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Gary Johnson and William Weld are fake libertarians miseducating the public
In case you haven’t heard, the Libertarian Party national convention is taking place this weekend. It is hard to tell who will emerge as the nominee, but the three frontrunners are Austin Petersen, John McAfee, and 2012 nominee, former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson.
If Johnson is the nominee, I will not be able to support him, even though Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are downright awful. I can’t support Johnson because his role as a minor party candidate is not necessarily to win, but to be a spokesman for libertarian principles. As a libertarian myself, I certainly want more Americans to hear and understand the libertarian philosophy.
Johnson is an inarticulate and boring communicator. But that isn’t his biggest problem. Unfortunately, he never bothered to actually learn what is means to be a libertarian. If you ask Johnson what it means to be a libertarian, he will say “fiscally conservative and socially liberal.” Another way of putting that is half Republican and half Democrat.
But that sloppy soundbite couldn’t be more misleading.
David Boaz of the CATO Institute describes libertarianism this way:
“Libertarianism is the view that each person has the right to live his life in any way he chooses so long as he respects the equal rights of others. Libertarians defend each person’s right to life, liberty, and property – rights that people possess naturally, before governments are created. In the libertarian view, all human relationships should voluntary; the only actions that should be forbidden by law are those that involve the initiation of force against those who have themselves used force – actions like murder, rape, robbery, kidnapping, and fraud.”
The Democratic Clown Bus Parks Alongside the GOP Clown Bus
It was so much fun for the Democrats to ridicule the GOP “clown car” that they didn’t see what was parked in their own driveway.
This is the elephant in the room of the left.
The LA Times reports Democratic mainliners are greatly puzzled by Bernie Bros refusing to tow the party line and go down lightly into the electoral night
What’s sad about the piece, as it argues that left-wing loathing of Hillary mirrors right-wing loathing, is how blissfully unaware it are how corrupt and weak she is as a candidate. Furthermore, as the piece asks for civility and unity within the party it undermines itself by basically calling Sanders supporters softie noobs
Ridiculing your intra-party opponents is always a winning unifying strategy! Because it makes it clear that you are nothing like the Republican clowns. Right.
US: myth of the two party system
Would the US look much different if John McCain had beaten Barack Obama to become president?
If John McCain were president, we can never be exactly sure what would be happening, but I think we can make some educated speculations.
First of all, the "banksters" would be receiving their carte blanche bailouts and Ben Bernanke would have been re-appointed as Chairman of the Federal Reserve.
Robert Gates would probably still be the secretary of defence and Sarah Palin would be offering late night comedians endless fodder for their monologues.
If John McCain happened to be the one infesting the Oval Office at this time, single-payer health care would surely be "off the table". I am confident that a health care "reform" bill probably would have contained massive giveaways to the insurance and big pharmaceutical industries, with no "robust" public option.
We citizens would, I’m sure, have been forced to purchase insurance from the very same insurance companies that spread out a largess of nearly $170m lobbying dollars to Congress in 2009. If we are one of the "lucky ones" that happen to already have coverage, we would have been taxed for the benefit.
McCain, Graham Rubber Stamp War
I, for one, am utterly shocked to see that Republican Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham came out today for Obama’s war on Syria. Excerpt:
“We still have significant concerns,” McCain added. “But we believe that there is in formulation a strategy to upgrade the capabilities of the Free Syrian Army and to degrade the capabilities of Bashar Assad. Before this meeting, we had not had this indication. Now the question is whether that will be put into a concrete strategy that we can sell to our colleagues, and that we can agree with.”
A strategy not simply to punish the Assad regime for its alleged chemical weapons attack, but to take sides in this civil war against the government — that is, take sides even more firmly and consequentially than the US already has done. Has there ever been a military operation John McCain and Lindsey Graham haven’t supported?
Syria: John McCain warns it would be 'catastrophic' for Congress to reject strikes
John McCain has warned it would be "catastrophic" for Congress to reject President Barack Obama's call for military action against Syria, cautiously endorsing his former election rival's plan for limited strikes.
Mr McCain had previously said he would not support "isolated" attacks that were not part of a broader strategy to defeat the Assad regime but emerged from the White House today prepared to back the President's proposals.
"If the Congress were to reject a resolution like this, after the President of the United States has already committed to action, the consequences would be catastrophic in that credibility of this country with friends and adversaries alike would be shredded," Mr McCain said.
The Republican senator hinted that Mr Obama had promised more support for the Syrian rebels and Senator Lindsey Graham, who also attended the meeting, said there appeared to be "a pretty solid plan to upgrade the opposition".
Mr McCain also made a cryptic remark that the President may order larger strikes than originally thought, saying: "We have been given some reason to believe that very serious strikes may take place as opposed to cosmetic. I say 'may' because we've now got to see a lot of the details."
He added: "A weak response is almost as bad as doing nothing."
On The Death Of The Two Party System
In U.S. history we have almost always had two great parties. George Washington had no party, and Adams became the second president under the Federalist Party, which led to the creation of the Anti-Federalist Party.
The Federalists favored central government control by educated, elite society members. They were basically Democrats (and in fact eventually became Democrats in 1829). The Anti-Federalists watered themselves down and eventually transmogrified into the Whig Party, which failed due to its wishy-washy stance on slavery.
In the intervening years after the Federalist/Anti-Federalist period until the rise of the Democrats and Whigs/Republicans there was a miasma over national political parties. From 1815 through 1832 we had a period where it was every man for himself. This culminated in the presidential election of 1824 when John Quincy Adams, Henry Clay, Andrew Jackson and William Crawford competed in a 4-way struggle. Going into the general election, there were six good and serious candidates in the race. Nothing (so far) more closely resembles 2016 than 1824 did in that respect.
No candidate achieved an electoral majority in the 1824 election, and the race was thrown into the House of Representatives in 1825. Jackson had both the most electoral and popular votes, but lost in the House (in no small part due to Speaker of the House Clay, who hated him, throwing his support to Adams).
The 1824 election had no parties at all; everyone ran under the banner of “Democratic-Republican.”
This brings us to today’s situation. A truly unacceptable candidate to many citizens, Donald Trump, is on the precipice of hijacking the Republican Party. In the process of doing that, he will likely destroy the GOP, at the national, and eventually, the state election level. If he doesn’t outright destroy it through the rise of a third party, he will damage it so severely that the Democrats will enjoy many years of liberal hegemony while the GOP morphs from its own ashes into something meaningful.
The Two-party System Is Rigged, But It’s Not Against You
There is a lot of discontent with the two-party system that nominated two of the most disliked candidates in recent history. It is very frustrating to choose the lesser-of-two-evils in the voting booth when we are accustomed to an overabundance of choices from the cereal aisle to online dating apps. Currently polls put the third party vote (Libertarian Party and Green Party) at 7-14%, mark, far above their collective vote share in 2012 (under 2%). While this level of support is not the greatest in recent history, Ross Perot received 18.9% of the popular vote in 1992, it is enough to make a difference in many states. While it may feel good to vote for a candidate you believe in, I argue that third party voting does not advance the goals many third-party voters aim to achieve. There are ways to limit the real problems of representation that trouble third-party voters, but there is no perfect system of elections.
Although an increasing number of voters have become consistently liberal or conservative in their policy preferences in recent years, about 4 out of 5 Americans have some opinions that cross ideological lines, according to the Pew Research Center. In my own research about how citizens navigate the contemporary media environment to find political information I encountered many who were not well described by a simple red or blue label. They cared about corruption, animal welfare, and international policies that impacted specific nations they had ties to, all of which don’t fall squarely to one party.
However, having only two major parties is the best possible system given that the vast majority of our elections are winner-take-all. Having only two parties ensures (with some complexities related to the electoral college that apply only to the presidency) that the candidate with the most votes also has the vote of the majority of the electorate. This is how the system is “rigged” and it is a really big deal in a democracy, which relies on popular support as the basis of its legitimacy to govern.
The System Really Is Rigged: Why Winner-Take-All Voting Is Killing Our Democracy
The Electoral College makes it virtually impossible for a third party to challenge the system.
Ever since Hillary Clinton became the presumptive nominee for the Democratic Party, some Bernie Sanders supporters have been faced with a seemingly impossible dilemma: Vote for someone you hate (Clinton) or vote for someone truly despicable (Trump). You either cast your vote toward someone you see as a shill for corporate interests or you vote for a bigoted monster. There is a real sense that there simply is no other choice.
If you lean left and you haven’t moved from feeling the Bern to being "with her,” you have likely been suffering from what I call vote shaming. Vote shaming takes place when a Clinton supporter tells you it will be your fault if Trump wins. Vote shaming, like fat shaming, depends on assuming there is only one way to be—get on board or be bullied. Even Sanders seems to have succumbed to vote shaming, announcing he will vote for Clinton in order to help defeat Trump.
But vote shaming seems to have caused unanticipated blowback. As mind-boggling as it may be to consider, many Sanders supporters are actually suggesting they will choose Trump over Clinton. A June 14 Bloomberg Politics national poll of likely voters in November’s election found that just over half of those who favored Sanders, 55 percent, say they plan to vote for Clinton.
According to Bloomberg, 22 percent of Sanders supporters say they’ll vote for Trump. They quote Laura Armes, a 43-year-old homemaker from Beeville, Texas, who participated in the poll and plans to vote Trump: “I’m a registered Democrat, but I cannot bring myself to vote for another establishment politician like Hillary. I don’t agree with a lot of what Trump says. But he won’t owe anybody. What you see is what you get.”
Cynical voters are tired of the ‘rigged’ two-party system: polls
Cynical voters want a third party and many believe the November election results will be rigged, a poll shows.
A clear majority, 57 percent, of those surveyed in Gallup’s annual governance poll say a third major political party should exist. Only 37 percent believe two parties are doing just fine representing Americans.
The number of those who favor moving beyond a two-party system is higher than it was in 2012, when 46 percent said more than two parties were needed.
The poll was conducted between Sept. 7 and 11.
Despite those views, the two third-party candidates in this presidential election are struggling to gain traction.
In national polls on a four-way contest, Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson is hovering at 7 percent and Green Party nominee Jill Stein has just above 2 percent, according to the Real Clear Politics polling average.
The Political Process Isn’t Rigged — It Has Much Bigger Problems
All right, I need to vent. For months, I’ve watched Donald Trump decry as “rigged” everything from the Democratic primaries, the Republican primary rules (that’s right, the same rules that helped him win the nomination) and the fall debate schedule. And I’ve winced as many Bernie Sanders supporters have accused the Democratic National Committee of “rigging” the primaries and thrown around wild, roundly debunked conspiracy theories about deleted votes.
Here’s the truth: Washington is rigged, but not in a literal sense and not in any of the nefarious ways those loud voices are contending. Instead, the blame may lie more with voters than politicians: Our legislative process is not designed to withstand the current levels of partisan polarization in the electorate.
Voters’ vexation with standard-issue, do-nothing D.C. politicians and party elites helps explain the Trump and Sanders phenomena of 2016, and the “rigging” theories seem to arise out of that frustration and suspicion. Yet much of this anger with “insiders” is misdirected. If only our political problems were due to “rigging” elections, we could arrest someone and get on with it. But our problems are much more structural.
The 2-party system: Like a rigged casino
Exclusive: Alan Keyes compares pols to 'rival factions of an organized-crime syndicate'
Promise people that you will do whatever your pollsters tell you they want. Once in power, do whatever it takes to stay there. This is the sly principle of the politics of elite domination that characterizes the present so-called “two-party” system.
Elitist peddlers of socialism often deploy the rhetoric of unity and/or solidarity in their efforts to beguile the multitude. But when it comes to action, they implement an understanding of politics that actually requires (and therefore aims to perpetuate) the fragmentation of the body politic. This is particularly true of the coalition building political model that has been typical of the Democratic Party since the New Deal era. With promises of patronage and special favors, the party induces differing groups to work toward the common goal of winning government power.
The elite manipulators of the party system select (or co-opt) leaders for these groups, then play them off against one another. Much like the owners of a rigged casino, they allow each group to see itself as the victor just often enough to sustain the false hope that keeps them on the premises. But they never allow any group or combination of groups to score wins that give them sufficient chips to challenge or interfere with the elite’s exclusive control of the house.
The supposed unity of these groups is a tinseltown façade. Moved by the same lust for power, they end up playing on the same premises – but they are not intrinsically bound together in any way. They have a common interest in the same external commodities (money and power), but otherwise they retain their radically different purposes and identities. Like the gamblers in a casino, they keenly hunger for victory. But beyond this they have in common no sense of the good to be achieved by it. Though they form a community of sorts, it exists as an incidental consequence of the opportunity for abstract gain fabricated by the gambling enterprise.
While loudly proclaiming their opposition to the elitist Democrats’ socialist approach to government, the elitist Republicans have for some time simply accepted and acted on this New Deal understanding of politics. To be sure, two parties profess to build their coalitions on what appear to be different premises. The Democrats use tax receipts to fund government programs that put their partisans in a position to amass power for themselves indirectly, by expanding and manipulating the government’s direct control over the redistribution of national resources. On the other hand, the Republicans manipulate the government’s indirect control over the distribution of national resources through the tax rates, which determine how much control people retain over the use of their income. In this way, the GOP protects the gains its partisans directly amass through their ostensibly private enterprises.
In this respect, the two parties are like rival factions of an organized-crime syndicate. The Democrats devise government activities that are like different rackets that they divide into tax-funded territories. Then they parcel out control and distribution of the budgets for these territories among the different groups working to maintain the party’s governmental power base. The Republicans, on the other hand, use government office to establish a protection scheme. In exchange for political support, they promise to shield their partisans from the excessive collections the Democrats use to fund their rackets. While the Republicans play on the public’s fear of what the Democrats will take from them, the Democrats play on its fear of what selfish Republicans will keep them from getting.
Read more at www.wnd.com...
A Conspiracy of Two Parties — The Grand Delusion
With an endless, futile and costly Iraq war, a stinking economy and most Americans seeing the country on the wrong track, the greatest national group delusion is that electing Democrats in 2008 is what the country needs.
Keith Olbermann was praised when he called the Bush presidency a criminal conspiracy. That missed the larger truth. The whole two-party political system is a criminal conspiracy hiding behind illusion induced delusion.
Virtually everything that Bush correctly gets condemnation for could have been prevented or negated by Democrats, if they had had courage, conviction and commitment to maintaining the rule of law and obedience to the Constitution. Bush grabbed power from the feeble and corrupt hands of Democrats. Democrats have failed the vast majority of Americans. So why would sensible people think that giving Democrats more power is a good idea? They certainly have done little to merit respect for their recent congressional actions, or inaction when it comes to impeachment of Bush and Cheney.
One of the core reasons the two-party stranglehold on our political system persists is that whenever one party uses its power to an extreme degree it sets the conditions for the other party—its partner in the conspiracy—to take over. Then the other takes its turn in wielding excessive power. Most Americans—at least those that vote—seem incapable of understanding that the Democrats and Republicans are two teams in the same league, serving the same cabal running the corporatist plutocracy. By keeping people focused on rooting for one team or the other, the behind-the-scenes rulers ensure their invisibility and power.
The genius of the plutocrats is to create the illusion of important differences between the two parties, and the illusion of political choice in elections. In truth, the partner parties compete superficially and dishonestly to entertain the electorate, to maintain the aura of a democracy. Illusion creates the delusion of Americans that voting in elections will deliver political reforms, despite a long history of politicians lying in campaigns about reforms, new directions and bold new policies. The rulers need power shifting between the teams to maintain popular trust in the political system. Voting manifests that trust—as if changing people will fix the system. It doesn't.
So voters become co-conspirators in the grand political criminal conspiracy. Those who vote for Democrats or Republicans perpetuate the corrupt, dishonest and elitist plutocracy that preferentially serves the interests of the Upper Class and a multitude of special interests—some aligned with the Republicans and some with the Democrats. Voting only encourages worthless politicians and those that fund and corrupt them.
Public discontent leads to settling for less through lesser evil voting rather than bold thinking about how to reform the system to get genuine political competition and better candidates and government.
Paul Ryan pushes back against Trump’s claims that the election is ‘rigged’
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on Saturday pushed back against GOP nominee Donald Trump’s claims that the election is “rigged,” saying through his spokeswoman that he believes the election will be carried out with “integrity.”
“Our democracy relies on confidence in election results, and the speaker is fully confident the states will carry out this election with integrity,” Ryan’s press secretary, AshLee Strong, said in a statement sent to several media outlets.
Trump’s claims that the election process in the United States is “rigged” was a narrative the billionaire businessman used during his fight in the GOP primaries when it appeared that he might lose to Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. Once Trump secured the nomination, though, his claims of a “rigged” election process quelled.
However, the claim has again become one of his main talking points in recent weeks as his position in the polls continues to slip amid dozens of women coming out to say they have been sexually assaulted or harassed by Trump in the past.
Trump continued to bolster his claims early Saturday when he took to Twitter to say that the election is “being rigged by the media” in order to elect his Democratic challenger, Hillary Clinton.