Yeah, I took the morning off. So sue me for the free ice cream being late....
F@ceb00k -- that sink of vice, depravity and sound-bite thinking (but, like the first cigarette of the morning, it tastes so damnably good as it kills you just a little bit more) -- has been ringing to the familiar cry of "The Libbety-tarians can only lose! Vote for Trump or Clinton: vote for a candidate who can win!" There are varying degrees of emphasis from fans of Secretary Clinton or Mr. Trump, from those who are embarrassed by pot-smokers, fat bastards in Speedos and/or pink-haired women with Statue of Liberty diadems or who just want to be comfortably among the winners -- or at least end up in second place. Oh, they say, I'd vote for Libertarian Candidates, if only they'd win--
But they'll never win if you don't vote for them. And it's not just the LP; there's a fertile crapload of other parties out there and most are growing. The LP is now a 50-state party. The Greens show up on ballots in nearly every state and while I think they're Stalinists with flowers in their hair, I'm not every voter. There are Constitutionalists and Whigs and straight-up Communists out there--
And there you are, longing for 7up or Dr. Pepper, RC or OpenCola, seeing they're available at the fountain, then telling yourself you have got to choose Coke or Pepsi, because everyone else does--
Except they don't. Except if you don't go for what you want, what you like, the outcome you would prefer if it was all up to you, all you will ever get is the same red- or blue-label corporate gloop that can barely be told apart in a blindfold taste-test. And this time around, polls of voter revulsion are telling me both formulas have become pretty unpalatable to a lot of people.
The "big tent" parties have failed. One of 'em is running a deep-Establishment "same as usual only harder" candidate and the other has been overrun by the worst elements of an incoherent nativist Know-Nothing populism that party upstarts had been exploiting with some success. Both Presidential candidates have staggering negative reactions in the polls; people hate the other other candidate more than they like their own.
Those two big parties notice election results; they listen to their own more-successful upstarts -- don't think Senator Sanders hasn't sent a shiver down the spine of moneyed Democrat power-brokers -- and they pay attention to "third parties" that finish well. If you only give them what they want, if you act as if R or D is your only choice, that's all you will ever get -- and the only change you'll see from either one is liable to be for the worst.
"Vote for a winner?" If the candidate you're voting for doesn't share your values, what, exactly, will you win by voting for them? What's in it for you, the vague hope of slightly-better Federal appointments? More efficient global police-actions? If either big-party wins, you can count on more drone assassination, and unlike a sniper, the collateral damage is considerable to both bystanders (guilty and innocent alike) and in public opinion. You can count on more addled meddling from On High, by regulators and legislators long out of touch with the everyday lives of the ordinary and the unusual citizen alike. As for world affairs, we'd probably do more good if foreign policy was decided by fifty people chosen at random from the Duluth, Minnesota telephone book.
We've got idiots in D.C. and few if any realize they're idiots. With that dread caveat in mind,you should vote for the outcome you want. If you'd be happy with a President Trump or a President Clinton, vote for 'em; if you are only settling for one or the other, if you are going to have to hold your nose to vote, consider the alternatives. If you never order Triple XXX Root Beer, you'll eventually find it stops showing up. If you never vote for a better government....
5 weeks ago