The other 5% – A Politics piece

As many of you know I don’t do politics often on this blog. I think this is my 5 post on politics in 2 years. I’m not going to go on and on about how bad one person is, or if another has cognitive decline or who is better etc. I am going to go talk about the other 5%. What is that? That is the average % of voters who don’t vote for Democrats or Republicans every year.

In the U.S. we have a two party system. It is corrupt and rotting in my opinion. Both the main parties have been infiltrated by corporate interests and those who do not necessarily have the voter’s interest in mind. It’s such a mess and the marketing around both parties has created an us vs them mentality to drive sentiment either way and push the consumption of the mouth pieces for either or side. I know that’s cynical, but things are bad and anyone telling you “IT’S THEM” is part of the problem, in my opinion.

The alternatives? Well there aren’t many. You see the two corporate corrupt parties have created the conditions by which they dominate election processes. Ballot access, as an example is a perplexing maze of red tape that takes decades to navigate. We have only one other party, the libertarians, that are on the ballot on all 50 states. Really? A country with 300 million + has a choice of 3 parties? The main two parties are multibillion dollar operations, good luck getting equal time with that kind of money in play.

Just Vote
Remember to Vote !

In the U.S. there are 2 major parties as discussed, a viable 3rd party that does have ballot access in all 50 states the libertarians. We also have “4th” parties that have ballot access in some states not others. They do not have enough access to win enough Electoral College votes for their candidates to win the presidency outright. Those are The Green Party, The Independent party, and The Constitution Party to name a few. The Green party has the best shot of getting ballot access to all 50 states next, we’ll see.

There are of course many other small local and state parties, but they don’t have ballot access nationally. The 3 main “4th” parties mentioned above, might have ballot access in 1-5 states. These “other” parties take approx. 5% of the vote every year (give or take). The purpose of the post today is to let you know there are alternatives. You do not have to vote for the candidates for the corporate parties. You do not have to “chose a side”, you do not have to fall in line and be a part of the “us vs them” narrative. You can chose to vote for someone else in another party.

They have ideas too, they have platforms they stand for things. Are they perfect? No but look at the mess we are in now because of the two party system. Maybe it’s time to have a 5 party system where all ideas have to be considered and discourse has to be civil because voters have viable choices outside of the multibillion dollar corporate parties currently dominating.

Okay rant over…. Thanks for hanging in there with me.

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Looting, Violence, Racism

I’m not going to go on some profound rant here. Everyone who disagrees with you is not an idiot. Everyone who agrees with you is not necessarily a good person. Just because you think something is right, doesnt mean its right. This applies to all of us, if you chose to draw a line in the sand and deal in absolutes nothing changes.

I wont take the easy way out which many do and blame the president. Im not going to take the easy way out and say everyone out there participating in the title are terrorist. I am going to say very simply, you know whats right and wrong. When you sit back and chose a side and then pile on to the other side you destroy nearly any chance of reconciliation. Opportunists will take this and run with it, sowing discord divides and conquers.

Normal well intended people with a platform will use it to push simplistic idea’s and solutions. Repeating talking points they saw or read somewhere else. Rarely do you see substance in their prose. They dont know what to do either. Shouting loudly to people who nod and agree and shout back their agreement just creates more noise. Soon, no one will be able to hear.

It’s easy to blame others, to latch on to a popular notion and run with it. You are empowered, you have other people who feel the same way you do, you are emboldened. Its sad to see what is happening out there, and I have seen it before in 1992 when Rodney King was beaten, 60+ people died. Oh sure there have been others, Furgeson, on and on. Cops killing Americans in the street is an atrocity that should be dealt with severely. A 3rd degree murder charge is ridiculous.

Racism is real, it is not exclusively owned by one race. There are people, in the U.S. who want to harm this country. Who want us to be at each others throats tearing ourselves apart from within. Will you allow it? Will you be, yet another voice that points the finger and says “IT’S THEM NOT ME!!!”

You are smarter than that, you know the problems that plaque us as humans are complex. You know this isnt simple, you know there isnt a quick fix. Be kind to people, and step outside of your comfort zone and engage someone who has a different point of view.

Otherwise this will keep happening, year after year, decade after decade, century after century. Maybe in 100 years the U.S. has dissolved. Someone else will come along, will the cycle continue? I dont know, but I do know we are better than this, all of us.

Just Vote

A brief indulgence on politics

I don’t normally wade into politics on this blog, for a good reason. Many people get very ugly very fast when you don’t agree with their point of view. Otherwise reasonable people lose their poop over politics, they become very unkind and have citations of “well they do this” or “he says that” as if the rest of us are supposed to believe that two wrongs make a right. Mini rant over…

AS some of you may or may not know I am a libertarian. I have voted libertarian nearly exclusively since the late 90’s. In the U.S. we have two dominate political parties and it is my belief that a 3rd viable party will help reign in some of the partisanship and angst we see year after year.

It just so happens that I do identify pretty closely with libertarian ideals as well. You can read about those here if you are interested. Last week the Libertarian Party nominated its candidate for president, her name is Dr. Jo Jorgensen. You can read more about her here

I think its great news that she has gotten the nomination. She has been in the front lines of the libertarian party for a long time and has definitely earned it. Much will be made by the fact she is a woman and while that is absolutely noteworthy, more should be made of the fact she is qualified to hold the office. Many Libertarians like myself are very realistic about the prospects of our party.

We understand the two dominate parties have built massive entertainment and news industries around the political process to support their agenda. Places like CNN and FOX news are mouth pieces for politicians. While that might be cynical to say, it’s imperative to look at politics with a critical eye. Politics is a road to power and power corrupts.

I understand the likelihood of Jo winning the presidency is nearly zero. That doesn’t mean that she can’t garner enough support to impact the U.S. political scene. 5-10% of the vote would do that. You would have a lot of news outlets cover this, and they would all be asking why. Voters in the U.S. are tired of “Democrat vs Republican” it’s been this way for decades and decades.

We just want politicians who will do a good job and get things done. Is Jo Jorgensen the answer? I don’t know, I do know that if we keep doing the same thing over and over again (voting democrat or republican) and expect a different result we are fools. In the end the most important thing we have to do as Americans is vote. November will be here before you know it, no one vote is inconsequential, your vote matters. Consider an alternative approach, maybe we will get a different outcome other than the tired status quo.

Just Vote

Politics: Wisdom from a 50 year old

Won’t be a very long post today on this. If you live in the U.S., you know that we are in the throws of the 2020 presidential election . Many people seem to be very invested, if you go to twitter (which I don’t recommend you do) you will find it a cesspool of anger. Nearly everyone is angry about something and woe unto you if you attempt engagement with someone who has an opposing view.

So first let me say that I was born when Richard Nixon was president (yes, I’m ancient) so Trump is the 9th president of my life time. I suspect I will survive a few more elections to boot and there is something very important to remember. National Politics, while important, rarely have an immediate impact on you locally.

What this means is very simply, when you wake up after the 2020 election there will be little to no change at all in your life. Unlike other countries where there are riots, executions, coups, genocides… The U.S. presidential election is often very uneventful. Things will continue on as is, even if your chosen candidate does not win.

The best most immediate impact politics can have on your life is the local level. Yes, town halls, cities, local councils. “All politics are local” Tip O’Neil.  

Are your roads plowed? Is the fire station under staffed? Does the homeless shelter have enough canned goods? Are after school programs fully staffed? Is the dog barking next store ever going to shut up?

The president isn’t going to help you with that. National politics is often a game of anxiety, working you up to a frenzy as the inference is if candidate “T” wins the stakes are immeasurable, we can’t let this happen !!!!!!

I get it but remember the day after the election your local parks dept still has to empty trash cans. The water dept still has to test the water supply. Take some of your investment nationally and redistribute it locally to really impact your life. Presidents come and go, someday you’ll be on your 9th, or maybe 10th too. 😊


Folded up like a cheap suit.

The non-stop political nonsense is draining, I get it so I’m not going to go on and on about it. Trump has decided to sign a bill to reopen the government for 3 weeks while negotiations continue on border wall funding.

The problem Trump has is the negotiator and chief painted himself into a corner. He top campaign promise was to build a wall and have Mexico pay for it. Problem 1, he hasn’t built the wall. Problem 2 Mexico isn’t paying for it directly. Now I know there is a narrative out there that the renegotiated NFTA will provide the U.S. with more revenues and jobs coming back to the U.S. so that’s his rational for Mexico paying for it. Too bad he didn’t articulate that more clearly in 2016 LOL.

The next set of problems Trump has is congress. He is whining now that congress won’t give him the wall but up until last month he had republican majorities in both houses. Why didn’t he try and get wall funding then? The next problem is Pelosi came in with less than an enthusiastic mandate. We have all sorts of fringe democrats in congress now and they have alternative agendas to the corporate democrats (like Pelosi). The shutdown gave them an issue to unify around, Trump handed Pelosi an alley oop basically and she slammed it home. Like her or not Pelosi is a seasoned and experienced politician, she played it really well.

His next problem is the 3 weeks. So the current deal runs out 2/15/19. Congress will have to present another funding bill, Trump will have to sign it or we have another shut down. Now there is a narrative out there that Trump has done this tactically to give democrats room to get him his funding and if they don’t he shuts the gov down again. Now that’s a fair observation, we all know what he wants and I don’t think his request is unreasonable but I don’t have a vote until 2020. I really don’t think the dems are going to give him a wall, but he has to come out of this with a win we will see.

Last problem he has is, he can declare a national emergency. Now if he does that he can technically start building the wall without congressional approval but I guarantee you that it will be challenged in court the minute he issues the declaration and some court will hold it up. Basically that approach will need to go to the supreme court which could take some time. So he’s left with a long wait to get the wall which will hurt him in 2020.

Trump screwed up here, he should have pushed funding for his wall his first 60 days in office when he had the majority and he had momentum. He’s now dealing with an empowered democratic party whose sole purpose at the moment is to defeat him. U.S. politics is bad nationally, thank god local politics are much more palatable. The Negotiator and chief folded up like a cheap suit on this one. He lost a battle, is the war over?