When you go to the grocery store you’ve got multiple brands of cookies from which to choose. You don’t just limit your choice to two when you see ten varieties up there. More to the point, if you have one bag of cookies from ten different brands on the shelf and two of those bags are already open, would you buy one of those two just because someone told you that you had to? We have multiple brands of presidential candidate available this year and yet most of us will limit ourselves to only two choices – the two open bags of contaminated cookies. What sense does that make? The notion that only one of the two major parties can win is the very definition of a self-fulfilling prophesy. This year, we have alternatives to suit just about every taste. So I suggest a mental exercise.
From now on, simply FORGET there is a Democrat and Republican party. I’m calling for self-induced amnesia. When you go into the voting booth in November, limit yourself to the four major alternatives, instead of the two contaminated front-runners. Let’s forget about Hillary and Donald and take a peek at the rest:
The Far Left
Jill Stein is the Green Party candidate. She is Bernie Sanders on steroids. She favors guaranteed housing and food for all (a wordy way of saying guaranteed minimum income). She wants migration to alternative fuels by 2030. She wants a committee to deal with the legacy of slavery. She wants a 50% cut in military spending. She calls her platform the “Power to the People Plan” and you almost get a 1960’s second-hand high just reading her positions. If you are a leftist, Jill is the one for you.
A Bit of Both
If you’re a fiscal hard-ass but socially liberal, the Libertarian party is offering up Gary Johnson. Gary wants to stay out of your doctor’s office and out of your bedroom. He wants to balance the budget (and it seems by any means necessary). To that end you can say goodbye to the Commerce Department and the Department of Education. (Gary says “we need commerce, not a commerce department.”) He wants pot legal and more serious drugs handled though health services, not incarceration. Interestingly, he still wants the more serous drugs illegal so I’m unclear on what the “punishment” would be. You don’t want the gov snooping on your phone or restricting your Internet? Gary agrees with you. As a stylistic aside: when we look at photos, we either gravitate to the biggest object in the photo or we scan left to right. So it is odd that the campaign photo on Gary’s page has his running mate, Bill Weld on the left and Gary on the right. Gary is also shorter than Weld. The inevitable result is you either think Weld is Johnson (if you don’t know better) or you think Weld is running for President. In a recent Libertarian town hall, Johnson floated the idea of he and Weld sharing power almost equally. So maybe the picture is not a misstep after all?
Former CIA operative, Evan McMullin has launched an independent bid for the presidency rather late in the game. He will probably be on the ballot in only half of the country but that doesn’t mean he should be ignored. His web site is full of generalities and probably has the least specific ideas of any other candidate discussed in this piece. That may be due to the relative youth of his campaign. Speaking of youth, if elected he would be our youngest elected President at only 40 years of age. Although short on specifics, his platform features a strong military, moving government as close to local as possible, the free market ruling over jobs and health care, strong borders and active participation in world affairs. He is presenting himself as the acceptable alternative to Donald Trump and in fact, Trump’s disastrous campaign seems to be the impetus for McMullin’s entrance into the race – although independent, his mission seems to be to save the GOP from itself.
The Far Right
Are you sick and tired of God being left out of politics? Do you believe the Constitution divinely inspired? Then the Constitution Party has the man for you – Darrell Castle. I only became aware of Castle today as I was researching this piece. Like McMullin, Castle will probably not be on the ballot in every state. That said, in the spirit of choosing the goddam brand of cookie you want, I cannot ignore Mr. Castle. He frequently quotes scripture. He favors exiting the United Nations and abolishing the Federal Reserve. He advocates the citizenry choosing whichever currency they wish to trade in (including bitcoin). He wants to overturn Roe V Wade. He strongly opposes legislating from the bench and feels the Supreme Court has exceeded its constitutional bounds.
Of the four candidates profiled here, McMullin is the least controversial. But I greatly admire the other three for staking out specific and somewhat extreme policy positions. We don’t care about politics anymore because our choices are really small variations on the same theme. Why aren’t we voting for people who truly stand for something?
So I implore you. Take a two by four. Whack yourself in the head. When you have regained consciousness, hopefully you will forget about the Dem’s and Republicans and instead, opt for one of the other choices. We only have a choice folks if we exercise it.
What do you think? The bar is open.