FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Election 2016: Think Three’s a Crowd? Try 2,000

by

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump says Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson is a “fringe candidate.” I’m not sure what definition of “fringe” Trump is using. Johnson is a former governor, elected twice as a Republican in a Democrat-leaning state. Trump’s main presidential qualification seems to be his legendary skill at trolling his opponents on Twitter.

Democratic presidential  nominee Hillary Clinton hasn’t deigned to notice likely Green Party candidate Jill Stein. Instead she’s dispatched proxies like runner-up Bernie Sanders (“We have got to defeat Donald Trump. And we have got to elect Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine. … this is the real world that we live in”) to heap scorn on the practicality of a post-Philadelphia campaign from Clinton’s left.

OK, I admit it: History and money say the odds are with Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton — that one of them will be the next president of the United States. The last time a third party or independent candidate really threatened to win the White House was 1992, when Ross Perot knocked down nearly 20% of the popular vote, having at one time polled ahead of both Republican incumbent George HW Bush and the eventual winner, Democratic nominee Bill Clinton.

But it’s strange year. It feels like almost anything could happen. And while Clinton and Trump are the frontrunners, the field is, well, YUGE.

As of July 27, the Federal Elections Commission lists 1,814 candidates for president on its web site.

It’s true that some of them have dropped out, or have been eliminated in party nomination processes, or haven’t done anything EXCEPT file an FEC “statement of candidacy.” Most of them won’t appear on any state ballots, or even register themselves with election authorities as write-in options.

On the other hand, some candidates who haven’t submitted FEC statements may show up on your ballot this November. Candidates are only required to file an FEC  Form 2 once they’ve raised or spent $5,000. In some states, ballot access doesn’t cost that much.

If you’re an American voter, you have options. Republicans and Democrats will tell you that you’re “wasting your vote” if you don’t pick one of the two leading brands. I don’t think they’re right — what’s the point of voting if you’re not voting for who or what you actually support? — but even if they’re right, well, it’s your vote to waste, isn’t it?

For once I agree with Ted Cruz: If you vote, vote your conscience.

Thomas L. Knapp is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism (thegarrisoncenter.org). He lives and works in north central Florida.

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

March 23, 2017
Chip Gibbons
Crusader-in-Chief: the Strange Rehabilitation of George W. Bush
Michael J. Sainato
Cybersecurity Firm That Attributed DNC Hacks to Russia May Have Fabricated Russia Hacking in Ukraine
Chuck Collins
Underwater Nation: As the Rich Thrive, the Rest of Us Sink
CJ Hopkins
The United States of Cognitive Dissonance
Howard Lisnoff
BDS, Women’s Rights, Human Rights and the Failings of Security States
Mike Whitney
Will Washington Risk WW3 to Block an Emerging EU-Russia Superstate
John Wight
Martin McGuinnes: Man of War who Fought for Peace in Ireland
Linn Washington Jr.
Ryancare Wreckage
Eileen Appelbaum
What We Learned From Just Two Pages of Trump’s Tax Returns
Mark Weisbrot
Ecuador’s Elections: Why National Sovereignty Matters
Thomas Knapp
It’s Time to End America’s Longest War
Chris Zinda
Aggregate Journalism at Salon
David Welsh
Bay Area Rallies Against Trump’s Muslim Ban II
March 22, 2017
Paul Street
Russiagate and the Democratic Party are for Chumps
Russell Mokhiber
Single-Payer, the Progressive Caucus and the Cuban Revolution
Gavin Lewis
McCarthyite Anti-Semitism Smears and Racism at the Guardian/Observer
Kathy Kelly
Reality and the U.S.-Made Famine in Yemen
Kim C. Domenico
Ending Our Secret Alliance with Victimhood: Toward an Adult Politics
L. Ali Khan
Profiling Islamophobes
Calvin Priest
May Day: Seattle Educators Moving Closer to Strike
David Swanson
Jimmy Breslin on How to Impeach Trump
Dave Lindorff
There Won’t Be Another Jimmy Breslin
Jonathan Latham
The Meaning of Life
Robert Fisk
Martin McGuinness: From “Super-Terrorist” to Super Statesman
Steve Horn
Architect of Federal Fracking Loophole May Head Trump Environmental Council
Binoy Kampmark
Grief, Loss and Losing a Father
Jim Tull
Will the Poor Always Be With Us?
Jesse Jackson
Trump’s “March Massacre” Budget
Joe Emersberger
Rafael Correa and the Future of Ecuador: a Response to James McEnteer
March 21, 2017
Reshmi Dutt-Ballerstadt
On Being the “Right Kind of Brown”
Kenneth Surin
God, Guns, Gays, Gummint: the Career of Rep. Bad Bob Goodlatte
David Rosen
Popular Insurgencies: Reshaping the Political Landscape
Ryan LaMothe
The Totalitarian Strain in American Democracy
Eric Sommer
The House Intelligence Committee: Evidence Not Required
Mike Hastie
My Lai Massacre, 49 Years Later
James McEnteer
An Era Ends in Ecuador: Forward or Back?
Evan Jones
Beyond the Pale
Stansfield Smith
First Two Months in Power: Hitler vs. Trump
Dulce Morales
A Movement for ‘Sanctuary Campuses’ Takes Shape
Pepe Escobar
Could Great Wall of Iron become New Silk Roadblock?
Olivia Alperstein
Trump Could Start a Nuclear War, Right Now
David Macaray
Norwegians Are the Happiest People on Earth
March 20, 2017
Michael Schwalbe
Tears of Solidarity
Patrick Cockburn
Brexit, Nationalism and the Damage Done
Peter Stone Brown
Chuck Berry: the First Poet of Rock and Roll
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail