Election 2016: Who I’m Not Voting For, And Why

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That’s what this election is about, isn’t it? Daily, I’m warned by Democrats that I mustn’t vote for Donald Trump, by Republicans that I mustn’t vote for Hillary Clinton, and by supporters of both that I mustn’t vote for a third party, independent or write-in candidate.

If I take all that advice to heart, I won’t be able to vote for any of Florida’s 12 balloted or write-in candidates for president , will I?  And I admit that it’s tempting to sit this one out.

I know I won’t waste my vote on Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. Call me picky, but in my view pathological liars who hate freedom and love war shouldn’t get to live in the White House, sign and veto bills, have access to nuclear launch codes,  and all that other president stuff. I’ve narrowed it down THAT much, anyway.

The easy out for me — and I may take it — would be to vote for Gary Johnson. I’m a partisan Libertarian and he’s my party’s candidate. He’s seriously flawed, but on the plus side he’s probably not irredeemably evil like the two major party picks. He’s kinda, sorta, a little bit in favor of my own top political values, freedom and peace. America could do worse. In fact it mostly has.

The other third party candidates — the Green Party’s Jill Stein, the Reform Party’s Rocky de la Fuente, and the Constitution Party’s Darrell Castle — also seem like decent folks but they’re just a little too far afield on issues I care about. If we MUST have a president, I could live with one of them. But not vote for any of them.

I only recognize the names of two of the six write-in candidates — independent Laurence Kotlikoff and the Transhumanist Party’s Zoltan Istvan Gyurko. Of those two, only Istvan appeals to me. He’s all about immortality, which sounds good. Also, wouldn’t it be cool to have a president named “Zoltan?”

Of course, there’s something to be said for the write-ins I DON’T recognize. Maybe we should start picking presidents at random from a pile of all the phone books in America. Speaking of which, do they still even print phone books?

Yes, I know that you people are going to pick Clinton or Trump. But that’s on you, not me. And it proves that we really need a better way of going about this politics thing. Just sayin’.

Thomas L. Knapp (Twitter: @thomaslknapp) 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.

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  • James Leroy Wilson

    Darryl Perry’s tempting (he’s an “eligible” write-in in my state). But Gary Johnson seems to give the Libertarian Party the best chance to get over the hump and become an official major party. That, and the opportunity to vote against the death penalty in Nebraska are motivations to vote.

    • James,

      I’m not sure what you mean by “official major party.” The Libertarian Party already IS an “official major party” in some states; in others, it would be a bad thing for them to become one (for example, in Massachusetts that would make it much more difficult to get candidates on the ballot). And in still others, there is no outcome — not even winning the presidential election — which would have that particular result.

      The main likely outcome of a really good Election Day performance by Johnson is that the party’s next nominee would be eligible for a large (up to $20 million) welfare check. And that would probably destroy the LP for good, as it did the Reform Party.

  • Voted absentee for Johnson last week.