Archive for the ‘#garyjohnson’ Tag

Third Party Emergence   2 comments

I’m not convinced we can withstand four more years of Obama’s economic policies under Hillary Clinton, but I doubt we can stand four more years of Obama’s economic policies under Trump, so I’m personally hoping that everyone who is fed up with the antics of the two main parties will just decide to vote for Johnson, but this article from Real Clear Politics makes some excellent points. There is a whole lot wrong in American politics and government and, among the multiple solutions we should seek, breaking the two party system is one of the more important ones.

By Bill Scher
October 10, 2016

Next to Donald Trump, the presidential candidate suffering the roughest media treatment in the last few weeks has been Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson. He’s been mocked after failing to recognize Aleppo, identify North Korea’s leader, or name a living foreign head of state he admires. He was denied an invite to the presidential debates. An odd MSNBC interview in which Johnson talked with his tongue sticking out went viral. And his running mate strongly signaled he’s going to spend his time attacking Trump instead of touting Johnson.

Yet the former New Mexico governor will almost certainly win the highest vote percentage of any Libertarian Party candidate in history. The title is now held by 1980 nominee Edward Clark, who earned 1.06 percent of the vote (his campaign was buoyed by the checkbook of his running mate, David Koch). Johnson is currently registering at 6.7 percent in the RealClearPolitics polling average; even if he fades in the stretch, he still should be able to top Clark.

But such a symbolic victory is less enticing for Johnson than the potential prize he could win for his party. If Johnson snags 5 percent of the national popular vote, the Federal Election Commission will classify the Libertarians as an official “minor party,” granting the 2020 nominee a lump sum of cash for the fall campaign, courtesy of the American taxpayer. (And don’t you think for a second that the vehemently anti-big-government Libertarians won’t cash that big government check in a heartbeat.)

The exact amount of federal funds depends on the size of his vote, but Green Party officials – who have been chasing 5 percent for years – estimate that meeting the threshold would yield about $10 million. That may seem like chump change compared to the hundreds of millions of dollars major party presidential nominees routinely raise. But Johnson has gotten this far after raising only $8 million through August. The prospect of knowing the Libertarian Party’s nominee is guaranteed $10 million will allow him or her to hit the campaign trail running, improving the odds of getting into the debates, winning an even larger share of vote and fortifying the party’s place in the American political landscape.

For Johnson to clear 5 percent would require retaining the support he’s getting in the polls once voters cast real ballots. This is far from certain. Third-party candidates often tank at the end. They lack the money for robust get-out-the-vote operations. Their media attention dries up once they are shut out of the debates. And in Johnson’s case, he has compounded his fall campaign challenges with his string of mind freezes.

Or has he? Johnson may be following Step No. 1 of the Donald Trump Method of Political Success: the more crazy things you say, the more media coverage you get.

Such a strategy may not be the best way to crack 50 percent – Trump won the Republican nomination with a plurality – but it may prove an excellent way to hold on to a niche vote. Johnson’s high-profile blundering has successfully boxed out the Green Party’s Jill Stein, who has struggled to get media attention since her August CNN town hall, and is scraping bottom with 2.1 percent in the RCP average. Johnson’s own number is down a tick after his “What is Aleppo?” gaffe – in August his average was a fraction above 8 percent – but he hasn’t collapsed, at least not yet.

Johnson may also be better equipped than past third-party candidates to retain support on Election Day, thanks to social media. In the past, if you didn’t have money for TV ads, you might as well be a tree falling in a forest with no one around to hear the sound. Today, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube can let your ardent fans know you are still in the arena, giving them reason to believe their third-party vote will mean something.

Finally, Johnson may be further abetted if the latest revelations about Donald Trump cause the GOP to crater. Disgusted Republicans, resigned to a Hillary Clinton presidency, may flock to Johnson as a protest vote. And Clinton skeptics on the left may feel more liberated to support Johnson – who has appealed to progressives with his positions against military intervention and the “war on drugs” — if they feel Clinton’s margin is so wide that the third-party candidates can’t tip the race to Trump.

But no one should treat voting for Johnson as a one-day protest vote, especially Republicans. A federally funded Libertarian Party is a party that can attract higher-quality candidates, at the presidential and down-ballot levels. It’s a party that just may be able to bust onto the presidential debate stage in 2020. It’s a party that could permanently divide the right, making it exceedingly difficult for Republicans to win the White House, or, in the most apocalyptic of scenarios, make the Republican Party go the way of the Whigs.

Granted, the possibility also exists for the Libertarians to continue attracting support from both the left and the right, mitigating any spoiler effect on Republican Party. And it’s also possible that clearing 5 percent could prove to be a high-water mark for the Libertarians, as it has been for some in the past. For example, the nominee of Ross Perot’s Reform Party in 2000, Pat Buchanan, got a $12.6 million government check after Perot won 8 percent in the 1996 election. Yet Buchanan ended up with less than 1 percent of the vote.

But make no mistake: A vote for Gary Johnson is a vote that could elevate the Libertarian Party out of fringe status, establish a three-party political system and shrink the Republican Party. So before you cast that vote, ask yourself: Is that what you really want?

Bill Scher is a senior writer at Campaign for America’s Future, executive editor of LiberalOasis and a contributor to RealClearPolitics. He can be reached or follow him on Twitter @BillScher.


Posted October 11, 2016 by aurorawatcherak in politics, Uncategorized

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Observation on the Debate   Leave a comment

I’m not voting for either one of them, so I wasn’t terribly interested in the debate. Thus, I went to workout instead of hurrying home to try and find it on one of the five commercial stations we have access to. While I was on the exercise bicycle, I realized that the debate was starting. I didn’t bring earphones, so I watched the debate with closed captioning.

Impression –

If you were looking for a debate debate – Hillary won it, but Trump got in some good digs, which is what a lot of the electorate I know are looking for right now. She answered the questions and she had figures to back up what she was saying. Whether or not I believe a word that comes out of her mouth, she looked much more like every presidential candidate we’ve seen in my lifetime. On the other hand, Trump looked and sounded a lot more like just-people and I suspect voters liked that.

Observation based on the fact that I couldn’t hear what was being said, so was much more attuned to body language –

Hillary Clinton is an arrogant dismissive bitch and deserved every punch Trump threw. And, he tagged her a couple of times. Just watch five minutes of the debate with the sound off. Look at her body language. If I didn’t know her policies at all, I would deem her unworthy to be president because of her arrogance. We’ve had arrogance for eight years. Isn’t that enough?

Which is why  I am still voting for Gary Johnson.

Posted September 27, 2016 by aurorawatcherak in politics, Uncategorized

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Another Reason Not to Vote for Hillary   1 comment

Please remember that I’m on record as not planning to vote for Donald Trump either. I will never vote for a major party candidate again just because I fear their opponent will win. I came to that conclusion because I see in the Hillary vs. Donald matchup that they are equally odious choices for different reasons. Both would be tyrants if they got into power and after eight years of Obama’s sit-down-and-shut-up-elections-have-consequences rule, I fear our system of liberty cannot bounce back after eight years of another dictator-in-chief.

But, the subject is why I am not voting for Hillary.

First – I’m not voting for her because I oppose nepotism in all its forms. If you own a private business, you have a right to give the business to your kid, but you really ought to pause and ask yourself why most businesses fail in the second or third generation. Nepotism is a poor reason to invest anything of value into the hands of someone else.

Second – I’m not voting for her because I don’t think her husband should be anywhere near the Oval Office ever again. These are unscrupulous people in the same vein as the de Medici family — ruthless, self-serving, utterly morally-bankrupt.

Third – her record as Senator is, uh, not stellar. In 2007, the Daily Kos (using figures from reported she had introduced 337 bills and only two non-controversial ones had passed. That record is better than Mark Begich (former senator from Alaska) and we fired him for his incompetence. DK’s analysis is available for you to read, but basically, Hillary introduced more legislation than almost any other senator, but wasn’t able to get anyone to pass it. So, when people point to her “experience” as a senator, I think “you mean her inability to learn as a senator. Her passage ratio was about 1/3 of an average freshman senator’s passage ratio.

Four – her record as Secretary of State can be summed up in one compound word WARMONGER.

Fifth – and this comes courtesy of my friend Mark Johnson who grew up in the California foster care system and is himself a foster parent.

“Hillary absolutely needs to apologize to foster children across the United States for her abominable law and it’s 20 years of taking basic rights away from parents and children.”

Mark has a lot of facts and figures he can cite, but we agreed that this article pretty much says what he would say (except for the “I only vote for Democrats” part) if he were a columnist. Mark is a counselor in the Los Angeles area, so has much more experience in this field than I do. He’s been the victim of the system before Hillary got her grubby little hands on it and he is fighting every day to prevent Hillary’s “improved” system from utterly destroying kids and demonizing parents for doing what parents are supposed to do.

Six – her cozy relationship with WallStreet guarantees she will further the crony capitalism (really mercantilism) system in Washington DC.

So, that’s six reasons that are fact based, but then there is a seventh personal character reason. Hillary Clinton is a shrill, nasty person who shows her butt on a regular basis. She is every bit as odious as Trump, so I will not be voting for either one of them.

I wish the Libertarian Party had nominated someone other than Gary Johnson. They had better options than him, but I’m guessing a similar situation occurred with them as occurred with the GOP and the Democrats. Voters are dumb and they’ll let anyone track mud in the house. Johnson’s view of religious liberty is problematic for me, because he clearly thinks there isn’t any such thing and that government coercion is okay in some instances … but I suspect Trump, Clinton and Sanders oppose religious liberty even more than Johnson and they won’t have anyone advising them on Constitutional issues because they don’t believe the Constitution has any authority. I have no idea why the Libertarians allowed Johnson to pick a Republican for his running mate. I see no difference between Weld and a moderate progressive Republican on many issues.

But, you know what? No candidate is ever perfect and when I tick off boxes of what I need to support a candidate in 2016 — Johnson will do less harm than any of the other three. He has a record that shows that.

So ….

I would suggest Democrats check out the Libertarian Party too. Although they have a very different view of fiscal issues than Democrats, you will find their liberty stance will allow you to pretty much live your life as you want without interference from the government. Take a peek and see what you think.

Above all, this election at this critical juncture in American history requires that we all THINK before we cast our votes.

Posted June 2, 2016 by aurorawatcherak in politics

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