Monday, June 28, 2004


Wow, so my last post garnered quite a lot of impassioned comments from my readership. I thought I'd throw out my $0.02 on the 2-party system issue, and since it's my blog, I get to post in the big space out front.

Here's my thinking: Obviously the 2 party system sucks. Both Kerry and Bush are retarded hampsters who should not be in charge of the system. But if I vote for Badnarik or Kucinich or whatever other fringe candidate most matches my views, I could be pulling votes from Kerry, right? Isn't it better to vote for the lesser of two evil retarded hampsters?

My opinion is, no. This line of thinking has a valid short-term point, which is that while Kerry will shit all over the box, Bush will give you rabies. But I prefer to think long term. We must get out of the 2 party trap in this country, and always thinking short term will always land us in the pet store.

The single most important point for voting fringe is that no candidate has a shot in hell at the presidency until they can enter the national debates (Ross Perot had a significant chunk of the vote percentage in 1992; part of this was his massive personal wealth dedicated to advertising, but part of it was his involvement in the debates). It's free publicity and lots of unengaged voters actually watch bits of the debates.

Here is this year's criteria from the Commission on Presidential Debates (an organization funded by the GOP and DNC, by the way):

"Fifteen percent support of the national electorate as determined by the average of five national public opinion polls taken as close to the first debate as practicable. The polls to be used will be announced no later than September 10."

If we can get a third person up on stage who is a capable debater, who has actual opinions and who doesn't pander to the audience, we can show the average voter that the hampsters are, well, hampsters, and not men who can or should lead the nation.

The second reason to vote for a fringe candidate is that money wins elections. As I mentioned above, Ross Perot did very well before the "dirty tricks" scandal because of his personal wealth. The following is from the U.S. Department of State website:

"The nominees of the Democratic and Republican parties are each eligible to receive a grant from the FEC to cover all the expenses of their general election campaign, and they may not spend more than the amount of the grant. In 1996, the grant was $61.82 million per candidate. A third-party presidential candidate may qualify to receive some public funds after the general election if he or she receives at least 5 percent of the popular vote."

Yes, if you vote for Nader or Badnarik, it may mean ceding the country to Bush for another 4 years. But with the country as sharply polarized as it is, with discourse sinking to the level of kindergarten name calling, with a Republican party hijacked by the religious right and the Democrats unable to find their own assholes, there will be another Dubya and another Kerry with different names in 2008. And 2012. And 2016. Until we force the establishment to change, we will be voting for retarded hampsters until the day our children inhereit the massive, crippling debt we are forcing on them right now.

That's why this November I will be voting on principle: I disagree with Badnarik on Iraq, but agree with him on almost everything else. By voting for him, I help inch towards the inclusion of a skilled orator in the national debates and the federal funding of the libertarian party. I'm tired of voting for retarded hampsters: this year I'm voting for an adult.

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