Voting Third-party

12 Nov 2016

While migrating saved blog posts in 2020, I came across this one; it is not currently on my old Blogger blog and I’m not sure if it ever was.

Since a lot of people are making similar comments about voting third-party, I’m going to copy a comment I made in a conversation, tidy it up a bit, and make it a top-level comment.

Yes, I voted third-party. Grace and I were not willing to vote for Clinton or Trump. It really is not clear to us which is the “lesser of two evils,” the corrupt career politician who has implemented disastrous overseas interventions in the Middle East, or the outsider who spouts xenophobia and racism.

The best summary of the two candidates was “everything that is wrong with our politics” and “everything that is wrong with our culture.”

I wrote a very long post explaining why Hillary was unpopular and I couldn’t bring myself to vote for her. I’m not going to re-post all that; look in my feed. I’ll just summarize and say “yes, I’m serious,” and “yes, she really is that bad,” but for reasons that have little or nothing to do with Benghazi, e-mail servers, etc.

Claiming that makes me a Trump supporter is simply false. When told we had to vote strategically, choosing the lesser of two evils because only those two evils were viable candidates, we decided to go ahead and vote strategically in a different way instead, applying a longer-term plan, voicing our support for third parties which were obviously not viable now, but which we hope will be viable in 2020 or 2024 or even later.

A vote for a third party was not a vote for Trump or Clinton. The third-party candidates did not cost Clinton the election. Nader did not cost Gore the election. It’s a common belief but it isn’t true. I can break down the math for you but if you believe it, it probably won’t help.

Because we could not decide which was “less evil,” we left that decision as to which was less evil to others.

Others decided Trump was less evil, or something (I can’t actually claim to see deep into people’s hearts and minds and understand exactly why they vote for the candidates they vote for; I know the liberal party line is that Trump voters voted out of racism, xenophobia, etc., but I think that’s a ludicrous over-simplification).

Our votes (and Grace and I did not even vote for the same third parties) were votes for a hoped-for future contingency. Because the candidates for President were so bad, we made that strategic vote on the Presidential race.

Having spent quite a lot of time reading non-mainstream information about the candidates, and feeling reasonably well-informed about both, we did this without hesitation and without guilt, although all our so-called liberal friends are trying to convince us we should feel bad, we are the problem, we aren’t grown-ups, etc., which doesn’t show much solidarity with radicals. It just makes us feel like we are the only ones in the room not engaging in “motivated reasoning” about Clinton, willing ourselves to believe that she is not corrupt or not a war-monger using reasoning similar to conservative reasoning about climate change: “wow, fixing climate change would require massive changes in our lifestyle and government intervention to organize the response! I don’t want to change my lifestyle, and big government is bad, therefore climate change is a hoax.” “Wow, Trump is terrible, I have to vote for Clinton to guarantee Trump isn’t elected — therefore Clinton is wonderful!”

The liberal tribe laid it on nauseatingly thick, honestly. Did you hear about the “secret clubs” inviting women to wear white, or wear pants suits, to the election? It was smarmy, and it failed, because her campaign was just as smug and condescending as she is “wipe the server — like with a cloth? [Wink, wink]”

We were willing to vote our consciences, believing that we see Clinton clearly, in part because we don’t expose ourselves to any “hot” media (no television, for example) but instead thousands of pages of government documents and non-mainstream analysis.

We concentrated more on the state and local races and ballot initiatives. That doesn’t mean we’re going to be happy with the next four years. If you think the Rust Belt would be better off under 4 years of Clinton, I don’t think you understand the economics of the Rust Belt and what Clinton actually offers (looking at her record, not her promises).

And yes, we are kind of terrified of what Trump will do to our family. Our black family.

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