Tags: Donald Trump, Gary Johnson, Green Party, Hillary Clinton, Jill Stein, Libertarian Party, Presidential election, Ralph Nader, spoiler
How can you best fight against Trump?
How can you best protect
- the country,
- freedom of speech,
- political freedom here and world-wide,
- innocent persons,
- human fairness,
- the US Treasury,
- the human world,
- and the natural world,
against the damage that each of those would suffer if Mussolini-like Trump became President?
Some of the voters who are revolted by Trump are planning to vote against Trump without voting for Hillary.
They are planning to vote against Trump by voting for the Green candidate, or are planning to vote for the Libertarian candidate.
But a vote for anyone other than Hillary is only half a vote against Trump.
Here is why.
Although voting for one of the spoiler candidates doesn’t increase Trump’s tally, it also doesn’t increase his opponent’s tally. It has zero effect on the comparison of their two tallys, which is the comparison that will determine who becomes President.
A vote for Hillary doesn’t increase Trump’s tally by 1, but also does increase Hillary’s tally by 1.
That increases the difference between Hillary’s tally and Trump’s tally by 2 units.
That is two blows against Trump.
A vote for the Green or for the Libertarian candidate doesn’t increase Trump’s tally by 1, but that is only half the effect on the difference between Hillary’s tally and Trump’s tally that would be produced by a vote for Hillary.
Remember what happened when Ralph Nader acted (unintentionally) as a spoiler against Gore.
How did that turn out?
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Tags: Australia, Democratic Party, Democrats, election, Green Party, Republican Party, Republicans, U.S.
Several posts (Jill Stein, Roseanne Barr, and the Green Party, Mr Belly Button and the Green Party) in this blog have pointed out the negative electoral effect of the Green Party, and its vagueness, impracticality and grandiose quality. The US Green Party seems to be a self-indulgent hobby. Its only effect on US politics so far has been to help Republicans win elections. Of course, this unintended effect blocks the achievement of all of the goals of the Green Party, and of those who vote for its candidates.
But these criticisms apply only to the US Green Party. Blogging on WordPress has acquainted me with the Australian Green Party. It seems to be entirely different from the US Green Party. I came to that view by following James Wight’s posts, in particular
Wight’s blog shows that the Australian Green Party, unlike the US Green Party, does the hard work of crafting detailed policies and justifies them with quantitative data and analyses. Thus they really contribute something substantive and usable to discussions of policy, and their ideas can be cited and used even by the elected members of other parties, as well as by the Green Party itself. Unlike the US Green Party, the Australian Green Party is constructive.
Australia’s Green Party shows how the US Green Party could change itself into something beneficial, and no longer inimical to its own stated objectives:
– It could propose detailed, quantitative proposed legislation and regulatory action. This should be detailed enough to be used as draft legislation, and should be backed by quantitative data and assessments of impact.
– It could avoid siphoning votes away from the Democratic Party.
Tags: ChiefJustice Roberts, Citizens United, Constitution, democracy, Green Party, Move to Amend, Occupy, oligarchy, Paul Ryan, plutocracy, Public Citizen, Romney, super PAC, Supreme Court
On January 20, 2012, I participated in a demonstration in a small park that faces the Supreme Court. The demonstration decried the Court’s absurd decision in the Citizens United case.
Citizens United is the case that ignored the fact that corporations are purely legal entities, created solely to shield their executives and board members from personal legal liability for the corporation’s actions, and – secondarily – to obtain favorable tax treatment. They are not political entities, and their political preferences are certainly not independent of the private political preferences of their executives and board, effectively magnifying the personal influence of those individuals on the outcome of the election.
The Court’s decision favored plutocracy and oligarchy over democracy. It did so because that is what Chief Justice Roberts and his cronies, like Willard Mitt Romney and his cronies, really believe in. True to its purpose, the decision spawned the sudden appearance of the super-PACs, with their hidden, very rich donors.
The Court’s decision also spawned efforts to enact a Constitutional amendment that would overturn the Court’s decision. The demonstration I attended was in support of such efforts. It was organized by a group that I had never heard of before: Move to Amend.
Those participating in the demonstration were diverse, and included many who, like me, had no connection to the organizers. Some of the participants were from the Occupy movement. It was the first time that I had personally encountered any.
The demonstration was in the morning, and during the demonstration the organizers issued an invitation to an open discussion that afternoon about what could be done next. The discussion was held in a building adjacent to the Supreme Court. I attended.
The meeting was led by one of the main organizers of the morning’s demonstration. I will call him Mr. Belly Button, because he was impressed by the fact that every human had a belly button, and no corporation did. He insisted on showing his to all assembled.
Mr. Belly Button announced that he would next show us Move To Amend‘s proposed amendment to the Constitution. He said that he was eager for discussion and comments, but that they would not result in any changes of wording. The wording was already fixed, unchangeable.
Move to Amend‘s proposed amendment is good. But before the meeting I had come across another proposed amendment, S. J. Res 29, that was more general, and covered aspects of the problem that were not covered by Move to Amend‘s version. The inability to influence the wording of Move to Amend‘s proposed amendment made it pointless to raise this issue. That was a loss for the whole effort to obtain an amendment that would fix the Citizens United decision, and related prior decisions by the Court.
(S.J. Res 29 was proposed by Senators Udall (New Mexico), Bennet (Colorado), Harkin (Iowa), Durbin (Illinois), Schumer (New York), Merkley (Oregon), Whitehouse (Rhode Island), Begich (Alaska), and Shaheen (New Hampshire).)
Because the wording of the proposed amendment was fixed, the focus of the discussion became what to do next.
One particularly self-esteeming gentleman from Atlanta said that eventually the whole Constitution should be rewritten, because those who wrote it were not representative, and included slave-holders.
That is important enough to require some comments.
The barons who imposed the Magna Carta on the King of England were not at all egalitarian. They were not elected by the adult population that would be affected by their action. So by the logic of the gentleman from Atlanta, England should now revise the Magna Carta.
To embark on rewriting the Constitution from scratch would ignore the law of unintended consequences, the twistiness and contingence of historical branching, all of which result from the complexity of human society. Rewriting the Constitution in one fell swoop would be extraordinarily foolhardy. But neither Mr Belly Button nor any other of the dominant voices at the meeting blanched or voiced any objection. They even hinted at favoring an eventual complete rewriting of the Constitution.
Any system of government that works fairly well should be changed only incrementally, testing the results of each small step before going on to the next change. The evolution should resemble biological evolution during an interval that contains no planetary-scale geological or astronomical catastrophes.
That applies also to Paul Ryan’s goal of sweepingly reorganizing and rescoping the government, which underlies and goes far beyond his proposed budget.
It is worth noting some aspects of those in attendance.
Move to Amend appeared to me to be a fixed group of individuals who moved opportunistically from issue to issue. I got the impression they waited for the emergence of the next new issue that they could ride, and changed the name of their group accordingly. Most or all of the organizers seemed to be leading activists in the US Green Party.
As far as I could glimpse their underlying agenda, it seemed pretentious and grandiose. Fortunately, because the group regarded pragmatism as synonymous with impurity, their agenda is unlikely to ever be implemented, or even to contribute to policies implemented by others.
As noted earlier, the audience was much more diverse than the organizers. Many were practical and non-doctrinaire. In particular, I was very favorably impressed by those from the Occupy movement. They had thought long and hard about the issues. That was understandable, in view of the personal sacrifices they were making. Unlike the organizers, those from the Occupy movement were very focused on the effectiveness of proposed actions and policies.
Another organization, Public Citizen (URL1, URL2) is partnering with Move to Amend to promote Move to Amend‘s proposed amendment to the Constitution. Public Citizen is presently trying to encourage people to push for the amendment right now. That is a big mistake. This is the wrong time, even though the deformation to the electopral process that has been wrought by the Citizens United decision is presently in full view. The politically aware portion of the citizenry are and will be focused exclusively on the election until it is over. For the moment, talking about Citizens United is a waste of time, money and energy, and will detract from the attention that activists are willing to give to the issue after the election.
Tags: Green Party, Jill Stein, Ralph Nader, Roseanne Barr
Jill Stein and Roseanne Barr are the Green Party’s candidates for President and Vice President.
Since they cannot win, they can serve only as spoilers.
As Ralph Nader showed in 2000 and 2004, in a close election the small number of votes siphoned off by the Green Party is quite sufficient to make the Republican Party victorious.
In election after election, the Green Party has caused the defeat of the party whose aims are closest to it, and has helped the party whose aims are most antithetical to it.
It did so because its candidates – and its voters – want to make a statement. Making a statement is more important to the Greens than affecting policy. In fact, to the Greens, making a statement outweighs the ultimately negative effect on policy of their vote-siphoning.
So what if the result is to delay action on climate change, making the eventual problem much more difficult. So what if the result is greater economic inequality. Making a statement is the Green way.
To the Green Party, self indulgence is more important than effectiveness. Incremental progress be damned. Having no progress is better than incremental progress. After all, if as a result the situation becomes dire enough, the public will have no recourse but to turn to the Greens. After all, that was what the Communists in Germany thought while they were competing with the Nazis in the late 1920s and early 1930s. (Come to think of it, that didn’t turn out so well.)
The Green Party must be Karl Rove’s favorite non-Republican Party. After all, look how it helped in 2000 and 2004. To Rove, the Greens are “useful idiots”.
If the Green Party really wanted to advance the policies it espouses, it would put forward no candidates of its own in contests where it cannot win. Instead it would do everything in its power to increase the vote for the Democrats.