vote “Trump” to “assure” a Clinton loss, when you really want to build an alternative to the D/R stranglehold on American politics . . . I guess that could be sadder still.

  • Joe Peters

    If you believe the polls some 70 to 110 million voters this election (depending on turnout) will vote for either Trump or Clinton entirely out of spite for the other major party. So Jef Rouner, stop trying to guilt those of us who have found a candidate we believe in just because you can’t.

  • Hawk5000

    Anyone who continues to promote the 100% broken two party business as usual system is an asshat or they are a paid mouthpiece for said system.

  • ugotrpk3113

    This is silly, on a lot of levels. I am voting third party for the first time in my life. The reason is simple – I believe Mr. Johnson is more qualified than both Clinton and Trump. This isn’t some “hate” vote. I’ve decided that Mr. Johnson checks off more boxes than the other candidates.

    Which I believe is what you want, right? Someone to make an educated decision and cast a meaningful vote?

  • Amy Sweigart

    TROLL. Ugly, rabid troll.

  • Kenneth Kaplan

    You completely ignore the way 3rd party vote totals can influence the platforms of the 2 parties who share power. Much of the socialist agenda was adopted by the Democrats as Socialists compiled some serious vote totals in the 1920s through 40s, and Democrats wanted to win back those voters. Libertarians would like to be elected, but even if we aren’t, we can sway the country towards a non-interventionist foreign policy, smaller government, and more individual liberty.

  • Jamie Clemons

    So you cheated Bernie out of the election and now you want us to vote for Hillary that is a huge slap in the face. Nope not going there.

  • I hate this BS. This is the power structure in place trying to scare you and minimize what little power you have.

    The fact is, voting itself is the equivalent of sending thoughts and prayers in a system as rigged as this one is. We live under a one-party system given the ironic name “The Two Party System,” because whether you vote Republican or Democrat you’re voting for the State, the entrenched political power structure that works to keep the wealthy wealthy, and the poor poor.

    The fact is, it IS my damned right to “throw my vote away” if I want, and if the Democrats or Republicans don’t WANT me to, then they OUGHT to do more to get my vote than sneer at me like this and tell my I’m wasting my time.

    Is Donald Trump horribler than Clinton? Probably. But it’s the entrenched political and media culture that’s promoting Trump and working 24X7 to convince us he’s a viable candidate rather than a lunatic with a megaphone. So maybe I want to tell the political class that I’m sick of their political theater and I’ll vote for someone with no chance to get elected so that they can see I didn’t simply forget, I deliberately said “none of the above” on voting day.

    It’s my damned vote, and however I cast it I don’t need this BS shaming disempowering crap.

  • Mark Baland

    Voting Democratic or Republican, especially for $hillary or Drumpf, is the equivalent of killing yourself and taking your descendants, your fellow citizens, and the world with you. Save us all the trouble, and sacrifice only yourselves instead. Thanks.

  • Jeremy M. S.

    Lincoln was third-party and we now have instant communication. The ONLY reason a third-party won’t win is brainwashed people keep telling others they won’t. Wake up. Does anyone realize just how many Americans do NOT want either of the candidates in office??? I means seriously.. Have you talked to your friends and neighbors? I mean really talked to them, because the greatest majority whether they lean one way or the other think they are seriously both a couple of crooks… But you know, surely a third-party candidate can’t win.. LOL Humans are silly..

  • Cabbage Head

    “…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.” These are the shades of Madeline Albright: 500,000 dead Iraqi children—but it was worth it.

  • Greg R

    This is the angriest way I’ve ever seen a special snowflake beg people to vote for Hillary’s stupid ass. Speaking of big old bowls of sanctimonious bullshit…

  • Would you like to put this baby in the blender or the microwave?
    Neither? You want to put it in the crib?
    Oh, that is just wasting your vote – doing nothing with sanctimonious bull on top.

  • baruchzed

    Wow…this is a hatchet piece if ever I saw one, replete with inaccuracies and vitriol. Someone’s scared!

    Anyone who seeks to discourage others from voting their conscience is despicable. Your arrogance, deceit, and fear-mongering are acts of cowardice and limited intellect. Your advocacy for maintaining the dysfunctional binary system is a sign of limited imagination. Luckily there are millions of us who are no longer willing to play that game.

    Talk about sanctimonious bullshit, that is what you’ve served up here.

    • What specifically is inaccurate? Do either of the current third party candidates have any hope of winning? I doubt it. Another question: what was the impact of Ralph Nader on the Bush/Gore election? Sometimes the truth sounds sanctimonious, but it’s still the truth.

      • jmillsintacoma

        Winning when?

        The LP just qualified its candidate on all 50 ballots. That didn’t happen this year in a vacuum. It happened because for four decades more and more people have been “throwing away” their vote building the LP.

  • jeffbax

    “Nothing Jef Rouner says matters. At all.” — Fixed.

  • Delbert Lawrence

    What a load of garbage this entire article is .

  • Don Gasser

    Voting for one of two masks on the same corporate face is like slitting your own throat.

    • False choice. One of these candidates is clearly better than the other for the country and your own personal situation. You just need to decide whether you’ll help guide the choice or not.

      • Don Gasser

        I’m sorry? Which candidate is clearly better than the other? All of things that folks are afraid that Trump will do, Clinton has already done. She has a track record going back decades. She walks the walk. Clinton will make the world bleed. That’s why I’m voting for Jill Stein and the greater good. Like our lives depend on it. Because they do.

        • Jill Stein will not be president. I feel quite certain of that. Waste your vote if you wish.

  • Rendadoll

    If the other Political parties are a waste of Votes, why are the major players in the POTUS game suddenly so concerned??? Could it be that it is because the D and the R Candidates look and sound pretty much like Two-face and Joker???? The two main stream parties elected the worst possible candidates . So… No matter how many people vote in the Smaller party category, the USA will end up with either Two-face or the Joker, November 8th 2016.

  • Clayton Tidwell

    I would love to meet this author in person and tell them how completely and utterly his douches opinion matters to me and at least 20 million other Americans. I’d them buy him a long neck Lone Star and tell him to shove it up his ass. I’m sure he would take great pleasure in that act.

  • Clayton Tidwell

    The two major parties assuming that we owe them their votes is a major part of our problem. No one is obligated to cast their vote for one of the two corrupt major parties. When more people realize that our having given them carte blanche for so long has led us to the point we are now. A party and/or a candidate MUST EARN each and every vote.

    The vast majority of the American electorate today does NOT identify as Democrat or Republican. If they do not give them their votes and cast them for another person and/or party, guess what? The corrupt duopoly is broken and then doomed.

    #Ivote4Liberty

  • Clayton Tidwell

    Principles people are voting for governors Johnson & Weld: two honest, kind men if integrity with nary a scandal between them. http://www.johnsonweld.com/issues

  • kekort2 .

    But what if I don’t like Republicans or Democrats? I should just bend over anyway? This is implying that those voting for a 3rd party don’t care about the country. Total bullshit. I consider other candidates because I’m tried of the way R’s and D’s have been dicking the country around for ages. Maybe Democrats and Republicans don’t care about the country because they refuse to look anywhere else. Saying vote your conscience is just rhetorical tripe? How is that American at all? And how is a perpetual two-party system really offering a choice? Voting for a 3rd party is a way of telling the parties that they both suck. Telling me not to vote the way I want is robbing my of my political voice. If it doesn’t count in the end or if it messes up their little game, then too bad.

    TL;DR Fuck you.

  • Teed Rockwell

    I voted for the Libertarian Candidate when my only other choices were Reagan and Mondale, because I believed at the time that there was no significant difference between them. This is NOT true about Hillary and Trump. The differences are clear, and would be irresponsible to pretend otherwise.

    • jmillsintacoma

      One’s a pathological liar and the other a sanctimonious blowhard . . . but the question is, which is which?

  • djsmps

    What a BS article. Hillary supporters must be really running scared.

  • Vida Galore

    This is an utter pile of garbage. The only parties who have activists actually fighting for the people are the third parties. HRC can’t even fill a fucking gymnasium. Thoughts and prayers mean doing NOTHING. Are thousands of people at Sanders rallies who now back Jill Stein NOTHING? And if we are NOTHING or a pile of shit (which I could argue so is the idiot who wrote this excrement) why write a hit piece on us? BTW, Jill is not an anti-vaxxer, and if you did ANY research you’d know that. But you didn’t, because you’re a neoliberal idiot who is fine with the neoliberal platform of continuous war, frack baby frack, poison our water, kill the poor, etc. When Clinton is installed, enjoy your austerity, you idiot.

  • John Young

    this guy is a prick

  • This is a good read. Third parties will never be regarded as more than a vanity play until they actually do the hard work at the state and local level.

  • The smart people who vote for mainstream parties are not being manipulated – well done! You are cleverer than the rest.

  • John Lach

    BalancedRebellion.com

  • Todd Rhoades

    If voting for a 3rd party candidate is like not voting at all, then why is anyone concerned about it? It can’t possibly count as a vote for a democrat or a republican if you didn’t vote. Supporting a 3rd party candidate in the largest political race is the way to get the future support needed to make that party viable and to let the other two party’s know that their ideology and candidate’s aren’t acceptable. Keep fooling yourself with the “lesser of two evils” corporate owned party’s approach if you like……..but I don’t have to and I won’t!!

  • JA Myer

    1. Trump is a blathering screaming idiot, playing on white men’s fears, sexism and racism. 2. Hillary is by her own record a warmongering, pro Wall Street stoolie. In my mind this is what these two people are, the rather distilled down sum up anyhow. The election of either means continued gridlock in government. Nothing will get done and the election season will never end. Why should anyone vote for either of these two? Every crazy idea that has come out of Trump, from walls to making some citizens wear a identifying mark, will not be enacted by Washington. Nor will any of the progressive ideas so recently adopted under duress by the DNC. And you want to blame the independent third party voters for this? Then you have not been paying attention to how politics in America work. Nothing will change if Americans on both sides, left or right keep feeding the broken system. In truth the only “wasted” votes will be those cast for Trump OR Hillary

    • Keep thinking that way and get ready for your new Cheetoh overlord. Congratulations, you have successfully surrendered yourself to the MSM false equivalence machine!

  • xxSJWxx

    Funny… 60+% of all Americans WANT 3rd Parties and right now we have the LARGEST number of INDEPENDENT / UNAFFILIATED voters in our history. So take that BS and stuff it. I’ll cast my vote for a candidate with a TRUE VISION for the people and the willingness to be a REAL Progressive leader. I’ll vote for the most INTELLIGENT candidate and the ONLY candidate who has MORALS, ETHICS and INTEGRITY, not to mention the only HONEST candidate in the race. I’m voting for the future of my children, their children, the environment and the world community. A “wasted” vote is voting for something you don’t even believe in because you think it’s going to get you an expected result. You have ZERO conviction and apparently also lack morals, ethics and integrity, just like your choice of candidate. I feel sorry for people like you who cast a COWARD’S vote.

    • Read the article – it ain’t about you.

  • Moth

    Jill Stein isn’t anti-vax, us bored millennials can fact-check these things on coffee breaks.
    http://sciencedebate.org/20answers skip to question 15

    • No, she’s just completely unqualified to run anything more complex that a city council. Maybe she should start smaller.

  • Lincoln ran as the third-party candidate for the emerging Republican party. He saved the union from dissolving over the slavery issue. Of course some modern day Confederates still say the war was about the right to leave the union. Maybe so. But the attempt to leave would have never happened without the slavery issue. Anyway, Lincoln proves third-party candidates can be substantial. Gary Johnson is not your typical third-party candidate. He was governor of New Mexico—the only candidate with government leadership experience. (Being Secretary of State is not leadership. It is an administrative job for the boss—the president.) Johnson is not really a ideological Libertarian. Johnson is mainstream American. He has at least 15% of the population behind him. His candidacy is on the ballots of all 50 states. He should participate in the debates. While I should not have to say this, my support for including Johnson in the debates does not mean I plan to vote for him. I am for letting the people decide. That is how the process is supposed to work. We all get one vote. And each vote is secret. The process should let Gary Johnson debate.

    • Lincoln proved third parties matter in a very different time. Johnson and Stein will only serve as the next Ralph Nader, only helping to ensure a Trump victory. That’s why he ignores them.

  • And voting for the lesser evil is the equivalent of excusing your abuser. I’d rather go with the former.

  • toria555

    I can’t wait to vote for #GaryJohnson for the 2nd time! #letgarydebate

  • K. Clark

    >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.

    What if I’m sick of them both? Should I just stay home in November? Should everyone who doesn’t particularly like either candidate (there are a lot of them), sit this one out? You realize that if everyone who didn’t like Clinton and Trump voted third party, they would win in a landslide.

    That’s what the Democrats and Republicans both fear. That’s why there’s an attack on third party candidates.

    >(side note: maybe get off your butts in the mid-terms once in a while?)

    I do, thank you.

    >and who I blame way more than anything Ralph Nader ever did for that mess.

    So…you voted Democrat, I’ll bet.

    >Learning how to bring people together to change the country is an actual virtue.

    Which neither of the current candidates seems to be really good at.

    >It almost never produces any discernible effect at all.

    SERIOUSLY? Did you actually read what you wrote? You accused people voting for Nader putting Bush in the White House. That is the very definition of ‘discernible effect’!

    >It’s a matter of conscience, apparently,

    It is. Neither party is concerned with anything other than maintaining an inward positive cash flow. It’s time to clean house, get rid of the corruption and get people who remember who it is exactly they serve. If they can’t, we get rid of them and get someone else.

    >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.

    There’s the reason for this article. You’re afraid if there is no majority, if neither party gets enough Electoral votes, then it goes to Congress who will vote in Trump (most of them while holding their nose – welcome to our side of the street, guys).

  • More arrogant Clinton campaign drivel. She insulted all Sanders’ supporters for “not doing their homework.” That was expanded to anyone who’s planning of voting for someone other than her by saying that such votes are votes for Trump. and not voting (for Hillary) is nihilistic or childish. You do have freedom of choice in a democracy, but choosing anyone except Hillary or choosing not to participate in this oligarchic charade is plainly irresponsible, don’t you see?

    I’so sick and tired of the ugly, self-righteous, arrogant pompous solipsism of Hillary Clinton and her DNC supporters. Do any Hillary supporter really believe that insulting those who don’t support her will move such people to vote for her? Your verbal assaults on non-Hillary supporters are nothing short of juvenile pouting or fear-mongering. I got news for you folks–she’s such a horrible candidate that she can’t seem to prevail over the worst demagogic bumpkin to ever run for political office, a failed businessman, a stupid, lying hypocrite who is clearly unfit for any political office.

    As was stated when she/her DNC was sabotaging Bernie’s campaign during the primaries, Sanders would have been 10 points ahead of Trump had his campaign not been sabotaged. No one believes Hillary’s campaign promises because more than 60% of Americans don’t trust her about anything. Put away your rose-colored glasses. Hillary was not running from sniper fire when she landed in Bosnia in 1995.

    The major political parties have miserably failed the People of the United States for years. I voted for Dems for almost 50 years, but left the party this year because it, like President Obama, has become the second party of neoliberalism and austere government. I will not waste my vote on a lesser neoliberal evil in whom I have no faith except that she will increase our military budget and bomb the crap out of the Middle East without declarations of war, but rather I will proudly vote in favor of someone who honestly speaks to my concerns–Jill Stein. When it comes to income inequality, I want far more than it won’t get any worse than it is now. If that displeases Hillary supporters, that’s not my problem.

  • Robert Morphis

    Jill Stein is NOT anti-vaccine!
    Check at Snopes before making those kind of assertions
    Largely unqualified but not that ignorant / stupid.

  • Daniel Alexander Lugo R

    Best to do what your values are telling you than any other thing. If your vote has any value why would you put what little value it has to evil instead of good? I wonder why…

  • jimborg7

    Right on Jef Rouner!

  • Ben Howe

    If you don’t live in a battle ground state a vote for a third party candidate or a write in vote can make some sense. If you live in a battle ground state a vote for a third party candidate or a write in vote is a vote for the trumpster.

  • Non of your business

    Jef Rouner go fuck yourself you neo-liberal dick cheese.

  • email4kh

    Has there ever been an election year when the frightened haven’t said “third-party candidates are fine, but just not THIS year” ?
    Stop being a coward.

  • Alexsandyr Troutnoodler

    If we’re throwing away **(( OUR ))** votes -our, as in ours, as in not yours, not owned by you, and therefore none of your business or concern- then why are you so scared?

    It’s a done-deal. Right? Only two choices? It’s not as if your candidate is in any actual danger of losing? Right? Totally locked up and in the bag, against a candidate that would lose to a flaming paper bag of dog poop left on the doorstep.

    Right???????????

  • Let’s remember that the current Republican and Democratic party got their start as 3rd parties. When a party fails the general populace it needs to be replaced. Sadly both the Democrats and Republicans have failed the American public. Both parties will grow after this election and although it takes time, they may eventually replace the two parties we have now….which are basically the same party. I’m voting my values and going with a 3rd party…you should do the same.

  • Z54

    If the amerikan people really had any brains, this would be an election between Gary Johnson and Dr. Jill Stein. I guess that says it all about the smarts of the amerikan people.

  • Slenkamure

    My long standing opinion for this years presidential election and all of
    the people jumping in the Johnson privatization basket that is going
    down the river towards a waterfall is this..

    Because the main
    candidates are shit-sandwich and, turd-burger does not instantly make
    diarrhea stroganoff a better option. Regardless you are getting shit and
    we the people are to blame for this. We do not demand that our
    candidates actually aren’t horrible bags of rocks, broken glass and used
    drug needles that get swung at puppies. The parties have polarized most
    people to the point that they view politics the same way they view
    football. My team is the best and the other team is the worst so i will
    always vote for my team regardless.

    Politics is about compromise, nobody has 100% of the answers. Some democrats have good ideas and some don’t just like some republicans have good ideas and some don’t. What isn’t happening anymore is that democrat A and republican B look at a problem, both have input and give up some things so shit can get done that benefits everyone in the end.

  • Glen Warner

    Yeah, I stopped reading as soon as I saw that bit about “vaccine fear-mongering.” Seeing as how she explained what actually happened elsewhere, it’s clear that you didn’t do your research before writing this one.

    Fail.

  • fedele

    What I find funny is Christians are posting this to their Facebook page. What does THAT say?

  • Great misrepresentation of the LP candidate. Keep up the good work for the establishment parties.

  • Leo Monaghan

    Nope.. It’s the political equivalent of planting the seeds for a better tomorrow.

  • Sadriel_Fett

    I probably would’ve taken what the author said more to heart if his “white ass” didn’t make the article sound like a college freshman wrote it to sound cool for his Poli-Sci class. Some pretty, piss poor professionalism.

  • Penelope Ginger Jenkins

    This entire pile of word vomit is nothing more than “sanctimonious bullshit”.

  • smh

    In summation: Either don’t vote or don’t tell the author for whom you are going to vote if it’s not in accordance with his choice because he doesn’t really feel very good about his choice and doesn’t want to face that fact.

  • smh

    Another title suggestion: Your vote doesn’t count unless you vote for my candidate.

  • smh

    Better title: Overly long nonsensical rant where I try to rationalize my anger at people who won’t do what I think they should do by equating them to people I hate, Republicans.

  • Omega Blackburn

    I believe in the power of prayer and I believe in miracles, I believe I cannot live with myself if I continue to enable the corruption to continue, its third party or not bothering since I am not an electorial college,,

  • Why does my spidey sense tell me this blog wouldn’t have been written if Johnson and Stein were clearly pulling more from Trump than Hillary?

  • Stephanie Stenner

    Your ignorance is showing. Anyone telling another person that they are “doing nothing” by voting outside the CORRUPT two party system is a part of the huge problem we have in this country and our political system. Bullying people may have worked, before the days of social media; but now people have a means of gathering with other who share their values and vision. They see that there are a LOT of other people who feel the same way they do. This scares the shit out of the Dems and the Repubs, and apparently you’re scared too.

  • Krud

    I find it disheartening that the people who genuinely take a chance on supporting a third-party candidate, knowing they will subsequently take heat from both major parties for not supporting *their* candidate (since presumably it’s a lost vote to their side and not the other’s), are villified far more than the millions of people every election who simply can’t be bothered to vote, period.

  • morlock

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egg_of_Columbus I will be voting for Johnson. Told the only choice is between a life long venal puppet of genocidal war profiteering international elite & a sociopathic incompetent con man son of a slum lord, I will do whatever I can to devise a third option. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kobayashi_Maru Practicality is no excuse for collaboration in unequivocably & ubiquitously unethical status quo. It’s only a four year term; laying ground work for third party viability in the process in subsequent elections is am entirely unwasted vote in the face of extant circumstance.

  • ND

    Good piece

  • Third parties exist because this ISN’T a two-party system.

  • Concilium

    The establishment and their presstitute lap dogs are getting desperate and know that 60% of the electorate is dissatisfied with the Republicrat sh;t show.

    This is a opportunity to send a message to the corrupt duopoly! They have made a mess of thing the last 100 years and have enjoyed full control of the establishment media that has brow beat Americans into voting for the “lesser evil” for decades.

    If you’re happy with perpetual war, debt, and despotism, chain yourself down with the Republicrat vote.

    If you want to be reak the chains of the duopoly, vote for liberty, prosperity, and peace. Vote Gary Johnson.

  • BahlSanchin

    Hear! Hear!

    Incredibly well said and much needed in today’s atmosphere of self-righteous delusion.

  • Firebird7478

    “If you dare sit there and say a third party can’t win the presidency, then I want to know how many times you’ve won the lottery. Seriously, if you already know the future, how come you aren’t banned from purchasing lotto tickets? Well, I have news for you: There are countries that actually care about political corruption and there are countries that actually do something about it. I’d be a proud American if I could say our country was on that list, but unfortunately we’re not.” Jesse Ventura.

    Liberal clap trap to dissuade you from voting Libertarian. I’ll tell you this — given the choices that are out there, if Gary Johnson wasn’t on the ballot, I’d stay home and not vote at all. My job is not to vote for the person I think is going to win, it is to vote for who I believe should be President of the United States. PERIOD!

  • Cydney

    Neither the democrats or the republicans have a responsible choice. A vote for Johnson is a vote for a republican supporting big business and the TPP. It is tiring seeing Stein smeared as an anti vaccine person when you all are talking trash. She is concerned that the testing I of vaccines is thourough. EVERYONE should be concerned that vaccines are safe. Besides it’s not a campaign issue although it’s being pushed as such. We have a high problem with big pharma and their greed along with meds that are dangerous should be dealt with a tronger regulations.

    We need to break free of the two party system that reigns over this country. Until people wise up that the mainstream media has only the interests of their handlers nothing will change.

  • Gail Newman

    I will vote my conscience, and my conscience won’t allow me to vote for Clinton. I would actually feel much safer if Trump were president. After all the hate and belittling and insulting and lying to us and about us (Bernie supporters), Dems have some nerve asking us to back her. Go Jill!

  • Johnny Smith

    If Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are the best we can get from the two major parties, we really have no choice but to look elsewhere. I would hate to see either of the two elected president and I refuse to decide which one I dislike the most. That isn’t the way a president should be elected.

  • cathouseumbrella

    If you live in a non-battleground state (in other words, most states) voting for one of the two major parties is actually the thing that’s the electoral equivalent of sending thoughts and prayers, whereas voting for a third party you believe in can actually raise their vote percentage high enough to get them federal campaign funding dollars in the next election.

  • Michael Robertson

    Why would I ever vote for someone that I don’t want to be President? I think either Trump or Hillary is a horrible choice and I want nothing to do with them.

  • 朋友

    ‘Voting third party… almost never produces any discernible effect at all’ And voting for Republican or Democrat does? How many times has your vote affected the outcome of an election?

  • DubbyD

    America is a place that was created by revolution. It was established by dissidents, by those who today would be called “terroriists” — and jailed for it. We have come a long way from our beginnings. We are now an established oligarchy with more and more power going to the federal government at the expense of state’s rights. The federal government was never supposed to have the power it does. I think there are some governments that do act ethically, at least some of the time, and to the benefit of their citizens. The U.S. government no longer even gives lip service to the people from who it extracts more and more plunder. Whether this article was written by a political paid troll or just an arrogant twit who actually believes that voting in only establishment opportunists at the sacrifice of one’s own beliefs, of ethical conduct is an acceptable way of running a country, please remember that your forebear in this mentality was Nazi Germany.

  • emmeeadora

    Perhaps you should read George Wadhington’s Farwell Address an how he felt about political parties period (he was against them). But since everyother idiot in DC insists on them and we should at least have the number of parties it would take to represent a population of more than 310,000,000 citizens if we’re going to continue of withvthe charade of a “representstive democraticvrepublic.” I’m sick to death of assholes telling me my vote for a third party is the the equivilent of thoughts and prayers. It’s my goddamn vote and I will give it to the candidate who represents my concerns. So shove your opinion back in you pie hole and choke on it.

  • Josh Truax

    The author (and pretty much everyone else who has made this sort of argument) overlooks one critical detail: In presidential elections, and indeed pretty much any other election except maybe small-town local ones, your individual vote has virtually zero impact on the outcome. If I were to vote third-party or sit out the election instead of voting for Major Candidate X, and none of the millions upon millions of other voters in my state changed their vote because of me (which I would never expect them to), the only way my decision would make a dime’s worth of difference toward the outcome is literally if my state ends up either tied, or being won by Candidate X by a single vote, and the odds against either of those are on a par with winning Powerball. So, if your vote has no meaningful impact on the outcome to begin with, I don’t blame anyone one bit for treating theirs mainly as a vehicle for protest or an expression of virtue.

  • Rolf Friis

    Poorly written, short-sighted article. So if both candidates are unfit for office and I don’t want to vote against my own best interests, I should do it anyway? I will vote based on merit and my conscience. I will not vote to continue this corrupt duopoly of a system. It’s sad that MSM is in the tank for these crooks and that the two-party voters are too uniformed to see what they are actually voting for. The old red vs blue battle is irrelevant. They are on the same side and they are working against the people. Voting trump or hills is a vote against yourself and all the rest of us.

  • Matt

    “It’s not a place built by storming out of the room in a moralistic crusade…” Isn’t this almost exactly how it was built?

  • PoliticalPunk

    I enjoyed reading Jef’s opinion but disagree with most of it. Voting third party or for yourself is not a wasted vote like he implies. If you decide to vote that way you are letting the political overloads know that you are a participant in our election process, you just don’t agree with the two choices you are given. If you are voting for “The Lesser of two evils” you are still voting for evil. Thanks again Jef for writing and I can’t wait to read your next article.

  • nick

    I’m sorry, I can’t understand you with Hillary’s dick in your mouth.

  • Joe Manchik

    WAKE UP AMERICA !
    Vote Green Party. Support Dr. Jill Stein for president.
    When you vote for the lesser of two evils, evil always wins.
    http://www.gp.org http://www.jill2016.com

  • Gabriel Isaac Bloomer

    Voting for someone you don’t want to be president is the equivalent of eating a turd and calling it a cupcake.

  • Billy Wolf

    Pure Propaganda from the MSM…When you go and vote, it is intended for you to vote for the person that is most capable of leading the country..Not becasue they are NOT someone else…If you think like that the 2 Party stranglehold they have on us will NEVER end..There is really only 1 big party with bullshit artists to make us believe they are two…Vote for the most educated Person..and that would be Dr Jill Stein…DEMexit

  • “voting third party for president is just doing nothing with a big old bowl of sanctimonious bullshit on top.”

    EXACTLY

  • The Republican Party was the new party in 1854 and 6 years later they put a President in the White House that changes this country more dramatically than most. That is what new or third Parties do. They emerge when people see enough wrong with government to want real change, the kind of change a two party system is designed to prevent.

  • niauropsaka

    This is a very misleading article. Small parties use Presidential runs to get on future ballots. I think this works according to state election laws. There are sound, concrete reasons to vote for Jill Stein and the Green Party, not to win, but to get over 5%, and have an easier time in future elections for a variety of offices.

    And with Trump and the GOP self-destructing, and with Gary Johnson inching past 12% in the polls, this is a very good year to make that happen.

  • Gtrdude232

    I was born with asthma and having to use an emergency inhaler pretty much every day. I could not breathe at night and when exercising or heavy physical activity. I have had to go to the emergency room multiple times. Imagine struggling your hardest and you could only take in a tiny thimble of air. You cannot speak. About two years ago at a small church service the front was opened for anyone to come forward for prayer for healing. It was that day I was prayed for and since then was able to put away my emergency inhaler that I was forced to use every day. I now enjoy going on long runs and when I am finished I am able to breathe 100% fine I sit and sometimes tearful I am so thankful I went from not being able to breathe every day to being asthma free because of prayer. I don’t care what you vote but there is tremendous power in prayer. And the funny thing is it starts with faith.

  • Ronnythered

    The article is nonsense. Third parties never had any influence? The Socialist Party was what brought the idea of Social Security, unemployment insurance, government guarantees to the right of collective bargaining, and built the basis for future antiwar movements to the political discussions of the day. Barry Commoner’s run helped build a huge environmentalist movement in this country. The Farmer and Workers’ Party, the Equality Party (the first to nominate a woman for President), the Peace and Freedom Party, Socialist Workers Party, even the Communist Party USA all contributed to major political discussions throught the country. Bob LaFollette’s Progressive Party – through the Wisconsin delegation’s minority platform report in 1924, presented ideas to millions of people over the radio. The author might consider reading a little history.

    • Brad Thomas

      I am opposed to most of the Socialists’ policies, but I give them credit, politically they have been very influential. Without winning a major election, they have successfully gotten both major parties to adopt practically their entire platform, they have gotten just about everything they wanted.

  • Seth M. Fisher

    This bit…

    “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.”

    …is riddled with inaccuracies, which I wouldn’t bother pointing out except 1) the real way things went down doesn’t really support the same conclusion that this paragraph apparently draws, and 2) the truth is actually more applicable to today. I’ll keep it to two major errors regarding Adams, and one regarding the 12th amendment.

    I. Adams was not at all a “chief lieutenant” of Washington. As the first Vice President, Adams quickly learned that his only Constitutional role was to have a pulse, and until near the end of his second term that’s about the only role he was afforded. Washington kept Adams out of cabinet meetings, where Jefferson (anti-Federalists) formed a bitter rivalry with Federalists Charles Pinckney/Alexander Hamilton.

    II. Adams was not a partisan. As their names make clear, the ideological split between the first parties was, like today, over the scope of federal government. But the crucial divide was on the issue of which side the U.S. should take in the wars between Revolutionary France and the coalition led by the British.

    The anti-Federalists felt the French revolutionaries were America’s natural allies, not to mention we owed them a solid for helping with our own Revolution. Jefferson’s stoked fears that Hamilton intended to make the Federal government the new British overlords, with press gangs traveling the countryside forcing young men to serve in a massive overseas navy fighting endless wars to protect the interests of rich New England merchants. The Federalists in turn were horrified by the mounting human rights abuses, terrorism, mass murder, and mob rule in France, and were willing to suppress freedom of the press and some personal liberties to ensure the Reign of Terror wouldn’t spread across the Atlantic. The Federalists thought the U.S. should join Britain against French tyranny; the anti-Federalists thought the U.S. should join France in a global war for liberty.

    Where was Adams in this? He was a hard line neutral. He was a Federalist in party and leaned that way in politics, championing the fledgling U.S. Navy and notoriously, as President, signing the Alien & Sedition Acts to suppress the libelous Republican* press. However Adams was furiously fighting his party from reacting to outright French aggression (look up the Quasi War), and was keeping secret the scandalous details of France’s war-baiting diplomacy (look up the XYZ Affair).

    It’s not at all a perfect fit**, but there are unmistakable parallels between Adams and Hillary Clinton. Both were very well known, very commonly miscast moderates with a lifetime of public service, out-of-the-park credentials, some truly major and (and some overblown) political blemishes, and out-of-touch personalities that made them easy to mock and distrust, and who faced a veritable cottage industry of fervently defamatory opposition press.

    This all came to a head in 1800, which was a bitterly partisan, 4-candidate, Constitutional mess. Ironically, it was Adams’ most pro-French policy that did him in, since it a) cost him his base by convincing Hamilton and the “High Federalists” to back Pinckney, and b) by keeping the XYZ Affair a secret to avoid war with France, Adams made it possible for Republicans to cast him as a war monger who purposefully sabotaged the French peace negotiations.

    The lesson here is that the bitter partisanship undermined the democracy’s ability to govern from the center. If the best argument for a two-party system is that it usually forces the parties to choose moderates, the Adams-Jefferson divide proves that assumption false. However the Pinckney/Adams split among Federalists was an early indicator of the spoiler effect that would find much better examples in future 3rd party elections. The greater lesson of course is that liberal democracy only works so long as partisanship, misinformation, and electoral gaming† don’t trump‡ patriotism, fairness, and reason.

    III. The 12th amendment was about the PRESIDENCY not the Vice. This may not make sense to us now because we think of each elector casting one vote for their guy. But then as today, electors actually cast two. The main problem was that they didn’t yet differentiate between which vote was for President, and which was for Vice President.

    The amendment was proposed after the 1796 (specifically, in January 1797) election, not the 1800 one, but it sat around until the election of 1800 nearly produced a Constitutional crisis. If their main concern was awkward White Housemates, the 1797 proposal wouldn’t have sat on a desk for half a decade.

    The even that truly necessitated the 12th amendment was that in 1800 under the two-vote system, all the Republicans voted for Jefferson and Burr, with the result being that the Republican candidate for president, Thomas Jefferson, and for vice president, Aaron Burr, TIED for 1st place. Oops.

    The matter then went to the outgoing Congress, wherein the Federalist majority was disinclined to turn down an epic opportunity to duke their old hated rival Jefferson. It took the electoral college 36 ballots and a ton of pleading on behalf of Jefferson by, of all people, Alexander Hamilton#, for Jefferson to be awarded the office.

    So ultimately history does support this author’s conclusion that democracy requires compromising on behalf of the best candidate; after all, only one person can be President of the United States, and unless that person is you, they’re not going to represent all of the things you care about.

    However, I think it’s a stretch to dismiss third party candidacies off-hand, especially when one party has nominated a truly abhorrent nominee. Votes are recorded, margins are remembered, political perception translates to political fact. On January 20th it may seem like the winner took all; on January 21st the new President has to ask Congress to make good on many of those electoral promises. If that President walks in with a landslide, it’s hard to turn him/her down. If they won only because the other party nominated a Nazi ferret who claims wizard powers, it changes things. Especially this year, I find it totally reasonable to say “my party’s nominee is worse than the other party’s nominee, but I would never vote for the other party’s nominee.” Third party voting is not nothing; it is voting.

    * Jefferson’s anti-Federalists organized into the Democratic-Republican Party, which Washington derogatorily called “Democrats”, and which would colloquially be referred to as the “Republicans.” Confusingly, that same party would eventually become today’s Democratic Party.

    ** Seriously. I am saying there are some instructional similarities, but I am absolutely not equating Clinton with Adams, Democrats with Federalists, nor modern with antebellum. Better to drop the analogy than to take it too far.

    † In this case several states changed how they choose electors, either having the Legislature choose electors instead of using a popular vote, or going to winner-take-all.

    ‡ ha!

    # “Mr. Jefferson, though too revolutionary in his notions, is yet a lover of liberty and will be desirous of something like orderly Government. Mr Burr loves nothing but himself – thinks of nothing but his own aggrandizement – and will be content with nothing short of permanent power.” –Hamilton, in a letter to Rep. Harrison Gray Otis.

  • Jp Hale

    Jibberishness in aces!!!!!!

  • Will Tyler

    Mr. Rouner completely misses the effect third parties have on the two leading parties, and politics in general. They shape the discussion. Libertarians and Greens have been promoting gay rights, marriage equality, legalizing cannabis, ending the drug war and promoting peace for decades.

    The major parties slowly adopt third party ideas when they see they are losing votes to them.

    Third parties are also the main force behind many public referendums and ballot proposals that legalized cannabis, prohibited LGBT discrimination and changed marriage laws in many states – because the major parties refused to act.

    So in fact, third parties are clearly as effective at changing politics and culture as the two major parties – whether they are elected or not! By changing hearts and minds at the grassroots level, third parties play an important role in opposition to the establishment status quo. Their influence will continue to grow for those reasons. They deserve more attention and have earned my support.

  • Helen Shepard

    What is out of touch and ineffective is either not to vote or vote for any third party.

  • Melissa Douthit

    This is the biggest pile of horseshit article I’ve ever read. I’m voting for Jill because I agree with the majority of her policies. Not because I’m trying to be better than the rest. Ridiculous.

  • Claude

    It’s like when Ross Perot fouled up the election and wasted everyone’s time with his silly quixotic platform.
    And how his silly platform was the Republican’s platform in the next election cycle. It’s almost like all the wasted votes for a third party candidate influenced the Party.
    Still, it’s an easy choice. When Pol Pot is running against Stalin, why would you waste your vote on Moses running as an independent. If you don’t do your duty and vote for the lesser evil, evil might win!

  • Cindi Zirk OKeefe

    But of course we all want more fracking all over our country, and forced into even more, and we want a no fly zone over Syria, so we can poke the hornet`s nest(Russia) into starting an all out war which will turn this country into the new Syria, and by all means let`s not forget the passing of the TPP, which can not be reversed once put in place, and will take away our freedom and give big corporations the power they truly deserve so that we have absolutely no ground to stand on and can not sue if we get ripped off. Yes, we do need more factories producing weapons that can be sold to the Saudi`s and other countries only to then be picked up by the terrorists that Clinton as SOS so generously gave out, not to mention the fact with all the Wiki`s which are actual proof, she created ISIS in her wars with both Syria and Libya. So yes we need to stay right in the same continual pattern that tells us we must do as the government says and vote for exactly who they demand we vote for, because they are always RIGHT!

  • jmillsintacoma

    The author has a greatly inflated opinion of the importance of his vote. Spoiler alert, dude, your vote won’t decide this election. In the closest presidential election anyone can remember, Bush vs. Gore, if you didn’t have 600 or so votes to cast in some key Florida precincts, you could not have changed the election results.

    People who harbor the belief that they are actually deciding who wins by casting their vote are of the same mindset as those who buy lottery tickets as a retirement plan. Sure, someone is going to win the lottery, but not you. If you want to play the lottery for entertainment, fine, but it’s not a serious way to make money.

    Similarly, voting is the last and most insignificant act, one makes to affirm one’s political convictions. There is no reason to vote for anyone you have not worked regularly to elect during the campaign, and voting for someone you don’t support in the belief that it will somehow assure the loss of some other candidate is, well, just plain stupid.

  • ihatedavidjay

    So got it – Don’t vote if you don’t like door number 1 or door number 2.

  • Michael Hill

    This is the Libertarian Platform:Here are just a few excerpts of the Libertarian Party platform that David Koch ran on in 1980:
    “We urge the repeal of federal campaign finance laws, and the immediate abolition of the despotic Federal Election Commission.”

    “We favor the abolition of Medicare and Medicaid programs.”

    “We oppose any compulsory insurance or tax-supported plan to provide health services, including those which finance abortion services.”

    “We also favor the deregulation of the medical insurance industry.”

    “We favor the repeal of the fraudulent, virtually bankrupt, and increasingly oppressive Social Security system. Pending that repeal, participation in Social Security should be made voluntary.”

    “We propose the abolition of the governmental Postal Service. The present system, in addition to being inefficient, encourages governmental surveillance of private correspondence. Pending abolition, we call for an end to the monopoly system and for allowing free competition in all aspects of postal service.”

    “We oppose all personal and corporate income taxation, including capital gains taxes.”

    “We support the eventual repeal of all taxation.”

    “As an interim measure, all criminal and civil sanctions against tax evasion should be terminated immediately.”

    “We support repeal of all law which impede the ability of any person to find employment, such as minimum wage laws.”

    “We advocate the complete separation of education and State. Government schools lead to the indoctrination of children and interfere with the free choice of individuals. Government ownership, operation, regulation, and subsidy of schools and colleges should be ended.”

    “We condemn compulsory education laws … and we call for the immediate repeal of such laws.”

    “We support the repeal of all taxes on the income or property of private schools, whether profit or non-profit.”

    “We support the abolition of the Environmental Protection Agency.”

    “We support abolition of the Department of Energy.”

    “We call for the dissolution of all government agencies concerned with transportation, including the Department of Transportation.”

    “We demand the return of America’s railroad system to private ownership. We call for the privatization of the public roads and national highway system.”

    “We specifically oppose laws requiring an individual to buy or use so-called “self-protection” equipment such as safety belts, air bags, or crash helmets.”

    “We advocate the abolition of the Federal Aviation Administration.”

    “We advocate the abolition of the Food and Drug Administration.”

    “We support an end to all subsidies for child-bearing built into our present laws, including all welfare plans and the provision of tax-supported services for children.”

    “We oppose all government welfare, relief projects, and ‘aid to the poor’ programs. All these government programs are privacy-invading, paternalistic, demeaning, and inefficient. The proper source of help for such persons is the voluntary efforts of private groups and individuals.”

    “We call for the privatization of the inland waterways, and of the distribution system that brings water to industry, agriculture and households.”

    “We call for the repeal of the Occupational Safety and Health Act.”

    “We call for the abolition of the Consumer Product Safety Commission.”

    “We support the repeal of all state usury laws.”

  • 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!

    • Adrian

      You have the same result in Norway and other countries where you have to form a governing coalition. It’s just that your compromises happen after the election, when you have to form a governing coalition. Here, it happens before the election, when candidates join parties, when parties pick platforms, and when voters pick candidates. You vote for someone who very closely aligns with your views, who then immediately compromises in order to be part of a governing coalition, or doesn’t, and doesn’t have almost any say in the governance of the nation.

      Here, we pick the candidate who most closely aligns with of views, which probably ends up being less ideal than we’d like, and less ideal that who you vote for, but then we end up getting more or less what we were promised.

      For a simple example where compromise can easily be shown, let’s look at taxes. Let’s say both you and I want 30% income tax rates. In Norway, you vote for the candidate who promises 30% tax rates, preferring him over the 10% and 20% candidates. But, in order to be part of the governing coalition, he has to compromise, and ends up agreeing to only 20%. Here, I want 30%, but the best candidate running is only willing to advocate for 20% tax rates.

      In your scenario, you were promised one thing, voted on that basis, and then got something less than it. In ours, I was told up front that I couldn’t have what I wanted, so I picked the candidate who came closest. If you want to call voting for the 20% candidate over the 10% candidate choosing the lesser of two evils, so be it. At least I knew what I was getting, rather than being told a reassuring lie and being sold a bill of goods, being promised 30% and only ending up with 20%.

      Obviously, that’s a simplified example. In real life, there’s more than one issue, not all issues are weighted equally, and compromises aren’t necessarily just splitting the difference. But it’s illustrative of the timing of the compromises.

      And nobody is literally forced to vote for only one of the two major parties. It’s just that our system of government naturally results in a two-party-dominated system. The governing coalitions, if you want to call them that, are decided in advance of the election. If we voted in, say, Johnson, either it would be a one-time fluke, and we’d go back to the Republican-Democratic dichotomy, or Libertarians would end up replacing one of the current major parties, and we’d just end up with a Libertarian-Democratic dichotomy.

  • 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%).

    • 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/

    • Adrian

      Sure. Assume you don’t like Clinton, and hate Trump, for the sake of example, but feel free to swap them if it makes you feel better. You think your state is solidly going to Clinton, maybe 55-45. So you vote third-party instead, “knowing” your vote won’t do anything. Except, lots of other voters who prefer Clinton over Trump do the same thing, and it ends up being 40-45-15 (Clinton, Trump, whomever).

      So, you took a safe state, and, rather than voting for the “lesser of two evils,” you “voted your conscience” (or voted to “elevate a third party), but ended up with the “greater of two evils.” Like I said, feel free to swap Clinton and Trump if that fits your views better, but the result is still the same, and you could end up with your worst-case scenario.

  • 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.

    • Adrian

      Our political and election system naturally results in two-party control. If enough people defected from the GOP to the Libertarian Party, and the Libs could hold onto that for a few years during a transition period, we’d just end up with a two-party system dominated by Libertarians and Democrats, rather than Republicans and Democrats. If enough Democrats defected to the Greens, we’d end up with Republicans and Greens. There will always be two parties in control here, with our electoral and political system being how it is. Which parties those are changes over time (e.g., the Whigs used to be one of the two controlling parties, but they don’t exist anymore), but, except for short transitions, there are always only two dominant parties.

      Even in the unlikely scenario where voters, thus, Representatives and Senators, were roughly split in thirds, we’d still end up with basically two parties. 1/3 isn’t enough to get a majority, so not enough to get anything done. So they’ll have to wheel and deal, make concessions and compromises. Maybe one third caucuses with the other third, and it ends up 2/3 to 1/3. Or maybe the individuals split up according to their preferences, and you end up with something more like 48/52. At that point, you effectively have two parties, even if, on paper, there are three.

      Say the parties are A, B, and C. Say the Senate is split as evenly as possible: 34-33-33. Arbitrarily say that A and C are the dominant parties, and that B is the one with defectors. It starts out 34-33-33 (A-B-C). Then, one B member defects to A, realizing that his party won’t get their way, and preferring to settle for A, rather than C (perhaps the gap between A and B is less than the gap between B and C). Now it’s 35-32-33. Then, a second member of B defects, maybe this time to C, because, for him, the gap between B and C is smaller. Now it’s 35-31-34. They won’t alternate, necessarily, and it could all happen more or less simultaneously. At some point, one coalition (either A and B, or B and C) will have a majority of 51. Whether it’s 51-0-49, 50-24-25, or anything n between, is irrelevant. In the former, they’re literally all in agreement; in the latter, while they don’t necessarily agree on what should be done, they do agree that A’s policies shouldn’t be enacted, so they vote as a bloc to attempt to stop it. Either way, it ends up with only two parties effectively being in control.

      Sure, maybe they align differently depending on the issue. E.g., someone could be both for limited government and pro-choice. Or pro-choice and pro-gun. But, on any given issue, there will always effectively be only two parties: those for it, and those against it. Even in the larger sense, overall, that still ends up being true. People prioritize and weight different issues. There are pro-choice Republicans, and pro-gun Democrats. There are Republicans who are against the death penalty, and Democrats who are for it. But all of them have already done the calculus, and have decided, on the whole, they agree more closely with one party or the other. Either they compromise on one issue to get their way on the other 99 issues, or they vote how they feel on that one issue and break ranks with the rest of their party. It really doesn’t matter. The former is being pragmatic; the latter is being principled. If I’m one of the 51, but, on this one issue, I agree more with the 49, if I’m loyal and vote with my party, it’s 51-49. If I vote my conscience, it’s 50-50, with the tie decided by the VP.

      Once there’s a majority, which there necessarily must be, then whether the minority is a bloc, splits into two smaller blocs, or votes in 49 separate factions, is irrelevant. It will always boil down to two groups: the governing party and the opposition party; the ayes and the nays, those for or against, or whatever you want to call them. Votes on bills are set up as binary choices. Raise taxes from x% to (x+2)%: all in favor (aye), all opposed (nay). The ayes have it. If someone prefers to raise taxes by 4% instead of 2%, he can either amend the bill before it’s put to a vote, or he can vote against the 2% increase, defeat it, and then introduce a new bill proposing to raise taxes by 4%. But, if the issue is either to raise taxes by 2% or not, he can either vote for the status quo, or he can vote for 2%. There is no mechanism by which to vote against both the status quo, and against 2%, and for 4%, in one vote.

  • 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.

  • 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/

        • Brad Thomas

          I suspect someone got to Bernie and informed him what happens to those who cross the Clintons..

  • 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.

      • 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.

  • “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.

      • AntiCitzenOne

        “making a violent revolution inevitable.”

        Come to think of it, aren’t you guys against any sort of violence? How on earth are you going to rise up against dictator Trump without arms? You don’t even believe in the 2nd Amendment.

        Then again, the last time a violent revolution was done, we (1) – kicked the British out and formed this country and (2) – preserved our Union. Not bad, really, for violent revolutions.

  • 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.

  • 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.

    • Adrian

      One of them has held elected office, the other hasn’t. One has served as a high-ranking government official, one hasn’t. One has a history of cheating nearly everyone involved in any business venture, and one has a history of decades of fighting for civil rights. One’s biggest claim to fame is starring in a reality television show.

      You’re half right. One isn’t 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

      • 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.)

      • 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.

          • dawrongguey

            You’re enacting one of the major things people hate about democrats these days: You won’t engage with any of my actual ideas, and instead spend time telling me how I’m being uncivil and throwing around 1 too many “fucks, damns, and hells.”

            Dude came at me with some condescending shit; if you talk down to me I’m going to respond.

            And miss me with the Trump boogeyman shit. I’m Mexican and have a mixed status family (some of whom also happen to be queer) who have far more to lose than you or your son. But can you guess under whose administration they’ve been put under increasing risk? Yea, everyone’s favorite dem Obama. And a Hillary administration won’t improve their chances of not being kidnapped by ICE either. If you had READ what I wrote I talk about doing the grassroots work and community building that is the ONLY effective way of organizing and keeping our people safe. Yea Trump is a blowhard fascist, but what you’ve failed to realize is that this Mexican has a more developed and practical political analysis through both study and life experience than you probably will have for the next twenty years…so I see the limitations of rallying around a candidate who will once again throw my people under the bus.

          • Whatevah

            So,then because you support a 3rd party candidate I don’t get to point out that you uncivil. Allrighty then.

          • dawrongguey

            You’re doing it again. Tone policing. It’s a pattern I’m seeing with Hillary supporters…instead of any engagement with ideas such as, oh I don’t know, not bombing brown people, yall like to derail and focus on trivial things like tone. Sorry not sorry my tone surrounding state sanctioned murder is a bit more urgent than what you’ve come to expect from a milquetoast corporatist party.

          • Whatevah

            I am engaging. Within the Democratic party because they can actually do something about it. Don’t assume I’m okay with bombing anyone just because I’m asking you to be civil. Seems like you just want an excuse to be uncivil. And seems like you want to excuse to drown out any points of view outside of only yours.

            We all voted for Bernie. We’ve all moved on. He pushed the party to the left. The platform is more liberal than it has ever been. No it’s not perfect. That’s politics. Do you want to effect positive social change, or do you get more out of criticizing those of us who know that change takes time, and some change in the right direction is better than none. I’ve worked my entire career as a Public Interest Lawyer. I’ve made real differences in people’s lives. I’ve worked on many political campaigns for many, many good people who have done their best given the constraints of our pluralistic society. So I feel like, yes, the Democrats really do give a rat’s ass about the common man.

            You don’t like that Dems take corporate money? Then get out there, support a solid candidate who doesn’t take that money and help get them elected. Change the party from within.

            But you do not have the moral high ground, any more than Nader supporters did in 2000. Their moral high ground led to the election of Bush and the Iraq war. So while you sit on your high horse, and preach to me about the state sanctioned murder, consider the alternative to the Dems. I heard the whole “there’s no difference between the two parties” thing in 2000. Well, I can tell you the Dems would not have invaded Iraq. That was all the Republicans.

            And you’re doing it again, too. You think you’re better than the rest of us because you’re not voting for Hillary. You think you get to be uncivil. Sorry, but you’re held to the same level of conduct, I hold everyone else. I’ve said the same thing to uncivil Democrats.

          • dawrongguey

            So, we clearly are coming from two different worlds.

            The democratic party may serve YOUR interests, it may maintain a status quo that reflects the amount of political struggle YOU are willing to put forth to create a better world for tomorrow- but, again, that doesn’t cut it for millions of people like me across the country.

            I don’t give a shit about a moral high ground. This is what you white liberals fail to understand about people of color who are socialists, communists, anarchists, democratic-confederalists, or a myriad of other political persuasions who aren’t trying to waste their time reforming a nation founded on chattel slavery and race based genocide- we acknowledge and will support reforms and candidates that can help our people net positively in the short term, but we are under no illusion that this political system and current government structure is an effective blueprint for a better world. Quite the opposite actually- the U.S brings death the world over.

            So no, this isn’t about a moral high ground. This is about the future of our planet and the livelihood of everyone I love. And the rub is that me and several million people who live in a solidly red state aren’t buying into the bluff that a vote thrown toward a candidate who expects to lose in our state does anything but foster complacency and enable the democratic party to continue being the graveyard where meaningful social movements and grassroots organizing go to die.

            Look at the Kurds in Rojava. The Zapatistas in Chiapas, Mexico. None of those folks solely relied on the elections of their corrupt nation states to build a better world for their people. But at this point I know I’m talking to a brick wall because we’re on two different planes not only politically, but socially.

            Like I said, two different worlds. I would like to work with democrats. No snark there, I really would. But too often you all compromise on things that are fully within our collective power to change, if only you had some spine.

          • Whatevah

            So,then because you support a 3rd party candidate I don’t get to point out that you uncivil. Allrighty then.

          • dawrongguey

            Lol and why are you so pressed about what I said to ol dude? Did you relate to his bitterness and take offense when I called out his unproductive cynicism?

          • Whatevah

            Bored. Going to register new voters.

          • Whatevah

            Bored. Going to register new voters.

      • 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.

      • Adrian

        You post the exact same thing three times on here, and then up-vote your own post?

        • dawrongguey

          You jump in on a thread and contribute nothing but a slightly creepy admission of how much you’ve been observing my postings?

          • Adrian

            Your answer is, essentially, tu quoque?

          • dawrongguey

            Lmao, why are you guys so corny?

            Tu quoque doesn’t apply here because you didn’t present any central claim or argument in the first place, just butted in in classic “rational bro” fashion asking a question that has nothing to do with the points I raised.

      • Dean

        Wow, look what you did there!
        All that effort spent on Hillary will be quite useful when you start applying it towards the ‘Political Revolution’ America is gonna be great now!

        • dawrongguey

          I’m fascinated by all of these people who imagine it was some great feat of effort to write my initial comment. I know baby boomers and the like have a reputation for being a bit slow when it comes to learning new things, but it really isn’t difficult for folks in my generation to hash out our thoughts in a comment.

          I probably get done in two hours what you accomplish in a day.

  • 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.

      • 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.

          • 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.

          • I has proof! I has pictures of Hillary and Trump eating Babies!!! (Sorry – I could not resist)

          • Doc_Rock

            Staements and claims made without evidence, are just as easily dismissed without evidence. That works both ways.

          • TheHopiWay

            Those were the good old days. These days even verified proof of innocence isn’t enough to stop persecution from an accusation. I’ve even heard lack of evidence used as proof that there must have been wrong doing as it shows how well the tracks were covered….

          • 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?

          • ClairePaname

            The only people I’ve heard talking about vaccines and homeopathy are the journalists and the trolls who say she’s only talking about vaccines and homeopathy – and when I did hear her talk about vaccines to say the industry should be nowhere near the agencies regulating it. Which is like just plain good sense. Do you choose the restaurant you’re going to eat at based on the reviews published by its chefs and managers? Why would you trust for your HEALTH what you wouldn’t trust for your eating out choices? What she speaks of is mostly climate change, war, trade agreements, student loans. In a nutshell.

          • xxSJWxx

            Funny… I’ve never heard her talk about either unless it was to refute the bullshit smear campaign that’s been launched against her. You know… the kind that baits low IQ voters like you.

          • Rickman33

            It’s just word salad. Not “a” word salad.

          • xxSJWxx

            In other words you’re a low IQ voter who simply doesn’t understand what Jill has to say because it’s FAR beyond your level of remedial comprehension.

        • 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.

          • Walter Dexter

            Here’s the thing. I do know about the two major candidates. One is a fascist made mostly out of ego and spray tan, and the other is, at absolute best, incompetent at giving the appearance of honesty – and probably one of the most crooked politicians to reach this level in recent history.

            So no thanks. I’ll pick the two smart honest experienced governors instead.

          • castinem8

            And when they get elected, will you go to the inauguration?

          • jgmitzen

            Hillary’s not “crooked” – that’s an Internet-generated conspiracy theory/meme, like “dishonest” Al Gore in 2000.

          • Walter Dexter

            If Hillary isn’t pay to play then she’s incompetent because that’s sure the appearance. Using a former POTUS as her bag man just makes it worse.

          • morlock

            Rose law firm made Mena & Barry Seal possible. Hillary was a key water carrier for CIA cocaine flooding the streets & underwriting gangsta’ “culture” that still despoils this nation daily.

          • Omega Blackburn

            you are not from Arkansas or NY are you?

          • toria555

            Hilary’s not crooked? Really? So, you believe her lie that she didn’t know “C” stands for Confidential. If she’s not crooked then she’s really really stupid and not fit for president. Can’t wait to vote for #GaryJohnson!

          • Yanksfan4everVT

            Oh FFS, just STOP with the email bullshit. You conservatives act as if she is the second coming of Hitler over some fucking emails that didn’t put a single US asset in danger. The stupid shit you guys make a huge deal over is absurd. Hell, Powell, Rice, Cheney and I am sure many, many other republicans have done the EXACT SAME THING. Where was the fake outrage then?? Your candidate has NOTHING of substance to offer so you resort to making a fake controversy to try to discredit, Hillary. It is truly pathetic.

          • toria555

            HA! I’m not a republican, I’m an independent voting for Gary Johnson. Both Democrats and Republicans are hypocrites. It’s okay when their party does something shady, but not okay when the other side does it….If Clinton wasn’t Clinton, she would currently be tried for involuntary manslaughter for Bengazi, but since presidents are selected by the lobbyists and not elected, she gets a pass. You should be concerned about that, not about whether they have a D or R next to their name, which doesn’t mean crap.

          • BruceWilliams

            You are very blind to facts.

          • Eric J. Carbonell

            I fell asleep several times reading your BS. But when I woke up I realized how incredibly flattering it is that you took the time to flatter the 3rd/outside parties so much. Your kind words are appreciated and we look forward to you selecting Jill Stein as your candidate, or Gary Johnson if you must. You’re a brave man!

          • Ethan Kennedy

            Either I don’t understand your sarcasm or you didn’t understand what I was saying, but in any case, I’m not planning on voting for either one of those people. Not sure what bravery has to do with it, just trying to participate in the discussion. In short: I am sympathetic to the overall point of this article, although its a bit more snarky in places than it needs to be.

          • Octane Bullfrog

            I don’t have to read any further than your first sentence. My gf thinks Trump is the devil. My dad think’s hillary is the devil.

            Devil = matter of perspective. Your beliefs determine who the devil is.

            I think they’re both anti liberty and arguing that I’m a horrible person because I have chosen NOT to vote for the lesser of two horrible choices (note I didn’t say evil) means you’re unwilling to vote your conscience.

            Elections are big ships, and it takes a long time to turn them. If you don’t start turning, sooner or late you’ll run aground. I’m willing to vote different to start changing the system. A lot of other people are too.

          • Ethan Kennedy

            I definitely don’t think you’re a horrible person for wanting to vote 3rd party. I do think that this op/ed is too harshly worded even though I agree with its basic point about voting practically.

            Also, just because I’m valuing a practical vote doesn’t mean I’m unwilling to vote my conscience. My conscience is very much concerned about the possibility of a Trump presidency. I will also be on the front line of protest if Hillary gets into office and enacts policies that are clearly hurting people.

            To your point about the big ship: the basic idea here is that a fully functioning republic is built by many types of action besides voting for president every 4 years. Waiting til a presidential election to throw your vote behind an outsider candidate with little to no real chance of winning is like trying to turn that big ship with a little paddle.

            If you want to revolutionize the party system (which wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing), start building the infrastructure. In fact, in many ways, Bernie Sanders has done a great job of doing just that this year. We should continue to build on that but also shouldn’t have any illusions about what will be effective and what is truly at stake.

            If you, like your father, truly believe that Hillary Clinton is Satan incarnate, then I’d argue that our big ship has already run aground.

          • castinem8

            If you want to vote your conscience – stay at home and do that

          • Octane Bullfrog

            or you can blow me and I can vote for whoever I want to.

          • rkldg93

            What a ridiculous comment – third grade response to a vital argument. I wouldn’t vote for clinton or her VP or her ‘Transistion’ team. Their maneuvers will kill any hope of a real republic moving as one. Another condescending article from a clinton supporter does not win any friends.

          • Tom Noel

            If I want to vote my way, that’s my right. And staying home serves absolutely NO purpose. And as far as the third party candidates go, if more people would wake up to the fact that the only way to bring about real change is to elect a candidate that fits the need of all people is good, change for good won’t happen. And to say a third party doesn’t count is foolish. It’s a matter of more people realizing that we hold the power and voting accordingly that makes change happen. And when the majority says enough of the extremism of the two party system, I want a government that works for me, the third party does become effective. Grow a set of nuts and tell the system we’re tired of the game that is set up against us. We CAN take our country back. America CAN be great again, not that it isn’t. But we need to make it great on our terms. Hillary and Trump aren’t the answer. #GaryJohnson2016

          • Paul Lestock

            Problem with the “slow turning this ship around”metaphor is that now we have the ability to quickly sink our ship, well before we run aground.
            In a violent seaway a slow turn leaves us abeam to big waves which is the very most dangerous point of sail for any vessel.

          • jmillsintacoma

            Better to stop trying to turn and just run onto the rocks; full speed ahead!

          • Octane Bullfrog

            I cannot argue with you there. We can sink faster than we can turn, after watching the debate – I think we’re damned either way. Stop and frisk is an absolute non-starter for me. That’s a massive breaking of civil liberties that will be borne significantly on the backs of blacks and US muslims.

          • disqus_JnhcjH0Smo

            The debate showed that Hillary is against stop and frisk, while Donald is for it, so if that is your deal breaker (and I agree 100%) how are damned either way?

          • Ivan

            How you feel about you vote now?

          • sceezone

            for fuck’s sake why are you sooooo right!!?!?!?! yesssss.

          • Matt

            Or 4) I am well informed of their differences and they both miss by such a wide margin that I refuse to support either one. 5) I understand that what they say and what they do are completely different and that if you want me to ignore the fatal political flaws (the actual person they are) and focus only on platform, we have no use for candidates and can place a piece of paper with policies at the seat of the president’s desk.

          • Amy Harmon

            “…place a piece of paper with policies at the seat of the president’s desk.” I like that line lol.

          • Tyler

            You’re also allowed to *not* vote for either of the two major candidates…

          • Derek Wheeler

            Then become rich and create another Ross Perot he is the only serious 3rd party candidate to exist ever.

            Voting for a third party candidate if you legitimately think they can win. Supporting them if you legitimately think they can win is great.

            Voting for them when you know they can’t is the adult equivalent of taking your ball and going home. It’s the exact same thing as the people who don’t vote at all. It’s not a message to others and unless you make big deal out of “well I voted for (x)” a lot.

            An unwillingness to compromise is Tyranny. People who vote only for a third party candidate after their candidate has already lost are people who don’t give a shit what I want or my rights. They don’t care to hear what I think is right or wrong and they are firmly entrenched in only getting what’s good for them.

            I look at the third parties everytime and I have yet to run into one who isn’t “fuck that group”

            Whether it’s one saying “fuck the rich” or “fuck the poor” and so on.

            Some even have completely unrealistic plans that they forget historically don’t bloody work. Like the idea of “get government completely out of business and let business owners do the right thing on their own. ”

            I even read the comic strips based on the idea and the business owner is always willing to pay the person a living wage and there’s never more people than there is work.

            Which is funny because when that was the way the country was run and it was up to the businesses to police themselves the workers were routinely told to fuck off and left to starve to death. I am sure there are some people out there that would do the right thing but most only care about profit and for all the talk of “well the workers can just walk off the job and find someone willing to pay an appropriate wage.”

            Doesn’t work like that. They just hire people willing to take crap pay just to not starve.

            Most solutions given by third parties seem to be based on the ludicrous notion that selfish and greedy people don’t exist. So sure take your ball and go home. It doesn’t make you better than me.

            No I don’t always like everything the serious candidates say but I am not a tyrannical dictator I don’t think the world is stuffed full of clones of myself and I sure as hell doing think what I need accounts for what everyone else needs. I am going to stay in the game though and try to make sure that we get something that works for most people instead of something that only works for some people.

            It should be telling to you that we look at those third parties and then tell them no. It’s not because we aren’t educated it’s because what they are saying would create a shitty world for us.

          • Ethan Kennedy

            I gather you and I basically (along with everybody else in this forum for that matter) want America to do a better job of living up to it’s promises: i.e. liberty and justice for all. The whole argument hinges on how to bring that about. I will not try to convince you that Hillary is amazing if you don’t try to convince me that somehow she is just as bad as Donald Trump.

            What I will argue is that, by my calculus, either Hillary or Donald will win (granted, that in and of itself is a problem that we should solve), and if Hillary wins, the problems we already know we must solve as a nation will still be as well defined on her first day of office as they are today. If Donald wins, however, he will exacerbate the situation and the set of problems we know we ought to start working to resolve today, will instead get put on the back burner as we reroute our energies to deal with a whole new onslaught of bullshit brought on by person with no real plan, no applicable experience, nearly no allies in congress, and a near daily penchant for alienating and degrading whole swathes of our society.

          • Jeremy M. S.

            Except that I know neither of them will EVER stop all the illegal wars, both are on the side of large corporations and bankers, both will continue to let our water, air and food supplies be slowly poisoned. Both will continue to let the prison system cage millions of non-violent offenders…. I know the differences, asshole. You apparently do not know the similarities. Piss off with that empty minded bullshit.

          • Pryz Fytr

            Both candidates ARE “devils” to many of us. I’ve been voting L for several elections (formerly a D). Hillary is a serial liar, who’s been implicated in oh-so-many shady deals (see how many Foundation donors have been “rewarded”), Trump is … well, he advertises what he is daily. I’m for liberty – and the day I realized that all government is force is the day I stopped voting for R or D for president.

          • mrtapeguy

            Your assessment is completely subjective.

            There are plenty of reasonable people who find Hillary more “devilish” than Trump. You may disagree and that’s fine – but at least Trump is completely transparent about what a tool he is. He also is quite vocal about a number of areas such as trade, where the status quo (Clinton/Bush/Obama) has not served us well. Hillary behaves more professionally and she puts out progressive rhetoric, whereas Trump has decided to pander to the far right despite a lifetime of supporting Democrats. So he appears more devilish to you – but he is not responsible, for example, for Bill Clinton’s ramping up the rhetoric on WMDs and “regime change” along with bombing Iraq twice, followed by voting for the war. He’s not responsible for our current policy in Syria.

            What is the purpose of supporting an outsider today? Will Johnson be elected? That’s not likely, especially since the CPD has set an arbitrarily high number to get in the debates. However, this year has been far different from years past – Jill Stein will likely get more votes than Johnson did in 2012 and Johnson will probably get more votes than any non-D/R since Ross Perot. More importantly, the light is finally shining on what a sham this process is and there is significant rumbling for change.

          • Ethan Kennedy

            Fair enough, but I think people are generally getting their wires crossed on this topic and equating apples with plastic bananas.

            It really comes down to this: I want change like everybody else here does. Currently, I see no reason to believe that voting for a 3rd-party candidate is going to bring about that change, at least not any time soon. Instead, as far as I can tell, in order to effect change, we’re going to have to work over the long term to get good information and good ideas flowing and put into practice starting at the ground level and working our way up and out from there. And I’d argue that if Hillary wins, we can start this process of change right away. If Trump wins, we’ll be spending more energy just dealing with his bullshit rather than focusing on the changes we already know we need to start working on today.

            I think it should be simple: Yes, Hillary Clinton is flawed. But she is flawed in a way that exactly mirrors the way that our system itself is flawed. Our system needs to change. And 3rd parties can and should play a role in that. But revolution does not START at the White House, it CULMINATES there. I think Bernie Sanders understands that. There’s a reason why he ran on the Democratic ticket. And I like his approach of encouraging people to run for various local offices all over the country. Build a party from the ground up. Donald Trump is another story altogether. He’s a crazy repugnant asshole who routinely alienates and degrades whole sectors of our society, only to turn around and offer half-assed back-peddling after being called on it for the 100th time. He deliberately appeals to worst qualities of humanity in order to inflate his own standing.

          • Your Future Ex Husband

            Oh please, Mr Feminist, tell us what you really think. You write a lot but you don’t say anything. You know nothing about Trump, that is apparent. Maybe stop thinking with your vagina and start looking at the policies instead of his past. You really want higher taxes and a smaller military? More terrorists flowing across the border and higher costs for college? You want vastly higher medical rates, even higher than the ACA failure that is currently hobbling millions of Americans? You are the typical under-educated liberal moron.

          • Ethan Kennedy

            There’s really no basis for anything you inferred from what I wrote. The best part of your argument was that I “know nothing about Trump,” which isn’t a good thing for you because that means even your best argument is completely lacking substance.

            1) There was nothing distinctly feminist about anything I said, so I don’t know what that has to do with anything.
            2) I don’t need to look at Trump’s past to understand he’s a deranged asshole, he’s done nothing but confirm that every day of this election.
            3) I don’t know anyone who wants more terrorists to be here, so I can only guess as to how you came to the conclusion that was a legitimate question to pose.
            4) So far, I haven’t heard a serious plan from Trump for reducing the cost of higher education. As far as I can tell, it’s not an important issue to him, though he has given fairly bland answers when asked about it. He has talked about cutting and or eliminating the Dept. of Education, which just seems like pandering to the people in this country who are unequivocally mistrustful of the federal government.
            5) I don’t want higher medical rates, though, again, I’m not aware of any serious plan from Trump to actually address the issue. If anything, I’d expect Trump to be on the side of people profiteering from exploitative business practices, as that seems to have been his own m.o. for many years.

            I could go on, but I hope you get the gist. The onus is on you to come up with more than bitter non sequiturs.

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

          In other words, they’re wrong.

          • 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

          • ChrisTS

            He was, and has returned to being, an Independent.

          • Lyle Sparks

            I live in a very blue state (CA) and—would you believe—our ballot has many, many more candidates than Trump and Clinton. They are running for very important offices other than Pres. My Congressional district is deep purple; the winner will be either conservative or progressive, which makes a difference to me. Our ballot will have referenda on capital punishment and gun regulation. Sounds like “democracy” to me, but maybe I lack imagination.

        • 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

        • Lyle Sparks

          I’ve voted in every election since 1968, always for candidates from one of the two major parties. I thought I gave the decision some earnest thought each time, but thanks for telling me I “never understood the concept of voting on principle.”

        • Charlie Desertly

          “Our frame of mind is not limited to two options”
          But the election is. Stein and Johnson are not candidates for president in a meaningful sense.

          • BruceWilliams

            Only in your mind.

          • Charlie Desertly

            I’m talking about objective reality. Your ‘frame of mind’ won’t even make a historical footnote.

        • castinem8

          Really now Mark, what you are doing is taking your vote away from someone. Whom do you choose?

      • 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.

      • George

        Exactly. I respect the 3rd party people and really loved Bernie. But he’s not one of the two candidates who can become president. The 3rd party people should work for the next 3 or 4 years to expand their views and build support: that’s awesome and commendable. But please, please, please use common sense and take 15 minutes in novemeber to vote for the one person who can defeat donald trump. Voting for someone who cannot win the election and which gives donald trump a better shot of becoming commander-in-chief is just completely assanigned.

        • Omega Blackburn

          Well , then we deserve him for letting the Republican party give him their endorsement..

      • ClairePaname

        The crypto-fascist is not who you think it is.

      • Leo Monaghan

        Trump is an incompetent buffoon with basically no support even in his own party. ~If~ elected he would accomplish absolutely nothing except to make an ass of himself probably ending up impeached with his whole administration tossed out on their collective ears.

        To claim otherwise is to either give him credit for being competent (which he does not deserve) or to attempt to play the “politics of fear” game by lying to people about a “scary future” (which could never happen) if they don’t vote the way you want them to.

      • dtownprof

        If Democrats had nominated a candidate who could tell the truth once in a while, didn’t abuse power, and didn’t funnel millions through her foundation, thereby evading taxes and making sure their cronies are “taken care of”… maybe this attack would hold water. I’m not in favor of any authoritarian, fascist, socialist, communist, or other. Therefore, both the democrat and republican candidates are out.

      • BS. The president is only a hired hand. We the people are in charge. With the exception of LBJ’s war in Southeast Asia, we the people usually do just fine with any president. We did fine with Nixon and Carter, for example. Nixon was a bit paranoid and Carter was a nice guy lacking presidential abilities. So stop listening to the fear-mongering ideologues. Stop being one. No one is going to reverse gay rights. Relax. Chill. It will be okay.

      • BruceWilliams

        Then quit blaming others and find a candidate that isn’t a thief and lier. Grow the F up. Waiting until a good candidate comes along got us a rigged election. And a waste for a candidate.
        And the only way anything is going to change is to let the dogs in to rip the system apart so we can rebuild with a solid foundation.

      • baruchzed

        Clearly you are OK with ignoring facts, like…Clinton has voted for/signed off on the slaughter of over a million human beings, and has said she will kill more if she becomes president. Black people, brown people, men, women, children, gay people, straight people, rich, poor…dead.
        Clearly you are Ok with ignoring Clinton’s support and business dealings with regimes that behead gay people and stone women to death.
        You know what that makes you? Willfully ignorant, and that is inexcusable.

      • kekort2 .

        If that’s the case, then the conclusion that 3rd party votes are meaningless is untrue. What is ineffective is the author’s insulting people and then wanting them to vote for his candidate.

    • JoseAmerica

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

      3rd parties have always been dumb.

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

        • thatgirlinnewyork

          I think you just substantiated it for him.

          • 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.

          • 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.

          • Lyle Sparks

            First let’s argue about the meaning of “meme.”

          • Lyle Sparks

            We’re going to help the kidz by raising the minimum wage and making it more expensive to employ them.

          • de Vlieg

            sez, “boy, what a Rube! The minimum wage was launched as part of the war on poverty. It was originally adequate at $1.20 to support a family of four and pay their bills and mortgage with a 40 hour work-week. Wage-pull has been invalidated so you can’t be pinning inflation on the working poor.
            After 35+ years of Reaganomics, who’s founders (Dr. David Stockman and Professor Laffer) now admit it IS (for emphasis, sorry, no italics) Voodoo economics. Further of you seek out graphs depicting the decline of organised labor and overlay it into a graph of our depleted buying power, decline in manufacturing, in fact growth of deficits, government, and trade, the devaluation of the U.S. dollar and eroding or standard of living to “make us more competitive abroad” have all been done to increase profits and dilute consumers biting power.
            Try it

          • Lyle Sparks

            My goodness, what a long, theoretical response to my very short statement. And you didn’t even answer it.

            Basically you disagree with the theory of what your first para calls “wage-pull” inflation. I think you mean “wage-push” as opposed to “demand pull.” Either way, you are talking about a macro effect of a macro phenomenon, which does not contradict my basic statement that increasing wages of a worker makes him/her more expensive for that particular employer to employ. Perhaps the overall effect on the economy is nil or even positive because workers are consumers too, but it is axiomatic that at the “shop floor” level, higher wages mean higher costs.

            I may be a “rube,” but I know about running a small business. When I pay workers more, they are ergo more “expensive.” If they spend the money at Walmart, good for Walmart and maybe for the economy, and maybe even for my business—my income may rise because of greater efficiency and/or my own employees buying my services (the Henry Ford theory) but they will still be more “expensive” because they are…duh…an accounting EXPENSE.

        • 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.

          • 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

        • JoseAmerica

          The Republican Party also ran candidates at every level and pretty much took over a region of the nation.

          So maybe you can tell me when the Green Party is going to do those things instead of focusing on the presidency pretty much exclusively.

          • Founder’sVoice

            I believe a decision to go third party must be on the down ballot candidates as well. I believe that down ballot votes count for more in terms of sending a message.

            As individual voters we can only influence, we cannot control.

            the Perot voters sent a message in 1992. the Republicans responded in 1994. http://www.heritage.org/events/2014/07/contract-with-america

        • Ava Williamson

          Here’s the funny thing… the Whig party later a whole 20 years. By the time 1852 came around there were Republicans in Congress. The party officially folded in 1855, but still ran in 1856. They came in THIRD. Republicans were a close second to Democrats.

          This wasn’t some upstart Republicans unseating an entrenched major party, this was Republicans stepping over the dead body of the Whig party.

          It’s an important difference.

          • Founder’sVoice

            didn’t say it can happen overnight..overtime… but it has to start with voters moving away from the current two major parties.

      • Scott

        As Lincoln’s election has shown…

        • Rebecca Herring

          Why? The Whig Party ceased to exist by 1856, It was also clear in 1856 that the Republican Party was close to defeating the Democrat Party. The Republican Party thus emerged as the second major party, replacing the Whigs.

      • Lyle Sparks

        Second parties too.

    • 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.

          • toria555

            You don’t want freedom, you want a dictatorship.

          • I, Nudnick,

            You’ll know the true meaning of dictatorship when Trump becomes prez. Next election??? There won’t be a 2020 run.

          • I, Nudnick,

            You’ll see what a real dictatorship is once Trump wins. Forget the election after this. Trump won’t even allow the numbers ‘2020’ to be printed or spoken of in any form. So by all means, give your vote to a man who apparently can’t chew gum and even daydream at the same time. It’s a pretty bad sign for a candidate if they can make Trum look like a Rhodes Scholar.

          • toria555

            I’m not voting for Trump or Clinton. By your comment, you want the President to be a dictator. Read the Constitution, it was specifically written to keep federal and presidential powers limited for a reason. You should read some history, your comment is embarrassing as an American.

          • I, Nudnick,

            Your reading comprehension is very, very low if you make my comment out to be a Call for Fascism rathen than a dire warning and portents. Might I suggest you take ESL 3 while I brush up on my potical history?

        • 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

          • Jae Cho

            You can vote for corruption all you want, but you are not going to shame/pressure me in to voting for corruption. If you want to vote for killary, you are voting for trump, it’s not third partystraight fault so don’t use that oligarchy garbage on me, that tactic only works on weak minded individuals like hillary supoorters.

          • Whatevah

            Again, please apologize to my kid forvtaking away his rights if a Trump is elected.

            Excuse me, I’m going to go register some new voters who actually get what’s at stake.

          • Jae Cho

            You apologize to me, ignorant moron, as a gay man I cannot consciously vote for hillary Clinton who has been very vocal on TV about marriage being a sacred bond between a man and a woman, and who also voted for DOMA (defense of marriage act).
            https://youtu.be/6I1-r1YgK9I

          • Whatevah

            What’s with the ad hominem attack? Dude, I’ve been PFLAG for years. My son is a gay man, and he likes Hillary. So do all of my gay friends. Get. Over. Yourself. Just because your gay does not make you the sole authority on who is best for the gay community. Hate to break it to you, but most of that community disagrees with you.

            Yeah, I know all about DOMA. Saw it happen in real time. It was the 90s. It was the best they could do. We made fun of them at the time for not having a spine. Times have changed, and so politicians can do more.

            Again, sorry that I have a grip on reality when it comes to how the political system works. But really, do you actually think you convinced me of anything with your name calling? All you’ve done is convinced me even more than anyone who votes for Jill Stein at this point has a screw loose. And feel free to keep attacking me if it makes you feel better. I jjust find it entertaining at this point.

          • Founder’sVoice

            If your son is gay.. Why support Hillary? She and her husband take millions from countries that kill gays. Her and Kaine’s inner circle are filled with Sharia shills.

          • Whatevah

            What’s with the ad hominem attack? Dude, I’ve been PFLAG for years. My son is a gay man, and he likes Hillary. So do all of my gay friends. Get. Over. Yourself. Just because your gay does not make you the sole authority on who is best for the gay community. Hate to break it to you, but most of that community disagrees with you.

            Yeah, I know all about DOMA. Saw it happen in real time. It was the 90s. It was the best they could do. We made fun of them at the time for not having a spine. Times have changed, and so politicians can do more.

            Again, sorry that I have a grip on reality when it comes to how the political system works. But really, do you actually think you convinced me of anything with your name calling? All you’ve done is convinced me even more than anyone who votes for Jill Stein at this point has a screw loose. And feel free to keep attacking me if it makes you feel better. I jjust find it entertaining at this point.

          • Founder’sVoice

            Sharia on Gays-http://shariahthethreat.org/a-short-course-1-what-is-shariah/a-short-course-14-the-muslim-brotherhood’s-strategic-plan/

          • Jae Cho

            You apologize to me, you are ignorant if you think hillary is LGBT advocate, if you notice her she only marches at LGBT parades when it’s an election year, and prior to running for president this term she has been anti LGBT. It’s all on camera, she voted for DOMA (defense of marriage act, Bill prohibiting LGBT community from having same benefits as rest of America).
            https://youtu.be/6I1-r1YgK9I

          • Jae Cho

            You apologize to me, you are ignorant if you think hillary is LGBT advocate, if you notice her she only marches at LGBT parades when it’s an election year, and prior to running for president this term she has been anti LGBT. It’s all on camera, she voted for DOMA (defense of marriage act, Bill prohibiting LGBT community from having same benefits as rest of America).
            https://youtu.be/6I1-r1YgK9I

          • Whatevah

            LOL, I will do no such thing. And I am not ignorant. I’m sorry she’s not pure enough for you, but you don’t seem to get that that was the very best they could do in the 90s. It must be so nice to sit in judgement of people and not put any of the hard work in. So no, I will not apologize to you. And neither will be 18 year old, who is voting for Hillary, and is well aware that she will do about a billion times more to protect his rights than Trump who will probably put him in jail. But go ahead. Vote for Stein. Stay pure. And enjoy the repercussions as you wallow in your self-righteousness.

          • Whatevah

            God you just reek of self righteousness and privilege.

          • Jae Cho

            Pot calling the kettle black much?

          • Whatevah

            LOL. Nope. You do that all on your own. I have no interest in persuading. Your as bad as the Trump supporters. I will spend my time registering new voters.

          • 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!

        • cathouseumbrella

          If you live in Texas, Trump winning your state is a forgone conclusion, so you may as well vote for whichever candidate you think is the best instead of voting against someone.

    • 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.

      • ClairePaname

        Not even talking about Gore and Bush, what’s the difference between Democrats and Republicans, apart from marriage equality? Voter restriction, uh uh uh. Have you been paying attention during your primaries? Environment? Lot of talks, but what is done? Dakota pipeline, Flint, your candidate of choice went promoting fracking everywhere in the world…You’ve had 8 years of a Democratic president… Education? Police in schools tasing teenagers for being rude to their teachers, student loans to repay till retirement… Private prisons with slave labour, Guantanamo… Your standing in the world? Drones, wars in the Middle East, your links with both Saudi Arabia, your help to Bahrein to crush democratic upheaval, and with Israel in their colonisation policy… Of course the talk is “environment, global warming, leader of the free world, shining beacon of democracy etc.” the acts speak another language altogether and lots of people are not fooled. We see you for what you are, globally. An hegemonist warmongering corporatocracy. The differences between your so called two parties are some social issues that serve as differenciation markers for the intellectually challenged, no more.

        • Shawn Eldridge

          Welcome to America. It is not going to change depending on a president.

        • steinpiaz

          If you can’t parse out the nuances between the Bush administration and the Obama administration, you’re not qualified to vote.

    • 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.

          • Founder’sVoice

            Not his November but at the midterm elections..the loser in the general always pivots at the mid term to where they think the electorate is going.. if you care about individual liberty you will join the libertarian movement and make your voice heard.. the republicans will have to pivot away from social conservatism and back to individual rights and free enterprise..

          • Scott

            And, hey need to stop letting the religious-right drive their adgenda. They are not a big enough voting block to swing the election when they force cqndidates to turn their backs on immigrants, gays, etc.
            Stop pandering to the christians!

    • 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.

    • timhoustontx

      They can’t won but they can make someone else lose

    • lbf1

      So vote for the third party in the mid-term and the off-year and the local elections. But wait… they never field candidates in any of those elections! Why? Because third parties are mostly about the egos of their candidates and the above-mentioned “sanctimonious bullshit.”

    • Doc_Rock

      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
      _______________
      There have always been attacks against third party candidates? Ever heard of Ralph Nader, Ross Perot…? They had plenty of attacks thrown their way.

    • akagara

      “stale and out of touch”

      That’s exactly right and that’s why I’ll be voting for the third party life boat. At least they have integrity and experience.

    • Connie Mack

      I think people are paying attention because of the fear of a Trump presidency. Hillary is a mainstream Democrat and she has done well at doing that, for what that is worth and she is a woman so she fought like hell to get where she is, which is worth something historically speaking. But Trump is something we have never seen before and he is giving the racists and facists who have been hiding in the shadows, hope for the future and I think they need to be defeated in large numbers so they will get the message.

    • Jude

      NO NO NO We can’t allow a third party to give us President Trump! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE rethink and share and share this won’t work it only hurts us. We can’t afford to lose NOT THIS TIME. EDUCATE yourselves. This is not the time to hire a man like Johnson.

      • cathouseumbrella

        Don’t assume everyone lives in a battleground state, most people don’t. If you don’t live in a battleground state, a vote for either of the major parties is nothing but a symbolic gesture, it has no effect. On the other hand, a vote for a third party just might help them get some federal funding next election.

    • Doug

      Because this is the era of social media, where you see everything every single person decides to share at any given moment and any idea at all can gain momentum and popularity. This generates a massive unprecedented opportunity for exposure for 3rd parties and their candidates.

    • Charles Mohapel

      Because people don’t want a repeat of 2000 when that dickhead Ralph Nader sucked enough votes aware from Al Gore to let Dubya steal the election. Except now the threat is Trump.

      • Brad Thomas

        This is the arrogance of the 2-party establishment..they presume that all the votes belong to them. A vote for Johnson, Stein. or anyone else is a vote for that candidate, period. The Ds and Rs are scared of any real competition, where they would have to present a truly worthy candidate and not just presume people will vote for whoever they throw out there. Considering all the advantages that the major parties have-automatic ballot access, matching funds, widespread media coverage, blaming a 3rd party candidate for a loss is weak.

    • Vida Galore

      Agree. ANd I hate Trump, but at the VERY least he won his primary election. HRC is being installed, and she’s courting the conservatives, not the progressives. As a progressive, you have NO party except the Greens, period. The Democratic Party has not had a progressive platform in decades and are arguably more pro-war and pro-austerity than even the GOP. In any case, both parties are melding into one big corporate run entity (thanks, Bill Clinton and Al Gore, who were the architects of the return of monopolies, and the killers of Glass Steagal). Now the DNC has managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory by running a candidate so shitty she was rejected the first time around and now can’t even beat an orange buffoon. Of course they’ll probably fix the election so her supporters shouldn’t worry.

    • Your Future Ex Husband

      You’ve seen more articles because social media has only been around for the last two elections, right? More are looking to alternatives because they hate the two horses in the race, and really, the third parties “new ideas” are crap. Maybe read the entire article, he made a good point that the third parties can say anything they want because they know they will never sit in the White House. All true.

    • mrtapeguy

      They are scared of the movement. Every tidal wave starts with a ripple. If not for the CPD run by the two major parties, this election might look different.

  • 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.”

      • 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?

      • I apologize for using too many words for your taste.

        • akagara

          I think you got the point and I think a lot of others do as well.
          That’s why I’ll be voting third party.

    • 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?

      • 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).

    • 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.

        • 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.

          • 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.

      • Adrian

        I realize you corrected yourself below, but I don’t even know how you could have made such a mistake. Your example would literally be an example of moving the (goal)post.

  • 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.

      • 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.

          • 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.

          • 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.

          • 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.

          • 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,

          • Matt

            That example isn’t relevant. A more relevant one would be no one ever hit more than 61 in a season since Maris in 1961. Then in the span of 4 yrs it was done 6 times.

            What steroids, you say? Oh so you mean as things change so do possibilities. Oh, we are all able to access information that aren’t directed by a handful of companies.

          • Rebecca Herring

            Excuse me, why was my example not relevant? Perot got 20% of the vote, much better than any other 3rd party candidate at least since the Civil War, but nowhere near enough to win an election, even a Presidential Election where candidates such as Thurmond in 48 or Wallace in 68 at least got electoral votes.

            So steroids felled Maris’ record. Not by the margin it’s going to take that a third party candidate needs to win the Presidency. And while you say steroids are a change, what exactly is the analogous change in this years election?

          • 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.

          • JoseAmerica

            She may not adopt all of Sanders’s policies (that’s not necessarily a bad thing), but she’ll incorporate some of them. And I have no doubt the left will be taken more seriously in a Clinton administration than a Trump one.

          • 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).

          • Founder’sVoice

            if Clinton is disqualified because of her misdeeds or Trump is flat out beat in the Trump U suit.. a lot might change..otherwise..Clinton is sure to be President and Trump will be a has been politician… if you want to change the Parties..don’t vote for them and leave the Democratic or Republican Party… I am for a New Major Party… the Whigs went the way of the do do bird, so should at least one of the major parties today..

        • 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 .

          • 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.

      • 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?

      • 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.

          • 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.

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

          • supermouse35

            Nah, any further generalizations I make about you will be because you’re also obviously a moron.

          • supermouse35

            Are you seriously that blind? Wow. I think I get it now: you must be a Libertarian. Every Libertarian I ever met made me want to punch them in the throat.

            Tell you what, my mother always told me not to waste my time arguing with idiots. So why don’t you go ahead and have the last word, and I’ll be over here thinking there really needs to be some kind of test to prove you understand the real world before people like you are allowed to vote.

          • Ah yes. Condescension and ad homenims: the mark of a true intellect with well-reasoned, fully substantiated, logically designed arguments.

            Liberals love to claim the moral high ground, then make remarks like “people like you” (isn’t that stereotyping? isn’t that something you’re supposed to be against?) and “allowed to vote” (a real defender of the people here: agree with me or force should be use to silence your voice).

            While you’re patting yourself on the back for taking the supposed high-road, take a moment to consider just how full of yourself you are, at a minimum, making yourself look. At no point in any of my posts did I ever stereotype anyone, or suggest that force should be used to reduce anyone’s liberty, especially to silence one’s voice because they disagree with me. You did both in a single paragraph, just after condescending me.

            I understand, and I disagree. It’s a shame you can’t simply say the same, and feel the need to resort to such shamelessness.

        • 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… 😉

          • Whatevah

            Oy. 😉

          • Founder’sVoice

            What we all will be saying when the Clinton’s get in the Oval office again..hope for super Republican majorities in the Senate and House to overturn vetoes and win all constitutional battles..

          • Whatevah

            Not engaging. We’ll never convince one another.

          • Founder’sVoice

            So typical for an open minded Clintonite.. Won’t listen because facts obscure your dogma– one question, When Clinton wins, will her husband be banned from associating with the White House Interns?

          • Whatevah

            LOL. That was absolutely pathetic and transparent. Oh Troll Patrol!!! We’ve got a live one here.

            Going out to register some voters and win this thing. Take that to bed with you.

          • Founder’sVoice

            Trolls are Norwegian little people. Ad Hominem attacks are used by progressive statists who know their candidate is more than flawed but could care less. Clinton will win so you don’t have to register more ghosts and illegals.

            But mark my words, the republicans will move to impeach quickly.

            The nonesense will lead to the downfall of one or both major parties. The Libertarian party will take the place of the Republican Party and the Democratic party will either change its name to the Socialist or Labor party.

            And then our hot dogs won’t be falsely labeled as sausages.

          • Whatevah

            Yeah, keep thinking that.

          • Whatevah

            Not engaging. We’ll never convince one another.

        • Adrian

          A vote for X is not literally a vote for Y (or Z). But it may effectively be one. If the candidates are, in order of my preference, X, Y, and Z, and I vote for third-party candidate X, rather than major party candidate Y, I may well end up with Z. If voting for X over Y results in Z, just like voting for Z over Y would also result in Z, then they are, effectively, the same thing. No logical fallacy there. Just you making much ado about nothing, using a straw man to argue as though anyone is saying a vote for X is literally a vote for someone else.

      • 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.

        • JoseAmerica

          I think the GOP will become more libertarian. Even though I don’t care much for libertarian ideology, I think that’s probably a good thing. A principled opposition would theoretically be open to compromise on issues where Democrats and Libertarians overlap, like civil liberties.

          • Founder’sVoice

            exactly! I agree… The greens and Libertarians agree on one principal and probably only one principal. Individual liberty..live and let live… That is what our constitution, declaration of independence and bill of rights is all about. LGBGTQ rights, Women’s rights, Minority rights, all protected because, the individual is sacrosanct. That core value will drive all policy if enough people show that is what they want…

            Of-couse we will need a strong military, because without it we cannot protect our individual rights from the tyranny of foreign and bad collectivist ideologies ..

    • 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.