Election 2016

400 Types of Yogurt, Two Serious Presidential Candidates, & One Worn-Out Rap About 3rd Parties

The Daily Show flirts with alternatives only to mock the idea of voting anything but Republican or Democratic.

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Henry Ford is famous for saying, "Any customer can have a car painted any colour he wants as long as it is black."

The equivalent in contemporary politics is that any voter can have any president they want as long as he wants a Democrat or a Republican. Below is a recent clip from The Daily Show that flirts with the idea of broadening electoral options only to pull back at the end and reinscribe a D and R duopoly as the only sensible, legitimate system.

The segment starts out well enough, with Trevor Noah talking about the super-abundance of consumer choice we encounter whenever we go to the supermarket (hmm…wonder where he got that from) and how awful it is that, when it comes to politics, we're stuck with just two options. Three of his colleagues play at being supporters of Libertarian Gary Johnson, Green Party nominee Jill Stein, and independent Evan McMullin. They get off some funny lines intended to show that no, really the third-party folks are obviously batshit crazy (Gary is high all the time! Jill thinks wifi gives you cancer! Evan is a nobody!) so we ultimately are better off sticking with…Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. That's not to say, of course, that all third-party candidates are equally qualified, smart, or lucid. But do we have to constantly pretend that they are beneath serious consideration? Or that major-party candidates don't have any ridiculous positions or behavior that might disqualify them from serious conversations?

You see this sort of gesture all the time, on shows both comic and serious. The cool kids may want to be avant garde, hip, and cutting edge when it comes to taste in clothes, music, or fashion, but they just cannot bring themselves to insist seriously on a broader set of choices when it comes to politics. It's frustrating as hell, particularly in an election where the Democratic and Republican nominees are disliked by a majority of Americans.

HT: Chuck G M3

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  1. Most voters have a really poor grasp of probability and statistics.

    Honestly, it makes me wonder why I even bother to vote.

    1. President: vote doesnt matter
      Senate: vote doesnt matter, but its Rand, so at least I enjoy voting
      House: incumbent unopposed
      State Senate: off year, even districts are in 2014/2018/etc
      State House: incumbent unopposed

    2. In fairness, very few people who are not statisticians have a grasp of probability and statistics.

      1. True, and that includes myself.

        However, the statistics necessary to understand a presidential election arent that complicated.

        And there was the Florida example from 2000 to make things clear. Elections decided by a fraction of a percent arent decided by raw vote count.

  2. Racists ensured that Larry got the axe. Can Trevor be far behind?

    1. So… you’re saying that racists ain’t all bad?

    2. I didn’t realize the racists who watched Colbert didn’t stick around for his replacement. I hear the same is partly true for the racists that watched Stewart. How can they attract more racists to their shows?

  3. Nick is all frustrated that the kids won’t be avant garde and hip with their election choices!

    That’s adorable.

  4. The critique isn’t lack of choices for political party, but lack of 400 different varieties of one political product (progurt).

    1. Shouldn’t that be proghurt? People always seem to forget the ‘h’.

      1. Even the Turks forget the H (yo?urt), and it’s their word!

  5. 400 Typies of Yogurt, Two Serious Presidential Candidates, & One Worn-Out Rap About 3rd Parties

    What’s a “typie”?

    1. fixed!

      1. The subtext needs fixed too:

        The Daily Show flirts with alternatives only to mock the idea of voting anything but Republican or Democratic.

  6. Aren’t most types of yogurt still sold under only a few brands though?

    1. Do you really need more than a few brands of yogurt?

    2. Do you really need more than a few brands of yogurt?

  7. 400 types of yogurt, but every single one of them is low-fat. Diversity.

    1. Note lack of black yogurt in the sea of white in the dairy section. ‘Nuff said.

      1. At least there’s fruit on the bottom, so’s that one is covered.

        1. I see what you mixed in there.

        2. Even tropical fruit!

  8. Nobody *needs* 400 types of yogurt.

  9. I refuse to believe Henry Ford said “color” with a u in it.

    1. No one “says” it with the u in it, the Brits just spell it wrong.

      1. Rubbish! Gillespie misspelt, “yoghurt,” as well.

  10. How can Trevor Noah be a comedian when he’s, you know, not funny?

  11. There were lots of primary candidates this year. The voters had plenty of choices.

    The problem is that only 5% of the voters are paying attention during the primaries.

    They get what they deserve.

  12. It wasn’t even a funny clip

    1. It isn’t meant to be. It’s meant to get Hillary elected. Third parties are a big threat to her, so they must be demonized at all costs.

  13. how awful it is that, when it comes to politics, we’re stuck with just two options.

    Yeah. Something tells me Noah and his fans would have been perfectly happy to have had 2012 as the year of “One man, one vote, one time.”

  14. how awful it is that, when it comes to politics, we’re stuck with just two options.

    …and with most of the content of Reason’s Trump coverage, it seems like we have less than two options.

  15. So, they understand that, for a large bloc of people, they’re actually encouraging them to vote for Trump, right?

  16. The Daily Show has always been a shill for the Democrats.

    So what else is new.

    A few days ago Clinton’s campaign announced that via one of its many PACs it would spend “multi-millions” of dollars to destroy Johnson.

    The millennials, his greatest strength, must be shown in just so many ways that they MUST vote for HRC or they will be to blame for Trump’s victory.

    The gall of ClinTrump to assume that anyone who votes for someone else is deluded or just in denial and would automatically vote for their candidate if they only realized how “important” ClinTrump is/ isn’t, is astounding.

    Truly, these clods are in need of shock therapy and that is precisely what we shall give them on election day.

    Vote for not against someone and you will not have wasted your vote.

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