Well, I Made My Pick

 

i_voted_sticker_american_flag2016 has been a miserable year for conservatarians like myself. Republican primary voters soundly rejected constitutionalists, budget balancers, and limited-government enthusiasts, opting instead for a shouty 70-year-old Hillary donor who’s more concerned with tweeting typos than getting out the vote.

When Reince Priebus and his feckless RNC attempted to silence lifelong Republicans such as myself, I stepped away from the party and declared my independence.

Over the past few months, I’ve seen a few “Never Trumpers” reluctantly endorse The Donald, apparently unclear on the meaning of the word “never.” But neither Trump nor Clinton is fit for the presidency so I cannot vote for either one. (Besides, I was assured throughout the primaries that my vote wasn’t needed for Trump’s November landslide, and who am I to doubt the predictive powers of @WhyteGen0cyde88?)

So that left three options: Make no choice for the presidency, vote for the Libertarian, or write-in the 11th hour candidate, Evan McMullin.

Though McMullin holds similar views to my own and seems a genuinely decent guy, he doesn’t have the qualifications I look for in the leader of the free world. I might enthusiastically vote for him as a congressman, but zero executive or political experience makes him a non-starter in my book. Of course, his candidacy was created in the event of a close race in which, by winning a state or two, the election would be sent to the House. However, looking at how quickly the GOP establishment caved to Donald Trump, I can’t imagine they would choose anyone other than the Republican nominee. The fact that McMullin’s name isn’t listed on my state ballot made that choice appear even more futile.

That leaves Libertarian Gary Johnson, who bizarrely has seemed more interested in reaching out to Bernie bros than to disaffected Republicans. But as the two-term Republican governor of New Mexico, he built an admirable record. Unlike most conservatives who never deliver on their small-government promises, Johnson vetoed 739 bills passed by the Democrat-dominated statehouse. To quote Calvin Coolidge, “It is much more important to kill bad bills than to pass good ones.”

Johnson also instituted one of the strictest welfare reform programs in the nation, ended public employees’ collective-bargaining rights, cut taxes, and reduced regulations. This isn’t to mention his efforts to implement school vouchers, term limits, and mass privatization.

Despite all these accomplishments, in 2016 Johnson has made numerous gaffes on foreign policy, religious liberty, and climate change, causing even his staunchest supporters to facepalm weekly. But, let’s face it, Johnson isn’t going to come close to winning the Oval Office, even if he gets more votes than any Libertarian in history. However… if Johnson were to make a decent showing on November 8, the Libertarian Party would be far better positioned for a stronger nominee in 2020:

If Johnson snags 5 percent of the national popular vote, the Federal Election Commission will classify the Libertarians as an official “minor party,” granting the 2020 nominee a lump sum of cash for the fall campaign, courtesy of the American taxpayer. (And don’t you think for a second that the vehemently anti-big-government Libertarians won’t cash that big government check in a heartbeat.)

The exact amount of federal funds depends on the size of his vote, but Green Party officials – who have been chasing 5 percent for years – estimate that meeting the threshold would yield about $10 million. That may seem like chump change compared to the hundreds of millions of dollars major party presidential nominees routinely raise. But Johnson has gotten this far after raising only $8 million through August. The prospect of knowing the Libertarian Party’s nominee is guaranteed $10 million will allow him or her to hit the campaign trail running, improving the odds of getting into the debates, winning an even larger share of vote and fortifying the party’s place in the American political landscape.

I’m not enthusiastic about any of the candidates running this year. But this morning, I filled in my early ballot with Johnson as my pick.

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  1. James Of England Moderator
    James Of England
    @JamesOfEngland

    Cato Rand:

    James Of England:

    Cato Rand:

    James Of England:

    Cato Rand:

    Doctor Robert:Shame on you, Jon.

    Shame on you. What right do you have to Jon’s vote, or mine, or anybody’s?

    No one else has a right to your vote. It’s your choice. Your speech and more particularly your thoughts are also your choice, but it is possible to say morally reprehensible things.

    huh?

    Doctor Robert doesn’t need to have a right to Jon’s vote or yours to condemn your decision as disgusting.

    I know you have a huge bugaboo about Johnson. I would have thought “disgusting” was a bridge too far though. And FWIW, right back at both of you. I think a vote for the Orange One is disgusting.

    Just to be clear, do you see that if my vote existed and was for Trump it would make no sense for me to respond to you saying that a vote for the Orange One was disgusting by pointing out that you don’t own my vote? Trump isn’t capable of seeing past his self interest and whatever’s going on in his head at that moment and that leads to all kinds of awful statements. He has no grounding in philosophy and no patience to learn about policy, even at a basic level. He’s a parody of bro culture and his flailing attempts to pander to people who do have a philosophy often result in his saying things that are awful in a slightly different way. Where he admittedly differs from Johnson was in the Access Hollywood tapes, but you thought that voting for Trump was disgusting before that, right? Until then, they were surprisingly similar people, although Trump was a good deal more successful.

    • #91
  2. James Of England Moderator
    James Of England
    @JamesOfEngland

    Cato Rand:You think maybe he’s a Kremlin plant? Being a mild mannered Brit is good cover, no?

    Because the Kremlin never had mild mannered British agents? I’m even Orthodox and have spent a bunch of time with Marxists (I helped run the Marxist Society for my school, back in the day). Other than my sexuality, I’m not sure what more I could do to fall into a stereotypical treason demographics.

    • #92
  3. Fred Cole Inactive
    Fred Cole
    @FredCole

    Yeah.  In defense of James, I don’t think I’ve ever heard him say anything in praise of Trump.  He’s decidedly not pro-Trump.  He just thinks Johnson is worse.

    Do I have that correct, James?

    • #93
  4. Basil Fawlty Member
    Basil Fawlty
    @BasilFawlty

    Cato Rand:

    Doctor Robert:Shame on you, Jon.

    Shame on you. What right do you have to Jon’s vote, or mine, or anybody’s?

    No right to the vote, but if you publish your vote on the main feed of Ricochet, you sort of give people the right to comment on it.

    • #94
  5. Sowell for President Member
    Sowell for President
    @

    Mr. Editor:  Did you consider Darrell Castle?  I’d be interested in your thoughts.  Many of his positions are quite libertarian.  He resembles a Coolidge Republican, I’d say.

    • #95
  6. Cato Rand Inactive
    Cato Rand
    @CatoRand

    James Of England:

    Cato Rand:

    James Of England:

    Cato Rand:

    James Of England:

    Cato Rand:

    Doctor Robert:Shame on you, Jon.

    Shame on you. What right do you have to Jon’s vote, or mine, or anybody’s?

    No one else has a right to your vote. It’s your choice. Your speech and more particularly your thoughts are also your choice, but it is possible to say morally reprehensible things.

    huh?

    Doctor Robert doesn’t need to have a right to Jon’s vote or yours to condemn your decision as disgusting.

    I know you have a huge bugaboo about Johnson. I would have thought “disgusting” was a bridge too far though. And FWIW, right back at both of you. I think a vote for the Orange One is disgusting.

    Just to be clear, do you see that if my vote existed and was for Trump it would make no sense for me to respond to you saying that a vote for the Orange One was disgusting by pointing out that you don’t own my vote?

    I would, if you hadn’t started it by inserting yourself into the conversation to defend someone who called voting for Johnson shameful.  As a first principle, I think we ought to respect other people’s voting choices.  When you violate that first principle, your own voting choices become fair game for criticism under the “goose/gander” rule.

    • #96
  7. Cato Rand Inactive
    Cato Rand
    @CatoRand

    James Of England:

    Cato Rand:You think maybe he’s a Kremlin plant? Being a mild mannered Brit is good cover, no?

    Because the Kremlin never had mild mannered British agents? I’m even Orthodox and have spent a bunch of time with Marxists (I helped run the Marxist Society for my school, back in the day). Other than my sexuality, I’m not sure what more I could do to fall into a stereotypical treason demographics.

    Aha!  The truth comes out.  :)

    • #97
  8. Duane Oyen Member
    Duane Oyen
    @DuaneOyen

    I fully understand Jon’s choice and reasoning.  My issue, though, is that the executive’s most important job is foreign policy, and Johnson is not only a neophyte there, he is an isolationist imbecile.

    We already have those people running things now.

    • #98
  9. Jamie Lockett Inactive
    Jamie Lockett
    @JamieLockett

    Duane Oyen:I fully understand Jon’s choice and reasoning. My issue, though, is that the executive’s most important job is foreign policy, and Johnson is not only a neophyte there, he is an isolationist imbecile.

    We already have those people running things now.

    Your analysis is that Obama is an isolationist?

    • #99
  10. indymb Coolidge
    indymb
    @indymb

    para

    It feels like lighting the conscience cigar with a burning ballot. Supreme Court goes paralegal for a generation if/when #she wins. Just sayin.

    • #100
  11. Austin Murrey Inactive
    Austin Murrey
    @AustinMurrey

    Jamie Lockett:

    Duane Oyen:I fully understand Jon’s choice and reasoning. My issue, though, is that the executive’s most important job is foreign policy, and Johnson is not only a neophyte there, he is an isolationist imbecile.

    We already have those people running things now.

    Your analysis is that Obama is an isolationist?

    I’d hate to see an interventionist Obama if that’s the case. I’m still young enough for Selective Service, which may come up given Putin’s posturing and Hillary’s insecurities about looking tough.

    • #101
  12. Sash Member
    Sash
    @Sash

    My ballot is here.  I looked at it.  I got sick to my stomach, and put it back on the shelf.  This election is going to take a whole bunch of effort to really decide what to do.  It is either writing in McMullin, if that is even how you spell his name… you have to do it right I understand.  Or leave it blank.

    Our friend is running for judge, and some other contests need attention… but I am not even confident this Democrat state counts the ballots fairly, it’s all mail in… and the system is completely dark.  I have no confidence in it at all, you can fill in the ballot with someone looking over your shoulder, and that is legal.

    No secret ballot in Washington State.  A common way for unions to keep power.  My guess is, there is a whole bunch of Democrats telling people how to vote and it makes me sick that this is even considered a valid election.  It’s not.  It’s just like card check!  It’s Fraud.

    But it’s all that’s left of the country my ancestors made for my freedom, I can’t just opt out of voting.  Remember ’76, remember 1812, they died for this.  For this?  No, it’s pretend.

    What a sorry state of elections in Washington State.  I’ll do the fake ballot thing and let the Democrats tell me who they pick to rule over me, I guess.

     

    • #102
  13. Stephen Molasky Inactive
    Stephen Molasky
    @StephenMolasky

    I voted for Trump and even held my nose and voted for Kirk (Il).  I voted with conviction, very touched by the way DT has connected with “The Forgotten Man” – the hard working families that can’t get ahead, the people with insurmountable transportation costs and medical bills whose take home pay keeps shrinking, and whose kids are being ‘taught” by careerist ‘educators’.  He’s the only one who can shake things up… And my country is a big enough deal for me to let go of my personal taste, because HRC is so utterly destructive & dangerous: It’s hard for me to fathom how so many ‘conservatives’ can get stuck on DT’s personality, and ignore how he inspires people who have been beaten down by an elite which doesn’t seem to get how hard it is to be a machinist or crane operator or even a dentist these days.  Trump hits on every single issue I care about: our military, our stupid foreign policy, our schools and infrastructure, immigration and public safety and combating Moslem terror.  Here we have a chance for the Republican Party to truly connect to the people, to the guys who run our buildings, and with the guys who climb up into cranes 70 stories up.  They see hope in Donald Trump and we owe it to America to elect him.

    • #103
  14. Frank Soto Contributor
    Frank Soto
    @FrankSoto

    Stephen Molasky: It’s hard for me to fathom how so many ‘conservatives’ can get stuck on DT’s personality, and ignore how he inspires people who have been beaten down by an elite which doesn’t seem to get how hard it is to be a machinist or crane operator or even a dentist these days.

    None of these people have been beaten down by any elites.

    • #104
  15. Jon Gabriel, Ed. Admin
    Jon Gabriel, Ed.
    @jon

    Sowell for President: Darrell Castle

    To be honest, this is the first I have heard of him. He wasn’t listed on the Arizona ballot either.

    I decided that voting for a third party that was included on the ballot had a better chance of sending a protest message. One percent for Castle, McMullin, and a variety of other candidates might get lost in the shuffle, but, say 8 percent for Johnson will get noticed.

    • #105
  16. Sabacc Inactive
    Sabacc
    @Cs

    James Of England:

    Quinnie:Disappointing. “Moral Preening” is how I think Bill Bennet described Republicans shunning Trump. I won’t be listening to any more of your pontificating on podcasts. Thanks for electing Hillary.

    It still blows my mind that Bennet condemned moral preening.

    I concur.

    • #106
  17. Jon Gabriel, Ed. Admin
    Jon Gabriel, Ed.
    @jon

    Stephen Molasky: It’s hard for me to fathom how so many ‘conservatives’ can get stuck on DT’s personality, and ignore how he inspires people who have been beaten down by an elite which doesn’t seem to get how hard it is to be a machinist or crane operator or even a dentist these days.

    I understand the inspiration he gives to people who have had a truly horrible time of it, and I know that his election would send a cathartic slap in the face to the self-dealing elites on the coasts. (The Trump rally I attended was in Prescott Valley, AZ, a rural area with few job prospects, rapid change, and a lot of heartache.) It’s just that I think Trump would make all the problems facing the nation so much worse — as will Hillary.

    • #107
  18. Jon Gabriel, Ed. Admin
    Jon Gabriel, Ed.
    @jon

    For the record, if my not voting for Trump loses Arizona for him, then we’re looking at an electoral landslide we haven’t seen since the 1980s.

    • #108
  19. Cato Rand Inactive
    Cato Rand
    @CatoRand

    Stephen Molasky:IvotedforTrumpandevenheldmynoseandvotedforKirk(Il).Ivotedwithconviction, verytouchedbythewayDThasconnectedwith“TheForgottenMan” – the hard working families that can’t get ahead, the people with insurmountable transportationcosts and medical bills whose take home pay keeps shrinking, and whosekidsarebeing ‘taught” by careerist ‘educators’. He’s the only one who can shakethings up… And my country is a big enough deal for me to let go of my personaltaste, because HRC is so utterly destructive & dangerous: It’s hard for me tofathomhow so many ‘conservatives’ can get stuck on DT’s personality, and ignore how he inspires people who havebeenbeatendownbyanelitewhich doesn’t seem to get how hard it is to be a machinist or crane operator or even a dentist these days. Trump hits on every single issue I care about: our military, our stupid foreign policy, our schools and infrastructure, immigration and public safety and combating Moslem terror. Here we have a chance for the Republican Party to truly connect to the people, to the guys who run our buildings, and with the guys who climb up into cranes 70 stories up. They see hope in Donald Trump and we owe it to America to elect him.

    That was a moving tribute even though I just don’t see it that way.  I don’t see people who are struggling as victims and I see the people DT has, and would, beat down for his own purposes.

    Thank you for the Kirk vote though.  In my dreams, he surprises everyone and helps the Rs hold the Senate.

    • #109
  20. Austin Murrey Inactive
    Austin Murrey
    @AustinMurrey

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.:For the record, if my not voting for Trump loses Arizona for him, then we’re looking at an electoral landslide we haven’t seen since the 1980s.

    I’d pay good money to see “Swing Vote” redone with @exjon as the lead character.

    • #110
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