Anyone who follows me knows my thoughts on third parties and why they don’t work. I’m not trying to rain on anyone’s parade, or deter them from being passionate about politics. I’m simply using a basic understanding of our government, how Congress works and some fairly simplistic math.
Doubt me? Answer the following question:
If three groups are vying for complete power, with the group that gets the most votes winning that power, which of the following three groups ultimately will have that control:
- Group A: 45%
- Group B: 35%
- Group C: 20%
If Groups B and C are very similar, even though combined they won the majority of the overall vote — Group A would ultimately be the one that wins the power and controls everything.
Again, I’m not trying to dampen anyone’s spirits, but that’s about as easy as this is to understand. It’s not an “establishment conspiracy,” or “the corporate media pushing propaganda,” it’s simple math, mixed with an understanding of our Constitution and how our government works.
Sorry for that rant, but I feel the need to explain such things as often as possible considering how many people don’t seem to understand this basic concept.
That brings me to comments Libertarian icon (and conspiracy theorist extraordinaire) Ron Paul made on Monday regarding third-party candidates Gary Johnson and Dr. Jill Stein.
Common sense would dictate that this is a no-brainer considering Johnson is the Libertarian candidate and Paul is a hero to many people who support that party, right?
Well, not this time.
You see, Paul said he’s not going to vote for Johnson. In fact, he said his views align more with Jill Stein.
As reported by Talking Points Memo:
“Liberty is all chopped to pieces,” Paul said. “Liberals defend some parts of liberty and conservatives other parts and progressives are pretty good too on foreign policy.”
“I said if the independents who don’t know what to do and who should they pick, I say if you tend to lead progressivism and liberalism and you are interested in expressing yourself—you can vote for the Green Party,” Paul clarified.
Paul said he doesn’t feel that Johnson embodies a libertarian message. He also doesn’t feel there’s anyone in the 2016 field who people that want to vote “for liberty” can feel good about supporting.
“(Stein’s) probably the best on foreign policy at the moment,” Paul said. “On Gary Johnson, he does not come across with a crisp libertarian message. If you want to express yourself—I am voting for the non-aggressive principles that create the libertarian message. And that is, nobody can commit aggression. Individuals cannot, nor the government. Unfortunately, there’s not a crisp answer— this individual represents liberty and if you vote for this person, you will be voting for liberty and truly expressing yourself.”
Before moving on, let’s run through a few of the things Paul believes:
- He wants a balanced budget amendment.
- Opposed raising the debt limit, which would have caused the U.S. to default on its debts.
- Wants to end the Federal Reserve.
- Thinks the death penalty is a state issue.
- Wants to repeal the Clean Power Act.
- Is pro-nuclear plants.
- Supports the Keystone XL as well as expanding oil and gas exploration.
- End subsidies for solar companies.
- Voted to bar the EPA from regulating greenhouse emissions.
- We should allow oil companies to drill on federal lands, including national parks.
- We should end the Department of Education.
- Voters should have to show an ID to vote.
- Opposes common sense gun reforms.
- Believes debunked skepticism about vaccine doses.
- That parents should be allowed to not vaccinate their children.
- Opposes the Affordable Care Act.
- Opposes universal health care.
- That we need the Supreme Court to redefine birthright citizenship.
- In trickle-down economics and massive tax cuts for the wealthy.
- We should raise the retirement age.
- That Social Security is a Ponzi scheme.
- Doesn’t believe Social Security is Constitutional.
- We should have a flat-tax, which would benefit the wealthiest Americans.
- Welfare is a state created by Democrats and the Fed.
The list goes on and on, just take a look.
And that’s not getting into the fact that he’s big with conspiracy theorists, including a regular guest of Alex Jones, founder of the Sandy Hook truther website InfoWars. A site that sells nuclear fallout gear and claims practically every mass shooting or terror attack is a “false flag” perpetrated by the government.
Then there’s always the extremely racist writings that he’s been linked to.
Oh, and we can’t forget that back in 2011 he suggested he would have voted against the Civil Rights Act and said the congressional black caucuses only votes against war because they want more money to go to food stamps.
Then there’s always Johnson, the leading third-party candidate this election, who believes:
- States can display the Confederate flag.
- Corporate tax rates should be zero.
- We shouldn’t have student loans.
- Fracking, coal mining and nuclear are good things.
- The federal government shouldn’t be involved in renewable energy.
- Vaccines shouldn’t be mandatory.
- In free trade agreements.
- In unlimited campaign contributions by corporations.
- No limits on PACs or Super PACs.
- Assault weapons should be legal.
- Gun reforms are ineffective.
- The Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional.
- There should be no minimum wage.
- We should raise the retirement age to 75.
- We should privatize parts of Social Security.
- We should eliminate the IRS, have a national 23 percent sales tax which would be a massive tax cut for the rich and a huge tax increase for the poor and middle class.
- We shouldn’t have net neutrality.
Again, his list goes on and on, feel free to go look.
Even Bernie Sanders has publicly said that if those who backed him who are now supporting Johnson’s policies actually look at what he stood for, they’d see most of his policies aren’t remotely progressive.
That’s what makes Paul’s praise of Stein rather interesting considering he’s someone who is about as far-right as you get when it comes to issues like climate change, guns, money in politics, taxes, Social Security — who seems to think Stein is more in line with his beliefs than the actual candidate for the Libertarian party. In many ways, Paul is the anti-Bernie, which makes it a fairly big deal that he’d speak highly of someone like Stein who, by her own definition, should be almost the complete opposite of Paul’s ideologies.
Except that doesn’t seem to be the case.
These Johnson or Stein “progressives” are supporting a candidate who’s not remotely progressive on issues like climate change, free trade, gun reforms, the minimum wage or Social Security (Gary Johnson) or a candidate who’s so blindly radical that she’s actually being praised by one of the least progressive members of Congress we’ve had in our nation’s history, Ron Paul.
Meanwhile, real progressives across the country (including Sen. Bernie Sanders) are going to make damn sure we keep Donald Trump out of the White House, then hold Hillary Clinton accountable to her bold campaign promises.
It’s just a shame there are so many so-called “progressives” who are supporting the not-at-all progressive Johnson, or the Ron Paul-praised Dr. Jill Stein, two candidates who seem to be doing their best to make sure Donald Trump is our next president.
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