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.