Johnson or Stein?; Please find something else to protest

We’re now about forty days until the election, and in my lifetime there has never been a clearer distinction between the two major party candidates. I don’t see this as an election about choosing the lessor of two evils despite a concerted effort by the Republican Party to smear Hillary Clinton and the apparent complicity by many in the media who support the false equivalency that both candidates are deeply flawed.

To set the record straight, one candidate is deeply flawed and one candidate is not trusted for reasons that escape logic. Mrs. Clinton has been investigated, interviewed, scrutinized and disrespected more than any other candidate in my memory. (Black Presidents excepted.) And despite all of it, not one single accusation against her has been deemed legitimate enough to bring a single charge. Not all the murders done on her behalf, not the intentional massacre of our embassy workers in Benghazi, not the exposing of classified data through her email blunder. None of it. Yet her political opponents will not stop, because once you strap up a “witch” to the stake, you’re going to have to go ahead and burn her unless you’re willing to admit you’re completely full of shit. And make no mistake: her opponents are full of shit.

Even if you have somehow taken the Republicans bait and feel as though Mrs. Clinton is not trustworthy, you still have an obligation to make sure Mr. Trump gets nowhere near the nuclear codes. His joke of a campaign is no longer funny. Clearly he has struck a nerve with a part of our population who has trouble distinguishing real life from the fiction that Fox News and other put out there. So Mr. Trump’s supporters are passionate.   Misguided, misinformed, dangerous for sure. But also undeniably passionate.

Here’s where your obligation as a thinking, caring citizen comes in. Voting for Mr. Johnson or Ms. Stein as a protest vote is a dangerous and futile game.   I don’t think that every protest vote is a waste of time. In 2000, my anger at Al Gore for his uninspired and botched campaign had me writing about the wisdom in a Ralph Nader protest vote. In the end, I voted for Gore and I certainly wish more people in Florida had as well.

But as awful a President as George W. Bush was, he was no Donald Trump. A vote for Mr. Johnson and Mr. Stein is not only wasted on one of two very unfit candidates, it’s a protest movement that makes it more likely that Mr. Trump wins the Presidency.

What are the consequences of such a disaster? I have some faith that our military will not enable Mr. Trump to start a nuclear conflagration without cause. I have some faith that most of the bureaucracy will not go along with his silly plans for walls and interment camps.   But what I can’t get out of my mind is the Supreme Court.

Think about the last 15 years and analyze why our election system is so broken. How did hundreds of thousands of innocents end up dead in Iraq?   Why is every attempt at reasonable gun control thwarted?   All of these things are because of a Supreme Court which has put politics above justice. Citizens United, Bush v Gore, and DC v Heller will rank among the most damaging cases in our country’s history.   Dred Scot and Plessy v Ferguson seem like informed jurisprudence compared to what the Roberts Court has done to all of us.

I don’t need to go on about how horribly inadequate Mr. Johnson and Ms. Stein are as candidates. I could. But I won’t. If you’re thinking of voting third party because you have swallowed the Kool-Aid on Mrs. Clinton’s character, then you are making it more likely that, for the next 30 years, our Supreme Court will be more of a menace to our country than has the Roberts Court.   I doubt you can sleep if you really consider the consequences.

There is no need to put a Clinton sign in your front yard or send money to her campaign. Hell, you can even continue to rant and rave about pissed off you are about the two terrible major party candidates.   Make it look good to your friends. But when you are ready to vote in November, please consider the consequences for your kids and grandkids should Donald Trump become our President.   A Stein or Johnson vote makes it more likely that their lives will be far worse than has yours.


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