Tuesday, July 26, 2016

No protest vote this time around

I do not know how people outside the US deal with the electoral college aspect of the presidential election.  I started explaining that to my father when he hurriedly moved on to another topic.  Or, maybe it was because of my long-winded way of explaining anything that puts students to sleep ;)

The electoral college is also why I have not been worried in the past about casting my vote as a protest against the major party candidates.  Thus, for instance, in the historic 2000 elections, when I was in the blue, blue state of California, I voted for Ralph Nader.

If there were no fascist candidate in this upcoming election, then my protest vote would be for the libertarian, Gary Johnson.  But, I won't vote for Johnson.  Why?  Because of the fear of the racist winning in Oregon.

Back in 2000, Al Gore had a huge lead over junior Bush, and I was confident that a few people like me voting for Nader would not help the Republican.  But, Oregon in 2000 was decided by a difference of less than 7,000 votes--thanks to a huge support for Nader.  In 2000, there weren't even that many disgruntled Democrats and yet Gore barely squeaked past.

This time, there are disgruntled Democrats wherever I turn.  The Bernie or Bust people might really hold their votes back, whereas even the principled Republicans are apparently ready to vote for the xenophobe.  The last thing I want to do is help the misogynist by voting for Johnson.

Gary Johnson has picked a strong running mate in William Weld.  As the New Yorker notes,
Together, Johnson and Weld represent the first Presidential ticket with two governors since 1948, when the Republicans nominated Thomas Dewey, of New York, and Earl Warren, of California.
Consider the following that Johnson says:
The unintended consequence of when you put boots on the ground, when you drop bombs, when you fly drones and kill thousands of innocent people—this is resulting in a world less safe, not more safe
Or this:
Johnson isn’t reflexively against all government. He supports the Environmental Protection Agency, arguing that policing polluters is a proper function of the government. As governor of New Mexico, he aggressively used the power of the state to force Molycorp, a large mining corporation, to clean up a contaminated site. He eventually allowed the E.P.A. to declare the area a Superfund site, turning the issue over to the federal government, which had more resources to go after the company. “The government exists to protect us from harm, and that pollution is harm,” Johnson said. “Libertarians would say, ‘You and I have the ability to sue Molycorp. We can bring them to bear from a private standpoint.’ But the reality? You can’t.”
Of course, there are the usual extreme libertarian positions that are worrisome.

I decided to check in with the website that the New Yorker piece referred to, ISideWith.com, in order to check how much I agree with the presidential candidates.

Ahem, I am surprised at how much I am aligned with Clinton's positions:

And what a relief that on "no major issues" do I side with the fascist!  I tell ya, I am not the right wing nutcase that my faculty colleagues think that I am ;)

BTW, it turns out that I am even more anti-Trump than the Green Party candidate, Jill Stein, is--she sides with Trump on economic issues!

Here is to hoping that the Berniacs and the Greenies do not mess things up for the country and the world.


Ramesh said...

How can you justify a protest vote. In a democracy, you are supposed to choose between the options; not yearn for some holy grail. Of the two, or three, of four, or twenty, whoever you think is the best for occupying the position you are voting for should get the vote. However much they all might be far from the holy grail.

If we really believe in democracy, and all of us would readily admit its not perfect, we should exercise that choice with the best of judgement and vote responsibly according to our considered view. The Bernie or Bust crowd is as bad as the Tea Party - I am very very wary of both the rabid right and loony left. They are as much in cuckooland as the Trump supporters. If they get what they want it will be the best example of buyers remorse.

Sriram Khé said...

Such crazy calculations are also how Hitler ended up in power! We tend to forget that it was not a military coup that made him the leader.

As I explained in the post, I do a protest vote only if I can be sure that the more dangerous candidate will not gain the majority. I am not an irresponsible protester--unlike the Bernie or Bust, or the Tea Party maniacs.

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