Monday, October 3, 2016

Don't throw away your vote on Gary Johnson



     I was well on my way to writing for today's paper about a completely different subject, when I realized I thought my Sunday blog post was on a sharper topic — Libertarian Gary Johnson — and I decided to go with that instead. So while this is on the same topic as yesterday, and has a few shared elements, it's been pretty much refurbished top-to-bottom.

     Just as many other Americans are contemplating doing this year, I threw away my first presidential ballot by registering a protest vote.
     It was 1980. I was 20 and worldly as a tadpole. Voting for Ronald Reagan wasn’t a possibility for me — I considered him evil, the guy who, as governor of California, sent cops armed with shotguns into People’s Park, then shrugged off when a student protester was killed with, “Once the dogs of war have been unleashed you must expect things will happen.”
And Jimmy Carter had gone insane during his first term in office. I truly believed that, then and now.
     So who was left? An independent named John B. Anderson, notable for his shock of white hair and 50-cent gas tax.
     What’s the difference between then, and those who now plan to register their unease with Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton by voting for Libertarian Gary Johnson or Green Party’s Jill Stein?
     A lot.
     Reagan crushed Jimmy Carter, mired in the hostage crisis and the energy crisis and a few more crises that don’t leap to mind. He received 489 electoral votes to Carter’s 49. Anderson took 6.6 percent of the popular vote, meaning that if myself and every single person who voted for Anderson instead voted for Carter, Reagan would still have beaten him handily. Our votes didn’t matter.

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13 comments:

  1. Johnson is firmly in favor of legalizing drugs.
    From the way he talks, I think he's using a lot of them.

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  2. I guess what the Tribune was getting at was that if you're tempted to vote for incompetence (Trump), you might as well go whole hog and vote for somebody who doesn't know nothing (Johnson). Though Johnson doesn't seem to be as proud of his ignorance as Trump.

    john

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  3. I feel as though America has stepped through the looking glass. Trump is so odious, so malignantly narcissistic, so misogynist, so xenophobic, such a bully and conman, a maniacally toxic blowhard - I am at a loss as to how he is getting anyone other than the criminally insane to consider him. Watching him melt down into wild threats, mocking illnesses, and making 3 AM references to sex tapes has been a frightening exercise in observing madness. Any person that is still planning to vote for him needs an intervention. Yet millions are.

    And the Tribune's solution? Vote for a man who is so oblivious he is unaware of one of the world's most important terrorist hotspots. Has the Onion hijacked the Tribs editorial page?

    A reminder of how dangerous ideologues are. They can convince themselves that up is down if it supports their rigid world view. Who are these people on the Trib board? And how did they get into positions of responsibility. It is no wonder the newspaper business is in mortal trouble with boneheads like this running a paper.

    Heaven help us.

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    1. To answer your next to last question: One of them is Steven Chapman, who has had a lifelong infatuation with the puerile, infantile excuse for political philosophy known as "libertarianism." He no doubt heavily influenced the decision.

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  4. On the somewhat related point about the Trump tax scandal: I'm amazed (maybe I shouldn't be)to see some of his followers still thinking this is like some regular & honest, middle class tax deduction. Can they all be that stupid or they refuse to open their eyes?

    At this point I think that if Trump massacred kids and puppies in the street for fun, they'd still vote for him or justify that somehow. Would his followers have hated Bernie as much? perhaps

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  5. I worked on John Anderson's campaign in 1980, and it was a great experience.

    What gets to me is that I, among many thought Reagan was too lightweight to be president, yet he was a governor - or California! - and re-elected to boot! Trumpolini, on the other hand.....

    Re: the NYT tax story - I'm not upset that he took that loss - that's perfectly legit. The bigger question is how realistic is that $912 million loss? I can't help but think that several banks have included that loss in their taxes as well; I also can;t help but think if it's a loss in estimated value - like his net worth...

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  6. Perfectly legal? Probably, but most of us can carry forward a tax loss for only three years. We are now learning that, due to influence by the real estate lobby, that limitation doesn't exist for the likes of Trump.

    Tom Evans

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  7. Dennis Fisher's statement "A reminder of how dangerous ideologues are" couldn't be more accurate in this instance. The type of people who are most vulnerable to Trump's gospel are in huge supply throughout America, and it really frightens me. Though this might be stretching it, it brings to mind the Jim Jones cult back in the 70's. People loved him, believed he would make the world a better place, and ultimately paid the price of following him with their lives. Not that Trump is that insane, but he seems to have some of those characteristics and his followers seem to worship him to the extent of leaving behind all reason.

    SandyK

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    1. And the nut cases are already muttering under their breath what they plan to do should the election be "stolen" from Trump, who seems to be encouraging such.

      john

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    2. Yes, John, I'm not sure which is more scary: Trump winning, enabling his followers to feel self-vindicated, or him losing, causing God-only-knows what kind of mass protesting and/or violence.

      SandyK

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  8. Jimmy Carter insane? Really Neil? I think his words and deeds in his lifetime speak for the type of man he is. Hostages being released on the first day of Reagan's term should tell you what was really going on at that time.

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  9. Yeah I think Neil is wrong on the Carter comment. As for Johnson, like Reagan he was twice elected in New Mexico. When Johnson was elected the first time he barely won the nomination. For his second term he won pretty handily. There is a term limit in New Mexico, so I am not sure how happy they were with him. New Mexico is normally a democratic state so pretty amazing he won. While a lot of liberals would probably agree with him on social issues he is pretty bad on the rest regarding, taxes, eoconomics etc. As for Trump's taxes David Cay Johnston wrote this article today. http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/10/03/art-of-the-steal-this-is-how-trump-lost-916m-and-avoided-tax.html. He has a new book out about Trump as well. His supporters just don't care. Trump might have been right when he said he could shoot somebody on Madison ave and still be supported.

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  10. I volunteered for Anderson, would do it again. It wasn't a waste. Not voting is a waste. Carter is something, if not insane. Loves and supports Hamas, thinks Israel is apartheid. The man's certainly an a-hole, if not nuts. I love all the people who tell me a vote for Johnson is a vote for Trump. I wait 5 minutes, and hear others tell me for certain a vote for Johnson is a vote for Hilary. Each campaign is different, the "experts" don't know yet, but they are certain they are right. So be it. I still say Hilary will blow away Trump, no matter what any poll says, even on erev election day. Shana Tova Neil!

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