This blogpost is dedicated to my daughter, who invited me to the party awhile back, but I never R.S.V.P’d.
I abhor going into a store a week before Halloween and being inundated with Christmas music. I truly love Christmas music…just not until I’m ready to celebrate Christmas, which is definitely NOT until December.
In school, when a teacher assigned a book report, there was generally at least three to four weeks in which to read the book, then write the report. I always found more important things to do in those weeks preceding the due date. Inevitably, the night before the report was due, I would skim the book and then write, if not a great report, a passable one.
In the same vein, I cannot stand hearing about political candidates a year or two before they run for president. By the time the election is actually held, I am exhausted and drained from the constant bickering and name-calling, not to mention the media’s and my well-intended friends’ barrage upon my senses.
So, this tendency of mine to jump in when I’m darned good and ready (the night before the book report is due) is right on time.
If you know me, or have read some of my blog or Facebook posts, you know I used to be quite politically active. For several years I was involved in campaigns, at the national, state and local levels. Disenfranchisement and the ensuing disenchantment it caused, impelled me to withdraw from politics. I have been quite happy in my disengagement in affairs of state. I live my life, and simply try to stay as far away as I can from those who would try to control me and claim ownership of me or my property.
Many of my dearest friends and family members are passionate about their chosen presidential candidate. I respect their choices, and admire the passion that drives them, whether or not I agree with them. I had that kind of passion and dedication to politics and political or social causes, but lately have chosen to channel that passion into things that I believe will more directly affect my life here and now.
Government is a monopoly of the use of force. That is not only my opinion, but fact. Therefore, as I progressed in life and evolved in my critical thinking, I actually came to see voting as an immoral act. I believe that I have no authority to choose a person or entity that will then claim authority to rule over others (voting).
Sometimes, however, one can see there is a choice that can be made which, although that choice is inconsistent with his personal beliefs, may improve his lot in the long run.
I know, I know…I just said I was finished with politics.
But an e-mail I received from someone close to me gave me pause to think. As this election winds down, and my state’s deadline to register to vote is mere hours away, I guess I have arrived at the party. This election cycle may be one of those times when I can make a choice to do something I do not want to do, but that will improve my lot. In truth, I am not passionate about this particular candidate, but I do believe he’s the very best person running for the job.
My friend’s entire e-mail is below, her comments within the article are italicized.
In the article, I’ve made a correction– in parentheses.
Libertarians are currently caught in between Donald Trump supporters and Hillary Clinton supporters screaming at us for voting for the Libertarian Party. They claim our votes belong to them and those votes are needed to help prevent Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump being elected President, respectively. Both sides say that Gary Johnson, the presumptive Libertarian Party nominee, doesn’t stand a chance in a general election and will only serve as a spoiler. Both of these arguments are false. In fact, there’s even a way that Gary Johnson could be elected President. If Gary Johnson can win his home state of New Mexico he could be elected President by the House of Representatives.
As we all remember from elementary school, the President isn’t elected by the popular vote but by the Electoral College. The 12th Amendment sets up the system by which state electors are appointed or elected and are supposed to vote for the candidate that wins the popular vote of their state. The Electoral College requires that in order to be elected President a candidate must win a majority of these votes. Right now, a Presidential candidate has to win 270 electoral votes to be elected President.
If no one candidate is able to achieve an outright majority, then the fate of the election falls to the House of Representatives. The newly elected House decides when they take office in January and each state delegation is granted one vote. The Congressmen from that state vote amongst themselves, and then cast their one vote as a whole. Congressmen are not required to vote for who won their state. They are only required to vote for one of the top three finishers.
This rare scenario presents the perfect opportunity for Gary Johnson in 2016. As you can see on the electoral college map above, if Gary Johnson can win his home state of New Mexico, neither candidate would win 270 electoral votes. This would throw the election to the House of Representatives.
Now, you might say that the Republican controlled House would just vote for Trump in this scenario. But would they? Speaker of the House Paul Ryan has specifically attacked Trump in the past and refused to endorse him.
for quite a while, that is. Ryan, albeit reluctantly, finally endorsed Trump in June in an apparent attempt to rally a fractured party to keep Hillary out of the White House. That he has chosen to sleep with the devil has only made the GOP a less viable party for getting back to Constitutional governance, not to mention a missed opportunity for a person of integrity to sit in the Oval Office.
As Polonius in the play Hamlet said, “We are oft to blame in this,
‘Tis too much proved, that with devotion’s visage
And pious action we do sugar o’er
The devil himself.” )
Continuing with Wilson’s article:
Dozens of other Congressmen have spoken out against Trump as well. If given the opportunity, Ryan could instead lead House Republicans to vote for Gary Johnson.
This move would not be controversial. Gary Johnson is a former two-term Republican Governor of New Mexico. He has the fiscally conservative executive experience that Republicans are looking for as well as the socially tolerant stances Democrats would appreciate. Johnson would be the perfect compromise candidate that also represents the majority of Americans.
Of course, for this plan to work, Gary Johnson would have to campaign heavily in New Mexico. He would have to remind the voters who already voted for him twice what makes him a better choice than Trump or Clinton. That alone might not be too difficult.
For a plurality in the state they would need around 300,000 votes. With a popular former Governor on the ballot this could easily be achieved. New Mexico’s five electoral votes would then go to Gary Johnson.
If the rest of the map fell into place as it is above, neither Donald Trump nor Hillary Clinton would reach 270 and the House would decide the President. Republicans could then vote for Gary Johnson with a clear conscious knowing that they didn’t hand the White House over to a lunatic or a Democrat.
This is just one potential general election scenario, but it is the most likely way that Gary Johnson can win the Presidency.
(end of article)
(my friend’s) COMMENTARY
If you agree that our country will benefit from:
#1- government run more cost-efficiently
#2-less agencies interfering with our personal lives
#3-the abolition of the IRS
#4-no more welfare state for those able to work and no more welfare state for “too-big-to fail” corporate incompetents
#5-government accountable to the people instead of the other way around
#6-taking care of our own infrastructure instead of pouring our hard-earned tax dollars into foreign nations infrastructures
#7-SANE immigration reform
#8-the right for law-abiding citizens to have guns
#9-Audit the Fed…make it accountable to the American people as to what it’s doing to OUR money
To name only a few issues…..
Then you agree with Gary Johnson.
You may disagree with some of his political views. You may think some of them are too left-leaning. I disagree with Gary on several significant issues. But let me ask you this: Who would most likely uphold the U.S. Constitution and bring integrity back to the Oval Office? Neither the Dem nor the Repub candidates hold a candle to Gary Johnson in those respects.
The assertion that a vote for Johnson is wasted, or a vote for Johnson is a vote for whomever you oppose, is absurd. A majority of Americans polled don’t want either Clinton of Trump, so if everyone including members of Congress vote for who they ACTUALLY believe has the integrity to be a good president, then neither Clinton nor Trump has a chance.
No voter MUST agree 100% with their candidate. Our job is to get the one elected that will do the most good for our nation with the most adherence to the U.S. Constitution.
If a voter wants to research and state logical and factual reasons why Gary Johnson would make a worse president than Hillary or the deeply embarrassing Donald, fine. But trying to paint a vote for Johnson as a vote for someone they oppose is nonsense. To counter Fox News & MSNBC commentators lambasting voters who vote for Johnson, my vote is not STOLEN from Trump or Clinton as neither of those two evils had it to begin with.
I doubt that even if Ryan MIGHT privately prefer a man with integrity over Trump, he would ever vote for Johnson should the vote go to the House, simply because he’s already bet in public on Trump, and he likely does not view Johnson as one who will automatically follow the GOP agenda. Johnson is too independently-minded. But ironically, Ryan and Johnson genuinely appear to agree on many issues. And neither are disingenuous like Trump is. Probably the only way Ryan would reverse his mistake and endorse someone else for president would be if the GOP as a whole dropped Trump and groomed a better candidate. (Ryan’s House Agenda)
ARE we the United States of Amnesia?
Trump has made his xenophobic, racist, misogynist views, and his abysmal lack of judgment quite clear early on, before his current campaign manager got ahold of him. Now, he almost sounds sane…well at least some of the time. And his supporters would like the rest of us to forget his earlier maniacal rantings and lack of sound judgement.
Apparently either the GOP has short-term memory issues or they don’t give a damn about who they select to run for president as long as he beats Hillary. How many times does the Donald have to embarrass them (and us) before they present a decent candidate? The American people deserve better. But so far, the actions of those in the GOP who are responsible for getting Trump selected seem not to care about the rest of us.
An acquaintance of mine who declares that my vote for Gary Johnson is wasted is in fact suggesting that we keep making the same mistake voting for the lesser of the two evils….. yet AGAIN.
Some reasons we have such horrible candidates this year is that:
#1. Too many people have been inside their partisan echo chambers for so long that they’ve lost the desire to critically question what so-called “news” agencies and ax-grinding pundits have put out as fact.
#2. The “lesser of two evils” mentality has gotten to the point that the Grand Old Party & the establishment Democrats know they don’t need good candidates—just ones that will do the bidding of the people who’ve lined their pockets, and to hell with integrity and the U.S. Constitution.
How long do we citizens keep doing this? Are we to just watch our Constitution burn while supporting a person we hope will make it burn SLOWER? Personally I’m gonna vote for the fireman. Gary Johnson is IN until the final vote is cast and counted. It’s encouraging to see that my vote won’t simply be a protest vote.
I hold that one is either part of the problem or part of the solution.
A good source of information on where candidates stand on issues can be found at: Ontheissues.org
Here is another article by the same author, J. Wilson from October 4, 2016, showing Gary Johnson within striking distance of the two majors.