For President

As someone who wrote in Gene McCarthy in 1976, I have experience in throwing away my vote.

electoral college 2016.0627Someone linked to this article suggesting “the latest Electoral College prediction should have the Trump campaign panicking” about his chance of becoming President.

Moreover, this outcome meant he is himself being lowered onto his own personal kryptonite: Loserdom. This article was met with great glee, and when I didn’t share in the enthusiasm, I was told I didn’t “get” the article. Oh, I “got” it, but I think it’s not such great news.

For one thing, the surveys are not ‘predicting’ who will win the Presidency. So an 80 percent shot doesn’t mean Clinton is a sure thing. It’s a reflection of a point in time, before conventions, before the Vice-Presidential picks.

Another issue I have is that taunting Trump as a “loser” is a low road that won’t stick in any case, so it doesn’t matter. He eschews polls that are unfavorable, dismissing their reliability, or noting that it’s still early in the general election campaign, and if I were him, I’d do the same. Some of you will recall that in the summer of 1988, former Massachusetts governor Michael Dukakis was up by 17 points against George H.W. Bush, and he lost badly.

Also, I fear a big Clinton lead this early would suggest that voters can feel cocky, free to vote for someone else as a protest vote. We saw a variation on how well that turned out in the UK.

In both 2012 and 2016, Gary Johnson, former New Mexico governor, is the Libertarian Party standard-bearer, and Jill Stein is the Green Party candidate. It seems almost inevitable that, with Clinton and Trump’s high unfavorables, both of them will do significantly better this year.

Red State’s Caleb Howe wrote this recently:

When it comes down to it, when it comes to the Supreme Court appointment, when it comes down to the message we send, when it comes down finally to where to put your faith when you’re standing in the voting booth in November, I can only see myself voting for Gary Johnson.

#NeverTrump. #NeverHillary. #AlwaysLiberty

It is not simply a matter of not voting for Trump or Hillary… I’m voting for Gary Johnson. Because I believe he’ll strive for more liberty, less government, a good Supreme Court, and because the GOP and the DNC can’t be trusted to do any of those things.

Similarly, there are disaffected Bernie Sanders voters who absolutely WILL NOT vote for Hillary for President. Jill Stein is a logical alternative.

In fact, I recently tried to get a college student to do just that. As someone who wrote in Gene McCarthy in 1976, I have experience in throwing away my vote. This young woman says she’s going to write in Bernie Sanders because she felt “disenfranchised” by New York’s arcane election laws that did not allow her, as a voter not declared to either major party, to vote for him back in the April 19 primary.

My resistance to her position is less philosophical than practical. As someone who worked the elections in the mid-1970s as a poll worker, I worry that a write-in vote won’t be counted as a Bernie vote at all, at least in New York. l. In general, unless there is a large number of write-ins approaching a contending total, boards of elections don’t generally differentiate the Sanders votes from those for Peter Pan or Bullwinkle the Moose.

If I were her, #NeverHillary, who will not be bullied into voting for Hillary – and the bullies ARE assuredly out there – I’d consider voting for someone like Jill Stein for President, whose votes would be reported, as a candidate for a party on the ballot in most states. Better Stein than voting for Trump, who I personally find to be an existential threat.

I think, arithmetically, a vote for Stein, or Johnson is NOT a vote for Trump. It’s not exactly like voting for no one for President, because it will point out the dissatisfaction with the system. I think not voting at all doesn’t show protest, but rather apathy. As someone who literally had to argue to be able to register to vote early on, I do not appreciate staying home on Election Day.

Both Clinton and Trump are perceived more negatively than a third- or fourth-party candidate might sway the outcome in certain states. Does former NM governor Johnson take enough votes to alter the outcome in his home state? Will Stein, from neighboring Massachusetts, peel away enough Democrats and independents to give New York to homeboy Trump? I doubt it, but nothing in this election cycle will surprise me anymore, including Trump taking off his mask and admitting that it was all a ruse.

This will please some, and severely disappoint others, but I decided to vote for whomever the Democratic nominee for President will be this November. Barring an indictment, I assume that’ll be Hillary Clinton. (And if she’s not the nominee, then whomever: Bernie, who I voted for in the primary; Joe Biden, which would be a 1968 Hubert Humphrey pick…) There are some positive reasons, which I will lay out as the election nears, but it’s also for a lot of negative reasons. Presently, HRC has the best chance of stopping Trump, and a third-party vote in a close state could lead to a bad outcome.

Yes, the system was almost certainly rigged in Florida in 2000, but the results of Ralph Nader’s candidacy for President in the Sunshine State gave the crooks cover to purloin the election for W. I say this as someone who voted for Ralph in both 1996 and 2000 in “safe” New York. I’m just less convinced that any state is “safe” this cycle.

I’m also likely voting for the former secretary of state in direct response to the rampant sexism she’s endured. A recent example is a similar outfit she was wearing with Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) recently. Guys on the stage are wearing the same, or similar, suits, but that is not worthy of comment. Also, picking Warren as her VP has been criticized as too gendery.

Trump’s shortlist includes the former speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (R-GA), who has the same marital track record as DJT, and Chris Christie (R-NJ), seen as Trump’s lapdog.

Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. I hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

One thought on “For President”

  1. The pollsters have become less and less reliable which I think reflects public disaffection with politics and the feelings of powerlessness in a globalised world. We’ve seen what that can lead to in the UK in the recent referendum where the ‘leave’ vote was about much more than whether the EU is a good or bad thing. Then people wake up and wonder “what have I done?”.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.