Post Election Survey of Third Party Movement Leaders; Part Two – What Went Wrong

by Peter B. Gemma

 sss-1-500x250“We simply got off to a late start and didn’t have enough time or manpower to get it done for 2016.  We now know the nuances in each state, however, so we are prepared moving forward.”

That’s the post election assessment of the American Solidarity Party presidential nominee Mike Maturen.

More than 11,000 votes were cast for Harambe on Election Day – Harambe is a dead gorilla – and the major party candidates were the two most unpopular presidential nominees in more than 30 years of ABC News/Washington Post polling. Yet, according to a November 15 Washington Post report, “Johnson and Stein never were serious threats to Clinton and Trump nationally or in any individual states. And they were far from the most successful minor party candidates in recent presidential history.”

A Wall Street Journal story published October 31 (“Signs Grow of Another Third-Party Fizzle”), predicted the outcome: “It appears increasingly likely that no outside candidate will take a meaningful chunk of the national vote, as seemed plausible in the early summer.” The piece concluded that, “The combined clout of [Libertarian Party nominee] Mr. Johnson and [Green Party nominee] Ms. Stein fell from 17 percent of registered voters in July to nine percent in the most recent Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll. The running RealClearPolitics polling average is even less generous, showing Mr. Johnson and Ms. Stein dropping from around 12 percent at various times this summer to just seven percent now.”

The final tallies have Gary Johnson garnering just over three percent of the national vote, and Jill Stein receiving support from about one percent of the electorate. Altogether, third party and independent candidates earned around five percent of the popular vote.

What went wrong?

According to Libertarian National Committee Vice Chair Arvin Vohra, it was “being excluded from the debates. Gary Johnson had a message that voters wanted: lower taxes, an end to the War on Drugs, repealing the Patriot Act, downsizing and eliminating federal agencies. Unfortunately, millions of Americans never got the chance to hear those important ideas.”

George Phillies, editor of Liberty for America, said the Libertarian Party failed to reach its potential because it didn’t “focus on steps that will build our party, but took steps to rack up votes without leaving a stronger party behind.” He also asserted his party should have run a presidential campaigns that “advocated traditional Libertarian issues such as non-intervention and civil liberties.”

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Constitution Party Chairman Frank Fluckiger believes that “we did not have a candidate that brought with them a large amount of funds as we did in past elections. Presidential campaign donations were raised primarily from our party efforts, and although the amount of money raised was encouraging, contributions came in too late to get on more states.”

However, Constitution Party nominee Darrell Castle noted that among his frustrations was, “the failure to raise money from within my own Party.”

Political historian Darcy Richardson noted that, “given the unpopularity of both major-party candidates – Clinton and Trump were clearly the most disliked candidates in modern history – the biggest disappointment in this election was Gary Johnson’s relatively dismal 3.2 percent showing.” He went on to say:

If one is really objective about it, especially given the almost unprecedented media attention lavished on the gaffe-prone candidate – the kind of mainstream coverage the LP may not experience again anytime soon – Johnson’s showing has to be viewed as a huge disappointment to those who were looking for him to take the Libertarian Party to the next level.  It didn’t happen.  It was really inexcusable – he was seeking the presidency, after all. A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity has been needlessly squandered simply because the Libertarian candidate couldn’t be bothered with keeping himself reasonably well informed.

A Time magazine analysis of the Johnson campaign (“Third Parties Faded to the Background in a Shocking Election”) underlined Richardson’s assertion:

On MSNBC in September, revealing an apparent lack of knowledge about the center of the Syrian refugee crisis undermined his credibility on a national stage. ‘I’d say that he could have been better prepared for some of his interviews,’ Jonathan Martin, editor and contributor to Empowering Progressive Third Parties in the United States, said of Johnson’s main weakness as a candidate. ‘The media does leap on gaffes by third party candidates and it reinforces the existing image that they’re not serious.’

Rocky De La Fuente, the nominee of the Reform and American Delta parties, said “the Reform Party was only able to deliver a ballot line in one state this year, which was disappointing given its storied history.” He also stated that “there were a few states in which the American Delta Party attempted to gain ballot access that were rejected on technical grounds, and I’m sure that has to be viewed viewed with disappointment.”

Mike Maturen cited some specifics for his missed opportunities: “When the Secretary of State of enten-johnsonFlorida changed the rules mid-game regarding third party ballot access, we lost out on our attempt to be on the ballot in Florida.  This would have been a huge win for us.  It affected not only our ballot status, but that of several other third party candidates as well.  We also missed out on ballot access in Louisiana and Missouri by only one signature each.”

Darrell Castle said his “biggest disappointment was the failure to achieve ballot access in my home state despite needing only 275 signatures for independent status.”

Prohibition Party nominee Jim Hedges observed two factors in his showing: “The Post Office return our Iowa filing marked ‘insufficient address’ the day of the filing deadline, although the address was exactly as shown on the website of the Iowa Secretary of State.  Also, we failed in Tennessee because, after our filing was accepted because two of our electors were poached by other small parties.”

Frank Fluckiger essentially agrees with Hedges on the later point: “Many of our Constitution Party leaders held key positions but worked in behalf of other presidential candidates.”

Darcy Richardson summed up his view of the impact third parties had on the elections: “To be honest, from a third-party perspective, the outcome was really tragic because the country was clearly looking for an alternative.”

42 thoughts on “Post Election Survey of Third Party Movement Leaders; Part Two – What Went Wrong

  1. john

    This is very vague.
    “George Phillies, editor of Liberty for America, said the Libertarian Party failed to reach its potential because it didn’t “focus on steps that will build our party, but took steps to rack up votes without leaving a stronger party behind.””

    What’ is “its potential”? Does any party, ever, reach “its potential”?
    4%, right? Has it ever been greater than 1% before?
    Further, Johnson received far more votes than the difference between Trump and Hitlery. Libertarians, therefor, swung the election, or could have easily done so.

  2. john

    Darcy Richardson is a fool, having said, “If one is really objective about it, especially given the almost unprecedented media attention lavished on the gaffe-prone candidate …”
    Libertarians (and all other third-party candidates) have always gotten very little coverage from the biased MSM.

  3. Tim McKee

    most of these ” third parties” have no state presence in most states. no local leaders in my state of Connecicut for example and even the Libertarians have no real media either.

    the Greens have many more local candidates and won’t disappear after the elections like almost every tiny party listed.

  4. ATBAFT

    “because the country was clearly looking for an alternative.” This is delusional.

    Wake up and smell the coffee. Most third party, and LP, successes over the years have come from involvement in championing a local or state issue – e.g. defeating a proposed sales tax increase – and not from running candidates. The voting public may be looking for third party alternatives when it comes to a specific issue, but not when deciding who will occupy 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW

  5. Tony From Long Island

    Why is George Phillies quoted in this? Is he a “third-party movement leader?”

    I would certainly not consider him one if he is going to give a quote saying Gov. Johnson neglected to “advocate traditional Libertarian issues such as non-intervention and civil liberties.” That was sorta his campaign theme. So I don’t know what campaign Jorge was following.

    ————————————————————————————————————-
    Plus who is this fool John with the old tired “Hitlery . . . ?” Ya don’t think that comparison is a bit more valid to the very scary individual about to take office?

  6. john

    To Tony from Long Island: “Ya don’t think that comparison is a bit more valid to the very scary individual about to take office?”

    Thought-experiment. Suppose everything about Donald Trump that isn’t PC (politically-correct) would change so that it would now be PC. (IOW, suppose Trump had always been that way, PC). Would the PC’s then like Trump? I say, obviously yes. They would indeed have liked him.
    This tells us that few if any of Trump’s actual flaws are anything other than “He’s not PC”.
    But wait!!! Can you name any other Republican candidate who was/is PC? I’m not aware of one.
    So, why are people criticizing Trump? They should be criticizing anyone who isn’t PC.

    Then I must ask: Is Donald Trump a “very scary individual” merely because he ISN’T PC?!?
    Looks that way, huh?

  7. Luchorpan

    Bush vs. Gore: Very similar candidates
    Bush vs. Kerry: Very similar candidates
    McCain vs. Obama: Similar candidates
    Romney vs. Obama: Very similar candidates

    Trump vs. Clinton: Very different candidates.

    And if someone like Tulsi Gabbard runs in 2020, you’ll have yet another rock star who steals away third party energy.

    Also, the third party candidates this year were all terrible this year.

    Baldwin > Castle; Paul > Johnson; Nader > Stein.

  8. Luchorpan

    Perhaps a foolish question, but why didn’t Peter B. Gemma, Darcy Richardson, or Justin Raimondo run this year?

    Any of those 3 would have taken sensible positions in my view. Johnson, Stein, and Castle didn’t appear acceptable to each of their respective target groups. Libertarians and Castle-conservatives tended to vote for Trump, and Castle was too antiwar to pick up the NeverTrump voters. NeverTrump wanted war and police state; Castle didn’t provide that for them, which is why NeverTrump ran McMullin.

    Stein sounded good, but perhaps some of her principled positions didn’t appeal to left-wing mythology. Stein’s recent praise for Castro lost her respect from conservatives. She now appears like Johnson: Clueless or crazy.

    Note: I rather like Castle (just didn’t like some of his positioning), and the A3P will be a powerful force in the future, whether as a party or as more of an ideology.

  9. RedPhillips

    Good job Peter.

    What on earth is The American Delta Party?

    Any idea what the general consensus among Reform Party folks is about how well Rocky did ballot access and vote total wise?

  10. Tony From Long island

    Juan: ” . . . . Then I must ask: Is Donald Trump a “very scary individual” merely because he ISN’T PC?!?
    Looks that way, huh? . ..”

    NO! His PC or non-PC has nothing to do with him being a vile human being . . . ok . . it might play a very tiny part. Plus. . . what the hell are you talking about?

  11. Tony From Long island

    Luchorpan, I’m not sure I buy your list of “similar candidates,” although you are correct about Hillary and he who shall not be named.

    You said: ” . . . . And if someone like Tulsi Gabbard runs in 2020, you’ll have yet another rock star who steals away third party energy. . . . ”

    Run from the house? I’m trying to think of a Dem or Rep who won the nomination from the house. Maybe it can be Booker / Gabbard or Warran / Gabbard but for today I’m thinking Warren / Booker

  12. Tony From Long island

    Well James Blaine was nominated by the Reps in 1884 but he was at least Speaker of the House. Can’t think of another off the top of my head.

  13. William Saturn

    Blaine was former Senator and Secretary of State by 1884. Rutherford B. Hayes, James Garfield, and William Jennings Bryan were all Reps when nominated. Hayes and Garfield were elected.

  14. john

    Tony: “NO! His PC or non-PC has nothing to do with him being a vile human being . . . ok . . it might play a very tiny part. Plus. . . what the hell are you talking about?”

    Too bad you didn’t provide even a single example.

  15. Luchorpan

    Tony,

    Trump just won as a businessman with no past political experience.

    Warren doesn’t appeal to the Right as does Gabbard. I could be mistaken of course. I’ve just been amazed seeing how popular Gabbard is among Trumplicans for Trump’s SecState pick. Warren would be stronger than Hillary, but she might be too “establishment”.

  16. Joe M

    Until there is equal ballot access for all parties, we will be stuck with the dominant two (really one) party system….The state legislatures should really be taken to task for not enacting equal ballot access for all parties, let the free market (the people) decide if those parties deserve to sink or swin.

  17. Luchorpan

    Tony,

    One addition: Warren is potentially weak for having fraudulently claimed to be both fully white and part-Cherokee, though not appearing on their lists.

    Now, you might say I’m wrong, but that isn’t the point. If she can’t uphold her claim that she is truly part Cherokee and/or Delaware Amerindian, then she’ll be vulnerable to the accusation that she benefited from both white privilege and affirmative action.

    Perhaps none of this matters. The mass media would spin Warren well. But perhaps it does matter.

    Finally, Democrats appear to generally be tired of running white people. I think they very much want someone who is nonwhite in more than name-only. The US demographics are shifting rapidly, and younger citizens want leaders who don’t benefit from white privilege. The young don’t vote in large numbers of course, but in 4 years they’ll be 4 years older. And 4 years of white voters, from a time when the US was 89% white, will have passed away.

  18. Luchorpan

    OK, maybe Gabbard is out then, lol.

    Whatever Duke/AltRight endorses, everyone hates.

    In an early interview, Duke said foreign policy was his primary reason for supporting Trump, fearing Hillary might start WWIII. So, that made WWIII cool and opposition to WWIII “fascist”.

  19. dL

    Ron Paul circa 2012 and Bernie Sanders this year both could have launched impactful 3rd party/independent runs for white house. Perot actually could have won in 1992 if he had not self-sabotaged his own campaign.

    “What went wrong” usually boils down to the people who actually make a dent and raise the necessary resources don’t run. And just to note: if Trump had lost the Repub nomination and then ran as an independent, he certainly might have won POTUS going that circuitous route.

    Common thread? Populist candidates/populist messages.

    A Plurality voting/winner take all system(PVS) precludes any third party from ever attaining major status and challenging for national elections strictly through the routine machinations of the party apparatus. However, PVS does not inoculate the system from independent challenges. These challenges will always be populist in orientation.

  20. Tony From Long Island

    John, if you need an example of why he-who-must-not-be-named is a vile human being you must have been asleep for the past 17 months (or 20 years).

  21. Tony From Long Island

    Luchorpan: ” . . . .One addition: Warren is potentially weak for having fraudulently claimed to be both fully white and part-Cherokee, though not appearing on their lists. . . . ”

    I also have some Native American in my past but can not prove it. So, I list “white” when asked. I don’t think this is a big deal, nor do most other people.
    ——————————————————————————

    Luchorpan: ” . . . Finally, Democrats appear to generally be tired of running white people. I think they very much want someone who is nonwhite in more than name-only . . . ”

    What does “in name only” mean? If that were the case they would not have run two white people this year. Can’t pick non-white people if none run for the nomination! Plus, I think its the other main party who really needs to consider ending running only white people.

  22. Tony From Long Island

    Billy Saturn: ” . . . Blaine was former Senator and Secretary of State by 1884. Rutherford B. Hayes, James Garfield, and William Jennings Bryan were all Reps when nominated. Hayes and Garfield were elected. . . . ”

    Hayes was Governor of Ohio when nominated and elected (Trump-style with all sorts of shenanigans)

    You are correct about Bryan. He had slipped my mind 🙂 So Garfield and Bryan. Can anyone else thing of someone nominated for Pres from the House?

  23. Bondurant

    The debates are crucial and the duopoly has rigged the system to exclude anyone else from grabbing the attention of voters. The voters too are to blame for knowingly and willingly suppirting a corrupt system and corrupt candidates.

    Just look at your Hillary and Trump supporters. Everyone knows they’re shit but the partisan hacks, like a commenter here, will willingly ignore everything because “the other option is worse”.

  24. Tony From Long Island

    Bondurant, I hope you are not referring to me because I have, for years, railed against the closed debates.

    I voted for Johnson, but would prefer just about any other human being on this planet to he-who-must-not-be-named.

    Someone please take his phone away so he stops embarrassing this country even more than the last month has.

  25. Austin Cassidy

    Had Castle been on the ballot in Tennessee he would have topped 200,000 votes nationally and set a new record for the Constitution Party. A real shame.

  26. john

    Tony: You said, “John, if you need an example of why he-who-must-not-be-named is a vile human being you must have been asleep for the past 17 months (or 20 years).”

    You are avoiding the issue. I am trying to get you (and many others) to explain what is wrong with Trump OTHER THAN the fact he isn’t PC. Above, you ignored the distinction, implying that contrary to your previous claim, you are now implicitly admitting that the only substantial thing wrong with Trump is that he is not PC.
    Further, the claim that Trump “is a vile human being” is a relatively new allegation: The fact that you specifically identify a time frame of 17 months proves that. In reality, the MSM (mainstream media) engaged in a confluence of action to give 1-2 billion dollars of free media publicity to Trump, PRIOR to him being nominated, and then (and only then) proceeded to trash him during the subsequent time period. It’s as if they decided Trump would be easiest to beat, then engaged in a conspiracy to push the American public to him, and THEN trashed him. See how that works?
    The reality is that the MSM could have easily trashed any and every other potential Republican in a virtually equal way, but we never saw that, because only Trump actually won the nomination.

    And you STILL cannot explain why Trump is bad, other than him being non-PC. Your merely pointing to the last 17 months does NOTHING to explain this. You hope we have forgotten how the MSM pushed Trump to the lead of the pack. If Trump screws up, we should blame the MSM.

  27. Darcy G Richardson

    “Can anyone else think of someone nominated for Pres from the House?” — Tony from Long Island

    Well, California’s John G. Schmitz was still a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, albeit a lame-duck member, when he was nominated for President on the American Independent ticket in 1972.

    By the way, Garfield’s nomination in 1880 was one of the most fascinating stories in American political history, on par with Wendell L. Willkie’s “Miracle in Philadelphia” sixty years later. If anybody is interested in learning more about how the Ohio congressman unexpectedly captured the Republican nomination that year, I would highly recommend Wharton Barker’s “The Secret History of Garfield’s Nomination,” originally published in 1916.

    Barker, a wealthy Philadelphia financier, was strongly opposed to a third term for ex-President Ulysses S. Grant and had been quietly promoting Garfield’s dark-horse candidacy for more than a year before the party’s national convention in Chicago. He personally engineered Garfield’s nomination, quietly working as one of his floor managers where he kept the Ohioan’s name in the running by convincing a small handful of delegates — Garfield was shut out on the first ballot and still only claimed two votes after 29 ballots — to stick with his candidate against all odds. Garfield slowly began moving up as the convention seemingly deadlocked between Grant and James G. Blaine. Garfield polled a dizzying 17 votes on the 34th ballot, surged to 50 votes on the 35th ballot, and then miraculously beat Grant on the 36th ballot, defeating the former President by a margin of 399 to 306. Forty-two delegates stuck with Blaine until the bitter end. Blaine later became Garfield’s Secretary of State.

    One of the most interesting individuals to ever seek the presidency, Wharton Barker became something of a third-party adventurer in the immediate aftermath of Garfield’s assassination and was the prime mover and shaker in the short-lived anti-Stalwart “Independent Republican” movement in Pennsylvania in 1881 and 1882, and later ran for President on the (anti-fusion or “Mid Road”) Populist ticket in 1900.

  28. Tony From Long Island

    Juan (or whoever you are):

    1) I have already stated that the fact that he is “non-PC” or whatever that means plays very little part in why he is a national embarrassment.

    2) The free media he was given was disgraceful. Every speech covered like some reality show.

    3) The last 17 months is important because of the office he was running for. He as been vile for much much longer than that. But who cares if some random rich guy reality star is vile?

    4) That person has normalized stupidity. He has made it normal to act in a way a 7th grader does. That has nothing to do with PC. His constant twitter attacks are an embarrassment. The way he speaks with the grammar of a 12-year-old is beneath the office he will hold. (Makes GWB look like a statesman)

    5) His treatment of women has nothing to do with PC. The fact that he feels entitled to sexual contact is not a PC issue.

    6) He can not answer any real question about policy because he has no idea what he’s talking about. He is good at saying a lot of words that ultimately say nothing.

    7) His constant attacks of his opponents got to the point of a joke. Just think of any other president in our nation’s history (or any other “advanced” country) saying “Lyin Ted” “Low Energy Jeb” “Little Marco” etc.

    8) Complaining ad nauseum about non-existent crimes committed by Mrs. Clinton and then interviewing Gen. Petreus for Sec. of State? Are you fricking kidding me?

    9) His denigration of Mexicans had nothing to do with being PC. Saying that a federal judge couldn’t hear his case becase “I’m building a wall, Chuck” had nothing to do with being PC.

    10) Spouting clearly specious conspiracy theories daily during the campaign (and to this day) has nothing to do with being PC. My favorite was the one about the Bullets dipped in pigs blood. Customers where I work were coming in and talking about that as if it were true. Sad . . . truly sad.

    11) Talking about a “registry” of Muslims has nothing to do with being PC – yes he said that – in clear and concise English (a rarity for him).

    I really could go on, but I don’t like long posts. Also, I do these at work, so I do actually have to earn some money here. Anyone want to add to my list? Feel free.

  29. Tony From Long Island

    Darcy, yes, I love the story of the Garfield nomination. I’ve loved presidential history since I was 5 years old and the 1880 nomination is a fascinating story.

  30. john

    >Juan (or whoever you are):

    Why are you unwilling to accept it?

    >1) I have already stated that the fact that he is “non-PC” or whatever that means plays very little part in why he is a national embarrassment.

    Actually, I think it’s actually about 100% a part in that. But you won’t admit it.

    >2) The free media he was given was disgraceful. Every speech covered like some reality show.

    They had already decided they wanted Trump to secure the nomination. They intended to proceed to trash him after he won. They did so. Is that so hard to admit?

    >3) The last 17 months is important because of the office he was running for. He as been vile for much much longer than that. But who cares if some random rich guy reality star is vile?

    The problem is that I don’t think he was actually “vile”, it’s just that the MSM wanted to make it look that way. If anything, Trump was closer to Dems than Repubs for years. But little embarrassing facts like that were glossed over by the biased media.

    >4) That person has normalized stupidity. He has made it normal to act in a way a 7th grader does.

    That’s a very vague allegation. In sales, what you said would be labelled “puffery”

    >That has nothing to do with PC.

    I didn’t say they WERE ‘PC’. Rather, they were essentially “anti-PC”. But that’s the problem: The left hated him precisely because he WASN’T PC.

    > His constant twitter attacks are an embarrassment. The way he speaks with the grammar of a 12-year-old is beneath the office he will hold. (Makes GWB look like a statesman)

    I don’t use, or read, Twitter. The foolish limited text length tend to limit the length and understandability of messages put on it. Don’t blame Trump for that.

    >5) His treatment of women has nothing to do with PC. The fact that he feels entitled to sexual contact is not a PC issue.

    I would say, instead, it’s INHERENTLY a “PC” issue.

    >6) He can not answer any real question about policy because he has no idea what he’s talking about. He is good at saying a lot of words that ultimately say nothing.

    A characteristic which tends to be true of most politicians.

    >7) His constant attacks of his opponents got to the point of a joke. Just think of any other president in our nation’s history (or any other “advanced” country) saying “Lyin Ted” “Low Energy Jeb” “Little Marco” etc.

    Trump is outspoken. Is that a crime?

    >8) Complaining ad nauseum about non-existent crimes committed by Mrs. Clinton and then interviewing Gen. Petreus for Sec. of State? Are you fricking kidding me?

    Hitlery is guilty of very many crimes. Erasing 33,000 subpoenaed emails is “Obstruction of Justice”, or 33,000 felonies.

    >9) His denigration of Mexicans had nothing to do with being PC. Saying that a federal judge couldn’t hear his case becase “I’m building a wall, Chuck” had nothing to do with being PC.

    He said some immigrants were rapists, and some were murderers. Which is the truth, BTW.

    >10) Spouting clearly specious conspiracy theories daily during the campaign (and to this day) has nothing to do with being PC. My favorite was the one about the Bullets dipped in pigs blood. Customers where I work were coming in and talking about that as if it were true. Sad . . . truly sad.

    Didn’t hear that one. Specifics? What is its relevance? Now, if you could point to a story where Trump claimed (falsely) that Muslims did some atrocity, THAT would constitute an arguable offense against them. But merely reciting an arguably false story about an atrocity being commited AGAINST Muslims does not sound like an offense against the Muslims themselves.

    >11) Talking about a “registry” of Muslims has nothing to do with being PC – yes he said that – in clear and concise English (a rarity for him).

    No, a “registry” of Muslims is definitely NOT PC. Which proves my point. You simply misunderstood, or deliberately misrepresented, my point.

  31. William Saturn

    “Hayes was Governor of Ohio when nominated and elected.”

    My mistake. I also must add that William Jennings Bryan was no longer a Congressman when he won the Democratic nomination in 1896 since he left office a year prior.

  32. Luchorpan

    Tony From Long Island,

    “Nonwhite in name only” = “white person who says she’s technically Amerindian”.

    The Dems are obsessed with race. They’ve run a single half-black candidate. You don’t get a medal for that. And the Republicans wanted Jeb, Rubio, and Cruz this time around. They tried to bring in Latino families to the White House. What other qualification does Rubio have than that he’s a young Latino? Rubio’s record was a disaster (he didn’t show up to vote).

    Symone Sanders said recently: “In my opinion, we don’t need white people leading the Democratic party right now,” she added. “The Democratic party is diverse, and it should be reflected as so in our leadership and throughout the staff, at the highest levels.”

    That’s what the Dem is focused on right now. Whites are older, so the demographics are changing quickly. Democrats are wanting a quicker change. And they very much believe there is white privilege in the US today.

    So, I don’t think Warren has a chance.

    Similarly, Hillary likely would have won if making any number of small changes, but one change would have been to pick a better VP, one who is more Bernie-like in ideology, younger than 50, and not white.

  33. Luchorpan

    Race wasn’t the only issue this election year though. 2016 was very much a populist election. It is truly remarkable that Hillary was able to lose.

    Bernie, the socialist!, could have beaten Trump; and the Dem do have some impressive nonwhite stars in the party. They’re perhaps not “centrists” though (not sell outs).

    If the Dem attempt another war mongering, Wall Street “centrist” in 2020, Trump’s going to win reelection. And that’s doubly true if they pick another 70yr old white person. Elizabeth Warren is 67 according to google. So, she’s too old.

  34. George Phillies

    “…the demographics are changing quickly…”

    That cuts both ways. If the white vote becomes as unified in other parts of the country as it is in the Deep South, there will be negative outcomes for the Democrats. Also, I am reminded of the period — this goes back well over a century — when there was a great fuss about “the colored races of Europe”, meaning the Irish and the Italians. (Some readers will find that perspective a mite strange.)

    The Republicans may by and by benefit from the shift being recycled from that period. Just as it eventually ceased to be the case that people whose forefathers spoke Gaelic or Italian were viewed as “not white”, so also it may well become the case that people will cease to believe that you are “not white” because your forefathers spoke Spanish. At that point the Democratic advocates of racist “identity politics” are hoist by their own petard.

    As a libertarian, I view identity politics as an unfortunate part of reality, of which we may take note, but also an unfortunate part of reality, whose supporters deserve whatever bad cards the future deals to them.

  35. Andy

    George Phillies said: “when there was a great fuss about ‘the colored races of Europe’, meaning the Irish and the Italians.”

    “Colored” for Irish must mean very white.

  36. dL

    You are avoiding the issue. I am trying to get you (and many others) to explain what is wrong with Trump OTHER THAN the fact he isn’t PC.

    Trump is not anti-PC. He is very much a Rightest PC conformist. The only difference between rightest PC and leftist PC are the identities of the victimized groups. The identity politics, the language, the whining, the intolerable minutia of outrage triggers…all the same. At least w/ the leftist PC, the group victimhood has a historical beef. The chief victimhood of rightest PC is that the groups are the victims because they’ve never been the victim. Sort of like any outrage over a Nazi prison guard treatment of the jew makes the Nazi prison guard the victim.

    In terms of listing out reasons against Trump, I can start w/ 8 of the top of my head, starting with a triumph of a cult of personality hero whose “Dear Leader” factor among the faithful makes the ObamaBots look positively lame in comparison.

    (i) called for a boycott of apple products because of their unwillingness(at least in public) to kowtow to the FBI in regards to weakening the security of their products.
    Implication: the state owns the product of your labor, your products. Not you.
    Con man Alert: Trump owns millions in Apple stock

    (ii) stated he will force tech companies to build their products in the United States
    Implication: the strong man gives you permission where you can produce and where you can buy

    (iii) Supports replicating the Berlin wall in the united states. Supports mass deportations in the united states that could only remotely be enforced by requiring everyone to be federally licensed to work.

    (iv) Crime. The police are the most mistreated people in America. Supports the death penalty. We need more people in jail, not less.
    Implication: Trump is a bootlicker

    (v) Eminent domain. Eminent domain is something you need very strongly. Eminent domain is a very useful tool for job creation.
    Implication: The state exercises ownership rights over private property and can use it for whatever public purposes it deems in the public good.

    (vi) Civil liberties. Supports NSA total surveillance. All mosques should be surveilled by the security organs. Ban all immigration by muslims. Torture should be a legalized interrogation practice.

    (vii) Gun rights. Claims to support gun rights but has also stated on various occasions the many classifications of people who should be banned from owning guns, including enemies of the state, muslims, people with mental health issues. So, Trump’s position seems to be you can own them, but you need federal permission.

    (viii) Foreign policy. Incoherent, contradictory mess of positions with the only consistent line being an increase in military spending. And, oh yeah, federal subsidy of a million man Veterans Day military parade.

  37. Tony From Long Island

    “John” You need to re-evaluate your definition of “PC.” There is a difference between being PC and being classless and rude.

    Since I really don’t have to time to have an honest discussion with someone who doesn’t know what PC means and thinks that there is a “mainstream media” (which there isn’t), I will only comment on one thing you said:

    YOU SAID: “He said some immigrants were rapists, and some were murderers. Which is the truth, BTW..”

    That’s not what he said. He said that MEXICO – as a country, i.e. the government of mexico – sends rapists and murderers here.

    Saying that “some” immigrants are rapists and murderers is like saying “some people are rapists and murderers.” Both statements are technically true, but both say nothing. What does “some” mean?

    Ok, here’s another:

    You said: ” . . . . . . . . > His constant twitter attacks are an embarrassment. The way he speaks with the grammar of a 12-year-old is beneath the office he will hold. (Makes GWB look like a statesman)

    I don’t use, or read, Twitter. The foolish limited text length tend to limit the length and understandability of messages put on it. Don’t blame Trump for that. . . . .

    I couldn’t care less if you use twitter or smoke signals. You are not president-elect. I also couldn’t care less if the President or President-Elect uses twitter. It is what he says in those tweets that makes him a fool. President Obama has used twitter for several years but puts out tweets that are appropriate for the leader of the free world (irregardless of any “policy” that they may or may not contain).

  38. Luchorpan

    dL,

    the attributes you cite suggest you view Trump as fascist-leaning.

    I’d say his political opponents though were more-fascist than was Trump. So, it’s an argument of degrees. Trump was less fascist than was Hillary. Hillary wielded the media like a propaganda arm of the Democratic Party. Now there is a list of “fake news” sites that includes antiwar.com, which was one of the few places one could find criticisms of Bush II’s Iraq War. Trump hasn’t suggested he supports such a ban on “fake news”.

    Similarly, Hillary was obsessed with a Russian Cold War scare, straight out of 1984.

    So, while I’ll agree with some of your criticisms on Trump, it’s incorrect to criticise him as you do unless clarifying that his opponents were even more extreme.

    (The border wall we have not seen to be actually an unacceptable thing. It will depend how it is implemented. We already have legislation for a wall/fence; it just isn’t funded as is the Washington way. Trump’s desire for the enforcement of basic laws is not in itself a worrisome thing.)

    If Darrell Castle truly had a chance at winning, I’d probably prefer him over Donald Trump. And depending on what happens during his rule, I might later decide Stein or Sanders, or Rand Paul, would have been better than Trump.

    Trump compared with Hillary though paints the man very favourably, especially when putting him in context with other Republicans, and Democrats.

  39. Luchorpan

    I am fully ready to slander Donald Trump, except when I put him in the context of his peers. When placed in context, Trump is the best of class. He certainly was the antiwar candidate this election cycle, even if only moderately so compared with Hillary.

    Bill Kristol’s tweets were enlightening. He predicted if Hillary won that she’d become even more of a hawk in reaction to some of Trump’s positions. Trump always instinctively prefers peace, and in that regard he’s the opposite of John McCain, who terrified me. Trump wants to defeat ISIS, defeat “terrorists”, and I absolutely do not want Muslim-Americans to be spied upon simply for being Muslim. But when compared with his opponents, Trump is exceedingly better.

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