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Post Reply US Presidential Race: Is it OK if I get a little excited this year?
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Posted 5/5/16 , edited 5/5/16
In 2012, I voted with 1.2 million people for Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson. I had precisely no enthusiasm. I agreed with his views, and didn't feel honest voting for someone in either of the two major parties who I disagreed with on very important issues to me. But, I didn't have any hopes or convictions that my vote would make any sort of difference. It was a pretty sordid affair.

However, whether you agree or disagree with their views, surely you're aware that the presumptive nominees for the two major parties this year (Trump and Clinton) are possibly the most disliked candidates in recent history (probably the history of this country). With so many people so against both of the other candidates, I simply can't help but get excited for the Libertarian candidacy this year. This might be the most successful 3rd party run in US history.

The realist in me keeps telling me that we still have no chance, that there's no reason to have hope for what Bernie might call a 'political revolution.' But that 'hope' is also so alluring--so god-damned exhilarating--that I can't help but hope. Plus, I have a few reasons. With so many people hoping for more than just two shitty choices, and with so many people sharing Libertarian views, my rationalizing side is starting to seep into the process.

Generally, when you try and parse out the Libertarian platform, you usually say something like 'Fiscally Conservative, Socially Liberal.' If you describe yourself as a political moderate, then statistically, you probably agree with more than half of the basic Libertarian platform. If you describe yourself as left-wing or right-wing, then you probably agree with approximately half. As the name implies--we want liberty. We start with the assertion that people are best governed by themselves, and that government intrusion is, despite the good it may do, at best a necessary evil. The only people that really wouldn't have a place in the party are a minority in this country that I can really only see describing as something like 'nationalistic communists.' If you think socialism is a good idea, and 'traditional, american, values' should be government-endorsed, you can safely dismiss libertarianism. But for the rest of you--if Trump and Clinton both make you cringe in dissatisfaction--try voting for 3rd party viability. We probably won't win--I'm enough of a realist to realize this. But if we get a big enough turnout this year--people might start to consider it viable. With Trump and Clinton being so largely unpopular, this might be the only chance America has at making a 3rd party a viable reality.

I think that enough people agree with enough of the issues, and disagree so much with Trump and Clinton, that they may choose a third option. It seems, to me at least, that the biggest factor this year is awareness of the party--hence my post. If you're already familiar with the platform, then you can skip the breakdown of the issues. But here's my question--If the two nominees end up being Trump and Clinton, would you consider voting Libertarian? What do you think of the party? Sometimes people in a party get a bit isolated in their political communities, and since we aren't really on the national stage, it's hard to get opinions from the rest of the populace. So, here I am.

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Posted 5/5/16
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I'm just playing the long game, baby. After the Republican party implodes, and the people want an actual small government alternative, we'll be winning non-stop. Give us just one election in the spot-light, when the media deigns to cover more than just two-parties, and we'll have a chance. If we get that chance, even once in my lifetime, I'll consider all my votes worth it. If not, then come see me on my death bed, and I'll admit you were right. Plus, I can't see how voting against your principles can be seen as anything but throwing your vote away. A vote for a throw-away candidate seems to me just as much a throw-away vote. Plus,

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Posted 5/5/16
Southpark does it again!

I guess its not that hard for them to see that

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Posted 5/5/16

Freddy96NO wrote:

Southpark does it again!

I guess its not that hard for them to see that



Yep, they're at their best with political commentary. Last season was brilliant.
Posted 5/5/16 , edited 5/6/16
Also voted for Johnson.

Going for Trump in 2016, Bernie got screwed but also dug himself a hole by being a racist and a war monger.
Posted 5/5/16 , edited 5/6/16
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I really don't mean to throw cold water on your enthusiasm, and Johnson might be a very tempting alternative to Trump for the disaffected Ted Cruz voter who was less into the "let's establish Christian law" angle of his candidacy and much more into the "abolish several federal departments and slash taxes to the bone" angle. But a disaffected Bernie Sanders voter would be acting very strangely if they voted for Johnson. Several of the things that most intensely motivate a person to be excited about Bernie Sanders and the things that most intensely motivate a person to be a Gary Johnson supporter are mutually exclusive.

Gary Johnson's plan for federal taxes is to replace all income (both individual and corporate) and payroll taxes with a single flat consumption tax that applies across the board regardless of income or the nature/amount of a transaction. Bernie Sanders' plan is to maintain, reform, and expand the existing tax structure while adjusting financial and tax law to prevent corporate and individual tax dodging. Johnson borders on wanting to abolish the IRS, Sanders wants no such thing to happen.

Gary Johnson's education plan involves completely eliminating the federal Dept. of Education and all federal funding for education at all levels. Bernie Sanders proposes making public colleges/universities tuition free using a federal tax on bond/stock transfers, dramatically increasing the federal work/study programme, adjustment of student loan interest rate formulas and guaranteeing low interest rates, and offering student loan refinancing at a dramatically lowered interest rate.

Gary Johnson's environmental policy proposes eliminating federal subsidies in the energy sector entirely. Bernie Sanders proposes eliminating subsidies for the fossil fuel industry, but also proposes increased funding for development and implementation of solar, wind, and geothermal fleets nationwide. Sanders proposes a carbon tax, Johnson opposes one.

Gary Johnson's abortion policy is supportive overall just like Sanders', but Johnson opposes government funding for the service while Sanders proposes expanding funding for Planned Parenthood and other family planning and women's health service providers. Sanders furthermore supports establishment of a nationally supported childcare programme, legally sanctioned paid family leave for at least 12 weeks, and expansion of the WIC programme. Johnson is looking for ways to slash the social safety net and labour regulations that already exist.

Gary Johnson doesn't even have a healthcare policy section for his campaign's issues page. Healthcare is one of Bernie Sanders' most important issues, and his policy proposals for healthcare are an enormous part of his appeal. Even if Johnson did have a healthcare section there is absolutely no way they'd be in agreement on much more than proposals such as allowing drugs to be purchased from Canadian markets and possibly also regulations aimed at preventing collusion between actors for the sake of maintaining competitive markets.

Gary Johnson proposes outright eliminating federal minimum wage standards. Bernie Sanders proposes increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour and adjusting its amount as necessary for the sake of maintaining an average household in the future. Johnson is wholly ambivalent to the matter of collective bargaining, but in particular he has expressed hostility to teachers' unions and public sector unions. Sanders is a staunch supporter of teachers' unions and collective bargaining rights.

It just wouldn't make any sense for a disaffected Sanders voter to support Johnson. They'd be going against themselves on too many major issues by doing that. If such a Sanders voter were to find themselves for whatever reason unwilling to simply write Sanders in (which would be weird) they'd be far better off pulling the lever for Jill Stein of the Green Party.
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I can tell you before you make it to your death bed that this year definitely is not the year for a 3rd party vote. Who would you even vote for that could even for? When you count the votes the at least 15 million votes that trump and crooked hillary get a a 3rd party vote would be eclipsed by the unapproachable look at a 3rd party candidate. Michael Bloomberg was waiting for you and no one came to his aid because no one wants to vote for him. You have to be a billionaire to get the publicity and advertising you would need to invoke people like you. You need to face the facts and choose a viable candidate, a candidate that is "a lesser of to evils" for you. Do you like when people have to work hard for what they get or do you want things handed to those who are, in simplified terms, lazy and currently incompetent. Who encourages the best ideas that are going to help the citizens of The UNITED STATES to you? Agreeing with all of everything is tough, on occasion it is best to compromise. I won't tell you who to vote for but man you are wasting your time on thoughts like these. Look at who's policies you think will work between the only two that can win and make a choice, voting 3rd party this year is a waste of your time and a vote might as well stay home. Use reasoning and science kemosabe.
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Posted 5/5/16
I voted Libertarian once. (I think there was even one election long ago where I voted for some other type of third party/independent presidential candidate).

I think our system would benefit from having more than two very dominant parties, so throwing a vote to a third party, any third party, as a way of showing a tiny bit of that sentiment seems okay with me.

But, since that time that I voted Libertarian (and was for a time registered member of the party), I've drifted more left in several ways, and I'm actually okay with Hillary Clinton, so she'll be getting my vote this year.
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Posted 5/5/16 , edited 5/5/16

theYchromosome wrote:


A douche is at least antibacterial.

And an obnoxious narcissistic delusions-of-grandeur sane ex-Secretary of State outranks one who wasn't and might not be.
(And that's assuming we haven't given up yet on cool old 60's-leftwing grandpas...Hey, the OTHER guys gave up and stuck themselves with their candidate, we didn'tyet.)
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Posted 5/5/16 , edited 5/6/16
Sadly this is no longer true.



There is a greater evil on the ballot.
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Posted 5/5/16

BlueOni wrote:


More than cold water, I'd rather you get a fire hose if you have one. It feels strange to be optimistic about politics. I don't like it.

One thing to be clear on before we start. The Libertarian Convention is the end of May, so Johnson isn't yet the candidate, and since I'm in a hopeful mood, I've gotta say that I'm hoping John McAfee gets the nomination. He's charismatic, intelligent, and more of an ideological purist compared to Johnson's more pragmatic, milquetoast demeanor. So, for accuracy, I just want to say that I'm in McAfee's camp at least until the convention. However, the fact remains that your criticisms all apply to McAfee as well.

I don't think I disagree with any of the details of what you've written, and indeed, they have a lot of sense. However, the reason I'm not sure about the conclusions is that, of the two major parties, Bernie was my favorite. This surprises a lot of Libertarians and non-Libertarians alike, for a couple reasons. Bernie Sanders is essentially, on Economics, the Libertarian Anti-Christ. For a lot of Libertarians, Economics is the biggest issue, and indeed, when you have "Libertarian Republicans," the only 'Libertarian' thing about them is economics. Ron Paul and Rand Paul were both disappointing in pretty much everything but economics, privacy, and military (Rand Paul got way too hawkish, though). People forget that there's this whole other side to Libertarianism, and on that note, Bernie fits the bill to a tee. When Bernie Sanders talks about police looking like 'an invading army' or the military budget being out of control, or gay marriage, or drugs and prison sentencing--he's pretty much in line with Libertarian ideas. In a field where everyone seemed gung-ho to go to war, Bernie Sanders was the only one talking about reigning in the military budget (I've heard he's gotten a bit more hawkish of late, but I sort of stopped paying attention to him a while ago). I think Sanders supporters might like Libertarians on a lot of issues, because I like Bernie Sanders on a lot of issues. Plus, I think a big reason why Sanders was doing well, was not necessarily that he was promising free stuff. He was selling, I think more than anything, his 'Political Revolution against the political class.' You're telling me a 3rd party wouldn't wet that itch more than Clinton? Or that Bernie supporters would feel more comfortable with Trump? I'm skeptical.

But then again, I don't disagree with your points. Truth be told, I'm as likely as you are to pour cold water on my enthusiasm, because even I recognize that there are a lot of differences in policy points. However, I also can't help but thinking that #NeverTrump or #NeverHillary may be overlapping groups that make a 3rd party more attractive. I'm not entirely convinced that Bernie Sanders supporters are more interested in his economics than they are in 'toppling the political class.' And Libertarians are practically the epitome of that sentiment.
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Posted 5/5/16 , edited 5/5/16

maniackillah wrote:

I can tell you before you make it to your death bed that this year definitely is not the year for a 3rd party vote. Who would you even vote for that could even for? When you count the votes the at least 15 million votes that trump and crooked hillary get a a 3rd party vote would be eclipsed by the unapproachable look at a 3rd party candidate. Michael Bloomberg was waiting for you and no one came to his aid because no one wants to vote for him. You have to be a billionaire to get the publicity and advertising you would need to invoke people like you. You need to face the facts and choose a viable candidate, a candidate that is "a lesser of to evils" for you. Do you like when people have to work hard for what they get or do you want things handed to those who are, in simplified terms, lazy and currently incompetent. Who encourages the best ideas that are going to help the citizens of The UNITED STATES to you? Agreeing with all of everything is tough, on occasion it is best to compromise. I won't tell you who to vote for but man you are wasting your time on thoughts like these. Look at who's policies you think will work between the only two that can win and make a choice, voting 3rd party this year is a waste of your time and a vote might as well stay home. Use reasoning and science kemosabe.


First of all, you're an idiot if you think not voting at all is equivalent to voting for a losing candidate. Voter perceptions affect future outcomes, and if a 3rd party gets a sizable chunk of the votes, in even 1 election, then it may legitimize the party to the masses. Not voting at all is stupid, particularly when you have a candidate that embodies almost all of your views. 'Agreeing with all of everything is tough, on occasion it's best to compromise.' So what if a candidate comes along for which I don't have to compromise? Sure, there are a couple of things I don't like about all three of the major candidates running for the LP ticket, but there is almost no compromise for any of them. I agree on the vast majority of issues. Why, if there's somebody running that embodies my views, would I not vote for them? That said...

If you're asking who encourages the best ideas for American Citizens, then I say John McAfee. Hands Down. Your insistence that I only choose from two candidates rings a bit hollow with me when I have a guy (a few guys, actually) that all seem like they'd do a better job for citizens of THE UNITED STATES than one of the two people that you insist I choose from. Fuck that. There's nothing about the two-party system that can't be changed with voters, and in order for that to happen, you have to vote outside the two parties. What if the 2 party system is, to my estimation, worse for american citizens than either of the two candidates? How should I vote then?
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