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Listening to the media reports about Trump and Clinton, I understand the frustration of the majority of voters.  Most of us know that the "establishment" politicians, like Clinton, are part and parcel with the corporatocracy that has made our two party system a joke.  The two parties are simply different faces of the same government which is beholden to big business and rich investors.  While the Democrats make more of an effort to care for the most impoverished, neither side is actually effective at reducing poverty.  The Republicans assert that the poor are not helped by a free ride, and this may be true.  It is true that during the Great Depression here in the US, people got healthier.

Trump, on the other hand, is not part of the "establishment" except in so far as he is rich, and he is stupid enough to become their tool, just as Shrub did.  His daily empty statements, like what I just heard that he "will win" 95% of the black American vote, are lunacy.  There is no way that he is getting 95% of any vote, except perhaps of those white male voters who are angry and desperate enough to commit suicide but would rather have someone else do it for them.  I understand the line of thought that says "crash this train", that is to say, destroying our corporatocracy is the first step toward building something new.  This is more the approach of libertarians who understand that big business will not be dethroned by small measures.  Electing Trump would be a drastic measure that could crash this train, except for the fact that the corporate Republican powers will feed his ego and narcissism and keep him busy and distracted by giving him televised glory while they run things.  In other words, it won't work.  Electing Trump will not derail the corporate train.

The Libertarian and Green candidates are relatively attractive in this election.  Unfortunately the Libertarians appear to be almost as "estalishment" as Clinton, see Gary Johnson's positions here.  Jill Stein of the Green party is a physician and one smart cookie, and she actually makes the most sense to me of any of the candidates.  She knows that our two-party system is broken, and she addresses that question and others with a raft of information instead of party lines or defund-it-all ideology.

I do not know what it would take to persuade a majority of voters to choose third-party candidates, but I pray that I live to see it.  At this moment it appears to me that Clinton will win because so many people are terrified of the specter of a Trump presidency.  His racism, bogus claims and impetuous thin-skinned personality are enough to disqualify him for all but the most blindered of voters.  It is true that if he were elected the Republican party would attempt to control him, but we all know that he would be more likely to push the nuclear button than any other president in living memory.  While it bears discussing why we refrain from using nukes, just as it bears discussing why we can't as a society afford freeloaders, we might want to discuss it very well before we hand any control to a tool such as Trump.

I am sure I've mentioned it before, but it is my belief that in order to build a majority that can beat both established parties, we need to build a bridge between the far right Libertarians and the far left Greens.  When this happens we might actually wrest our democracy back from its service to business.  It would be heralded as a great crisis, just like the Brexit vote, but don't believe everything you hear in the news.  A reduction in our GDP might be good for us.  More unemployment is not an entirely bad thing.  We Americans need to get back to the project of taking good care of ourselves and our dear ones, building community, and being real people face to face with other real people.  This wealthy life of internet and automobiles has created a Great Satan that is making us sad.

** first use of tag: green party

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( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 22nd, 2016 04:11 am (UTC)
If we could switch over to instant run-off voting, also known as ranked voting, nobody would be afraid to vote for a third party candidate. Obviously that's not going to happen this time around.
Aug. 22nd, 2016 04:15 am (UTC)
How does that work?
Is anybody actively promoting it as a solution?
Aug. 22nd, 2016 04:45 am (UTC)
The Green Party is promoting it when it can. We Greens use it for all of our own internal elections (chair of the local party, etc.) and we love it. There does not seem to be a concerted effort to win over the American public to the idea; Greens are really grassroots and I think that's to our detriment sometimes. I wish we had more and better leadership, and I wish our leadership would heavily promote instant runoff voting.

Here's how it works:

Basically, when you vote, you rank the candidates in order of preference. When the votes are tallied, the candidate with the least votes is thrown out and her votes are redistributed to each voter's second choice. This process continues until one candidate has a majority. (In our local Green group, we also have the option of voting, and ranking, "None of the Above.")

The Brits had a referendum on enacting this method in 2011, which unfortunately lost. They called it "alternative voting" and this is a wonderful video that was made to explain it:

Aug. 22nd, 2016 05:51 pm (UTC)
I like the concept! Are there any nations that use it? Too bad about the dissuading name in the British referendum....
Aug. 23rd, 2016 05:57 pm (UTC)
Wikipedia says the system is in at least limited use in Australia, India, Ireland, Papau New Guinea, and some American cities and states.

If I weren't so busy fighting involuntary electoral fusion in my backwards state, I'd start focusing on popularizing instant run-off voting.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )



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