Jim McClarin | Indy Week

Jim McClarin 
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Re: “Long Shots: Why Gary Johnson Isn’t Worthy of Millennials’ Protest Votes

Let's just imagine that some Millenials actually agree with Gary Johnson's smaller-government, pro-individual liberty, non-interventionist views. Then the argument boils down to the wasted-vote theory so let me respond to that:

During the first half of the 1900's Socialist Party presidential candidate Normas Thomas ran multiple times and never came close to winning. However, he accomplished huge changes in government policy by demonstrating a measure of solid support each election for his radical ideas, so both the Democrats and Republicans adopted several of his more popular platform planks, prominently among them Social Security and a progressive income tax. His ideas would have been ignored if only a few people voted for him but he attracted enough of the vote to be coveted by the other two parties. Thus voters for a candidate who would never come close to winning turned out to have a very powerful vote indeed, a vote that, in terms of policy change, would have been completely wasted had they given it to the Democrat or Republican candidate.

My argument is not to condone Thomas or his ideas, which most Americans favor today, but to say that third party candidates can have an impact far beyond winning and losing in electoral politics. Do you really think for a moment that if Johnson wins 10% of the vote that the Republican and Democratic nominee of 2020 will ignore that block of voters as unreachable? The Hell they will! They will angle for those voters by trying to appeal to the values they expressed in voting for Gary Johnson.

16 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Jim McClarin on 11/02/2016 at 3:35 PM

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