Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Election 2016: Let's All Vote Third-Party This Year

With a respectful nod in Mr. Sanders' direction, it looks like, when November 2, 2016 comes around, we will be faced with a choice between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.
We're all Screwed 2016 campaign button

Giant Meteor 2016 campaign button
Alien Invasion 2016 campaign button

Not necessarily.

I have some alternative proposals for you to consider. The first one is too easy, it's the one that most people will do, and it may backfire. Don't do it - think a little harder. The last proposal is the greatest idea ever. But to work, requires an open mind, a bit of daring, and a lot of cooperation - like millions of people combining to do it.

The cool thing about voting in the United States of America, exit polls notwithstanding, is that it's a secret ballot. You don't have to tell anybody how you voted. Remember that.

1. Vote not-Clinton or not-Trump. Choose the one you hate the least, the proverbial Lesser of Two Really Bad Evils.

(Maybe you are one of the rare Americans who really does support Clinton or Trump. Good for you. Vote your convictions.)

2. Vote for Dictator, not for President. Decide which one you would be most willing to live under as a dictator, because that may happen. Vote for the dictator of your choice.

3. Vote for the Vice-President. Look carefully at the candidates for vice-president. Vote for the vice-president who will make the best president, on the assumption that the elected president is likely to get impeached or otherwise removed from office before his or her term is up.

None of the Above 2016 campaign button
4. THIS IS MY FAVORITE: Vote for somebody else - anybody else. We tend to forget that the Democrats and the Republicans are NOT the only political parties in the nation, and are definitely NOT the only parties with candidates for president. And while the conventional wisdom has always been that (1) third-party candidates cannot win a presidential election  and that (2) a strong third-party candidate unnecessarily muddies the waters, this year they may be very useful. Stay with me here. Read on.

WARNING: There is some math in the second paragraph following this one.

It is common in modern politics for the winning candidate to claim a "clear mandate from the people." The word "mandate" implies that, through the popular vote, the people overwhelmingly chose this candidate to rule. The mandate is claimed even when margin of victory is laughably slim. This year, let's deny the winner any mandate.

Election results pie chart

It's inevitable that one of the two major candidates will win the election. But if enough people vote for a minor-party candidate, then the winner will be denied a majority of the popular vote. If the winner gets less than one-third (33%) of all the votes cast, and the loser gets even less than that, then more than one-third of the votes (more than the winner got!) will go for the bloc of third-party candidates. We will have demonstrated to both major candidates, and both major parties, that we don't like them and that We The People are supremely dissatisfied with the way this election turned out. We will show them that they do not have a mandate to rule, and that we prefer anybody else to them.

American Pirate Party logo
So vote Libertarian. Or Green. Or United States Pirate Party (arrr!).

Ron White for president poster
Or vote for comedian Ron White - yes, he's a registered presidential candidate this year. It doesn't matter who you vote for. Your candidate will not win, but your vote will be counted, and if enough of us do this, we will deny the major parties their so-called mandate, and somebody important will finally Get It. We will send a message to Washington D.C. that they won't dare to ignore.

Picture credits:
 "Giant Meteor 2016" appeared on the Nihilist Memes FB page as a reader submission. 
"Alien Invasion 2016" was created by Randy Cassingham at This Is True, the Internet's oldest and most successful news-and-commentary newsletter. It appeared on True's FB page.
"None of the Above 2016" and the pie chart are my own creations. © 2016 Ray Depew. Go ahead and spread them around, free of charge. Just remember where you got 'em.
Everything else I found on Google. 
And the United States Pirate Party is a real thing. Arrr, matey.