Thoughts on actual usage of Indy’s new transit center

There’s been a lot of positive press coverage of Indianapolis’ new transit center. Operated by IndyGo, it replaces the obvious lack of such a facility. In the bad old days of last week, everyone just stood around along various stops on Ohio Street.

There’s a lot of talk about the architecture, how slick it looks, and how it’ll be a positive asset for Indianapolis. Those things may all be true. I even kinda like that it sorta resembles a bus, because it’s subtle and almost like a secret. But like a lot of subjective things, there are other opinions. Plus, a lot of the press coverage hasn’t actually talked about what it’s like using the darn thing. It’s like a new restaurant opened, everyone reported on it, but didn’t bother to eat the food.

For all the talk about how this is a win for the city, let’s talk about the losers. Government projects can’t be done without making losers.

  1. At the opening ceremony, Congressman Carson said his grandmother, Julia Carson, whom the Center is named after, “…got the money [for the Center] through an old-fashioned legislative amendment.” In other words, pork. He added, “I wish we could still do that sometimes.” Depending on your views of paper clipped legislation, the losers here are either “everyone else in the country” or “everyone in the country”.
  2. The Center has a clear neighbor: the Marion County Jail. I’ve overhead many passengers this week noting the proximity of the jail and noting obvious jokes to just driving people straight into a cell. In all likelihood, however, the jail won’t be there forever.
  3. We all now have an extra building to support, despite the fact that Union Station is also still being maintained as a transfer point for Greyhound and some others. I get that IndyGo needed more space, but it sucks having such a great old building fall apart with no clear use.
  4. For anyone who lives on the south side and actually took the bus downtown to work, this is a clear loss. You come in on the southeast side and southern buses largely don’t go any further. And because the southeast corner of Downtown includes such attractions as the jail, bond offices, and parking garages, your commute just got longer, more expensive, or both to actually reach useful places. North side commuters, like everything else north-side oriented, still get a win. Their busses still travel through much of Downtown to get to the Center.

And the winners:

  1. People who do consistently transfer to the same bus every day. The woman who gets on in Fountain Square and travels downtown to catch the 24 to the southwest side is a winner.
  2. IndyGo, for being able to nudge more people into buying more trips and more expensive passes to cover that last 1-2 miles for users. This is likely a sore point for anyone who works or goes to the Government Center, IUPUI, One America, some Salesforce properties, and anything north of Ohio Street or west of Meridian at a minimum. Which is to say “most people who work Downtown”.

You can imagine where I am in this. I’m a loser, because it increasingly seems every time someone suggests an idea for route changes mine gets worse and worse. My 14 is now shorter, but the timing isn’t saved much for travel time it seems. Instead of moving around the streets of Downtown for 15 minutes I sit at the transit center for 10 minutes. And again along the route path 1-3 times because the bus runs too early too fast. Which makes it feel slower.

I also get the loss of being further away from my office (10th and Capitol). On a rainy or bad-weather day this almost guarantees I have to spend more on fares when I otherwise didn’t. The walk is now 10 minutes longer.

Kudos to IndyGo for having the thought of offering free rides this week. That likely cut down on a lot of upset users who haven’t quite realized the sting of being further away from things.

But let’s talk about the thing that really grinds my gears: the Center is incredibly pedestrian-hostile. The rain gardens are a good idea, but are at least 2-3 feet below street level. The Cultural Trail has some of these, but aren’t as deep. I have to imagine people falling into those things.

And then there’s the crosswalks.

See, you can’t make a facility super pedestrian-friendly when you have large metal boxes rolling around it. So if you get off a bus that pulls into one end of the facility, and you see the bus you want to take on the other, you have to walk the distance of half a block or two to get to it, lest someone scolds you like a child for not using the crosswalks. It makes me cringe every time.

Pedestrians will always take the shortest, most-direct path. Always. The Transit Center doesn’t facilitate either of those things unless you’re extremely lucky to park next to the right door. Once the volunteers and staff leave the Center, it’s going to be the wild west of people walking in the shortest paths possible to get where they need to be and roam around. Because that’s what pedestrians do, particularly when they have to get to work or meet a timeline. That’s what the staff does.

I can’t find the logic in how buses are organized, and while I imagine there is one, it’s not as easy as numerical ordering or direction they intend to travel. Which means it’s not intuitive.

And that’s if you can actually see the bus you want. Because the bay letters are small, and the display screens are small and hard to see in bright sunlight. You can’t see what’s down the platforms. The Center forces you into walking around aimlessly to find what you’re after or to quickly get into a routine and stick to it despite there being other options.

To give you an example of what this would feel like, imagine you’re standing on the Circle. You’re right by the South Bend Chocolate Factory. You see Starbucks to your right and want to go straight there. But you aren’t allowed to. You have to walk ¾ the way around backwards. That’s what the Transit Center feels like.

As another example, I got off my bus this week and stepped on to the platform. I know I have four options for getting up Illinois Street: routes 4, 18, 25, or 28. Or, I can take Meridian street buses 19, 38, or 39 and be a block further away. I just don’t know where those buses park, and no one’s bothered to publish a map so I can do my homework.

So I get off the 14 and I know I have mere minutes to find one of those other buses. The 28 is all the way at the end. I walk fast. I don’t make it. So I turn around. I see the 39 on the other end and across the pedestrian canyon that is the driveway. I walk fast. I don’t make it. I give up and turn around to see the 19. Not exactly what I wanted, but good enough. I get on. And sit for 10 minutes. We leave and go two blocks and sit another few minutes. You know what’s more infuriating and demeaning than seeing a bus leave just moments before you get there? Getting on a bus that isn’t moving anywhere. Even if we’re driving in circles I at least feel like I’m doing something. Sitting and idling is painful.

All the sitting, waiting, and guessing at what might show up and leave has reminded me that yes, IndyGo needs more buses to have higher frequency. But I’m not sure we can say the Center lives up to the claim of “making transfers easier”.

If I thought anyone cared about my recommendations:

  1. The signage for bays and departure times needs to be way bigger and way brighter, or at least flatter. I can imagine some older users probably can’t even read the signs when they’re standing right under them.
  2. Publish a map that shows what bays hold what buses consistently. So when I get off one bus I can know roughly where to look to see if a potential transfer is there and go straight to it.
  3. Give up on trying to corral pedestrians into crosswalks. I know the lawyers and insurance agents will have a fit, but I’m an adult. People jaywalk not because they’re criminals, but because the effort, particularly in bad weather, to use crosswalks is not at all conducive to logic and need. Especially in the winter when the driveway may have less snow/ice coverage than the sidewalks.
  4. Rethink some sign placement. There’s a sign near one crosswalk that says “Not a pedestrian crossing”. Then what is it? The sign that says “Transit Center Grounds Closed” stays up all the time, which seems confusing.
  5. An announcement system for folks outside would be helpful for all users, including those with vision problems. “Now leaving, Route 10, 16, and 28”, for example”. Or, “Arriving now, Route 12, 19, and 22.”
  6. Transfer passes. The lack thereof strikes me more than ever as a cynical money-grab. Pay $1.75 to go from Cumberland to the Airport. Or 7 blocks. That leaves a taste of bad value. And no one likes to feel like they’re being extracted.

Maybe I’m just the only person cranky enough to have problems with this. But I’m still glad to see some forward momentum on this. At least people are trying.

This is what Indianapolis and Indiana will look like in the year 2036

Indy’s Plan 2020 is getting a lot of attention. I tried looking at their site, but almost every link I encountered said nothing or was broken. From what I hear, it’s a lot of zoning and land re-use plans that everyone is holding up as “the key to the city’s future”. I rarely believe that sort of stuff because Indianapolis, like most cities, doesn’t have any money to turn effort into momentum.

Doug Masson is doing an excellent job of summarizing Indiana’s history in his Indiana Bicentennial series.

Given Plan 2020 seems rather lofty and best-case-scenario for the future, and Doug has the State’s overall past covered, I thought it might be interesting to think about what Indianapolis and Indiana might look like in 20 years. That seems like a reasonable amount of time for gears of government to work enough to induce some noticeable policy changes at the state and local levels.

In 20 years this puts Indianapolis in the year 2036. Most millennials will now be somewhere in their 40’s. A new generation will have graduated out of K-12 education.

Indianapolis Neighborhoods

Broad Ripple will experience an overall suburbanization effect. As present-day millennials age and decide they want to hang near work and decent schools with their new families, Broad Ripple is going to look more like an old-school suburb.

Which means all the nightlife, music, and other noisy stuff will continue its trend and firmly supplant itself in Fountain Square. The current colony of artists and other industries that rely on extremely low-rents and low-cost spaces will now be setup around Garfield Park. The Cultural Trail will have extended south to Garfield Park, and East through the New York St/Michigan Street areas. However, we’ll be buzzled as to why all the growth will take place near Garfield Park and not so much on the near east side.

The 16th street corridor will continue its growth just north of Downtown and is likely to grow into something we’ve not seen much before in Indy. I think it’ll become a sort of “uppercrust young people with money” corridor. College students that have wealthy parents, Downtown workers with well-paying jobs, but with a taste that eschews the sort of shiny all-glass all-chrome aesthetic that defines Fountain Square’s new developments today. A new aesthetic of urban, gritty, classical-architecture is likely to take shape here.

The City’s continued investments in new roads, sidewalks, transit corridors, and trails will continue to expand primarily on the north side, north of Washington Street, east of Michigan Road, and west of College Ave. Nothing new here.

Lafayette Square and Washington Square malls will drag down everything around them like a collapsing star. They’ll kill spontaneity, aesthetics, and drag down safety and drive up costs in transportation. Best case is the city will work with Simon to demolish the properties and replace them with a dense node of mixed-use residential and commercial that is affordable and pushes the boundaries of quality, low-cost, office and retail space for entrepreneurs and super small businesses. “Mall to Small” we’ll call it.

Development on the south side will likely cease in this period. The south side will be waiting another 20 years (40 total from today) for suburban counties to struggle with their over-development and sprawl. Their costs will skyrocket, their residents will leave for newer exurbs, and taxes will increase. This will put Fishers, Avon, Plainfield, and Greenwood on a similar tax rate with Marion County. Thus, new development will in-fill on the south side of Marion County to at least get benefits of proximity since costs are equalized.

Shelby and Hancock Counties will benefit from that south side growth in 50-60 years from today as they become the new affordable suburbs.

Families and adults looking to flee from the City will setup shop in Westfield, Whitestown, Lebanon, New Whiteland, and Franklin. These places will resemble Fishers and Carmel today. Danville may also enjoy some exurban growth. Brownsburg will miss this boat because of a lack of vision and planning today. This will be their “lost generation”. Greenfield and Shelbyville will grow once that aforementioned south-side infill occurs.

Greenwood, Avon, Plainfield, Fishers, and Carmel will look like present-day Beech Grove and Lawrence, in that order. Carmel seems to be attempting to avoid this fate by investing heavily now, but heavy debt loads on a fickle population of residents may be their undoing. Greenwood, Avon, and Plainfield are likely unable to avoid this fate and will become old, expensive, and unsustainable once their water, sewer, road, and school systems start requiring immense repairs – all at around the same time. As property ages and becomes less valuable, they will see revenue shrink even more.

It could be that Carmel grows into an urban center unto itself, and between Indianapolis’ core and Carmel’s core the northside of Marion County becomes something else entirely. I think Carmel’s gambles today are likely to be dangerous long-term with debt. Debt is everyone’s undoing.

Indianapolis will maintain healthy bond and debt levels throughout this time, barring an emergency, and resemble our current “slow and steady” conservative approach to growth. But I can imagine a scenario where Indy’s “sports strategy” starts to show some cracks. The Colts are likely to be in negotiations for another new stadium. The Pacers will maintain shop here. The Speedway is going to see a decline in viewership, advertising, and attendance. Baseball, hockey, and soccer will continue to be such minor-players residents will loudly lament the expense of maintaining such expensive hobbies for the City. Particularly as investments in actual quality-of-life issues on the northside incenses people on the east, west, and south sides that don’t see those same amenities, but do see millions pouring into new stadium discussions.

Beech Grove and Lawrence will collapse and be folded into Indianapolis-Marion County government. They will be mere neighborhood names like Nora and Mars Hill conjure up today. Speedway may hang on, but only so long as Allison Transmission is around.

IUPUI will continue to expand east into Downtown for residential and healthcare work. Expect them to push west big time once they have a large enough plan to quickly take over the black neighborhood that’s there now. They’ll eschew growing “up” because of costs in taller buildings, preferring to keep things nice and cheap just over the river.

Indianapolis’ economy

Indianapolis’s economy will continue to be Indiana’s economy, and even more so, despite what state lawmakers will want to recognize, like today. I do not, however, think technology will be Indy’s future savior. I think our economy is likely to look a lot like today.

Salesforce will continue to expand in Indianapolis until the tech bubble bursts and their lack of profits for the sake of growth will cause total collapse of their workforce. Or, Salesforce will continue to expand in Indianapolis until a larger, actually profitable, company (like Microsoft or IBM) comes along and buys them out. That buyer is likely to have no allegiance to Indiana and we’ll enter a period of attrition as they move positions elsewhere. This will cause an undoing of Indy’s tech sector. Many will leave the city for the coasts in job relocations, but many will stay and reenter the workforce as solo entrepreneurs and freelancers. This is going to have a heavy impact on Indy’s income and sales tax revenues, but is likely to even out 10-15 years from then as the market sorts itself out. It’s hard to say which of these two things happens first. They’re racing neck-and-neck with each. What’s clear is that a select few on Wall Street and in San Francisco will be huge beneficiaries while everyday workers and the City wonders what happened and why.

Indianapolis will likely maintain most of its employment stability in government, retail, and biomedical industries (Lilly and Cummins will still do extremely well). Expect healthcare to take a dive as Boomers die and the echo-boomers age into middle-age with relatively modest healthcare needs. In another 50 years healthcare will likely tick up again as Millennials age further.

Indianapolis will continue to be a convention town, as another Convention Center expansion will have happened. Indianapolis will now regularly host large conventions for political parties, the NRA, and the sort of events we view as “just slightly” out of our league today from a capacity and hospitality stance. New hotels will continue to flow into Downtown.

Statewide policy

Indiana’s Legislature will have finally moved on from social issues like gay marriage, but will still be fixated on abortion and immigration. Indiana will likely continue to slide in the direction of less regulation and low taxation, but will compensate by raising more fees and use-taxes. Expect an increase in the gas tax by a bunch, likely within the next 2-5 years from today, and tied to inflation as Speaker Bosma has proposed. Just as electric cars take over more. I’d expect the gas tax to go up in 2-5 years and then a special “electric surcharge tax” will be placed on electric car charging to make up the difference going forward.

Indiana’s Legislature will continue to exert heavy control on Indiana’s municipalities, much to their chagrin. There will also be a push towards improving quality of life, noting that it’s not enough to be good for business if no one wants to live in your state. But this will focus heavily on communities with money. Expect Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, and Evansville to do well here, plus Hendricks, Hamilton, and Boone Counties. Rural decline will continue to heavily decimate the Hoosier hinterlands, placing them in America’s new ghettos: rural, lacking in services, and priced out of useful healthcare, transportation, and high-paying jobs.

Mitch Daniels in his return third term in 2020 will be able to stem the tide for a while, but by 2030 we’ll view rural residents as burdensome and unable to deliver value for the State.

Higher education will continue to be a sore point for Indiana as Hoosiers will still be priced out of it. I don’t expect changes in the pricing of higher education for another generation.

Places currently in economic decline will be largely abandoned. Muncie, Tipton, Seymour, and the like will resemble present-day Gary. Anderson and Kokomo may be able to stem this tide by throwing transit subsidies into Indianapolis’ orbit. Westfield’s gain in residents, for instance, will be Kokomo’s gain in industry.

Very rural counties today, like Cass, Washington, Greene, etc. will decline even further into a barely-self-sustaining entity that is mired in drug abuse, prostitution, underemployment, and anger.

The overarching conclusion: the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Orlando, guns, and why your dog is happier

There’s this illustration that always makes me smile:

Do-you-know-why-your-dog-is-happier-than-you

I think about that little drawing more than any other cartoon with possible exception of The Simpsons. It was the first thing I thought about when I woke up this weekend and saw the news about Orlando’s Pulse nightclub shooting. The first story I read was from the NY Times. It was still early, so details were scant. It initially reported 20 dead, 40 injured. I thought of this drawing, then I thought, “It was probably a gay bar. The shooter was probably some closeted Muslim-looking guy.” Then I thought of that drawing again.

Whether it wasn’t PC for me to think that or not, that’s what I thought.

Jeremiah and I marched in Circle City Pride this weekend. If someone had told me ten years ago I’d be marching in a parade I’d have kicked them in the shin. But there I was, walking alongside a handful of other folks from the Enterprise Republicans, a group doing the daunting work of moving the rest of the Indiana Republican party on social issues. We’re Mitch Daniels types. Indiana’s a Republican state, if you hadn’t noticed. We can’t expect to move tens of thousands of voters to a whole new party to fix one really big, really bad, problem. It has to be done from within.

As we were walking along I kept seeing the faces of people in the crowd. There were a lot of confused looks and people unsure of what the hell we were doing there.

It wasn’t comfortable, to say nothing of the temperatures.

I kept running up to people and saying, “We’re not fans of Mike Pence either.” Others were playing the same riff: “Some of us understand we have to respect everyone”, or, “Not all of us are like what you think.” Ironic given the locale.

Throughout the whole parade route, the thought that someone might have a gun pointed at me crossed my mind. It’s just one of the things in my thought bubble as I was walking. You don’t go through life in Washington County as a gay teen in the early 2000’s and not think about that sort of thing.

Truth is, everyone feels hate toward some other group. I feel it on my commute when people show anger at bicyclists. I felt it in the damn Pride Parade for heaven’s sake.

This country isn’t likely to move on gun control because of a mass killing in a gay bar. If white elementary school students didn’t do it, this won’t either. Plus, we’re fighting an uphill battle against the 2nd Amendment (do you really think we can start to ratify something for the Constitution this year? Next year?).

The connection between gun laws and crime isn’t even settled. Any research showing the more gun laws a state has translates to fewer deaths isn’t even solid cause-and-effect. It could be that low gun deaths in a state just correlates to low gun owners, and low gun owners means less opposition to gun laws. It’s correlation, not causation, even though the outcome looks promising.

It’s understandable that when it comes to feelings of powerlessness, a lot of people will try to even the odds. Many do so with guns. I own a gun, but it rarely moves. But I do think about whether I’d be safer wearing it sometimes. At the very least I think I’d feel safer even if it is more likely to incite an escalation.

Regardless, like most people, I probably won’t do much different. Just file away all those thoughts for later processing like I and many others do. Just one more thing in our thought bubble.

If you’re anti-gun you must immediately set your car on fire

Here’s a fun way to make people bunch up in knots.

If you think the world would better off without guns and we should abolish and criminalize their use and ownership, then will you also criminalize the use of a car? Because if you think guns kills people, or if guns don’t kill people and that people kill people, either way the automobile is deadly and should be banished.

Headlines that report that gun deaths now equal auto deaths aren’t quite accurate. Not to sound overly supportive of the gun lobby, but the CDC’s numbers can be interpreted in two ways.

In 2014, 33,599 people were killed be a firearm. 33,736 were killed by a car.

About 72% of those gun deaths were suicides. If you remove those, there were 12,265 non-suicide gun deaths in the US in 2014.

So there’s an uncomfortable argument to be made here for everyone, isn’t there? Cars are far more deadly. Cars are just as deadly. Or guns are just as deadly. I guess the one that’s hard to make is that guns are more deadly than cars. At least not with the available data we have so far.

The unfortunate thing is the people who will be quick to abolishing guns won’t be so quick to give up their cars. At all. To be really honest with themselves that person would have to support gun control and get rid of their car. A small group of people will do that, but it’s a small group. It’s a lot like the anti-GMO/pro-science crowd. It’s a bit of a contradiction.

Cars have done a lot for the economy. Just as gun owners can say guns have done a lot to shape the frontier of America, wars, and culture. But they come with some hefty loss of life.

This is why the only remaining rational argument has to be somewhere in the middle.

Car owners have to recognize they’re driving metal tombs, that marketing and culture have made them believe it’s super safe, and that it’s costly in all sorts of ways through life, finance, and the environment.

Gun owners have to recognize they’re holding metal death machines, that marketing and culture have made them believe it’s always super safe, and it’s costly in all sorts of ways through life, finance, and the environment.

I’d go a step further though and say gun owners should, and I believe do, recognize that just as we don’t just trust any person behind a car, we have some limits. We put age restrictions, ensure some modest level of understanding through driver tests and exams, have an education period for new drivers, and will take away this privilege if you consistently violate the laws surrounding its safe use.

Ironically, the gun owners do have a right. Whereas car owners do not, despite what many may think.

And before someone asks or wonders: I generally don’t care about or think about guns. I don’t get freaked out when I see one in a grocery store just as we’ve asked people not to get freaked out when they see a gay person.

I also don’t care about cars. I don’t care about them from a possessions standpoint, cultural standpoint, or care if other people choose to own one.

I know who I’m voting for

As much as it pains us to acknowledge it, America’s two party system is largely what ensures policy gets done or dies. For better or worse, it’s protected us against god-knows-what. In the US if your party receives 3% of the vote, you’re certifiably crazy. In Britain 3% is all it can take to put someone in the Prime Minister’s seat. At least we can say with some mathematical authority than an actual majority of the electorate picked the guy sitting in the oval office.

So as we hurl toward a November election, I know who I’m voting for and don’t even feel certifiably crazy about it. I think you can get behind my choice. You might even be inclined to support them, too.

I wanted someone who thinks like me, and I think like a lot of my friends like you.

  • A belief that women have a right to abortion, the government probably ought not fund it directly but should protect the ability to get one, and the duty of a woman to live with that responsibility.
  • Believing that men and women have the right to marry whomever they choose and live according to their own hearts and minds.
  • An understanding that we can’t fight our way out of every conflict and war should be rare, but is sometimes necessary.
  • Holding the knowledge that incarceration is necessary for some people, but a lot of people incarcerated for drugs have done more harm than good to many communities by splitting up families, ruining job prospects, and dragging down social resources.
  • The fiscal sense to know that access to education is immensely important, but is largely harmed by buckets full of money thrown at the problem without addressing root causes.
  • Ditto for healthcare.
  • Healthcare access is important for everyone, but let’s not settle for a government program if we can figure out a better, more efficient way. If that comes to be the only way, then let’s do it smart.
  • Deporting 11 million immigrants is bad policy, a waste of money, and harmful to economic growth.
  • Deporting, er, rounding up 500 million guns in the US is also probably bad policy, a waste of money, and, more importantly, unconstitutional until an amendment is passed.
  • That in a good capitalistic society the “pie”, the share of available wealth, can actually grow.
  • Welfare recipients shouldn’t be tested for drugs, but let’s figure out a way out of the “vicious cycle” that is welfare today.
  • Space travel is awesome, and could just as well be done as a public-private partnership with the likes of Jeff Bezos, Richard Branson, and Elon Musk.
  • Protecting the environment is important, but recognize we can’t just flip a switch overnight. Government is likely too corrupt to pick the best, most efficient, winners.
  • Muslims are people, too.
  • The path to citizenship should have a clear, efficient, and legal mechanism.
  • Common Core standards probably aren’t the worst idea, but states really are better suited to education standards. A student in Indiana that can study bio or agri-science is probably better off for everyone than a student in New York studying the same thing. The Federal government pushes out an increasing amount of that experience.
  • The wealthy aren’t to be feared, and neither are the poor. Recognize that people of all wealth levels do things most people would find bothersome. But a lot do things most people would find noble and respectable.

A lot of that probably sounds like Bernie Sanders or many progressives. A lot sounds like fiscal conservatives. None of it mentions religion. And it appears it’s not a “take half, leave the other” kind of approach. For once there is a way you can keep Democrats out of your wallet and Republicans out of your bedroom. You can actually get behind a group of people who are socially liberally and fiscally conservative. Leave people alone, protect you and your assets, and be smart with where money is spent.

I’m thinking I’ll vote for Gary Johnson and Bill Weld. A ticket that has more governing experience than Trump or Clinton. A ticket that supports the kind of governing approaches that have been immensely popular in New Mexico, Massachusetts, and I’ll add Indiana since Mitch Daniels would fit comfortably with this ticket.

In America a vote for a third party is often considered a “waste”, and like I said, our two-party system has protected us from who-knows-what kind of crazy. But it’s clear it’s also produced the current election. If there were ever a time to support a third party, this is it. It’s time the religious right go take their small corner. It’s time for racists and bigots and homophobes to go take their small corner. It’s time for the folks who would regulate everything from hair dressers to hot dog water go take their small corner. And the rest of us adults with actual common sense and a sense of fairness and live-and-let-live ethos can be heard.

I had a political science class once where the instructor mentioned if you go far enough right and far enough left on the “political spectrum” you end up meeting each other. In that reality, the spectrum is more of a sphere. The Libertarian party may conjure ideas of crazy people, but the rational among them should be dismissed no more than the far left Democratic Socialists like Bernie Sanders or the far right Religious Conservatives like Ted Cruz. Hillary and Donald may be centrists in a lot of ways comparatively, but we all have good reasons for supporting neither. Clinton’s been around in this work for too long. Trump is…Trump.

I wrote the other day how most people have one or two “vote-moving issues“. This is where a person can seemingly vote against their own interests or beliefs on most everything, but because a candidate supports one super-important issue to them, they vote on that. For a long time that was voting Democrat just to push the needle on shutting up the religious conservatives decrying marriage rights. Now that we’re beyond that, I don’t have a vote-moving issue anymore. Instead, I’m looking for a full platform, and a Johnson/Weld ticket fits.