No to Clinton, no to Trump

post-election pitch

images/POTUS-results-20170202.png

What did we accomplish? Neither the elephant nor the jackass achieved a majority of the votes cast!

The electoral system showed itself as the disgrace it is: 304 votes for second place and 227 for first!

Of course, it's impossible to obtain an accurate vote total for any candidate as things now stand in the USA.

And if there are about 250 million in the US voting age population then the elephant and donkey each garnered about ¼ of the eligible vote. Some 'winners', eh?

The thing to do now is to work to create an alternative to the menagerie, a peoples' virtual party, and to perfect and enact the open election amendment.

pre-election pitch

So, who’s it going to be? Clinton II or Trump I, as POTUS XLV? It’s a binary choice, right? Even if people are not choosing either one of them to vote for, but are actually choosing the one or the other to vote against? Noam Chomsky says that’d be Clinton: a vote against Trump. Noam Chomsky is a better/smarter man than I am, but everyone makes mistakes once in a while. The more I see of her campaign the more I’m thinking it’d be Trump: a desperate vote to forestall the banshees. Thinking defensively, in terms of triage, comes naturally to us, because of our 2-party, single-election, first-past-the-post system of elections [1] Maybe we ought to change that? [2]

In any case, the last poll I saw had Clinton at -57%, that is that 57% of the voters had a negative opinion of her, and Trump at -59%, by the same measure. [3]

Either one of these two as POTUS will mean, at the very least, more of the same. More of the same death, devastation, destruction, and deceit. It’s been 15 years of war and - face it - American terror both abroad and, increasingly now, at home. And the trend has been for an increase after each election - Clinton XLII < Bush XLIII < Obama XLIV < POTUS XLV - not ‘just’ more of the same. Can we, and the world, take anymore at all?

Clinton’s brain trust has fused Trump and the Russians together to scare all of us children. That can only be the signal for where the neo-cons plan to target their next round of DDD&D. Real men - that is, real women - don’t stop at Tehran, they go right to Moscow. Whether following Napolean’s or Hitler’s route is left unspecified. No matter. It’s ‘over there’. Europe will be devastated and ‘their’ USA left standing. Like it’s s’pozed to be.

Who knows where we’ll end up with Trump? And that’s his chief attraction - underspecification - we desperately believe it must be somewhere else, anywhere else, rather than WW III.

But isn’t it a sorry comment on our degenerate system of elections that the best we can do is ‘choose’ the least-worst among the artifically limited selection we’re offered, and give ourselves up to them, and to more death, devastation, destruction, and deceit for the next four or eight years?

Wouldn’t it be great if we could vote for someone we actually wanted to be our next POTUS, instead of picking the least terrifying of those ‘on offer’ on the runway? Flash. This just in. We can.

There are any number of 3rd parties, [4] any number of ‘registered’ write-in candidates, [5] and 229,000,000+ free-living, non-dynastic/inbred souls among us eligible to be written in, arbitrarily. Surely we can each choose one worthy soul from among these three pools and write in her/his name as our candidate for POTUS.

But what chance does such a haphazard process have of coming up with one name chosen more often than that of the elephant/jackass with the most votes? Isn’t this just some childish prank? Fighting treachery and betrayal with foolishness?

It’s not. There are always really three names on the ballot in American 2-party, single-ballot, first-past-the-post elections: the elephant, the jackass, and ‘other’.

In 2012 the outcome was

elephant=47.8%,
jackass=50.6%,
other=1.6%. [6]

In 2016 the outcome was

elephant=45.94%,
jackass=48.04%,
other=6.02%.

The election was never completed! No candidate achieved a majority of votes cast!

‘Other’ is rarely mentioned. But what if it were

elephant=33%,
jackass=32%,
other=35%?

‘Other’ would be the obvious 'winner' of the contest, and in bold 4 inch headlines, the consternation of the TNC media regardless. The media - not to mention the Electoral College - will declare the ‘winner’ to be the elephant or the jackass, of course, but we - and the world - will know what will have happened.

We will have cut the pins from beneath whichever of the animal crackers ‘wins’ from 8 November on, crippled him/her by 21 January 2017, and she/he will only be a fading shadow as time rolls on thereafter.

But we will be stronger, starting 8 November. By 21 January we will undeniably be more powerful than the POTUS in every real sense, the potential energy of the water behind the dam towering over her/his head and of those in congress having made us so.

For the main thing we will have accomplished, the guaranteed payoff, if we can come up with the votes, is not to have delegitimated the candidate from the menagerie but to have legitimated ourselves as the sovereigns of our country, as ‘the people’. We will have demonstrated to all - but most importantly to our disjoint, atomized selves - that there is an alternative, that resistance is possible, that we do have the power. That we can seize control of our government any and every time we want to, with just a little bit more organization.

Sure, the Green or the Libertarian might win - and either one would be a better alternative than the elephant or the jackass! - but that’s not likely. More likely we’ll be able to nullify the elephant/jackass ‘victory’.

There’s going to be another election in 2018 and another in 2020 ... If we’d realized how badly off we were in 2004, if we’d determined to seize power then, we’d be done by now. The thousand mile journey begins with the first step. We need to dam-up - not go-with - the flow, start to spin our turbines, do what it takes to seize power in our society.

Start to think of the choices actually open to us. We do have the power, it’s just a question of realizing that and applying it. We don’t have to accept the way things ‘are’. We can have anything we want. The problem is that, so far, we don’t seem to want very much. [7] Or do we?

We are many. They are few. [8] We need only to rise up and shake ourselves like a horse shaking off flies. [9] Ella Baker said it best: strong people don’t need strong leaders. [10]

[1]Maurice Duverger, “Factors in a Two-Party and Multiparty System,” in Party Politics and Pressure Groups (New York: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1972), pp. 23-32, http://janda.org/c24/Readings/Duverger/Duverger.htm.
[2]Open Election Amendment, http://jfmxl.sdf.org/28amen.org/oea_amend_as_proposed.html
[3]“Gallup Poll: Clinton’s Unfavorable Rating at All-Time High”, 25 July 2016, https://www.newsmax.com/Politics/Gallup-Clinton-Unfavorable-All-Time/2016/07/26/id/740517/
[4]“Third-party candidates in 2016”, mytimetovote.com, http://presidentials.mytimetovote.com/Third-Party-Candidates-running-for-president.html
[5]“Write-in candidates in 2016”, mytimetovote.com, http://presidentials.mytimetovote.com/Write-In-Candidates-running-for-president.html
[6]BBC News, US 2012 Election Results, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-20009195
[7]Eugene V. Debs, “The people can have anything they want, the only problem is they do not want anything.”, http://www.great-quotes.com/quote/1235803
[8]

Percy Bysshe Shelley, The Mask of Anarchy

‘Rise like Lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number.
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you—
Ye are many — they are few.’

http://www.poetsgraves.co.uk/Classic%20Poems/Shelley/the_mask_of_anarchy.htm

[9]George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-four, http://orwelltoday.com/proles.shtml
[10]Ella Baker, wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ella_Baker#.22Participatory_Democracy.22