Election 2016

How Does It Feel To Work 'Outside the Familiar Binaries of the Two-Party System'? Great!

Ain't no party like a third party. Except for a fourth, fifth, or even sixth party.


Reason, Meredith Bragg

Shortly before this week's Trumpocalypse actually came to pass, Jonah Goldberg of National Review laid out his reasons for why he would never vote for the billionaire developer. You can probably guess the reasons, which are solid enough, and you can read them at length here (though I disagree with him on many things, Goldberg is always a good read, too). Toward the end of his piece, he admitted to some anxiety at severing himself from the Republican Party, at least this time around and with regards to the top of the ticket.

"If Trump is the nominee or the president," he splained, "I will for the first time be working outside the familiar binaries of the two-party system. I guess I should ask the guys at Reason magazine or Cato how they cope."

In a new Daily Beast column, I engage that question while taking a tour through other pro-third-party statements from libertarian legal genius Randy Barnett, former Politico head Jim Vandehei, and the "great unwashed rock god" Andrew W.K., among others. And after admitting to my one major-party vote—like about 40 percent of America, I fell for Walter Mondale's low-wattage Norwegian charisma in 1984, the first presidential election I voted in—I think I bring some warm comfort to Goldberg. Since that mistake, I've pulled the lever, tapped the screen, or punched the hole for the Libertarian Party's candidate.

I expect to be voting LP again come November, but that could change. If not this year, maybe down the road. I don't expect my vote to really count, I use it to express my feelings (cue the music, maestro):

I'm open to voting for a major-party candidate the minute either offers up either a person or a platform that comes close to conforming to my beliefs in "free minds and free markets" and social liberalism and fiscal conservatism. But until then, I'll "cope" being outside the "familiar binaries of the two-party system" the best way I know how: By trying to change it, so that either we have more parties that allow more of us to express ourselves by voting for policies and people we actually believe in, or shrinking politics to a smaller and smaller part of our lives so that we have more time to enjoy all the different flavors of Astroglide and deodorant and Ben & Jerry's that are out there waiting for us to sample.

There ain't no party like a third party. Except for a fourth, fifth, or even sixth party. No apologies—much less coping—necessary.

Read the full article.

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  1. I guess I should ask the guys at Reason magazine or Cato how they cope.”

    We don’t always vote, but when we do, we vote for GayJay.

    1. I’m voting Almanian!
      USA! USA! USA!


        1. But what is dead Racoon doing for me, the small time hipster? Al at least promised I can have artisan abortions.

          1. “Artisan abortions” for the motherfucking win. Where do you want your internets delivered to?

            1. Wooden coat-hangers?

              1. Hand-carved from recovered wood once used for flooring in a vegan battered womyn’s shelter.

                1. Why not hand-carved 2x4s used for battering vegans?

                2. And maple syrup is somehow involved. It’s always maple syrup with fucking hipsters.

                3. Why are vegans battering the womyns’ shelter?

                  1. Why are vegans battering the womyns’ shelter?

                    To prevent scorching while locking in the flavor and juices?

                    1. ^This^

                      Try and keep up, Paul.

              2. Hand crafted in small batches.

          2. But what is dead Racoon doing for me, the small time hipster?

            You’re being offered a hipster’s dream opportunity, man – support Dead Raccoon before it’s cool!

            1. I saw Dead Raccon back in ’08 before they went all commercial and sold out.

    2. Put your faith in the power of the Johnson, feel it grow within you

      1. #FeelTheJohnson

        1. I keep trying to get my wife to #FeelTheJohnson but she’s too damn busy #FeelingTheBern 🙁

            1. Well yeah she’s a redhead so…

          1. It’s probably a UTI. She needs to get some antibiotics.

  2. It’s remarkably liberating to quit worrying about electoral politics and which vile parasitic candidate/party is marginally less objectionable. Stop defending the indefensible actions of awful people just because they’re on your Team, detach your personal happiness from the results of polls and election, and embrace the reality that your vote doesn’t matter.

    1. If its so liberating, why do you give a shit what anyone else does?

      1. I would say it’s marginally liberating only so far in that I really don’t care that much about who wins in November (although a Federal indictment of the future Queen would bring me a great deal of joy), but I still have to listen to all of my friends’ stupid opinions.

        1. You have friends? What’s that like?

        2. I still have to listen to all of my friends’ stupid opinions.

          Do you?

          Most of my oldest friends are Bernie-people. I stopped doing facebook years ago partly because there was a periodic barrage of ‘sharing’ political-stuff which made gag (and often respond with comments which reminded everyone, “Oh, right = Gilmore’s one of those ‘capitalist’ types”)…

          …and i thought it was probably in everyone’s best interests to maybe narrow/limit that kind of sharing.

          One person even asked me the other day, “are you still one of those Libertarian types? i never hear you complain anymore”. It seems to make it a lot easier when we only share our respectively stupid-opinions ‘on request’.

          1. Just tell them you folded and are going to goose step down Madison avenue like the rest of them.

          2. Fair criticism. I haven’t hidden them all on derpbook.

      2. Does liberating mean you can’t offer advice?

        1. Advice is fine. Giving birth to kittens over a party you claim to not care about is entirely different.

        2. Gil is just confused and angry at the idea of having a positive experience, much less wanting to share it with other people.

          1. Positive experiences aren’t what they used to be.

          2. Vegetarians also tell me that they shit so much better (and more frequently – tho not sure why that’s a plus) when they stopped eating meat.

            They just love to share that ‘positive experience’ with everyone. Like no one else gets it

            Weird, though… how i don’t go up to all the vegetarians and similarly gush about the mouth-orgasms i experience when my incisors tear through the tender muscle-tissue of a perfectly cooked piece of Prime Rib.

            1. I’m genuinely sorry that people try to talk to you about their experiences, Gil. You just keep being you and I’m sure that will cease soon enough.

              1. I’m genuinely sorry that people try to talk to you

                🙂 Nothing says, “trying to talk” like ducking the specific question I asked and getting all matronizing

            2. They just love to share that ‘positive experience’ with everyone. Like no one else gets it

              Huh. And here I thought that someone commenting about freeing themselves from caring about electoral politics on a explicitly political website was something relevant and worth discussing.

              You have angered and displeased the GILMORE. I hope you’re happy with yourself, Hugh.

              1. Spoiler alert: Hugh is NEVER happy with himself.

                1. Thanks a lot, Xeones! ::closes graphic novel and throws it across the room::

        3. How many people give you advice about things they claim to “not care at all about”?

          I’m guessing the most common category aside from faux-anarchists is “vegans”

          1. “I don’t care about X, so here’s some advice about X” is a different proposition than “It helped me to stop caring about X, so I advise you to do the same.”

            1. “It helped me to stop caring about X, so I advise you to do the same.”

              The presumption being that…. people who read political magazines on a daily basis… are *actually* looking for a way to cure themselves, and become ‘liberated’ minds who no longer care about politics? just like….

              …. this other guy who seems to be reading political magazines daily. (scratches head)

              That “not caring” thing really seems to be working out swell.

              If something is so personally ‘self-rewarding’, why presume the same thing provides everyone else the same rewards? Maybe others enjoy partisan politics the same way many enjoy sports.

              Just because you stopped caring about baseball, for instance, (*i never started personally) doesn’t mean you would doing anyone else a favor by proselytizing about your newfound-enlightenment and encouraging them to abandon the silly game

              (…actually, i almost feel you would, but… regardless)

              It all goes back to my question – why do you care what anyone else does, if you’re so liberated?

              1. I’m liberated from the encumbrances of political partisanship, not from regard for my fellow man. It’s possible to be interested in politics without the hitching your wagon to the palid, sagging, wispy star of a politician or party. That’s the kind of thing I’m advocating, and people are free to take my advice or leave it as they see fit.

                1. A-ok.

                  Odd, though, that you think the curse of partisanship so affects the readership of a libertarian magazine. Preaching to the Converted, iow.

      3. Why does anyone do anything?

          1. To get paid?

          2. You could conflate the two into “For the Approval on One’s Peers”

            1. “of”

            2. That’s pretty much the truth.

    2. it would be nice if people who allege to feel that way actually walked the walk. there is a remarkable number of these supposed cynics who are nevertheless obsessed with Trump. See: Reason.

      1. “Walking the walk” means not laughing at a buffoon? Or despairing that he’s terrible?

        1. “LEAVE DONALD ALONE!”

        2. You’re so liberated from this that you have to “laugh” like several times a day for the last year or so?

          That’s obsessive, not detached amusement.

          1. Because that’s what others are talking about here. On a politics website. And we have time to waste.

            I, for one, don’t go around in meatspace talking about Trump, lovely.

          2. When the buffoon is constantly in the news, I don’t think that indicates obsession. There are things in between not caring at all and obsession. Anyway, who are you following around counting how often they laugh?

      2. Are you making a general observation or are you suggesting without saying that I’m Trumpsessed?

      3. You can have an opinion on a public figure, and his fans, without necessarily caring about elections (or qualifying as obsessed). I think you are setting an awfully high bar. It would be hard not to have an opinion on Trump without isolating yourself from all media.

        1. I haven’t listened to a single Trump speech and I recommend you don’t listen to them in short snippets. If you’re going to listen to Trump, you should probably go all in.

          1. I haven’t sought any out and I don’t plan to.

  3. At Reason, they cope by voting for the historic Democrat, so they’re in luck this year too.

    1. You do realize that of the minority who said they were going to vote for Obama in 2008, literally one of them said it was because he was black. And that was Cavanaugh, who is facetious in everything he writes. The rest said it was because he was either marginally better than the alternative or because the Republicans needed to be punished for the Bush administration. Everyone else either voted LP, or for McCain, or not at all.

      Don’t let any of those pesky facts prevent you from continuing to propagate your retarded meme, though.

      1. His retarded meme is all he’s got, man.

        1. Retarded memes seem to be the only currency around here. Like bottlecaps in Fallout.

            1. HM is of course the richest man in the land. He’s like a billionaire of retarded memes.

      2. Wrong. They all voted for Obama twice because cocktail parties.

        1. Be fair. I’d vote for anyone if someone were supplying me with cocktails.

          1. This is why the liquor stores are closed on election day.

          2. I don’t think that was on offer. But my vote is totally for sale if it is.

  4. I think we should require that any refugee from the Republican party publicly threaten to feed a federal judge to a woodchipper to make sure there aren’t any infiltrators among their ranks.

    1. Sounds sort of like those guys that want to let the Syrian refugees in – provided they drink a couple shots of pig’s blood at the customs office before getting their passport stamped?


        We should also make them sign a pledge saying that real bbq is made with pork and not beef.

        1. I agree, but do we really want to shunt libertarian Texans, even with their backwards ideas about BBQ?

        2. Owensboro, KY votes 3rd party for Mutton.

        3. Keep your vinegar to yourself.

          Pork, yes…but Memphis style dry rub.

          1. Brisket burnt-ends or GTFO

            1. All smoked meat is good.

              1. Polite disagree. It depends very much on the meat involved and the person doing the smoking.

              2. As much as it pains me to agree with Sweet’n’Low, he is correct here. All barbecue is awesome. Dry rub, mustard sauce, vinegar sauce, tomato sauce; pork, mutton, beef, chicken, turkey leg, whatever. Put any of it in front of me and i will eat it without complaint.

                1. What is nutria, chopped gator?

                  1. There is plenty of space for vicious aquatic rodents in “whatever,” Doyers.

                    1. Still bitter about the nutria that ate your baby, I see.

                2. I think/thought SF and I are sharing a brainwave on this thread.

                  I love a good barbecue but (again, depending on the person doing the smoking) I’d rather have my meat smoked.

    2. So it’s not enough that someone actually votes Libertarian, they have to meet your neurotic standards first?

      1. Vote? Meh.

        But you had better meet all of my neurotic and contradictory standards if you know what’s good for ya, mister!

  5. Who doesn’t like to Feel the Johnson?

      1. They’re not even a little curious?

        1. Deep down, we’re all a little curious…right?
          *puts arm around Zeb*

  6. “I will for the first time be working outside the familiar binaries of the two-party system. I guess I should ask the guys at Reason magazine or Cato how they cope.”

    Sheesh, what a baby.

    1. It’s a joke. Get over it.

  7. I’m coping by anticipating a tsunami of salty tears upon which I shall feast come November. Doesn’t matter to me if it’s the tears of the GOP old guard gnashing and wailing that Trump lost to a haggard, detestable shrew with a history of corruption that rivals Al Capone combined with the tears of other ‘small government’ shits wailing that Trump was even nominated to begin with, or if it’s from the progreesivistas tearfully lamenting the death of democracy from their safe spaces when Hillary loses to a jabbering, bloated idiot whose only consistent opinion is how perfect a guy he is combined with socialist tears who thought everyone should have felt the Bern harder.

    1. Here have a virtual sixer. 😉

  8. Is Deez Nuts still in the game?

    1. Is Deez Nuts ever not in the game?

      1. http://www.elect-deez-nuts.com/

        He’s apparently still mulling which Party-vehicle to ride with

        Political Party Nominations I Am Considering Running For
        American Populist Party
        Citizens Party
        Independence Party
        Justice Party
        Moderate Party
        Modern Whig Party
        Reform Party
        Rent Is Too Damn High Party

  9. Maybe I’ll read Gillespie’s article later, but for now I’ll comment on it.

    The duopoly limits the access of third-, fourth- and fifth- parties to the ballot. The LP has managed, through sheer persistence since 1971, to get something of a ballot presence, but it’s been remarkably difficult.

    To a lesser extent, the Green and Constitution Parties, and some others, have been able to get on the ballot in certain states (and not others).

    These are all longstanding parties organized by, shall we say, committed people, meaning there’s a bias in favor of purism. The people who struggle for years and years to maintain a marginal party are not the kind of people whose first thoughts are of compromise (or “the art of the deal”).

    Many third-party movements, historically, have arisen as a focus of discontent against the nominee or platform of one of the major parties – meaning the new party organizes itself after the major-party convention which produced the unacceptable candidate/platform.

    But the duopoly has taken precautions against that sort of thing, making it extremely difficult to organize a third party at the last minute.

    1. The duopoly’s idea is that, by the time the mainstream parties have vomited up their shitty candidates, there’s no time for dissidents to form a protest party. So unless they want to get behind the candidate of, let’s face it, a fringe party like the LP or Greens or CP, made up of agitators who are self-consciously distant from the levers of power, then there’s little option for them.

      These disillusioned duopolists who are now desperately looking around for an alternative to Trump are now reaping the fruits of their disenfranchising ways.

      It’s tempting to feel a bit of schadenfreude, so why not – HA HA HA, EAT IT, SUCKERS!

      1. So sorry, what I meant to say is that I know exactly how you Republicans feel, here, why don’t I brew you a pot of hot cocoa…AND POUR IT DOWN YOUR SHORTS, YOU RETARDS!

  10. And after admitting to my one major-party vote?like about 40 percent of America, I fell for Walter Mondale’s low-wattage Norwegian charisma in 1984…


    1. Only Jesus can save us now.

    2. Seriously. I feel lucky that my “First” was Ross Perot. I don’t feel ashamed at all. In fact i went and bought a “Ross 4 Boss” t-shirt a couple years ago, just for sentimental reasons.

      I’d be a million times cooler if i’d ever had the chance to vote for Larry Flynt.

  11. Shouldn’t Kylo Ren be wearing that hat?

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