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May 05, 2016

Ben Sasse Open Letter: Doesn't the Country Deserve Better Than These Two Terrible Candidates?

Talkin' about a third party.

1. Washington isn't fooling anyone -- Neither political party works. They bicker like children about tiny things, and yet they canít even identify the biggest issues we face.... I signed up for the Party of Abraham Lincoln -- and I will work to reform and restore the GOP -- but letís tell the plain truth that right now both parties lack vision.

As a result, normal Americans donít like either party. If you ask Americans if they identify as Democrat or Republican, almost half of the nation interrupts to say: "Neither."

Young people despise the two parties even more than the general electorate. And why shouldnít they?....

Our problems are huge right now, but one of the most obvious is that weíve not passed along the meaning of America to the next generation. If we donít get them to re-engage -- thinking about how we defend a free society in the face of global jihadis, or how we balance our budgets after baby boomers have dishonestly over-promised for decades, or how we protect First Amendment values in the face of the safe-space movement Ė then all will indeed have been lost. One of the bright spots with the rising generation, though, is that they really would like to rethink the often knee-jerk partisanship of their parents and grandparents. We should encourage this rethinking.

These two national political parties are enough of a mess that I believe they will come apart. It might not happen fully in 2016 -- and Iíll continue fighting to revive the GOP with ideas -- but when peopleís needs arenít being met, they ultimately find other solutions.

In the history of polling, weíve basically never had a candidate viewed negatively by half of the electorate. This year, we have two. In fact, we now have the two most unpopular candidates ever -- Hillary by a little, and Trump by miles (including now 3 out of 4 women -- who vote more and influence more votes than men). There are dumpster fires in my town more popular than these two "leaders."

With Clinton and Trump, the fix is in. Heads, they win; tails, you lose. Why are we confined to these two terrible options? This is America. If both choices stink, we reject them and go bigger. That's what we do.

Remember: our Founders didnít want entrenched political parties. So why should we accept this terrible choice?

So...letís have a thought experiment for a few weeks: Why shouldnít America draft an honest leader who will focus on 70% solutions for the next four years? You know...an adult?

Allah seems to take the position that if this is what American has chosen, why shouldn't it get it, good and hard?

But Sasse's point is that much of America didn't choose these two, and that part of America is not duty-bound to follow the folly of others. If there are still things permitted to be done -- like run a third party challenge -- why should they not be done?

The usual math on this is that a third party run would be disastrous and would deliver the election to Hillary. Many #NeverTrumpers, and I'm edging into that group myself, find this a weak objection in this case: Trump himself will inevitably be demolished, so there's no threat of "throwing the election." It already has been thrown.

Second, Trump represents an very stupid and dangerous form of authoritarianism. Everything with him is force and bullying. Riots at the convention if he doesn't get his way. His online trolls actively threatening people's physical safety.

I don't get it -- I'm supposed to be outraged by Lois Lerner, yet amused by this? Why? Because this will only be visited upon my enemies? First, that's not principled, that's just stupid tribalism,, and second, it's not true -- the gentle persuasions of authoritarian You Will Be Made to Buckle are already being visited on us, and by "us," I mean non-Democrats.

I personally didn't oppose the thuggishness of the left just to be bullied by a new thuggishness of the alt-right.

Some alt-righter (I imagine) drifted in to the comments -- a n00b -- to say "Wow this site is really spineless."

No, this site is showing spine -- by resisting your attempts to bend spines for Trump.

Apparently "courage" is now defined, alt-rightishly, as buckling to the right set of pressures and bullyings.

So the fire of my usual resistance to a third party is well snuffed by the two facts of our situation: 1, Trump's going to lose anyway, so we might as well have a 3rd party that can at least represent a moral... well, not victory, for it will not be victorious, but let's say a moral route of resistance.

And 2, My primary politics is anti-authoritarian. I don't like the left because they wish to be meddlesome in private economic affairs, dictatorial as to what you can do with your wealth (you can only spend you money on government-approved activities that support social justice) and increasingly fascist when it comes to speech and belief.

Many of Trump's supporters are authoritarians -- not all, mind you, some just want the wall, or to "teach DC a lesson" -- but many are thrilled by the Second Look at Authoritarianism Trump promises. The left has similarly become thrilled and dizzy at the idea of just forcing people to knuckle under.

You can see how intoxicating a drug this is in the obesely fat and stupid TrigglyPuff's rantings and pendulations. The power to force people to do what you want them to do is a powerful elixir, especially for people who feel no power over others in their own lives, or even over their own lives.

And this is what I most resist in leftist politics -- not the minimum wage per se, but the notion that the government can and should dictate to people what arrangements they make in private employment. Not free birth control per se, but the repulsive idea tha the government will force people to buy birth control for others -- even if that is against their own private covenants with the Lord God.

About seven months ago I noticed, and said on the blog: Trump never talks about limiting the power of government, or freedom. Never. He's Government Action Man-- the government can do and do and do for "the people."

That's not some minor ideological complaint. That's not some esoteric bit of political dogma.

I don't want any masters in my life. One could argue, I think accurately, that "success" in society is largely dictated by how few masters and overlords you have weighing down your freedom of action. That's why money is so closely linked to success -- the more money, the more F.U. money, the fewer masters and overlords.

But money is just a tool by which we purchase freedom of action and freedom from interference.

I'm very reluctant to vote affirmatively for a new tax on my myself -- an new tax on my freedom.

I'm very, very reluctant to vote for someone who seems to think that America needs to become a Trumpmerica Inc. with him at the top issuing orders through George and Don Jr. which eventually trickle down to me, the drudge, on the factory floor.

Do not want.

Authoritarianism is just a version of collectivism. Or, more accurately: It is the version of collectivism, for every authoritarian needs be a collectivist, and every collectivist needs be an authoritarian.

I'm not saying I definitely couldn't support Trump -- it would depend on which of these tinpot authoritarians wished to control me less. They both want to control me, but we'll see who promises to control me less.

Trump could earn my vote, by finally understanding other people's aspirations to not have a second boss in their lives called The US Government.

But so far he has proven highly resistant to learning of any kind.

Until he does, count me in with Ben Sasse as being interested in a third party, one that will leave me the hell alone.

Or at least that would leave me the hell alone more than the other alternatives.

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posted by Ace at 11:53 AM

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